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Michelangelo’s “David”: A Metaphor for Life

M__471F“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”— attributed to Michelangelo

What does the David mean to an American woman of English and Spanish descent—500 years after it was created? I first saw the David in Florence, Italy in 1989. Twenty-five years later, I returned with my granddaughter so we could see the David together. It had a far greater impact on me. It is a metaphor for my journey in life.

For the past several years, I have had a vision of Michelangelo looking at a huge block of marble, seeing David inside. All he had to do was chip the extraneous marble away to reveal him. Isn’t that what we do in life? We chip away at our anger, sorrow, grief; we expose our imperfections and uncover fears. In short, we do what Michelangelo did. We chip away and in the process reveal our own radiant selves.

davidI learned two new things about the David on this trip.

1) Knowing that the block of marble he was given contained imperfections and cracks, Michelangelo chose to to use it anyway.  Aren’t we all imperfect? Don’t we all have cracks inside? Isn’t it through our imperfections that we reveal our humanity and become vulnerable? Doesn’t that vulnerability allow us to chip more away which reveals our true selves?

2) Michelangelo sculpted the pupils of David’s eyes in the shape of a heart. Perhaps Michelangelo is suggesting that David sees with his heart, and it is through his heart that he is able to face this giant of a man called Goliath. I, too, have learned that truth and courage lie within my heart. While I love using my cognitive mind and always will, I access true power, vision and wisdom through my heart.

Bless the genius of Michelangelo for his creation of the David. It will forever be a symbol of life’s journey of transformation.

Join Susan B. Magee on September 28 and October 7,  2015  from 7 to 9pm for the Circle of Meditation and Healing at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington DC.

 

© Susan Beilby Magee, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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Photo credits: (top) Michaelangelo, The David, from a postcard, Firenze, Galleria dell’Accademia, right: image from Wikipedia

Mother Nature is Alive and Well in Italy

unnamed-4“It was dowsily warm with dozens of bees, lazily buzzing through flowers and trees…”
—Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack by Lynley Dodd

I have just returned from the countryside in Tuscany, Italy. How alive the land, harmonious the old stone buildings and fresh the food! There were bees everywhere, busily doing their work, reminding me of the opening sentence above in Dodd’s book.

I have never seen so many bees, and they had no interest in the people around them. The 7-foot tall hydrangea bushes, olive trees shimmering in the sunlight, upright cypress trees and clusters of grapes hanging from the vines were all alive with spirit. My granddaughter and I stayed with a dear friend, Lynn, and her niece, Michaela, in a small village called Borgo San Felice. We spent time in the herb garden, walked through the vineyards and played bocce ball. One night after dinner we were stunned by June’s “blue moon” hanging in the sky over the land, and as we turned around we watched Jupiter and Venus dance together on the horizon.

I came home to a land that is not as alive with the spirits of nature. Nor is our food as consistently fresh.  What have we done to our home? Upon my return I read about the controversy about a copper mine going into a river valley in Montana where my husband fished with friends in the 80s. I saw another article about the deleterious impact of Donald Trump’s cutting down 460 trees along the Potomac River to have a view for his new golf course.

Profoundly affected by the experience, I ask myself: what may I do to treat Mother Earth with more respect and invite the nature spirits to return? How may I improve my relationship with them?

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© Susan Beilby Magee, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Illness is not the Enemy

Illness is not the Enemy Susan B Magee

Illness is not the Enemy…it is the Soul’s messenger. 

*Our bodies are the repository of profound wisdom.
*They remember everything that has happened to us.
*They provide access to our soul and its history.

We may choose to befriend the illness or pain. 

*Our soul is saying:  “Pay attention!  I have an important message for you!
Please change the priorities in your life.”​

To explore your soul’s message, join Susan on May 4 from 7 to 8:30pm at the Circle of Meditation and Healing at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington DC.

© Susan Beilby Magee, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

The Power of the Human Spirit to Heal: Holocaust Remembrance Day 2015

As many of you know, I spent 9 years researching and writing the book INTO THE LIGHT: The Healing Art of Kalman Aron, a story of courage, hope and transformation.  Born an artist in Riga, Latvia, Aron was caught in the Holocaust for 4 years and immigrated to America in 1949.  I met him at age six when he painted my portrait.  Fifty years later, he asked me to write his story.

Kalman Aron StoneIn 2004 I went to Latvia to see the places of his childhood in Riga, the ghetto and camps where he was imprisoned.  I also went to the Rumbula forest outside of Riga where 25,000 Jews were killed over two days within 5 months of the Germans entering Latvia in 1941.  I had a stone placed in honor of Aron’s parents.   Last November, I was asked to present Aron’s story at an international conference in Riga.  I took time to return to the Rumbula forest to see the memorial to those lost.  I share this film with you.

What happened at Rumbula was unimaginable…beyond words.  Aron lost his mother there, but he survived, and over six decades of painting, Aron worked out the evil he experienced on canvas and turned it into truth and beauty.  More intimately, his paintings in the book reveal his remarkable journey of personal alchemy as he overcame evil and reclaimed his light. His life is a testament to the power of the human spirit to heal.  On this Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), let us remember those who were lost, celebrate those who survived and commit to living in peace with ourselves and each other.  Blessings to all.

© Susan Beilby Magee, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

shutterstock_96007613Ask and ye shall receive. How true. On each step of my spiritual journey I have found gifted teachers and guides. They are always present if we just pray that they appear. The last one, Master Chang, taught me that we hold within our bodies the answers to every question we have. He showed me how to go into my body, listen and heal whatever I found. I have entered my interior landscape so many times now that I no longer fear anything I might find. I am grateful to be conscious of what lies within so I may choose to heal it. As Michelangelo chipped away marble to reveal the David within, so we may remove sorrows, hurts and protective layers to reveal who we truly are so we may stand in our full radiance.

We are magical beings, full of light and grace.

 

© Susan Beilby Magee, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

A Conscious Spiritual Search

grey conch shell 1500I have always been curious about the meaning of life, our relationship to each other and the Divine. In my first decades I defined myself by what I did and accomplished. Then I hit a moment of exhaustion, and I took a leap of faith and quit working “for one year.” I stepped off the wheel of achieving and entered a void to spend time on a journey I knew not where it would lead. I began a conscious spiritual search to heal loss and trauma I had experienced growing up.

I started a Hindu meditation practice that quieted my mind; I did visualizations led by a gifted woman that opened the world of spirit to me in the most gentle and profoundly healing way; I studied the I Ching to understand the balance of yin and yang, the male and female. I read the Zen texts of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, finding a wonderful counterpoint to the western way of always doing instead of being. I read the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila and The Dark Night of the Soul by John of the Cross, exploring my European Christian heritage. I reread parts of the Old and New Testament, the so-called Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and some of the early Christian theologians. I explored our global humanity in Joseph Campbell’s books on mythologies around the world. I reread the Greek tragedies and Greek mythology. I uncovered earlier mythologies: the story of Inanna, the Sumerian Goddess of the Heaven and Earth who entered the Underworld and returned to the Upper World transformed (Descent to the Goddess by Sylvia Brinton Perera).

I was seeking understanding through my mind. The real healing occurred when I learned to go inside and listen to the energies and wisdom within my body…when I entered my interior landscape. I have been gifted with loving teachers and guides. The last one, Master Chang, taught me that we hold within our bodies the answers to every question we have, and we only need to go into our bodies to listen and heal whatever we find. I do this journeying within through hypnotherapy, visualization and meditation.

We all find ways to heal, reveal ourselves to the world and pursue our soul’s passion. On this sacred site I will share the main methods that have helped me go into my unconscious to heal and become what we each are: magical beings, full of light and grace. The methods include hypnotherapy, prayer, meditation, visualization, shamanic journeying and channeling.

Recommended reading:
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila
The Dark Night of the Soul by John of the Cross
Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels
The Gospel of the Beloved Companion: The Complete Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Jehanne de Quillan
The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women by Sylvia Brinton Perera

© Susan Beilby Magee, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 

Life is a Pilgrimage

Nautilus-500pxWhat does it mean to heal…to make ourselves whole?
Are we just talking about healing the physical body or healing the body, heart, mind and soul? On this site, I want to share the experience I have had in answering these questions.

Life is a pilgrimage. Our spirit enters this free will planet and brings with it certain gifts, challenges, passions and purpose. Our soul knows why it is here. When we are born, a veil slips into place between the visible and invisible worlds, and we cognitively forget the reasons we came. But the body remembers. It stores deeply within our ancestral heritage, soul history, beliefs and soul’s purpose. Throughout our life’s journey, we may choose to become aware of all that we are and believe. We may choose to wake up to our infinite possibilities and soul’s passion.

The question is: how awake do we wish to be?

 

© Susan Beilby Magee, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 

Susan Beilby Magee’s blog begins on January 1st, 2015!

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