My child self spent a lot of time alone in the woods, wandering for hours, listening to everything around me, feeling the trees. Particularly, I have always had a deep and abiding love for birch trees. They somehow feel different than other trees to me, and I feel different around them.
Around 9 years old, I found myself in a grove of birch trees on a beautiful, sunny day. My legs found their way through some thick brush and propelled me toward an emerald green, moss covered rock. I recall the vivid color emanating from the moss as a ray of sunshine bestowed it's light exactly unto the plush surface. This whole scene still brings sensation to me, because everything about it is exactly what I love.
I sat on the rock and I remember being led into the sound of the wind moving through the leaves. My eyes were closed and I naturally entered into a kind of trance. This is where it gets a little "meta"... I realized that I wasn't hearing the wind anymore, and quite suddenly became conscious of the sensation of floating. I opened my eyes in a flash, and experienced myself near the tree tops looking down at myself sitting on the rock. I became aware of many feelings: oneness, wonderment in how what I was experiencing was possible, something like but somehow beyond love, and honestly, a touch of fear. I closed my satellite self's eyes and brought myself in waves back into my body. I felt different, bigger, almost part a fabric. I was a little scared, but wanted more.
It was incredibly intimate.
My little girl self stumbled upon my deepest core desire: to fully awaken.
I didn't exactly understand that or have the words at the time. Upon reflection, I see the gift of that moment was intimate connection, and that the beauty of my surroundings brought me deep into presence, leading me to mystic experience.
The thing about mystic experience, is that it's always practical. It may take time to unfold, unpack, unfurl, and that's a process worth savoring. Staying present to the message of a mystic moment, rather than getting caught in the glamour ego trap is where it's at. Experiences like the "mystic birch" moment come when I need an interruption, when I'm not going towards my call. The experience, though special to me, is not the point. As I look at the moment, more and more I see that being surrounded by beauty, nature, my willingness to explore and go through the thick brush to get to the rock is the point. It's the walking and the pausing that set me up to get information from my soul.
The crucial, life-giving, intimate, spiritual, connected moments in my life have always been intrinsically rooted in taking practical steps towards transformation. Art makes manifest threads of our inner conversation. We see ourselves through the process of creating, and of course the end product. Art has always been practical for me.
My inner work and creative spark led me to travel the path of the Contemplative Artist toward my deepest desire of fully awakening. I'm refined through the Process of Making. There is both wild movement and eternal silence in art and artist process. The artist, much like the monk, needs to listen and practice and follow inspiration as fuel for the dance between seen and unseen.
Roderick MacIver in Art as a Way of Life says it best
“The ancient roots of the word “art” have to do with connection, and art, at its best, is our connection to the mystery, to the parts of ourselves that are deeper and truer than the day-to-day world. Art connects us to our dreams, to the things that can’t be explained in words, to the things that have touched our core, to our imaginary worlds, and even to our own personal chaos. Art has something to do with the part that doesn’t want to be tamed, that can’t be tamed. Our challenge as artists is to muster the technique, the vision, the persistence, and emotional courage to explore what means most to us. Our challenge as people is even greater — to live a life that is in itself a work of art.”
Core Desire: To fully awaken
The Call: To be Light (knowledgeable, illuminated, warm, connected, easy with shining, imbued with sacred intimacy)
To bring Unity (connection, harmony, togetherness, inclusion, familiarity, oneness ((not sameness, because beauty is born of diversity and contrast,)) welcoming of the stranger within and outside of me, marrying inner life and outer expression.) To Express and Invite others to express themselves too.
How I dance to the beat of seen and unseen of my core desire and calling: Making, singing, writing and playing music, praying, acting in response to what is found in prayer, 3 acts of kindness most days, sharing what I find in service to others, creating soulful and cutting edge content for my contemplative art classes to participate in bringing others with me, engaging as I'm able in fearless honesty and following through with what I find through asking myself.
And now you!
What's your deepest desire? Your calling? How are you dancing to the beat of the seen and unseen? What lead you to where you are?
Would love to hear what's coming up for you! Please, comment below!
With light and in process,
Mimiges (Butterfly/Woman who goes between two worlds)