I've recently completed a 2'x 6' tall painting commissioned by a friend that stretched me to grow in unpredictable ways. I call it "Inside the Cave" for obvious (and not so obvious) reasons. My friend is a caver who loves bats and orchids, among other things. She likes turquoise and orange, and she's a huge fan of Danger Girl comics.
At the planning meeting she described events and symbols of her playful childhood, a middle period that was more tumultuous, and the current life in which she feels comfortable in her skin and grounded. She talked about colors and styles she loves and her vision for the project. Then with a sparkle in her eye she told me she knew I would make something amazing.
I'm so grateful for the seed she planted. It helped carry me through a year of some sensitive transitions: of creative plenty and material sacrifice, spiritual journeying and geographical challenges; artistic second-guessing and the treasuretrove of new relationships. It represented a gift, a challenge, trust, and faith all in one fell swoop.
There are those people in our lives who send us into the cave where darkness can be thick and discoveries rich, where mystery shimmers and shadows entice. The cave can be a yin symbol for women and men, where we enter a state of receptivity, adaptability, uncertainty, and vulnerability, or the sacred space of replenishment.
Where discoveries fly at us like bats, startling us with their swift clarity. Where gorgeous and rare orchids dwell, adapted to unusual environments that force them to learn new survival strategies. The vulnerabilities we allow ourselves bring a richness that enhances our capacity for joy and playfulness, even when the process required to get there can feel hella uncomfortable. I'm guessing this has been a year when most of us have been feeling vulnerable in some arena. I've noticed that resistance to those tender moments may show up in my life as negative feedback, isolation, or an inability to allow feelings to come to the surface.
Beautiful environments are created from both violent and subtle shifts in nature, as are our lives shaped by these forces. Fire and water, wind and earth are reflected in our bodies, the shape of our lives, and the flow of relationships. Homeopathy is a science that identifies -and then unlocks- those patterns of passion and play, of minerals and poisons that shape us and sometimes limit our freedom to optimally express ourselves.
Activating and expressing our creative selves is arguably one of the most important things we can attempt in this life. I feel immensely lucky to be able to refine and share visions that hold potential for expanding people's hearts and minds, connecting us in our collective journey, and beautifying the ride. I wish for you that the inwardly-directed energy of winter sweetens your surrender and bonds you with your true essence.
Lately I've been writing down evidence of abundance and lists of gratitude, be that for significant relationships, material comforts, opportunities for growth, and insights gained. The importance of keeping positive thoughts and focusing on what's already going well has been easier at some times than others. It's a slippery slope to join the stream of negativity - coming from the wildness "out there" or within.
Deep thanks to my family of origin and all the friends who have supported me on both sides of this Minneapolis journey. It has been an outstanding year of adventure that continues to surprize and nourish me in so many ways.
Sparkly sparkle to you this holiday season ~ I look forward to seeing you next year!