month, Dana Reynolds shares her life-transforming
thoughts, ideas, and sacred imagination based around our
"theme of the month." Dana is a visionary Spiritual Midwife, who
devotes herself to helping women birth their creative
gifts into the world.
The Eyes of Love
"Adore and love Him with your whole being,
and He will reveal to you that each thing in the
universe is a vessel full to the brim with wisdom and
If you could see the ugliest
leper with the eyes of Love, His beauty would out-dazzle
in your eyes the starlit sea. If one drop of the Wine of
Vision could rinse your eyes, Wherever you looked, you
would weep with wonder."
This quote from the ancient Sufi mystic and poet,
Jalal-ud-Din Rumi speaks to the nature of the "Soul
of Love." Rumi’s poetry arrives from across
the ages to invite us to love God with the "whole
being." He expresses that through this sacred
experience we will be blessed to recognize the presence
of the Divine in all things, even those people and
places that our society would name, "ugly."
Our culture is bombarded by the media with images and
propaganda of all kinds depicting to us what is
beautiful and desirable. Madison Avenue tells us that
our homes, children, pets, cars, and all forms of
earthly possession are supposed to be perfection in its
most aggrandized form.
Of course, we ourselves are forever measuring up
against the models and movie stars who find their way
into our lives through print and television. If beauty
is in fact in the eye of the beholder, I feel I must
make sure I am the one doing the beholding and that I’m
not seeing the world through the advertisers’ eyes.
To see the world through God’s eyes is another
matter all together. How does one presume to do
something so outrageous? I believe that perhaps Rumi and
many other mystics and saints knew the secret to this
practice—how to "Adore and love Him with your
If as spiritual beings, having a human experience, we
believe that we carry the imprint of the Divine within
us. . . then we must also share God’s soul of Love.
The more we love God, the more we love ourselves even
with all our foibles and imperfections, the more we are
capable of Loving, with a capital L.
Rumi’s poem also asserts that if we adore and love
God with our whole being. . ."He will take away the
veil that hides the splendor of each thing that exists,
and you will see that each thing is a hidden treasure
because of its divine fullness, and you will know that
each thing has already exploded stilly and silently and
made the earth more brilliant than any heaven."
Yes! Can you imagine the transformation of our world
if we embraced the sight of the leper, the homeless, the
elderly, the dying and then acted with ferocious
compassion from the Soul of Love? It is human nature to
want to turn away from those who remind one of one’s
own immortality and vulnerability.
It is God’s nature to embrace all humanity
in its myriad of forms, colors, statures, and
situations. The Soul of Love, God’s Love, sees only
This column is dedicated to the sacred imagination
and how we might use our creativity to enrich and
enlighten our day to day lives. February is the month of
Love. What if for one month we practice looking at one
another through the eyes of Love, God’s Love?
Imagine how the earth might shift on its axis.
Imagine how precious people who have never experienced a
hug or a simple, "I love you…," would light
up from being loved for the first time. Imagine how the
plants and animals would begin to thrive from a month of
loving care. Imagine how you would feel as the giver and
receiver of the purest form of Love there is...pure God
What if we give it a try? What if for one month we
choose to Love? This can be done in a myriad of ways.
Let yourself be an angel for a month.
In my first book, whimsically illustrated by Karen
Blessen, Be An Angel: Heavenly Hints for Angelic Acts
from your Guardian Spirits, there are many
suggestions for ways of touching others’ lives. Here
are a few ideas from the book to awaken your sacred
imagination to creatively bless not only family and
friends but also strangers and our environment. Here are
some simple ways to share your soul of Love. . .
Be an angel to nature… Carry packets of wildflower
seeds with you and sprinkle them while bike-riding or
while taking a walk.
Be an angel to our oceans… Read about organizations
such as Save the Whales and Greenpeace. Become educated
about ways you can become involved in protecting our
Be an angel to the homeless…Gather several friends
together and adopt a family in need. Share the
responsibility of providing food, clothing, finding
appropriate shelter, schools for the children, job
search. Etc. Help turn someone’s life around.
Be an angel to the passerby…Sometimes we move
through the day in a fog and forget the power of a
smile. Smiles at those you come in contact with
throughout the day; it’s something that is usually
Be an angel to the sick…Offer to relieve someone
who is caring for a sick relative. An hour or two away
from responsibilities can offer a new lease on life to a
Be an angel in your workplace…Once a month, leave
copies of an inspirational poem or thought on your
I hope these simple little ideas have stimulated your
own creative "Be an Angel" angelic
acts. Let’s ignite the Soul of Love beginning today.
Rumi, in his wisdom reminds us, "So I beg you:
whenever you detect Love growing awake in you, feed It
so It may open Its eyes further. When you see that the
passion for God is in your heart, increase it by
questing deeper and wilder, for "In movement there
May February be a month of deep wild passion as we
fall hopelessly in love with God and one another.
invited to submit your story and accompanying
photos to be considered as a feature for the Sacred
Imagination column. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright© 2001 Dana
Imagination’s Story of the Month
"The Soul of Love" by Amy
Amy Richardson has a
passion for love, life, her family, and food. Her
spirituality is her anchor in the midst of her busy life
as a married working mother of a very precocious
toddler. You may write to her at email@example.com
I wake up each morning thankful. My heart is so full
that at times it is overwhelming. I often wonder how I
can love so many, so deeply, and why am I blessed with
so much love in return? This is simply a question that I
don’t intend to answer, because the very blessing of
abundant love is that we do not need to know how or why
we experience it. We simply need to accept and search
Call me an optimist, a hopeless romantic, or an
old-fashioned girl. I truly believe that the more love
we give and receive, the more we are able to embrace
God, life, others, and ourselves.
My soul of love started at birth. I think back to my
childhood and I can’t think of a single day when I
felt unloved. As an adult, I realize that I received
unconditional love from my parents, and therefore I have
always sought to be a loving person.
I remember looking at photographs of my mother and
father when I was a young child, photos of them when
they were dating and when they were newlyweds. I had a
very romantic view of them, like a fairy tale. So as a
little girl I dreamed of finding someone someday who
would make me as happy as my parents were. Someone who I
could share my soul and heart with forever.
As a child I also learned about loving through the
relationships with my brother, my friends, my relatives,
and God. I owe so much to my mother and father for
showing me the breadth of joy one receives by loving
others. It is my hope that I can continue sharing this
important teaching with my child.
As I write this, I realize that if I were to recount
all the experiences of giving love and receiving love in
my life, I could write pages and pages. I believe that
love, when given from the heart and soul, appropriately,
not out of obligation or guilt, but out of genuine soul,
is the greatest gift God has given us. Love has blessed
me and I’m grateful.
My soul is filled by two very significant roles in my
life, wife and mother. I am called to share this truth
through two particularly touching personal experiences.
When I met my husband, Brad in the summer of 1990, I
knew I was going to marry him the very moment I saw him.
It was love at first sight, as cliché as that may be. I
had been in a very deceitful relationship with someone
else in school, where I thought love might exist.
After meeting Brad I knew instantly that I had found my
true soul mate.
We dated for two years, and became engaged right
after graduation. We married in 1993. He was my prince.
And I was just twenty-three.
Our friendship, romance, and marriage grew in years,
as did our love, and our souls. I supported Brad through
chiropractic school the first three years of our
marriage, and when he graduated we packed up our lives
and moved from Texas to Colorado to start his practice.
We had one car, a dog, two local friends, and no
money. We rented a very modest house and started our
lives together in new surroundings. How amazing it was
to fall in love all over again. We scraped by and prayed
that Brad would pass his state boards and settle into a
clinic to build a practice.
Day by day we did it together. It wasn’t money, it
wasn’t luck, and it wasn’t even skill that got us
through those lean years without a clue. It was love.
Our unending love for each other held it together. We
were a team.
I kept hold of these memories by writing in my
journal and creating photo collages in frames and
albums. Writing each day in my gratitude journal was
inspiring and uplifting on the days when we weren’t
really sure how we would pay our next bills.
After ramping up in our new surroundings, Brad’s
clinic did begin to succeed. It wasn’t until I became
pregnant in our fifth year of marriage that our love was
truly tested. Parenthood opened the door to a whole
other realm of emotions and life change.
During my pregnancy and after Haley was born, Brad
and I slowly grew apart. A wall was built between us and
coldness consumed Brad, something I had never dreamed
After a two-month separation and a year of heartache,
we somehow pulled it back together. It was ironic to me
the way my prayer journal was one of my best friends
through that scary and somber time. I made it a ritual
each night to spray my sheets with lavender, say my
prayers through writing, and listen to soft music as I
fought insomnia before going to sleep. My creativity was
in full bloom in this sad season as I poured my soul of
love (and fear) into my journal each evening. It was all
part of the healing process for me.
The eventual reunion with my husband had to be one of
the most overwhelming times in my life when I knew for
certain that true love exists. We had to go to the
depths of despair, heartache and loneliness only to
realize that our soul of love that we had built
together, through good times and bad, was not going to
falter. We leaned on our love and with prayer and
unending support from parents and friends, I learned how
much I loved this man and how much he loved me.
I began loving Haley when she was simply a thought
before conception. I created a journal devoted to my
pregnancy and the joyous time of awe and anticipation.
Days after I knew I was pregnant, I began to clip
personally meaningful images and words from magazines,
adding them to my own words in a pregnancy journal. It
became a special way that I communicated with Haley
while she grew in my womb.
After she was born, I continued to write to her about
her birth and the first months of her life. The journal
was my healing companion, a place to vent all my anxiety
and excitement surrounding her arrival.
My mother has always told me that neither she nor any
other mom could explain the abundance of love a mother
has for her child. She was right. I can’t begin to
articulate how deeply and how unconditionally I love my
daughter. The moment I pulled her from my womb up to my
bosom I knew she was mine and I was hers. We’d shared
our lives together for nine months through the miracle
of pregnancy and birth.
Although we aren’t physically attached anymore, I
still feel the joy and the pains through an
"invisible umbilical cord" connecting us.
I never knew that there could be such bliss just
watching her pinch a Cheerio and place it in her tiny
mouth, or hearing her laugh as she splashes in her bath.
Haley is love. She can’t say, "I love you"
yet, but I feel her say it every day just by the touch
of her little hand or her sweet kisses. Even when she
cries, I love her. The fevers and sleepless nights, all
of it, the miserable and the joyous. She was created
from love and loved she is.
Just because I am married and just because I am a
mother doesn’t automatically brand me as loved or
loving. Love is a gift, a blessing from God, and it is
also a process. I have had the privilege of having
loving parents. I have been blessed to have a husband
who loves and cares for me. I have been touched by the
hand of God through the uncomplicated and miraculous
birth of my daughter. But each day I have a choice. . .
to nurture my soul of love, to feed it and learn from it
or to simply take life in passing, ignoring potential
opportunities for loving.
My soul of love has been my rock. I pray each day
that Brad and Haley and all my family and friends know
how much I love them.
Most of my day is spent working, driving, talking on
the phone, emailing, doing dishes and laundry. But in
the precious seconds, moments, and hours when I open my
soul to love, those are the most blessed times indeed.
Dana's Soulful Living Feature Articles:
and the Sacred Imagination: The Dance of Co-creation
Dana's Past "Sacred Imagination" Columns:
2001 "Patterns of Authenticity"
2000 "Finding Peace in the Fields of Time"
2000 "Cultivating Gratitude: Heart-Hugs and Prayer
2000 "Journey to the Center - The Sacred Mystery of
2000 "The Heart and Craft of Healing"
2000 "Transforming Life’s Challenges into Beauty and Story"
2000 "Sacred Spaces Invite the
Muses of the Soul"
For ten years, Dana Reynolds has
been facilitating women’s spiritual presentations and
retreats nationwide. Her work as a Spiritual Midwife,
one who assists women as they birth their creative gifts
into the world, is the foundation of all her endeavors.
Her background as a visual artist and writer enriches
her Spiritual Midwifery: Birthing the Feminine Soul
As the creator of an art making
process known as visual prayer, Dana teaches
women how to combine ritual with sacred intention to
create altars, collages, spirit dolls, and other
touchstones. The creation of sacred spaces is also
paramount to the Spiritual Midwifery experience. Her
offers samplings of her visual prayer collages, poetry,
and a workshop catalogue.
Dana is the author of the
whimsical and colorfully illustrated book, Be An
Angel, a co-creation with illustrator and graphic
designer, Karen Blessen, (Simon & Schuster). Her
essay, Visual Prayers is included in the
anthology, Our Turn, Our Time: Women Coming of Age, edited
by Cynthia Black, (Beyond Words Publishing).
A trained labyrinth
facilitator, Dana incorporates the labyrinth and other
spiritual wisdom into her retreats and workshops. She
recently traveled to Chartres and Vezelay Cathedrals in
France to gather information pertaining to ancient
sacred mystical traditions. She currently lectures on
such topics as spiritual midwifery, sacred journal
keeping, feminine spiritual wisdom, and the early
Christian women saints and mystics.
Dana’s life follows the
spiral path from rim to center and back again. She looks
for the sacred in forgotten places and openly embraces
the great Mystery of life. Guiding women to the
discovery of their creative inner gifts is the passion
that fuels her soul.