April at CSLDallas

Paint a New Picture

You are invited to join the whole CSLDallas community, during March and April, in our Annual Step Out in Faith Program in which we explore and apply 6 Steps to Paint a New Picture! The program includes weekly inspiration and home study groups (online and in-person). Join today by emailing [email protected] and get involved.

So, have you embraced Sacred Disruption yet? Together we are learning to make friends with disruption and how to make it sacred. This is a profound act of grief and hope, while embracing flexibility, the unknown, and all that goes with living from a deep sense of trust. Now we start to Reimagine Everything! Of course, this continues to invite Sacred Disruption, so we will keep practicing being in the flow with change and embracing ambiguity along the way!

Reimaging is more than simply changing or improving something. It begins with looking at what has been and opening to what could be. It is a deliberate act of not going back to how things were, embracing the fluid nature of life, and inviting newness through organically unfolding creativity. Here are 6 steps we have identified that will guide you in the process of reimaging anything; they are designed to support you in creatively painting a new picture when things don’t look like “the way it used to be” and finding beauty and joy in the process!

It all begins with desire! We must let go of resistance, looking back to the past, or trying to return to “normal.” The desire to paint a new picture is recognizing that something wants to be changed or to heed the urge to grow and expand. It is about letting go of form and opening our inner senses to the impulse of Life in all Its creativity. This can be as specific as taking up a work project in a whole new way or as overarching as entering the next phase/stage of our lives. This can be about designing a “new normal” for our relationships and health or creating a new paradigm for how we are contributing our gifts and talents, now that life has been so disrupted.

Using the metaphor of art as an entrance to what it means to reimage, rather than simply improve, we can use the example of a painter. Perhaps you are skilled at oil painting. Improving might be to get more techniques in oil painting, it might include stretching out to learn to paint with watercolors. Reimaging your art is more radical than that. Perhaps it’s deciding to go from landscape to portraits but even more radical would be to decide on a whole new medium that uses new tools. What if reimaging your art is to go from the 2 dimensions of a canvas to the 3 dimensions of sculpture or pottery?  Or visa-versa? Or perhaps it’s moving from art in expression to art in words? Or, for those of us who are not actual artists, perhaps it’s the radical idea that the medium of our lives is not just about creating a life from a palette of a job, money, relationship, and family. What if reimaging invites us to create our lives from an entirely different palette using a completely different medium?

DOWNLOAD March and April 2022 Study Guide

Practicing a positive, practical spirituality is based on the idea that you are a co-creator with Life. Yet how many of us have said, and believe, that we are not creative? Creativity doesn’t just mean being an artist or making art. It is recognizing that with every thought, belief, and action we are using the Creative Process and Universal Laws of Creation as constantly and effortlessly as we “use” gravity or math. Learning about the Creative Process gives us conscious access to using it.

Embracing our own creative nature reminds us that there is no right way our lives should look and not one way to create it on a daily basis. We can consciously direct the Creative Process through our imagination and intention, and we can let something new emerge as we go with the flow and are receptive to guidance and intuition. The truth is, true creation is a dance of both, sometimes directing, sometimes receiving, until you can no longer tell who/what is leading.

Along the way, we are confronted by and learn to tame the Gremlins of resistance, fear, the uncertainty of the unknown, and the sheer force of inertia. Our spiritual tools are designed to get us to release/drop/dissolve these blocks. Learning about them isn’t enough; we have to actually use and apply them! Dig deeply into your practice of being present, using affirmations, and being self-aware of the inner critic. Remember, gremlins are never telling you the Truth! Along the way we get to embrace mistakes, unexpected turns, and closed doors. With every one of these, we turn them into happy accidents by embracing experimentation and releasing perfectionism and control.

You are the artist of your own life – your life is your Masterpiece! As we explore how to Paint a New Picture we take responsibility for our own creative process and experience the joy of truly co-creating a New Picture! Deciding to embrace the challenges we are facing, personally and globally today, with gusto and creativity moves us from simply surviving to thriving, from getting by to loving life!

Collectively, we are the artist of the life of humanity and reimagine how we impact the world. Everything we’ve learn about the Creative process and how to Paint A New Picture can be applied to our contribution of lifting and reimaging how we sees ourselves and our sharing of life here on planet earth. Let us join, consciously and deliberately, with individuals, spiritual communities, nonprofits, corporations, educational institutions, and political leaders who are waking up to the urgent need to reimagine the way we live together on this beautiful planet. Together, we can Paint A New Picture for an awakened humanity and a restored earth.

CSL Dallas