Many women today feel they have little time for their “spiritual lives.” Their frustration is rooted in the belief that the spiritual life can only be nourished and enjoyed when all the responsibilities, tasks, and challenges of daily life have been met. Meanwhile, deep within there is a longing for union with God… with Sacred presence… in the midst of endless distractions and duties.
What if your spiritual life could be integrated and inextricably woven into the fabric of everyday moments? How would it feel to be in connection with the Sacred in the midst of folding laundry, navigating traffic on the way to work, facilitating a meeting, planting petunias, responding to e-mail, or preparing the evening meal? What if you were inspired to imagine each facet of your daily life to be imbued with new meaning when seen and experienced through a lens of sacred awareness? How different would your life be if you lived each day as a Sacred Life-Artisan…if youbecame the sacred artist of your multi-faceted life?
My passion is to provide inspiration, resources, and guidance for you to connect to your soul and creative gifts in the midst of the busyness of ordinary and extraordinary daily demands. I invite you to become a Sacred Life-Artisan, a woman who lives in co-creative connection with God (Spirit, Christ Consciousness, the Divine, the Holy One, Higher Power, Higher Self).
The Sacred Life-Artisan experiences each moment through her senses; touch, taste, hearing, sight, smell, and intuition. The senses are physical and mystical conduits capable of providing continual creative and spiritual guidance.
The Sacred Life-Artisan
A woman who makes her life her sacred art is a a Sacred Life-Artisan. She experiences and visions her life inspired by the Sacred Life-Arts 7 facets of illumination. The Sacred life Artisan:
- Beholds and cultivates beauty
- Arranges her life as a reflection of order, sacred purpose, and simplicity
- Tends her heart and hearth to nurture her relationships and surroundings
- Prays, listens, and devotes her spirit to co-creation with God
- Crafts her creative tools for her authentic life
- Archives inspiration and enriches her sacred imagination
- Shares her creative/spiritual gifts with others
How Sacred Life-Arts Began
For the past twenty years I’ve been a facilitator for the feminine spiritual/creative process, a Spiritual Director, and most recently as an ordained woman, I’ve served in pastoral ministry.
On many occasions during my discussions with women I have heard a repetitive longing…. “I know there must be a way to have a more meaningful spiritual connection even though I’m so incredibly busy. I wish I had more time for my spiritual life.”
Recently, my heart and soul experienced this same longing. A longing that eventually led to the inspiration and creation of Sacred Life-Arts. The short version of how my yearning for a deeper connection to God inspired me to become a Sacred Life Artisan began a few years ago.
The pace and overwhelming responsibilities of my life were devouring my contemplative nature and I felt depleted on all levels…physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I had allowed my schedule to become a runaway train without brakes. A serious illness eventually brought me to a screeching halt. My body screamed, “Enough! Stop! Now!”
My perfectionism and addiction to pleasing the people in my life took their toll. I was not only physically ill but also spiritually bereft. It was hard to admit my predicament was a situation of my own creation, but it was. I learned viscerally during my recuperation something I knew intellectually. The practice of extreme self-care of one’s soul is equally as important as tending the needs of one’s body.
Questions and Reflections Inspire the Quest
Ultimately, my physical and spiritual crisis was a catalyst for an inner journey to seek answers to seeming unending questions. Questions often arise with the arrival of a crisis or challenge. I learned it’s important not to diminish those questions but rather, lean into them.
I discovered one question linked to another and another and another. Each question was like a stepping stone on a pathway that led me deeper and deeper into the forest of discovery until eventually I emerged from the other side, with new vision.
Collage-making became my form of visual prayer and helped me process my circumstances. Perhaps one or more of the questions and reflections that arose during my time of transition are nudging your heart as well.
- How may I discern where God is calling me to use my gifts and move forward on life’s path? I need new eyes to see, a new lens to observe the true nature of each moment.
- What tools are necessary for a new vision? How will I arrange my life to experience order, purpose, and simplicity?
- What practices and creative wisdom do I require to nurture my work and enrich my relationships with friends and beloveds? How can I acquire inspirational ways to enhance my surroundings in my home with sacred awareness? I long to tend the hearth of my heart and living space.
- My prayer life has become routine. I know there must be a pathway leading to a deeper relationship with God. I am seeking to discover renewed ways to pray. I long for more meaningful creative forms of devotion and ritual.
- I want to co-create with God. I hope to use my hands, heart, and imagination to explore, express, and imagine my soulful purpose? I long to craft my life with authentic meaning.
- My past holds clues to the present and my future vision. Archiving my accomplishments, interests, dreams, and ever-evolving self could possibly inspire my imagination.
- How will I serve the greater good, foster hope and healing in small and big ways each day? I want to share my gifts with my family, community, and the world, in a purposeful and intentional way.
- Overall, how do I integrate my spiritual/contemplative nature with my active/doing mind to bring balance to my life?
In all truth I wanted to know the answers to my endless questions sooner rather than later. Immediately, I discovered the familiar adage is right… “God’s timing is not necessarily human timing.” What I learned first and foremost was the necessity to stop all my doing and just be. Creating time for silence and stillness paved the way to a journey that eventually led to the creation of Sacred Life-Arts.
A Search for Clues
Stillness inspired me to begin to explore my home for answers to my questions. I sorted through old personal journals to harvest all the bits and pieces of what I had learned and experienced through the years. I picked through drawers and took dusty boxes from closet shelves. I began to research my life like an archaeologist digging for clues to a historical or should I say,
her-storical mystery. I combed the cobwebs of my memory’s attic and recalled the wisdom of the wise women, family and friends, I had known. I also went through past files and materials to revisit the evolution of my retreat work and spiritual practice.
During my time of physical recuperation and spiritual exploration I re-read cherished books about medieval culture, the monastic tradition, Christian mystics, and prayer. As I read the writings of the early Christian feminine mystics (Hildegard of Bingen, Mechtild of Magdeburg, and Teresa of Avila) I discovered with new eyes how the sacred was everywhere…woven into the fiber of medieval life. Prayer and creativity for the medieval people were inseparable. The senses of the medieval woman were antennae for receiving messages from God. She was a co-creator with the Divine. I pondered these concepts and imagined visioning my life as my medieval ancestors had experienced theirs.
Honey and Prayers
The hours of my healing process melded into days, weeks, and months. While my body healed I worked to heal my spirit. I prayed, journaled, ate lots of honey on warm bread, and prayed some more. The honeybee became a new personal symbol and I read everything I could about this amazing little insect. The bee continues to inspire my vision of sacred community.
I listened to the music of Bach and Judy Collins, sorted hundreds of old photographs, and cooked pots of lentil soup. And yes, I ate lots of chocolate. Throughout all my passive and active hours, prayer was central to my exploration.
Guide me, God. Help me to know what I must know to serve You better. Help me stay connected to YOU. Give me new eyes to see. Amen.
All the while, a voice heard with the ears of my heart kept urging, “Use your inner vision to see the sacred in your life. You will find it everywhere.” One by one I discovered clues that were scattered to follow like a trail of breadcrumbs by an invisible hand.
As the year anniversary of the onset of my illness approached, my health slowly returned and my spirit was rejuvenated. The process of re-membering past tools, techniques, knowledge, and intuitive understandings I’d gathered over time were melded with new discoveries. A course for my imagination was charted. I began to explore new terrain. An illuminated map emerged in my consciousness, a map leading me to new life as a Sacred Life-Artisan. God’s grace was palpable. My questions were at long last being answered and I was energized and excited. Inspiration arrived when the Sacred Life-Arts 7 facets of illumination appeared as I was writing in my journal one morning.
Sacred Life-Arts is Born
I spent the following year honing and refining my new emerging new work. Spiritual and creative practices grew from the 7 facets. Beholding, arranging, tending, praying, crafting, and archiving came together and through the process of illumination Sacred Life-Arts was born. It’s now time to share Sacred Life-Arts with you.
The entirety of this website…the Sacred Life-Arts classes, resources, and spiritual inspiration are designed to work together to enrich your life with new meaning, hope, possibility, and creativity. What I have discovered and continue to learn has transformed my life and I am passionate to share the next generation of my offerings of the Spirit, Sacred Life-Arts with you. It is my prayer that you, through your inherent wisdom,creativity, and experience will find tools and practices here to bring you transformation and new beginnings.
Sibyl “Dana” Reynolds, Founder Sacred Life-Arts