Intentional Creativity Teacher/Coach, Visionary Artist, & Reiki Master
Looking back over my life, I see all the things that have brought me to this point. Trying to decide which was most important for this posting, caused me to struggle with it, as my mind wanted to dive into all the nitty gritty details. While there are many important experiences, of which the details are necessary, I will save them for other posts or a some-day book. For now, I will focus on only a few key times in my life that were important to my awakening, and shifting from looking out at my life to looking inward for meaning and manifesting my life. It is the difference between letting life happen to me, reacting without intention to things that happen, and making intentional conscious choices in response to those same things. Moving toward engaging and embracing life with intentional actions.
I will also touch on how, even when I wasn’t paying attention, creativity would be the force by which I would be guided to know that my connection to a source greater than myself was still with me. This would also serve as the means through which I would heal myself on mental, emotional, and spiritual levels to bring me home, to my highest Self. My experiences and stories, while unique to me, carry themes that are universal to everyone; to be loved, accepted, and feel worthy to have the best life possible.
Asking Some Big Questions
In the Spring of 1975, my brother (who was 9 years older) would die from head injuries sustained in a car accident. The term “brain dead” was new to our language, and there were many who were still skeptical of what this meant to the field of medicine. For us, it would mean that, 3 days after my brother’s accident, there would be no sign of brain activity on his EEG. The doctors said they could keep his body alive indefinitely, but for all intense and purposes, the person we knew as my brother was no longer in that body.
As a child, I had my fair share of prophetic dreams and déjà vu moments, so I always had a sense that there was something more to our existence than what we knew from science. I knew that our bodies functioned with a kind of electricity, and yet, you can’t really get rid of electricity, so where does it go? Everything in existence has some level of energy running through it. So, I began to ask myself:
These were pretty heady questions for a 19-year-old, and yet I had to ask them. I knew, somehow, that the answers were somewhere to be found. I did what research I could, given all I had were local libraries and encyclopedias. This was before personal computers, the internet, and Google. What I found were mostly passages from religious texts and psychiatrists who were trying to figure this out. So I kept these questions in mind as I went about dealing with my grief. The one solace I had was that a prayer I said for my brother had been answered. It went like this: “Dear God, please, if my brother can continue to live life the way he has – please let him live. If my brother survives, yet is in a vegetative state, please take him home to you. Amen.” I knew in my heart, though it was breaking, that he was not meant to embrace life the way he had, so he went home, to God.
As I worked through my grief and missing my brother, I turned to music to soothe my soul. Both my brother and I were taught to read music and to play various instruments, so I played my organ and guitar, and began listening to some of my brother’s favorite music. The energy of the beat and the lyrics of the songs chosen, helped to lift me up and keep me moving forward. I even picked up the pen, and began to write. There was a stirring in my awareness, a beginning of a remembering of the truth that I knew, of the Soul and life in this world. The door had been cracked open to begin my spiritual journey.
“Who am I?”: the Truth of Family
In 2000, I would begin to move more inward in how I viewed the world and my place in it. While my certainty about the realities of life and death were still forming, my focus would turn to questions about family relationships. I was 45 and lived half my life believing I was part of a certain family, only to discover that I had been adopted at birth. This was something I was never supposed to know, but found out as my mother began to deal with dementia due to Alzheimer’s. My father would confirm and gave me his reasons for the secrecy; which had to do more with his fears than any stigma attached to adoption at that time. Needless to say, this rocked my world in a way I never thought possible. I experienced the loss of my brother again, felt the loss of a family history that I thought was mine, and the loss of a family I never had the chance to know. On top of this, my father destroyed any documents pertaining to my birth family, and his attorney made sure no trail was left to follow, preventing my searching even if I wanted to.
Besides, I also found upsides to being adopted by the family I was in. I did not inherit some of the personality quirks the women had, their quick temper, competitiveness, and need to be right. I also now knew why I always felt different, was the only one with green eyes, and seemed to view the world differently than most in the family. As for not knowing who my birth parents were, I do not need there presence in my life to fulfill who I am. Through my writing and my drawing I was shown I was a part of a universal family, that I was never alone, and that over many lifetimes, I would have many families to be a part of. In this lifetime, it was the way it was. I decided to leave up to the Universe whether I would find my birth parents or not. I was willing to let go of need to have family define me.
"Who am I?”: the Truth of Self
I continued the spelunking into “my abyss”, going deeper and deeper, shredding beliefs and labels as I went along. My focus had shifted from general existential questions about life and death to family, and now were beginning to zero in on my sense of Self. This process, it is said, is like peeling an onion. You deal with an issue on the surface and peel away a layer. The issue will come up again, only from another layer below. This will happen until the issue is finally resolved. This is because we are multi-layered beings; if we are hurt on one level, it has an effect on most other levels of our being as well. To truly heal and connect with God Source and our highest Self, we must work to heal on all these levels. As I thought about and dealt with the issues relating to my brother, adoption and family; I was moving through all these layers. To continue, meant going deeper and deeper within to bring the healing changes necessary in my outer world.
In 2005 and 2006, over 15 months, I would go from being the care manager of my parents to midlife orphanhood. Not much is written about the impact or dealing with this stage of life, yet in our culture, we are facing this more and more as adults face the task of losing the freedom of being empty nesters to taking on the care of their parents. These roles may consume most of our time and energy, and tap into our identity of being a “good daughter or son” as well as a “good parent”. It is never easy to lose the last parent and enter orphanhood, to do so in just 15 months may stop you dead in your tracks; at least it did for me. With both my parents gone, so were my reasons for doing some of what I did because I did things to feel approved of, accepted, loved, and worthy in my parents’ eyes. With them gone, so was half of my “purpose” in all that I did. I felt as if I were drifting on a stormy sea in a boat with no rudder, engine, or sail; at the whim of the emotional winds and waves.
There was profound grief, and thankfully there are grief support groups to help walk through this painful time. My journal, drawing, and painting would become more important in helping me through this period. The questions before me know were:
I took an online class in Shamanic Journeying in hopes of healing my grief and finding my way forward with new purpose During a vision quest meditation, I was floating in that stormy sea when it changed. What came to me was, I had hit rough waters in entering my abyss, and I had ridden them deep to the center of my being. As the water settled, I found myself floating. The boat was gone and so was the water. I was floating on a soft white light when Horse appeared as a guide to let me know I was safe and that I would find wisdom here. As I floated along, I finally came to a place where I felt nothing but deep abiding love and peace. The light had a slight golden cast to it, and the aloneness I had felt was gone. In my mind I asked: Where am I? What I felt was, I was “home”, in the place where my soul resides. I experienced being nothing, no-thing, and everything, all at once. This was a place of no-time and timelessness; no past, no future, only an eternal now.
Experiencing being nothing and everything at once, I also felt the presence of the force of All That Is, or as I call it, God Source. Being a spark of this force, I saw I am co-creator, and from this point on, whatever I decided to do and be, would be my choice (and in reality, it always had been). Whatever roles I took on, and whatever stories I created about who I am, were my creations. I was ready to take full responsibility for how I experienced the life I had yet to live. I was certain in my understanding that this life is temporary, yet on a soul level, I will live on. I had lived many lives before, and this will not be my last one. I also learned that everyone has a purpose to be the highest expression of their highest Self, and they always have a choice in how to do that. The door that was cracked open in the beginning of this journey was now flung wide open.
At One with MySelf: My Continuous Conversation with God Source
With renewed energy and a new perspective on my reality, my focus turned to discovering, understanding, nurturing, and expressing my purpose and how I would do that. I had always been drawn to oracle cards and pendulums, yet never took them seriously because they had been looked down upon by my parents and the culture I grew up in. Now, the times were different, there was more openness around these things, and I took the opportunity to explore. I was also drawn to do more painting and drawing, taking it more seriously. I remember my parents had a friend who encouraged them, to encourage me, to pursue art. They never saw it as a viable means of income, relegating it to “hobby” status. Well, this time I would listen to what my intuition, and that friend, were saying to me: draw and paint.
I would find two mentors that would finally help me bring together my various gifts so that I could express my highest Self in the best way possible. What was that expression about? It is about bringing the light of God Source and Spirit in this world for healing. The how would be about making that healing energy tangible for anyone to use.
My first mentor would be Flora Bowley and her course “Bloom True”. I had gotten her book “Brave Intuitive Painting”, and couldn’t wait to try her approach to painting. I found out she was starting to hold an online version of her workshop and I signed up as soon as I could. What I loved, though it was scary as hell to do, was that I would have to approach a blank canvas with no preconceived idea as to what would appear there. And, as far as being perfect? Bahhh – forget it. It wasn’t about that either. There was nothing traditional about this way of painting, though I’m sure there are many abstract artists who do this without calling it intuitive.
I had a blast with this style of painting. It became a whole body experience as I played music that made me feel happy and could move easily to. It even tapped into that early childhood joy with the option of finger painting. I let my fingers and hands dance along the canvas, just playing and making marks. The approach she uses, especially for non-artists, keeps one from creating nothing but mud, and until I remembered my color theory, it was helpful. As the marks turned into shapes, and images and subjects appears, I was surprised what showed up. It was freeing to be so relaxed and let creative energy flow. I finally felt I was in total alignment with who I am, confident that I am worthy to express myself. I worked on three canvases at the same time, as was recommended, and each one had its own personality. As the process moved along, I began to notice something; I was no longer directing what was happening, it was just flowing out of me.
Each time I would enter my space to paint, I would go to peaceful space in my abyss, my mind steps aside, and another energy begins to flow. I knew that, being a Reiki Master, some of this energy was that, yet there was more. Once my paintings were finished, they would take on names such as “Peace Takes Flight”, and “Awakening”. I knew then that there was more to these paintings than just being artwork. There were messages and healing energy contained within, and they would speak to whomever they are meant to.
As my connection to God Source grew and became more present in my daily life, I sought out a mediumship circle, and found my second mento; Diana Kushenbach. Through her guidance and circles, I would find a community where I would no longer feel alone. I would also learn how Spirit, God Source, Light Beings, and other higher energies will connect with me. That the healing I had done on a mental and emotional level was now being done on higher and higher spiritual levels. I learned what the experience of channeling is like, for me, and became more clear in how my creativity and channeling would come together to serve the highest good.
What I’ve learned and now know is:
My mission is to help others open the door to their creativity and connection with their highest Self and God Source, with the intention that they learn self-healing, become empowered, and live authentic lives.
Debra Lynn – Intentional Creativity Teacher, Visionary Artist and Certified Life Coach.