Please note that prayer submissions for the current painting closed on January 20. If you would like to see the painting when it is complete or hear about future offerings, feel free to click on the submit form and sign-up for the notification.
One morning a couple of months ago, I woke up with an idea…no, a sort of voice…an instruction, really. It was simple. But it requires me to extend an invitation to others and see what comes my way, and I have to admit that makes me a little nervous...
This semi-woo-woo voice in my head thing is not something I'm completely used to or comfortable with. But I find that the more I hush my mind and sink into my cells and the quiet energy that permeates between breaths, the more I am "hearing" from this voice inside. The best part is that it often guides me to a place of better alignment with my art process.
a prayer sketch. oil pastel.
I'm not sure you can even call it a "voice" exactly…it's really just this discovery of Potential lying beneath a layer that has been allowed to unfold into greater connection - connection with Source, with my higher self, with others, with all of the growing pains and joys of living Awake. It's strange and beautiful.
I am finding that when I follow this whispering voice, when I tune in to this frequency, I feel a greater sense of peace in my life. It is a simultaneous experience of stillness and energy. Synchronicities and signs become more vivid in ordinary life as well as in unexpected turns in events, opportunities and my own perspective.
Even when I don't understand completely what will come of it, I'm committed to offering myself to the Source of these synchronous signs and inclinations.
These words came to me this week from a friend's book suggestion and invitation, as well - as if to validate my final steps in offering this:
"True prayer is not petitioning, it is listening. Deep listening."
- J. C. Bays
Read on, you'll see how that relates...
It is an intuition, really, this awareness - however, it is less about fireworks and sparks, and more about walking the hot coals in steady surrender. And I'm finding that I'm in love with the warm energy of it.
I feel a deep vulnerability as I type this - a flutter of curiosity in my belly, a spiraling warmth in my heart - more sensations I am learning to appreciate as compasses in life.
And it really is quite simple, this request I heard, this Invitation for You, if you feel called to join the process...
You see, the 'voice' behind my eyelids that morning said just this to me:
"Ask for prayers.
Paint the Energy.
As I heard it, I chose to keep my eyes closed a few minutes longer, so as to not lose it to the abyss where dreams often go only moments after waking. Then, I saw myself pasting and writing the words of others onto a page and painting over it, in prayer myself. And then sharing the process and final piece here.
Like I said, Simple, right? We'll see...! This is me showing up and giving it wings.
(You can see a video of the making of another piece, pictured below, where I incorporated my own words and prayers beneath the layers of the images that came forth HERE)
I intend to make a painting in honor of the deep prayers of anyone who feels called to offer their own prayer up to the process.
I anticipate that I may do this more than once, and, perhaps, even regularly, but for right now I'm just staying centered on this one painting. Just this.
While painting, the intention is simply to hold space for you, your prayers, your desires, your deep yearnings and needs, your truths, or anything you need to release - whatever that be, there is no right or wrong, no specific topic. Perhaps it is something you have not voiced to anyone, perhaps it is well known to those around you. It could be an immediate wish, or a lifelong commitment or something that just comes to you at the moment...
It is an exchange of sorts - you offer to release your prayer to the creative process of a painting, and I, in turn, offer to witness and honor your spirit and heartfelt prayer in deep gratitude through my painting practice with color, brushes, curiosity and stillness. As simple as that.
No promises, no gimmicks, no catches. Just This.
You see, my painting process has evolved into a process of prayer for me. I don't paint to sell my work. I'm not even horribly concerned with refining skills. It's not about what others will think of the painting when I'm done. It's about the place of intention and awareness that comes forth in the process - and the Energy that can be created within myself and shared with others from that.
And I can't help but believe in the very core of my being - and, in fact, I have witnessed this in others as a woman, a nurse, an artist - that there is immense power in both the creative process and the experience of prayer - empowerment, awakening and rich connection that is available to each of us - especially when we join our intentions with others.
There is healing in creativity and there is healing in being heard.
Your prayers will be met and cradled with the deepest form of prayer I know how to offer.
Offer your prayer in safety, I will listen with you.
This was a prayer painting I did for a raffle back in the fall. Earth Healing Mama.
I will accept prayer requests until a designated day (Jan. 20).
The painting process will begin the way I begin all of my intuitive paintings ~ with a simple ritual. I will light candles and clear my mind with my breath. I will set the intention that is speaking to me strongest after reading the prayers and then I will play a song on my flute to the blank page.
Power of Collective. Original mandala.
I will start this prayer painting by incorporating whatever words you choose to share into the painting itself, alongside the prayers of everyone else that submits - the intention being to allow the power of our collective prayers to join with the creative process to inspire momentum in each of our lives.
I do not know what the final painting will be like. I won't begin with an image or composition idea in my mind. Most likely I'll just pick a color that speaks to me and start with a line or a shape or a scribble - and then trust the process to lead me from there.
If you've followed my process before, you know it is not about the painting in the end, but the process itself. It may flow easily from me. I may struggle some at points. But I will see it through and paint until the painting is complete - and I know this by a simple soft calm that comes over me.
I enter this with only one deep intention of my own: to hold space for you to join your prayer with those of others and to open myself up more fully to the grace of listening and the practice of awareness while I paint.
To Submit a Prayer
If you would like to offer a prayer or blessing to this first painting, I am deeply honored and humbled. You can submit your prayer with as much or as little detail as you are comfortable with. Your words will not be shared or revealed without your permission (except deep within the layers of the painting). You can write several sentences, a story, a poem, or just a few words. Or, you could just offer one word that represents your deeper personal prayer to you - or, perhaps, just the name of someone - maybe even simply your own.
There is no right or wrong -all I ask is that the prayers be mindful and good-willed in intention.
You can submit a prayer in any one of these three ways:
1) the LilyWheel Slide Prayer Form (sets you up to get an email when the painting is complete, too!) *
2) in an email to me
3) as a comment to this post
(*If you have a long prayer, it seems it will be best to send it via options 2 or 3, because it seems the form cuts off wishes after several sentences...)
This month, prayers will be accepted until midnight on January 20, 2012.
I will begin painting around the time of the New Moon, in honor of calm beginnings and the mysterious ways in which the universe answers our prayers.
I will post about the process and painting shortly thereafter!! It'll be a nice way to come back to our original prayers and intentions in our minds.
If you're leaving a comment or sending an email be sure to join the HeartMind and BellySoul Newsletter because I'll send a special note out about the process and the final painting that way, as well. Or you can click the painting below to use the Prayer form instead:
Click this image to SUBMIT YOUR PRAYER!
Feel free to join in this intention in your own creative way if you feel called to do so and let us know below where we might see your living prayer creation if you feel like sharing!
From my heart to yours,
(Let me know your thoughts, suggestions, requests - like I said, this is kind of a crazy little step for me, and I welcome any feedback and considerations!!)