Your Life As A Work Of Art

by Judith Rich on June 9, 2009

I’m blogging on Wednesday over at the Huffington Post. Hope you’ll come visit me there tomorrow on the Living page. I’m writing about the search for the fountain of youth and I’ll post that entry here on Friday. 80% of the content is new, about 20% is taken from my last post on this site, 7 Keys For Living The Passionate Life. It’s a whole new take on the subject, so check and see what’s happening.

While doing the research, i ran across this You Tube video on Dr.Stephen R. Covey’s iconic book on effective living, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I’m sure you probably read it years ago. It’s still on the all-time best seller lists, and I wondered how it might apply to our inquiry into the soul.

Catch this video on Habit #2- Begin With The End In Mind, and see what comes up for you.

It occurs to me that the soul always has the end in “mind”. The soul has its own agenda, it knows what its come here to complete. Think of the soul as the “”workhorse” of the spirit. The spirit reaches high. The soul deepens and does the heavy lifting.

The video invites us to consider ourselves an artist, painting a picture. What will you paint? What colors will you choose? Is your painting a landscape, a still life, a portrait? Does it portray your passion? Would you hang it at the center of your home? Your office? Or the center of your heart? When others see it, what will they remember? Just lines on a canvas or a work of art?

This is your life- you can paint the picture any way you want. What kind of picture has your soul come to paint?
If you haven’t take up brush and paint lately, or ever, give yourself that gift. It doesn’t matter if you “don’t know how”, the soul will guide you what to put on the page. You needn’t worry about technique. Just have fun with it, play with color and lines and forms and see what emerges.

I attended a Painting From The Unconscius workshop last year at the Esalen Institute at Big Sur, CA. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life! I hadn’t picked up a paint brush, other than to paint a wall, since kindergarten. I had no idea there was an artist in residence inside me! Talk about miracles!

I plan to return to Esalen to do this workshop again in the fall. My soul is calling me and I can already smell the paint.

Feed your soul by giving it moments, hours, days if necessary, that give you “juice”. When the soul is dry, you’ll find the rest of your life feels parched as well. Keep the soul moist by engaging in activities that take you out of the ordinary world of deadlines and data and transport you to the realm of the imagination.

For me, this is writing, painting, cooking, reading, hiking, watching the sun set, going to the ocean, being in nature, meditating, experiencing gratitude. It doesn’t matter what circumstances are happening, tap into something that feeds your soul and you’ll transform whatever’s happening into an empowering experience.

I go in for another biopsy on Thursday, the second one. This one will be done by MRI. It means I’ll be in the tube with clanging and banging and needles and wires running into and through my breast. It doesn’t sound like much fun! But I plan to take my IPod and listen to African Dance music while the MRI machine is banging away. I’m going to imagine the banging as the drum part of the soundtrack. As for the needle and wires, I’m open to suggestions.

I have two days to come up with something. Would love your ideas. I read your comments and endeavor to reply, so check back here after you’ve left a comment. First comments get moderated by me, just to make sure it’s not spam or inappropriate. Once a comment has been approved, you’re on the list and your comment will appear automatically.

I’ll update here on Friday, after my big adventure on Thursday. Meanwhile, I’ll be looking for your ideas about how to incorporate needles and wires into the imagination scenario. Let’s get creative!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Arithrianos aka Samuel Bonney June 10, 2009 at 6:17 AM

it is funny, i have just run dry myself, i feel like i have little or no access to the well of wisdom, and usually when that happens my ego takes the opportunity to replace it with snarkiness and meanness, so i have stopped commenting on intent and huffpo, so as to cut off ego at the pass so to speak. If i can do it i will be going of a short retreat this weekend, to juice up. It is also funny how often i get juiced only after i get caught by the old coyote of ego, it seems suffering is neccessary to give the kick in the pants to do something. At least this funk is not nearly as bad as the black depressions i used to get, those were excruciating. As for wires and needles, maybe accupunture? stimulating the resources of the heart by brute physicallity? Interconnectivity demonstrating the connections are sometimes painful and disturbing? That is all i can come up with, good luck.

DiogenesOfAlaska June 10, 2009 at 1:20 PM

The to-and-fro between the renewal and the agenda that the soul has come here to complete is one of those orphic archetypal phenomena. I don’t know how to get any closer to the well.

Maybe Goethe did, in his poem about this, which he wrote when he was 66. It’s in german and I can’t translate it, but whatever would result if I tried is what I said above.

Urworte, orphisch


Wie an dem Tag, der dich der Welt verliehen,
Die Sonne stand zum Grusse der Planeten,
Bist alsobald und fort und fort gediehen
Nach dem Gesetz, wonach du angetreten.
So musst du sein, dir kannst du nicht entfliehen,
So sagten schon Sibyllen, so Propheten;
Und keine Zeit und keine Macht zerstueckelt
Gepraegte Form, die lebend sich entwickelt.

Judith Rich June 12, 2009 at 8:05 AM

Yes, I think you’re right on. The soul’s agenda and the need for renewal are one and the same. The soul is seeking wisdom, which comes at the hands of learning and discovery, which are part of the renewal process. The two streams feed one another, the soul’s agenda being advanced through the process of re-creating one’s self again and again.
I wonder if we have any German-speaking readers out there who can translate Goethe’s poem?
I always love what you leave behind here at the well.

Judith Rich June 12, 2009 at 8:10 AM

Dear Arithrianos,
Very astute of you to know when you’ve crossed a line where it’s ego being fed instead of soul. It takes a vigilant consciousness to catch one’s self before going too far off the deep-end and inflicting harm on self or others.
I trust that your weekend will be restorative. I’ll look forward to seeing you back at the well when you’re ready to reconnect. It’s really good to know when to step back and when to engage instead of being on automatic, default behavior.
Best to you my friend,

DiogenesOfAlaska June 13, 2009 at 4:02 AM

impossible for me to translate it as a poem, but I might be able to do well enough to make clear why it came to my mind: (I quoted only the first stanza, it goes on… referring to several ‘first words’ in an archetypal language).

First words, orphic


Like on that day when the world received you,
the sun stood high to greet the planets,
you went on and on to thrive,
embodying the principle that you are.
This is how you need to be, can’t run from yourself,
so say sibyls and prophets at all times.
And neither time nor power takes apart
molded form that evolves on its path of life.

Judith Rich June 13, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Dear Diogenes,
Thank you! What beautiful words…..
“embodying the principle that you are”…… there could be a blog article in those 6 words. I’m going to cook on them and see what arises.
Best to you,

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