The Woman Within

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

A few months ago I told a dear friend that I wanted, or anyway had a thought, to create a women’s group.  The idea was to create a complete support system made of women, and just for women.  Now, here in the present, I was guided to a support group ‘just for women’ that had been established for 30 years.  A clear reminder to me that there is nothing new under the sun, and, of course, how could this group not already exist?

 

Women need women.  Why?  Good question.  Society in fact, pits us against each other. Competing in all sorts of ways that give us no option but to change and re-frame who and what we really are to adjust to pre-set worldly ideals.  So, we don our masks of many kinds and strike off into the grand world completely oblivious that we have just buried our unique and precious authenticity.

 

Projecting forward we’ve created our entire lives based on some adopted/adapted personal concept we have inadvertently agreed to own.  Being completely entrenched in the costume of believing we are what we are not, we blindly accept the facade as our truth.  And we therefore claim it.  That ‘now’ truth dictates our lives.  We have successfully hidden our Self so deeply within that we would put up an argument most fierce in defense of the illusion.

 

In life, we now select our partners, our work, and all our various worldly roles wearing masks.  Eventually, by whatever trigger, we one day waken to realize we are really not happy at all.  How did this happen?  We ask ourselves.  The answer lies in the insanity of complete separation from our original identification with who we are.  Our authentic, beautiful, unique Self.

 

Should I say this idea applies to all women everywhere?  I don’t know.  You will have to be the judge.  We all should do a self-check, perhaps, to see if we really know ourselves, or if all we know is what we have accepted based on concepts, most likely, lovingly, imposed upon us since birth.  Others, not so lovingly, institutionally and otherwise imposed upon us by societies constrained beliefs.

 

Fearfully, we may begin to realize that we are not ourselves, and we are in complete conflict with our entire reality.  That our whole beingness is based on a false perception, and now, knowing that and accepting it –we are completely undone.  Internal conflict creates a sense of being completely out of touch with reality as we know it.  We stand, therefore, at the threshold of –what now?

 

As women who have begun to awaken within our Self we realize we have two choices. We can continue the facade, and life as we know it will ‘seem’ to move forward unchanged.  Or, we can begin to find and eventually embrace our birthright, and find ways to own our true Self.  It is human nature to resist change and so we may think it much easier just to keep the status quo.  After all, we are pretty much ‘okay’.  Really?

 

The problem with this choice?  It is decisive recipe for disaster.  Why?  Because once you ‘know’ a truth, you can not ‘un-know’ it.  You have the option, should you choose, to go through the remainder of life knowing you are living in a dream.  A dream created upon a false perception of reality.  You will always know you are not whole because you have decided to remain separate from your true identity.

 

Indeed, the only real choice is the choice for being ‘real’.  We are resistant only because of the fear behind the idea of change.  The truth is, at some stage in life most women have been catapulted from their mundane dream-state existence, and tossed flailing out of the fairy tale into the great unknown.  Many of us run straight back to Wonderland the moment our feet hit the ground realizing it is time to ‘own up’.  But—for those who make a conscious decision to embrace their Truth and honor the ‘woman within’–the brave ones who dare in this world to know and be authentic–to them belong the grand adventure called Life.  Reaching deep inside and then outwardly into the unknown, like budding flowers, we begin to explore our new world with fresh eyes.  We armor our Self with unconditional self-love.  We discard our masks and embrace our Truth.

 

Now we are free.

 

[Art and Script by Angela M. O’Neal.  Inspired by life, love, & women]

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME!

Ha!  A year ago today I started this Blog.  Has it really been that long?!  This year has been such a year of transformation, and it just keeps extending in that way for me.

I haven’t posted anything for quite sometime, which is incredible considering my overactive mind and imagination.  Alas, I have been scattered in many directions, precisely as we all are, and  I am just on this journey we call ‘life’.

The last year has deepened my love of Art,  and the connection somehow brings me closer to my Higher Spiritual Self in so many ways it would be impossible to express in such a short post as this.  (and I promise it is short)  In any case, my deep desire for a closer experience with the Powerful Universal Presence, that some call God, has brought me to some life-changing decisions which I know will bring me great joy and of which I have already found.

Paradoxically, life is the same.  I eat, drink, work, dress, play–whatever, and so do all those around me. Caught in an endless circle of rituals and repetitions.  Sometimes whirled out of balance by a shocking experience that breaks that routine.

I’m not much for routine, which I find boring…however, I do embrace some form of lose structure that allows me some flexibility and direction at the same time.  I have to say perhaps I’m somewhat better at it now at this stage of my Crone life.  I have to smile at that expression of myself, but here I am.  There.  Here.  So I smile at myself and realize that in the last year I’m just learning more about how to simply ‘be’, and the rest is unknown…

I see the Light in you my friend, and I thank you for sharing this journey with me.

 

 

 

Paper Talks

Late one night after working long hours creating custom cards for a client I sat with my paper mess all around me and suddenly a different kind of inspiration took over.  All the tiny scraps of paper called to me and before I knew it the voice was expressed in two paper ‘dolls’.  This is the only one I can find a photo of right now, so I’ll share her with you.  Please forgive the outfit.  Her authenticity is all in Spirit and she called me to create her.

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The Inner Critic & The Millionaire

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Meeting of the Mind/s

In the beginning was the critic, and the critic was without form and void, powerless in the darkness and moving in the waters of our emotions–awaiting creation. In the beginning was the Millionaire, possessing all the same potential of the critic. Which shall rise up to be created?

New to the art world I was unfamiliar with the term, Inner Critic, but not now. Of course, the Inner Critic has existed in it’s other forms and different words that get tossed around about us…“everyone is their own worse critic”…”own worse enemy”…”inner child”…etc. Why are we so eager to create these picky little critters? Why do we allow them to even exist? Others around us appear to be giving us words of encouragement and support, but even with the greatest compliments, we tend to go into auto inner critic mode. As soon as we are given words of hope we dash it to bits with our nitpickyness. At those moments the Inner Critic has taken control and created a nice big delusional block to our truth. Our blinders have been mounted and we are unable to see.

Where is the Millionaire? The Millionaire is in exactly the same place as the Inner Critic. The Millionaire is moving, formless and awaiting creation. The Millionaire says you really can do this, you really are wonderful, and I want to shower you with abundance and free you from the prison of the Inner Critic, but you just won’t let me. I send you hope all the time. Reminders large and small that I am here, in the shadows, lifting you up and encouraging you. But you don’t even know I’m here. You can’t see me.

(INTERJECTION: This story could go in all kinds of directions, twisting and turning according to our own experiences. Filling in the blanks so to speak, but I want to keep it on this little path right now where only the Inner Critic and the Millionaire are at play. I’m only using the Millionaire because that’s what has been coming up for me recently, so I’m sticking him in here.)

Obviously, the example above clearly tells us we can either create the Inner Critic and continue to feed and nurture it and receive those ‘rewards’, or we can create the Millionaire who wants to shower us with wealth and abundance. In the mind we can create our reality. We do it every day. We think a thought and then we move in that direction. Sometimes we do it with great intention and sometimes we don’t think we really even know we are doing it at all.

When we finally decide to have a meeting with our mind we are instantly in a huge power position because as we engage our mind the gears begin to move and shift and we are creating, creating, creating. What will you give creative life to?

I AM COMING OUT!

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The Latent Artist

Who knew?!  Growing up with an Artist Mother I was never compelled to really explore my artistic side in the form of painting.  Mother is a brilliant water color artist, but even so I never saw it as a way to make a living and therefore just discounted it as anything within my range of vision.  It took me many long years to finally ‘see’ that the art was not a thing that one ‘did’, it is a thing that one ‘is’.  Quite a difference.  For in the love of the artistic expression it’s as much a part of you as breathing.  It simply must be so.  You may choose to hide it in ‘the closet’, but eventually it will show.  It will leak out and everyone will know the truth. Of course, that is exactly what happened to me, so instead of fighting the wave I am riding it.  I finally know that I have to be true to myself, so yes, I AM AN ARTIST!

THE MIRROR

A Visual Practice for Self-Knowing

I thought I would talk about ‘the mirror’ for a moment.  I invite you to follow along using these images as an exercise in self-awareness.  You will gain insights to your true self and reveal that which is hidden through this simple visual practice.

See yourself standing before the mirror and you think you see a reflection of yourself, right?  I do.  Now, see your best friend standing before you as the mirror.  What do you see?  You probably think you see someone who gets you. Someone who sees you like no one else does.  A very special person.  When you look in this mirror you may easily see parts of yourself which you ‘love’ and so this image is very pleasing and you want more.

Now, replace the mirror image of your best friend with someone who you have much conflict.  Notice how quickly your happy feeling changes.  You may start to feel anger, resentment, fear, or at the least, uncomfortable.  But remember (just in this pretense) that you are still looking at the mirror.  What do you see?  You probably think you see someone very different from yourself.  You feel separate from them.  Following along here (just for ‘fun’)– I invite you to simply consider that both friend and enemy images you see in the mirror are actually both reflections of one truth.  And that would be, you.

By now you are probably beginning to feel slightly agitated and uncomfortable.  And why wouldn’t you?  You just went from feeling really good about your reflection, to thinking this person is totally ‘not’ a reflection of who I am.  Examine it though.  Look deeper.  Is there a hidden message here for you?  A part of yourself you are unwilling to see?  This exercise is a good way to examine what we really think about ourselves.  Our own reflection looks upon us.  The Mirror says, “Know me.”

Welcome to Angela’s Path

My Chinese fortune cookie says, “Keep it simple.  The more you say, the less people remember.”  

My name is Angela O’Neal and I started this blog because I have things to say and art to share.  I want to talk about things that might make you re-think old thought patterns.  I want to share a love of art that I only just discovered in myself at the end of last year–2014.  In fact, Angela’s Path is about just that–my path–where it came from, where it is now, and where it may go.  Who knows, maybe you will find some of your own path in mine.  In fact, I expect you to.