The Spirit and the physical condition are usually viewed as separate and sometimes even opposed to each other; especially when one’s physical needs exist independent of the spiritual path. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology that places physical needs at the base of a pyramid with self-actualization at the top. I want to share a story about how my life brought the two together. When you realize they are linked and work in conjunction to elevate the existence of both, life can change profoundly and sometimes immediately.
I have shared stories of my reinvention from bartender to spirituality counselor but now I want to take you to that job. I loved working at the Healing Center and developing workshops and experiential art groups that explored creativity and healing. I began working at the Center while I was still in school getting degrees in Cognitive Science and Fine Art. I would joke with my psychology professor that I was going over to the art studio where things made sense. Art and science have always been equal loves for me and following my spirit guides was something I had always done. When I got the job at the Healing Center, I was ecstatic. I wrote in The Power of Perception blog about my bumpy start at The Center. This story takes me down the road to another major turning point.
Years later I am working in the administrative side of the Center. I was still holding my workshops but that was only for a few hours a day and my boss put my assessment skills to use. The problem is the job was literally making me ill. My skin was itching, and my hair was even falling out. I am not an administrative type. Let me just be clear, I am not an administrative type. I do not do well within that sort of structure and to make it worse the big boss was a micromanager. I began to plot my escape.
I shared an office with another woman who was about 12 years older than me. I was figuring out how I could either pay off my little house or get my expenses down so low that I wouldn’t have to work there anymore, and I could just make art. One day she said to me it seems like you are planning your retirement. I was 40 years old then! She said you are making your world smaller and smaller. You should be expanding. I don’t think she actually said those words but that is what I heard. She did not realize at the time the profound impact she had on my life.
I had been thinking I needed to get all my physical needs lined up and taken care of before I could allow my art spirit to expand and fill my soul. I was dying a little everyday while trying to follow a rigid path. I was asking my art to provide for me. She said to me, you should go buy another house and rent it out. Expand, don’t contract. That is what I heard. Well, I did that. I not only was able to refinance my house and put a down payment on another little house, but my entire life changed within 2 years. I became a contractor and continued my group work at the center and was able to get away from the administrative work. I worked fewer hours and made the same amount of money which allowed me time to paint. I joined an art group and began successfully selling my work. I even met my husband within those two years.
The shift in my perception changed everything. I went from contracting to expanding. I went from fear to abundance and the transition was both physical and spiritual. Meeting my husband opened the door to a more loving and trusting view of my journey. There were of course bumps and sidetracks, but I never looked back. When I feel fear or contraction, I think of this leap and know that my spirit is trying to poke me to get my attention. I remember to trust in the journey. That was the beginning of my full-time professional art career. I owe years of art making, writing and teaching to my officemate who pushed me to open and liberate my spirit. What is your spirit trying to tell you today?
The shift in priorities allows you to embrace your spirituality in a more profound way.
I ask you to think of discovering your spirituality as the most important journey that you can travel. Your success as a human relates to your spiritual liberation and your art will become even more amazing