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As you move toward a dream, the dream moves toward you. --Julia Cameron

The Artist's Way, Serendipity & My Inner Sanctuary

--by Eileen Rivers, Feb 09, 2021

"Those who speak in spiritual terms routinely refer to God as creator but seldom see "creator" as the literal term for "artist". I am suggesting you take the term "creator" quite literally. You are seeking to forge a creative alliance, artist-to-artist with the Great Creator. Accepting this concept can greatly expand your creative possibilities."

--Julia Cameron, "The Artist's Way"

Through a 'not-so-smart' smartphone mishap, the Universe tapped me on the shoulder recently and invited me into the Universal Flow of abundance and creativity.

I'd meant to send a text message to a certain Julia I know, but my smartphone decided on a different Julia as the recipient instead. My message included a piece of art-- some flowers I created from scraps and buttons. A happy little spark of creative play that came together from an image on a card, a walk along the roadside where I discovered some discarded cemetery flowers, and the joy of a sunny morning to myself with paper and glue.

The Julia who actually got my text message replied that the art reminded her of The Artist’s Way. She asked me if I had ever read the book. I hadn't, but intrigued, I looked it up and found myself peering through a "thin place in the veil”. Here, speaking from the pages of a book, was someone who had walked a path of awakening to, and living from an alliance with the creative energy underlying life. I ordered the book immediately.

I have harbored a shy, secret, inner artist my whole life. As a little girl, I remember vividly my direct alliance with the Great Creator. This alliance was my secret language of communication with birds and trees, and cats and dogs, and cow fields, and rocks and streams, and on and on. Everything in the natural world was alive for me. Today I proudly claim membership in the tribe of those who hear and see the voice of Nature all around. But in my childhood, I was uniquely alone.

However, even then I sensed there were other souls out there who could hear and speak this language. Poetry and literature were my lifelines. I was gifted with a house full of books, magazines and records. I also possessed a library card of my very own. The words I found in the pages and that sounded from the record player were lights in the darkness; the stars my inner spirit used to navigate its way forward.

I have been a collector of the jewels written by others my whole life, with journals and paper scraps filled with quotes where the Universe spoke directly into my soul. In the last decade, my own poetic voice has started to speak. And now, I also have journals and paper scraps scribbled with the communiques I receive.

Discovering Julia Cameron’s book 'The Artist's Way' brought things full circle for me. One central part of her process for becoming a channel of “spiritual electricity”, is to come together with others and join hands into a creative cluster supporting each other’s creative expansion.

Last December, I wrote a poem that was inspired by an online circle I am part of. This small group of women meets regularly. We share our lives, hearts, and our creative expressions as we each try to practice welcoming life's flow, whatever it may bring to our doorsteps.

As 2020 drew to a close, each person in the circle was invited to reflect on their inner sanctuary. What surfaced for me was a poem, and I dedicated it to the living spirit of our circle where our individual sanctuaries blossom like the petals of a flower radiating from a center - the shared sanctuary we make where our spirit's touch.

My Inner Sanctuary

This place only I can enter

though the secret door

of my heart

a color wheel kaleidoscope

of blues and purples

with audacious orange flowers

sending their ginger-lime-cilantro scents

spiraling through the chambers

music plays here

that choral chamber piece

whose opening moved me to tears of gratitude

something so beautiful spilling out mouthpieces

both human and brass

poetry is spoken here

Mary Oliver

whispers secrets of the universe

into Jane Hirschfield’s ear

while John O’Donohue

pronounces blessings over us all

I come here often

to sit with my friends and teachers

real and imagined

to fill the space in my heart

emptied unexpectedly

when I turned to gaze at the moon


In the midst of these challenging times, may each of us join hearts with kindred others and create new pathways in our consciousness "through which the creative forces can operate." May we each discover our own form of spiritual electricity-- and light up our world.

​Eileen Rivers is a volunteer with DailyGood and KarmaTube. After 20 years in education and a decade more in homesteading experiments, she branched into bringing yoga and meditation to her inner and outer worlds in rural Mississipi. Her goal is to bring a small light of welcome and connection to her work, relationships and random encounters.


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