I was reflecting this morning on a conversation I had with my 13 year old daughter, who was telling me about an art project she was working on at school. It was a self-portrait, and she was describing how she chose not to do an actual self-portrait, but something more abstract that expressed who she is on the inside, and how she had observed that everyone else, except one other girl, had done actual self-portraits focusing on their physical features.
We ended up having a wonderful discussion about contrast, choice, and the difference between living and expressing from the inside, and living and expressing from the surface.
It had me wondering about the deep, silent, still waters within, and how diving down into the depths of our Being is the most authentic place from which to create a self-portrait if we had to come up with some sort of “definition” in material form of who we felt ourselves to be. In truth, there is no “self” so to speak, for at the centre of our Being, all we really are is Existence, Consciousness, One.
Isn’t this the core of artistic expression?
And isn’t artistic expression simply a reflection of our individualized dance with the Divine?
Our beautiful conversation, (which made us late for school!) was a teaching moment for both of us, for my daughter reminded me of how natural and automatic it is for her to create from this place, and how she noticed how rare it was for others to do so. I also shared with her my own collaged self-portrait that I had made one day many years ago while sitting with the Divine. At the time I did not know I was creating a self-portrait. That intuitive realization did not come to me until much later. (see pic below)
It’s so easy to get caught up in the world of form and matter, but it is our identification with it that is the source of much of our angst and suffering.
We tend to forget that Life itself is art.
We tend to forget that our Existence in a human form is the expression of Divinity, whether or not we choose to acknowledge such.
We tend to forget that we have the power to create our lives to be a living, breathing, masterpiece of beauty, love, and celebration regardless of circumstance, because it’s not the circumstances that cause us to suffer, it is our responses to them.
We tend to forget that ALL of LIFE is God, so why resist any of it?
Living and expressing from the surface has been so deeply ingrained and programmed into our psyches, that anything that reflects the tiniest move away from the so called “standard” and “rules” of conformity or social conditioning makes us feel deficient or impoverished in some way or another.
If you were to view my life based on the 3D mindset, you might see me as a divorced, single mother who declared bankruptcy seven years ago, you might see me as someone without a “real” job or someone unsuccessful, or someone who does not own a home, or drive a fancy car, or have any extra material or monetary means to lavish on myself or anyone else. You might label me as poor and hard done by.
And yet, if you did view my life or those circumstances in that way, it would be a great misperception – but what all of that has taught me – quite brutally and severely at times, because that’s what I signed up for – is that none of those circumstances decide my worth. If my life were to end in this moment, I would leave proud.
Because I’ve learned that there is absolutely nothing or no one who can take away who I’ve come to know myself to be. Not ever. That doesn’t make me special or important or saintly. It simply makes me real.
Because I’ve been learning how to mine the gold from the dark, cavernous, depths of my Being and to share what I’ve learned with others.
And what is the gold?
And so…my still, small voice, says to you from this tiny, little blog of divine expression,
“You are all so warmly united in the one common thread that holds Existence together. You are united in Love. Not a single heart beats without Love causing it to do so, and you are here, in this physical world to eventually realize this and to experience yourself, and each other from “beneath the surface.” Everything you need to have this experience is provided to you by your precious everyday and most seemingly ordinary day to day life. Do not think that there is anything better or more valuable out there for you to experience. What is here and now right before you – all people and circumstances – are here for you. It does not serve you in any way whatsoever to resist what Existence has laid out for you, for it has been laid out for you in an attempt to soften, open, and have you yield to, and fully embrace, the Love that you are. The beauty, intimacy, and aliveness you so long to experience awaits you in those very moments that would have you run and hide, instead of standing still with arms wide open, ready for anything.”