I love these moments when you have a sudden realization that your life is being mirrored back to you by nature and through art expression. It reminds me to be attentive; to sit in wonder of the connectedness of life and of the beauty in every moment; of the importance of being aware that there is a continuous conversation going on all around me if I will only pay attention and listen.
With the addition of these three new journal pages I will have explored my heart and spirituality through the first 19 Pathways of the "Sufi Book of Life" this year. It struck me that these last three pages reflect exactly what I have been experiencing and preparing for in this moment. "Flowing Blessings." "Sustenance." "Opening to Unity's Breath". Healing. Receiving. Opening. I am grateful.
Nearly a year has passed since I began this project. My life is now in major transition so it is only natural and healthy to spend a period of time in reflection. It is time to take stock, honor the journey, and be open to what I have learned. My boat needs to float before the rowing begins again, which brings us aptly to the pathway, Al-Wahhab, Flowing Blessings.
|Pathway 16, Flowing Blessings.|
In my collage I wanted to capture the feeling of movement. One side of the page is a fast moving river in winter, steam hangs over the water, white water is churned up over hidden rocks but the flow continues. And rivers run to the sea so on the other side is a calm ocean with an island, it's craggy spires reaching towards the sun.
I bordered and divided the two halves with gold coin, symbolizing the richness of blessings found in the give and take of this special relationship. Boats filled with brightly colored flowers and food flow from the river to the ocean representing abundance. The radiating flower at the top stands for Unity and connection. Love spelled out in water droplets connects the whole. Trust that the river will never run dry. Right now in my own life I am flowing on a river of blessings as a new tributary has opened up and I don't know where it will take me but I know that I must trust and go. I am grateful. Al-Wahhab, I bathe in a waterfall of blessings. I celebrate all the varied ways of Being.
|Pathway 17 Sustenance.|
Pathway 17, Sustenance, asks you to consider your relationship with how you give and how you receive on all levels. What feeds my soul, mind and body? What are my gifts and how do I share them? Am I being receptive and mindful of the many blessings in my life and am I connecting with the life energy of all that I am consuming? When is enough, enough?
Every image on this page nurtures me deeply. Mono Lake is one of those places that I have experienced a deep emotional connection. High in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California this remnant of a vast inland sea lies silently in-waiting. Tufa towers rise like spires of fairy like castles
From her waters and on still days you can't tell where the sky ends and the water begins as the clouds are so perfectly reflected in her surface. I always feel connected here, energized, my whole Being filled.
A bowl of soup, is there anything more nourishing and comforting? Filled with vegetables and steaming broth it warms your body as well as your heart. I think it is also the perfect example of a food that we can share with others especially when it is made with love. The secret to good soup is in the layering of flavor, the "trinity" my Mom used to say (and she was known as the soup maker) celery, onion and carrot.
They always went into the pot first to sweat, to mingle, to caramelize a little or a lot depending on the recipe. The making of soup is also a practical and mindful way to use up leftovers, those bits and pieces that may end up being thrown away. When we are not aware we waste precious resources. This can be said of many things in our lives...time, relationships, money and energy.
The accompanying sound to meditate upon for this pathway is Ar-Razzaq. The root word Ra shows us a raying forth of energy and Zaq shows us the "conscious container created to hold this power". That being said I added a plate of food rising like a sun over the water. I added a spoon, another container of sorts and a vehicle with which to share. It hovers over the soup bowl. The spoon is filled with a vibrant spice suggesting that sharing adds depth and flavor to life. We have a responsibility to share and it is becoming more and more evident that for the consciousness of the people upon this planet to change we must lead with love, with giving and with care taking. There is more than enough for all if we will only share. By feeding others we in turn feed ourselves and it is within this balance that we honor both giving and receiving.
Which leads us to "Opening to Unity's Breath"pathway 18, Al-Fattah. For me this could not be more on target. I have just recently moved to another state. I have said goodbye to family and friends, a place that I really did enjoy living, and a wonderfully supportive spiritual community because I heard this call to do something completely different. It was taking a leap of faith. It wasn't easy, it was emotional, it was painful but as the author says in his book, "what is there to be afraid of?" He asks us to not fear the opening, to instead find they key that unlocks the door to your purpose in life.
|Opening to Unity's Breath, pathway 18.|