The Heart as Liberator

Liberator

Liberator

Liberation.
The word appeared in a dream and I wanted to honor it.
I thought of a figure emerging from a cave or perhaps a bit of light in darkness.
All day I asked myself – what was the energy behind liberation?

I went to my studio and “drew” with some pastels. I spread pigments around in a random fashion. First one piece- too basic (i.e., I was controlling too much) and then the next.

The shape of a partial head appears, with a strange-looking eye and ear. The chin is too pointed until I see it as tip of heart- the other “hump” of the heart lost off the page.

And there it was- my liberator- an alien-like form with heart for a head.

Perhaps this is where all energy of liberation arises- it is not in the depth of blackness as I had imagined with my figures emerging from a cave, nor is it only in the mind and it’s determination of what is “right” and what is “wrong” and its desperate attempts to leave the “wrong” behind.

It may be the heart and experiencing life with the senses of the heart- symbolic eyes and ears- by which the energy of liberation first appears.

The heart, too, knows “right” from “wrong” and the heart knows, too, it was not meant to suffer. Unlike the mind, though, the heart believes its freedom is inherent. Thus, it is the heart that gives a piece (peace) of itself to the mind.

And the mind, too, remembers its freedom.

Celestial Mother

Celestial Mother

Celestial Mother

You may have to look closely at this one.

The image contains an angel-form cradling a child.

Continuing on with my new art form of dispersing pastel pigments around on surfaces and then rubbing papers over them to see what emerges.

I must say, the process can be a bit stressful, releasing control like this.

The back and forth between pigments, rubbing the pages, and then turning it over to see what shapes are beginning to emerge.

And in some ways, producing art in this matter says more about the artist’s thoughts than perhaps a planned piece of art.

When I look at a smear of pigment to see what has emerged, it is not with the eye of the artist, but rather the eye of the Heart, which first recognizes the shapes that are forming.

I would like to believe that this is how many of us perceive life. In the mess, in the colors, in the smear of pigments, we see with the eyes of the Heart.

And with these eyes and what we “see”, we also begin to reveal our true selves.

When it Becomes Painful to Write

I have, as of late, experienced some chronic pain. Pain can be such a nebulous thing to nail down, despite our tendency to make it linear (“On a scale of 1 t 10, how would you rate your pain if 10 is the highest?”)

All pain has a way of taking a parasitic attachment to our comings and goings.

Ever the hearty traveler, once pain has placed its hooks in you, it requires quite a bit of work for detachment.

Pain, physical and/or emotional, can also be quite the reflective surface in our lives. Any hurt pushes awareness to the forefront of our consciousness. We see things through a different prism when we are in pain.

The prism isn’t any more “right” or “wrong” than any other view. It’s just different.

This particular pain has shown me where I am blocked in life. My modus operandi through life has been this-Let me attack myself, and I will feel the pain, so you don’t have to feel anything at all.

This has led at various times to compulsive exercise, compulsive not eating, compulsive sex, compulsive anything – so I could “manage” this pain that was never quite mine in the first place.

So what does this have to do with writing? I am not in such significant pain that I can not write.

The issue has been rather, “What should I write and when?” For you see, many thoughts and ideas have swirled about but they have always been a bit out of reach. I could write about that…or not…I may finish that one piece…or not…

This is not necessarily complete writer’s block, but somehow the flow is off. The stream which used to be languid and smooth is altered, corrupted.

And, I realized (because, yes, blogging is where I compulsively share my 1,001 “realizations” per day. Seriously, could I use the word “realized” any more than I already do? :) ) that the pain and the lack of the writing both reflected the same thing-

an unwillingness to address what is present in my life.

I don’t believe artists or writers truly run out of ideas for long. If there is difficulty coming up with ideas or bringing the ideas to fruition in some form whether it’s missed deadlines, incomplete works left hanging, rough starts and even more abrupt stops – it is the creative version of a pain signal.

Something, somewhere is not “right”. And the what is “not right” is NOT the problem. (We never truly know what is “right” and “not right”. ) The problem is that we are denying it.

Too often when we write or produce creative acts, we have expectations. 90% of the time, our inner artist is happy to go along with any creative thoughts and the attached expectations.

But every once in awhile, I will feel my inner artist refusing to hide and lie the lie any more. The truth is always the realm of the inner artist and the inner artist does not respond to the external scale of “good art” and “bad art”.

All art derived from the truth of awareness is “good art” and is meant to be produced and shared in the eyes of the inner artist.

When we turn away from this truth, our inner artist turns away from us.

I am not saying you have to drag out every tidbit of ugliness that has transpired in your life out into the public forum for your inner artist to be satisfied.

What I am trying to say is that if/when writing or art becomes a creative pain in the a**, be aware enough to ask yourself what you may be trying to keep hidden.

Maybe the “writer’s block” says more than we think. Maybe is the writer who is blocking something from evolving into expression.

If you ever find yourself “blocked” creatively- “What story am I holding, what story am I placing a lid on that wants to get out?”

The inner artist can “wow” each and every one of us with its brilliant displays of innovation but what it asks for in return is for the venue of expression.

Pain holds us. And we in turn create pain by our holding on to things that long for release. Let it go. Let it move in to the world as it should.

The Love Blog

Held Love

Held Love

What if your only “job” was to give and receive love?

I have been asking myself this question over the past few days. Confronting myself, if you will, about the idea of how important/central do I see the idea of love in my life.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not talking about wandering around aimlessly and allowing anything/everything to be done to you, so you can define yourself as “loving”.

Love is not weak. A flower blossom can be noticed and seen as beautiful only because it has a strong stem to support it.

We would all do well to remember that.

Our love is most beautiful and potent when it is supported by a strong stem of self-awareness and compassion.

Instead what I am writing about is how I say I long for a life of love, yet how often am I truly engaged in the giving or receiving of this love?

To test this idea, I have been observing myself. The other morning, I was at the computer. My husband came over to hug and kiss me before leaving. Was I open to receiving this act of love? Honestly, not really. You know, I was BUSY.

The other evening, we had spent a day shopping. We were sitting on the couch eating some nachos. Do you know that in the years before I married, I LONGED for someone to sit on the couch and eat nachos with? I longed for that coziness and that comfortable-ness to eat messy foods together and be relaxed.

Yet on this night, I was worried about other things. My mind was a whirl. There was love in the room, I simply didn’t notice it.

And then there have been the phone calls to make. I needed to catch up with some people and I already felt too busy. I had to stop myself and say, “Kim, what are you thinking? This call can be an act of love. If the only thing you need to do today is give and receive love, then simply do it.”

I have liked my awareness and approach over the past several days. I have noticed love is all around me in my acts and in the acts of others towards me. I have simply been too busy planning, preparing, making an agenda for when such expressions were “right” and “convenient” and so on.

We are not meant to live our lives working “towards” a time and place for love. We are not meant to cross everything off our agenda lists, so then we can be open to receiving love or have a little time and energy left over to give some love.

The ability to give and receive love only happens in this moment, and that moment is always now.

—-
I am changing my art around some. I work in pastels which are inherently messy, leaving pigment trails everywhere. Lately, I am pressing paper into these pigment bits and seeing the design, shape that emerges from the dust. I then fill it in.
I like this image which presented itself.

My Author Interview

Copyright: Post Independent, Glenwood Springs

Copyright: Post Independent, Glenwood Springs

One of the blogs I have enjoyed during the past several months is Kev’s Blog.

Kev is a writer living in the UK. To say he is multi-talented is an understatement. But, where I have connected with him is first through his writing. I just finished his book Miedo: Living Beyond Childhood Fear.

But it is not just that Kev is an author. He does an outstanding job encouraging and promoting other authors, along with his own work.

I mean, you know how you see someone doing something and it seems so natural to them, that is how I have always felt when I see how he integrates creativity and promotion.

He is constant champion for other authors. He provides a venue for author interviews and SENDS YOU MATERIALS AND EVERYTHING with how to go about completing the author interview. He will even help you format the material, correct mistakes, etc.

Given we are all so busy, how wonderful of a gift is that to give of one’s time and creative energy to helping others.

Unless you have tried it yourself, never take for granted how difficult it is to be strong both in a creative and promotional sense. They are not one in the same as far as skill sets go. I have learned a great deal from Kev in how he has handled these things.

Which of course leads me to this- Kev was kind enough one day to ask if I had ever considered doing an author interview. He even sent me a link with all of the materials needed.

I wrote back, ever clueless, “Hi Kev, such an interview engenders a great deal of fear for me.”

Sigh…sigh…sigh..

At this point, Kev, being the kind person he is, said, “There is nothing to be afraid of. Don’t worry.”

( I am sure he was internally likely thinking- “My gosh, I am just here trying to provide promotional opportunities for writers. I am not your psychotherapist for heaven’s sake.” – I am not saying Kev did think that, I could just totally understand if he did.)

Here is the link for my author interview on Kev’s gracious blog.

Thank you so much Kev!!
——

Note about photo: I wanted to attach a photo of myself to this blog. However, I am at the wrong computer and don’t have any self-images, so I thought that I would look up my name on the internet to see if I could find a photo. (It is recommended you do this every once in awhile to make certain no strange/harmful information is being posted about you. )

Although it is recommended by others, I don’t know if I would recommend this approach. If you are like me, when you Google your name and images, you will see a ton of images of people with your name who are way better looking than you and seem to be having a lot more fun in life than you ever will.

The photo is taken with our then college President giving me the faculty of the year award.

All In!

A Woman and Her Eggs

A Woman and Her Eggs

Sometimes, proverb be taunted,
You just have to put all your eggs in one basket.

I liked this image of a woman carrying her eggs.

Eggs represent potential, and this woman has taken the
time and energy to gather hers.

When we begin to gather our resources with a single-pointed focus, we begin to manifest summative power. The parts begin to fit together in such a way that the summed energy becomes greater.

I like in this image that the woman has gathered all of her power in one place. The eggs (potential) are not scattered here and there and she is not left running round picking up one egg after another, losing energy along the way.

She has gathered them all and she is walking with purpose and intent.

When a woman (and of course, we can extend this to men in the symbolic sense) has all of her eggs in a basket, you might want to watch out. At this point, she will be fully committed to her purpose and will not be easily swayed to think otherwise.

Think about what is has meant to gather all of your “eggs” in one place and what this powerful energy may manifest. Perhaps you looking to buy a home, begin a relationship, end a relationship, start a career, end a career, have a child, raise a child or whatever.

Times exist in life in which your power is tightly gathered- the storing of the potential energy before its kinetic release- the eggs in the basket.

The woman in the image speaks to this energy. The Time is truly Now.
——————
I really liked this image. I love the red of the dress and the other colors- it makes me think of fire and flames. I actually drew in energy wafting up from the eggs.

I love her stride and bearing of this woman.

Journey

Journey

Journey

You can not always hide.
Sometimes the journey is written in such a way that
the strides take you out into the open Light.
—–
I think the message that is pressing upon me is that you can not hide who you are.

Too often, we try to live in our “shadow” side. We fool ourselves. We deny our potential. We walk in darkness when our journey has always been to walk in the light of who and what we are.

In honesty, I will tell you I hate the picture I have selected for this post.

It is for all intents and purposes a disaster. It was not what I originally sketched out. At one time (well, let’s be honest, several times) I tried incorporating animals into the scheme- a big “no go” on that.

To me, it is boring and plain and without weight.

To be even more honest, I will tell you that my dislike of this picture has nothing to do with its artistic integrity, but rather has everything to do with my resistance to its message.

You will see no shade for the walking of the journey in the image. I like shade. I like shadows. I like hiding. I do not like the steps of my journey to be too out in the open.

And this picture will simply not bend to have any of it.

In fact, at one point it had a tree and even that was too much.

In the past days, I have realized how attracted I have been to living a “shadow life”. I have dedicated an inordinate amount of time and energy to secondary dramas while ignoring the true drama of my life- emerging into who I am.

I wonder how many others are walking their journeys denying who and what they are- ducking from shadow to shadow hoping no one sees them.

Well, I have a secret for you. Whether you choose to see it or not, it is there. All your wonderful gifts and passions that you have refused to embrace and carry are being dragged along through the sand of your journey. You ain’t foolin’ anyone.

You, who have traveled life’s journey insisting a little carry-on bag is fine, are most likely dragging a whole luggage-line of talents and strengths with you.

You are not hiding your kindness your goodness, your passion, your caring, your love and your talents simply because you refuse to embrace them in the Light.

Life is not lived in the shadows. Life is lived in our Light.

Lies! Lies! ….Or why you can’t remain in a Narcissist’s Life

Mask

Mask

A friend recently commented that my blog and art are really where I tell my truth. I liked that sentiment. (Her comment also made me feel good about myself and my work. It’s the primary reason I keep this friend in my life…so I feel good about myself :) ).

Have you recently felt a certain energy of awareness in your life? I wonder if so many of us are in the middle of a spiritual awakening or something. The resonance I have felt with reading many of your blogs and your comments on mine has been amazing.

Recently, there was a blog written about the Parents of Narcissists. This blog is excellent and has helped me a great deal.

The author commented to me that the blog topic may have meaning to me given my situation ( I see my stepkids mother has narcissistic behaviors (in my mind)). I have often refrained from commenting on my stepkids in relation to this issue out of respect for them.

However, I am seeing a dynamic develop that very much applies to narcissistic relationships in general.

My stepson has always struggled in school. Accordingly, he is enrolled in summer school this year. He was with his mother during the first two weeks of it and then was at our home while I was traveling.

When I returned, I saw his summer school folder. A reading log was in the folder. For the first week, nothing was filled out. The teacher, ever hopeful, was not deterred however.

The second week nothing was filled out prompting the teacher to make such comments on the log such as “Where are you?” “Could you please catch up?” “Time to catch up.”

I said to my stepson, “Looks like the ball was being dropped a bit here.”

He became very angry and started screaming at me. I will spare the details, but the issue confronting him is that really neither he nor his parents are participating in his schooling any more.

However, to admit that is too painful, hence the onslaught of lies. I would never say my stepson is a narcissist, so please don’t misread this. But, what I learned is this:

At a certain point, unless you are willing to lie as your only form of engagement, you will be required to exit the narcissist’s life.

It really is as simple as that. Because the narcissist crafts so many lies, lives in such denial, and with a vengeance and rage that is truly frightening, will defend these lies, there is simply no place for you in the narcissist’s life unless you are willing to lie.

For example, in his current state, I can not help my stepson with homework. The homework is not real to him. He has crafted so many lies around it (along with his parents’ consent) that there is no homework issue in which to engage.
The only way I could work with him is to first believe his lies that he has been working hard and so on.

I only share this story, not to point fingers at my stepson, but to perhaps help others.

In some cases, we truly have loved someone with narcissistic tendencies (again, I am not saying this about my stepson, just a general comment) and we have wanted to make it “work”.

We have believed our love would triumph all. We believed in our strategies and our compassion to overcome the narcissistic behaviors. We thought with awareness we could limit their impact and “work around” them.

And in doing this, we have lied to ourselves.

When a narcissist is full-bent on spinning a web of lies, there is no space for you unless you are willing to lie.

YOu may think with your growing awareness that you will be able to provide the light and you only fool yourself.

If you are to commit to a narcissist, you commit to the lies. There is no other way.

And if you awareness grows to the point in which you can not buy the lies, then you will come to place of knowing there is no space for you in the relationship and you will leave- either symbolically or literally.

You have not failed your relationship with a narcissist. There simply was not a space for you amongst the lies and you, in your wisdom, chose to live life otherwise.

One of the Most Important Things I Learned about Narcissism

One of the most significant roles we can fulfill in our own lives is that of aware witness.
We can not always control and change everything to our liking, of course.
Often, it is not our place to do so.
But, what we can always do is watch and observe with awareness.
This is a gift we give ourselves, because our awareness is our route to understanding ourselves and the dynamics in which we exist.

I have the opportunity to witness narcissistic behavior in a specific dynamic that affects my life.
One of the most startling observations that has emerged for me is simply this:

You are a part of the narcissist’s life. The narcissist has no interest in being part of yours.

This is likely to seem shockingly obvious, but I have missed this for years.

It was not until I saw some examples of my stepchildren and their mother that I thought “Oh my gosh. They are expected to be a part of her life. She feels no true responsibility to be a part of their lives (beyond normal care- clothing, food, some basic engagement, etc.) “

These children are expected to embrace their Mother’s life. They are to understand what she is thinking, feeling, and why her expectations are what they are. They are to participate in her events and her agendas.

She feels no true obligation to do likewise for them. Sure, she “mothers” to a point. But, she would never think to go out of her way to get to know their friends or extend herself in that way.

Although I do not know her well, I believe this behavior extends beyond her children and I have seen examples in how she treats me.

Never once would it occur to her that I “mother” these children for 1/2 of their lives, that I am busy professional, who also must balance work/”motherhood” and all that being a woman entails.

In a different context, we could maybe bond over our similarities and the difficulties/joys inherent in the dynamic. However, that would require her to engage and participate in an understanding of my life.

This is impossible for someone with narcissistic behaviors.

You exist to be a part of their life. The symbiosis most of us experience in relationships is completely lacking in them.

They see no need to be a part of your life. They don’t even see you have a life, apart from serving them.

Please save yourself the time and energy of trying to get a narcissist to engage in your life and understand you and your perspective.

Other than your engagement in their life, you simply do not exist to them.

In Praise of Girlfriends

Galaxy

Galaxy

Let me never forget that your Heart is made from the Stars.
—-
Every woman, I think, needs in her corner one or two good girlfriends.

Unbound by any “official” relationship beyond the weight of friendship, girlfriends serve as our champions.

They will fight for us, sooth us, support us, cajole us, humor us and stand on the firm belief that we are worth it.

They take our hearts and hold its Light.

Even when, and this is important, we forget that we, too, are born from the stars – they remind us that we are a piece of Heaven.