Friday, May 10, 2013

OUT IN THE DARK SEA: When I call "SHARK," the shark is summoned--LEARNING the POWER of THOUGHT on REALITY

THE SHARK WAS SUMMONED. In my fear, I called out, "The shark is going to eat me." Upon hearing his name, the shark was summoned, and he answered my call. He arrived by my side! (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah dear pilgrims! Hallelujah for story tellers and for visual art that help us understand who we are! In recent months, I have been contemplating major changes in my life. At first, my Chiboogamoo and I were considering moving to a beautiful American city out west. After all, we are in our fifties now, perhaps it is time for significant readjustments before we settle into our senior years. 
However, it is May 10th, and our course has been reckoned for the next year. We will be staying in Atlanta. Our continued stay in this busy cosmopolitan city of 5 million left me with a challenging question, one that frightens me!
How do I continue growing into the person I want to be when I am confined by enduring structures of the past 20 years?
Even though packing up a household and moving to another city provides all kinds of challenges, the actions one must take are clearly defined, allowing one to move forward and complete tasks that advance change. You leave your job, pack up your possessions, kiss your friends, and wave good-bye.
But how about ripping the fabric of one's life while living in the same place? Changing things up harmoniously and productively? Taking that fabric and making a NEW garment. For me, this quest harkens me into the unknown, and that unknown frightens me. 
Rebecca Solnit, in her book, A Field Guide to Getting Lost (2005), addresses this question of going into the mystery (of being lost), especially for the tasks assigned artists:
“Certainly for artists of all stripes, the unknown, the idea or the form or the tale that has not yet arrived, is what must be found. It is the job of artists to open doors and invite in prophesies, the unknown, the unfamiliar; it’s where their work comes from, although its arrival signals the beginning of the long disciplined process of making it their own. Scientists too, as J. Robert Oppenheimer once remarked, “live always at the ‘edge of mystery’—the boundary of the unknown.” But they transform the unknown into the known, haul it in like fishermen; artists get you out into the dark sea.”
OUT IN THE DARK SEA. Over the years, I have gotten better and better about jumping into the unknown. It has become a practice! The vast open sea literally terrifies me, so it is an apt metaphor for my fears of the unknown! (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
"...Artists get you out into the dark sea." In order to do that, we artists must venture into the sea ourselves. In December 20ll, I literally went into the ocean at San Salvador, Bahamas, with my Chiboogamoo's Emory University class. For me, snorkeling was a challenge. To get in the water and swim around the coral reefs shook me viscerally. Even though I water skied as a child and got certified to dive when I was in college in California, I have been incredibly uncomfortable around large bodies of water for most of my adult life. Therefore, after almost 30 years of a sabbatical from water, I jumped, snorkled, examined coral reef life, and returned to the shores of San Salvador several times, released from some of my former fears. Not all of them.

However, this actual physical experience of going into the ocean, has provided me with a method for dealing with my psychological fears. JUMPING is a good thing when you know for a fact, you won't get harmed!

A STORY...BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU CALL OUT FOR. When we are fearful, we don't mean to, but perhaps, we create or enhance the existing fear. In this image that I have drawn, I am RABBIT, and I have called out all of my fears, one of them being SHARK. When he heard his name, he answered. This idea and visual image were influenced by a Native American story that Jamie Sams and David Carson tell about Rabbit, the fear caller, in Medicine Cards. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
In a story told by Jamie Sams and David Carson in Medicine Cards, Rabbit is given a curse by Eye Walker:

Art by Angela C. Werneke, Medicine Cards
"From now on, you will call your fears and your fears will come to you."

The lesson learned from the medicine cards is that what you fear most, you become. That by resisting your fears, they continue. So what is a more desirable course of action?

Name the fears, write them down, feel them. "Breathe into them, and feel them running through your body into Mother Earth as a give away (page 158, Medicine Cards)." The Medicine Card authors advise us not to ask "what-ifs" about the future. And, not to imagine horrible things. 

Pilgrims, instead we can go about our lives, managing our thoughts. We have a choice about what we think. 

As I continue jumping into the unknown, this mysterious dark sea of life, I will re-imagine what I find there. It is time for TRANSFORMATION in my life, and I am summoning LIGHT, LAUGHTER, MEANING, LOVE, and FRIENDSHIP. Using ART is my mode of transportation. I remain here in Atlanta, but I will create a NEW LIFE for myself! And I will not be summoning sharks!

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and tell me what fears you summon to your life and how you will learn to make choices for different outcomes.    

MEDICINE CARDS. New pick--Armadillo! Guess what story Armadillo tells? Get your own Medicine Cards and have fun discovering new ways of understanding yourself!

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