Ok…. I am just going to say it! I am not the person I used to be! Things happen, moment by moment, bit by bit! Eventually we wake up and find that the person we are is not who we used to be. I am that, I am!
About seven years ago I became aware that the lines between my spiritual practice, my creative practice and my human practice had blurred so much that I couldn’t separate them and it bothered me! I felt it made it harder for me to belong to traditional groups practicing these things separately. My spiritual practice was very eclectic as was my creative practice and some people might say, so was my human practice. I used to see this as a weakness and it often left me feeling very alone and misunderstood. Then came 2012 my crisis year, I was was forced to make probably the biggest choice of my life to date, in the depth a health crisis. There was a moment, I remember it… I was being dosed up on highly addictive prescription drugs that were severely compromising my quality of life but without them at the time, I really wasn’t sure my life was worth living! I have never felt so desperate. I remember thinking, ‘If this is it, if this is what my life is going to be…. I’m not sure I want to be around!’ The condition I was suffering was after all nicknamed ‘suicides disease’. It was a moment of crisis… I had to make a choice. I had one foot in hope and the other in absolute fear that this crisis had me. Then I thought, no! I am strong! I can do this! I choose life!
That was the turning point. In that moment when I chose life… I had hooked into an energy! I began following the energy… trusting my intuition like I have never done before! I stepped into my power and I began practicing multiple approaches to wellness, at times I was assisted from specialists that were considered alternative treatment for my condition. Other practices were happening in my unseen world - Faith, Focus, Love, Belief, Affirmations, Intention, Mantra’s, Prayer, Self Compassion, Determination! All unseen powers… between me and my maker.
I began to notice changes! I began to get well. There were no overnight miracles for me… they arrived slowly but arriving non the less! This new energy had opened the door to wellness the trigeminal neuralgia symptoms had dissipated. Just as the door to wellness had opened so it seemed had the new energy arrived in my spiritual and creative practice. An intensity of practice and focus had arrived. I had noticed a significant shift in my collective practice. Painting was almost always accompanied with inner whispers guiding me with ease through process, I followed the energy. At some point my painting process had become a collective process of prayer, meditation, offering, devotion, gratitude, mantra, compassion and intention. I was practicing with ease.
Art as a spiritual practice involves my mind, body & spirit. It demands my holistic presence in a space that dissolves time, borders & boundaries. It returns me with the my sense of being whole and connected as one with all that is... Whatever word you choose... God source, the Divine, the universe, it doesn't really matter what word you choose when I'm there language dissolves into feeling. Felt as whispers of life force to every cell of my beingness! This is the point where I have trouble describing my process as painting because it’s not! To describe my work/s as just paintings does not honour the work. My works have transformed from paintings to a blurred space caught somewhere between being object, process and experience. The work itself has become a collective just as my practices and process had. It is all of the above, object, process and experience.
In November 2014 I exhibited four of my recent works in a group exhibition in Brisbane. For the first time in a long time my work was being shown in a public space. I began to have some people share with me that my work had moved them in some ways. Some, it was just a noticing that they felt happy or motivated to “Get up and live life” as one elderly lady shared with me. But then I had someone experience what she described at the time felt to her like a ‘chakra balancing’ while she stood in front of one of my works. She had experienced my work vibrationally, energetically. This took me by surprise. I will admit that I absolutely had a sense that my works had a healing quality, for me. I was aware that the process of making the works were in itself continuing to work on my holistic health, mind, body and spiritually speaking.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this new information about the experience of my work. Over the following months there have been a more than a handful of people that have had what one may call an energetic experience while being with various works. One session had a particular individual engaged with the work energetically and very intensely for about 40 minutes. I have since personally also experienced an energetic resonance with my work that was very intense as has my husband.
I have had to sit with this new phenomena regarding my work for the last few months. It was bigger than I knew what to do with. However I had recently taken a trip to Hawaii to participate in a 10 day retreat/painting experience. Once again to pigeon hole this as a painting retreat does not describe it accurately at all. For me it was a collective experience involving mind, body, spirit, healing, creativity, meditation and so much gratitude much of it done with paint brush in hand. The I who left for Hawaii was not the same I who returned. What I thought I’d gone there for was not what I had returned with. I had thought I had gone there pretty much for self validation for my facilitation ability working with groups. I am a facilitator of various art groups and was intending on expanding my offerings as a facilitator. So I wanted to be the student again in a group to immerse myself in the language, process and experience of painting intuitively. I wanted to come back home and throw myself into the retreat industry offering a rich experience of creativity and opportunity for personal transformations. While I was there I felt I had achieved what I had gone there for. Along with many other beautiful and sometimes mystical experiences. But when I returned…. within days I found myself in crisis. I had experienced several events and conditions soon after my return that seemed to be a little too intense for me to handle straight after such intense experiences in Hawaii. I began to slip into crisis mode. I gave myself the gift of allowing what was trying to bubble up from deep within to rise to the surface.
Before going to Hawaii I had definitely been experiencing conflict between my work as a practice, my work as a product and my work as an experience. This was bubbling back up with an almighty force behind it now that I was back home! This time it was coming up to be released… to be resolved! I really did not know how to reference what my work/practice had become. I had seemed to be going in the direction of separating my work and practice because to try and explain and share it as it is holistically caused me fear and discomfort for being judged as too woowoo and losing friends. The scope for ignorance (from a Buddhist sense of the word) with regards to understanding what it is I do was huge. My work holistically speaking had moved far away from fitting into any neat mainstream idea of art. Maybe it could be perceived as just being art but that would be at the cost of denying my work as an energy practitioner and the works as an energetic experience. For those that have been aware of my practice for sometime they would most likely already know that I have been practicing various forms of loving kindness, compassion, mantra, prayer etc whilst I paint for quite some time now. I have read very widely both during my university days and after covering many areas on art, spirituality, the human condition, various science and philosophical fields, quantum physics, morphic field resonance, various healing modalities that expand over colour, sound, symbols, sacred geometry, vibration, belief systems/thought fields etc and many varieties of spiritual practices that may be considered by some as urban shamanism. Quite frankly am not concerned with labels, I believe the practice of labels can lead to many misunderstandings and divisions that do not allow for expansion. What I do know is that the work and practice I have developed over the years has morphed itself quite naturally and organically into a practice of energy field work using paint, canvas, brushes and the ability to call in and hold a specific vibrational space when working. Different people may reference this in various ways. I am going to refer to it as connecting to the divine, the oneness energy of all that is. I am that, I am!
There is much to be said about the ability to ‘hold a space’ I recognise this when I am working as a facilitator. As a facilitator it is my responsibility to be present and aware of the shifting energy within the room with regards to people, language, movement, information, intention, physical space, noise, temperature and the many, many subtleties of exchange in-between. I hold the space of art making as a spiritual practice and creativity to be a very sacred practice and I am mindful to honour that when I am facilitating and in practice/process myself. I believe that the energy vibrations that can be experienced when one is present with my works is the resonance of the energy field I call in and hold when painting. Some may just notice they feel various emotions rise within when they are present with a work and others that are more sensitive energetically may feel the works vibrational resonance physically in their body and experience an exchange of vibrational energy. I believe that what an individual may experience will most definitely be a unique experience. No two people will have an exact same experience. I am that, I am! Is a process of mirroring and my work will reflect back to you what your true nature is calling for from deep within. This is your inner energy source, connecting to the energy field of the work and calling in what it needs most. I am that, I am! This makes the whole experience almost indescribable in some ways. To attach language to something that expresses itself using an energy field can be quite a terrain to cross and so I understand why some have had trouble describing their experience.
I have been naming my works the same title for the past couple of years now ‘I am that, I am!’ As I have explained to clients that have purchased my works they are titled this way to reference my practice and my process. It is a reference to my practice of oneness through compassion and creativity, with everything that comes before me I do my best to recognise myself in it, our common godly presence, whether it be a beautiful tree in all its blossoming glory or its vulnerable naked branches, a fluffy cloud, a rock star, a stranger in the street, an animal, a twinkling star of the night sky, an angry driver cutting through traffic, a grieving parent, an aged, sick or fragile stranger… I am that, I am! When I whisper those words inwardly to everything that comes before me I remember who I AM! I AM everything, everyone not separate or above or below anything.
I AM also the creator of all that I AM and I use this energy to pull things into my reality. I am that, I am! Is also a fabulous tool for creativity across all practices of being human. If I AM desiring to be more or desiring to change something about my human experience… I whisper those words inwardly like a prayer reminding myself that ‘I am that, I am!’ And I do my best to let go of the attachment to control, timing or perceived notions of that manner in which something may manifest into my reality. I imagine that which I am drawing into my life as magnetic and what ever it is I AM aligning myself with will be drawn to me like a magnetic force.
Most times, I go to a blank canvas with an unencumbered sense of embracing all the possibilities of a new work, ready to listen within to what colours I am drawn to and what strokes are wanting to be born and hold the sacred space of oneness while in process. Other times I have had an awareness of a work/energy that wants to be expressed and I approach the canvas with an inner vision that has arrived through dream or spontaneous imagery and do my best to honour the vision and allow the space for the energy to flow again once I have picked up the brush, all the time whilst holding the space of compassion, kindness, love and oneness.
As I mentioned after coming back from Hawaii I noticed I was feeling in crisis with regards to how to reference and offer my work publicly since I had become aware of it’s true nature. The thought of separating my practice/product/experience was really not sitting well. I allowed the energy of this discomfort to be fully felt and it caused me a lot of distress. This subsequent discomfort allowed for the breaking down of inner blocks and the final letting go of feeling like I had to solve this problem from the same space that it was made. One afternoon within moments of letting go of the notion that I had to figure it all out... with feet in the sand gazing at the setting sun with my love by my side, I received the framework with which I can offer my practice holistically.
To be continued in Part 2!
If you got this far... I thank you!
We are experiencing major shifts in our world at the moment and I am certain we are shifting towards a new experience of being.
"Bliss be you & all those around you!"
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Felicity is an energy artist practicing compassion, loving kindness & creativity, working with & honoring Divine Energy.