January 2008 came and I decided My Word should be FOCUS. Get that—"should be." I have a friend who says, "Don't should on yourself."
But, two months have gone by and I haven't really done anything, again, but think about "focus."
A couple mornings ago the light bulb came on: My Word is not "focus" right now, but INSPIRATION. Even though I now knew this to be right for me, at this time, while listening to Dr. Wayne Dyer on PBS the light bulb began pulsing and I realized the truth when he said, "there are no coincidences." When you are in harmony with Spirit and on your own right path, you begin paying attention and become aware that a message is being delivered. (apologies to Dr. Dyer; he's more eloquent.)
How many times in a day lately have I read about "inspiration"? How many times have I been asked to think about what inspires me? How many times have I thought to myself, "This book-quote-story-picture really has inspired me"?
Okay, so Spirit-God has my attention. Dr. Dyer also said that as we develop this awareness, we also must be open, ready and willing because the next step involves doing. Our purpose in life is to serve and give back.
Now I am asking myself:
How? What am I supposed to do? How can I help? Serve? Give back? Am I—perhaps—doing a little bit already?
When I first became serious about photography and was preparing for an exhibit, I was asked to write a statement about myself and photography, something about why I do it and what inspires me. It came to me (another light bulb) I had basically two reasons:
- I needed some way to preserve, to document, to hold onto a specific: a moment in time, a piece of Nature, a child's expression. These are fleeting happenings, never to be exactly duplicated or repeated. Gifts from God to me.
- No. 2, I was also struck with the thought that while these were gifts to me, they were not necessarily just for me. I needed to share them because maybe—just maybe—I was the only one who could share this particular thing in a particular way. This seemed to be God's message to me: preserve this memory and share it.
I found when I was surrounded by Nature, living on the prairie as I was, away from the distractions of city life, traffic, manmade noise, daily reminders of violence and negativity, God's voice was clear and pure, no longer muffled.
I began at first taking pictures of sunsets and fall leaves floating in the creek, for me, because I was starved for this beauty. I picked the wildflowers in the spring and dried grass and seedpods in the fall to bring inside, to save and to savor them.
After a while I no longer had to pick them. I had my photos, and I had begun to recognize the rhythm of Nature, the ebb and flow of the seasons. New versions of the same plant life, different colors in a sunset, patterns of the clouds before a storm. All out my front door.
As I wrote last month, I began writing my IDEAS TO IMAGES blog and have become more involved with scrapbooking for the same reasons: to preserve and to share.
Back to My Word. Dr. Dyer's latest book—are you ready?—is "Inspiration." I don't have it yet, but over the past month I've come across several references (coincidences?) and have checked it out on Amazon.com. I'm ready to order it.
I've read about 10 of his books and have some tape sets. I looked back in my journal a couple years ago to a a list of people I found "most inspirational" (not "influential") in my life. Dr. Dyer is high on that list.
I opened "Simple Abundance" for my daily reading today and what did I find? Ms Van Breathnach says her personal ritual in preparation for work is "priming the pump for inspiration....to access your inner reservoir—that place deep within you inhabited by imagination."
I particularly love one phrase she uses as she describes the setting which includes a "pile of dog-eared books....my circle of saints." The author is referring to people, specifically a group of women writers.
Even though I've read references to "spirit guides" and other descriptions of the muse, this is one to which I'll cling.
I'd include in my "circle" some special people: authors (I've listed some already), artists (Klee, CD Muckowsky, Ali Edwards, Stacy Edwards) relatives (an aunt, my mom, grand-daughter Tabitha), friends; things: a cardinal, my grand-daughter's sweet face, puppies and kittens, a sunset; and music: Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1" and Celtic ballads. There's much more, but you get the picture.
What constitutes your circle of saints? Give it some thought. Write me.