This is one of the 40 Illuminara Intuitive Journal cards. I painted it thinking of my birth place and the Texas landscape that was to be my idea of what the world was in my first decade of life. I think of going home when I choose it randomly, it brings up many thoughts and feelings for me. This is what it looks like in the Texas Panhandle where I was born and lived until about 10 years old. It hits me hard to realize that at the most foundational level within me, is this place, this extreme flat land with characteristics unlike any place I’ve lived since. I remember being myself in the most unconscious way, I had not thought about who I was, I just WAS “me”. Once we moved, I began to be very self-conscious and noticing drastic differences in people and places. So when I see this card, I am struck by that true, authentic cowgirl/tomboy “me” that I was, from a long line of Texans on my dad’s side, and how I had 10 years to live in that totally present self. After that time, I have visited many places, lived in many, and have been exposed to all kinds of life lessons, yet I have never felt “at home” in that same way. What does “at home” mean to me now? It means finding my soul, connecting with my heart, being myself and genuine, true to who I am. It means expressing myself and respecting others. I am at home in my own skin.
Right now, I am totally immersed in Judaism with all its ancient wisdom and mystical richness. I “came home” to myself in many ways when I finally started studying Hebrew and chanting the prayers in the Siddur. This would seem to have taken me far from home, but instead it feels like going back home. Maybe it was that menorah Mom had or all the Levy family who we were so close to, and who my dad and all of us grew up with in Texas, or Jesus who I knew to be a Jew, wondering why everyone wasn’t then just Jewish if he was? Maybe it was past lives. All I know is that I love being home within, in that way I cannot verbalize.
This is a recent Spirit Painting commission Elaine Clayton copyright 2014
In a recent Spirit Painting commission, while meditating on the one who commissioned it, I felt the sense of deep inner peace commingling with movement and change and felt I was in a realm of the possible. Memories of the past blended with future visions of good days ahead, sunshine and a return to the sea. This painting took me on some adventures, but I still felt at peace inside through the many places and changes the painting the painting took me to. I felt as though the most real adventure is the internal one, and all external experiences are strongly influenced by how we perceive them. I felt a sense of grace and love while painting this, and it made me realize that when we feel grace and love inside, we bring that out into every place we go and to every person we meet. Then that inner peace truly is in our surroundings, as we are the host or vessel of that peace.
A recent commissioned Spirit Painting/ Elaine Clayton copyright 2014
In this recent commissioned Spirit Painting, I felt the feeling of great creative energy, a sense of the new based on past knowledge gained, and of working with a spiritual openness. The gift of nature bringing a wisdom and feeling of security, in that life renews time and time again, also came forth in this one.
Life is sacred, when we engage with it as sacred. Every leaf, every speck is full of vibrance–the Spirit of Life is everywhere. I painted this thinking of my brother Ken and his richly poetic way of weaving words and images and stories into visions of humorous and life-enhacing awareness. He has inspired me and many to recognize the living spirit in my surroundings.
The point of change, the moment of mercy comes when I finally ask, “What is it I’m supposed to learn here?” Some situations, goals or thoughts are held hostage by the ego to the point where no shift seems possible. I had a client recently who said she’d been having a terrible streak spanning many years, and felt cursed. We all relate to that feeling, but what is it that shifts us out of that? I don’t believe we’re cursed, even in bad times because I believe every moment holds the Light in it, but there can be very difficult times in our lives. I told this client that I’d found in my own suffering times that there is no shift out of misery until I surrender and ask, “What is it I’m supposed to learn in this situation?” It’s like looking up at the sky and surrendering, waving a white flag as big as the Milky Way, and the ego can’t stand it! This “breaking point” does not come easily, the ego refuses to be put in a position to have to “learn”–it thinks it already knows everything, and it asserts itself as to what it wants with great authority. “I know what is best for you,” ego seems to say. But when things are sorrowful, painful, forced or simply dysfunctional, it is a good moment when that ego has to surrender and the humble question of what should be learned arises from within. Tears may follow, but the good kind.
If you are knowledgable about plants, herbs, flowers, etc and their medicinal or nourishing qualities, I wish you’d write a book EDIBLE WEEDS–unless–has this been done before? A user-friendly guide with images would be great!
Pieces of Sky/Gesso, acrylic on paper Elaine Clayton copyright 2013
Just because you don’t have something, doesn’t mean it isn’t “yours”. We don’t have to own everything we love, in fact, just loving and appreciating something is often motivating and inspiring. Edgar Cayce made the very empowering of point of reminding us to stay aligned with our ideals, and I have found that acknowledging what we love and appreciate, is in essence, a way to align with our soul’s purpose. For example, during a phase of moving around in rentals that didn’t reflect any of my personal ideals, I forgot to have that soul-aligning conversation with myself about the kinds of houses I idealize. I just didn’t focus on the material at all, and we thrived as a family during that non-materialistic phase of being. After several years of not even thinking of what kind of house I truly love, I was struck by the ideals I hold, and told my husband I love solar houses. Not long after that, we found a place we now call home and are no longer roaming. It is not a solar house, but is filled with sunlight and makes us happy. One day it may have solar panels. The point wasn’t that I have exactly the thing I love, but just to know what I love and be fulfilled just loving the idea of it. An African American psychic I met once while in my early 20’s (she was a corporate psychic working for a multi-million dollar West Coast corporation) held my hand and said, “Just because you don’t have it doesn’t mean it isn’t yours.” She went on to explain basically what Cayce said, that to love something makes it “yours” on a spiritual level, because you appreciate and value it. I notice, too, that not being in the “I must have!” frenzy of feeling lacking in some way truly does bring peace. I listen to Eldon Taylor’s InnerTalk cds and one of my favorite is the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want,” is a line that really, when I feel that calm inside, that there is nothing I must have right now, is the best feeling ever. At home when any of us get into that frenzy of “I must have”, we hiss and slither around and say, “Precious” like Gollum in Lord of the Rings. I’d rather own a love for something than to be owned by that something.
Into the Moon, Inward Journey Elaine Clayton copyright 2013
On earth, we learn in increments of time and space. We have a linear concept of life and life’s lessons (“first this happened, then that and now….”). And yet what once happened is no more than a shadow we revisit inwardly, a cinematic recording. We still learn from those recordings by remembering them, playing them in our minds, as we create our life forward. Yet love is not subject to time, love is present, forever, within ourselves and everyone and everything around us. Enlightenment is love entering our interactions; we exist in 3-D opportunities that, from moment-to-moment, become recorded “spiritual films” of our experiences. When love is ignored or made absent by our choices or the free will of others, we know it because it is a glimmer of hell. I want to be in that love that is pure light, and each situation in life gives me a chance to see where I still have shadows within.
A recent Spirit Painting commission Elaine Clayton copyright 2013
In this newly presented Spirit Painting commissioned a few months ago, a Tree Spirit is also a Spirit of the Air and Light. There is wind, sun, and water, too. The person who this was created for has an extremely rich sensitivity to nature and to the hidden feelings and meanings in her surroundings. I felt that she has the ability to tune into nature and almost blend into it, that she is of the forest and the sunlight, they sky and water. Working on it was a wonderful little journey for me. I have to let these paintings talk to me, so sometimes they take a while to fully emerge. With this one, I had to include a snake although at first it bothered me somewhat. I personally did not want to put a snake in, but the meditation guided me to, so I trusted that. Interestingly, shortly before presenting this painting to the client, she talked quite a lot about snake symbolism, and she had no idea I had felt guided to include one in her painting. That made me realize I truly have to trust the process, trust messages that arrive. I start each painting asking for spiritual, intuitive guidance. These paintings are prayers and are meant to heal and support, to activate the spiritual sense of wonder for the one who commissioned them. And in that person’s honor, they are meant to do the same for anyone who gazes upon them.
Once a few years ago, I was dreaming (just before waking up at dawn) and was hovering over some rocks and plants. I had the complete sensation of being not just one with everything, but of BEING everything. The feeling was as if in an instance, but a forever kind of feeling. I can’t really explain it, but I felt I was not limited to this body, I was everywhere all at once. Now that it’s spring, I love walking around outside and trying to feel myself blend in with everything, the trees, the leaves, the sky. The blurry leaves shimmering in the distance, the rocks and even the air. When I do this I feel a kind of “zing” that is elating and for a moment I almost have that “I am everything, everywhere” feeling again.