Are you living your Purpose? A spirit animal’s perspective

“The purpose of life is Life.” – Joseph Campbell

circle sm

I channeled this painting for a client recently. The image came first, but it felt like something was missing. So I took a break and started cleaning out a shelf in the studio. And as luck would have it a piece of paper fell out with these words printed on it:

The Sun is a Circle/The Moon is a Circle/The Earth is a Circle/We are a Circle

Everything that is, is alive/And everything has a place on the Circle.

I remembered someone handing that sheet of paper to me at an event I attended last fall, but I don’t know who the author is (or if it even has an author.) Regardless, it seemed to provide the missing element.

The message that comes through to me here is all about grounding, and balancing, and relaxing into the art of being.

Being, in terms of feeling oneself a part of all that is.

Knowing that simply being is enough.

We often spend such time and energy worrying about “Purpose.” And indeed some of us do have a burning mission in life. 

That’s beautiful when it happens, but what if your purpose isn’t clear to you? 

I think the bird in this painting has something to say about that.

You might think at first that it is a Crow. I did, when I first saw it in my mind’s eye. But once I got it down on paper it was quite clear that this spirit animal was not a Crow, but a Grackle.

A Common Grackle, to be precise.

Grackles are indeed common birds. If you live in the eastern half of North America you’ve probably seen these black birds gathering in noisy flocks in treetops, or strutting across your lawn. They are boisterous, opportunistic birds that eat nearly anything and are actually much more likely than crows to steal corn.

At first glance you might not think there was much about a Grackle to write home about, with its somber dress and creaky voice. But if you look more closely at the Common Grackle you will see that it is really quite a striking bird. Its head and neck are not actually black but are covered in iridescent feathers ranging from purple to green to bronze. It has a distinctive white eye that contrasts sharply with its body. And its elongated, v-shaped tail lends a graceful touch to its figure.

To me the Grackle’s message is to appreciate the beauty, magic and majesty of ordinary, everyday life. To honor one’s physical being and delight in the strength and power of the body as a divine vehicle for Spirit. 

It also connotes the night, a time of feminine power. In fact, the grackle
with its white eye resembles the feminine “yin” of the famous Chinese yin-yang symbol.

We are all a part of the body of Mother Earth. Our bodies, our blood: her soil and water sparked to life. Our breath and her air are one. Her fire burns in our souls.

Is it not enough to simply be? Were we not born into the world as sacred beings? Can not our most simple, everyday actions become so infused with love that they are in themselves a prayer that is felt, seen, heard and understood without need for words or explanation?

That is the power of the divine feminine – a power that is felt, wordless, in the body and expressed naturally when we share the joy of living with others.

Just as a gorgeous iridescent rainbow lies hidden in the Grackle’s “black” feathers, so there is hidden treasure in the commonness of our lives.  A treasure we often miss in our pursuit of Purpose.

But sometimes, when we allow ourselves to quiet down, to ground ourselves and simply be, Purpose has a way of revealing itself after all.


This artwork is available as an 11″ x 14″ fine art print.  Click here to purchase.  

 

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

When Trees Speak

trees sky clouds sun

“We can speak without voice to the trees and the clouds and the waves of the sea. Without words they respond through the rustling of leaves and the moving of clouds and the murmuring of the sea.” – Paul Tillich

(I first published this post on another blog in 2014. Someone brought it to my attention today and it seemed right to re-publish it here, now.)

When trees speak, their message is not so much heard as felt.

I felt them speaking to me, their voices percolating inward, cresting my consciousness as I approached the top of the ridge.

The day was gray and moist. Tiny droplets settled on my face, on my hair, collecting, commingling, until finally they gathered enough collective momentum to run in tiny streams over my lips, my cheeks, my brow.

The message of the trees emerged.

“You are trying too hard,” they said.

It was not a whisper.

“You don’t have to try to solve the problems of the world. Just be who you are and you will make a difference. All you have to do is be.”

Be yourself? Is that what they were telling me?

Who knew trees spoke in cliches?

But who am I to argue?

Take a moment to listen to the trees today. What are they saying to you? What difference will you let it make in your life?

 

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

How Melvin the Dog Got Unstuck

Melvin the CoonhoundMeet Melvin.

He’s our rescued Coonhound mix. We’ve had him for almost a year and a half now.

Melvin is SUCH a sweetheart. In fact, we got him because he is actually able to get along with my other dog, Jasmine, who is not too fond of other dogs (to put it mildly.)

But, he came to us as a dog with “issues.” I’ll tell you about them some day. But for now I just want to tell you about a little quirk Melvin developed.

You see, we didn’t understand him at first. We had no idea how traumatized he must have been in his former situation.

On the surface, he seemed pretty easy going in the shelter. But I’m pretty sure now he was really a major PTSD case. In fact, now that I understand him better I realize that it took him nearly a year to really start to relax and trust us.

Long story short, any correction to his behavior has to be done with incredible sensitivity, great love, and NO negative emotion at all. We’re talking, you can’t just not appear to be angry. You can’t even FEEL angry when you correct him. Or even just a little annoyed.

(Even when he’s chewing up your cell phone.)

But it took us a little while to figure that out. So in the meantime he developed a weird behavior in the kitchen.

You see, the kitchen was where he would get into the most mischief. We’re pretty sure he had been starved at one point, so it’s understandable, but annoying.

So, he’d get on the counter and someone would yell at him to get off.

And then escort him out the door.

Melvin REALLY doesn’t like to be excluded. (He’s a real love hound.) After a while, he’d start to hide in the corner whenever it was time to leave the kitchen – whether anyone was annoyed with him or not. So there he would be, cowering in his corner, and not even the juiciest treat could entice him out.

In his mind, he was STUCK! No way out. (Even though the way was not only clear, he was receiving all the encouragement most any dog could ask for!)

I did eventually figure out what worked. Put a leash on him, and he’d walk away without a fuss. I guess having the leash on made him feel secure, so he could trust that things would work out OK.

We know now that we need to radiate love to him 100% of the time, so don’t worry – Melvin is doing fine! (He still gets stuck in the corner once in a while, but it’s not too hard to get him out now. All you have to do is open your arms and invite him in for a hug. Singing a lullaby doesn’t hurt, either.)

But it struck me that we all do this to ourselves.

We get into these ways of thinking where we back ourselves into a corner.

We think we are stuck. No way out.

But in reality, the way is open. We just have to trust, and get out of our own way. Or more precisely, knock out the fear that is keeping us in the corner.

Keeping us from taking the actions we need to take in order to set ourselves free.

How?

First, you have to find the fear. You don’t necessarily even have to know what caused it, but you do have to figure out where it’s hiding out. Specifically, which chakras – energy centers in the body – are most affected by it.

I have found that Spirit Animals have an uncanny knack for tracking down fears and negative energies in the chakras- just like Melvin instinctively tracks anything that has ever crossed his path.

Just for fun, I’ve decided to open up my schedule and offer a few free Spirit Animal chakra readings next week to anyone who hasn’t yet had a free reading from me. If you’ve been feeling stuck in a corner lately and don’t know why, I encourage you to book a time here: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=11463586&appointmentType=705316

I don’t know how long I’m going to keep this open, so if you are interested be sure to sign up right away! 🙂

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

Affirmation for a New Year

“I am willing to create positive change in myself and in the world.”

"Wind Woman" illustration copyright Anne C (Christie) Michelsen
“Wind Woman” illustration copyright Anne C (Christie) Michelsen

As is the human body, so is the cosmic body
As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind.
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm.
As is the atom, so is the universe.
– The Upanishads

As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul
– Hermes Trismegistus

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…
– Matthew 6:10
Just a thought for the first working day of this beautiful New Year:

We are Creators, you and I. We create our own reality. Piece by piece, step by step.

The little things we do? The little choices we make? They DO matter.

Yes, they do. A lot.

Each little choice (physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial) takes us that much closer to our own personal Hell…or to Heaven on earth.

Piece by piece. Step by step.

It’s up to us.

Which reality do you want to create?

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

Thoughts on Paris

Angel of femininity and graceThe thing about attending conferences is that catching up with the real world can be a shock. I didn’t even know about what happened in Paris until someone mentioned it on the airport shuttle on the way home from my events this past weekend.

Needless to say it was sobering.

My very first reaction was to tune out the rest of the conversation, close my eyes, and send love and light to the people of that beautiful city.

And as I did so, I sensed that I was not the only one. I could feel a tremendous tidal wave of love directed towards Paris from all over the earth. The city glowed like a beacon – truly a City of Light.

Then a strange thought came to me. It was, that somehow, the Earth needed healing in that spot. Needed it strong, and fast, and now. That the acts of violence happened in order to call attention to that place.

I hope this does not sound disrespectful to the people who died in Paris last week, or their families. The way I understand it, these people are not victims, but spiritual heroes.

It pains me to hear people reacting to the violence with thoughts of hate and revenge. I know it’s a natural reaction for many people but as they say in Unity, “thoughts kept in mind produce after their kind.” Hate only feeds hate. Fear feeds fear.

The key to change is to think the opposite. Only Love can conquer fear and hate, not more fear and hate.

And Love IS stronger than fear.

Whenever you read this, please join me right now in sending Love to Paris, or to wherever in the world you sense is hurting. Your doing so will be felt, and it does make a difference. Let’s not let the lives of all who passed in Paris last week be lost in vain.

Love & blessings,

Christie

P.S.The angel above is another in my new Angel Prints series. She is another one of my Angel Art Readings that was created for a specific person but has universal relevance. Her name is Helena, and one of her messages is to embrace both the light and the darkness in the world with grace and love.

This week, I am donating all profits from my Etsy shop to relief efforts in Paris. My spirit animal and angel posters and prints were all created to raise the vibration of Love in your home and the world. If you would like to help me spread this message of love in this way, visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/BrightSpiritArt?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.