Sharing Your Creative Expression...Express Yourself!

Openhand Facilitator Rich West just recently released his new book, "Awakening through Change" which he self-published, and it's inpsired me to start this forum thread... "Sharing Your Creative Expression". Creativity is a tremendous way to unleash hidden aspects of your soul. It could just be sharing a short blog, a poem, a thought, a vision, a photograph you took, anything that stirs the creative juices. And there's no need to be self-conscious! Close your eyes a moment, breathe, get yourself in the zone, and let it flow!...

Comments

Hi everyone,

If I may share a short excerpt from my book. I created a system to explain the different levels of dying we experience in our everyday lives. I've defined death as, 'the breaking down of one reality in order to make space for another'. Within this definition we are going to different levels of dying all the time. Here's the excerpt copied straight from the book:

 

The Spectrum of Dying

The Spectrum of Dying is a model that I have created to show the different levels of death we can experience. It is by no means exhaustive or definitive. It is simply there to provide a reflection, to show how death is ever present in your life. There are nine levels, in which I’ve written some notes for your understanding and contemplation. By working with the lower levels, where dying is more frequently present in life but less intense, we can prepare ourselves better for the later stages when dying becomes a major factor in our lives.

Level 0 – The death of perceived time

This is the constant dying from moment to moment. We are no longer the same person as we were in the previous moment. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man.”

Level 1 – Very minor pain, irritation, movement of thoughts.

When we become aware of minor pains, our bubble of comfort may pop for a few moments. If we are aware of the movement of thoughts, we will notice how quickly our states of consciousness change.

Level 2 – Disappointment, not meeting your own or other people’s expectations, entering into conflict with others

When our expectations aren’t met, we realize that our filter of the world may not be completely accurate. We all experience the world through our own filters. Usually, people will identify with their filters and therefore seek to justify these expectations in order to protect this identity. Entering into conflict has a similar effect. We experience a kind of death when we realize that our perception of the world is only ours, and therefore may not be the ultimate truth. Again, those who feel that this threatens their identity will seek to argue their point and even try to convince others that they are right. To embrace level 2, we have to work with our judgement of how a situation should be. Being spontaneous is a powerful antidote to this.

Level 3 – Moderate injuries, moderate physical/emotional pain, temporary setbacks

This level challenges our more integrated and permanent identity (body and emotion) but only with moderate intensity and not in a permanent way. Being attentive to how you react to things is the way to work with this. Are you becoming identified?

Level 4 – Choosing to change circumstances, for example leaving a job, ending a relationship or moving home

These are larger changes to our lives, which may take us out of our comfort zone. However, they are empowered choices and therefore some perception of control over the situation may remain. Some grief may happen. It will also be likely that many aspects of level 3 will intensify. It’s important to always be aware of how you feel to be and letting action guide you from there. Feel into where life is taking you, without getting attached to particular goals or outcomes.

Level 5 – Forced change of circumstances, for example redundancy, your partner unexpectedly ending the relationship, your children moving out of the home

This can turn our whole world upside down. The perceived reality that you had become comfortable with is no longer valid. Grief will likely be quite strong but will ease over time. Work to let go of the old paradigm. Then, feel into the pure potential of void that has been created. What aspect of being wants to come out of it? There are always tremendous opportunities for expansion in such situations.

Level 6 – Permanent loss, for example the death of a close friend or relative, permanently losing function of the body or mind, being diagnosed with a terminal illness

We know that our reality, as we’ve identified with, will never be the same again. Of all the levels, grief is most intense in this one. Give yourself time and space to process the grief. Seek support from others. If possible create a network of people in similar circumstances. Balance this with plenty of time by yourself so that you can feel who you are within this new paradigm.

Level 7 – Final moments of life, leading to actual physical death as we begin to merge with Source

At this stage, people will gradually dissociate with their body and mind, which are no longer functioning well enough to be able to interact with the outer environment.

Level 8 – Actual death of the bodily vehicle.

Death of the body, emotions and mind. No matter what your beliefs of what (if anything) comes after death, this is the moment where the vehicle associated with this life is permanently let go of.

Notes on the Spectrum

Generally, the intensity of the death increases from levels 1–8, requiring more and more levels of surrender. However, as the levels get higher, they will also occur less frequently in our lives. It must also be said that the final two stages (7–8) are processes that happen organically, with no interference from fixed identities. Therefore, there is no resistance. With this in mind, it can be said that the death of our identity occurs in stages 1–6. These are the stages which require work on ourselves, in order to let go of outdated identity patterns. Grief tends to happen between levels 4–6 increasing in intensity through them.

It can also be noted that there may be a combination of levels at play. In complex experiences, such as the ending of a relationship or a car crash, different aspects of the experience will likely be experienced on different levels. Therefore, it’s helpful to recognise which aspects are on which levels, and also when an aspect changes levels as can also happen. Applying this means we can see what we need to give priority to when moving on, how to work with it, and the progress we make in healing.

Level 0 (which I call the “Ace”) is separate as it doesn’t fit in with the general trend of the levels increasing in intensity but happening to us less often. Yes, it happens the most often (each and every moment in fact). However, it is also the hardest to master. It requires a complete letting go of any identity. Unlike levels 7– 8 where letting go of identity also happens, level 0 requires us to face all of our pain and darkness head on. It requires a baptism of fire. We need to liberate ourselves from all of our attachments and fears until we come to a stage where we are only coming from the place of purity where our essence resides (this will be fully explained in later chapters). Only then is level 0 possible.

This Spectrum of Dying provides a model to work with. It is only by working with this concept of death (i.e. letting go of identities and embracing the emptiness beyond it) that we are able to truly live in the moment. Only by confronting our death, is spontaneity really possible. By embracing the death of all that is not truly who we are, we open ourselves up to the full majesty, beauty and magic of life.

In order to work through these levels of dying, it’s foremost important to work with our fear of death. In my observation, fear of death manifests in our daily living in two ways:

  1. Fear of loss
  2. Fear of the unknown

 

Wow Marije! That is a powerful image... To me, brings up awareness of the nervous system. ❤️

Creative expression.... At the moment I am exploring herbal/nutritional elixirs that support the natural propensity toward wholeness. These elixirs act as either a support, a catalyst or a varied blend to open the doors to what wants to release and what wants to come forward. Diving now into creating labels, words and images that express the right vibe. 

Hi Rich - it's a fascinating exploration of the various levels of death - an awesome contemplation, and for each who does it, there will come with it a greater level of freedom in life.

I love the "0" level of death - where you're continually dieing to what you were. I think it would be beneficial for us (you) to elaborate on this a bit more with people so that it can be really accessible. For me, I don't feel identity any more, so I don't feel it dieing. But I do feel the continual death of what I've created and if there is any investment, yes it'll pull on things internally. But the more you practice it (deep letting go in the moment), the more skilled you become and the more the flow flows. I especially loved this...

level 0 requires us to face all of our pain and darkness head on. It requires a baptism of fire.

Spot on! Indeed it does. The more you turn right in to face your pain, the more the baptism unfolds you...

 

“In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix first must burn.”

Octavia Butler

Sounds like a fascinating Book Rich. Well worth anyone reading.
Rich's Book... Awakening through Change

Open Praying Emoji

 

In reply to by Richard W

Really impressive how you have dived right into this and explored it in such a deep way... Love the way you have laid this out...a way to relate with death in a moment to moment way. ❤️

Hey Rich,

I am really impressed by the way you’ve so thoughtfully and artfully woven these different overlapping levels into one spectrum. It resonates the depth of your exploration and revelations of knowledge hard won.  I just downloaded the book and am looking forward to making the journey cover to cover! 

Inspired,

Paul

In reply to by Marye

Just love that you posted it Marye. I can see what you are saying Open. I see someone's possible path with room for unlimited possibilities.

much love

Charlie

In the spirit of this thread. I haven’t been playing piano very long so it’s chunky. But Love this song too much not to share. Finally let some soul through there at the end. :)

In reply to by Marye

Isn't it fascinating how we all see/feel/experience through a unique lens...reflecting our own experience, filters, perceptions. Thank you for sharing this Marije - I wanted to mention that also lately I have found myself reflecting on the way the network that is above ground and visible comes from what is underneath and not visible. This image is also reminding me of a feeling that has been coming up in meditation ....a network of connections that is possible to connect into...feels like a root system - a web? Anyways, as a side note, right after I read Open's message about the fist, I walked outside and a car drove by with the work FIST on both the front and back license plates...reflects some things back to me that I have been exploring. Anyways, Marije - this creative expression speaks volumes!! <3<3<3

Hi Rich , 

Thanks so much for having layed out your deep explorations about different ways of dying in the day to day life . I personally have been contemplating some of those points lately as i am transitioning from one life ( the ending phases of ( different karmic loops / tendencies / pain charges ) to a new invigorated One . In the past few weeks , at times , i truly felt like the " death " or "ending " of various aspects of the Old Self ( and its habits that no longer serve ) in very Odd ways . Truly looking forward to read your book - i am sure its gonna help me go through some of the nitty gritty parts of this particular shift  & many others . 👌

 

Jean Bluehopi

Open, Jen, Paul, Charlie and Scott - thank you for your feedback.

Paul - Isn't music fascinating, how we combine certain single resonances and weave them together to produce a complex sound which evokes certain feelings. I hope you're having lots of fun with it!

Jen - Ah, that's so cool that you are mixing elixirs. I can imagine it takes a blend of knowledge and intuition and will always be unique. Great to keep the creative juices flowing.

Marije - I see new branches sprouting from old, cut back ones. 

Hi Open and everyone,

I've been asked to elaborate on the 'level 0' in the spectrum of dying above. I believe this level can be touched at times when we are pure presence. In order to experience this level consistently we need to let go of our identities (ego). 

Identity creates a kind of eddy current in the flow. When no identity is there then we can flow effortlessly with the universal torus. However, if we are identified with something then we are basically making the statement of 'I don't want reality to be how it is in this moment, I want it to be how it was before'. It's like throwing an energetic tantrum! Tongue Out Emoji

There is no method to experience this 'level 0' other than to let go of what's in the way - in other words for everything that isn't your essential self to die. When we experience this then the complementary energies of death and birth will be our constant companions.

Of course for a more detailed explanation of how to let go of the obstacles, embrace your essential self and live from that place, you'll have to read the whole book!! Tongue Out Emoji

Much love

Rich

Hello everyone,

I'm just loving this thread!

Several years ago, I performed in this musical called Dracula in my original language. Just for fun, while sitting around for long periods of time waiting to rehearse my scenes, I started rewriting the lyrics of some songs into English, infusing my own angles and insights into the story. I showed these adaptations to the producers and they liked them so much, I was asked to write an English version of the whole Libretto.

Lately, I have felt a strong presence - that of my Twin flame, and I suddenly found myself revisiting this particular song over and over. I'm amazed that something I wrote 14 years ago would resonate so strongly today. But I remember how every nook and cranny of me bathed in a very special and sublime energy when I wrote the lyrics to this song. Although I had no idea at the time, it is clear to me today for what or whom I wrote it...

This is the duet between Dracula and his Love, Mina, right before he grants her 'eternal life'.

 

LOVERS OF THE NIGHT

Can you feel my heartbeat... echo in your soul...
running through your chambers... and making you whole
Like a moth...
to the flame...
lighting up inside you
burning up the shame
whispering my name...

Follow me tonight through every shadow to a different place
I will walk with you, Yes, I will follow
guided by your grace

Can you feel my senses... seeking out your heart...
All of your defences... are falling apart
Let us fade...
unafraid...
deep into the darkness
where we find the light...

Lovers of the Night

Come along into this magic world where fairytales come true
I will come along and every breath I take
will be for you

You and I together
like waves upon the sand
Falling like a teardrop
that melts into your hand...

I can feel your heartbeat... echo in my soul...
running through my chambers... and making me whole

Let our flame reignite
Let it live forever
Let it shine so bright...

Lovers of the Night...

(The image on the video is NOT from Dracula.)

Hope you can feel it.

Heart

Anastasia

 

Hi Anastasia - wonderful lyrics indeed - and yes for sure they can be felt! Heart

The Twin Flame does indeed start coming through as Kundalini activates - it's another part of the dynamic. Great that you captured it in your own creativity!

Open HeartPraying Emoji

Thank you, Open! 

Your kind words mean a lot to me 🙏🏻

What I’m experiencing right now is a real sense of time not being linear, but more spiralling from the outside and in, with themes reinventing themselves through ‘new’ circumstances. I’m seeing my whole life from a ‘quantum’ perspective. I’d go as far as to say that everything I have done/experienced up until now has been a preparation/rehearsal for this moment in time. And I’m kind of in awe of how wisely (and bravely) my soul chose the challenges it chose.

Even with one of my toughest experiences, I can now see, that not only did I draw it to me, I literally jumped at the opportunity when it arose. It’s quite a head spin when you suddenly ‘see’ these things in a totally different light.

GARY,

Your picture is absolutely stunning! I’d like to have that hanging on my wall 😊

Love,

Anastasia

Thank you for your responses to my visual expression with a photo that I made in Florence on Sunday with my phone. As I was walking towards this tree in a park the image somehow just came to me and all I really had to do is get my phone out and snap it. After reading Open’s invitation to share our creative expression that morning, as I took the picture I knew it was to be shared in that thread.

Then as I read Open’s question in response to the picture ‘What do you see Marije?’, I could feel a sense of panic arising when any sense of an answer remained blank and immediately my mind frantically started looking for an interpretation of the picture. For me the expression of the image is beyond words, I get a feeling when I look at the picture, perhaps of something aesthetically appealing, but this feeling somehow doesn’t translate into any words. The question about what I see somehow triggered something about needing to come up with an answer and then a kind of panic when nothing really lands, which is where my mind then jumps in to come to my rescue. But to what extent have I already been influenced by the interpretations that others have shared? An easy way out would be to just take one of their interpretations and pretend that this is also what I see, but that is quite hard for someone who finds it hard to be dishonest…. Of course my answer to the question could just be ‘nothing’ or ‘I don’t know’, but somehow there is a sense of ‘looking/feeling stupid’ associated with that, which is probably what the panic taps into …..

Somehow it reminds me of how during secondary school they managed to spoil my joy of reading novels, because after the joy of reading a novel I suddenly had to answer questions about the book like what the symbolism of the butterfly at the beginning and the end of the book was, and I would equally go blank on an answer. And then my mind would have to construct some kind of plausible interpretation about the symbolism, in order to satisfy the teacher with an answer.

Also there is something similar to what happens for me with synchronicities. They somehow just land from out of nowhere, they are more like a feeling and sometimes a knowing what they are about, but as soon as my mind comes in and tries to understand what they are about or alternatively starts intentionally focusing on noticing/seeing synchronicities, most of the time nothing lands. Gradually I am learning to trust the feelings of the synchronicities without exactly understanding what they are about most of the time (which my mind usually finds utterly frustrating!). For example, on my way back from Florence an article header in the magazine of the person next to me in the plane caught my attention: ‘liberty and disintegration’ . I could immediately feel the synchronicity of it inside of me, but like with the photo that I posted, if you were to ask me ‘what I see’ in that synchronicity, there is only a feeling, no interpretation that translates into words…..

P.S. Gary, I love your visual expression! Feels beautiful without having any interpretation for it :).

In reply to by Marye

Oh wow! I love it! Marye! No words just feeling it! Thankyou!

Anastasia wow! those words of your song just got me crying, not sure why as yet, but they have gone deep into my being. Very beautiful.Thankyou for sharing. 

Big hugs

Zee 

 

I bless

I drink

it's  me

I am it

I die

I am earth

a tree

drawing rain

feeding streams

living water

I drink

I bless

ej 17.12.17

In reply to by Zee

Hi Zee,

Thank you for your response to my song lyrics. I’d be interested in hearing what exactly spiked for you if you figure it out and feel to share down the line.

 I also want to take this opportunity to welcome you to the community. I read your first introductory posts and I remembered how I felt when I first began sharing here, and it was neither easy nor comfortable. So, I want to encourage you to keep reaching out and breaking through just as you are doing. There are many of us here listening and feeling you.

 I really resonate with your poem.

”drawing water

feeding streams”

Just beautiful 🌳

Love,

Anastasia 

 

Nothing better for me than when the creative flow comes out into lyrics. The Solstice and Full moon were amazing for this over the weekend. A very sacred experience for me.  I was reading Melville on Friday night, thinking of how he & Moby Dick were largely overlook in his lifetime. The line "I leave a white and turbid wake, pale waters, paler cheeks" stuck me as very poetic/lyrical. So I wrote the lyrics to this song, opening with the first part of that line, in honor of Melville (& the great Quest.) Chorus is blank as that  usually comes out collaboratively... Namaste.

 

I leave a white and turbid wake

Cast my fate upon the stars

Not sure why I’ve given chase

Or just what the dangers are

 

Might be a white whale or a ghost

Might roam the forest or the sea

Might raise a dagger or a toast

To the deepest part of me

 

It’s the night that leads me on

As it cloaks the mystery

Is it the moon now or the dawn

That’s the greater friend to me

 

[Chorus Goes Here]

 

It’s been months now since I sailed

But it feels like years to me

Guess time crawls when you’re jailed

(Or) when you’re not who you want to be

 

Is that a shadow in the night

Yeah, perhaps the time is here

I could tell if I had more light

I could see without the tears

 

I leave a white and turbid wake

Heading for a vast unknown

It’s a call I can’t forsake

I can feel it in my bones

 

 

 

First off, Zee welcome :)  I did not know you are new to the site and want you to know that I appreciate your contributions and I am happy to see you here!

Gary, I LOVE the lyrics you wrote!  I especially like the line 

Might raise a dagger or a toast

To the deepest part of me

 

I see lyrics and poetry as messages or sparks to growth...they often evolve as you do and do MUCH more for me than parables (a personal choice).  I am excited to explore your words further when I have a bit more time.  Thank you for sharing!

I saw a bunny run across the street on solstice morning and thought it odd as I have never seen one on a road before (except when camping).  The night before I had heard a beloved song called "Cornflake Girl" and it mentioned "rabbit, where'd you put the keys girl?" and the week prior I was fascinated by a song that is named "lost keys, blame Hoffman", which is my maiden last name...I decided to seek out other "rabbit" related songs to see if there were some messages that I need to hear from songs of the past that have now evolved.  I went back to one of my favorite albums from 2000, by one of my favorite bands that has a song called "Rabbit King" and these lyrics REALLY struck me more than they ever had (and this is an album I hear AT LEAST once every six months or so). 

"I used to wake up behind the wheel; I used to hurt before I could feel; I used to cower in every direction; I used to tolerate without discretion." ~Rob Wynia of Floater

I feel that a similar lesson is to be sought from your words 

 

Is that a shadow in the night

Yeah, perhaps the time is here

I could tell if I had more light

I could see without the tears

 

I leave a white and turbid wake

Heading for a vast unknown

It’s a call I can’t forsake

I can feel it in my bones

 

 

I am light filled.  I have been spreading my "shine-ease" for my entire human lifetime...I am working to embrace the darkness so as to be balanced...a "call I can't forsake...I can feel it in my bones."  Thank you for the precious insight to explore...VERY POWERFUL.

Namaste,

Heidi

 

Hey thanks Open,Aphrohedi and Anastasia for your encouragement. Its so nice to feel welcomed here. 

It has taken me quite awhile to come out of my shell and be seen so I do appreciate pos feedback. 

Anastasia, I am still not sure why your song touched my heart so, but when I do I will post something. The words are so beautiful.

I am enjoying all the creative writings here, jolly good stuff I say! 

love to you all

Zee

 

In reply to by Anastasia

Jarrah the amazing space holder.Hey Lovely One,

Many months later and I am perusing this section yet I still dont know why your lyrics make me tear up,, they are just so beautiful!

I have just realized your change of name, Anastasia,took me awhile lol.

I am feeling alot more comfy about sharing now its nice. It has taken me a long time to really come out of my shell due to my last job (in corrections) I had some v scary things happen when I was working there and became v cautious, hence not using my real name. It is a very very small world. 

I have recently started doing pottery as mental health therapy lol. I just love it,hands on earth, going into the creative zone. I have a elemental tree goddess thing going on at the mo. I'll  try to post a pic.

Also I have been having amazing meditation sessions with my beautiful horse soulmate Jarrah lately. So has Deb! (facilitator) Truly inspiring and deeply healing.

I just felt to share some of whats been going on in my world with you. 

Namaste 

I dont know why the horse pic is up top, Im not v computer savvy!

Tree deva