“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”
― Coco Chanel
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement
that something else is more important than fear.”
― Meg Cabot
I’m sitting in my garden on a late afternoon in September basking in the golden rays of sunlight, yet still aware of that brisk feeling of chill in the air that is the indicator of the season. Fall, the season of the harvest and a time to celebrate the coming to fruition of the seeds we planted earlier in the year. Our community has been in dialogue about the importance of celebrating and while I have been listening and hearing those messages, truth be told, this time of year is hard for me. It always feels bittersweet, more a time of endings and I’ve never been good at endings or at letting go. In fact, I’m more of a spring, summer kind of energy, and I love the “bursting forth” that arrives with those spring days and the fiery heat and long days of light that the summer brings. Fall feels melancholy to me and adding to this feeling is the bittersweet reality that two of my “birds” (glorious children of a different feather) have flown the nest and that a very dear friend lies in the hospital about to slip away to the other side. I know that I’m supposed to be writing about courage but I don’t really have a clue about what to say and I feel no inspiration rising up within me and wanting to be shared. So here I sit wanting and longing to feel celebratory and inspired yet not really feeling it. Don’t get me wrong, while I may not feel celebratory I am not without profound gratitude for the abundant harvest and the inspiration that has come to me this year.
So I lean into these feelings and allow myself the luxury of being present to the sadness and the melancholy, the gratitude, the ache of endings living side by side with the coming to fruition of many beginnings. I close my eyes and rest in the fullness of it all. As I dance along the edge of these different emotions that call to me from different places in my being, a figure appears before me. Her presence does not alarm or surprise me. I am merely curious and expectant. She holds something in her hand, but before I can look closely at what it is she speaks, “So, Glitter W.A.S.P. what did you learn in Vegas this last week-end? “
“I learned many things,” I answer. “What comes into my mind right now is that I learned there is more than one kind of BLING. There is the BLING of shimmer and radiance, the sparkle of illumination and of SOUL-SHINE. The BLING of luminousness and the sparkle that lives within each of us waking up to our own divinity.That is the BLING that I call ‘Glitteracy’. In Vegas what I saw was the BLING of too much BLING. I didn’t even know there was such a thing! It was the BLING of decadence, of glaring, piercing neon lights, the BLING of sleepless nights and of nerve-wrecking and nerve-wracking delusions and illusions. The BLING of ONE LAST fling, spin, bite. The hell of endlessness and never knowing when to stop, to end, to fold, to let go. The BLING of life without death, of ever beginning but never ending, the BLING of filling, filling, filling but never emptying. The BLING of no space, no air, no breath.”
“Hmmm the bling of endlessness. This is the time of endings G.W., and it is in the endings that the ground is readied for the beginnings,” the unknown being said in response. Then she held out her hands and I could see that what she was holding was a beautiful chalice that glowed with a golden light.
“Who are you and what is this for?” I asked. “I mean I know that you are a MUSE but which one are you?”
“She laughed and said, “I am the one who is always with you but sometimes hidden. I am the one who shows up in strange places and at unexpected moments. What you hold in your hands is a Chalice of Faith. Drink…we are going on a journey together so that I may show you who I am.”
I drank and felt a warm golden light spreading throughout my body and as it spread the air around me shifts and shimmers dissolving shapes. Time and space seem suspended for a moment and I sense a new feeling of having arrived at our first destination. It is dark and airless and cramped. I feel something bang into my leg. “Ouch I exclaim. Where are we?” The lights come on and I see that we are in a small closet that holds cleaning supplies and a janitor’s cart and brooms. My Muse has shape shifted as well and I see that she is no longer a beautiful woman but is now elderly with stooped shoulders and greying hair.
“I’m the janitor here. We’re in a hospital. This is the oncology unit. All the people have cancer.” She grabs a broom, a bottle of cleanser and a sponge. Then she opens the door and gestures to me to follow her. With a cackle of laughter she says, “Name’s Bessie. They think I’m sweeping the floor but I’m actually sweeping their hearts clean. Don’t worry, they won’t be able to see you.” I follow her through the different rooms. Some people are hooked up to i.v.’s receiving chemo, others lie in bed waiting to transition to the other side. Some are having wig fittings or meeting with doctors. “Bessie” has a kind word or a joke for everyone. They seem to know her and welcome her easy banter. She unobtrusively places her hands gently on people’s backs, shoulders, hands. As she does I see with astonishment that they seem suffused with a golden glow that starts from the center of their being and spreads outward.
“Hey that’s my friend in the bed there, the one who is dying” I exclaim. I see that she already glows from the inside out and she appears to be dissolving and turning into light.
“Yes,” Bessie answers. “She is on her way and she has already embodied who I am. She has become me.”
I am grateful to have one last glance of my beloved friend’s face and to see her so at peace. “What will happen to all of them? ” I whisper forlornly.
“They will all heal,” replies Bessie. “Whether they live or die they will heal. Some souls will choose to remain and others will choose to complete their journey on the other side.” We head to the elevator and I ask, “Where to now?”
Bessie replies “Now to the maternity ward, another place of endings and beginnings. The end of life as they know it for the mothers and the beginning of the earth journey for the newly born souls.” She gives another cackle giving me the impression that she finds all of our “human” trials and tribulations to be a great source of amusement. Yet there is no malice in her laughter, only a joy-filled sort of “bring on” energy!
We head back to the broom closet and she hands me the chalice. I drink again and watch as the air shimmers and shifts and the world around us shape-shifts. This time we do not seem to reappear in a “place” but seem to be gazing into a scene, a kitchen where a woman cooks breakfast in a frying pan. “Wait,” I exclaim, “that’s me! That was years ago though when my son was young and he was attending that special needs school down the peninsula. I used to get up in the morning at 5 a.m. to cook him his favorite hot breakfast. I was so exhausted…those were rough times. I often didn’t know how I would keep going.”
“I was with you G.W. You were living your life from a heart of love, speaking your truth and keeping the faith. I am always with you when you are aligned with a life like that. Do you recognize me now? Do you know who I am?”
“Yes,” I reply. “You are the Muse of Courage, sister to Truth and Faith. I know you well. You have always shown up for me, often in my darkest moments. Thank you Muse of Courage.” She hands me the chalice and again I drink and feel the warmth that comes before I am transported through time and space.
We reappear this time in a large room and I recognize the Cosmic Cowgirls studio in Healdsburg. “Bessie” has shape shifted again and now appears with a cowgirl hat and she looks like one of us. She giggles and says, “They don’t really need me here. They’ve got me in spades and you see that red thread that they are holding? You can see the golden stream of light running through it. That’s it, that’s me….They gather and here I am weaving my way into all of their souls. If one is running a little low, she’ll give some to her soul sister. I love this place and these women. They live from their souls and they speak their truth. Out loud. Sometimes whooping and hollering as they go. They are healing themselves and each other with creativity. Leaps of faith? They live by that creed. And yep, they’ve all got me in spades.”
I open my eyes and find myself back in the garden. I feel the golden glow of sunshine warming my skin and I feel the golden glow that comes from inside and I remember that I too, am a Cowgirl. I’ve got the whoop and holler in me for the endings and the beginnings and I’ve got all my sisters with me. I am so blessed and so grateful for this abundant harvest season and for this journey of remembrance that my Muse of Courage has gifted me.
When does Courage show up for you?
Can you think of the times and places when you have surprised yourself by acting from a place of courage?
How does speaking your truth connect with courage?
How do you ask for or receive courage from your connections in your community when you feel like you are lacking it?
When has Courage shown up for you unexpectedly?
Think of a few instances where you showed more courage than you thought you have. Take a moment to reflect and really celebrate your embodiment of the “Muse of Courage.”
Does it take a different kind of courage to live in the endings than in the beginnings? Can you see the difference for you and how they interweave and overlap?
Now that you KNOW the Muse of Courage is always with you, what leap of faith are you audacious souls willing to take this month as we celebrate our Courage?
May the world ring with the beautiful truth of your thoughts spoken out loud!!!
GLITTER W.A.S.P. is a visionary artist and teacher, and an “Art Critic” who champions women artists. She considers it her own personal mission to spread sparkle around the world by celebrating the delightful, shimmering beauty women offer to the world through their gorgeous, artistic creations.
Elizabeth Gibbons is a visionary artist and teacher, clairvoyant healer, priestess of possibility and prophetess of enchantment also known in the Cosmic Cowgirls community as the Bejeweled Baroness. As a teacher, she encourages us to explore materials that awaken our sense of wonder, joy and playfulness. By playing with the sparkle of glitter, beads and jewels, we reconnect with the language of our soul and ignite the divine spark that Elizabeth calls our SOUL-SHINE. As we raise our vibrations, the alchemy of healing, that is part of our natural capacity, is activated.
Elizabeth, a.k.a. Glitter W.A.S.P. (or the Bejewelled Baroness depending upon the day of the week or who you ask), resides in San Francisco at the Palace of the Soul with her fabulously talented children and her revolving extended family. There she runs “The Divine School of Glitteracy” where she guides women and girls on magical adventures and ceremonies that allow them to reinvent their lives to align with more creativity, joy, enchantment, expansion, beauty and love. She teaches transformational art & embellishment classes at “The Palace of the Soul Divine School of Glitteracy.” She is currently adding “Intuitive & Playful Life Guidance & Clearing Abundance Blocks” to her menu. To view a complete menu of classes offered go to www.enchantedeye.net/one-on-one-classes or contact her at 415-637-4290 as new classes are often developed and added before they show up on her web-site.
“She Who Birthed Rivers of Light” is now available in Fine Art Prints. Please contact Elizabeth at 415-637-4290 to find out sizes and prices!
To shop for Fine Art prints by Elizabeth go to http://www.enchantedeye.net/shop_giclees_on_canvas.html
To view Glitter W.A.S.P.’s Daily Glitterations from May and beyond visit Elizabeth’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWmqNfLiDTnPC-_UJM2oV2Q