The Seamless Way Blogs of 59 Days
The Seamless Way Blogs of 59 Days
April 19, 2019
Since I returned from my pilgrimage to Ireland, I have been struggling to interpret the purpose and meaning of the trip. I have been searching inward and feel at a loss, in some regard, in my life. At other places, I find a deeper clarity and wisdom. It seems like a muddy, messy quagmire that is requiring more study, stillness, trust and willingness to be more of my authentic self, whatever that is!
This 59-day blog series is my attempt and commitment to dig deeper, while remaining open and present. It is a paradoxical pilgrimage of sorts. My journey began with a sorting of art pieces I have painted over the past several years. I plan to select 59 paintings, sit with each one and bring forward thoughts, insights and ponderings to share as a way to connect and create something new. My hope is this gift will inspire others to seek his/her authentic self, creating a ripple of change in the world. My selection of the number 59 has both sacred and spiritual connotations. It links to my ancestral devotion to the Catholic Rosary, which is comprised of 59 beads. I no longer pray the rosary, but its symbol kept coming to my mind as something significantly healing. My maternal grandmother would say, “when I cannot sleep, I start the rosary, if I fall asleep the angels finish it for me.” My grandmother’s prayerful devotion is not the language of my personal practice, and its meaning is not lost on me. The number 59 also reduces down to the number 5 (5+9= 14, 1+4= 5), “the number of change”. Change is one thing we can all count on.
My prayer, over the next 59 days, is that the gifts of clarity, wisdom and understanding fill my heart (and yours, if you seek them.) I hope these gifts bring a deeper meaning to my pilgrimage and that I can embrace my life as the pilgrimage that it is. I am, at heart, a seeker, a pilgrim and sojourner looking for my purpose and my calling.
Day One: “Mountain of Stillness” Painted October 10, 2018. Acrylic on paper, 18×24
Finding stillness is something that once found, is lost. When you think you have it, you have disturbed it with the thought of thinking, “I am still.” The thought is movement. The journey toward the goal is the prize. Much of my study has challenged the tenets of my heritage. It has brought in questions and challenges to find a different way, my way. “Mountain of Stillness” was created from reflecting on the 52nd hexagram of the I-Ching, Gen or Keeping Still. The guidance states, “Events cannot continue in motion without stopping; they must rest. Thus, after Taking Action, Keeping Still follows.” (The Complete I Ching, Alfred Huang)
As I reflect on this painting today, I still seek to find that inner landscape of my “Inner Buddha”, my “Christ Light,” my “Goddess”, the Divine in ALL forms. For me, there is not just one way…and I am striving to find MY way. What are the thoughts and beliefs that box me in? How do I become empty and full at the same time, freeing my energy? Whenever we are told to free our thoughts, relax or flow, we grip tighter. The reverse is also true, when told to hang on, to hold tight, to “keep the faith” we release, letting go. What is that?
There is nothing to do, or be in stillness, other than to be still. As I look at this painting, I see stubbornness. I see a monk, a person, a buddha sitting to the right of the canvas looking off into the distance. Looking off into the distance and looking inward feels very distant, far away, unreachable. My inner landscape seems so very far away at times. Other times, it is the only place I want to reside with the attitude of “feck it”, to the world around me. This painting has a coarseness to it and a gentleness of the stillness. The texture of life can scar or embellish the path, and this is our choice.
I think a place that I hold so tight is how I thought my life should be, could be, would be. My list of where I should be by now or what I should have, or the money I should make or the friends I should have or the partner, or… All of this takes me away from what I actually have, where I actually am, what my blessings are and what I truly believe. At the heart of living is the felt experience. At the heart of stillness is the breath. We are never really still until we are dead, and maybe not even then. Our physical body moves and functions while we sit “still” in meditation. We use the breath to take us “there”. Our energy body is moving too. It pulses, expands and opens…freeing us from the box were we hold ourselves. By letting go, by becoming still, by pausing we are allowing ourselves (as Caroline Myss wrote in Anatomy of the Spirit) to embrace the life that is trying to work its way into our consciousness. Stillness is about allowing, not controlling. It is about letting go and releasing…it is a very active state. It is the paradox of “Taking Action, Keeping Stillness follows.” It is movement on the path, the pilgrimage, the journey. How do you see and experience stillness in your life?
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