Inspired by the beings who surround and support us
on our life Quest
only some of whom are visible.
What does it mean to ‘wear your crown’?
For me, in the second half of my life, it means I’ve come to know myself and, as a result of that knowing, I try to create a life that aligns with who I am. I use my energy and time for things that are meaningful to me and that I want to do. I do creative work that makes my heart sing and that contributes good energy to the world. I connect with what resonates with me and I move away from what doesn’t, without guilt or shame. I share who I am and my experience of trying to live authentically, in an effort to help others on a similar path, in ways that feel right for me. I celebrate my gifts and talents and use them in my Quest to fulfil my life purpose, even though I don’t fully understand what it is yet!
It has taken me 52 years to be able to compose those words and dare to act on them. Ah, I feel I am a rather slow learner.
Or maybe it’s just that I grew up decades before hashtags like #followyourheart or #liveyourdreams or #dowhatyoulove were born. You see, when I was making my first life choices, Steve Jobs hadn’t made his ‘don’t settle’ speech and even if he had, it wouldn’t have reached my ears because the internet hadn’t been invented. We had no access to options outside the direct experience of our parents and teachers; I think they all did their absolute best, but, in hindsight, the Mechanical Engineering degree I chose was probably always going to be a bit of a disaster for a girl who was more at ease with words and pictures than numbers. I played David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel round and round on the turntable in my University bedroom till I knew it by heart, but I had no concept of how I might forge my own authentic path. Women’s magazines of the day championed the ‘have it all’ notion of high-powered career, marriage and 2.4 children. And to want anything else was to appear ‘ungrateful’ for the opportunities won by the pioneering efforts of our parents before us. At the same time, our Government was feeding us a compelling earn more, borrow more, buy more, have more, be successful dream. I wasn’t courageous enough to buck the trend. I began to weave the threads of a conventional and, at times, rather unhappy life that would eventually completely unravel twenty years later, leaving me with no career, no husband and no children, almost back where I started, with the chance to begin older, wiser and all over again.
The last ten years have been about learning to ignore outside influence and opinion and the limiting beliefs that they can generate in me. Instead, I’ve taught myself to pay attention to my Soul’s Voice, to the call of my heart. In the beginning, the call came simply as wanting to learn to dance (though the manner of its coming was special, so I shall tell the tale of it another day). Acting on that small call was enough to eventually lead me to everything I am and everything I create now… this writing, my paintings, and all the other work I sometimes do. Even though there have been very dark times on the way, there can be no turning back for me. I feel compelled to keep exploring because I have become deeply curious about the meaning of life. I still don’t know exactly where I’m headed, but I do believe that if I keep listening to those Soul’s Voice calls, I shall be shown how to make the most meaningful and joyful use of my time here on Earth.
I suspect that I am not alone. Not necessarily in exact circumstance, but in facing the prospect of a fresh start in midlife. Children fly away, careers end, partners leave us, parents die. Some laws of being human we cannot avoid. And when it all appears to crumble, we may have to sit with deep grief, bleak thoughts and zero motivation or energy for a while. I have had to live through that a couple of times in the last ten years, so I know. But, eventually, I have found, that even if it takes years, everything transforms into something else. The spark of interest in a new thing will come, or a new idea or opportunity, or the whisper of a wish to try a path we haven’t tried before. And the chance for the start of a new phase will be there. And I think we have to take it. Even if we believe we can’t. Even if we feel afraid. Even if we don’t want to do it alone.
The thing is we won’t be alone. Ever. My second Soul painting, made in January this year, tells me what I already know to be true.
If I dare to wear my crown, like-minded beings see that I do and surround me. They connect with me across centuries, oceans, lifetimes, borders and worlds. They weave their flexible bodies and sensitive hands into a net of stars to catch me and guide me if I stumble. Their eyes shine spring light into the folds of my winter cloak. They line the way ahead cheering me on.
They sing, Dance on your magic path with us.
I sing back, Yes!
And I do. I dance my amazing dance, leaving in my wake a big bright trail of hand-mixed orange and Prussian blue.
So then, because I’m already dancing, it comes to my turn to ask,
What about you? What about you?
Will you dance on your magic path with us too?
An original ‘SALchemy painting’, born 2015.
Acrylic on oil paper 41x51cm.
I’ll be super-happy if you share my work. Please use short quotes from the piece if you like and do share the images, but always always link back here.
For any other use, please ask me first.
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© Sally Townsend Blake 2015