Category Archives: Spiritual Aha

Fill your vessel with Love

You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

Eleanor Brownn

This painting has had a profound impact on me.  I’ve been in tears all morning since creating it. (I still can’t look at it without getting teary eyed!) Yesterday was a play day for me, after receiving Robert Burridge’s course in the mail on how to paint abstracts and how to loosen up.  One of the things he is pretty emphatic about is taking time to write down your intentions before you start painting.  And, to at least do three paintings in a series…this is the second one.

My intention was fairly general – I wanted to paint about LOVE.  I’ve had a history of “filling my vessel” with men, who have all been great teachers of lessons (translation – looking for myself in others!).  Frequently during my time of seeking – ie going from relationship to relationship – I have been told I need to focus on me, and not on being in a relationship.  Which, of course, pissed me off, and, well, in true “Paula” fashion – made me date and seek more.

I have been out of any sort or type of relationship now for over a year – slowly dissecting why and what makes me tick – and why I have chosen the relationships that I have in the past.  It’s been both excruciatingly painful, and immensely rewarding.

Anyway, back to the painting and intention of yesterday.  After writing my intention down, I turned on my Pandora station to The Monkees (tell me – Was Davy Jones was YOUR crush too!?), and I’m a Believer came on..  It starts – “I thought love was only true in fairy tales.  Planned for someone else, but not for me.”  GUS at work.  Was this true for me?  Did I feel unworthy of love?

The second “sign” of the day from GUS was a heart shaped rock RIGHT OUTSIDE MY STUDIO!  I walk that path a billion times a day. (OK – not a billion, but you know what I mean.)

Growing Love

And then, the painting….DAMMIT JANET….A vessel (they had been showing up in my paintings for a couple of weeks) and a heart growing out of it.

And not a heart in the traditional sort of kitchy style – My style – my colors – my composition.

Was it time to really look deep?

Was it time to finally accept that I am worthy?

Was it time to just let go and surrender to what is?

Was it time to stop listening to what others say I “should” do?

Is it time to finally accept all of me?  The good, the bad, and the beautiful?

I know that these paintings are very different…and actually…..after painting this one yesterday….I honestly thought I might not share it, and I most definitely figured I would paint over it, and my galleries tell me that they cannot sell heart paintings….and….really….it was just play for me.  (Was that a run-on sentence, or what?  And, did it make ANY SENSE?)


I think it’s time.

Time to stop comparing.

Time to stop trying to be everything to everyone.

Time to stop beating myself up.

Time to fill my vessel with LOVE.

May We Walk Together As One


Deeply Personal AHA

…That I feel drawn to share….It’s pretty vulnerable….but, a fairly large breakthrough.

A friend of mine (A) was sharing a story about a mutual friend (B) who is dating a multitude of women right now….the friend’s comment was basically “More power to him!”.

I was triggered.  (And probably not in the way that you are thinking)

And rather than get defensive or reactive – I asked questions – because I KNEW there had to be something deep in this…FOR ME….and that it might not be fun.

Even though A sees a pattern in B – B hates women – dates a lot of women – numbs his pain with a LOT of alcohol – gets used and taken advantage of – then when B and the women break up – B whines and complains about the women – RINSE AND REPEAT – A doesn’t feel the need to say anything. (not sure if it is some kind of guy thing – or what.)

Which really made me curious.

REALLY curious.

What about this triggered me so deeply?

But, of course, I started with the obvious.  Why wouldn’t A say anything to B?  A felt I was being judgy, but, I really wanted to get to the bottom of this…and I felt safe asking those questions.  We went back and forth.  Basically ending with A stating he feels no need to say something, and me still up in the air about it.


So – I went to one of my two bestie’s that always helps me process.


There it was.

I did the same thing that B did.


Always dating one person or another – allowing myself to be taken advantage of – monetarily in most cases – culminating in a type of a date rape situation a few years ago.

And why???

Because I didn’t feel worthy.

And so I allowed it.

Anything was better than nothing.


Until…..My friend with the 2 x 4 asked – WHY THE F___ do you do this??

She asked the hard question.

Which I will be forever grateful for.

I did the same thing that B did – BUT – I had someone who cared about me ask the hard question – and changed my life because of it – that’s why it triggered me so deeply.

I realize that if I were given the opportunity – I would probably ask B the same question – in a different way – and knowing that he may or may not hear me – BECAUSE of how grateful I am that 2 x 4 woman cared enough about me to point out that patterning that leaves you banging your head against the wall – constantly wondering because you can’t see your forest for your trees.

We are all so different.

I feel the need to ask the hard questions.

Some don’t.

And it’s all just perfectly orchestrated.

May We Walk Together As One.




About Paula
Raven Shaman