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Love is big. It is radical. It is risky. It is surprising. It asks for nothing. It guarantees nothing. It cannot be defined. At your core it is who you are. Just take a moment and check.
There is an internal transformational process that awakens with direct connection to the creative aspect of soul. It has the power, when creatively engaged, to quite literally change the quality and vibration of each one of us. It elevates the experience of daily life from mundane, depressing or overwhelming to an experience that will include richness, texture, awareness and beauty among other things. This is the promise of creative and soulful living regardless of external circumstances. It quite literally slows every moment down so that it can actually be felt and savored. Unlike the ego which races through life at lightning speed, making us feel that we can never do or be enough, the movements of the our creative self are much slower.
Art in all forms can be a direct connection for the soul to emerge. The soul always has a desire to experience itself. When one expresses through their own natural impulses of creativity, the soul is invited to play. Qualities of depth and the ability to feel a moment are supported through the engagement we feel when our creativity is flowing through us.
A Piece of Me:
It is 1979. I am fourteen years old. My mother walks into my bedroom early on a Saturday morning. Today I am to begin my first acting class at the Maryland Academy of Dramatic Arts. It has been a long, painful winter for our family as my most beloved family member, my Abuelo died at the age sixty from a brain tumor a month ago. I am really looking forward to this first theater class though I do not know exactly why.
My mother pauses by my bedroom door then quietly peeks in and says “Grandpa died in the night”
My brain stops. My breathing slows down. I feel the air going in and out of my lungs.
I want to say “What?” or “How?” but my mouth forms no words.
I can only feel my own breath. Everything goes blank in my mind. I keep breathing.
Within a month, we have lost the two men in our home and family. She goes on “ You may want to stay upstairs for another hour or so. They are coming from the funeral home to pick up the body. I will cancel your acting class”
My thoughts are still stunted and hazy, but through the mist, something in me finds the where with all to shout out:
“No. I want to go to that class”
She looks at me blankly for a moment. Then, she scrunches up her face.
The look on her face shows me that she is conflicted about what to say.
Then, quietly, she says “o.k.”
She nods, more to herself than to me, and leaves the room.
After she leaves the room, I notice that I have no tears that I can find in myself to cry. I sit there, hollow and frozen.
Later that afternoon, I arrive at the shabby building on Cordell Avenue in Bethesda, few miles from the D.C. line. The man I met a few weeks ago, who interviewed me, Ralph Tabikin, is standing by the front door in a frayed tweedy jacket with a pipe sticking out of one side of his mouth. Ralph, is a retired Vaudevillian, who runs this afterschool and weekend training studio for young actors. I know this because I overheard my mother tell this fact to my grandmother from the other room. I notice as we talk, that Ralph’s left eye almost continually twitches.
Without much in the way of pleasantries, Ralph hands me a Xeroxed page and tells me to go into the other room and look this sheet over. “It’s a monologue” he says. “You will read it to the class today.” I look at the page. It is the story of a young girl in Greece, many centuries ago. She has been raped by a soldier and is contemplating taking her own life to save her family from shame.
When the rest of the class arrives; about ten other teen-agers of various types, Ralph asks me to stand on the small stage and read the piece. The light is bright so I cannot make out the faces of the others in the class. I forget about my grandfathers. I forget about school and my family and my friends. I forget about death.
Without understanding what I am doing, I channel all the grief, all the loss that I have experienced over the last many months into this five minute piece. Time stops. I am this girl on the page. I know her as myself. I feel her experience coursing through my blood. I am contemplating my existence. I am in something. I am part of it. I do not have a name for it but is connected to a flow greater than myself.
I look up. I hear something, a sound coming from a distance.
Applause. I step out of the spotlight. The other students are standing up. A girl with braids and a hippie skirt is looking at me from the front row and crying. I can see that they have been moved by my performance. On some fundamental level that I do not understand, I know that I have been changed. I do not feel the heaviness that I felt when I walked into the theater that day. An alchemical process has happened to me and through me. I have touched others and in the process, touched myself in a way that is both foreign and familiar. I have had my first experience as an actor and I have tapped into the infinite love and transformational power of my own Soul.
Assignment for the Day:
Write on whatever moves you from the questions below:
When have you been an alchemist in your life?
How have you transformed straw into gold through your writing, acting, recovery or healing process, painting or other means?
What wants to be alchemized right now? What do you need to transform so that you may receive the abundant and flowing life that you so richly deserve?
What needs to be discarded?
If you haven’t already read Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” – go online and order it immediately. Savor every word. Come to think of it, I need to re-read it as well.
Become Magic! Open to Miracles…
Transform yourself and you transform every living being in this world. That is what we came here to do.
Use your creative process to do it.
I challenge you: How are you going to do it? Dream on it tonight. And, keep a journal next to your bed.
For the love of story,