We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; 

we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

photo Celyn Nicholson - Un Lieu sur Terre

On getting re-acquainted with my own Spirituality

I am not a religious person.

I was born and raised catholic. Followed the path that my parents carved for me (baptized, First communion and all) until I reached an age where I realized that if I did believe in “something” bigger than myself, I had a really difficult time putting a “name“, a “label“, a “how to“, an “already created ritual and ceremony” that was not what my own “gut feeling”.  Add in the mix some life tragedies and the fact that I was told at my young age to pray to make things better… I found myself rather at lost when things went really sideways and the “better” never happened.

The worse happened. My mother had a terrible ski accident which left her in a wheel chair, her brother succumbed to a brain tumor few years later and my parents went through a painful divorce. It was a lot to take on over such a short period of time. And my prayers never got “answered”.

Well, in those moments when I experience these feelings (betrayed / lost and alone in the world) I have a tendency to slam that door pretty hard. You know, the moment of “I am done now” kind of feeling.  I didn’t want to reject everything about my Catholic experience, I just felt like dissociating myself from this “organization/congregation”. Of course, there are still stories, baseline, fundamental beliefs that I think are part of me.

Fast forward to few years later,  in the end I did not totally slammed the door  on my upbringing as a Catholic, I simply decided to hand pick my own system of beliefs instead of being spoon fed.

In my 20’s, I was working for a PR firm specialized in translating technical and technological works for compagnies like G.E.  Let me tell you that when you translate, texts can be so subjectively interpreted.  This made me realized  after on that if this was true when translating technical documents “at my very small scale”, imagine what to could be and how it could be misinterpreted on a much larger scale, or at a “higher altitude”, if you will when it comes ancien texts or story telling on religious matter. Translations can sometimes be “biased” by so many things : one word in one language has sometimes several different nuances to it in another one or simply doesn’t exist and can’t be translated (for instance the color blue didn’t have a name in ancient times).  For me, it’s all about giving permission.

Permission to interpret a word. Permission to interpret a way to keep the faith. Your faith.

HOW IT CHANGED EVERYTHING

This gave me freedom to think “differently” in many aspects of my life. This was a very important shift of thinking for me. I was given permission to start  looking at both what I believed  but most importantly at the way that I wanted to look at it.

I am all about hybrid. In my beliefs as well.

So, while I still admire the amazing architecture of many churches and cathedrals  – and  I do respect their sacredness – I no longer feel the need to attend church to connect.

I started crafting my “spirituality”. A true patchwork of what was inspiring me + speaking to my heart. I began creating my own altar at my house in Bagnols en Foret, where I used to live at that time. I created my own sacred rituals. Worded my own beliefs into my own songs / mantras. Lots of candles, some rocks and feathers,  some crystals, pictures of loved ones, an angel minimalist statue, an handcrafted wooden Buddha, semi precious stones, some handmade pottery for my insences.

In his book “A religion of One’s own”, Thomas Moore suggests that we could all create our own religion by simply  letting << a new kind of spiritual creativity, in which we no longer decide whether to believe in a given creed and follow a certain tradition blindy. […] Most important , we no longer feel the pressure to choose one tradition over another but rather are able to appreciate many routes to spiritual richness. This new religion is a blend of individual inspiration and inspiring tradition>>.

By trusting my own Spirituality and being aware of signs many things shifted and many good things happened.

I realized that my thoughts and spiritual practices were linked and were opening doors to me. I worked independly for many big events leaving me enough free time to restore my old shepherd house, met the love of my life (we have been together for 13 years now), travelled and lived abroad to the place that speaks to my heart: California.

When I moved to United States from my little stone house in Le Var, many things shifted again. I I was in my 30’s. I left my family and my friends in the South of France. I add to re-root myself but also re-grow some new wings as the lost of beloved mother seriously torn them in bits and pieces.  Some serious spiritual sewing would be necessary to patch my life back together.

The universe had my back and our first little precious baby girl ( now almost 14 years old ) was born few months after my mother passed away. Lack of sleep, lack of time to myself. Very little time to “practice” my spirituality.But I felt totally supported by the magic of the place we were living at that time.  Santa Barbara,California is one place that I call my “spiritual” place.

By letting go and trusting in something bigger than myself,  I met the “right” people, took ‘the right’ art classes. My creativity was going on full speed. After being a Raku potter, a clay sculptor, I followed my instincts and started intuitive mixed media painting.I mean, first small ones and all of the sudden :: huge canvases. Wild strokes + nature bits + discarded objects from the beach. Inspiration was pouring. I was creating many paintings  “intuitively”. It was so meditative. So divinely inspired. I did many shows / sold many of my mixed media artworks /  created an inspirational group of women who I  was “coaching”  on how to be (more) creative. I loved iiiiid. It felt like I was finally  living my life with purpose.

unlieusurterre_lilaspersonalaltar_celyn_nicholson

WHAT HAPPEN WHEN YOU FELL OFF YOUR SPIRITUAL WAGON ?

Baby number 2 came along and then, we moved again. Back to France.  Gloops… France ?

I know this sounds “Magnifique” to you but for me it felt like I was moved from First class to coach. Seriously :: not a good feeling. Why ? Well, the main reason why I  left my country (France)  in the first place was because the energy was not aligned with my spirit.

So let me tell you that moving  back  felt like I was going back to square one. Result ? I stopped creating. I was miserable. As much as I tried to make the best  out of it, creatively I was literally flat lining.

Couple of years later ( we ended up staying nearby Paris for 5 years), I realized that I was wasting my talents (oui, exactement, my talents and with an S )and that life was too short. Once again, my spirituality and a bit of law of attraction help me. Creating is my medicine. My way to nurture myself back to life. This is my true belief.

Next ting I know, I decided to launch my handmade brand “Un lieu sur terre ( it means a place on earth, en francais). All screen printed handmade mindful goodies for your home and your soul. Sold some. Got some media attention (magazines and TV shows). All good.

Moved again (no, we are no in the military :  hubby’s corporate promotion).

So all on board:: 2 kids / 240 boxes ( 1/3 of it from my art studio 😉 seriously ) and a feeling of channeling Heidi: Switzerland  here we come!  We are now entering year 5.

Now, well in my 40’s (yep!), mum of now 3 kiddos [an old soul baby boy  who’s now 2 and half years old / a wise soul teen daughter with a high sense of spirituality and fashion / an 10 years old going onto 12, with the energy of wild horses on steroids 🙂 ] simply finding time to nurture both my spirituality and my creativity is a bit of a challenge. So I started practicing what I now call “Soultripping sessions” : a bit of art making with some deep spirituality “roots” to it.

I drew strengths  from my own experience and over the last couple of years I’ve been crafting an e-course called “The Sacred Soultripping Collective“, a 6 week online class with  a mindful & creative approach for traveling life’s transition times : from birth to death, from weddings to divorces, from break-ups to job change or job loss, transitions are fed by life-crises. But a transition is also a place for us to connect with our uniqueness and cultivate the courage to express ourselves fully in this world in spite of our outside circumstances. THE SACRED SOULTRIPPING e-course is the result of my quest for transitioning more gracefully.

My hope for my kids is to understand that it is crucial to believe that the universe has their back. That they need to figure what they love to do, so that in the end they’ll do what they love. It’s so utterly important that they grow up with is a strong sense of believing to ” Cosmos /Spirit / God / Buddha / Universe / Energy fields”.  They can have a way to connect with their own spirituality and create their “own inner religion”.  It does not take much to create meaningful altars  and  create some rituals to stitch their dreams in the fabric of their future. My girls still believe in angels / fairies / spirits from loved ones to show them to look out for some ” good happy signs” . 

We’re cosmic. We all have great cosmic capacities.

It is part of the Divine Feminine.

As a mama:: I need to pass it on.

As an artist :: I need to inspire.

Home is where my heART & spirituality are interwoven.

It’s loud and clear for me now : my art is inspired by my spirituality and vice versa. I must create to nurture myself and refill my love cup.

Back on track.

PS : In my “White Spaces” blog post : I share a lot of tips and why white spaces are  essential to letting go and shine your own light.

SOUL WORK FOR THE WEEK⩔ 

  • Spiritually : connect with your soul friends / your feel good communities / cook / danse / paint / attend classes, workshops, lectures that will lift your spirit.
  • Rejuvenate yourself with like minded people. Bathe yourself in beauty. Inside. Out.
  • Create a sacred altar within your home :: time to reconnect with yourself, your deep desires and keep them in focus. Write your sacred words / add some meaningful nature inspired forms / a candle or more. Make sure it is in a predominant sacred place of your home  (a Bagua Map is a big help) go see it and honor it everyday .

 

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