This month's Prayer Art Invitation is a prayer I'm pretty certain you're familiar with, in one way or another. It is not small or simple. It may cause discomfort. And it may just surprise you with empowering moments of insight and clarity just waiting for you to make a little space for them to rise up into your consciousness.
I'm willing to bet you've felt your pulse quicken over this one, when the world has shown us, time and time again that it is so desperately needed - from in our own homes and hearts to devastating places and circumstances endured by our sisters throughout the world. Watching the news daily can overwhelm us with all the ways in which this work is needed - so we turn it off at some point to move away from our rage and feelings of helplessness, returning to our centers of stillness and sense of normalcy. And that is perfectly healthy and good... but you and I both know that while the deep empathy, once activated within our heart, can be hushed it cannot be forgotten... its raw, unraveling thread courses through our veins. Because we know we are on the edge. Change is needed. And we are being called to Rise Up and begin that change within ourselves and our world.
I witness the retorts of many in our world - "Oh, stop praying already. Do something about it." There's truth in this and I am grateful for the reminder to not get lost in my own bubble of spiritual comfort. At its heart, this challenge is a plea we must hear. But also, I believe, it is perhaps a misunderstanding about how truly sustainable acts must begin. Whether you call it 'prayer' or not, moving into methods of finding deep clarity inevitably evokes action, and both are desperately needed."Ritual is the act of sanctifying action - even ordinary actions - so that it has meaning: I can light a candle because I need the light or because the candle represents the light I need." - Christina Baldwin
It will require, in the long run, much more than acts of prayer and art-making... but we can begin with these tools of ritual, in the safety of our own space and practice, by raising awareness, hope and healing within ourselves. We can begin by not hiding our eyes from the truths we know and hear about. We can begin by welcoming it in, just for a little while, so that we might experience the truth of our capacity to effect change and inspire ripples with deliberate acts of love and offering amongst one another, and far-reaching. You CAN handle this, Sweet Sister, and you are not alone in holding this space. Be brave. Let the tears flow, if they come. Let the rage be as it is. Do not be fooled into believing that you have no power - that is the greatest conspiracy. You have great power - and begins with the awareness of your own thoughts and patterns of reaction.
So I invite you to show up to your creative and spiritual practice this month by beginning with prayer, reflection or intention for
ALL Women of the World
To know equality and divine love within, to heal, to be able to realize the sovereignty and brilliance of the life and body that is rightfully their own, to rise up in wholeness for every person, child, plant, mineral, animal, and drop of water. To know Peace.
However this looks and feels for you right now is perfect. Wherever your heart takes you is just where it is needed. Whatever comes up (or doesn't) is OK - just notice and listen. As always, make this prayer and practice your own.
I also invite you to challenge yourself, in some way, to step out of your comfort or routine a little in this month's practice. Share part of your story, process or art with another woman - or publicly. Put a paintbrush in the hand of a child. Make a commitment to help an elder woman in your community somehow. Forgive a woman that wronged you so that you might release yourself to greater miracles. Offer a small donation (even a dollar) to a cause that moves you. Spend a little extra time nurturing a relationship with a sister, of blood or heart - and talk together about some of the difficulties women around the world face everyday. Take a little extra time to honor and love yourself and your own stillness, wisdom, and miraculous body and spirit.
Do any of this knowing that every time a woman is hurt or oppressed, it is happening to every one of us. And every time we choose to love our selves and each other more deliberately, with wide open eyes for the witnessing, and courage for the activation of change that is needed... every time we do that we are acting as the collective energy of every woman.
We do not have to agree with one another on every little detail to be united.
Every time we pray, we pray together.
Every time we make art that comes from our intrinsic, uninhibited intuition, we do so from a greater consciousness, and there is something for us to learn in that process of communion that can help guide us toward each other.
Do not underestimate the power of even your smallest acts of intention. We have been given amazing energy, and we get to choose how and where we channel it.
Every grievance is a grievance toward us all. Every act of Love is of and for the whole.
So choose Love. Just choose Love, and begin....
"The dramatic action that we need to create a way of life on Earth that really works will be taken not through personal, social, or political action, but through spiritual action." - Brooke Medicine Eagle
Announcing: Prayer Painting Vigil!
In addition to this month's Invitation, I intend to hold space for a live online Painting "Vigil" in exploration of this contemplation, in honor of women suffering around the world, and as a means of expressing the need to awaken our deepest capacities of Love. Visitors will be able to share space and chat with one another, watch while I begin a Prayer Painting, and/or work on their own Prayer Art.
Tentatively, this will be held Sunday, January 27 at 8:30pm EST.
More details to follow!! To get the final invite details for this event, be sure to sign up for my newsletter (which is the same one I used over at LilyWheel Slide - so no need to sign up if you're already on the list!).
With Love and Light,