An Artist's Quest for "Soul" in a Chaotic World—by InnerSpirit

This is my InnerSpirit blog page...a page of reflection...inquiry...
and artistic questions about myself, my life, and the world around me. A place for my own personal contemplation of my emotions, my actions, my art, my spiritual journey and how they all intertwine and influence each other. I hope that you check it out, think a little about your life and the many creative things that you might be engaged do those fit into your life and impact the various aspects of your own life? Let's reflect together!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Final Day...Tomorrow I Have a Life Back

I suppose that saying "Tomorrow I'll have my life back" might be a little extreme. I know that that this thesis proposal, and later, the second class where I actually do the research and put all the data into the thesis is a part of my life. I am just not enjoying this particular part of my life. It is one of the many academic "hoops" that I am required to jump through on the way to the Master of Arts in Art Therapy degree that I am completing. Somehow, I still don't get how writing a research thesis is really proving to anyone that I am going to make a good or a better art therapist than if I did not complete one. Having already completed an undergraduate degree in fine art, lots of hoops there...though most of those were conceptual and learning how to talk the "art language" as I call it, and then completing a Master of Social Work degree, I know all about the "hoops" that are set up and the "games" that must be played to get to the end of the academic degree that is being sought. Someone else sets up the criteria that is deemed worthy of allowing you to enter into the professional circle that they "covet". This is my second career, the first being a graphic artist/art director for over 25 years, and now a social worker and soon to be art therapist. Each professional "circle" has it's criteria, it's "initiation process" as I like to think of it. It's like making the new person pay their dues. I realize it is in the name of academic excellence and learning the craft/profession...but sometimes I think the "hoops" are there just to see if you can really cut it. After all, it takes some stamina and some real passion about what you want to do to stick with any degree to the end. Whatever the particular passion for that is, you have to have it.

Persistence and Passion
If it wasn't for my belief that God has given me this gift of art, and that I am supposed to use in it in the second half of my life as a way of helping others to heal, I don't think that I would have been able to survive this second Master's Degree. I have been shown time and time again that I continue to be on the path that God has laid out for me. When I am almost ready to give up, or I think I just cannot keep up the stamina to complete all the work required, God steps in and shows me that I can. Doors have opened to amazing internships, jobs and connections with people that have proven to me time and time again, that this is the path that I am supposed to be on...hard or not. So I trudge forward. I pray each day as I sit down to write this thesis proposal. I light three candles and say a special prayer as I light each one and ask God to step into my soul and speak through me and give me strength and clarity to go through yet another "hoop" in the academic circus to get to the the other side, and to ultimately become an art therapist. Each time that I think I am going to give up, and I pray to God about what I am supposed to answer is always that I have been given this gift for more than just making pretty pictures...and a door opens, my strength returns, the words flow. So once again, today I will light the candles, say the prayers, and hope that God continues to lead me as I write the final version of this thesis proposal.

Pressing the "Send" Button
I have a bottle of special Toasted Head Chardonnay ready for a special glass of wine to celebrate the end of a long research and writing process. I know that I will make it to the end, one way or another, with God's support. I want to celebrate and savor each success along the long road to the end—SO when this proposal is sent in, via email, I intend to drink my wine, and swirl the lovely, buttery, oaky flavor in my mouth and swallow it slowly as I say "thank you" in a silent prayer.

What things are your striving toward in your life that you feel the "hand of God" upon? Are there times that you wonder if you are strong enough to make it to the goal? Do you pray? Do you ever have doors open or special messages come you way that help you to see that you are still on the right path and have not taken a wrong turn? Please share your own experiences, I would love to hear how God works in other people's lives.

I'd  better light my candles and start typing, I have a long day ahead of me, but I know God will help me.

Blessings and Love,

photo credit:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day Two...

I am taking a break from typing all these revisions to this thesis proposal to write an update. My dog is really wondering what is going on and when he is going to get his friendly, happy, and "ball throwing", fun "mommy" back. His eyes are very telling of the social reclusive person that I have had to become to the last three months. I was really worried that I would not make it through this thesis proposal process, and I had to cut back on all social excursions except work, the gym, and homework...only one of which is even remotely social. At work I do have to talk to patients as part of my job, so that is some social contact anyway.

What a process this has been. I have often felt like the old saying "an elephant being pulled through the eye of a needle—backwards"...and I have felt all of the the stretches, pulls and "jamming" to make that kind of event happen. What a picture, don't you think? But, very accurate in it's metaphoric imagery for me and how I felt about this whole thesis research process. I have really come to believe that right brained, artist types really have a hard time thinking in that left brain analytical mode for extended periods of time without any creative "right-brained" activity to break it up. I actually am one of those "few" artsy types that have been blessed with what I would consider an equally weighted ability to function on either side of the brain and within both the analytical/logical thought processes and the creative/emotional processes. function for months on end in just the "analytical", even someone like me who has the ability to manage both perspectives can find themselves flooded with what I can only refer to as "BRAIN MELTDOWN". I am looking forward to some very creative, free-flowing, unstructured, radically rebellious time off after I press the send button on my computer tomorrow for my midnight deadline.

I will let everyone know how it pans out. Does anyone want to help me select a flavor of wine or a good vineyard to try for a celebratory drink? Your comments and suggestions are welcome...maybe we could even have a virtual glass of wine together to celebrate having my life back...even if it is only until the next semester!

Blessings and Love,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Official Countdown Begins...

Day Four of the Countdown Back to a Life

I have taken several months off from blogging...not the most recommended choice for a blogger's success, but for my personal sanity and personal success I needed to do so. I have been working on my Thesis Proposal for my Masters in Art Therapy program and it was all that I could do to manage that tremendous amount of work with just school, work and staying up with my gym routine. I cut out all other social life events for months...and even blogging—though I love it, was not part of the mix.

I have started an official Countdown to having a life back, as I am calling it. My whole, revised, and completed Thesis Proposal is due on Sunday, April 25th by midnight! Yes, that is THIS coming Sunday! Yeh! So...I am letting everyone know that I am itching to get back to blogging, doing some art and especially creating my Mandalas. I also can't WAIT to do some reflections on here and see what other peoples thoughts and feelings are about what I write about.

More to come...I hope you who had initially followed me will come back.

Blessings and Love,

Photo credits: stockxchng