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Sacred Imagination
February 2001 Column & Gallery

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Dana's Current Column

by Dana Reynolds

Each 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 beauty….

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 whole being…"

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 Love.

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 Love.

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 oceans.

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 returned.

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 caregiver.

Be an angel in your workplace…Once a month, leave copies of an inspirational poem or thought on your co-workers’ desks.

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 is blessing."

May February be a month of deep wild passion as we fall hopelessly in love with God and one another.

You are invited to submit your story and accompanying photos to be considered as a feature for the Sacred Imagination column. E-mail me at dana@sacredimagination.com for details.

Copyright© 2001 Dana Reynolds. 


Sacred Imagination’s Story of the Month

"The Soul of Love" by Amy Richardson

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 amy5may@aol.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 for more.

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.

ABRwedding.jpg (7201 bytes)

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 would happen.

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.

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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.

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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.


Read Dana's Soulful Living Feature Articles:

Visual Prayers

Intuition and the Sacred Imagination: The Dance of Co-creation

Read Dana's Past "Sacred Imagination" Columns:

January 2001 "Patterns of Authenticity"

December 2000 "Finding Peace in the Fields of Time"

November 2000 "Cultivating Gratitude: Heart-Hugs and Prayer Leaves"

October 2000 "Journey to the Center - The Sacred Mystery of the Labyrinth"

September 2000 "The Heart and Craft of Healing"

August 2000 "Transforming Life’s Challenges into Beauty and Story"

July 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 workshops.

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 web-site http://www.sacredimagination.com 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.


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