Steve Jobs did not take a traditional path of education. He dropped out of college but took a course in calligraphy, something he was interested in at the time. Later her used that experience to help him create beautiful typography for the Mac, a signature component for all future computers. Did he know how that calligraphy class was going to affect his future? Nope.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
[Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]
If anyone ever told me that after graduating from the Pennsy lvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and being classically trained in drawing the figure and from observation, that one day when I started to draw a representational portrait my hand would in turn move itself in abstract marks on the page and that I would automatically start moving my hands in all kinds of different positions in relation to myself and in relation to the drawing I would have three simple words in response:
I was just interested in connecting to people again after taking a break from art for a while, so I started drawing their portraits..or so I thought..
In May 2010 I decided to take a formal step in learning more about energy by taking a course in Reiki I attunement with Reiki Master Jessica Schaffer. My daughter was just shy of three years old. When the weekend training was over, I was finally starting to connect some dots and understand why I was having the experiences I was having while drawing people’s portraits.
Reiki, as universal life force energy, helps to remove blockages in one’s body. These blockages can cause disruption of energy flow, resulting in physical, emotional, spiritual, or soul-level pain. A Reiki practitioner gently places their hands on an individual allowing the Reiki to flow into the individual at the level it needs to.
As part of the training, my class practiced giving and receiving Reiki to each other. The energy I received while lying on the massage table opened me up to a deep inner knowing that I was finally letting myself accept in my body; the realization that combining energy work and art was my truth. I had always felt since I was a very little girl that I was an artist. After that weekend, I realized that I was an artist who also is a healing container. Reiki helped me claim it.
Now I had a better understanding of how I was a channel for the energy moving through me and out of my hands onto the paper. Instead of me placing my hands on a person to have the Reiki flow into them, my hands picked up a specific drawing implement. The one I picked was appropriate for the energy that was directed for the individual I was with. Two simple words now,
I learned that everybody experiences energy differently. I remembered what Isis had mentioned to our group as well: There are many different flavors of ice cream. But it’s all ice cream. The way I experience energy and express it is my particular flavor. What is important is that I continue to stay true to myself and my creative process.
My love for art brought me to the Academy in the first place. I will always love drawing from nature and the observed world. The drawing process allowed me to connect at the energetic level of nature, a level that may not always be visible, but can be felt and I believe does exist.
As I reread Steve Job’s speech in preparation to write this post, I also read,
"Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
In Reiki it is said that the student will come when they are ready. Three years after Reiki I, I know in my heart that I am ready for Reiki II. I also know that not only am I an energy worker but that I want to work specifically to help empower mothers and women. As a result of my training in September I am excited to see how I will continue to connect the dots from my experiences in the past 3 years and how I will look back at this this experience in the future to help me connect even more.