And the day came
when the risk to remain
tight in a bud
was more painful than
the risk it took to blossom.
~ Anais Nin
I am a spiritual seeker and over the last few years the energy of my soul has awakened with an undeniable force that I could no longer silence or ignore. This spiritual force in my heart has changed the direction of my life. And like the quote above, "it was more painful to remain in a tight bud than it was the risk it took to blossom." Thus began my journey into writing and painting.
When people I loved got sick and died it was a huge wake-up call for me in many ways. I had been through many heart-wrenching experiences in grief, dark nights of the soul and learning the art of letting go. In that surrendering into the darkness of the unknown, light trickled in through the cracks in my heart and I began to allow my most authentic self to slowly be revealed. I was learning to surrender to all of the things in my life where I had no control over the outcome. I could only control how I responded to what was happening in my life. I got quiet and listened to what my heart wanted.
I prayed to find a deeper purpose to my existence and one that would be of benefit to me and others. I wanted to live my life from a place of love, compassion and to be an inspiration to others. I made a vow to myself to make decisions that guided my life, with my heart wide open, in ways where I would be able to look back at my life and have no regrets. I was still here. I was still alive. What was my purpose? What was the song of my soul that yearned to be heard and expressed? I continually asked the universe.
I was working at the middle school and I liked my job working with students with special needs, but I still had nudges in my heart that this job was not fulfilling all of my needs and desires. I needed and longed for more ways to express what was in my heart and soul. I started to wake up in the middle of the night for the last few years I worked at the middle school. It was quite frustrating, but I knew in my heart that change was afoot. I just didn't know what that change was going to be or what it would look like. I had faith all would be revealed to me in its divine time.
I would pray out loud and write my prayers down and I would put them in a tiny, little, metal, prayer box I had purchased and kept on my nightstand. I filled it up to overflowing with prayers. I needed some love and guidance from above. I would write down what was in my heart and place the words into my prayer box. It was a beautiful way to express the language of my heart and to ask for guidance and help from God's loving energy and to let the words go.
The act of writing down my prayers helped me surrender my ego to the help and guidance of my soul. Our thoughts, prayers and intentions are powerful. I put the requests out there, my soul, my helpers in heaven and all of the angels were gathering up the answers to my prayers. I look back now on all of the prayers I wrote down and I see how they have been answered in God's way through divine timing. I had to let go and let God answer my prayers in the way that were for my greatest good and highest joy for all concerned.
I got a call from one of my sons and his wife. They were having their third child and wanted to know if I would consider quitting my job and provide daycare for their baby because of the high cost of care for infants. I gave their request a lot of thought. I had prayed for a change in my life...perhaps this was it. After a bit of time and a lot of consideration, I decided to leave my job and care for all three of their children. While I was talking and crying with my boss about the decision I had made to quit, she shared with me that the school district had decided to eliminate the resource room where I worked and my job would change. The divine message and intervention I was waiting for and the answer to my prayers. This was not what I imagined my prayer would look like being answered, but I knew in my heart I had made the right choice. Thank you Angels.
While caring for my grandchildren we built a beautiful relationship in love, trust and being present for each other. As with all relationships there were great days and challenging days. I like to call the challenging days...opportunities in disguise for growth! I was able to teach them and practice unconditional love, patience, forgiveness and gratitude. We did yoga and deep breathing. We talked about angels and asked them daily for help. We would walk barefoot in the grass, talk about anything and everything, wander around in the garden and take hikes in the woods. They stopped and noticed everything while drinking in the beautiful energy of the natural world. On our walks, they would gather up tiny treasures along the way. Rocks, acorns, beautiful leaves and sticks would fill their pockets...and mine!
We would do art every day. I had stickers, crayons, glue, markers, colored pencils, construction paper and paints. I loved watching them paint and create with their imaginations...no judges came out...they just created. I started to paint with them. I learned from them how to be in the creative flow and just paint what came to me without giving the inner critic a voice. My grandchildren helped me uncover the artist lying in wait in my heart. She was waiting for the invitation to be set free to create. She was apparently roommates with the writer who had also been hiding inside of me. Who is waiting in your heart, guided by your soul, to be invited out to play? Listen.
I was at the craft store refilling my art supplies and I noticed some unpainted wood boxes and a book that practically jumped into my cart (thank you Angels for the nudge)…Paint Mojo by Tracy Verdugo. I purchased my supplies, a handful of the wood boxes and the book...of course! I brought them all home and began a journey into painting prayer/intention/treasure boxes. I began by painting boxes one for each of my 10 grandchildren. I thought they might like a special little box to hold their beloved treasures they gathered on our walks. I was right. They loved having their own little box that had been uniquely painted for them to keep.
I went back to the store and bought all of the boxes off the shelf. When I would get an intuitive nudge to paint a box for someone special in my life, I would listen to my heart and soul and paint what came to me that would be unique to them. I painted prayer boxes for friends, sisters and nieces. Some were grieving great losses and some I thought might enjoy a sacred space to write down and hold their prayers, intentions, meditations, or a list of items they might be ready to surrender.
My little, metal, prayer box was no longer big enough to hold my prayers. I painted a few boxes for myself and I tucked beautiful paper and a pencil inside of them so I would always be prepared to write something down when I needed to. My prayer box has become a sacred and healing tool for me. I love the idea of writing my prayers down and setting them free to fly out of my heart and into the healing energy of God's loving care.
I have always known that I am an old soul. I can relate and connect to people from a deep sense of knowing by using my intuitive gifts with truthfulness and love. I look deep within them and find a way to meet them where they are. I feel, sense, know and listen to what they are saying and to what they not saying.
I invite you to listen to the whispers of your heart. The nudges that wake you up in the middle of the night and that linger in the silence of your own intuitive knowing. Tap into that mojo that resides in your heart and soul and nurture it with love, encouragement and have the faith to give it wings and to set it free to fly. You may need to get out of your own way. My spiritual journey and creative expressions through writing and painting are joining together in a beautiful dance always and forever unfolding and introducing my soul to my humanity in celebration of both.