“Soul Portraits: Witnessing Spirit” is a game I created for myself, a way to conceive of life as a playground and live more in a state of openness and ease. I go through my day with curiosity and reverence for the people I come into contact with or pass by. If the moment feels right, I invite them to take part in my project. I set up my phone to record audio and take the cap off my camera lens and ask, “What makes you come alive?” As the subject reflects and shares, I try to capture the spark in their eyes and the animation in their bodies. They radiate spirit—life force energy—simply by recalling and sharing their sources of inspiration, the ways they find meaning in life.
Witnessing another being’s spirit helps me to recognize the sacred in everyone I meet. It allows me to be in the world how I wish to be: creating meaningful connections with all kinds of people, knowing that we are One. The project has become a bridge, an excuse to approach a stranger, particularly if they’re not someone I would normally find myself drawn to! This intentional curiosity pushes the boundaries of my comfort zone and challenges my limiting beliefs about with whom I can experience union. Gratitude fills my heart for the opportunity to share vulnerability as people trust me with their stories and their image. The energy emitted by someone speaking about their passions is contagious and inherently healing. No matter how I was feeling before the exchange, I leave feeling present and inspired.
In return, I get to reflect that light back. I provide a space for others to remember what inspires them, what ignites their life, and I receive and celebrate their beauty. They do not have to do or be anything other than they are to be lovable or magical; if only for a moment, they can experience their mere presence on this planet as a gift. The art emerges in photos and quotes, but most importantly in the connection we form, however brief.
The most painful experience I’ve had has been separation, the feeling that I do not belong in this world. Art can help us to create a world in which we want to belong, in which we can be ourselves and give and receive love. What could be more healing?
Read my full blog entry for Face Forward: Humanity through Art here.
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