T is for Transition

T

…is for Transition

T is represented by the number two in Numerology.Two

The Roman numeral II is two vertical lines running parallel to one another.

ladderWe might see it as a ladder to climb, noticing the alteration in perspective, and how it helps to rise above a situation and see the bigger picture.

Or we might lay it down flat, see it as a new track to follow.

bridgeOr flip it up again and elongate the middle, see it from a different angle. See it as a bridge.

I have always liked the idea of bridges, of making crossings, of going to other side of something. But whatever we do, when we are in the place of transition, we have the opportunity to transform. Maybe by walking across the bridge. We can choose to be conscious about it—or unconscious. If we’re unconscious we’re being run by feelings from the past. But if we’re conscious, we can choose how we feel. We can look and see where we are now. And decide what it feels like now.

This is how we play. It’s all about getting into alignment with the energy of transition. Transitions are inevitable. We’re always in movement. Our energy is never static. But it is our choice how we move through space. Our choice what we feel, how we take things in stride, play with them—or offer resistance to the change that is inevitable.

I like seeing the front of the bridge in my drawing as the T for Transition, and the far end as the T for Transform. For that is the next step, once we see the bridge. Once we acknowledge the transition, transformation becomes possible.

Recently, when I wrote the story of my own transition, I saw there was no one to forgive but myself. In order to see it clearly I had to write it down, make it real. I was able to cross the bridge where transformation was possible when I saw there was no longer anything to forgive. Everything I had chosen had been of my own free will.

What propelled me through the transition was witnessing the transition of someone else. It changed my perception. And when I changed my perception, I changed my reality. hidden heartAnd that was when I realized I wanted to create a workshop for others, using the tools of writing and drawing to access deeper feelings. Access the hidden heart.

For more information about the workshop, please see  News and Events

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From Prison to Prism

Light dispersion illustration.How similar in sound—prison and prism—yet they couldn’t be more different. The one restraining and confining (the light), the other dispersing and reflecting (the light). Prison and prism. For me these two images represent transformation of a dark passage into a lighted one, and summarize the path I’ve been on. It feels right to share this at the beginning of a new year when a whole new phase is opening up for us. One that will bring more openness and light into the world.

SteelBox2The dark memory of being imprisoned began with a recurring nightmare when I was eight years old and dreamed I was trapped in a small steel box with water pouring in from a hole in the corner. It was completely dark in the box. There was no way out. I knew I was going to die. And then I woke up, always in a cold sweat, and always relieved and surprised to find myself still alive. I called it the “no-exit dream,” I think because of Sartre’s No Exit on the coffee table in our living room.

In later years I learned about the life of the soul, and how the soul might flit in and out of the body when we’re small children. But by the age of eight the door closes and we’re in there for the duration. I thought the dream might have stemmed from that, from the feeling I was—or rather my soul was—imprisoned in my body. It had not been a good feeling. It had been a scary one. Calling for an acceptance of death when I was still a child, alone in the dark.

Still later, my thoughts about the dream and the box of death and the water changed again. This was because I had turned to writing memoir. And after five years of sifting through the memories, making connections, seeing experiences and dreams from the long ago past as part of a continuum of an awakening consciousness, I was able to make new connections. Come up with something that completely startled me and yet made total sense. Namely a child who had been in a plane that was shot down over the Bay of Biscay during World War II. So many details of her story rang a bell that I knew this plane was the steel box that had haunted my dreams in childhood.

CubeYet, as much as I believed it, I was hesitant about introducing the idea of reincarnation into the memoir. Years went by while I dithered. Then finally, when it came to seem a matter of believing in myself no matter what others might think, I put it in. The act of including it was as if I’d unlocked a door. For right away, as soon as I decided to go with the story of reincarnation, I had a new vision. Not a dream but a vision.

In this vision the steel box, the cage of death that had been the bane of part of my childhood, was transformed into a cube of light! A lighted cube floating in space, open in front and back. Not only was it no longer a dark prison—it was colored with all the colors of the rainbow—and filled with white light! A colored cube of light, inside and out.

This fifty-year saga culminated shortly before the book was published, when I met Rainbow Light Foundation online. It was the Law of Correspondence at play, which I saw as the readiness to come forward with my truth (and the light of my truth). It was like arriving at the end of one rainbow, only to find another. For now I was aligned with rainbow light.

Light is a frequency, colors are frequencies, and the new vision, an image representing my openness, now permeated my consciousness and drew me towards those with a similar vibration. The Rainbow Cube was a sign that the past had been healed. I was no longer hampered by fear. The willingness to bring my story to light brought me in touch with others reflecting the light.

When mind and spirit are in synch, it all falls into place I think.

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End of Year Re-Alignment

2014Every year in its own way has been a game-changer and 2014 was no different. As I’ve geared up to turn the page of the calendar to a new year, a new day, my word of the moment is Alignment. Getting into alignment with myself. I’ve done it before, many times, in many years past, because it’s the kind of thing that needs renewal and rebooting, and can always use more consciousness. But this was the year I actually studied what alignment meant from the energetic standpoint.

What we are in alignment with is what our energy will focus on and lead us to and give us more of. But there is an outer alignment which focuses on exterior goals and accomplishments, and an inner alignment, when we know without question that we are following our life plan, the blueprint of the soul. The two can be complementary, one serving the other, or there can be disharmony when they don’t serve each other. They can start off harmonious at the beginning of a new enterprise or relationship, and evolve into a disruptive clanging down the line.

Academy LogoA year ago around this time I was looking for a part-time job. My inner work, writing, was humming along, but I needed more income. After several false starts I found something that suited. When certain aspects felt wrong, I looked at the big picture and overlooked the niggling bits. Then in the spring I enrolled in the introductory course of Quantum Light Healing at the Academy of Spiritual Sciences, part of Rainbow Light Foundation. All was well until I approached the end of the three-month course and kept delaying the finish. I didn’t know what was holding me back, but when I quit the job it was like the sky had suddenly cleared and my plane could take off. The very next day I completed my last assignment and sent it in. I was rewarded with a Practitioner’s Certificate in Energy Alignment.

Human energy body, aura, chakra, energyI was now more clearly aligned with myself so that I could assist others in their alignment process. Lesson learned. Next was being in alignment with my true nature while dealing with survival on the physical plane. As someone who has been in the arts all her life, I am well aware of how difficult it can be. Yet beyond difficult or easy, trial and error, there’s this thing called “staying in your own energy field.” That is where we stay aligned with our purpose.

As this year draws to a close I could list a project that never got off the ground, and tell you how the beast called Insecurity, aka Fear, reared its head again. The details are irrelevant. The beast appeared because I still had more to learn from this particular fear. My first reaction was to throw my hands up and wail in despair. Then came acceptance of what is. Owning it, accepting it, not judging it, and then noticing what could still make me feel powerless. At this point of detachment I was then able to take the actions needed to deal with it.

Then, “out-of-the-blue,” along came “rescue” in the form of a commission. But there was to be no joy in that because directly on the heels of what seemed like the cavalry rushing in, came the news that someone I had been close to for almost half my life was in hospital. He became more ill by the day, and by the end of a month he was literally wasting away. He appeared to be dying, and there was nothing I could do.

So, first there was fear for my own survival, and when I overcame that, I went into fear for someone else’s survival. The pain called for another kind of acceptance, and in that acceptance lay the bigger picture. A more whole picture. The man was my ex-husband. We have been divorced for much longer than we were married, but remained close (albeit in a fractured, sometimes difficult relationship) because of our son. His illness now brought about a shift in power. And the absence now, of any power I had once given him.

How natural then, for the love I had once felt to come rushing back. Showing me it had never left, but had only been masked by personality differences, conflicting needs, and blame. All the anger and resentment I had been holding onto seemed to vanish overnight. The prospect of immanent death or a lingering death puts everything into perspective. When life and death become clearly aligned, all that lies in between moves to the sidelines.

My ex-husband’s transition was the beginning of a new transition for me. As I threw myself into the process, I realized I wanted to create a workshop for others going through loss—any kind of loss—which always signifies a transition is in the works. I will be talking once again about Art and Ascension, which is a particular focus for those inclined to write or draw, or need encouragement to do so, thus coming into a deeper awareness of their inner life and Life Plan. And so realign their energies by being more consciously aware of what they have been aligning themselves with. Thus easing the shift into a new place.

More on the Transition workshop soon…

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Drop My Story? No…

1969I’ve always kind of bristled when someone posts, “Drop your story,” because I’ve been pondering my story and writing my story for a long time and the knowledge I’ve gleaned has astonished me. I’m not dropping the story of how I got from here —>

<— to here 1987

Everyone’s mind works in a slightly different way, and the way mine seems to have worked was to hide pertinent information (call it the backstory) from my consciousness so that I’d have to dredge it up and flesh it out through the act of writing memoir.

And then just the other day I heard someone back me up. He said, “Don’t drop your story; simplify it.”

“Dropping assumes there’s no benefit from it. Drop-it, like everything isn’t God. Your story is God too, and the people who want you to drop your story haven’t gotten to the good part.”

“It’s very easy to drop your story when it’s not the good section of the movie. You never get to the greatest part of the movie and say ‘Let’s leave.’ You’re in Act II. You haven’t gotten to Act III yet. Act III is Redemption.”

Act III is Redemption. That would have been enough for me. But he went on a bit about Act III. He said, “Act III is the Cosmic Mission.”

Which he said is you unraveling your conditioning. And when you unravel your conditioning you help other people wake up by communicating the most beautiful words you’ve never heard anyone say to you…”

He then went on about communicating the most beautiful words you’ve never heard anyone say to you, and what it feels like to say them to someone else. This was Matt Kahn in the you tube, The Cosmic Mission: http://youtu.be/FrPmDrlD67Q

So, although I’m not dropping my story, I am simplifying it. That bit was paramount. It didn’t happen overnight. First I had to get in touch with all the confusion again, relive the moments of being swamped by emotions. Relive the not-knowing. Put events in order. Put feelings in order. Do the sorting.

I came into this life with a lot to sort out and deal with. Because I remembered a past life. I remembered I had been someone else, with an existence that preceded my current existence. Then I had to learn to trust again. After the betrayals and the shutting down, I had to learn to open my heart again.

After I’d been working on my first memoir for ten years, writing umpteen revisions after the clouds had parted and the light began to pour through, I started describing what the book was about, both to other people and on paper in the form of a synopsis. The effort propelled me into one ditch after another. It was like taking people into a room I had torn apart in my search for a long-lost key. Though the room was a mess, I held up the key and pointed out the signposts, expecting it to make as much sense to them as it did to me. But my words came out in a jumble. I spoke too fast, the excitement of my discoveries getting in the way of the need to impart information to others.

And this was another key. For it was one thing for me to know the deeper ramifications of my story, and quite another to impart them to someone else. They are two separate things. This was where the art of storytelling came in. In the stepping back. In looking at the big picture. In letting go, getting myself out of the way, so that I could include the audience, the reader. Because they had needs too. So it wasn’t only about me anymore, it was about them too. Bringing them in.

My first book, The Nancy Who Drew, the Memoir That Solved a Mystery, was a labor of love that took fourteen years to bring out. During that time I achieved a great deal of clarity—indeed all the clarity I could muster. But I was still too much in it. With the second book, Part Two, the process has naturally gone much faster. I have been able to step back more, and step back more often. It has been easier to see myself as a soul in a physical body, living out the life of a personality with particular wants and needs. This book two feels like my Act III. I’m glad I stuck it out. Held on. Didn’t drop the ball when the going got tough.

It has been a process of integration. First came the remembering of events. Then the memory of the feelings. Putting the feelings into words. Seeing the parts in terms of the whole. Asking myself what does the reader need to know about this. Answering the reader’s questions as I go along. Because I am now outside of myself. I am me, and not me. I am the one writing the story, and I am you reading it. I am inside of the story while being outside of it too. Book Two feels like the Ph.D. of My Life. I’m glad I didn’t drop the ball or the story. And what’s more, I’m glad I lived it, so that I could tell you about it.

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Memoir For Me

IMG_0803Memoir for me, and it’s different for everyone, but for me it’s been an investigation of the totality of mind-body-spirit. And through it, through the writing down and the pondering and the revisions, the insights piled up and became an expansion. For as I wrote the stories and dispelled the mysteries, new questions arose. Questions that could only be answered by going deeper into the feelings.

Remembering the feelings is equally important as remembering the events. One memory brings forth another, and another, and another. The memory of feelings is still in my body and mind, and the uncovering, the piercing through the layers of obfuscation and darkness, transforms not only who I am now, but my ideas of who I was then. And so both are healed. Transformed. Past and Present. Now, and in the Now, where there is only Now.

Writing memoir, I have had to go into myself. So deeply into myself that I got out of myself, watching my life as I would a movie, without attachment to the drama, and seeing everything that unfolded as necessary to my growth and understanding.

The first book revealed itself as a mystery. Hence the subtitle, The Memoir That Solved A Mystery. Through the writing, which lasted over a period of fourteen years, I was able to reveal to myself the answers I had been seeking. The answers a part of me had known all along (deep within), which I hadn’t been able to access until I took the time to explore all the highways and byways of my experience as a young person. Fleshing them out, laying them bare on the dissecting table, and making connections.

The second book, the follow-up, is currently in the revision process. (I almost said still in the revision process, as if I should be further along by now.) I had to step away from the book for a few months while my understanding caught up with my ideas so that my ideas could now reflect my new understanding.

Before I go on, sometimes I have to wait for the new insights to filter through. Sometimes I have to wait until I am more brave to write my truth, or write the intuitive perceptions that have come to me—and ignore the ego that says—You can’t say that!

My reality is such that just because I was brave once does not meant that I will be brave again. And yet I have found—and here’s the kicker—that once I can lay my fingers on the underlying truth of my feelings, the shame disappears. The fear of what others might think disappears. Because truth has a resonance of its own. A purity. And it is without ego.

My current working title is, The Nancy Who Drew a Pillar of Light. Because now I’m aware that both my drawing and writing have served to expose the shadows, so the light could be revealed again.

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Love is Really ALL There is

IMG_0954

I knew it…then I forgot it. Then I knew it again…only to forget it when life got complicated. Which it always seems to do.

Long ago I heard and read and was told that the opposite of Love is Fear, not hate. We cannot love when we are in fear.

One by one I unmasked my fears through the long and arduous process of writing a memoir. I described the traumas of my early life. Yet at the end I proposed them a blessing. Then finally, in my fifties, I was able to experience the blessing in the wound. And to say that “Betrayal is sacred when the heart can encompass the whole.”

Sacred Betrayal

By then I had traveled full circle, north, south, east and west, chronicling, delving, seeking answers. The answers came about through the act of writing, another word for delving. If you are me.

IMG_0263And now, nearly at the end of Part Two, the follow up memoir, I can say that Love is Really All There Is.

You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. 

The word love is bandied around a lot, that single precious word a stand-in for different degrees and types of love. Perhaps we know what we mean more specifically when we mention opening the heart. For now, even if we don’t know it, we are talking about the subtle energy body. Something that is usually sensed or felt more than seen. But if we know it’s there we can visualize the heart chakra. This is what has opened. So we can feel more. And through feeling more, know more.

IMG_0952We feel the heart opening when we are in love, but lately I have been feeling a new and different openness through grief. When my ex-husband Michael suddenly became incapacitated six weeks ago, my sorrow was enough to wipe out all the residual, hard-to-let-go-of, resentments I had been clinging to. In the blink of an eye I saw them for what they were, disappointments of the personality, having nothing to do with our relationship on a soul level.

This is the truth that has come home to me as I have watched his mind and body get weaker. It matters little now who was right and who was wrong, or who misled who. Yet while I grieve that we are losing him, I find there is also space for rejoicing. Rejoicing that we knew one another, had a son together, and many years of happiness. These are the memories I am filled with now. Now that my heart has opened again…

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Pillar of Light

PillarWhen it happens that you are a painter with unsold canvases stacked against the walls of your studio and now you have to move, you do the sensible thing and put them in storage because they aren’t doing anyone any good, least of all you. Better these space hogging works of yours should be kept out of sight, yet safe and ready to be pulled out from the darkness whenever you might need them again.

But did I need them again? Once created, view by me over and over again, slides dutifully taken should I ever think to approach a gallery, what was their purpose?

Still, in and out of storage they go, from Manhattan to Brooklyn, under lock and key sandwiched between neighboring compartments filled with a multitude of unknown paraphernalia belonging to others who are also hanging onto things they have no room for at home. But this is New York, and rent for storage, like everything else, goes up every year. So you decide to bring them home again, whether you have the space or not.

Years go by and you are no longer painting, but these are icons of your past, a colorful archive of people and dreams that once haunted you and drove you to such distraction that you had to paint them or die. The dreams changed, the faces too, but the paintings lived on, a record of past struggles. A testament to your triumph over adversity simply because you were able to create a beautiful picture of whatever emotions you were going through, usually comprised of tortuous bliss in its various guises. Heaven and Hell and back again in glorious extremes of color.

Your mind still remembers the sadness of disappointment and betrayal, but the pictures, even when they were sad, spoke of harmony. They may have portrayed a havoc of emotions, yet the world came out balanced. They transformed chaos into line and color. Shapes and forms on the canvas that represented feelings and thoughts you no longer had to keep buried inside because you had no words for them.

You knew this was your very own treasure, whether or not the world saw or cared. The world went about its business, and you went about yours, which eventually meant going back to school in order to learn how to write. You would write the story of the paintings, how they came about and why. Because even though the creation of them represented a mere ten years or so of your life, the backstory felt ancient.

The day you came home with your brand new MFA and saw the paintings stacked against an entire wall of the living room, the smaller ones stacked on top of the larger ones all the way up to the ceiling, you knew enough was enough. It was time to take the canvases off the stretchers and roll them up to save space. Chuck the smaller rolls into the back of the big closet, the larger ones could go in the basement.

It took hours and hours to remove a multitude of staples. Then sweep up them up into a pile of metal in order to make way for the painted sheets of canvas, now freed from the bondage of wooden stretchers. You lay them out on the floor, the largest ones first, and take one last look before rolling them up one by one. The stretchers, meanwhile, have been put out on the pavement, stacks and stacks of wooden rectangles and squares leaning against the iron railings, and are quickly snatched up by an artist from Staten Island who happened to be driving by your house at the time.

Another ten years or so go by, during which time you finish your book and publish it, and call it The Nancy Who Drew. It has a subtitle too, The Memoir That Solved a Mystery, because it was through the writing of it that you discovered what you were on about all those years of painting pictures.

But the pictures, what of them now? The rolls have been squashed together so long in the closet that they have become flattened out. You figure the ones banished to the basement are probably full of mildew by now. And suddenly you can’t bear to think of them neglected down there, left to suffer any more humiliation than they already have. So up they come, back into the warmth and light of your apartment, and this time they are rolled up into one giant roll. During this process you don’t notice any mildew, but damage has been done. Paint has cracked. The floor where you laid them out flat is covered in tiny flecks of color. Their condition cannot be described as anything other than poor, but there’s no use grieving over it now. Just secure the roll with some twine and maneuver the cumbersome thing into the corner behind the door.

A few more years drift by, during which time you write the rest of the memoir, volume two which actually addresses your life as a painter. And one day you happen to look behind the door at the roll of canvas tied with string and think my god—it looks like a pillar! It’s certainly thick enough, and almost as tall as you are. So you think about pillars then, and how they hold things up that would fall down otherwise.

Many more curious thoughts spring to mind having to do with pillars, but this must be all for now. Suffice it to say that thirty years after painting the pictures, what has come to matter most about them is the light they contain, now hidden and out of sight, yet there all the same. For the light is what I went for originally. Searching for my inner light through the darkness of outer reality. Within the pillar you will find my song.

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