Home Articles Channels Daily Retreat Inspiration Classroom Boutique Community Singles Resources Contact

SoulfulLiving.com :: Personal Growth, Spiritual Growth, Self Help and Self Improvement

Your #1 Online Resource for Personal and Spiritual Growth Since 2000.
Mandala and Chakra Pendants
New Age Gifts and Products, Buddhist and Tibetan Jewelry, Meditation and Yoga Supplies
Mandala Art Prints



Our Sponsors:

The Mandala Collection :: Buddhist and Conscious Living Gifts
Inspirational Gifts

Energy Muse Jewelry
Energy Muse Jewelry

Body of Grace
Eco-Friendly Gifts

Yoga Download
Yoga Download

The Mandala Collection
Give a Gift with Soul


Sacred Imagination
March 2001 Column & Gallery

Click Here to See
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.

Opening the Senses to Beauty

The process of nourishing the soul, and comforting and caring for the spirit requires awareness and cultivation. Integrating an appreciation of beauty into one’s life creates a conduit to self-nurturing.

Webster best defines the beauty I am speaking of as, "the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit." Beauty by this definition is certainly "…..in the eye of the beholder." This kind of beauty is unique to the individual.

Pleasuring the senses is a primary part of soul nourishment, comfort and care. We know how good it feels to have a massage. When aromatic oils, candles, and soothing music accompany the massage, the experience is deepened. The senses are engaged in a pleasurable way.

This month you are invited to contemplate beauty as you practice comforting your soul. Engage all your senses. What foods please your eye and your palate? Name the fragrances that stir your heart and imagination. How does nature quicken your body and expand the vision of your inner eye? Contemplate those objects, places, persons, and events that pleasure your senses or enliven your thoughts and spirit.

flowers_and_pomegranate.jpg (574118 bytes)

Listen to music to evoke your emotions. What is your own particular definition of a beautiful sound? Is silence beautiful to you?

Use soft focused awareness this month to contemplate the meaning of beauty. Invite your senses to become awake and aware to those moments when you feel comforted by people and surroundings that you find beautiful. Invite your sacred imagination to enhance your awareness of beauty. Incorporating the beautiful into your life adds an element of sacredness and enriches daily experiences and interactions.

Creating a Map for Your Senses

Here’s an exercise to help you identify how you interpret the world through your senses. It will also indicate your definition of beauty. You might think of it as a map for color, texture, and those elements that enrich your feelings of peace and well being. After you complete your map for your senses, contemplate how to incorporate its wisdom into your life for new ways of nourishing your soul.


A piece of cardboard or foam core board 36" x 36"


Magazines for cutting up

Glue stick

Your favorite paints

Crayons or Colored Pencils

Optional Materials

Rubber stamps






Things collected from Nature

Color copies of favorite photos


Metallic Pens


Light a candle. Play music that you find comforting. Invite your muses before you begin.

Using the paper or foam core board and a pencil, create a map of your senses. Begin by leaving a 3" border on all sides. Draw a square inside the boundaries of the border that measures 30" x 30". Within the square divide the space into 6 segments. This can be done in whatever way you choose. Each segment can be a different size and shape or you may choose to divide the space evenly. You may wish to color each segment as you prepare the background for collage. Label each segment for the six senses; sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and inner sight (intuition).

In each segment create a collage using images, photos, torn paper, words, etc. as a personal interpretation of how each specific sense speaks to you of beauty.

Embellish the border with text from your favorite poems, sacred texts, quotations, your own thoughts, etc.

Fill the entire map with color, texture, sparkle, words, etc. Paint can be added as enhancement. Let it become a living breathing personal interpretation of beauty and food for nourishing your soul and your senses.

Place it flat on a table as a paper altar cloth. Arrange stones, shells, and other treasures signifying beauty on the surface. Meditate on the importance of welcoming beauty into your daily experience. Throughout the month add objects and images that you find beautiful. Think of this as a work in progress.

Beautiful images, objects, and surroundings offer opportunities for inspiring comfort and nourishment for the psyche and soul. Beautiful words provide a different element of support to self-nurturing. I am constantly inspired by words such as; prayer, alchemy, sacred, velvet, allegory, poetry, ennui, etc.

Here’s a simple exercise to enrich your vocabulary so that you can begin to incorporate language to comfort and nourish your soul and the souls of others.

The Word Jar

Give yourself permission to spend an hour or so looking through old magazines for words that you find beautiful. Words that stir your senses, inspire the beginning of a poem, or help you to retrieve a pleasant memory. Cut these words from the pages until you have at least 35 or 50.

Using card stock, index cards, or heavy paper, glue each word to the background you’ve chosen. Leave space around each word. Cut the words into small cards. You may want to embellish the back of each card with a rubber stamp, sticker, or even your thumbprint.

Place the cards in a basket or bowl and draw one each day as a prompt for journal writing or simply as a beautiful focus. Add a word a day to your collaged map of the senses. Incorporate the word into your daily vocabulary in a conscious way.

spring_garden.jpg (754260 bytes)

March is the harbinger of spring and a time of rebirth. Let this season of renewal be a time of self-comforting through beauty. Engage your senses to welcome your inner flowering as you discover beauty as welcomed food for your soul.

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. 


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:

February 2001 "The Eyes of Love"

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.


Visit Dana at:



Daily Soul Retreat at SoulfulLiving.com
Soul Retreat Goodies!

Support SoulfulLiving.com
Show Us Your Love ♥


Energy Muse Jewelry
Energy Muse Jewelry

Wild Divine Meditation Software featuring Deepak Chopra
Meditation Software

Energy Muse - Sacred Yoga Jewelry

Copyright © 1999-2014 Soulful Living®.

Soulful Website Design by The Creative Soul®.