Miracles Happen: A Winter Dream

You are blessed…

One early winter night, nearly a decade ago, I dreamed I was walking through white drifts of snow in a wonderland I did not know. The scene was like a familiar hike in the Maine woods with a misty light that made the landscape melt into another place. Dreams are like that; the edges of our imagined reality can be blurred. In the cinema of the night our stories emerge with fright and delight. In this dark December’s slumber, I was caught in a dream where I was struggling to make my way through a dangerous course of characters and terrain that gripped my soul and disrupted my instinct to hibernate.
Like most healthy dream cycles, my psyche was stirring to stimulate my own healing. Images and themes that recur in REM sleep – when we are dreaming with rapid eye movement under the safety of a down-filled comforter – are the metaphors and guideposts that help us recognize what is yearning to be healed. As crazy as they can be, dreams help us better understand our psyche and signal what may be needed for conscious change. Dreams are a metaphoric language and a continuation of consciousness. The mind is always awake.
Though I was sleeping, this dream exhausted me until I found the strength to navigate beyond the weirdness into a bright and gentle oasis. Still in the woods with snow falling all around, my cold body warmed as I was comforted by the purity of where I had arrived. There, but not there, I saw a mama black bear who was fat and happily snoozing. I was in her winter den, a rocky cave under a great tree. She was part of the tree. Not afraid, I felt my need to be embraced by the bear. Just at that moment, she stirred and turned on her back to show me her baby who was healthy and active. The baby bear was pure white, like snow, with a special glowing and knowing that seemed to tell me, “You are blessed”. Then, the baby, like an oracle from the other side, winked at me and I awakened.
This dream was a miracle. Though subtle, to receive its gift required all my emotional courage to let go. When I woke, I knew I must be true to my creative self and always remain hopeful. In a time when I was sad and crippled by self-doubt, I resolved to stay on my path as artist, teacher, writer – to be ME in all my creative imperfection and glory. This dream happened in the days approaching the winter solstice, a deeply spiritual and creative time of the year when we naturally go inward to honor our lightness and strengths. Magic and miracles happen. The art therapist in me was inspired to tell this story, first in paint and now in words. It was a miracle because the dream gave me what I needed most, the faith in my creativity to keep moving ahead and believing in myself beyond the monsters and set-backs that are simply part of being human. I am blessed, and every time I look at my painting, I see that wink and know I’ll be okay.
Miracles happen when we believe in ourselves and the best outcomes. In this sacred season, look for those hidden messages and events that are truly blessed. Miracles can manifest as a symbol, a conversation, an event, or a thought that changes a mindset and uplifts the spirit. They can be magic moments when we see a friend and get a hug, hear music that opens our heart, recall a happy memory, share a toast with a loved one, or receive the gift we needed most and feel gratitude. Being present is a miracle and a gift to self and others. All blessings.

Nature Is The Model: Color Complements

Blue and orange are color complements.

My painter’s eye is mesmerized by the colors in nature that change with the season and circadian rhythms of the Earth. It’s autumn in the Northeast, when the days shorten and the longer nights are chilly. This signals the trees to stop their food-making process. As the chlorophyll breaks down, the leaves burst forth in bright colors. This last celebration of their foliage, before it falls and winter arrives, is one of the greatest art shows in the natural world. It is a time to enjoy harvest fruits, wear a cozy sweater, and rake leaves into the compost.  Continue Reading

Getting Organized To Do Creativity

Organized and ready to create!

Creative expression is a spontaneous response to what we think and feel in a moment. A creative thinker, feeler and maker uses a favorite medium that gets creativity done. Because inspiration and doing creativity can be chaotic, exhilarating, and sometimes unorganized, it is a good practice to keep the tools and materials we use most in a well-ordered spot, just waiting for our expressive touch. 

The things we use for self-expression and self-care are personal and reflect our interests and the unique ways we do creativity. A cookbook, yoga mat, museum membership card, gardening gloves, video camera, or a road map. Simple items like these are what we need to get the process going. Our tools help make our creativity happen. Continue Reading