“A sacred illness is one that educates us and alters us from the inside out, provides experiences and therefore knowledge that we could not possibly achieve in any other way.”
In early January of this year, I got a notice that the amazing artist and teacher Jeanne Bessette (http://www.bessetteart.com) would be teaching a 5-day art class in Sedona, Arizona in September. I remember laying in bed, which was where I was still spending about half of my time, thinking what a great opportunity this was. Jeanne lives in North Carolina, and as far as I knew, had never come to AZ.
As I continued to read the details about this “Soul of the Artist” class , I felt this rush of excitement, and an absolute and resounding “yes!” in every cell of my body. You know. One of those times when all logic goes out the window, only pure heart energy takes over, and there’s nothing to do but hang on for the ride. It’s quite exhilarating, and at the same time, scary as hell!
Before I really knew what was happening, I electronically plunked down my $250 non-refundable deposit and somehow trusted that in 8 months I would be well enough to attend and participate in the class. You’d think there wouldn’t be any doubt that it would be enough time, but after 4 years of this chronic illness, I’d become leary of banking on any kind of steady improvement.
As the months clicked by, I moved between “how awesome is this” and “what the hell was I thinking” many, many times. I even emailed Jeanne to make sure it would be workable if I still needed to take my daily 2-hour afternoon nap. She kindly reassured me that she would make sure I didn’t miss anything big. Luckily, to my amazement, my energy steadily improved, and on September 18th I happily and nervously drove myself to the magical land of Sedona.
Funny things happen when you say “YES” to your own heart strings. Like:
- you get a partial view of the gorgeous Sedona red rocks from your “basic” hotel room.
- you find a comfy couch, perfect for napping, in the room next to the art studio.
- you put your well being first and find out that really cool people still value you.
- you begin feeling surges of energy you haven’t felt in years.
- you begin embracing a part of yourself that has needed attention for as long as you can remember.
- you begin to feel a strong connection to something greater, something grander, something magical, and can’t believe how happy it makes you.
- upon returning home, you are greeted with many kisses and a giant bouquet of sunflowers.
I always doubted the reality of Sedona being a place of energy vortexes, strong spiritual energies, and healing. It just sounded too good to be true, and more a creation of good marketing than actual facts. Oh, how wrong I was.
It’s not that I’d never experienced the natural beauty of “Red Rock Land”, but for the first time, with support and love from the wise and transformational Jeanne Bessette, I was encouraged to be “in relationship” with it. And it changed everything.
I’m still in process with the whole experience, and it hasn’t been all flowers and puppy dog tails to say the least. But not many things in this life are. I’m still working on being okay with that. In the mean time I will keep loving myself, fighting off shame when it sneaks in while I’m not looking, harvesting priceless energy that has been locked inside unprocessed and unloved anger, and painting like my life depends on it. Because I’m pretty sure it does.
Pay attention to your heart strings, dear friends. They will never lead you astray. Promise.
take the risk.
let yOurself be mOved.
it’s wOrth it!