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Undeniable

Undeniable 2018

There are times when the convergence of synchronicity and timing are so astonishing, one finds it overwhelming to express in one simple post.  At the same time, writing a book or novel has never been my dream, so let’s do our best to distill all these elements down into a potable brew and sip away.

It was July of 2016 when I felt the strong urge to begin the “Heart and Soul Mandala”.  It developed quickly, the “heart” portion of the piece taking shape in a few short days.  July 5th of that year, life changed dramatically when my lovely friends next door, a beautiful couple expecting their first baby in a few short months, experienced tragedy, resulting in only the husband left behind, mama and baby are gone.

Heart and Soul with leaves

This event knocked me to my knees in ways that are hard to describe.  As a result, the “Soul” portion of the mandala was never completed.

September of 2016 brought a rather savage attack on my right (painting) hand by a dog, (Thor) and there was a sudden shift, a leaving behind of both watercolor and the mandalas, then the discovery of a new teacher, Kathy Taylor, and a new medium, acrylic.

2018 has brought a fascination with painting women, strong beautiful women.  I rediscovered a book already in my home on pre Raphaelite art.  Studying further, down the rabbit hole one evening, if you will, I found that Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who is credited with founding the pre Raphaelite movement, had written a short story about an artist who, after suffering much disillusionment, discovered that his soul appeared to him as a beautiful woman.  He learned then that the only true task for an artist is to paint as a soul, for the soul, and “doest all work from thine own heart simply”.

This for me begs the question, “Are these recent paintings the “Soul” portion of the “Heart and Soul Mandala”?”  I believe the answer is, “Yes”.

Concurrently, we have the theme of the outlandishly grotesque patriarchy throwing a tantrum when confronted with the long silenced voices of the increasingly empowered feminine, who are no longer willing to remain compliant.  I too, endured the misfortune of  unsolicited sexual advances, beginning at age 5 when I was violated by a neighbor boy, then told, “Say nothing, if you do, they will know you are bad.”  This was not an isolated incident, and I believe that the majority of women have had similar experiences.

I finished this painting, “Undeniable”, today, the same day that our government voted an entitled, unwise, impatient and biased man to be a Supreme Court Judge for the rest of our lives.

Look into her eyes…she is not to be trifled with.  Injustice has occurred, but we are not victims, we are creators.  We will receive what has happened and make our way through it, but make no mistake, the old paradigm is falling away and a new day dawns, one where the empowered feminine and the balanced masculine love and create together…and there is no place for the distorted masculine…you should know, gentlemen, your days in power are numbered.

 

 

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“I See Hope”

I See Hope

When challenge presents in life, such as a difficult diagnosis, the loss of a loved one, the ending of a career or relationship, the struggle looms so large.  It is natural to see only what is “wrong”, the tangible representations of love, health or success  that no longer feel present, all that seems lost or no longer possible, the joy that has faded.  As focus narrows squarely to the problems at hand, any glimmer of solution or positive outcome can recede from view.

In considering the design for the Memory Walk Lapel Pin this year, I asked to see the pins from past years, and the shoes featured for 2014 appeared to me as a dragonfly.  A wonderful symbol of transformation and adaptability, the dragonfly also represents connection to the world of spirit, and the ability to access higher perspectives.

The wings of the dragonfly feature torn images from past Memory Walks.  The collage and layering are symbolic of life evolving, things are torn and covered over, and yet, new beauty emerges.  As the piece developed, I was guided to place the word “Hope” prominently near the dragonfly.

Some theorists suggest that problems and solutions are born at the same time, and that focusing exclusively on the dilemma prohibits the awareness of solutions.  As we broaden our perspectives to include the possibility of positive outcomes, new ideas will present, and gifts can be found even in the midst of trials.

“I See Hope” is a tangible reminder that even in the darkest of times, the choice of seeing hope is available, and making this choice again and again unleashes unlimited positive potential.

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Changing the Past

Changing the Past

Is it possible to change the past?  If you have had conversations with siblings and/or friends, and honestly relayed and listened to each other’s accounts of the same event, you know that what you remember may differ.  Who is remembering correctly?

When this piece began I did not know what it would be about, but I felt compelled by this woman’s gaze…As the piece developed, I realized it was about changing the past.  But Vikki, what does that mean?  Surely the things that have happened to me and affected me deeply, they left a mark, especially the woundings.  Yes…but here’s the thing,  as life progresses, and perspective shifts, these events can come to be viewed in a different way.

I’m studying Biofield Tuning right now, a method which uses tuning forks in the energy field, to free up “tangles in the photons”, static left behind by traumatic events, so that the light that is contained within can be returned to the central energy channel, and put to use in more effective ways by the entire system, rather than creating reactive chaos in the energy field, leaving one vulnerable to triggers of past trauma and pain.  The result is to begin integration of past experiences and find empowerment in all that has been lived.

There are several elements of the painting that move, intrigue and inspire me.  What do you see in her eyes, is it fear, sadness or resolve?  She is clearly from another time, but isn’t time just a construct?  Who sits on her shoulder?  I have always felt a responsibility to know the answers, and the discomfort that arises when I do not has challenged me again and again this year.  A wise friend advised me to “respond to not knowing with curiosity instead of fear”.

It seems to be a time of not knowing for almost everyone.  A time when we are being asked to “let go of what we know”, so that our experience and consciousness can expand.  I don’t know about you, but for me, it can feel more terrifying than exhilarating.

May your past make sense to you in new ways that find you feeling blessed by all you have experienced…tragic, painful or joyful, and may your present find you curious and excited about what is and what is becoming.

 

 

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“I’m Listening”

I'm Listening

 

2018 has proven to be a year of rapid, often unsettling change accompanied with awarenesses that some troubling issues I thought had been resolved have in fact only been hiding below the surface.  This is proving to be true not only internally, but socially, on a large scale as well.

The frantic pace of life can be very unbalancing.  It seems to cause me to look outside myself for reassurance, answers, indications that solutions will come…only to be disappointed which serves to raise anxiety levels/the need for comfort even more.

Over the years I have learned that when I am triggered in these extreme ways, it is often an internal aspect of me that is reacting in the present to a trauma that can be decades old.

The painting, “I’m Listening” offers an exquisitely beautiful reminder that the wisdom and true reassurance we seek can be found when we become still and listen.  The woman sits quietly with her eyes closed as the bird conveys loving messages.  Looking closely, you will see that the word “love” has come to rest on her right shoulder.

“I’m Listening” not only refers to (and recommends) becoming quiet and listening to God/Source/Spirit…but also to the Inner Aspects that may have been ignored for too long.  If this resonates with you, please listen when these young voices  cry out, whether it is in fear, in anger, in defiance, or pleading for love and attention.  Listening to, honoring, loving and accepting these aspects, letting them know you hear them and you are with them, committed to keeping them safe now, will bring a healing, magical quality to your life that will astound you.

Go ahead, “I’m Listening”…

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Holy Ground

Holy Ground

The year of revelations continues (see The 411) and the qualities of life during the creation of this painting helped me unearth and digest even more.

Once again, I feel the need to acknowledge with deep gratitude the gift of Kathy Taylor and her Center for Creative Development (aka Studio 6020).  Tuesday’s class helped begin this piece, the “lesson” was to apply some heavy texture, which is present in the trunk of the tree.

I chose to work on trees as they have been a source of fascination for me, becoming the subject of some of my earliest pieces.

1971 From 1971…

In addition, I had just participated in a meditation suggesting that if we want to remember what it is like to be “wild at heart”, we should begin by listening to the trees.  This is not relegated to the woo-woo category any longer, with the practice of “Forest Bathing” now scientifically proven to improve your health.

There is also the growing awareness of “Earthing” and the rediscovery that having bare feet on Mother Earth brings our souls (and bodies) back to center.  There are those that believe that the rubber soled shoes most of us wear the majority of the time disconnect us from the primordial pulse of the earth which our bodies seem to crave.

The light shining behind the tree trunk represents soul, Source Energy for me.  The roots descend deeply into the earth, the trunk rises up, splits into a “V for Victory”,  branches then reaching for the heavens, with light illuminating much of the tree.  Another sweet remembrance of my Dad pops in as one of his favorite nicknames for me was “Fig Tree”.

Tangentially, life was offering me many “shituations”, ongoing kitty poop problems with a rescue, uninvited critters in my house, car repair issues, gallery conflicts, ginormous business decisions…what a gift to be able to return to my roots and rest on Holy Ground, reminded that taking time to rest quietly with Mother Earth (and the trees) can help restore the weariest, most frazzled soul.

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Align With Your Heart

Rustic Sage for web

The impact of this afternoon’s events make this post challenging to begin.  Do I start with the incredible legacy of my Dad and his accomplishments?  The exciting possibilities that seem to be taking shape on the horizon?  The thrill and synchronicities of creating the piece you see here?

I was in a meeting, discussing the potential for carrying my Dad’s dream forward on a foundation he provided and left me in charge of managing.  His passions included providing excellent medical care in a compassionate way to the broadest possible population, specifically meaning that one’s economic status should not determine access to the best medical care or education.  He loved problem solving and fun, and by fun I mean finding solutions to challenges!  The undertaking we are considering is large and complex, resources appear limited and the odds may seem stacked against us.

As the meeting came to a close, I remembered the important themes of the mandala pictured above,  the “Rustic Sage Mandala”, aka “Align With Your Heart” created in 2008 for a visionary woman who decided she would create a paradise in the desert. She let me know that a large (48″ X 48″) mandala would be required for her opening two weeks away.  I told her in no uncertain terms that simply was not possible and with a knowing smile she said, “Yes…I want the piece, and the intentions with which to imbue it are; “align with your heart” and “the impossible made possible”.

Well clearly this was no ordinary project and of course, a magnificent mandala came into being in spite of my limiting thoughts.

My Dad was also told it couldn’t be done, his vision of bringing ambulatory surgery out of the hospital and into freestanding centers.  He saw clearly the system was not serving patient needs.  He felt the care could be much better and costs could be lower…and in the late sixties (along with his partner) created the Surgicenter, opening February 12, 1970, the first freestanding ambulatory surgery facility in the United States, disrupting and innovating both medical care and practice of anesthesia.  Read a little more about my Dad and the Surgicenter here…in “How It All Began”.

Remembering his courage, good humor and determination, I felt renewed by the awareness that holding the vision with confidence and trust is enough to move it forward, momentum will carry us in the right direction.

Leaving the meeting, I had a message from a friend from whom I had not heard in ages, a nurse involved in elder care.  She wanted me to know that a woman she is caring for began spontaneously talking about my father, having worked with him in the past, speaking fondly of him and remarking, “whatever he did, he did from the heart”.  This conversation began completely unprompted and she could not have known the connection through which it would be shared with me.

But my Dad did.

Align with your heart and the impossible is made possible.

 

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The 411

Mom and Dad Traveling

Today marks the fourth anniversary of my Dad’s return to non-physical.  I realized early this year that since my Dad passed in 2014 and my Mom in 2007, it indicates 411, defined as “relevant information, or the truth”.

2018 has indeed held some remarkable adventures.  In January while babysitting my (fourteen month old) granddaughter, she insisted on pulling out a journal I had forgotten about and pointing repeatedly at a particular page.  Reading the material after her mother had collected her for the day, I was gobsmacked by what I had been going through (at the time) and felt like celebrating the way my  life has evolved.

Soon after, a chance encounter brought a healing modality to my attention that has captivated me and I am compelled to learn more about it, in fact, I will be taking a preliminary training course on it very soon.  I have experienced some of the benefits already and anticipate even more unfolding.

I am consistently being directed to material on “vibration” and “frequency” and the quantum physics theory that existence of various features of the Universe can be better explained by electricity and magnetism than by gravity alone (The Electric Theory).

After four years of being without gallery representation, I am suddenly back in a gallery, with all of my work (new and old) being represented gloriously together.  The strong confidence I feel about my work now is a new and delicious feeling.

The anticipation I feel and the corresponding affirmations and manifestations have brought an entirely different quality to daily life.

My memories were prominent and plentiful as I time traveled back to four years ago today.  I took extra time in the morning thinking about my Dad (especially) and all the gifts that resulted from my life with him and the journey through the last four years of his life.

I received a text from a dear friend, who was on the care-giving team for my Dad.  She did not know or remember the significance of the day but said, “I woke up with this song in my head, I wanted to share it with you.”

It felt to me like a direct message from my Dad.  I feel even more confident now, that I am (we are) always remembered by our loved ones in non-physical, that I (we) are fully supported and wished the most wonderful life we can live.

And that’s the 411.

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The Unraveling

The Unraveling

This mandala came into being in October 2016.  At the time I was (once again) reeling from what I felt were unnecessarily harsh life conditions, and feeling that most of what I knew was falling away, including what I felt was one of my strongest foundations, the mandala.

In this piece, the symmetry of the design is interrupted by three unfurling ribbons, generating from a spiral, off center in the composition.  The background is a deep, dark green…almost black.

It is nearly eighteen months later and this piece has an entirely different feel for me, as well as a message that now thrills and inspires.  This year (2018) marks 4 years since my father’s  passing and 11 for my mother.  Since I am somewhat of a word/number geek, the significance of  411 is not lost on me.  I knew the epiphanies would be popping like flashbulbs and they are.

Pieces of the puzzle have been fitting into place… evidence that the power of staying present for the bitter and the better yields undeniable benefits, feeling the freedom of letting go, and consistently re-committing to the willingness to let go, growing awareness that my inner being, is radiating love and inspiration to me constantly… glimpses of these essential truths and even some lingering moments, ahh, yes!

Then, through a completely random and yet synchronistic chain of events, I find myself with a book in my hands by Eileen McKusick, “Tuning the Human Biofield” as she is describing the Electric Universe Theory which is “paradigm shattering in a very powerful way because it is a retelling of our cosmological story”.  While gravity has been perceived as the dominant force in the universe for over 300 years, much of the phenomena is puzzling to scientists because life seems “random, chaotic and pointless”.  Ms. McKusick recommends “The Electric Sky” by Donald Scott, which explains the Electric Universe Theory as “a cosmology of connectivity and of light, instead of separation and darkness.”  It is the beginning of science pointing to the inclusivity of our universe!

So…”The Unraveling” transforms for me, from representing a loss of structure and foundation, to the symbol of beautiful new freedom and awareness, and I, for one, intend to celebrate it!

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Take Heart

Take Heart

2018 is already the year of revelations for me.  Some of these revelations are liberating and exhilarating, some seem earthquake-like in nature, cleaving the earth beneath my feet, leaving me with the most unsettling feelings.

In the past two days I have been called on my stuff (i.e., victim pattern, chameleon-like behavior), by dear and trusted friends,  which was exhibiting outside of my clear awareness.  I followed up this morning by posting a quote to my Facebook page that was (unintentionally)  discriminatory and hurtful.  I was shocked at my ignorance.  I have some perceptions about myself and limiting patterns that I must embrace and integrate rather than deny and then stumble over.

What I notice in general, is a repetitious theme of death and rebirth. Death of people, patterns, beliefs, life stages, relationships, careers, dreams, desires.  Rebirth of babies, new concepts, freedoms, courage, inspiration, hope, different dreams and desires.  The deaths are losses and often result in grief and loss of clarity.  The rebirth is exciting, but at the same time disorienting, everything is new, unfamiliar, there seems to be no solid ground or clear path forward.

I was in the studio and doing my best to prepare for an upcoming show, a “Heart Pop-up” at Storm Wisdom on February 11th.  I have had the base of the painting you see above “Take Heart” for YEARS, and I always loved it, but it didn’t quite feel complete.  In a flurry of flying collage papers, suddenly this lovely floral arrangement was in my hands and viola!  It was a five minute answer to a ten year old question.

My take-away is that all of the old foundations are in question now, and this, for some (ME!), is very uncomfortable.  When the willingness is there, to question and possibly lose, or dramatically compromise the old foundation, a new perspective can suddenly drop in and bring new beauty, peace and harmony to the situation.

Even as I sense myself white-knuckling as it feels as though everything is slipping through my fingers, I hear the calm reassurance, “take heart…what you will have if you let go is so much grander than what you are trying to hold on to.”

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Lean In

Lean In

When this piece came to life in class on December 5th, I was excited to see what I believed was “my man”, the figure on the left, and me, on the right, in a tender embrace.  In my imagination, this happy couple is on the beach, deeply connected, in love and exploring life together.

2017 has been a year filled with epiphanies, and lots of the pieces of the puzzle coming together.  I’ve learned an immense amount about staying present by observing the courageous and determined work (playful experiment, really) of my dear friend Charles, (you can read about his amazing journey here on the Storm Wisdom Blog).  There has been the deeply gratifying, ongoing exploration of creative boundaries at Studio 6020.  I kept tuned to various energy practitioners I admire, including Lee Harris, and Abraham Hicks.

Occasionally everything comes together with such clarity and synchronicity, I feel compelled to write about it and insist, “you can’t make this shit up!”

Two weeks after the creation of “Lean In”, I was in a counseling session discovering that there is still more to do to integrate the shadow aspects of myself.  “Lean In”, the therapist said…lean in to the discomfort, for the purpose of acknowledging and feeling it fully.  Of course!  Staying present and being authentic require self-awareness and self-acceptance that MUST include all our shadowy bits.  The angry, frustrated, frightened shards of us, are frantically trying to call the shots when triggered, which they will do with or without our conscious attention.  With acknowledgement, negotiation is possible and a new fullness of being.  A coming home to self.

To mark the Solstice, what better way to celebrate than to “Lean In” with love, letting each and every aspect of ourselves know that they are welcome, that there is room at the table for them (borrowed from Charles!).

“Lean In” is not showing me “my man”, but a new way to be with, love and honor myself! To be present, integrate, and continue to step into the fullness of being… my physical and non-physical energies playing, creating and expanding joyfully together!