Moving into the autumn or spring always fills me with an awareness of both potential and plenty.
The earth shines her abundance brightly with the acute momentum of grounded transition.
This can be experienced, and learned from, in so many ways,
particularly when we choose to engage with the ideas
in sync with the seasons in which they present.
is the theme for the September Art of Prayer Invitation.
You are invited to explore & reflect upon this idea,
creatively, in your life and art,
to share as little or as much as you'd like about that experience,
and to be inspired by others doing so, as well.
I've also brainstormed some thoughts and inquiries as gateways
that may help get your mind & heart rolling in the prayer or meditation
that is going to be most meaningful for you with this invitation.
Here they are:
How does this show up in your life and awareness right now?
Celebrate even just one thing as plentiful and overflowing in your experience.
How do you perceive Abundance? (As a lack or presence?)
What feelings come up just at the mention of this word? (just notice your emotions and how your body responds)
(How) does that guide you in your interactions with your life?
How do you WANT Abundance to feel?
For those you love?
Do you hold yourself back from seeing abundance?
Do you accept abundance into your life, graciously, deservingly?
Or do you restrain, rationalize, and limit your experience of it? (If so, do you wish to continue doing so?)
How do others affect your perception of abundance?
Do you ever hold others back from their own sense or perception of abundance?
How does this season - wherever you are - speak to you of abundance (or not)?
Where do you desire more (perception of) abundance in your life?
How do others contribute to yours?
How can you add to the abundance of others?
Is your notion of Safety directly related to your feelings of Abundance?
What effect does the notion of abundance have on our world and our relations with one another?
How can the lessons of Abundance, and its contrast, guide us in this?
We had the most beautiful dialogue in the Art of Prayer group last week about the meaning of prayer itself -and how prayer is even a loaded word at times, for various reasons, with many connotations that can effect us at different points in our journey. There were beautiful stories of reclaiming and reshaping what prayer is in a way that becomes more accessible and applicable for the individual.
Those in the group, myself included, seemed to share the sentiment that prayer is a way to connect with a sense of a higher power or energy, whatever that may be for the individual.
Many also touched on the beauty of realizing that many, and maybe even ANY, act of daily living becomes a gesture of prayer when done with mindfulness and intention.
What I like about that concept is that it brings (what I feel to be) a much needed bridge between the ethereal sense of prayer/spirit/divine AND the very grounded truth of our experience in human form.
It is easy to live in the concepts of a 'spiritual' practice and theory, and can feel gratifying for a time. It is a whole different layer - indeed it becomes a 'practice', an action - to find tactile, grounded ways to engage and apply the raw messages of our soul, moment to moment, hands on, senses tuned in, being as true and accountable to our truth as possible.
That is how (and why) I explore the connection between art and prayer.
That is why I respond, instinctually, to grounded ways of connecting to Source (art, dance, on a mountain, etc.)
It is my intention to deepen my connection to creative mystery
and heighten my awareness of how I engage with my life, others, my art, and my own spirit -
so that I might live in closer alignment with my heart's knowing -
and allow that to steer my inner spiritual understanding,
as well as the decisions and energy that I project outward on this journey.
Painting becomes an intentional temple to practice within.
As can walking, talking, smiling, driving, cleaning, breathing….
This practice is filled with abundant potential,
realized through each moment of attention we give to it.
I would love for you to join us in this month's invitation, if you feel curious to explore.
If you'd like, leave a comment below to commit to creating a piece of prayer art this month (using this invitation or any other inclination you have). Your presence may encourage another to participate, as well.
Feel free to also leave your own thoughts on what 'prayer' is for you, or any questions or thoughts you have at all about the idea of exploring art as a spiritual practice.