Welcome to Solstice Week on the Art/Life Trail! The North Gate to the 12 weeks of Mystery opens.
“To open a door in one’s mind, whether in writing, in prayer, or in writing-as-prayer, is to invite an experience of “the deep.”
It is rather like standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean at night, a cliff from which I can hear the pounding surf below me, and see in the distance a multitude of stars.
I am aware of danger, but I am also aware of my own freedom and my own good sense.
Although I could do so, I will not back up, close down, and refuse to see or hear.
Although I could do so, I will not step out and lose myself. I will not fall to my death.
I will stand where I am and allow the vast expanse to come to me through my eyes, through my ears, through wind moving the tiny hairs on my skin, through the pressure of the solid rock against the soles of my feet.
I feel awe, I feel my own smallness, but I feel that I, too, belong.
If I am open to the possibility, I sense that I am seen;
I am known;
I am held in the attention of the mystery.”
– from How the Light Gets In by Pat Schneider
From Jasper Lotus Hawkins FB page
The North Gate opens into the Mystery of the coming 12 weeks and invites you to visit your Mystery; the deepest, widest depths of your gold mine. It’s time to be making direct connection with your Inner Treasures. We realize that it takes a long time to grow up. The North Gate signifies the opening for maturing and for year upon year learning to know your true value. One of the hallmarks of standing for Self, Others and Life is to engage the Mystery.
The winter solstice on December 21 opens the North Gate on the Natural Calendar. This is a day of equipoise…a day of equal light and dark… a day to consider the Strength that grows between birth and death… making this an opportune time to open to the Mystery as you consider the ever-mysterious/mystical topic of arriving and leave-taking.
On December 21 open to the dream of possibility. Invest the day in savoring the balance that you have cultivated in your art/life. Take inventory of 2016.
After your review look toward what you hold as a vision for the calendar year ahead. For the coming 12 weeks there will be ample time to rustle around in the roots of the matter to prepare your connection with the direction for the coming Natural Year.
Finding true Strength
Know that your work, my work and our work can be profound, transformational and life changing. The smallest step taken can make a gigantic difference.
Our goals for this cycle pertain to gathering Strength. Finding true Strength can take a long while. True Strength can also pop out of the bushes and meet you in an instant. The Solstice is the time to sense into how and where you have grown this year… Strength leads to being fearless and free…not in an arrogant ‘my way’ stance; rather Strength pushes into and through fear so as to support you in growing to fear less. Strength brings the understanding that learning to push through fear never ceases and each push into facing fear expands what is possible.
Fluctuating 2, Drozda, Acrylic/board, 36 x 42″, 1984
What you can feel you can heal
Cultivate the mindset that will allow you to go deep into your roots during this natural time to be exploring the Underworld. Here on the trail we are up to making conscious choices. We are willing to overcome specific challenges. We see the gift that lightness and humor can bring.
We can make a conscious decision to engage in the process of continually growing up and expanding our capacity to be involved in meaningful ways…that’s the treasure of this deep point of the Natural Year…you can be the Alchemist. You can mine the gold within…you can transmute the lead.
Here are two prayer poem gifts for this week. My goal is to post these signs of balance from my book Twenty Two Prayer Poems for Care Givers with each upcoming issue of the art/life trail till spring equinox.
“And no one loses that each may gain.”
As I go into the world today
Remind me that there is only one problem…fear
And only one Answer…Love.
If there appears to be a lack, a failure, or an inadequacy
Help me to see beyond appearances to the Truth.
I am ready to be changed today.
I am eager to release my grasp upon ideas of limitation.
I call to You to surround my heart, my mind and all of my movements with
Lovingkindness and gentle strength.
Throughout this day wherever I go and whomever I meet
Help me to see this one as Child of Light…
Son/daughter of Earth Mother and Spirit Father.
Today, from moment to moment, let me be the one
Who remembers that there is no lack.
I call in my greater good.
I trust that all that is not meant for me will drop away.
I open my heart/mind to receive an increase in allowance space.
I allow more love. I allow more lightness. I allow more beauty.
I breathe in the beauty and the wonder and the innocence
That is my true Nature.
I dance and sing and play as part of every aspect of this day.
Fire Dance, Drozda, mixed media/canvas, 48 x 54″, private collection
“To give is ever possible, there’s no lack in it.”
There are so many ways in which I feel
Insecure and uncomfortable at this time.
Today I ask for the help to remember that
There is only one problem and only one Answer.
Once again, and a thousand times today if necessary
I lay my concerns at Your feet in gentle surrender.
I welcome and remember that You ‘will live with me
And You will teach with me as I think with You’.
At this moment I require assistance.
I don’t seem to remember how to be there for myself.
I don’t know how to be there for all the others.
So many seem to be needing something from me.
I feel tired and lonely.
Help me to lay aside my dragons, monsters and strange beliefs.
This is a deep and holy instant in Truth.
Today allow me to be gently reminded that
There is nothing my holiness cannot do,
As a child of the Light, as a daughter of the Earth.
Thank You in advance.
I love to share the beauty and wonder of the art/life trail…here is a lovely pick to consider as a Solstice gift to yourself or someone with whom you wish to send peace.
The ArtLight Quotation Calendar is a labor of love and Strength. The artist is Dana Cunningham Anderson. I have a collection of her calendars going back at least ten years…their beauty and meaning are timeless. Here in Dana’s own words…
Our world has changed. As one woman who emailed me recently wrote, “We need ArtLight and each other, now more than ever.”
We need tools to remind us of our connection, our inner strength, our vision of a world-wide peace. We must keep this vision alight in our hearts, always. Daily reinforcement of our deep inner knowledge of ourselves as One People is essential now, more than it ever was.
When ArtLight began in my garage studio in Gearhart, OR in 1996, I never dreamed we would be at the brink of chaos 21 years later. Let us hold together for good, every day, with every breath.
Together, we all DO make a better world.
I wish us all a most meaningful holiday season and I thank you for supporting this year’s Peace Project…here’s the last batch of orders heading to FedEx…