Wounds of the Soul

Painting by Nancy Wait, early 1980s

Painting by Nancy Wait, early 1980s

Wounds of the Soul – the Body Remembers, is the title of a show on Blog Talk Radio by Paranormal Matters. LINK.  It aired live on July 14th but I wasn’t able to listen then because I was talking about the X in Extra-Sensory on another show, The Healing Fountain. The X has to do with feeling on an energetic level. The sort that gets blocked when we experience the kind of wounding that leaves us feeling powerless and betrayed. Our self-worth plummets. Even if we change our location, our circumstances, we suffer the kind of post-traumatic stress that destroys future relationships and often leads to addictions and self-destructive behaviors.

What I didn’t understand until recently, when I began listening to Paranormal Matters with hosts Jennifer Warters and Carol Lamb of Rainbow Light Foundation, and then when I took the Foundation Course in Quantum Light Healing, was how what is known as the subtle energy body, was affected, causing imbalance and illness in the physical body. Because of what they refer to as an “energetic imprint” in the electromagnetic field, which underlies the conditions.

Thinking in terms of an “energy field,” one that I live in and am constantly projecting, it is no wonder how often in my early adulthood I was attracted to similar types of the treatment I had been forcibly subjected to in my youth.

Studying art in my late twenties put me on the path to healing, because it was only then that I began to differentiate between an inner and an outer life, and to see that I could access this inner life through pictures. On the radio show Carol spoke of how the closing off of the throat due to shame and fear is usually one of the immediate results from childhood abuse. With talking therapies I had either run amok or bowed out early on, and had lost all belief in its effectiveness.

Girl with Fish Bowl, by Nancy Wait; oil on canvas (1982)

Girl with Fish Bowl, by Nancy Wait; oil on canvas (1982)

The breakthrough of my “pictorial” voice came when at last I gathered up the courage to paint from my imagination. I told myself it didn’t have to be brilliant as long as it was real and the feeling behind it was a true one. What emerged then was a series of pictures representing my disassociation from myself. Which was exactly what Carol Lamb described on her show, the disconnection between mind and body, body and emotions, resulting from trauma to the soul. One of my first pictures shows a young girl and a fish bowl filled with colorful fish swimming around (seemingly happily) while she looks on in despair. I knew somehow that I was “outside” of where I wanted to be.

"Mask" by Nancy Wait; oil on canvas (1982)

“Mask” by Nancy Wait; oil on canvas (1982)

I also knew that I was hiding behind a mask, not necessarily pretending to be someone I was not, but not being entirely true to who I was, either. My throat was still blocked. Masks serve a purpose, and this one seems more like a lighted torch, perhaps lighting the way. (A mask of the Soul?) It was an enormous benefit not only to put these feelings “out there,” thus giving them validation, but to realize I was creating a visual narrative of the journey I had embarked upon. Putting myself inside a story was another point of validation.

"Sinking" by Nancy Wait; oil on canvas (1982)

“Sinking” by Nancy Wait; oil on canvas (1982)

The next painting, or should I say the next step, was to sink beneath the waves, or perhaps tune into those particular “frequency” waves of the “see” of the subconscious. Lower myself into the depths, in order to recover the lost self. The disconnected self. The body I had fled from so as not to feel it, even though that body was my own. My underwater journey which lasted five years and produced scores of paintings, came to an end when at last I came upon the jewel I hadn’t consciously known I was seeking. The child-self I had left behind, pretending she was drowned at the bottom of a pool. (For more on that please see last week’s post: Seeing Myself As A Soul)

The body remembers. No matter how much we would prefer not to. I highly recommend the programs on Paranormal Matters. I administer the Rainbow Light Forum, which as well as listing the shows, is a place where you can ask your questions and make comments.

Looking back on my visual outpourings, I think my greatest achievement was finding beauty in the ugliness. An expression of beauty even in the despair. It matters. And so does practicing the Emerald Alignment, the meditation presented at the end of each show.

 

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Seeing Myself As A Soul

Girl Under Water (edited) oil on canvas by Nancy Wait 1987

Girl Under Water (edited) oil on canvas by Nancy Wait 1987

My story? It’s sad! There were some wins, but the losses outweighed them. Until the end. Except this is only the first book. The second book is about resolving it all. It’s the part where I become a painter and create Girl Under Water. This was the painting that eventually solved the mystery.
The mystery was, why did it have to happen the way that it did?

Just like in most mysteries, there was a crime.
It happened during a time of mass killings, the worst in the history of mankind. World War II. The particular person I am concerned with was just one of millions who were slaughtered, but it doesn’t make it any less sad or tragic, being one among so many.
My book is about solving a mystery. The mystery here is not about who did it. We know who did it. The girl killed during World War II, and the betrayal I went through when I was in my teens. Who did these things was never in doubt. The mystery is not about catching anyone either. No one is going to get caught. The mystery, my mystery, is why. Why did it have to happen?

I’ve heard some New Age people say don’t look for reasons. You’ll get all caught up in your head. Eventually, I solved the mystery with my heart. I found resolution through forgiveness and understanding.

The Nancy Who DrewYet forgiveness is not the end of the story. Because if you believe that you “create your own reality,” why would you create a situation that would cause you harm? That would leave you damaged? Eventually I had to come to terms with the fact that there was nothing to forgive, after all. I had to come into full Soul Consciousness, seeing myself as a Soul. A soul that might choose a certain scenario in order to progress and learn—and eventually share what she had learned.

What I learned was why I chose, as a Soul, the circumstances of my life. And what I want to share is that there is a reason for everything. All we have to do is find it. Or create it. In Book One, “The Memoir That Solved A Mystery,” I lay out the mystery. Now, in Book Two, currently in progress, I’m describing how I got beyond myself. How I let go, and how I let go through Art. Through painting. Expressing feelings I could not express any other way. If the first book was sad, I hope the second will be inspiring.

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The X in Extra-Sensory

Healing FountainOn Monday, July 14,2014 I will be a guest on The GR Healing Fountain, airing live at 5pm EDT; 10pm BST.  LINK  I hope you will join me!

My theme is The X in Extra-Sensory. It’s not easy to define. Like the X-Files, or the X-Factor, the X in Extra-Sensory stands-in for what can’t be quantified or explained. But we can feel it. That’s the key. Because Everything emits a feeling. And maybe first we have to become aware of ourselves as feeling bodies before we can allow ourselves to feel the energies of the life around us. Ourselves as feeling bodies, like the Jennifer Beals’ character in the movie Flashdance where she says:

You walk out there, and the music starts, and you feel it. Your body just moves. There’sflashdance something inside of you that just clicks and you’re gone. It’s like you’re somebody else for a while.

On the radio show I’m using songs and a video from Flashdance to illustrate feeling through dance. It’s much easier to watch a dancer feel the music than it is to watch a painter feel the colors and texture of the paint. You might look at their art work and not see what they are on about or what they were feeling or what they want you to feel.

frequenciesWith music it is easier. Sound is vibration. Vibration is a Frequency. Jennifer Beals’ character tunes into a Frequency. She gives herself totally to the frequency. She feels it through her body, through her toes. She allows it to take her over. She surrenders to it. She surrenders her mind and goes with the feeling. She lets go of her ego. She allows her body, her instincts, to guide her.

My field is visual art. I have been writing and speaking for years about the art process, especially in terms of higher consciousness, as the practice of art does nothing if not increase self-knowledge and self-awareness. It’s important, especially now, as our culture becomes more visual. The power of visualization is a crucial factor in our increasing realization that all is perception.

I used to have a website and a radio show called Art and Ascension. That concept wasn’t easy to define either. But art takes us to another plane both as creators and observers. Whatever the discipline, art involves body, mind, heart and soul.

The “X” in Extra-Sensory is what it takes to feel the expression of energy. To feel energy being expressed. This happens through the arts. Any of the arts. All of the arts. To create art is to transmute denser matter, lower thought-forms, onto the higher planes of love/wisdom, compassion and understanding. (I know that’s a mouthful, but I had to put it out there. I promise I will go into more detail another time!)

oil by Nancy Wait (edited)

oil by Nancy Wait (edited)

Meanwhile, what might be simpler to absorb is how imagination leads us into the higher dimensions. Places we experience mentally that are less dense. Fields of awareness that are lighter, where we access the intuitive plane. Think of it this way: works of art “step down” higher states of awareness onto the physical plane.

Art might be considered the portal into the world of Meaning and Significance.

Whether you are painting reality or dreams, visions or emotional states, you are creating a different reality. One that’s about seeing, and the power of seeing. And maybe even figuring out exactly what we do see.

I believe that art can take us to places in the psyche that are inaccessible any other way. I believe we grow and expand in consciousness when we can express our deepest selves through art. For it is there we dispel the shadows and bring through the light of understanding to those hidden areas.

I am currently writing a memoir about my life as an artist in the 1980s. It is the story of a woman’s life in and through art – which I think is important to hear as women artists tend to be overlooked. The book is actually Volume Two, a follow-up to my first book, The Nancy Who Drew; The Memoir That Solved A Mystery. I change the title of my second book on a regular basis, but maybe the most recent title will stick. Maybe this is the one that gets to the real heart of the matter.

My Journey To The Sacred Heart.

Because I do describe a journey, and it’s a journey through painting. And in the end what it led me to see was,

Betrayal is sacred when the heart can encompass the whole.

I call it the memoir that solved a mystery because through the writing (another art form) I discovered, had a realization and came to terms with, the fact that I remembered a previous life. The facts of my life this time around have done nothing if not assist me with this recall. The message is simple and hardly new—yet bears repeating. Everything happens for a reason, and it’s up to us to figure out why we drew it to us.

Meanwhile, I hope you’ll tune into the Healing Fountain show on Monday, July 14th — or catch it in the archives. I’ll leave you with a few lines from the song in Flashdance called, She’s a Maniac.

Locking rhythms to the beat of her heart / Changing moment into light / She has danced into the danger zone / When the dancer becomes the dance

 

 

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A Melody In Everything

 

Photo by Nancy Wait; Park Slope, June 2014

Photo by Nancy Wait; Park Slope, June 2014

There’s a melody in everything.
And once you find the melody,
then you connect immediately with the heart.
Because sometimes English or Spanish,
Swahili or any language gets in the way.
But nothing penetrates the heart faster than the melody.
Carlos Santana

I was thrilled to come across this quote in my facebook stream this morning. It’s exactly what I’ve been going on about lately!

What you see in the photo above is typical in my neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn. These lovely wrought iron railings with flora and fauna poking through the bars. It was back in 2007 that I began hearing a song, hearing a duet in the vision, and then painting a series of little watercolors I called The Song of the Iron Railings and Flowers. I posted them a few weeks ago here. I tried writing about them back in ’07, and showed them around a few places, but found no interest in them. I knew what I was seeing and feeling, but maybe I hadn’t the ability to express it. Maybe it wasn’t the right time.

Photo by Nancy Wait, June '14 Park Slope

Photo by Nancy Wait, June ’14 Park Slope

Here’s another shot taken on my walk home recently. I wasn’t looking for anything, but once I came upon it I had to capture it — this example of living poetry. This beautiful melody between the fence and the flowers. The fence has its own rhythm. It sings its own song all year long. But the flowers have only sprung with the spring. See how they jump for joy behind the railing? And the pointed tops of the railing — don’t they look like mouths open in song? Or perhaps single petals, carved in iron.  They are the chorus, while the circles all in a row below and between them, thrum a beat. The circles are kept in line by the bars, which hum their own rhythm, keeping the beat, in line and in time.

But before I heard the music I saw the rhythm. Here, in this watercolor from 1994, a few

watercolor by Nancy Wait (1994)

watercolor by Nancy Wait (1994)

years after I moved to Park Slope. I saw the swirling lines of Nature reflected in the stone carvings. I saw an iron circle like a porthole. And through the round window like a magnifying glass, I saw the delicate bare branches of a bush, reaching up to the willowy lines of stone. And I thought to myself, where on earth have I landed, that there could be such harmony and poetry — and beauty! on view — for any passerby to notice.

Form follows thought, and thought is consciousness. Every form expresses a consciousness. If we could look at everything (including one another) as an expression of consciousness (at any given moment) — while removing any and all judgments — what we would see is energy. It might be positive, it might be negative, but the energy will always be in movement whether we see it or not. And it will have a harmonic, whether we hear it or not.

I realize I haven’t mentioned that most important quality in Santana’s quote at the beginning of this blog:

once you find the melody,
then you connect immediately with the heart.

Connecting with the heart. Well, first there is connecting to the melody. Next comes the heart, a topic I am working on for July 14th, when I will be a guest on the Healing Fountain. More on that to follow!

And last but not least, from today through July 10th, the Kindle version (also available on the free app) of my memoir, The Nancy Who Drew: The Memoir That Solved A Mystery, is only $1.99. Get it HERE. (Soon I hope to publish Vol. 2 of the memoir.)

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Magnify the Light

Magnify the LightMy short ebook, You’re Great – Now Magnify the Light!  is available on Amazon (and Kindle app) Free from Friday, June 27th through July 1st.  LINK

Here’s how it came about. On the eve of 12/21/2012 – (remember how we were all focused on that date?) I was a guest on The Healing Fountain ~ LINK ~ sharing my own personal pep talk and stories on this uplifting 90-minute show with music, a guided meditation, and always plenty of healing light and loving thoughts from hosts Jeanne Christie and Gary Moore. My topic was You’re Great – Now Magnify the Light! 

Magnifying the light, on the eve of the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. I listened to the show again just the other day, after the summer solstice. Some of the comments are dated of course; we’ve moved on from Hurricane Sandy and the Sandy Hook school shooting, and most importantly, the world did not come to an end. (Unless of course, we’re all dreaming right now…) — Oh, that’s right! We are!

Never mind. It’s always a good idea to magnify the light. We are all receivers and transmitters of light and energy.

Magnifying is a natural occurrence. It’s not only taking a magnifying glass and looking at an object through the glass. It’s also a way of being, a way of relating to the world and relating the world to ourselves. The key is to become conscious of what we are focusing on, what we are putting our attention to, and in a sense, magnifying.

 TO FOCUS ON A PARTICULAR THOUGHT IS TO MAGNIFY IT

 And don’t forget you can magnify your light by writing or telling your own story, something that happened to you that will inspire others to take that necessary step, or that first step into the light. You have the ability to inspire the faith of those around you.

"Watercolor by Nancy Wait, Off With Your Head (1987) 20"x30""

Watercolor by NW 1987

Yet before we can even think or dream of magnifying the light, of realizing its power and stepping it down into matter, we have to become enough of the light to hold its energy, allowing it to overcome obstructions and radiate through our being. This calls for a tremendous humility. And yet this humility must come from a strong sense of self, a firmly developed ego that can withstand, metaphorically speaking, the lopping off the head. The head, in this case, meaning the lower mind of doubt and uncertainty, of disbelief, feeling jaded by experience, feeling a separation between oneself and others. Whatever fear sets up a barrier to the Higher Self.

It’s like that moment of death, or near-death experience, when you realize your Oneness with everything. Your Oneness with Source Energy, or God, or however you express it. The antidote is to Think and Feel and Be from the Heart, which knows no separation and sees only Love.

Evolving Into The Light  oil on canvas  by Nancy Wait 1987

Evolving Into The Light ~oil on canvas ~ by Nancy Wait 1987

 

The heart-filled being knows it is nothing and everything. It knows itself to be both great and small. In its greatness it will magnify the light. In its smallness it will keep seeking the light. And perhaps only seeing where the light appears to be absent.

image004The world always has been, always will be, whatever we think it is. So why not live in a great world, a beautiful world. And be great and wonderful and beautiful in it. And radiate love. Radiate peace and goodness and joy. Radiate light. Or the possibility of light, if that is where you are. The moment when you knew there was something more, something beyond what you were taught was real. The moment when you were offered a glimpse of light, or a panorama of beauty, no matter how fleeting. And the boundaries that you had always known seemed to suddenly fall away. Because there was this opening into something different.

Have you realized your greatness yet? Is it flowering, or is it still in bud form? Has it yet to sprout up from the fertile earth of your being-ness?

♥ ♦ ♥ ♦ ♥ ♦ ♥ ♦ ♥ ♦ ♥ ♦

You’re Great – Now Magnify the Light! Free from Friday, June 27th through July 1st.  LINK ~ The Healing Fountain ~ LINK ~

For meditation and protection,

The Emerald Alignment           http://www.rainbowlightfoundation.net/The_Emerald_Alignment.html

And for reading or sharing your own stories,

Inspirational Storytellers – http://inspirationalstorytellers.com/

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Really Truly Treely

Hello! said the tree, raising its arms in delight.

Hello! said the tree, raising its arms in delight.

I have been out sketching again. After 18 months. I couldn’t believe it had been so long. But when I looked at the date of my last drawing in my little One Sketch A Day book, it said February 2013! I know why I stopped, but that is a story for another time. Meanwhile, it’s summer glorious summer, and Prospect Park in Brooklyn is close enough to seem like my own backyard. I take my camp stool, sketchbook (a regular one, 6×9 inches) and pencil case and cross the street called Prospect Park West. There, behind the stone wall and before the “forest,” along a patch of green by a narrow dirt path used only by occasional joggers and dog-walkers, I see my tree. I know it is my tree because it is holding its arms out, calling, “Come! I’ve been waiting for you!” And right then and there I decide I will draw this tree and only this tree for a while. I will be like Joan Fontaine’s character in the movie Rebecca when she talks about how her father painted the same tree over and over again because he said that if you find a perfect thing you should stick to it.

My first effort. Rough, heavy-handed, without grace, though it still says "Hello!"

My first effort. Rough, heavy-handed, without grace, though it still says “Hello!”

To draw and sketch a tree is to connect with Nature, and Form. And an Energy. And an Energy Flow. I draw the flowing form of crusty bark as it weaves a pattern up and down a tree.

Water, flowing through the soil. The memory of water is

Earlier sketch, last year when I was exploring tree bark.

Earlier sketch, last year when I was exploring tree bark.

in the tree bark, with its ridges and crevices. Tree bark mimics the horizontal flow of ground water, now carving a vertical path up towards the sun, up towards the light.

 

Imagining the flow of energy in a tree (1985)

Imagining the flow of energy in a tree (1985)

Tree roots drink the water, and the water flows up through the tree. Tree bark is a living memory of water in the soil.

Second effort, second day, getting the hang of it a little more this time.

Second effort, second day, getting the hang of it a little more this time.

The roots reach out for the water; the bark immortalizes its flow.

I draw and sketch my tree, one line at a time.

Short, sketchy lines, as I marvel at this huge solidity that grew out of the crumbly ground and its particles of dirt, to stand so tall…

 

Third effort, different angle, there is more tree, lines are more graceful.

Third effort, different angle, there is more tree, lines are more graceful.

…with arms reaching up for joy!

(Doesn’t it look like a dancer?)

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Visual Poetry

flowers and balistrade 2

watercolor and colored pencils ©NancyWait 2007

Who doesn’t love flowers — especially in spring after a long winter. Where I live I see them in front gardens or window boxes, tree beds, the green-grocers or the park, bursting with life, reminding us of color and simple pleasures. But what enthralls me, or did so much so in 2007 that I did a series of paintings, is the juxtaposition of the two kingdoms—vegetable and mineral. Flora and fauna against the hard blackness of metal.

watercolor and colored pencil by Nancy Wait 2007

watercolor and colored pencil ©Nancy Wait 2007

Specifically wrought iron. These two separate kingdoms co-exist lovingly in my Brooklyn neighborhood. They go together like Yin and Yang. The one so delicate and fragile, the other sturdy and stubborn. One seasonal, known to shrivel and die without the right balance of air, water and sun, the other tough as nails, lasting centuries.

 

watercolor and colored pencils by Nancy Wait 2007

watercolor and colored pencils ©NancyWait 2007

 

 

 

I love the curvy rounded lines of this decorative fence. As if flowers and fence were made to go together, complementing one another. The iron work picks up the design and flow of the leaves and flowers. Such an all-of-a-peacefulness.

watercolor and colored pencil by Nancy Wait 2007

watercolor and colored pencil ©NancyWait 2007

And what about these sunflowers. When looked at from a certain angle they all but dwarf the house behind them. There’s something wild about them, something almost chaotic, while behind are windows and doors laid out in perfect order and symmetry.

The Yin and Yang of Life. A reminder of the beauty and necessity of contrast.

One of the first things I learned in painting class was how a color came more to life when you put its opposing shade, aka its complementary color, beside it. Green looks more green when it’s beside red, and so on. The colorful softness and delicacy of a flower is more appreciated (at least by this city dweller) when placed beside a black wrought iron fence.

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