When I dare to be powerful—
to use my strength in the service of my vision—
then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
We must learn to realize that the love of God seeks us in every situation, and seeks our good. God's inscrutable love seeks our awakening.
True, since this awakening implies a kind of death to our exterior self, we will dread God's coming in proportion as we are identified with this exterior self and attached to it.
But when we understand the dialectic of life and death we will learn to take the risks implied by faith, to make the choices that deliver us from our routine self and open to us the door of a new being, a new reality.
-Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
I am in the midst of getting ready to teach the Awakening the Creative Spirit program beginning this Sunday with my amazing teaching partner (next year's dates will be May 23-28, 2010!). Ten women are gathering from around North America to enter into a sacred and creative learning community for five days. Together we will create a space in which we dare to be powerful, where we give each other space to allow the fullest expression of ourselves to come forth, where we discover the door of a new being within. And all of this will be in service of offering this gift to others. As I witness this beautiful work unfolding in others, I too will discover new dimensions of my own power, new doors waiting to be opened. I will dare to become even more powerful, even more beautiful. And there I will find God(de) smiling, radiating, saying yes. Hold us in your prayers as we remember you, the wider community who supports this necessary work.
This past week has been largely one of tending to interior movements, resting, healing, tending to Tune, quieting myself and centering so that I can enter into the week ahead with full presence and strength. I am planning a break from blogging these coming days, so I invite you to rest with the words above during the coming week and let me know what they evoke in you.
Where is your invitation to be powerful? What is the vision which calls upon your strength? What are the parts of self you can now let go of? What are the new ways of being you are invited to embrace? What would you dare to do if fear were no longer an obstacle?
And for the same message as the quotes above in visual form, watch this (I am not one to generally post advertisements, but found this one quite powerful and empowering in just a minute and a half — the music is Vivaldi's "Summer" from Four Seasons)
I will be back to this space by Monday, May 25th with another Sacred Artist Interview, this time with the lovely Patricia Ariel. In the meantime, blessings dear readers. Thank you for your presence in this space and offering me a community where my own gifts are received with such grace.
(Photo taken at the Rock of Cashel in Ireland, 2007)
© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts