The Light of Understanding

Gully Park- Fayetteville, Arkansas...where I like to sit and reflect sometimes. 

I just started the second in a series of five Book of Days written by my friend, Terah Cox. I finished the first volume last week, which was about our relationship to the Divine. It was life changing for me. I meant to write more about my experience with the material here, but frankly, I was just too busy living it. Absorbing it. And turning that absorption into permanent understandings that I can apply to my life regarding what I am here to learn via experiences that I create for that learning.

The concept of Reflection has been very strong for me over the last few weeks. As in...the world reflects back to me what I believe, what I think and what I want to experience. For so long, too long...I have been trying to change the reflection in the mirror by thinking I was separate from it. 

I am not separate from the reflection. My energy has been misplaced and misused by emotionally getting mad at the reflection instead of consciously choosing to change what I experience by changing the source of the reflection--which is me.

I get now what Byron Katie's The Work is all about...the stuff in life that pisses you off the most about other people, other situations... is the stuff that you need to change in yourself.

If you want love in your loving. If you want kind. 

When you are an asshole to someone are an asshole to yourself. 

Today's Angle of the Divine is Lelahel which is "Light of Understanding: One who transforms knowledge." 

I want to quote something from today's reading (Birth Angels Book of Days ~ Vol. 2, page 51)...

I AM THAT WHICH....helps you to seek knowledge based on what is truly relevant for your life, and to deepen that knowledge so that it can serve you and your purpose in profound ways.

I had a deeply significant coincidence happen today that involved Shayne.

Around 5 a.m. this morning, I woke up with terrible heartburn and needed to take an acid reducer. So, while I was waiting for it to kick in, I got on the internet and happened upon a website that was talking about the age of men in the Old Testament, and about how much older they were back then compared to our lifespan today. 

It was an interesting read. I inwardly stated that I would like more information about this subject, and I let it go. I wanted to go back to bed since the heartburn was getting better. 

Well, today, Shayne and I went to the library to get a coffee and browse for some books and movies. 

We both rendezvoused with our finds in tow to enjoy a coffee together and as we were enjoying our coffee, I casually mentioned the website that I found earlier this morning about the lifespan of men referred to in the Bible.

He looked at me, reached into his stack of books, and produced a book that was about that very subject. He said he found it in the computer was so out of place he had to look at it. And he opened it to a page discussing the discrepancies in lifespan from that era to the present one.

He decided to check it out, thinking I might find it interesting. Which of course I did...but the fact that it showed up like it did, through his hands struck me as very important. 

The relevancy of this information for my continuing journey of understanding truth and love is unknown to me right now, but I feel like it is important for me to chase it down. 

The Law of Attraction was definitely at work. This is a signpost on my road to deeper understandings that I cannot ignore. The relevancy of this information to my life is still unknown, but that is part of the thrill in having faith that it will all become known as I continue to try and understand myself and what I am here to do. 

The light of understanding...I trust it. Turning knowledge into understanding is so fulfilling...and important. Especially considering that pretty much all knowledge is now available to anyone that is looking for it. But what we do with that knowledge in applying it to our lives is paramount to changing what isn't working for us anymore. 

Easier said than done.

Standing Still

Ground Yourself.

Get Grounded.

Stand like a tree and begin to understand Tree Wisdom.

My trip with my mother was filled with self realized moments infused with a remembering about where this body came from.

My body was built from love. My job is to continue loving it, and be more conscious regarding my thoughts about it.

But how?

Years of living in my head so much has a cost. I had an energy session with my friend Chuck in Brevard. He told me I needed to bring my subtle body's energy down into my body...and something clicked for me.

Over the last few months, during quiet, contemplative moments spent outside, I have been pondering the wisdom of the trees.

Why are each tree's leaves so different? When the wind ripples through leaves, does the note they sound add to the Earth's song?

They are rooted to the earth, but reach towards the sky...and they bend with the wind.

Each one of us has an upside down tree in our body, called bronchial tubes.

We inhale...and exhale...through these tubes. Oxygen in....carbon dioxide out.

Tree leaves breathe in our carbon dioxide, and exhale oxygen. Symbiotic. We are so connected to the trees. Do they learn anything from us? What can I learn from the trees?

During a conversation with my mother and my friend Terah, Terah mentioned the importance of moving through life with bent knees. To embrace being flexible, but do it by being rooted to the earth.

My mother has practiced Tai Chi for over 15 years. She had a lot to offer me this trip regarding the power of the standing pose in Tai Chi.

While we were in her front yard practicing the Standing Pose, my mother was illuminated with the light of this energy.

 She was giving me her gift, her knowledge of tree energy. In the giving away of this knowledge, she expanded it.

To understand the fundamental aspects of energy, one must look to the trees. The trees have much to teach me, it seems.

A book my mother gave me that goes into Tree Energy and how to incorporate it into your own life is The Way of Energy: Mastering the Chinese Art of Internal Strength with Chi Kung Exericise by Master Lam Kam Chuen.

It is a beautiful book...powerful.  It is a way-shower. It can show you the way towards experiencing this energy in each moment.

But it requires standing still. Listening. Being Aware. Rooting. And Reaching.

Trees are a bridge to this world and the higher spiritual realms...they stand in-between.

I believe understanding more about Tree Energy will be transformative for me.

Injurious Thoughts

(A glass plate I photographed during a flea marketing trip I took with mother. This plate now lives in my brother's guest bedroom.)

Mirrors really do have two faces, and I am currently contemplating my reflection that is teaching me about my anger.

So, about 8 months ago, I found a lump/swelling while I was in Raleigh, NC after teaching for three days in D.C. at artBLISS.

I freaked out a little bit, but figured since it came up fast, it would go away just as quick.

I have this rule about body issues:

If it is still there after 2 weeks, I go see about it. Well, this lump stuck around long enough for me to go see about it. 

The long and short of my story is that it took two more doctors and 8 months to get a definitive diagnosis of what is going on with me.

And that I have to have surgery to fix it in June.

It is in an area of my body that is...tender and very private.

But now I know what it is, how to fix it and most importantly-- what is my body trying to tell me about my thoughts?

My conclusion, after much contemplation, is that I have serious anger issues, and that I must make some major changes in how I navigate my days from here on.

A lot of spiritually-minded blogs and people tend to ignore the emotion of anger. It isn't a pleasant emotion and words like eruption, festering and explosive as it relates to how I have been thinking and feeling are hard to live with and even harder to write about here.

But I feel I must. For you. Because long-term anger without having an outlet for change to occur will show up in your body eventually. And when something unpleasant shows up in our bodies that we must deal with, I believe that it provides an opportunity for huge change and growth.

What am I so angry about?

Since the 2007 Financial Crisis, I have become a news junkie. Every morning, I spend about 2 hours on the internet, looking for my emotional hit of 'outrageous indignation' regarding the lawless aspects of my country's political and financial system.

That is just the start of it...I then moved into anger about some personal decisions I have made in the past that are not working for me in the present. I referenced this in my last post.

As far as the political and financial issues on a mass scale, Shayne told me the other day that the reason he doesn't live with anger regarding a lot of this stuff is because he believes that it has always been this way; but now, with the internet, that what has always been hidden is now being revealed.

I believe he is right. I have been living with contradictory thoughts about this, and many other old beliefs about myself for many years. This discord has materialized in my body.

I was watching a Wayne Dyer interview the other night where he is talking to Abraham, a group of energy entities that communicate in-spirit with Esther Hicks. Abraham mentioned the stickiness of thoughts. If you think about something negative, more thoughts like that will be attracted to the original thought.

Before long, minutes really, you have an entire family or tribe of emotionally negative thoughts that become denser in form.  The trick is to consciously choose to stop the momentum.

It works the other way 'round too. Choose a thought not of anger, but of love. And let the momentum build up so that those thoughts become more dense, and attract more of what you want to experience as joy instead of anger.

I can not change what others do. I can not change what others think. But I can change what I do, how I think and what I want to experience.

I don't want to experience simmering, festering anger anymore. I believe I have injured myself physically from this chosen way of occupying large chunks of my time in the morning.

I will be writing more about this as I continue to work through the physical experiences I've recently chosen to learn this lesson regarding anger, choosing my thoughts daily and experiencing joy instead of discord.

Here is a link to the interview I referenced. It's about 30 minutes long and well worth the time to watch it.

Why Makers Make.

Last week, I talked with sculptor Hank Kaminsky about his lifelong study of sculpture. What I learned from him regarding why he feels compelled to make his art helped illuminate for me, finally, why I feel compelled to make jewelry. For Hank, it started with a car trip he took across the country with his family when he was a boy. He recalls laying down in the back seat, watching the landscape change dramatically through the window of  his family's car.  He was somewhere out west, and a mountain range came into view, but from his perspective, it looked as if the mountains were undulating and bobbing up and down.

It was a life-changing moment for him.

He shared with me his lifelong quest to capture his profound moments of spiritual awareness regarding God that began as a boy with those mountains ever since. He told me that all of his artwork has been about that moment and chasing it further to see if he can capture somehow the face of the Divine, believing that it is hiding in plain sight. I think his job as a sculptor is to try and distill in form what his spiritual experiences consist of.

I think all of us, in some way or another, are trying to capture our ideals and beliefs in form, whether we make them via art, or our children, our homes...or the canvas that is our life.

Here is a great, short video of Hank talking about this regarding his sculpture of the Peace Fountain here in Fayetteville.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his conversation led me to ponder about what my purpose has been regarding metal. Why metal? Why jewelry? What has held my fascination with it for so long?


I remember quite clearly the first moment I ever saw oxidized silver. When I was 12, some distant family from California stayed one night with us as they were passing through our part of the country.

They arrived late in the night, and I woke up early, walking around our house, silently looking at a few kids sleeping on our floor, and an older teenaged girl on our couch.

She was beautiful--long blond hair, tanned lean limbs from years of surfing. She was wearing a few sterling silver necklaces, lots of silver rings (even on her thumb!) and she had multiple piercings in her ears-- which for me, a girl from a very small southern town, was somewhat shocking.

But she seemed so, so comfortable in her skin. Her jewelry and her being somehow matched.

She looked effortless.

She simply was who she was, no make-up needed. No clothes with a currently trending label. Nothing other than her and her jewelry, a simple t-shirt and well worn jeans.

But her love and acceptance of herself was clearly evident to my 12 year old self even while she was sleeping.  It shocked me, quite frankly. No woman that I knew of was that self accepting. That comfortable in her skin. That individual.

I think I have been chasing that feeling of well worn effortless self-confidence all of my life.

I want that for other women; I want that for myself.

In the making of it, I hold in my heart the intention that the wearer will feel effortlessly comfortable in her own skin.

In the selling of it, I am connecting to other women that recognize the importance of what my 12 year old self saw on my living room couch...individuation.

In the teaching of it, I get to share what I've learned, and help someone else use tools with confidence so that they can express what longs to be released from their own soul, effortlessly.

So, yeah...that's why I can't let it go.

The Divine + Ourselves...divinely ourselves.

That's what I'm chasing.

Gemstone Dagger Medium Sterling Silver Hoops


I just listed these yummy Citrine gemstone dagger earrings as a new made-to-order earring.  I've also added three more gemstone dagger options to choose from too!  Aquamarine, Tourmaline and Kyanite are available for me to add instead of the Citrine.

I really love that ability to add options to a design!

These are about 1 1/2 inches in length and around 1/2 inch in width.  Really fun earrings...very earthy!

Here are the actual stones I have in stock for a different choice...


I have been at home more this week than I would like to be.

I am having a terrible time with my allergies, which for me, means I am having some asthma problems.

I have been using lavender, tea tree oil and peppermint in our aromatherapy diffuser, and that blend seems to be helping me a lot.

This is the exact diffuser that I am currently using, and we have been very happy with it...although, when you first turn it on, it makes a strange noise for about the first minute. But other than that, it safely diffuses the essential oil blends I use into a medium sized room.

I am working on my projects, and just opened up Soul to Substance to the public last week. I went ahead and put the link to Soul to Substance on the sidebar, and I just feel so much better after making my decision to separate it from my jewelry stuff.

My online Etsy shop still says Soul to Substance, but that will be changing as I transition off of Etsy and on to this site with Woo Commerce over the next few weeks.

I am working with a graphic designer and am doing a rebrand on my logo, and so I have to wait until that part is finished before I can make the change.

As I mentioned last week, I am going through B-School for a second time. And really, I feel like I am learning more this go around than my last one!

It just takes time to implement all of these ideas...and to really decide what to focus on.

I also updated my photo for all of my online sites. My professional photo just didn't really feel like me. I had a hard time smiling without it looking fake, and the photo just felt too stiff.

So, right after I had my hair colored, I put a little make-up on and had Shayne take my photo in our bathroom with a scarf hanging on our towel rack.  He took it with my iPhone, while straddling the toilet.

It was so damn funny watching him do that, and that is why I am laughing like that, and having this impromptu photo shoot in our bathroom somehow makes sense.

I love that man...

Gist of a Gift

On Saturday, I received a phone call from the gallery asking if I could work a shift on short notice.

 I said yes, but I needed to drop everything I was working on at home, hurry up and shower, and leave so I could get there in an hour.

 You know how you feel when you are rushed...seems like everyone is hell-bent on making sure you don't get to where you need to be 'on time'.

 As I was pulling out of our apartment parking lot, I had to stop suddenly because a woman who was on the phone and had her radio cranked up loud pulled out suddenly in front of me. I laid on the horn, but she still kept coming back, and I was quickly trying to switch gears into reverse to avoid a collision.
We didn't collide, since she stopped 'just in time' and casually waved a thank you to me in her rear view mirror.

It pissed me off...and gave me the feeling of being even more in a hurry.

 So as I was pulling out (finally) of our parking lot onto the main drag, I decided to make a quick phone call to my mother.

I tell Siri to call Mom. She answers, "I'm sorry, but I am unable to help you right now."

What? I do it again. Same answer. I stop. And think, "Ok, the universe is trying to tell me something here. I am going to focus on driving, practice awareness and see if I can safely get to my destination without being distracted."

 So I arrive at the gallery, and a friend of mine is there.

 I am excitedly telling him about Soul to Substance, and he wants to see it on the gallery computer. As I bring up this site, I notice that the browser we use at the gallery is not displaying my header correctly at all. I can fix it at the gallery, but my friend is there, and he is trying to share with me something important that just happened to him.

 And I am impatiently looking at the computer, trying to multi-task, all the while trying to listen.

And I stop again.

 Shit. I'm doing it again. I am not being present and I am pre-occupied with something that is not breathing...that can wait.

 And I turn from the computer and I receive the gift of his story and along with some very meaningful insight regarding a problem I'd been dealing with.

 The thing is, most people want to share their gifts with you. But it requires that you be receptive and attentive to who is around you so you can accept those gifts as they are given. Otherwise, you are in effect taking their gifts, throwing them over your shoulder and communicating to them that they don't matter, that their gifts are shit and you would rather spend your time looking at something that is just a thing.

 Distractions kill.

They kill others on the road when someone texts and drives, they kill relationships with others when the thing becomes more important than the person and they kill creativity, too.

 I don't have a computer in my studio because I want my space to be dedicated to making stuff.

 There is a time and a place for technology. But it is our choice to prioritize and make room for the gifts that other people are looking to give you, and for you, in turn, to give back.    

My Ass Story

                             (from my personal collection, Bradley Tyler Wilson: Acrylic)

A couple of weeks ago, website designer and writer, Paul Jarvis, asked his newsletter subscribers for a story that was about something that we had learned in business, creativity or how we found meaning in our work.

 I immediately answered him back with this short story regarding assumptions, and I was thrilled when I saw my story in last week's newsletter with some more powerful lesson stories that he felt a connection to when they were submitted.

 Today is day 2 of the Book of Days that my friend Terah wrote, and the focus is on Love and Wisdom.  They are intimately connected, because love offers the illumination needed to see the lessons in our life experiences.

  Self-love, and the ability to forgive ourselves when we fall short of our ideals, is necessary to extract the permanent understandings that we acquire as we move through our days.

When we combine our knowledge and life experience, along with love, we acquire wisdom.

I call this my Ass Story.

 My first real job was at a weight loss center. An overweight, extremely slovenly man came through the door asking about our program.

I ASSumed he didn't have enough money for the sign-up fee, but felt it was important to get him on board because of his appearance.

 He looked like a walking heart attack.

 I also ASSumed he didn't have a job, lived at home with his mother and all sorts of other ASSorted fictions.

I gave him a huge discount on the program, proud of myself for being so charitable.

He decided to purchase and asked if I would walk outside and get his checkbook that was on the front seat of his car.

 I said sure; and as I walked outside, the only car in the parking lot was a Maserati.

 Turns out, he was a movie producer and he and his wife recently had their first child. He wanted to get healthy to be around for his kid.  This experience was instrumental for me regarding ASSumptions, and how often they turn out to be wrong. 
Love my painting? Bradley Tyler Wilson is an artist living in Chattanooga, TN. You can find his work at In Town Gallery on Frazier Ave.