Spiraling to the Next Level

 - by Paula
IF

hummingbird ~ inspired joy

The first half of 2014 has been filled with change for me. I’m not alone, many people I’ve spoken with are feeling the same surge of change coursing through their lives. For me a big part of the change has been adjusting to living a life on my own.  One of the surprises that has brought is a deeper connection to intuition in my artwork.

I’ve always been a deeply intuitive person, relying on my intuition to guide me through the mystery of being human. Interestingly I’ve realized that allowing my intuition to work together with my imagination in service of creating things is creating a sort of alchemy.

I’m very excited about these new directions in my art making and the ways I am discovering to share it through Personal Compass Mandalas, illustration, and spirit/oracle art.

Stay tuned for changes to the website that will allow these new facets to shine!

Roads Not Taken

 - by Paula

You only really need the things you make, love or leave outside.  ~Jim Koss

 

IF

Roads not taken. Every life is full of them. Some we choose to turn away from. Some we miss the turning, intent on something off in the distance (or inside our own head) and only see the road at all when we gaze back across the valley, miles and miles along. Some roads are blocked in ways our longing to travel them simply cannot overcome.

We can only linger so long at the crossroads and, as Robert Frost observed, cannot ever be one traveler and travel both.  Very occasionally our journey intersects one of those not-taken paths a bit further on and we have the chance to choose again.

Sometimes seconds chances feel like gifts; sometimes they feel like tests. It’s ever so easy to embrace the gifts, to sink into the renewed opportunity with a contented sigh.

The others, the tests, are crazy-making, panic-inducing; flight-or-fight chemicals flood our brains and we are equally likely to be paralyzed by fear (while mentally running every possible outcome in hopes of getting it right this time) as we are to flee.

The question is: can we actually get it wrong?

Short of doing irreparable harm to ourselves or others is any path really wrong?  Every experience adds to the mosaic of our life. To live is to turn time into experience. We gather knowledge, memories, stories.  We laugh. We cry. We endure heartache, boredom and hardship. We embrace joy, contentment and connection. And through it all, if we pay attention, we discover that we are more than the sum of our experiences. We are more than our successes and our failures, more than our mistakes, more than our plans and dreams.

It’s really okay – we’ve got this – whatever road we choose will take us somewhere, show us something, add to the mosaic.  And that little piece of scarlet or chartreuse that doesn’t seem to “go” with the rest?  That may be just the piece we need to provide the spark for the extraordinary masterpiece of our life.

 

Far From Perfect

 - by Paula

spungold

I’m so far from perfect, I can’t even see it from here.

And that’s a good thing.

Perfection, at least the way our human brains try to define it, is an illusion.

On the other hand, everything is perfect exactly as it occurs.  This paradox is at the heart of our human story.

I’m a recovering perfectionist, raised by perfectionist parents, a child born to love weeds, wildflowers, broken shells and fragmented souls, asked to strive for perfection.  I tried, hard.  Or a part of me did. Yet somehow, the child who sat for hours watching bugs climb the tall grasses and tiny fish schooling in the shallows, the little girl who picked wildflowers, weeds and garden flowers together into messy bouquets was never far beneath the surface.

My most precious treasures are still bits of sea glass and broken open shells, their inner lives revealed by the vagaries of life. Nature is messy and imperfect, and breathtakingly beautiful.  So are we, just the way we are, right now, in this moment.  Because, even though WE cannot be perfect, ever, we CAN experience perfect moments.

I’m so far from perfect, I can’t even see it from here.  But I have a sea chest of memories, full of perfect moments, strung together like glowing pearls decorating my imperfect life.

They aren’t always pretty, those perfect moments; sometimes they contain exquisite sadness, bottomless pain or perfect storms of rage.  What makes them perfect?  That we are so completely inside the experience it is all we feel – the observer disappears.  The totality of feeling connects us with the infinite, the cosmic consciousness, the living web of all that is.

It is a fitting irony that we only intellectually perceive perfect moments once they have passed, because if we perceive them they end, as soon as the observer steps in the moment vanishes.

The notion of creating a perfect life, a perfect artwork, story, meal, garden, a perfect anything is a notion that separates us from ourselves.  It provides a grand illusionary goal that we can never reach, and so keeps us safe from having to put ourselves out there, while at the same time driving us mildly mad.  Our quest has no end, because perfection can’t be sought or created, it must be allowed.

Part of that allowing is realizing that perfection doesn’t look like what we think it does.  And it isn’t static, it can’t be pressed under glass or pinned to a board.   A perfect bud, frozen in time, can never become a perfect rose, can never become a perfect rose hip, can never become a perfect cup of soothing tea.

Don’t be afraid to shake the kaleidoscope ~ the next picture will be equally beautiful.

Begin Again from a Place of Wholeness

 - by Paula

Commit to living with a new grace.

Tell a new story

Discover ancient stories.

Begin again from a place of wholeness.

Create a life you can fall in love with.  Do it because it has joy. Do it to create JOY.

Emerge from the fog and the chaos.

Embrace the simple wisdom of the earth.

IFTap into the cycles of the natural world to gain equilibrium and perspective. Observe the changes and absorb the beauty and ease with which they unfold.

Allow yourself some of that same ease.  How would your story change if you are not at the center of it, but truly connected to all the other parts?

What if, like the wildflowers, you are exactly where you can thrive, exactly at the right time, part of the wholeness?

 

 

 

 

 

We All Contain Wildness

 - by Paula

juggler

I often encounter people who wear their wild on the outside, warrior-poets, story sorceresses, dancing spirits, punk-hippie goddesses, rowdy raconteurs  .  .  . people who wake you and shake you and leave you a bit more alive for encountering them.

That wildness?  It does not just belong to them. It also belongs to YOU.  Yes, I see it behind the civilized facade you’ve adopted.  Every now and then I see the wild in your gesture, your writing, your art, it sparkles in your eyes, it bubbles up in your laughter.

What would happen if you let it out more often?

What would happen if the wild truth of you was something you felt comfortable sharing with the world?

My wild wants to invite your wild out to play, will you come?

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