ARE EXCERPTS FROM THE STORY . . .
healing process of selfhood
The different relationships
that Ive had, specifically, the two husbands that
I had, and the circumstances around those relationships,
gave me an opportunity to actually be wounded enough
to the very core, that brought me to the healing process
of selfhood-- of knowing that I was somebody.
It was during the process of leaving my first marriage
that I started to heal, although at that time I did
not have a sense of the actual experience of healing,
the concept of healing. Then it was more about survival.
It was more about just getting through my depression
and getting out of a relationship that was abusive,
and saving my children from a man who was physically
and emotionally abusive. It was really just a fight
to stay alive, and to stay sane, and to live from one
day to the next and be able to have the strength to
protect my children. I didnt want to think so
much about protecting myself. I really was concerned
for my children.
Then I believe that when I started to take my art really
seriously, that that was a very important healing time
for me. And it was definitely a way for me to articulate,
other than with words, because I didnt really
feel as though I was particularly facile with using
words. But the clay became the way out for me. It was
a way to take the positive, to take the negative, to
take the emerging force of being a woman, the emergence
of the sacred feminine. It was all about claiming that
I am a woman and that I am a force, and that I am a
created Hawk Woman. I saw in the hawk a quality that
I could really identify with. She was a messenger. The
hawk was about taking life to the highest spiritual
level and seeing from that highest place. That was something
that I wanted to embody. Thats something that
resonated in me, and in art, to ground it in me, and
I needed to create her, so I could stand and see her.
That whole process of forming her, it was like giving
birth all over again.
So, I gave birth, not only to my children, but then
I started giving birth to myself. Through my work I
gave birth to those parts of myself that I didnt
even know were there. I was claiming them. They were
there, they were a part of me. But I couldnt see
them. So, as my life presented experiences that called
me to be Hawk Woman, or to be a messenger, or to take
a situation or problem to a higher level and look at
it, I could take exactly what was happening in my life
and actually put it into my work and have it come out,
and then see it. Its like, "Oh, there you
are. I recognize you now!" Its an extraordinary
process. It really, really is. And I think that all
artists must in some ways go through this because the
art comes from inside us.
presence all day long
Commitment in my life, and dedication, and perseverance,
and will, and loving kindness towards myself, and bringing
God into my life every day, and living with that, living
with that presence all day long, as many times as I
can remember, has really changed my life. It has changed
my life because I realize that I am not doing this alone.
I am totally supported. Totally supported. That is beyond
words. Its easier today for me to face the struggles
and the things that happen having this faith and having
this deep abiding place for Divine Spirit to live in
me. The thing is that, culturally, for my family, I
never went to church, I never had that background at
all. So this is something that has made its way
into my life in a different sort of way.
As I look at healing now, I look at the possibility
of healing as an extraordinary gift, instead of seeing
it as being something very negative and scary. I welcome
the opportunity to heal and to transform and to change.
So theres this idea that healing is about transformation.
Its about movement. Non-healing, to me, is about
being totally rigid and stuck in a place. Something
thats healed is fluid and can move, and can change.
In my process, I knew a particular issue was being healed
when it no longer made my body seize up. It didnt
make me want to feel diminished. When I get to a place
in myself where I feel as though all the pressures in
all the situations in my life are causing me to feel
as though Im nothing, Im less than good,
I keep diminishing, diminishing, diminishing, until
I feel as though Im standing on the head of a
pin. I feel as though Ive backed myself into a
place where theres nowhere to go.
So, the total opposite of that would be this very expansive
place. This very open place. This place where something
has been healed. The problem can still come to me, or
the situation that used to make me fearful can still
come to me, but I dont react in that same negative
way. I have much more curiosity about it. I have much
more compassion for it. I have a sense of really loving
it and being sort of interested. It doesnt clamp
my body up, and everything in me, the way it used to.
Ive really acquired tools for looking at myself.
Ive done so much examining, and so much probing
and deep work. Im not afraid to look. Im
not afraid to confront. And again, Im so curious.
Its become sort of a mystery. And its really
extraordinary, the kinds of things that one can learn,
constantly, from all situations, be they painful, or
be they joyous. It is. Its truly a never ending
mystery, the inner landscape, the inner world, for me.
And Im really happy to be in there. I am. And
Im happy that Ive been taught the tools
to navigate in there.
Ive learned to put myself much more in a neutral
witness position. To be an observer of my life, which
really gives me depth of perception so Im not
totally mired down and swimming in the muck all the
time, in the center of it where I cant see. Im
removed. And I can see all that going on in a much clearer
way. Im clear that my personality is not all of
who I am. Theyre just bits and pieces. I know
that my soul core, that part of me thats connected
with God, is who I am. My personality is just something
that helps me to negotiate in the world, here. And parts
of it do it better than other parts!
But, I have an acceptance of more of myself, and more
of those parts of my personality and it just really
helps to be in the witness position, to tell the workings
of the self that go on. Thats a big piece, a big
to Love and Trust
Through my healing process, there were beliefs that
were challenged, and shifts in consciousness. The biggest
one is this truly abiding love for myself. You know,
I used to get confused with whether it was narcissistic
to love yourself. But, this isnt that kind of
love. This is a love, which comes from deep examining
who I am, of the personality, of acceptance of what
I found about myself. And a genuine liking. I like myself,
you know. I do. I really do. And thats really
just happened, well, its a process thats
been happening. But I feel more deeply caring about
myself at all levels. What comes along with that is
also a deep responsibility to truth. To living truthfully.
To not allowing myself to accept less than I feel I
The shift is towards boundaries. About paying attention
to different energies. Im very sensitive to energy
now. And to how far in I will allow peoples energies
to come. And paying attention to red flags. Really listening
and paying attention when my gut says, "No, I dont
think this is a good thing to do. Yes, I think this
is a good thing to do." Im much more trusting,
deeply trusting in my own voice inside. I find that
my intuition is quite good. There is so much, theres
so much. I really do feel as though I am enough. Thats
not to say that that cant be challenged, and that
there arent moments. But, deeply, deeply, held
inside that I am enough, just as I am.
And Im very much here for a reason, and that God
has a purpose for me. I really believe that Im
on track with my destiny as far as that goes, in terms
of my work, and in terms of creating this sanctuary
for myself, and creating community with my work -- creating
family, my family, and being a source of wisdom to them
now. I have deep convictions where I cant believe
that that woman who sat and who had no voice, how different
that is, and how different that feels.
sense of peace
There is a sense of peace now that really pervades my
life. Thats not to say that things dont
come in. That doesnt mean that I couldnt
be rocked by some major disaster that could strike my
life. But, at this moment in time, I feel a capacity
in myself to live with great peace and great joy which
I never dreamed was possible -- that I could feel the
way I do. And I have to be careful because sometimes
the joy is so big that Im in jeopardy of dampening
it down because Im not used to being there. Im
just really used to the painful, dark, familiar. And
this is like, oh, my gosh! Can I really be filled with
so much light and so much joy and so much love! Really!
My experience of especially challenging times invokes
a sense of a world apart from my ordinary world. Time
out of time so to speak. When I am in this place often
the pain is so intense that it is hard to access or
implement the tools Ive learned for recovery.
However, over time and with some wisdom I have found
some tools I stand by: silence, prayer, trust, faith
in the transformational process, and friendship.
I find that I have very little extra energy to cope
with the demands and the fast pace of my normal life.
I deliberately slow down and stretch the silent spaces
so that I can rest and care for myself. There is much
to be heard in the silence.
I remember to pray. God is always with me and wants
to hear whats going on.
I remember to trust that I am always held in Divine
Hands. By taking responsibility for my part I am available
to co-create a solution with Spirit.
I remember to have faith . I believe from every challenging
experience we are transformed into new Beings. I have
faith in this healing process although at the time I
many not be clear whats transforming.
I remember to call on a friend. A true friend will listen
and support and understands that I dont need to
be fixed. What a priceless gift is an "Anam Cara",
a soul friend.