Truth… I’m running out of walls!

Once upon a time, in 2017, I signed up for a pilgrimage and it opened the door to a whole new world!

The name of the adventure was The Black Madonna Pilgrimage and it was my introduction to Intentional Creativity®. It was also my introduction to the bizarre notion that I, who learned at Mom’s knee that I was the smart kid and my sister was the artistic one, could – maybe, just maybe – be both!

It was a rough time. My best friend, from the first day of 7th grade, was in the hospital in Florida with a brain aneurism.

There were hurricanes and tornadoes going on and I couldn’t get to Florida to be with her so I made dots. Prayer dots for healing. A process I was only just learning on my Pilgrimage with history and paint.

I made a whole lot of dots!!! Meet The Fiercely Compassionate Grandmother, who became visible in those days, and taught me my name…

My friend healed. And, I kept painting.

Just between us, my paintings rarely look like the class demo versions. Partially because mine are opinionated and have major notions about what goes on the canvas.

Recently, you may have seen a work-in-progress glimpse of the canvas at the top.

Officially, she is Tree of Consciousness. And she is, perhaps, the most opinionated one so far!

You see, she was born during the context of the place where all the recent news met a related project about creating a Land Acknowledgement statement, deep inside me.

As we painted along, the eclipse appeared and offered to help. Probably a time-marking kind of thing.

About then, I handed my pen to the painting. (Really!)

I am Elu, which means beautiful in the language of the Cherokee people. I am a Bald Cypress tree, at home near the Chattahootchee River which runs south from this land and into the place called Florida. I am ancient, and powerful. I help filter water and am home to many species of birds and animals. My trunks and limbs and unusual knees are strong and beautiful wood. An air plant named Spanish Moss forms my hair.

I am a keeper of stories. Many of those stories are not happy. People have long been forced from their homes in my land, and there are those in power who would do this still. The orange clay ground is said to be colored with the blood of many battles.

I thought we were finished, Elu and the pen and I, when the Great Blue Heron appeared. She makes environmental sense. According to a bit of online research, she also came with a bigger message to share…

Blue Heron asks you to look inside and nurture all aspects of yourself. Embrace your “flaws,” uniqueness, and feelings of shame with self-love. Once you love your whole self and find your inner peace, you’ll be able to bring peace to others, spreading healing throughout the world.

This probably explains all the dot making, including the ones in her moss hair! It works like this… say a word. A prayer or intention. Silently or aloud. Move your hand to make the paint dot. See the dot. All three primary neuro-processing patterns working together to make it so. And making space for you to feel more peaceful! Here’s my dot-word in these days…


Or, chesed, if you prefer, pronounced with a fair bit of throat clearing at the beginning.

It’s a Hebrew word for loving kindness. For tenderness and consideration towards others.

And, it’s the best thing I’ve got in this moment, with thanks to my Red Madonna sister, Dr. Havi Brysk Mandell, for helping me make the connection!

So, dots. Lots and lots of dots. And, like the Heron said, the ability to share the journey.

The actual canvas is propped across from my chair, up against a bookcase. We are, indeed, running out of walls. And I’m keeping her close.

Oh! Our friend the Heron is thinking of Peace for the future, too. She insisted on the nest and eggs.

ps… inspired? Ready to be Ready? I can help! Just click here!

pps… questions? The calendar elves will gladly hook you up. 45 min. My gift. Bring some red thread if it’s handy!

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Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach