Karen Berry Powell, photo by Brenda Fishbaugh
Writing and painting stories for children is a way I listen to the Sound Current.
Letting go and letting God create story through me is a metaphor for walking through life with more and more joy, love, forgiveness, and trust. Joy because it builds self-confidence, love because the stories are made of love, forgiveness because sometimes the writing or painting needs a re-do, and trust because the creative process is alive and now. For me, it is a fun way to connect with J-R’s teaching that Christ is present and the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
There are times that I talk and my words or the emotions that accompany them, betray the truth of the sweetness in me. I know I have fallen short, but when I judge that expression, it gets me nowhere except stuck. When I write and paint, if my expression falls short of what I truly want to communicate, I get do-overs. I can edit the words or turn a heavy brush stroke into a “happy mistake.”
This is like forgiving and moving forward – that metaphor I was referring to earlier.
The two most important things that keep my creative life flowing are acceptance and persistence. In other words, to not judge my work and to not to give up. The J-R teachings to put the seat of my pants in the seat of my chair, and the willingness to do gives the ability to do; are like bedrock for me.
The worst thing I can do is judge because it shuts off freedom of expression. If I do judge myself, I work with forgiveness strategies learned in USM and the DSS. Besides forgiving the judgments, my methods include doing exercise and getting outdoors as the weather permits, as well as reaching out to supportive friends or family.
I find that the most successful writing or painting sessions begin with humbly saying my ministerial blessing out loud, and devoting the work to God because it comes from God. I also ask for readers to be blessed by participating with my stories. There is a line in my ordination that says, “Open yourself to receive the blessings and share openly and willingly with all.” As I open to receive, the joy and kindness, tribulation and challenge, whimsy and forgiveness of life roll through me as sounds, images, and words. I do my best to capture them and put them on paper, and often this takes many tries. Writing and painting is a spiritual exercise in patience! And the cycle is completed as I share my stories with others because love and light travels through them to others.
Sometimes I wish that I could get instant do-overs in my daily interactions with the world like I do with the delete button or the new layer of paint… and maybe in the greater sense, we do get instant do-overs because every moment is now.
I think every single one of us is walking around with a deep wish: “please love me just as I am. Please love me exactly as I am.” We put that wish out to the world and sometimes it gets fulfilled and sometimes it doesn’t. Writing and painting is a way that I love me just as I am. It is a deep wish, fulfilled.
I love you and thank you for reading. You are warmly invited to join the celebration on November 6th at 3 pm Eastern Time for the launch of my book, The Mists of Guilin, which is a bilingual English and Spanish mystical family adventure story based on our trip to China in 2000 with J-R.
Rev Dr Karen Berry Powell,
¡AMOR y LUZ!