Is Art A Spiritual Practice…

What do you get when you shake and stir the emotions of feeling selfish, silly and way too old…a painful anxiety of unmasking my soul to critics…fearful that if I expose that creative dream to the light…”poof” like dandelion fuzz it would disintegrate again…worrying that it is an egotistical pursuit…sprinkle that with the musing with that following my joy might divert me from my mission in this life…hmmm…crazy exhausted with the overwhelming smell of burning rubber in the background…(which comes from stepping on the brakes and gas at the same time)…

Every artist dips his brush in his soul and paints his own nature into pictures.  

Henry Ward Beecher

My lifelong personal mission statement has always been to be a conduit of God’s love to this world…and it feels less than noble to be so excited about sharing my photographs and words…receiving wonderful support from those who view my work…isn’t the spiritual life meant to be hard and painful…

Wrestling with the dilemma has been a hellacious struggle…the creative dream and growth in writing and photography fills my life with happiness and joy…so I prayed…begged for guidance…as always, when it’s time…the teacher will come…not in my desired timing…of course…but when I was ready…it did…

Two books…one that I held for a while…but never read…The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and a lesser known book called The Soul of Art by Alfred J. Garrotto…both very supportive of the idea that creativity and spirituality are intrinsically linked…

The heart of creativity is an experience of the mystical union; the heart of the mystical union is an experience of creativity…” The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron

Last week I entered 8 photos into the PSSA(the Photographic Society of South Africa)…it was my first time for National entries…and only the second time for entering my photographs…I was fortunate to be able to enter free of charge because I am a newbie here…a level 1…but then everyone has to start somewhere…these are the ones that I submitted..my first entries were given gold and even better a certificate of merit…so now the question definitely needed answering…

Each photograph was taken with love and appreciation…some with exquisite joy in the beauty…some with pain…to be reminded of the poverty of the world…physically, emotionally, and morally…

It is said that, before being born, each soul is kissed by God. Then it goes through life always, in some dark way, remembering that kiss. The soul measures every experience in relation to that original sweetness . . . . To be in touch with your heart is to be in touch with this primordial kiss, both its preciousness and its meaning.

The Restless Heart Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

“As an artist, we are channels of the divine, fingers pointing heaven-ward. We are not the source of our gifts. We are individual points of light among the billions of stars that Creator-Spirit has splashed across multiple universes.”

Artistic imagination fills that void, showering us and our planet with wonder and hope. Artists’ message to our audiences is, “There’s more” . . . more than what we see and feel, more than the sum of our daily anxieties and fears. The Soul of Art, By Alfred J. Garrotto

I have done nothing to deserve these gifts and I am not worthy…any talent that I may have is unearned and unmerited…truly a gift of grace…to an imperfect human from a perfect God…to honor the gifts that I have been given, I still must do my part to cultivate and use them to make the world better…to share with an open and joyful heart…not as an egotistical pursuit or for personal accolades…it can easy to do…

All of us in the arts need to hone our craft through dedicated study, rehearsal, repetition, practice—even when we don’t feel like doing it and especially when we think we’ve maxed out our potential. How can any of us know that we do not have one more, or multiple, works within us that may exceed anything we have yet produced?  Am I too old to keep going? Too sick? Or just too wearied by past failures?

https://www.scribd.com/read/336109402/The-Soul-of-Art#

Perfecting the crafts of writing and photography will be a delightful lifelong challenge…I must put in the work that the gift requires to be more effective in touching lives…not allowing self-doubt and the fear of failure and criticism to bury my gift that may be used to return beauty, joy or inspiration…to lift humanity from its daily muck and mire of routine…causing someone to stop and breathe…if only for a moment…

May my heart always be filled with compassion to share a journey of hope and vision in a world of hopelessness and seen in all it’s ugliness…may I be given the virtue of humility realizing where my gifts come from to make the world a better place to live, joyfully sharing my gift with an open heart…for I have done nothing to deserve any gift that I have been given

I am only the “pointer” to the one that is the originator and creator of gifts…I am only the steward…a guidepost…so to speak…along this journey of life to the compassionate presence of a loving God..

I am only a conduit of God’s peace and love…allowing God’s love to flow through me...my service to others is my artists’ purpose…may my gifts to the world be wings that lift those that experience my words or images to be lifted out of the routines of the day to day and remind them that there is more…to discover within themselves their magic…their passion and joy…their own art and what is best within themselves…

Artists channel Creator-Spirit’s beauty, compassion, and love. Our mission and call is to bring some-thing into being where before there was no-thing.  Our ultimate gift is that, like Creator-Spirit, we do not hoard our transcendent experience and its fruits. Art is our “voice.” We cannot, we must not, remain silent. If we engage in the arts merely for our own gratification, we risk forfeiting our claim to be artists. Recall that art, like love, requires that it be given away. ~Alfred J. Garrotto

Any talent that I have is God’s gift to me, and my gift to Him is what I do with it…

I am a humble artist molding my earthly clod, adding my labor to nature’s, simply assisting God. Not that my labor is needed, yet somehow I understand, my Maker has deemed it that I too should have unmolded clay in my hand.  

Piet Hein

Dedicated to the love of my life Mr. P…who pushed me to fly and is the “wind beneath my wings” every day…and the support and encouragement of all my friends and family💓...I could not walk this path without them

Sent with prayers for Love, laughter and magic in your day

Metamorphosis

In life…transformations of our life can sometimes happen suddenly…but much of the transition of ourselves happens in stages and phases…each change adding depth, color and character to our life tapestry…

Twelve months of magical slowing down..resting…rejuvenation of body, soul and spirit…being rebuilt…listening to myself and relearning and learning what is important to me during this chapter of life…

Metamorphosis Morale in 2020 | Metamorphosis quotes, Butterfly ...

Lately I have felt stagnated…”itchy” like when damaged skin in healing…shedding old ways and beliefs that no longer feel comfortable to my authentic self…my experiences are changing the dimensions of my self- perception…

The greatest gift you have to give is your own self-transformation.

~Lao Tzu

…so much going on here…right now…lots of home renovation being done…torn foot ligaments…finding a photography club to be involved in…writing…Mr. P’s 3+ engineering projects…relationship time…friends and family…cooking…cleaning..business accounting…need to create a business website…and self-care…exercising…and..and…they are all things that I absolutely love doing…yet feeling overwhelmed…

When I start feeling overwhelmed…exhausted mentally….I start shutting down…and don’t get anything accomplished…I had a wonderful reminder the other day that no one can do everything at once…she said to find what gives my heart joy…what a brilliant place to start…

…But I love it all…mostly creative expressions and pursuits in one way or another (lol…cleaning would be the exception)…back to the drawing board… prioritize...time is always a factor in our human existence…so limited and precious…as much as I would like to think I am super woman…it’s only in my head and very debilitating to the body and soul…

What should take preeminence…what are my current top 5 Life Priorities…

  • Priority #1 – Health…the primary focus is on losing weight and obtaining my optimum BMI…I have lost over 50 lbs….but still have 38% of my current weight to lose…

This is at the top of my list because without health…there is nothing…

Maintaining a good health is the biggest investment that you could ever make, because without it, a lot of things in life would become impossible.”
― Edmond Mbiaka

If I am healthy…I have space in my heart and mind to enjoy everything else…I have the world at my fingertips…full of possibilities…I can do anything I want in life. I can enjoy my family to the fullest, I can love my friends and my man with intent and purpose…

  • Priority #2 – Relationships…most specifically Family…whether blood, out-laws and in-laws…employees and friends…the people who are our anchors and life jackets in the rough waters…the bond of love and joy in sharing each others lives..those who accept us as we are with all our foibles…those who believe and support us…

When my story eventually reaches its end, there are people that I would like to look back with. I hope to be able to look back at this life with this family I have surrounded myself and know that I was loved and that I am leaving a legacy of love in the hearts and lives of this family…

Priority #3 – Adventure/Life Experiences…always been an adventurer… opportunity to see the world, to meet new people, to learn about myself and to squeeze every bit of life out of this adventure around the sun...traveling and spending time in nature

Priority #4 – Creativitycreativity in all of its forms makes me feel sparkly and light up my spirit…even when it’s sanding baseboards to repaint…peeling and chopping miles of vegetables to make a delicious meal…spending an hour hunting for that “just right” synonym…taking millions of photographs in the hopes I can have just the “right” viewpoint/story to share…

Priority #5 – Self Development/LearningLearning…just learning something that I never knew before is exciting…Personal Development…becoming the best version of who I was created to be…

I remember reading this quote many years ago and thinking that I want to leave everything that I came into this earth to share…not holding back anything…

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” – Les Brown

…but rather arriving empty at the pearly gates being a good steward of the gifts that I was given…

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

…which brings me to the changes that I thinking of making within my blog…my yearly subscription is almost due for renewal…I thought I would delete the account and take some time off from writing…thereby reducing the list of things to currently focus on…

I found that I was just writing on another site…so that wasn’t going to be a solution…spending 4 or 5 hours per blog is a big chunk out of my day…so now what…

Changing the format or length of personal essays…making this more of a journaling platform…

I hope that you will stay with me during these changes…

...sent with magic, laughter and tons of love

Dedicated to the Mr. P

“Walk with me through life and I’ll have everything I need for the journey.”