Yet here I am...perhaps as whole as I'll ever be. And maybe that's enough. No, maybe that is just perfect. For I have realized it is my ability to be with what feels broken or divided or lost or intolerable and not shy away from it, that has given me my greatest strength.
I'm a deep diver by nature. I bob up to the surface to say hi to folks I love from time to time, but then it's back down to the rich and mysterious depths again. This time of year invites deep diving for me. For years I have gone into a sort of creative hibernation, where the darkness is my friend and makes it safe enough for the timid and the sketchy parts of me to reveal themselves. However, this year feels different. I don't feel like I have that luxury. This year it feels like my whole cast of characters is being called up and out into relatively unfamiliar terrain.
Part of that will be starting to offer these creative processes to you, whoever you are. If part of you likes to go spelunking in the caves of your unconscious mind and soar to distant realms with your Higher Self as your guide, then we may make pretty good traveling companions.
Like so many other people, I too have tried many cocktails of pharmaceuticals in order to manage depression, anxiety and other symptoms that have accompanied me on my journey of awakening. But the benefits never outweighed the side effects for very long. Yes I agree they can help us get through a rough time and if we have children or circumstances that don't allow us to attend to the deeper issues, they can literally be a life saver. Yet eventually their effectiveness wears out and dosages must be increased to maintain any efficacy. So what then?
It took me decades to realize that I have a creative soul that already knows how to process and heal me, if only I would let it do its thing! But I was taught that my creative talents should fit into a standardized box of what is artistically acceptable and valuable. It wasn't okay to just let my soul have complete freedom to express itself. Instead I needed to learn how to make it conform to people's ideas of beauty or aesthetic ideals. So I left art behind and immersed myself in craft for decades. There I could expend much of this pent up creative energy without ever offending anyone and make a useful product at the same time. The only problem was that my soul was still knocking on my inner door wanting to be let out.
Finally, many years later, a good online friend sensed that I had anger bottled up inside me and suggested that I let myself express it artistically through painting. So cautious I picked up the brush again that had lain dormant for 33 years, and for the first time ever I just let her rip. What proceeded to come out floored me. It was as if I had never stopped painting at all, technically speaking. But now it was charged with the passion of my own personal content that had always been masked or silenced before. Over time I began to realize that this bottled up, passionate expression was indeed what was fueling both my depression and my anxiety. Now I'm not saying painting is a silver bullet that fixes everything, but I did learn that in conjunction with a good trauma therapist, uncensored artistic expression opened doors that nothing had been able to pry open before. And yes, there were demons in my dungeons, but the angels were locked up in there too. I discovered it was a package deal and that I couldn't access one without the other.
Fast forward to today......we are now living in a time of the birth of the Intuitive Creative Expression movement, which includes modalities like Process Painting, Narrative Therapy & Expressive Arts Therapy and many more. This is not about learning the color wheel and how to draw perspectives, which are still useful tools, don't get me wrong. But the point is that all of us enter this life with a creative urge of one form or another and few toddlers need much instruction on what to do with a crayon and paper. They just naturally explore what color and line does in their little hands. So I encourage you to give it a try and see what comes out when you loosen the grip of the censoring mind on your creative soul. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find!
You are welcome here, just as you are. You are beautiful to me, in form and Spirit. I am honored that you have come to visit me today.....on the pages of this journal that are a window to my Soul......
Then one day it happened, on an ordinary afternoon. She heard a tiny knock. Then another. She looked around, but could not find the source. Then it grew the tiniest bit louder and she jumped with a start. It was coming from inside of her! It was coming from her very own chest!
She looked down and there were two new little golden buttons on her favorite red velvet dress. How odd, they hadn’t been there before. So she reached up to feel them and they moved with a tiny click. Low and behold they were tiny doors and when she opened them the most luscious golden-orange light came flowing out like magic honey.
The waiting was over. Finally she knew what was inside of her all along. And this time she knew it would last.
In time my body didn’t seem to matter anymore. It simply wasn’t being attended to any longer. Yet somehow that freed up something else inside of me to notice the energy and the presence of what I must really be. The past had been reviewed to death a million times over. The future was fuel for insanity when you have no way of knowing if you will exist in the next day or the next minute. All that was left was the present, but even that doesn’t accurately describe the experience. What was actually left was the absence of past and future, or of time as we know it. It became blurry and undefined. Within this timeless darkness I began to perceive beyond the confines of my prison. I can’t explain how, I just did. And I began to sense what my body could not possibly be feeling, it wasn’t local anymore.
Then one moment it happened. I experienced the thought that my body wasn’t solid anymore, not in the way I had believed it to be before. And in that moment, the shackles simply slid off, or they slipped through me. Something like that anyway. Then I felt the energy rise up within my core and lift me up. I realized I wasn’t really standing or walking anymore, it was more like floating. I also discovered that I didn’t need to see the way because I just knew where to go and what to do. It was the easiest thing I have ever experienced.
When I eventually emerged from the long, dark tunnel and into the light I could finally see myself. I was glowing and hardly resembled the woman that had gone into that place so long ago. It was very surreal and quite blissful.
I could still see the world, but the world didn’t seem to be able to see me. It could sense my presence, but not really comprehend what I was. Some saw light, others felt tingly, and still others seemed to hear my thoughts. I no longer felt fear. It was so serene. I knew this was what it was all for, the reason I could endure the suffering that brought me here. Now I could share completely without reservation. Now I was liberated from all that I thought I had to do and be. Now I knew heaven was here all along, as was hell. The difference lie within us rather than out there somewhere.
I know it all sounds too simple and even a bit trite. I thought I understood these platitudes too before I went in there. Now I know I didn’t have a clue what they were really pointing to. I pray you can see me, hear me, sense me and understand what I have come to know. That is my gift to you, to liberate you from your prison before you have to endure what I did. That is my gift of liberation for you!
I don't regret it. They taught me things that no human ever could have. It gave me time to let the beliefs of the human world fall away. Now they tell me that my time has come and my years of preparation are over. They tell me it is time once again to rejoin humanity with a more humane understanding. Ha! How ironic that I had to learn this from animals rather than people!
I am afraid. I don't know that I am ready. I thought I would feel different about them by now. But how could I really after years without them? My human family knows that I am alive and well. They just can't fathom the choices I've made or why.
My companions will remain near by on the fringes, so I won't really be alone. But I cannot rely on them for my strength and compassion anymore. It is time to find that within me. I do not know what will happen, but I do know that I am willing to follow their guidance and the intuition that has been growing inside me during our time together. Somehow, it will be okay.........
The Wild Ones by Jeanette Amlie
14"x11" mixed media on canvas panel.
Contact me here if interested in purchasing.
All rights reserved.
She came upon them in the fading light. They were old, so very old. They lie in a jumbled heap as if some giant had used them for bowling pins. She felt a tingle run through her as she stroked them gently with her fingers. Hues of chartreuse and amber lichen pattered their surface adding to the richness of the time etched stone. She even thought she saw some kind of writing on them.
Just then the moon began to crest the far ridge in the east and its cool light washed over the massive stones, defining their curves and edges. Was it her imagination playing tricks on her or did she feel something...like an almost imperceptible seismic tremor? No, it wasn't the earth, it was the stones that lay upon it!
Startled, she moved back to get her bearing. It couldn't be! They were moving! They must have weighted tons and yet there was no doubt, they were moving. She sat down on a small patch of grass and watched in amazement. She didn't know how long she was there. Was it hours? She was mesmerized by this impossible sight. They were slowly stacking themselves in an upright formation, leaning on each other to make an angular arch, which the moon shone through.
Eventually it was still again, except for a slight breeze rusting the dry branches. She didn't know what to do. There was nothing to do and no one to tell. Who would believe her anyway? So she joined her hands and made a deep bow to the stones and the moon shining through them. Then she turned to walk home.
Tomorrow she could return in the light of day to see if it really happened, to see if they were still standing......or had they been that way all along?
Mixed media painting and story by Jeanette Amlie.
All copyrights reserved.
What a glorious first day of Spring. I hope you are all reveling in the signs of new life that are emerging around us. Granted, that can be pretty subtle in this high alpine desert, but welcome none-the-less.
So today I share with you a new deck of Oracle Cards that flowed out of me unrestrained like a rushing, mountain stream. I guess it was time as I have been thinking of these for literally years now. I have no idea how they will be reproduced, but since interest has already been expressed, I shall open my heart and mind to the guidance of Spirit and see how it can be done.
For now I am using them in my own daily, creative writing and arting explorations. Soon I will invite you to join me in creating your own. If you are interested in being notified of upcoming workshops just subscribe to the mailing list to the right of this post.
Blessed Awakening to you all!!!
Welcome to my Painted Journey. I invite you to join me as I explore this process of intuitive painting, uncensored writing and somatic awareness. This work is calling me out of my Spiritual/Creative Closet. It is a passionate adventure in re-discovering why I am here and I know that by sharing the journey we will grow and learn together! ♡ Jeanette
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