Articles for July 2017

On Being Seen

One of our basic needs as humans is to be seen. You’ve likely experienced many examples of this necessity playing out in real life… The kiddo on the soccer field, or as a performer on stage, scanning the crowd hoping to find a familiar face or two, grinning from ear to ear, waving enthusiastically when the realization dawns that indeed, someone has honored her presence by showing up to watch a game or performance. Perhaps it’s the sweet, sleepy smile of your baby boy as he looks up into your eyes each morning. Or the almost imperceptible grin of your teenage son trying hard not to smile because it’s not cool, but giving just a slight nod of the head when he notices you in the line at the grocery store where he is bagging groceries for the summer.

It’s good to be seen. Being seen reminds us we matter – not because of something we’ve accomplished – but because of who we are and who we are connected to. Being seen with love – without judgment – is healing. Powerfully healing. Learning to see ourselves in love and light and accepting this as God’s view of us, is the beginning of truly finding our way in this world. Of settling in beside the Grace within, who sees only beauty and worthiness and the reflection of our Creator.

As humans we get used to seeing things one way, wearing one set of filters and becoming blind to change. With family and close friends, we can easily slip into patterns and assume what we’ve always observed is what will always be true. Of course, we do this with ourselves as well. If I learn early that I’m the clumsy, uncoordinated kid in the family, I may shy away from trying anything remotely athletic or active only to find out many years later during a midlife creative revolution (Doesn’t that sound better than crisis?) that if I want to run miles at a time, I can. Or when my 4th grade art teacher asks if I’d like to “try again” with that tree I’ve made by blowing through a straw and spreading ink on the paper (a tree which delighted me), I may hear the message that I’m not artistic. I then spend many years seeing in myself all the ways he is right about my limited capabilities… until one day I decide to try something new and discover the glorious surprise of an artist within!

Recently I’ve had opportunity to be seen in unique ways. I met a gal who intuitively sees energy and interprets that seeing into art. I received a gorgeous watercolor of her vision of me and my energy. I was amazed at how opening myself to this new way of being seen allowed a shift of perspective. A grand shift. A fresh reflection. I have never felt more beautiful. Aspects of myself that I’ve dared wish were true – a light within, a healing, divine energy, a spirit of compassion – were clearly visible to one trained and gifted in seeing such. (Spoiler alert: this beauty is within you as well!)

A few short weeks later, I was privileged to connect with a brilliant, intuitive photographer. I shared with her the watercolor painting, and asked that we set the intention of recreating that in photography.¬†As the sun rose over the banks of the river, she invited light to reflect back to me a brilliance I’ve been unable to see in quite that way before. I was honored. I was seen. I was loved.

Being seen is healing. It’s also scary! It’s important to trust the seer. And vitally important to be a trustworthy seeker and reflector of the light within others. As I grow older and wiser, I’m expanding my perspective. Taking off the blinders. Seeing myself more clearly. Opening to the possibilities of being truly, deeply seen. And humbly offering to see others and reflect beauty back to the open heart of those willing to be seen.

As I gather courage to continue growing as an artist and putting that energy into the world, it is my fervent hope that sharing my art in some way provides that connection. The validation that what has been seen is indeed lovely and worth sharing. Because you are lovely. You are important. You matter. You deserve to be seen and to begin seeing yourself for the magnificent wonder you are.

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Peace, love and art,