Friday, July 14, 2017

Moving with Focus into a New Existence

     Earlier this year I was inspired to create an art journal based upon the "Sufi Book of Life, 99 Pathways of the Heart" by Neil Douglas-Klotz. This is the next set of collages in that journey. These recent pages are concerned with the concentration and focus needed that leads to the movement of creating, with feeling the radiance of creativity working through us and finally to how we can work with this energy to design a new existence in our lives.
     Pathway 10 is entitled Concentration. Focusing in on what is important in my life right now helps me to see opportunities that I may be missing. I fortunately am good at finishing projects that I begin but I do realize that at times I take on too many projects at one time and at times projects that are merely distractions from what I should be working on; the all important lesson of learning boundaries and how to say no.

Pathway 10 Concentration.

      So this is about embodying focus and my mind immediately goes to nature and in particular gardens and flowers. We envision what we want to grow and we plan. A contained garden is a symbol of our own soul held within our bodies and at its center is our heart. Preparing this page I knew I  wanted to have a garden in the background with a lovely gate. So there is a very subtle water colored garden beyond. I found an image of this wrought iron scrolled gate in a magazine, it was an ad for a purse. Using an exacto knife I concentrated on the task of cutting it out which took a fair amount of time.  The peony and butterfly symbolize focused awareness, joy and transformation.  So this page reminds me to focus on what it is that brings me joy...yeah sometimes we forget, get off on a tangent, but that's okay because sometimes we need to explore other possibilities, gain a new perspective by stepping away.
     There are accompanying meditations with each pathway and in this one the author says to ask your self some questions as you focus upon your body and breath. I learned what wants to be expressed in my life next and how, if I listen to my body and intuition  it will not steer me wrong.

     The next pathway takes our envisioned inspiration and gets it moving, Carving and Forming, pathway 11.

Pathway 11 Carving and Forming.

     Now we are in preparation and planting stage. We are moving our passion into form. We till the soil, amend, and prepare the foundation for the seeds so that they will have the most perfect conditions in which to grow. There are no shortcuts, it takes dedication and awareness to details at this point. This is where we really get our hands dirty.
     In the background of this page you will see a geometric configuration and stars in different sizes and shapes, this represents the pieces of existence and of my life. The large arched jeweled bracelet symbolizes the art and skill of creating beauty. The hand covered in paint the creative action needed to carve out an inspired life and within the hand a magic wand to remind me of the mysteries and awe that I feel within the creative process. It is actually an image of a floor lamp!
     So we've envisioned and started working on our project, what's next? Radiating Creativity, pathway 12!
     The author writes, "Feeling the potential to create something completely new and different from nothing." So this is about the process, about the creation of movement. So naturally to me I think water, fluidity.

Pathway 12 radiating creativity.

     This process mirrors the idea that our expression is a reflection of the Divine but one that is not stationary, rather it is always moving like a breath. So to my mind when I create the movement it is as natural as swimming through water, like breathing.
So in my collage a woman swims outwards from a large oyster shell, coming out of her shell to express her light, her gifts which are precious pearls. There is freedom in her movement, she is liberated from her confines. "...being like a fountain, or a spring bubbling from deep within. When we dive into art it has the ability to transport and transform us. Is it any wonder that I just had to add glitter to this page because I so understand and resonate with this pathway!?
      Life is all about movement. What will you put in to motion today? What pearl of creativity wants to be brought up into the light of your expression? String them one by one around your neck and wear them near your heart because we all know that pearls must be worn close to the skin in order to bring out there full lustrous beauty.