Reclaiming Your Temple
by Elizabeth Gibbons
This being human is a guest-house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you
out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Rumi, “The Guest House”
Translated by Coleman Barks
You are a shrine. Yes, you heard me correctly. You, your body, the physical form that you have taken in this life…it is sacred and it is an altar to your spirit. A temple, a light-house…the home that carries the divine spark of who you are. The part of you that can never die. Your body is the primary sacred space and home for the Divine to express itself in and from. So this is my question to you:
If YOU are the altar then what will you place upon it and in it and how will you worship at that altar? How will you express that Divinity through your physicality?
Wait a minute! What treasure of Glitteracy is this? you may be asking. Well, that is such a great question for which I don’t know the answer. YET. I am a seeker, just like you, and at the moment I am befuddled, a little muddled and somewhat confused about this one. This EMBODIMENT thing. It doesn’t feel easy to me. Actually feels downright scary. Seems that I may need to walk through some muddy, foggy and tangled territory…I may need to do some weeding in the garden of my soul to uncover this treasure. The messages have been murky at best and at worst abusive. There’s something about this temple part though that’s ringing a bell, feels familiar, like an ancient primordial truth. Seems like this may be my cue to take out my big ole shovel, my “Horseshit Shovel” and start digging into the deep, dark earth of my soul’s garden. There appears to be a veritable tangle of old roots, a bevy of mixed messages. Wait a second, what’s this? There’s actually a giant crack, yes a huge split in the earth, just as if there must have been an earthquake or something and the earth in my garden just opened up, split right down the middle.
Hmmmmm…I think there is a message here…let me put my ear to the earth and see what I can hear when I listen deeply. I hear an ancient rhythm…it is the rhythm of my body and spirit dancing together in harmony. It stirs a deep well of emotion and in my visionary third eye I see a well, a sacred spring, the waters of life and a scrying pool. I am coming to the treasures now and they seem to flow from this sacred water and to enter into the deep split in my being. What is this split? It arises not from my ancient rhythm but from the negative messages and from the traumas, the dark, muddled and tangled messages that I have received as a woman in this culture.Let me grasp my priestess courage, my fierce legendary self, my Glitter W.A.S.P. sparkly in the face of any challenge and let’s see what lies in the darkness of my earth self and that crack that split her apart. I discover that it is not easy for me to “be” in my body, not easy to like it or love it and that when I am confronted with painful messages my response has been to leave. Yes float above it all in the etheric astral plane of the realm of spirit where I can find light and freedom and fly like a bird through the clouds. Yes, except there is a catch here…when I get back to my body I actually discover that re-inhabiting her brings me to a “house” that is filled with blocked energy, with essentially energetic cobwebs and debris. Kind of like I abandoned my home, my temple and she was left neglected, uncared for and disconnected. Kind of run down, falling apart and not really filled with vital life force energy. I confess that after following this program on an unconscious level I am here in this body with chronic pain that has plagued me for 18 years. So now what? Now, I take time to unravel some of the mystery of how I have arrived at this place.
We are on this quest together and so I invite you to ask yourself, your most truthful and loving, soulful, compassionate and kind self this question:
Are there places in you where your body and spirit are split apart? Are there ways in which this manifests in your life in health issues, self-destructive habits, aches and pains? And what is the medicine that for you, helps restore you to the ancient rhythms of your soul and your body dancing in harmony with one another? Where do you go to feel most deeply connected in spirit and body and how can you claim more of this in your life?
Life has a way of bringing us what we need. So here I am in Hawaii this month and after reaching a place of physical and emotional meltdown, I am on a Mission with a capital M. A Mission to learn to heal my body and to love my body and to connect my body and spirit so that they may again dance the ancient rhythm of harmony and vibrant health that I know exists in my cellular memory. Maui is a magical place for me, a place where I can connect more deeply with nature. A place where I walk barefoot in the sand and swim with the sea turtles in the Great Mother Ocean, blessing her and asking her to heal me. Here in this paradise I slow down and connect to my physical self and I find a place of comfort, pleasure and sensuality in this temple that is my body. I find deep in the wellspring of my soul the strength to bring awareness to self-destructive habits. I know that filling this crack, this split in me with dry earth, will not suffice. She will only crack and split again. So here where the air is soft and the sun warm upon my skin, I fill it with deep, rich moist and juicy soil. I fill it with the glimmer and the glisten of rainbows and with the sound of the waves kissing the shoreline. I fill it with a river of intention that flows with luscious, shimmering colors from my paintbrush. I discover the “rainbow bridge,” the recipe for reconnecting my body and spirit to one another. I discover treasures of “Glitteracy”…a new wealth of possibilities and ways to heal myself.
Here in this climate you don’t need so many clothes. Yes, actually it’s kind of hysterical because in the resort where I am staying at the moment, we all walk around in our bathing suits which is basically like walking around in our underwear in front of strangers and we all just think it’s pretty normal. Being in our bodies this way and seeing my body daily less covered than usual as I walk past mirrors I realize that I am so mean to her. Every time I walk by a mirror, an Inner Mean Girl voice says “you look too fat,” “flabby,” “wrinkled,” “your arms are too short,” or whatever the flavor of her criticism for that day and moment happens to be. So my Muse of My Earthly Temple shows up one day and says in an angry voice, “This has to stop!” So I let the IMG of my body self know that she has taken up her share of room in my life, and I make a RADICAL decision. From now on every time I pass a mirror I am going to find something beautiful about my physical appearance and I am going to say it to my body. Yes, this is the antidote that my Muse has given me. I find that I really can do this! This is a miracle.
Are you willing to make a RADICAL decision and to choose on a daily basis to love and compliment your body? I invite you to join me in this practice and even if you are already good at it, I invite you to recommit and to find even more ways to acknowledge and compliment the unique beauty that is expressed through your bodily self.
Have you ever seen a woman who may not look “physically” beautiful by common standards but who carries herself with such self-love and appreciation of her sacred sensuality and her divine feminine essence that she comes across as the most beautiful woman you have ever seen? That’s where I’m going…and I want you to go there with me.
Then my Muse tells me it is time for a painting. Yep. A reclaiming of my body painting. With intention, prayer and meditation I start and I find that with each brushstroke I am discovering more and more to appreciate about my body self. My first “body” painting becomes my “honey jar” woman. With intentional creativity deep healing is possible on many levels. She is not yet wild & dancing for she is just healing & reclaiming her body self. She sits in stillness as the keeper of the flame & she appears at the time of the sunset when the veil between the worlds lifts.
She is still in progress because for the first time in a long, long time I am not pushing myself. I am relaxing and savoring each moment…I am living in the slow pace of the islands. I eat my food slowly after blessing it. We rarely go out but choose instead to eat raw fish that we have bought from the fisherman or to cook down at the beach and eat with the wind and the seapsray lightly caressing our food and our skin. Food tastes better this way. I feel more alive and more connected.
My second painting emerges as a dancing Mermaid and I am in love with her. Daily I am falling more and more in love with life and with being in this body. I am reclaiming my sensuality and it feels lovely to live in more harmony with myself. I begin to fall in love with bodies in general and it doesn’t really matter what they look like……I see beauty in all their manifestations…..in the wrinkles and the cellulite, in the curves and sagging flesh as well as the young, firm bodies. I begin to recognize the divinity in the unique expression and EMBODIMENT of each soul’s physicality.
Just in case you are wondering, I didn’t get to be here on Maui for an entire month by some miraculous magic that the Universe delivered to me on a silver glittered platter. It took hard work, strategic financial planning, visioning, prayer and yes, a good dose of angelic grace thrown in. It was not easy to manifest and the ways that it took for me to create this time for my healing took me WAY out of my comfort zone. When I arrived I had slept 6 hours in 2 days. I knew though that this was worth it and I made the choice to claim that I AM WORTH IT.
And it hasn’t all been lovely and gilded. There was a shark attack 2 days before we arrived and another one while we were here. The young woman who was attacked while we were here lost her arm and within a week she died. I felt the tragedy of this deep within my body just as I felt my deep connection here to all of the Universe. It brought home to me how precious our time here is and how precious and fragile our physical bodies are. It also reminded me that joy and sorrow live side by side and the denial of this is another way that we “split” ourselves.I invite you to ask yourself:
In what ways do you split off and deny aspects of your being? How can intentional creativity support you in reclaiming these split aspects of yourself?
Here in this earthly paradise my being has been illuminated with this truth…that we each contain the infinity of opposites and the capacity to join them together in a dance of divine union. The fire becomes one with the water when we realize that the divine is within us and in every aspect of the EMBODIMENT of our spirit in the temple of our physicality. Reclaim your temple for she is worthy and sacred.
GLITTER W.A.S.P. is a visionary artist and teacher, and an “Art Critic” who champions women artists. She considers it her own personal mission to spread sparkle around the world by celebrating the delightful, shimmering beauty women offer to the world through their gorgeous, artistic creations.
Elizabeth Gibbons is a visionary artist and teacher, clairvoyant healer, priestess of possibility and prophetess of enchantment also known in the Cosmic Cowgirls community as the Bejeweled Baroness. As a teacher, she encourages us to explore materials that awaken our sense of wonder, joy and playfulness. By playing with the sparkle of glitter, beads and jewels, we reconnect with the language of our soul and ignite the divine spark that Elizabeth calls our SOUL-SHINE. As we raise our vibrations, the alchemy of healing that is part of our natural capacity, is activated.
Elizabeth, a.k.a. Glitter W.A.S.P. (or the Bejewelled Baroness depending upon the day of the week or who you ask), resides in San Francisco at the Palace of the Soul with her fabulously talented children and her revolving extended family. There she runs “The Divine School of Glitteracy” where she guides women and girls on magical adventures and ceremonies that allow them to reinvent their lives to align with more creativity, joy, enchantment, expansion, beauty and love. She teaches transformational art & embellishment classes at “The Palace of the Soul Divine School of Glitteracy.” She is currently adding “Intuitive & Playful Life Guidance & Clearing Abundance Blocks to her menu. To view a complete menu of classes offered go to www.enchantedeye.net/one-on-one-classes or contact her at 415-637-4290 as new classes are often developed and added before they show up on her web-site.
“She Who Birthed Rivers of Light” is now available in Fine Art Prints. Please contact Elizabeth at 415-637-4290 to find out sizes and prices!
To shop for Fine Art prints by Elizabeth go to http://www.enchantedeye.net/shop_giclees_on_canvas.html
To view Glitter W.A.S.P.’s Daily Glitterations from May and beyond visit Elizabeth’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWmqNfLiDTnPC-_UJM2oV2Q