Calling In The Sparkle

Calling In The Sparkle is #46 in my Love Letters series


She Found Hope Again One Fine Spring Day and She Never Looked Back


Dear Ones,

I am sitting on my red velvet couch under a furry blanket sipping my morning coffee with cinnamon and half & half, listening to opera- the Franco Corelli station on Pandora. The newest additions to my household are my kitties, Santiago (Rascal) and Chiquita Bonita and they lay between my heart and the keyboard, sometimes helping to type, though they are not any better at spelling than I am. It’s at healing the heart that kitties and critters are most adept.

The birds woke me up today. I haven’t heard birds outside my window all Summer, and so the past few days when birds woke me, I knew Fall was upon us and it was time to write this next Love Letter on the topic I myself am dealing with – transforming pain and past into possibility.

I have been reluctant to get out my sweaters and change my palette from mango and hot pink to rust and chocolate because I don’t feel I had enough of Summer sun yet. This has been the most painful Summer of my life – so no wonder I woke up wanting to write about the pain of the past, regret and about moving on…. Instead of a Summer of Love it was the Summer of Pain, but that doesn’t make a very compelling subject line for a Love Letter now does it?

If you wish your heart to be bright, you must do a little work. Rumi

Because of my own painful times, and their hold on me, I have been thinking a lot about emotional pain and how it lives in us and how we can move it on through. There is an illusive quality to healing – and the more I live and love the more it fascinates me – and the timing of healing and how long it takes – my goodness – need it be SO LONG in coming? And the more I dig, the more I long for the profound sparkle of healing known to sift off of the hem of the Blessed Mother’s garment and land upon an upturned face. Thankfully, the rite of creativity offers, yes demands, a way to delve, dig, sift, sort, categorize, purge, burn and move through. (I am often stunned by how the word Paint is pain with a T on the end)

Let the caller and the called disappear, be lost in the Call. Rumi

It seems to me…If there is to be healing there is to be the acknowledgment of pain. If that pain is to move within us- as in- not be “lodged”- but instead given wings, we have to “do something”. The stored pain we have was caused by something and so to move it, we must cause another something- rather than reliving the story over and over in our minds and hearts. What that something is – is different for all of us. How can we use our imagination to create a new story?  How can we let go of the places that hurt us, that we ourselves are keeping in place?  How can we learn to transform our sorry stories into legends?

And what a fine balance between acknowledging the pain others have caused us – and not spending all of our energy in blaming them. The energy of blame blocks so many rays of light coming to our aid. Blame is kind of like looking at everything through dark glasses – everything we see is colored by it.

The taste of grudge destroys completely the taste of cherries
Alice Walker from her new book of Poetry, Hard Times Require Furious Dancing

Lately in my coaching practice we have been experimenting with what we call Art Doctor “prescriptions” for healing or moving energy. Rituals. Personal Retreats. Simple things like writing your story out and then burning it and choosing to let it go after that – and then, remembering that you DID the work to grieve it. And it seems to help if there is at least one other person working with you to witness, support, guide and hear about what you did – community is healing.

Has anyone ever produced a mirror
out of mud and straw
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.

Have you had the experience of the very AIR around you changing, seeming different- both in moments of bliss and pain? Times of miracles and grieving and transformations are moments when the air seems to me compressed and released and anointed with sparkle from On High. I have often wondered, since pain and miracles seem like something we can neither call on nor predict, but can certainly expect to show up -though with no idea when… is there a way to cause or call on the Sparkle from On High as needed? The answer of course is no and yes. Sparkle from on High is grace in its many sorted forms.

I do know that if we commit to prayer and meditation and self exploration, the space between moments of sparkle becomes less, and the magic in between our days is more. I do know that active participation in enthusiasm, genuine or conjured, brings more shine to our days. I do know that calling on Creator, means we are more likely to be paying attention when something shiny comes across or path for which we can be grateful. And, I do know that ritual, ceremony on behalf of moving on, is essential to the healing journey.

When I make art or sit in circle with women, online or in person – the sparkle is effervescent. So while I don’t think we can just “make” divine sparkle at our whim, I do think we can be an active participant it creating an environment in which sparkle occurs.

Thou has turned my mourning into dancing – Psalms

Elizabeth Gilbert says we are obsessed with completion in America. It seems much of finding joy and peace in our days has to do with choosing it – but how do we choose when we want to stay in bed with the covers over our head? How do we choose when the past and the sorry stories continue to knock on the doors of our hearts and seem to demand our attention?

The work I am actively engaged in through my teaching gig at Cosmic Cowgirls requires I pay attention to how old stories turn into legends. That is why the Legendary Life course is 6 months – we don’t promise thinner sorry stories in 15 days or less. It takes time to change the gouging weapons of the past into tools for transformation. We do it through paint, through writing, through sisterhood, and through the very belief that it is possible to transform our past into possibility. We do “something” to move it along, and we don’t face it head on, we face it through the lens of intentional art making, and anyone who does that will be led down into the personal depths. But art provides us the “WAY” to address the information, that is both therapeutic as well as cathartic. And then, once we have moved our stories along – a new sparkling destiny begins to dawn on our days.

How then can we transform our pain into possibility?

1. desire to change
2. taking action it
3. choosing possibility

I think it starts with desire, followed by action. Followed by choosing to create something in our lives that we can be in love with. What are you in love with in your life? What creative work are you doing these days? This is a call, as always, to action…will you answer? We have let pain take up to much real estate in our lives – time to move it on through and choose to spend our energy on something, well, more sparkly. More blissful. And more unique to who we are right now. We are not our past or our future. We are only our right now. Let’s not clutter our right nows with too many suitcases of regret. Let’s choose, again, and again, to find ways to bring joy in our days. I believe in our possibilities.

Wishing you many sparkling days ahead,