Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

A Fallow Period-Coming Back to Myself Through Spirituality

13 Comments

It started when I made a small twisting movement that Friday morning. As soon as I moved back to a neutral stance I could feel the muscles in my back tighten from top to bottom. “Oh crap,” I thought. “Well, this has happened before and it usually works itself out by the end of the day.”

So I took some Advil and went on with my day. My back was stiff and sitting for any length of time wasn’t pleasant. I stretched as best I could and put on BioFreeze.

When I got up Saturday morning, my back felt much better. I had been taking pictures of the February blizzard the day before and went up to the studio to take another picture out the window. I bent over to take the picture and when I tried to stand up, pain shot through my back and brought tears to my eyes. “Quick, sit down and catch your breath,” I told myself.

A warm shower, more gel and Advil provided very temporary relief. I was in tears as I slo-o-owly walked to the kitchen slightly hunched-over and looking like Tim Conway’s old man character from a Carol Burnett skit. This flippin’ hurt and it scared me.

I spent most of that weekend on our couch alternating ice packs and the heating pad. At least the snow was pretty to look at. Lord knows I wasn’t about to go very far.

I began to think about why this intense pain had struck me. I’ve had back pain before. I’m prone to sciatic nerve pain and muscle tension. But this was different. It ran deeper. It literally stopped me in my tracks.

And then it hit me. All the emotional upheaval of the past 10 months- the death of a friend, my Mother’s death, my Mother-in-law passing, another friend’s spouse dying, my brother’s terminal cancer-all of it had culminated in that one moment that Friday morning. The Universe missed kicking me in the ass and hit me square in a weak spot. All the emotion, the lack of self-care, the pushing forward, the grief came to rest in my back.

Son of a gun.

Laying on my back, I slowly came to this realization that I had to stop the pushing. I had to allow myself the time to grieve. I had to learn to receive. A large hole was forming inside-a void that needed to be filled. My spirit was being crushed under all this grief and crying out.

The Word He Uttered Was...

The Word He Uttered Was…

Spiritual Community

You know how some things come to you just when you need them? A few weeks before my back pain started, I noticed an e-newsletter appearing in one of my in-boxes. What made this unusual is that this particular newsletter was previously going directly into a designated folder. So much for email rules.

Abbey of the Arts, the sender of this e-newsletter, was offering a class on a 13th century mystic, a woman named Hildegard of Bingen. Never heard of her.

Yet my desire to fill a void in my spirit and to find a spiritually based community was strong. So, without even knowing why, I registered for the class. It was a blessing in disguise.

Each week, we received daily readings from one of Hildegard’s books, followed by questions to contemplate. I learned about Lectio Divina, how to use physical movement to express myself, and found my voice in chanting. One of the best parts, as a component of Lectio, was expressing myself through creativity, specifically mandala-making.

For the better part of 40 days, I created a drawing, painting, or photograph in response to the words I read. It was magical.

As this art came forth, I rediscovered my love of drawing, of painting with watercolors, and of connecting with my spiritual side to express myself.

What had once been a fallow period was now greening with new life.

Bloomed In Your Branches

Bloomed In Your Branches

What I learned during this time is that my spiritual side-reading inspiring words or passages, taking time to meditate or chant, being in nature, being silent-is something I cannot neglect. It is part of who I am. And it is part of what defines my art.

This is why I withdrew from many aspects of my business and why my blog fell silent. I had to find myself again before I could be present here.

Discovery of my Voice

Discovery of my Voice

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13 thoughts on “A Fallow Period-Coming Back to Myself Through Spirituality

  1. wonderful blog pst Amy- thank you!

  2. You were missed!! I am happy to hear that you were taking much needed time for yourself. A big welcome back. Pattie

  3. Thanks for sharing the story of your spiritual journey, Amy. It’s amazing what our physical bodies will do to get our attention! I’m glad to hear that your reconnection with drawing and painting have helped with your healing. It surely was a challenging year for you. Hugs, Karen

  4. Wow, how the universe tells us things when we don’t listen. I too need to listen more and I love the thought of reading inspirational/spiritual works, meditating, being in nature, and then free-flowing in drawing/painting/or whatever. I recently was given the gift of tonques – and that has a new meaning for me as well – especially when it comes as song so beautiful with toning and sounds in whatever language the tonques decide. Trust, listen, believe. We are all connected and learning. Love every minute. My best to you along your journey and rediscovery.

  5. You have expressed this post so eloquently in words and in the beautiful artwork! I get it! I really do! I love the first drawing – I am there and it is hard to explain to anyone – even myself. The picture represents everything – my son with severe autism and profound mental retardation, the seizure that added traumatic brain injury on top of everything else. my brothers death, my other son – having to be that “tough love” parent that threw him out – the never ending grief of my son with the every aspect of each of his diagnosis – 24/7 care – 19 years and he is getting harder to handle day by day – people (yes – family) telling me to place him in residential (instituionalized) care; now breast cancer – advanced spine stenosis so severe that I have to take pain meds round the clock – there is no end – never able to catch a breath because if I try – something worse happens… I get it – so eloquently worded – your work is beautiful! I hope your pain is more manageable and your grief minimal… xox my love goes out to you!

    • Sue, you are in my thoughts. We are all given challenges in this life. Hopefully, someday, we might learn why. I try to remind myself to find the gratitude in all situations. It is hard, no doubt about that.

      Thanks for the compliments on my art. I appreciate it.

  6. There are some very lovely recordings of Hildegard of Bingen’s music, some with more contemporary styling and others with the instruments of her era. You might enjoy listening to the music she composed. I find these recordings very soothing.

    • Hi Lindly, so nice to hear from you. I have listened to some of Hildegard’s music. I agree that some of it is very soothing. And so fascinating to hear what she composed as a woman living in her era.

  7. I learned to chant during the 2 1/2 years as a nun from 1964 thru 1966…hope you find your center and feel better soon. You are in my prayers.

    • Good to hear from you Pat. Chanting really can be soothing. I think it has something to do with the vibrations it generates in our bodies. Appreciate the prayers.

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