Be Bountiful! #27 Love Letter

Bountiful is a way of being.
Bountiful is something we choose to be
no matter what.
Bountiful is a place within that we
cultivate over time.
We cannot always choose our circumstances.
And we cannot always choose our responses in the moment, as hard as we may try.
Bountiful is something that comes after
things have been hard and doors have closed.
It is what we do with what we have.
It is how we create who we can be in the world.
It is a decision to be a blessing to others.
If we just evaluate what we have and own,
and who we have been up till now and measure
it against the world measuring stick –
we may not feel bountiful at all.
We may feel downright discouraged.
That is why we have to choose
to be bountiful no matter what.
We get to choose creativity and personal peace,
this is a gift from the Creator;
to be able to find bliss in chaos.

Bountiful is
a spiritual practice, a love ritual, a peace offering,
and powerful tool for healing.

Shiloh Sophia McCloud

Dear Fellow Travelers on the Wild Road of Life!

WOW! Has this been an amazing cycle of life or what?
Folks keep saying election, economy, mercury in retrograde –
well…I don’t care what you call it –
it has been wild for me and everyone I know!
So personal compassion is called for!
Time for art is called for!
A slumber party with cupcakes is called for!
Strengthening our prayers and meditations is in order!

The other day I was looking at my pile of freshly washed brushes and took this picture of them. They just looked so beautiful to me. Every time I go to the art store I get one or two so my collection can grow – as it not unusual for me to use up to 50 brushes for a painting session.  I have used these brushes in all of my paintings, in all of my workshops and to make my living!  I picked up different brushes and remembered where and when I got it – what painting I was working on and how it turned out. The record of all of my work is recorded through spatters of paint and energy in this pile of brushes!  Why am I writing about my brushes?
they are tools.

They are the tools I use to create beauty, and a bountiful life.
No matter what IS going on around me I can and DO stop to use these brushes to bring about something fresh – something needed – something to lift the soul. Like this month’s painting, “Practice Peace” is a witness to me of what my last month has been like – deep, mysterious, glorious, challenging, transformative
and ultimately it is a call to me and to the viewers to practice peace.

In each workshop I teach, I start a painting which is what I use to teach from; and I finish it a few weeks later.
This is the one I started in the 2nd Annual Cosmic Cowgirls conference – and it has the power of the women I was with, and our prayers for the women of the world.  I write about my brushes because I want to ask you about your brushes –

what are the tools you are using to bless you right now?
what are the practices and commitments you are making to keep peace in your inner world?
what are the ways in which you choose to bountiful in the face of challenging times?
what can be done to bring more bounty to others around us who are in fear?
how can we keep our hearts open, when there is so much to worry about all the time?
And really – what can you do that you LOVE to do?

I always talk about art as healing. Do I think it solves everything?  No. But do I KNOW that it helps us get through? YES I DO.
So with this, I ask you – what is your plan for navigating the messages and the media? Your plan for not taking on the thoughts and ideas of others – but keeping your own?  When there is a “BIG” message being put out – like the ones right now, we have to be diligent to continue to create our own thought patterns. It is not a time for sitting back internally – or externally. It is a time to use art and meditation and conversation and contemplation to create clarity about WHO WE ARE in the context of all this.

As a Christian, I look at life throught the lens of both artist and minister.  I ask how I can best of service during this time – and I work to see how my fruits can be useful and beautiful in the eyes of the Creator.  I keep having Jesus’ words from John 14 flash through my mind and heart.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

I keep having this sensation that there is so much more we can be and do – not “more” as in the traditional sense. Actually – more as in deeper – more as in many layered. More as in, that there is so much available right now that we are not accessing. I ask Creator, how do I need to adjust my thinking so that I might be able to be awake and aware to what I am doing here? Every so often, the doors open up wider and I can see through – a sparkling glimpse of the divinity filters past and I go – THERE IT IS!  And most of the time, I move through my days with uncertainty and hope – trusting the the grand unfolding is on course. And I paint and I pray and I practice peace daily.

We have our first Annual Bountiful Conference this weekend featuring the amazing best selling Author, SARK, Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy. A handful of us cowgirls went to her wonderful San Francisco home to spend the afternoon and talk about Bountiful, our new books and the journey of LIFE! We made a U-Tube video of some of it – the link is at the bottom.  Being with her, and the other Cowgirls, Dori Etter, Mary MacDonald and my mama Caron McCloud was so incredibly inspiring and fun. The smiles, the laughter and creativity filled our hearts. And I am most honored to bring someone of her caliber and wisdom to the arena of Cosmic Cowgirls so that she can be shared!  I cannot wait for her workshop this weekend – Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper!

With love,

Shiloh Sophia

My mom has been visiting for a few weeks now – and I am so blessed by the gift of her wisdom and presence. I close with a quote from her:

We have arrived at our truths
By forgetting the parts we didn’t like
Making up the parts that were missing
And holding on for dear life
to the little we came upon that we could trust.
Caron McCloud