"The larger the life you move into, the more you will be called to trust in the Presence of a Love and Intelligence that is beyond your linear mind. Your greatest desires will call you to go where you have never been before.” Tama Kieves
This book is about the process of expansion. It is about seizing all of who we are and daring to express it. It is an offering of the soul ~ a manual for everyday spiritual and creative growth ~ a celebration of the ordinary. It is about pursuing transformative living and crafting a life of meaning as we do.
Throughout this meditative guidebook, you will be led on a journey of self-awareness and encouraged to think deeply about both your creative work and your larger life. I draw from my own experience as a professional artist and writer who has engaged in creative practice and contemplative spirituality for over 20 years, sharing principles and encouragement that have arisen from my own pursuit of transformation. I also share insights I have gleaned from being part of a community of writers, musicians, and artists over the decades. Creative people are natural observers, and my goal is to help you apply the skill of noticing to your daily life.
On the following pages, you will encounter the marriage of creativity and spirituality in a context that extends beyond the craft of creating to address broader life experiences, each designed to bring the energy of awakening into day-to-day living. Each chapter will lead you to discover anew that all of life is an opportunity for evolution, if we allow it to be.
The chapters are kept intentionally short in order to encapsulate a larger truth, idea, or deeper reality in a digestible form. Each one ends with prompts to elicit deeper reflection. Use these prompts in the best way you see fit. Take them with you on a walk, journal about what you discover, or simply grow still and listen to what surfaces in response. Engage in the practice that most assists you in uncovering the gifts in the depths of your soul.
I have written the entirety of this book while living as an expat in Mexico, and I believe it is no accident that this particular work has been written in this country. For this offering needed a slow ripening ~ it was asking to be lived as it was written. And living cannot be sped up, as hard as we might try.
Through being immersed in a completely different cultural context, I have come to view life through another lens, one outside of the consumer-driven focus of the States. Mexican culture places great value on the core of what truly matters in life ~ human connection, meaningful work, celebration, and faith. As a result, my own paradigms have shifted, resulting in a broader and richer spiritual worldview. I draw from this cultural influence to offer expanded insights into our own human metamorphosis.
In looking back, I can now see clearly that this has been a work of profound process. Mexico has allowed for and nurtured this unhurried maturation, and I hope you enjoy the beauty of another cultural thread woven throughout these pages.
The contemplations that ensue are succinct and gentle. It is not necessary to read them in a particular order, although thought was given to the order in which they are placed. Listen to what you are drawn to and go there.
Above all, this book is a book of wisdom. It is my hope that it will provide a treasure trove of jeweled truths that bolster not just your creative work, but your larger life. May its writing prompts and reflections lead you to an experience of inner freedom, joy, peace, and abundance.