I take photos.
This is my guilty pleasure, spiritual practice, psychological therapy, and creative outlet all rolled into one.
When I first started on this journey, I was overwhelmed by the rush of emotion, the euphoria that would often flow through me when a photo captured something amazing.
This would happen when I was snapping away at the shutter, sure, but just as often it would happen when I downloaded the photos and checked them on my monitor. In some glimmering moments I would be way beyond pleased by what I saw: I’d be surprised. How did my camera capture things that I could not even see?
Simplistically, I originally called this experience happiness. And was intrigued by the continuity of the happiness: I would experience it while taking the photo, and again when viewing it on my computer. It would rise again when I sent it out into the world (at that time, by emails), and would be elevated even more when my friends commented on them. 4 distinct stages of….happiness?
I googled it. Does happiness have stages? I found some interesting articles and even a blog to follow for awhile, but I knew in my heart that this was incomplete.
Photo-taking is intrinsic to my happiness, yes, but there is more to this.
As time went on and photo-taking accompanied me through loss and grief, health crisis and major changes, the depth of my emotional connection revealed itself.
I began to explore my soul through a macro lens.
What I see around me is a reflection of me, what is in me is a reflection of what I see around me. A oneness in the duality, a perfect whole behind the facade of contradiction.
In all of these moments I sensed a fluidity, a sense of being imbued in a state whose essence I struggled to name. My isolating childhood turned me away from the label god, yet I could feel the sacred in this. There is an awe, a kind of breathless reverence that overtakes me, yet this is not just within me, not confined to my own senses.
I feel tapped in, connected to the real source of everything and to all of the people I could ever know. It’s a powerful, heady feeling that allows me to release whatever burdens I carry and rise renewed.
And it must be shared. If every person in the world stopped to refill in her river, we would swim in her waters in peace and joy forever.
The definition gradually took shape as I realized the elements in each of these experiences:
Thankfulness rises, a breathless acceptance of the value in this beauty.
Awareness flourishes, a seeking of beauty in small things and all things.
Community shines, connections to Source and to the weave of my soul-family as sure as within my own bones, my own cells.
Kindness returns, bringing her respect, awe and gentleness to every moment, every action.
This is what I receive when I release her essence with the click of a shutter.
This is what I call Gratitude.
And with each photo, with each poem, with each interaction, I invite you to swim in her flowing river with me. Connected in her silvery waters, living her four elements like breath, like air. You are built to feel this, created for the purpose of breathing Gratitude with your sisters and brothers, our soul-family. And I cannot continue without sharing it with you in deeper and more tangible ways.
It was through one of my shimmering connections that the Gratitude Tarot was envisioned. Soul-sisters connecting across the ether, bringing our talents together and riffing on each other’s open hearted expression of Gratitude.
Yes. Cards. Like the Tarot. Her elements revealed as arcanas, our fool’s journey a passage to Gratitude.
Each card unfurling the essence of Gratitude for all to share.
The limited run first edition Gratitude Tarot is printed and shipping now!
You can have Gratitude in your own hands. Only 100 decks were printed.
A perfect whole behind the facade of contradiction…, originally uploaded by picsie.chick.
Read more about the Gratitude Tarot:
How it began: the Gratitude Tarot
How I will use the Gratitude Tarot to set my intentions and focus my energy. How will you use it?