Detail of a recent painting in progress
When loved ones die, we kind of tilt our heads upward and ask them to look out for us, thinking they’re up there in heaven where they can help us down here. And that is true, they can, and they do. Yet there is another thing unfolding. In Jewish Mysticism (which I fell in love with in my early twenties, or before really) there is a teaching that we actually have a large impact on those who have come before us and died before us.
How do we impact them? On earth, where there is a lot of contrast, pain and suffering, we are given a chance to expand God’s knowledge through our experiences, and then bring love, forgiveness and understanding into these painful situations. And when we bring love into sorrow or healing into injury, we not only help ourselves and people involved with us here in our lives (and often many we don’t know we are impacting) we help our loved ones and ancestors who have already died by increasing the Presence of Love. Yes, that’s right–our choices help them. And they’re rooting for us!
Our learning and expansion never ends. God is a great creator and the expansion of knowing and loving never stops.So when you forgive, you eventually do it to save your own self so you’re not miserable and unhappy, but realize too that you do that for your parents, grandparents and so forth. ALL will benefit from it, not just ourselves alone or the ones directly involved in the situation!
Is there an animal you especially relate to? When my kids were little, I related to bears because mother bears are so protective of their young. I have always been completely enthralled with bald eagles. I love horses. And lions. And…
Try doing a stream drawing and see what animal pops up. This morning, I got dog (and I featured this drawing in today’s newsletter–please subscribe to receive the images I send out with the intention to inspire, support and celebrate you/me on our life’s crazy, wild ride). Dog symbolizes trust, loyalty, unconditional love and companionship. Who is worthy of my trust? Am I trustworthy?
Oh–and a blue jay showed up–I love them. They’re fierce birds, aren’t they? I have to look up meanings for blue jay. If you know, let me know!
A recent Spirit Painting
commissioned by a client 2016 copyright Elaine Clayton
Generally Spirit Paintings are done for people I do not know, but this one was created for someone I have known for many years. The strongest feelings came over me– of life and memory, in a blur of sunshine and children running through grass, of fireflies and summer nights filled with wonder. Of the poignancy of time, of change, of learning. Of love and of feeling deeply for those we are responsible to and for in our choices. Memories and impressions that shape who we are and all of it no longer “real”, yet all of it transformed into “now”.
I have the most talented, brilliant mentor and friend in Dr. Laurie Nadel, or “Dr. Laurie” as I like to refer to her. You may have read her best seller books or seen her on Oprah (she was on twice!). She writes about intuitive intelligence and is a very, very compassionate, gifted therapist and healer. Wise and caring, you’d be lucky to seek and receive her wisdom and guidance.
Dr. Laurie Nadel offers one-on-one consultations to help you heal your fears and recover from traumatic loss.
Drawing on 26 years of experience, she interprets your dreams and develops a unique blueprint for you to achieve optimal results.
Call for a complimentary phone consultation: 212.560.2333
The Creation of the Hebrew Letter Shin copyright 2016 Elaine Clayton
I’m thrilled to show new work at the Westport Women’s Club this weekend. You are welcome and encouraged to join us April 30th from 5-8pm at the Westport Women’s Club in Westport, CT. There is a selection of fabulous artists showing their work. A percentage of sales goes to a worthy charity.
About Shin, this important and mystical letter is known as the “Eternal Flame”. To learn more about Shin, see this video.
Detail of a recent painting/ Elaine Clayton copyright 2016
As long as we have a feeling stir within the heart, which reminds us that we are not separate from those others we encounter, there is a chance for goodness, wholeness, deep love. Empathy is the act of perceiving the feelings of others as one’s own.
If we are not separate in truth, and are One in that we are all created in the image of the One God, the Great Creator, then it all makes sense to me. It is why a very old knowing was communicated and holds true: Treat others as you would like to be treated. Don’t do things to people you would not like to have done to you.
Life seems to teach us that when we do things that harm others, we get it back, in some form. This then teaches us how it feels to have been “the other person” and then we feel within ourselves that Oneness we were not conscious of before.
I see life as a kind of wild ride where we gain consciousness bit by bit, or sometimes through tragedy or crisis, through our own actions and because of the actions of others. What else is there? I’d rather be curious about others, and ask myself many times a day, “What would it feel like to be that person right now?”
And then to choose to be kind, loving, generous.
Get MAKING MARKS: Discover the Art of Intuitive Drawing and enjoy strengthening your empathic curiosity!
So thrilled that Making Marks: Discover the Art of Intuitive Drawing was selected by Aspiremag as one of the Top 10 Most Inspiring Books!
Painted Stream Drawing Elaine Clayton copyright 2016
Do you notice that throughout the day different memories drift into your mind and before you know it, you’ve got a running narrative of various painful thoughts? When I stream draw with people and we ready ourselves for a memory stream drawing, the memories that generally want our attention immediately are not all the happy ones. Ekhart Tolle describes this as the “pain body”—it is like an alternate self to who you truly are–an ego construct that hangs out with you, often makes decisions for you and runs your life–if you allow it. It is a hungry separate self carrying all the pain you’ve suffered and it feeds on more pain, and it will fight hard to stay with you in your every moment . You, the real you, the whole and complete and miraculous you in essence, is not this pain body.
So why do we let memories from so long ago or even yesterday, ruin our moment in the now? Why would we let this specter, this victim of life circumstances have power over our time, each moment? We don’t have to. The moment we notice this is happening, that we replay in our thoughts things that re-injure us, this is the pivotal opportunity because once YOU realize YOU can see that this pain has staying power, YOU are no longer identifying with the pain because you are now connecting to who you truly are–the observer, the witness to circumstances. Stream drawing is one way to get into that observer mode and fast, plus it is a physical action, which edifies your intention because it puts into action, and then into physical form via the actual drawing on paper.
Stream draw to get control over the pain body, and fly over it. And have some fun!
I remember in the 1970s when we started to be more aware of littering the environment, do you? Animals were being harmed by six pack plastic holders and bottles, and many other things such as styrofoam tc. This stream drawing had a section that reminded me of that. I gazed and saw a bird that cannot swim freely because it looks laden with garbage. One of the images around the bird’s neck looked like a safety pin, the old fashioned kind used for diapers.
I thought of ways in which we weigh ourselves down or impede ourselves by our own junk or the junk of others–and in our attempt to be “safe” or feel our needs are met, we may be keeping ourselves in constructs and relationship patterns that are self defeating.
So this stream drawing gets me to ask myself if I allow things to literally weigh me down, whether it be habits I know longer need or ways of reacting that don’t serve me or others. Do I cling to what feels safe, even if that which I cling to is not very good for me?
Crepe Myrtle copyright Elaine Clayton 2016
It snowed overnight and this morning. I was delighted to wake up to it. Little blades of curling new grass upheld white gems in clusters. I’m wishing us all a springtime full of love, creativity and abundant joy.