The Illuminated Rumi

If you knew yourself for even one moment
If you could just glimpse your most beautiful face,

Maybe you wouldn't slumber so deeply in that house of clay

Why not move into your house of joy

...and shine into every crevice!

For you are the secret Treasure-bearer,

...and always have been.

Didnt' you know?

From The Illuminated Rumi Calendar 2006. Oh, so beautiful.

Seeing & Thinking Differently

Thanks to the Modern Day Muse, Albert and his domain of "thinking differently" coupled with Aha-phrodite*, the Muse of "paying attention"...I am reminded that by really seeing what's present in my day...from the most significant to the seeming-mundane... I am able to elevate my moment-to-moment experience, and the elements of my day to poetic song! By simply being willing to see it differently, and then to do something writing about it in a new way... like this:

Today is a day of transformation!
Today is a day of rain, flowers blooming and trees flowering
Today...a sparrow winked at me!
Today Spring is here and May flowers are drinking-in the rain
Today is a day I inspired....a friend told me so
Today...."I am inspired!"

Today is a day of stop signs and green lights, robins and red breasts...
...chicken breasts and salad greens
Today is a day for cheering...
... smiling
... and creating
Today is a day well lived, and seen!

These were all ordinary elements of my day that were raised to a playful, poetic level by embracing: "paying attention" and "a new way of thinking"... then writing about it. The cadence of this poem was inspired by spoken word artist, Lizzie Wann's "Declaration"--a cut from her CD: A Wing & a Prayer.

Now, viewed in this way...the day is even more special. We can tranform every day to a day of splendor, reverence and illumination no matter what's going on by simply being willing to think about it differently...then we see it differently.

I gave myself up...

"I gave myself up so completely to present desires and pleasures, that I had no energy to waste on mere wishful thinking." ~ Simone de Beauvoir


What Ike (my kitty) Teaches Me

I am looking forward to unveiling, acknowleding, and learning from these deeper parts of mySelf through the SoulCollage process. Much of this is metaphorical for me as related to one of my two kitties. Ike, he makes it his business to get the attention he needs, and I realize that for the most part...all he wants is love, acknowlegement and affection..hmmm....much like we humans.

When I come home from work Ike will sit and meow, over and over and follow me around, continually meowing. I sometimes tune him out for 5 minutes to change clothes and take a breath, figuring he just wants to eat. What I've come to realize is that more than dinner...he wants
acknowledgment, love and affection... at that very moment! - and he will sit in front of me or follow me around bellowing away...almost in a crying way...until I acknowlege him and give him hands on affection. As soon as look into those sweet little kitty-eyes and I reach to stroke him, he
rises up on his hind legs to meet me, and he leans into the affection...and purrrs away; and he keeps moving in for more... and his purrs become rather chortle-like. He's obviously in heaven!

He teaches me so much about life (as does my other kitty, Suki, but she's another story!). First of all, Ike doesn't give up until he's acknowledged and he doesn't get mad, although he does become quite insistant, he just keeps radiating love...and he keeps meowing for affection until he gets it. when I come in the door, within 1-2 minutes I "love him up" (all he needs is a few seconds to calm down) then he follows me into the bedroom to keep me company while I change clothes...while still chattering away in his kitty-kat-ease.

I think the inner-parts of myself are meowing in their own way too... wanting that acknowledgment... to be heard, listened to and UNDERSTOOD...and to love me even though I might not recognize it as love...(and like Ike, for me to give them attention too). Could be that once I've listened long enough, and deep enough their role in my life will be over and they'll become my mentor...(rather than my tor-mentor)...and we'll ride off into the sunset. Wouldn't that be wonderful? That might or might not be possible, but I do know that listening to and dialoguing with the deeper parts of myself through SoulCollage is a liberating experience that creates a deeper self-love, acceptance and revelation.

As I write this I just now realized that there's a part of me that's NOT like Ike, at times. There's a part of me that sometimes...when I don't feel heard, rather than "meow louder or longer" I give up...I close down, feathers fall, I curl up and lick my wounds. I now know that the part of me that is the "retreater" wants me to acknowledge her, and give her a voice. She too wants to be honored, seen and heard. Wow! --- It'll beinteresting to hear what she has to tell me -- this very issue has caused me to shrink away from some parts of my life...but not anymore! I am in the process of letting all that go and stepping up...and out! As Diana Ross sings... "I'm Comin' Out!"

Wisdom from a Geko!

While at work the other day while going through my purse I found a slightly bent-up page I tore out for SoulCollage. It was a nice size picture of the charming geko -- you know, the Geico gecko. I just loved this picture, he looked adorable.... so I trimmed away the advertising portion at the top and bottom; and the only thing remaining was the charmining little geko, or so I thought. He stood nice and about five inches on a white backround. I smiled and talked to him for a bit telling him how cute and wise he looked. Then I noticed some writing next to him that I never noticed until then. Right next to him....there was a short sentence.....totally unrelated to car insurance.....I about fell off my chair when I read read: "I love my job." I was stunned. At that moment my struggle was over, I declared: "I surrender!... I love my job!"

The synchronicity was incredible because a friend and I had a conversation the other night about this topic...of jobs vs. our "life's work".
After some restlessness, it is clear to me now I'm in my divine-right place...for now. It provides the perfect support in a myriad of ways for my creative-soul-growth as well as other necessities. But..I'd been, I no longer resist. I embrace: my wonderful job, my place and my purpose there...and in this present moment. I now REALLY know it serves my greater good... and therefore my life's work, and the greater good of those whom my life's work touches. Plus, I am appreciated!
A quote by Barbara Stahura provides a perfect reality check for living in the moment. She says:
"It's become crystal clear to me that work is not my life; my life is my work."
Now doesn't that just about sum it up?

I will make at least one SoulCollage card to honor this part of me that knows I am in my Right Place, and that honors synchronicity. And...I will put the geko picture in my office. I'll leave the "I love my job" in tact so I can remember his wise declaration, and attitude. Mr. Geko wasn't lamenting that he was not longer in his natural habitat nor complaining that he had been plunged headlong into media-mania, and celebrity-hood...nope...he simplly declared "I love my job". How adaptable is he? That's a quality that's good to have. What a lesson he's taught me.

Being aware of the life lessons that surrond us, can reap abundant, joyous rewards!


Each day I become more and more amazed and grateful for the SoulCollage process, my journey through it, as well as the expansion of my heart, mind, soul...and creativity. I happily surrender to the insights revealed because I know they are from the deepest part of soul. Every few days or so I thumb through the images I've collected, or new ones, to see which one will pick me! Who would've thought that inner-exploration, discovery and re-integration with mySelf and Soul would intensify my passtion for artistry, inner-listening, and the great respect I have for the mirror of my soul...which is of course reflected in every SoulCollage card I create.

Now, Audacity, the Modern Day Muse--is very special to me. She's not only an energy & quality within me--albeit sometimes dormant--but we "go back" about several months. I first met the Muse Audacity through Jill Badonksy and her book, The Nine Modern Day Muses (see links). Jill's Muse, Audacity, governs "courage & unihibited uniqueness" and her domain is "teaching self-confidence, and freedom to be one's self...being true to oneself". I was intuitively attracted to Audacity when we got to choose a Muse to present at Jill's Muse Group Faciliator's training last October. I think Audacity and I chose each other! At any rate, Audacity has taught me so much. Even now, through SoulCollage she's reminding me she's still with me...and inviting me to borrow from her: boldness, self-confidence, and committment to being myself..whenever I might fall short of my own audacity to do so. Isn't she awesome!

Here is my Card "Audacity"

All articles on are copyrighted by Cheryl A Finley 2006-2007, unless otherwise noted. Articles may be reprinted by permission only: AcapellaSoul is a facet of My Joy For Life, Inc. , Oak Park, IL