Some images live on in our heart and memory long after our first encounter with them – this is one of those images for me. The eyes of the mother and the child are mesmerizing. The image speaks to me of precious moments in my life filled with awe, vulnerability, loving intention, tender care, patient waiting and exquisite beauty. Moments where I have been able to go deeper versus wider and really experience the experience.
Just the other day, I shared a conversation with a physician colleague and something she said to me took me immediately back to this image. “I am in desperate need of moments where I don’t have to figure something out or make someone better but where I can create something beautiful just by being me and being present to the experience.” We went on to talk about the individuals in our lives who have given shape and form to our dreams and how the practice of responsible caregiving as we have known it (in medicine and nursing) often leaves so little room and/or incentive for creativity, imagination, storytelling, dream weaving…creating something beautiful just by being present to the experience.
I shared with her a core practice that I was introduced to in my experience with the Center for Courage & Renewal, www.couragerenewal.org, and Circles of Trust® that focuses on the importance of tending the work before the work. Or as Mark Nepo states in his book, The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be, “There is always a practice before the practice; a sitting before the incomprehensible long enough to feel and sometimes understand the mystery each instrument and craft is designed to invoke.” At the conclusion of our conversation we remarked that just by engaging together in the simple practice of pausing and reflecting on our inner artistry, we felt less anxious, better able to hear ourselves and listen to each other and more aware of the beauty within us and all around us.
What is the beauty you love and long to do?
What thoughts and feelings are evoked as you experience this image?
Who were you born to be?
Who are the individuals in your life that give shape and form to your dreams?
What “practice before the practice” supports your inner artistry/beauty?