So, just to recap from the last post: Years ago, I had a health crisis, decided to quit my job, and, after having an epiphany one summer afternoon, became enthralled with Dwelling in the Circle of Promise. The epiphany led me to illustrate (with paper and pens) a sort of map or mandala with directions for reclaiming the song of my soul and bringing forth my promise as a gift to the world. Today, I'll share more of this process for anyone who finds it useful.
This orientation in the Circle of Promise influences everything I do, every waking hour… and I think probably in my sleeping, dreaming too. I’ve manifested this in my own life by returning to art and writing full time.
All of my art, in these posts and throughout my blog and website (especially A Fearless Woman and You Have a Song to Sing), grew out of this one little epiphany. This year Brush Dance will release a 2011 wall calendar, date book and desk calendar based on A Fearless Woman. In 2011, a 2012 calendar will be released based on You Have a Song to Sing. I'm currently submitting material to publishers for a book and other products.
Allrighty then, here we go.
When you fall through the portal of your own yearning, like Alice’s tumble through the rabbit hole, life can become strange and mysterious. Certain encounters and experiences can spin you completely off your feet (like Tweedledee and Tweedledum).
Therefore, a warning is in order before you proceed: If you leap… the net may or may appear! You are encouraged to leap anyway.
Gather some materials to work with (drawing or painting tools, collage materials, paper etc… if you go 3-d, then gather your assortment of objects). You may want to read through the steps before you decide what you want to use. Prepare to have the time and a place where you can sit quietly for awhile. Do what you do to set up your environment for relaxation and optimum imagining (candles, scent, favorite scarf or shawl around your shoulders, objects you love etc.).
Relax your body and close your eyes. Drift into a place of complete acceptance. Accept yourself just as you are right this second. You don’t need to fix anything about yourself. Accept and love all the rough edges and imperfections, all the shadows. You are deserving of unconditional love... and always have been. Then, let the vibe of acceptance rise up a note or two and become anticipation. Sweet anticipation. Think of the most positive experience of anticipation you’ve had and double that. You should feel a yearning begin to grow and combine with the anticipation. Yearning is the soul’s song trying to tease us out of the stupor that life often imposes on us.
Imagine a time before your name was first spoken. Before you were first held and tended with sweet care, before those who loved you welcomed this little miracle (you!) into their embrace. Somewhere beyond the mark and text of time, a friend (perhaps, a Song Keeper?) came to pray and rattle and conjure a song deep into your soul. The song that would guide your life and inspire your heart and bring forth your promise. Your song was tended and held in a place called the Circle of Promise. Your song had always been there and it was always yours. There has never been or will ever be another song like yours.
As your sleeping soul awakened, on the day of your birth, you were whispered a fascinating story of purpose and potential. Your soul descended with intentions, instructions, attributes, gifts for giving, potential episodes, dramas and assignments, a great song. All to bring forth your promise.
Now, the soul does get weary, sometimes grows a crust. The fluid pulse of your purpose, the vibrant promise of your song, becomes cloudy, maybe even calcified. Your receivers are rusty, your soul holds back, your song is all but muted (fortunately the yearning is never silenced). What to do?
Let’s try to remember the beginning, again. Let’s revisit the Circle of Promise where all this began. (I highly recommend doing this every year around your birthday). Imagine the Circle of Promise and in your imagination, give it a location, an atmosphere, a landscape, a particular pulse of life force. Infuse it with colors, scents, sounds.
As you enter the Circle of Promise you see an unusual vessel take shape before you. Maybe it sits on a stone outcropping in a deep forest grotto (this is my imagery… you may see a different landscape). The vessel belongs to you. As you pick it up and look inside, you see something that was given to you before you were born to represent your song – it’s the symbol for your promise. As you gaze at the vessel and turn it in your hands, you see how perfect it is for holding your symbol.
Now it’s time to bring some of this imagining and story into form. So, grab your pens and paper (or whatever you’ve chosen) and in the center draw or create a circle around 4-6 inches in diameter. Inside this circle will be the vessel you’ve just discovered that holds your song. Is it small or large, complicated or simple, solid or fluid (bowl, vase, shell, cave, amulet, crystal, textile, mineral, pod, flower etc etc etc)? Let it come to you. It’s a gift from the Circle of Promise. Its purpose is to protect and hold the seed of your song. It can become, or perhaps, already is, a meaningful object in your life. Draw it, paint it, sew it, layer it, sculpt it, or use an already existing object. If you want a complete mandala from this exercise then you’ll want to draw or paint the shape in the circle on your paper. Leave space in your vessel to draw, or place, the symbol held inside.
Next, imagine you remove from your vessel the object that represents the seed of your song. Turn it over in your hands, feel your heart open and your spirit fill with joy at how familiar and perfect it feels for you. In it is concentrated all the elements of your story and your promise. It radiates a circle of light around you and begins to hum and vibrate.
Go back to your paper or designated area and inside the shape of the vessel you’ve just drawn or painted, represent this object any way you choose. Again, let it come to you. Don’t hurry it, unless, of course, it was immediately obvious. It may appear just out of focus. You may need to synchronize with its power.
"In your song, a story is told of your overflowing cornucopia of gifts.
Rich and round and complete, they are irresistable to those who need them.
Rich and round and complete, they are irresistable to those who need them.
Do not deny the world your juicy, succulent gifts"
Take some time to enjoy and ponder all you’ve just brought forth. Is there anything else you want to do to welcome back your song… to further decorate or work on its vessel.You’ve begun the journey home. This is just a first step.
When I continue, the next set of exercises will add different fields around your center vessel. A field of truth and passion, a field of silence and reflection, a field of fire and motivation, a field of intention which becomes a catalyst to manifest your gifts and your promise. After that, more concentric circles will appear to present your gifts and set your goals.
At the completion of this process, I’ll share a picture of my first very rough mandala. It changed my life. I can’t emphasize this enough: Once I had a sense of my own song, there was no turning back. And, for sure I have stumbled, tumbled, been capsized, and spun in every direction. But the yearning has never ceased, the song never silenced.
This, then is the essence of my long ago summer epiphany: That we each have a song, coded with our potential, holding our story and our promise. And, we live most fully, express ourselves most truthfully, when we listen.