by Dana Reynolds
is on a Sabbatical Leave this Month.
Please Enjoy her May Column and Visit Again Next Month.
month, Dana Reynolds shares her life-transforming
thoughts, ideas, and sacred imagination based around our
"theme of the month." Dana is a visionary Spiritual Midwife, who
devotes herself to helping women birth their creative
gifts into the world.
Embracing the Whole: Choices for Conscious Living
If everyone in this room knew who
they really were, there would be only One of us in this
room. ~Ram Dass
You are part of the human family and the chain of
life of our planet. This simple fact is a foundational
belief for living consciously.
In order to make conscious choices one must fully
grasp the concept that one’s individual actions affect
the whole. This is a metaphysical truth. Committing to
Life in the largest sense and living for the greater
good for all concerned opens the gateways to
Higher ways of being and doing.
The late Danaan Perry who was the director of the
Earthstewards Network left us this wise counsel,
"The greatest part of really respecting each and
every life is surrendering our resistance. This is true
whether we are speaking of a person in our lives we don’t
get along with, a group of people whose ideas or
behavior are repugnant to us, or ants in the kitchen.
This doesn’t mean letting them violate us, but rather
changing on an attitudinal level from rejection to a
desire to find a solution. If we need to have the other
lose for us to win, then it will be difficult to learn
respect and a cooperative spirit. But once we glimpse
the expanded reality that can be ours if we let go of
that resistance, then it’s worth the hard work and
The paradox is this: In order to fully serve
the Highest good for humanity as a whole, and in order
to live in harmony with our earth and all living things,
we must each take full individual responsibility for
every choice we make. Our individual choices form
invisible chains of thought form and action that link
together to create grids and patterns around the planet.
These grids are capable of creating peace and the
possibility for positive outcome and change or equally
capable of wreaking havoc and causing decay in the
delicate balance for the Highest good.
Each day we are individually called to make countless
decisions from simple interactions such as waiting in
line at the Post Office with an attitude of patience or
irritability, to speeding up in traffic to cut someone
off, or yielding to allow them to enter the flow. These
are opportunities to impart energy into the grids that
are constantly evolving and changing around us.
The energy we choose to impart to the world is
central to conscious living. When we make the choice to
tune into the world around us, to recognize the
collective presence of humanity, and to seek the wisdom
of our ancestors and the guidance of Spirit for all of
our decisions...we are choosing Life and we are
living in a fully conscious way.
This way of being may sound like a time consuming and
arduous task. How does one slow down and bring these
fundamental principles into consciousness each time we
make a decision?
I believe it is possible with the support of others
through the creation of circles. In a circle of
like-minded kindred spirits we can share our stories and
ideas and pray for one another’s dreams and visions.
Conscious living is dependent on changing our awareness
of the interconnectedness of all life. This
understanding then needs to be nourished by our
intentional circles of friends and colleagues.
The sacred imagination plays a very important role.
Your unique brand of creativity is a wellspring of
potential for imbuing ways to live a fully conscious
life. Daily individual spiritual practice and creative
expression, when blended with regular circle gatherings
for shared blessing/healing ritual and creative
interaction, equals transformation at both a soul and a
Perhaps the words of Kahil Gibran offer us a visual
image to begin deepening the process of living
consciously. "Your daily life is your temple and
your religion. Whenever you enter it, take with you your
Visualize Gibran’s statement. Each morning upon
awakening, imagine you are about to enter your temple.
Each action you take is in honor of the Sacred that
exists in every moment, every breath, every choice,
every action, and every thought.
You enter your temple with all that you need; your
Divine intelligence that is linked to your Higher Power
and the wisdom of your ancestors, the support and
prayers of your circle of support, your sacred
imagination, your love of the earth and humankind, and
your open heart. Let everything that you say, think,
create, and act upon be guided by these internal and
external resources. Bring your full loving conscious
Self to the temple of your daily life.
This kind of awareness requires a shift into the
transformation from myopic unconscious reacting to
compassionate conscious responding. A necessary muscle
for this new way of being in the world is your sacred
Begin to check in with your heart before you react to
any given situation. How will your response to your
current circumstances affect others? How will your
action impact the planet and the energetic pattern of
the present moment...or the long term?
Take a moment to imagine your choices. Call on
your powers of visualization. Invite your senses to see,
feel, and hear the outcome of your choice depending on
whether you choose to respond for the Highest good for
all concerned or for immediate self-gratification.
Remember that the consequences of your individual
actions create living breathing energy forms/grids that
cross and intersect one another, day in and day out.
Think of a time when you walked into a business meeting
or family gathering that was steeped in dissension.
Could you instantly feel the negative energy permeate
your spirit while your defense mechanisms engaged in
Now remember the last time you were in a place that
nurtured your soul and supported your humanity.
Contemplate the different energy of that experience, the
sense of well being, and the way it seemed natural and
effortless to feel love and to want to express love in
The shift into conscious living and being takes
practice. It is an ongoing process that requires
engagement with the soul, the sacred imagination, and
Spirit, moment by moment throughout the day. It is a
call to change existing habits for new ways of assuming
responsibility to be compassionate, loving, awake and
Imagine a world where each time a person made a
decision he/she stopped first to still the mind by
taking a deep breath and asking the question, "How
will my decision affect not only myself, but others and
the planet? How can I put forth my best effort for the
Highest outcome for all concerned?"
This kind of conscious and responsible processing for
any given situation would soon have our planet
surrounded with a strong, soulful and nurturing energy
grid that could support the changes humanity and the
earth need to survive and flourish into the next
Once again, the words of Danaan Perry, "It is
not necessary that we 'understand' our Oneness, for
understanding is the way of the intellect. Rather, we
can feel this intimate, total connection, experience it
with our hearts, allow our inner voices to whisper to us
of this oneness of all life. This experience of Oneness
is reflected in the eastern greeting, 'Namaste.' Namaste
means, 'The place within me where God dwells honors the
place within you where God dwells,' or, 'That which is
God in me sees that which is God in you.'"
Your thoughts and actions impact our world. Invite
your sacred imagination to envision what would happen to
our world if we each began to recognize the Divine in
one another. Contemplate the ways you can make a
difference by choosing to live consciously.
invited to submit your story and accompanying
photos to be considered as a feature for the Sacred
Imagination column. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright© 2001 Dana
Dana's Past "Sacred Imagination" Columns:
2001 - Embracing the Whole:
Choices for Conscious Living
2001 "Nourishing the Souls of the Children"
2001 "Opening the Senses to Beauty"
2001 "The Eyes of Love"
2001 "Living Authentically"
2000 "Finding Peace in the Fields of Time"
2000 "Cultivating Gratitude: Heart-Hugs and Prayer
2000 "Journey to the Center - The Sacred Mystery of
2000 "The Heart and Craft of Healing"
2000 "Transforming Life’s Challenges into Beauty and Story"
2000 "Sacred Spaces Invite the
Muses of the Soul"
Dana's Soulful Living Feature Articles:
and the Sacred Imagination: The Dance of Co-creation
For ten years, Dana Reynolds has
been facilitating women’s spiritual presentations and
retreats nationwide. Her work as a Spiritual Midwife,
one who assists women as they birth their creative gifts
into the world, is the foundation of all her endeavors.
Her background as a visual artist and writer enriches
her Spiritual Midwifery: Birthing the Feminine Soul
As the creator of an art making
process known as visual prayer, Dana teaches
women how to combine ritual with sacred intention to
create altars, collages, spirit dolls, and other
touchstones. The creation of sacred spaces is also
paramount to the Spiritual Midwifery experience. Her
offers samplings of her visual prayer collages, poetry,
and a workshop catalogue.
Dana is the author of the
whimsical and colorfully illustrated book, Be An
Angel, a co-creation with illustrator and graphic
designer, Karen Blessen, (Simon & Schuster). Her
essay, Visual Prayers is included in the
anthology, Our Turn, Our Time: Women Coming of Age, edited
by Cynthia Black, (Beyond Words Publishing).
A trained labyrinth
facilitator, Dana incorporates the labyrinth and other
spiritual wisdom into her retreats and workshops. She
recently traveled to Chartres and Vezelay Cathedrals in
France to gather information pertaining to ancient
sacred mystical traditions. She currently lectures on
such topics as spiritual midwifery, sacred journal
keeping, feminine spiritual wisdom, and the early
Christian women saints and mystics.
Dana’s life follows the
spiral path from rim to center and back again. She looks
for the sacred in forgotten places and openly embraces
the great Mystery of life. Guiding women to the
discovery of their creative inner gifts is the passion
that fuels her soul.