7 year old Tara’s self-portrait
Let us perceive this self-portrait in the manner in which it was drawn: with simplicity and depth. What is its simplicity revealing? I see a portrait of Innocence that reveals volumes about our relationship with the mystery that we belong to. In times when we make ourselves available to the simplicity of Innocence, Restoration begins to flow — naturally.
The first thing we are likely to notice in the drawing is the overall openness of the body. The body is facing forward. There is nothing to hide. Innocence can trust the world because it does not view itself as separate from the world. This makes Innocence naturally available for receiving Higher-state Intelligences. These Intelligences are able to include (ground in) the manifest world, while simultaneously transcending it. (Being “in the world, but not of it.” John 15:19)
The hands are up and open. Even the individual fingers are shown as splayed open and available. The raised hands and open palms seem to be saying “There is no end to my openness.” All of this denotes a boundless trust in herself, which allows her to be available. And this allows her to have trust in the world around her. This child is happy to be relating to the world. Her heart radiates the smiling warmth of the sun, and she carries a smile on her face.
Tara chose to use a red coloured crayon — full of life force and positivity. Also, the red line depicting the body is seamless – with one flow-contact of crayon to paper, Tara expresses the unity she feels between herself and her body. She has used a denser colour red for the feet and legs., indicating a grounded quality. Her joy is embodied. The grounded quality is also emphasized in the saw-toothed shape of the dress hem.
There is a beautiful quality of vulnerability in Innocence. I believe that is where Jesus statement “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3) comes from. The Kingdom of heaven is nothing less than the Universal Sun manifesting through our own Heart — shining within us with such abundance that we naturally share it with the world around us.
And lastly, what happens in our body, emotions, and mind as we contemplate this drawing? Does our rational mind dismiss it as a “child’s drawing”? Or can we find a similar resonance in our body? If so, where do we feel this resonance? And what is the texture or quality of this resonance – hard, soft, flowing, tight, distant … allow this “portrait of Innocence” to touch you in whatever way it does in this moment.
Receiving (perceiving) Innocence requires the open availability of Innocence. The already-knowing of habitual structures in Consciousness block the open perception of Innocence. However, it has been my experience that the practice of “being with” the (seemingly) solid structure of habit allows them to soften. The open willingness of Innocence meets these structures more skillfully than resistance or judgement or analysis. The simplicity and trust of Innocence is Restorative by nature. When we practice within a group field where the openness of Innocence is encouraged, we can feel a sort of “wonderment” open up within us.
Tara’s picture speaks to me about the unassuming nature of Innocence. The nature of Innocence is a magnet for attracting a flow of Grace — the natural conduit for Restorative energy. Thérèse of Lisieux addresses the effect of Innocence when she says that “it is enough to recognize one’s nothingness and to abandon oneself, like a child, into God’s arms.” Innocence is the part of us that is willing to “abandon” even our most “sticky” structures (of already-knowing) in order to Rest in Stillness.
“Restoring Structures in Consciousness” (the Fall SP series) begins to happen within the “letting go” nature of resting “in Silence.” Even a few precious moments of encountering the mystery of our depth in Stillness can be life-altering. Our relationship with depth can be life-altering because the conditioned structures in our Psyche (body-mind) are literally bathed within the purity of this wholesome contact. From here, we encounter an “emergent Intelligence” where nothing is expected, and much is revealed.
Even as I write this Blog post I experience the generous flow of this Intelligence. It influences both my body and mind. I feel relaxed and awake. Habitual distractions recede. A natural gratitude flows from my heart and into my throat, tears begin to collect in my eyes as an Inner Beauty reveals herself.
If you are interested in exploring in the “Vancouver” or “Virtual” groups Fall series (beginning Tuesday & Wednesday), please see https://lauramadsen.ca For private sessions please see https://lauramadsen.ca/private-sessions/
Namaste friends, Comments or questions are welcome below.