Just in the past week, as a Peace Minister and a human being, I have been blessed to experience many diverse and “rather ordinary” meaningful facets of human life. I have moved from shock and sadness to joy and happiness with several stops in between. Here are some highlights:
– A vibrantly happy auspicious 60th year milestone birthday party
– An art show calling attention to accomplished students of a well-known artist
– An amazingly simple yet complex Study in Compassion
– Completed a twelve-week series about understanding empathic gifts
– A delightful playdate with a young, lively and intelligent red-haired beauty
– A sad and devastating hospital CCU support visit with a dear friend
– A touching Celebration of Life service for a 73-year old man who served tirelessly and with a loving heart*
– A Healing Mandala session with a breast cancer survivor
– The creation of healthy and hearty whole foods suppers in my home kitchen
– Teatime with friends
…..and the list goes on!
There have been countless opportunities to not only observe and witness but to relate from the heart and to participate in life-art as described by artist Carol Zukosky:
Musings of Being an Artist
“I have been painting for many years. Many friends and family ask what is it like to be an artist? I always think this is a funny question. The way I see it we are all artists of our own life. Let me back up and tell you why I feel this way. As someone that paints and draws I spend hours working and honing my craft. When I do this, I slip into a timeless realm and relax in a way that feels rejuvenating to my body, mind, and spirit. I enjoy the process of working at what I love. I believe every person has areas of interest or gifts. When we give over to these and follow our muse whether it is, cooking, taking care of a family, woodworking, dancing, etc. I believe we move into non-ordinary space where a life force expansion happens. We are more satisfied with our life, relaxed and present for the rest of our life experiences.
Painting by Carol Zukosky
Now sometimes there is a product, like a painting and maybe there is satisfaction with your picture or a desire to do better next time, but it is no matter. The joy is in doing the activity and being fully present. (I added the bold print) We are all so blessed with many interests and gifts. To take time to develop these, to give way to whimsy and drop deeply into what makes you feel good, nurtured and delighted makes You an Artist!
When my friends wax eloquently about what an artist I am, I smile. Oh yes, and I always reflect back, I see you, and you are an artist too.”
So often we get caught up in the humdrum of daily life, that we forget that every moment is a sacred and precious gift when we fully savor each experience. We can make life our finest art with mindful, participatory presence focused with full attention to what is happening right now.
I was present to hear *Paul Fulford, during a 2019 December Solstice Service, as he offered this fitting and appropriate Einstein quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Paul concluded this way: “And I choose to see the miracle.” No one knew then that, in less than one month, Paul would make his transition from this physical existence. He was surely a mystic and in touch with the preciousness of life. His own life was a clear testimony to the title of this piece.
Much like these samples of Carol’s paintings, that flow along a continuum from a plant still life (such as Helianthus) to portraits of living humans (like this red-haired beauty), we each flow with life via our moment to moment choices and responses to what simply is. The great Mahatma Gandhi said, “my life is my message”. And, isn’t that truly so?!
Wanda Gail Campbell
Photograph by Carol Zukosky
Wanda has served thirty-plus years as a healthcare professional. Currently, she serves as a Minister of Peace ordained by The Beloved Community. In July 2007 she completed her Ph.D. in Philosophy focused on Intercultural Peacemaking. For her own spiritual nourishment, she enjoys reading both contemporary and ancient spiritual writings.