Sorrow and Love: Living to Learn


Budding Life/ acrylic on canvas/ copyright Elaine Clayton 2013

Each day, we are budding into awareness and knowledge. Time, space and gravity support us on our journey of learning first-hand, hands-on here on Earth.  We’re here for a purpose and to fulfill it.  While I painted this, I felt the emotions of life, of love, sorrow and unfurling consciousness.




Each of Us a Universe

Mother and Child/oil on paper/Elaine Clayton copyright 1996

Each of us has a soul chart, a personal Akashic Record all our own. It is a collection of all we know, all we have felt, all we have learned and thought. Our will and essence animates our bodies until it leaves the body at death. But the record of all we’ve experienced goes with us. Hold yourself like a newborn, knowing all others we encounter are also a Universe unto themselves, just as we are. To live, to learn, to love and become ever more love as each moment passes.

MLK Day: The Grace and Wisdom of Dr. King, and Deborah

This is the back of my Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. t-shirt that I got with my fellow artist friend Deborah Pegues in Atlanta before this day was declared a national holiday. It was January 15th and we went to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change on Auburn Avenue. We came to honor Dr. King’s memory and work.  For me, it was a feeling of angst because before going to college I had volunteered in rural Georgia, in small towns where people of color did not have paved roads, running water or electricity in some cases. No fire hydrants, no street lights. They were treated with disgust and oppressed in ways you’d never think possible, and this was in 1979 so you’d have expected things to be better. I had grown to love some of the children that summer, and going away to college after that experience was very hard for me as those impressions froze me. For years I could not give myself anything material without feeling truly awful. There were kids who were still living in oppression, and not that far away. I kept thinking of them and so I felt a chip on my shoulder against the established society that could allow this, and an inability to eat well or make healthy decisions for myself without feeling truly horrible inside.  For Deborah, it was more deeply personal. On that day of King’s birthday in the early 1980’s, she told me of how, when she was little, she saw people buying and eating doughnuts. She began to go toward the doughnut shop, also very much wanting a doughnut. But her parents pulled her back and explained that she could not enter that place, it was for whites only.  And this was only one small memory that Deborah had, there had to be many more memories of the oppression of segregation and cruelty she and others experienced first-hand.  And yet Deborah had not one ounce of anything but love within her–she was and is completely generous of heart, patient and kind.  I don’t know how she carried such a depth of true grace after being raised to witness and experience true cruelty, but I admired it so fully and honor it today with a heart that learned from her.

I think on that day at the King Center, Deborah saw that I wanted the “Let’s Make it a Holiday” t-shirt that was selling outside the King Center and she insisted on buying it for me! I believe I did not allow her to do that, but maybe I did. I can’t quite remember. Every year when I take the shirt out to remember how hard the days were before this day was named a national holiday, I realize we have very far to go still to heal these wounds in our society, but I’m mostly left with the feeling of the deep grace in the hearts and actions of Dr. King and my artist friend, Deborah.

The Magical Hat

Collage/ mixed media on handmade paper/ copyright 1996

I am working on my new book on intuition (due out with Beyond Words/Simon and Schuster in 2014). One of the things that comes up often in my intuitive work is something I call the “magical hat”. This is an indicator of the natural creator that dwells within each of us, the 5 and under year old who saw anything as possible, who lived in the realm of imagination and possibility. If we remember that there is and always will be an aspect of magic (wonderment, belief, creativity) within, we can more easily create the future we most would like to experience. Not everything is about logic and “reality”; some things are that which exist first in the dimension that is non-physical (such as in when we have an idea or an ideal that we have not realized on the material plane). Allowing ourselves to create what we love and hold dear in the realm of imagination first does two things. One is that we experience empowerment while we imagine and use creative visualization to “see” the thing we desire, and actually experience it as real in some aspects (for example, the places I go to in meditation are very real to me and life tends to then present similar surroundings for me). The other is that we come that much closer to having the idea or ideal enter into the material plane as if the universe presented it to us. This 2013, check now and then and make sure you’re wearing your magical hat!

Child’s Play: Creativity and Intuition

Siblings/ Elaine Clayton copyright1998

Today, in my Illuminara Card of the Week weekly newsletter (subscribe if you like!) I focused on creativity and intuition. Sometimes we feel we have to “work” at something to be good at it, and really what we need is to enjoy it, like a child at play. I have found that intuitive knowledge doesn’t come easily if I try too hard. Relaxing and feeling true joy, creative flow and imagination (unlimited expansion of feeling and thought) is what seems to bring me into quiet knowing. Jesus said that we have to become like children to enter the gates of heaven. Children play, dream, imagine and put everything they have into what they love.

Some Angels Do Have Wings (the Pulsation of Healing)

Sketch from vision/January 2013

Angels do exist, I believe there are as many varieties as there are things in the world. As it says in the Talmud, even the smallest blade of grass has it’s own angel, urging it to grow. Many angels are Nature Spirits and some do have wings. From this early morning vision I had today, I saw the luminescence and orbs accompanying, with what appeared to be wings opening and closing, and realized this motion is a very powerful blessing, the energy sends forth from the source, like a pulsation. It makes you feel healed and blissful to behold it. I had never thought of wings flapping as a kind of energetic pulsation, but that is now how I see it, after this vision. Along with the angelic shimmer there were two orbs, one small and one larger. The smaller one was similar to the angel in color and light, the other one was like many I’ve seen but do not fully understand. It had a crystal clear scene in it–like watching a movie in a bubble. This scene today was in sepia colors and was a happy one of two siblings, one about 4 and the other about 2 years old, playing in a small living room. There was a piano and furniture and the feeling was one of innocence and playfulness. I wondered, is this the angel of those children? Is this what I am being shown, that we all have angels watching over the scenes of our lives?

Graduating Through Hardships

Her Robe/acrylic and charcoal on paper/1998

In one meditation, I entered the Sacred Circle (a place I go in meditation) and was surrounded by elders who placed me in the center of the circle. The next thing they did was put a robe on me (which surprised me!) and it had a design on it. They told me that every hard lesson I have gone through becomes a new design on the robe. The robe is symbolic acceptance of the hardship of life and the knowledge we gain as we graduate with each life lesson.

Do the Archangels Get Their Strength From US?

In my meditation last night, I was surprised to see a giant St. Michael enter the circle. He was gigantic, but young and bathed in golden light. He was a knight, with a sword and in a suit of armor. He held his sword at his side. There was not a look of defeat about him but more of a look of weary sorrow before heading back out to battle again. There were no words, just the golden light and his head bowed. I started to wonder if we have got it all wrong all these years, and that instead of the archangels giving us strength, it is our collective soulful love that gives them the strength they need to do good things for individuals and the world at large. So when we weaken as a whole, they also weaken in their struggle. But when we “fight for the good” in the case of St. Michael, he has more collective energy from Source to do the battle for good. Could it be that as the angels help us, we actually can help them, too?