When I read The Artist’s Way some twenty years ago, many of Julia Cameron’s ideas resonated.
I recognized myself as a shadow artist, someone who had been hanging around the art world as a facilitator for other artists, with my own desire to write only half realized.
I saw how narrow my life had become in graduate school, never allowing myself any joy or recreaation. Artist’s Dates allowed me to see a city I had lived in for six years, but never explored.
Not all of Cameron’s ideas landed well with me, however.
I always preferred writing practice — reaching for the bottom of the mind — to morning pages, which for me felt like too much thinking. And while I appreciated the idea of synchronicity, I couldn’t feel it.
More recently, I’ve worked with energy healers and spiritual intuitives, who also talk about synchronicity, which I am more open to lately–although I pretty much shut down when they start talking about angels, i.e. magical beings we can’t see but who watch over us and guide us.
A few months back, I did a chakra clearing with my friend and colleague at Sol Wellness and Healing, Tracy King. Rather than trying to wrap my skeptical mind around angels, she suggested I be on the lookout for signs of support and guidance.
I trust Tracy, and for a few weeks, I tried. Unfortunately, my busy life got busier and I was too exhausted and concerned with making it through the day to be on the lookout for anything but a good night’s sleep
As a Jew, I’ve long struggled with faith.
In Jerusalem, I’ve been transfixed by the women at the Western Wall, pouring out their hearts to God, backing away from the holy site, bowing and weeping. Likewise, I admire my friends of other faiths, whose trust in God is so strong, it shines light on their entire life.
I admire that.
I love being Jewish, I love the ancient rituals and Hebrew prayers. But I’m not one of those people who talks to God or finds signs of God’s presence in my daily life.
Whether we call it God or the Universe or synchronicity or the helping hands of angels, in recent weeks, in a time of tragedy for Texas, when the lives and well-being of 800,00 Dreamers are in jeopardy, we have all witnessed the beauty of human beings stepping up for other human beings.
In my own life, as we’ve walked through a dark and difficult time in our family, I’ve felt that synchronicity over and over again in the kindness of others. I want tell Tracy, I’m getting it. I’ve found some angels right here on earth.
Consider this series of events.
A few months ago, I wrote in a post that I was without my regular college girl helping hand. Around that time, I told Steve that I needed to find someone older to help around the house, someone who would be like a nanny for the family, someone I could rely on and who would take care of us.
A few weeks later, my daughter was in the hospital with an unknown bacterial infection that turned out to be salmonella. Out of the blue, an old student of mine wrote and asked if we needed any assistance — running errands, picking up a meal while Shira was laid up. She mentioned that she was retired and had time and didn’t expect us to pay her.
I remembered she was a nurse and a former nanny and I realized this might be some synchronicity. Which it was.
It also felt like one of those angel moments, because she needed the work and I needed someone I trusted. Karen has been taking incredible care of our family for the past several and we have bee taking care of her and all of this comes with a lot of laughs and hugs.
As I wrote last week, we were getting ready to bring our daughter to Massachusetts for intensive treatment for her OCD. As you can imagine, that has involved some logistical challenges, especially since it’s unclear how long I’ll be staying out here with her.
As far as lodging goes, we had a choice between a Holiday Inn Express located on a highway or a B&B on a pond. The latter would be obviously be preferable, but the website mentioned steep cancellation fees.
When Steve called to explain why we were coming and find out what they would charge us if we left early, the inn keeper told him she offered a hefty discount for travelers coming to bring their children to this facility. No worries about extended stays or canceled nights. She even offered us an apartment with its own entrance.
It was her way of giving back, she told Steve. She was honored to have us.
Since we’ve been here, Janine become our surrogate family. Her compassion has lifted us. Shira says she’s like a grandmother, offering her goodies in the morning and asking for hugs on the way out.
Have I mentioned, we’re on a pond with lily pads and a cranberry bog I can see from our porch?
This place is supporting us in every way imaginable.
Last night, Shira and I took a walk around the pond, to sort out her struggles around being here. She’s learning about walking things out.
We’ve also seen a great blue heron, a flock geese, and many chipmunks, which skitter back and forth across our porch all day.
Steve had to go back to Ausitn a few days ago, which made me deliriously sad, but now I am enjoying some solitude. I’m able to be outside and enjoy a real fall day, then come back and read and write until pick-up time.
Meanwhile, Karen is holding down my house, taking care of our pets, cleaning out our fridge, and sending items as needed.
Synchronicity, Serendipity, Angels. It’s becoming difficult not to notice them.
Tell me, in this dark time of political madness and geological intensity, where you find support and guidance? What kindnesses have you noticed? Who are your angels?
Something else to think about: How could your work be a source of synchronicity, serendipity, and kindness for someone else?
I’d love to hear about it. You know where to find me.