Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details

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Writing’s invitation to wholeness

Eva Braun taking her love of animals to an extreme.

I’m very grateful to share a guest post at the creative blog of writer Nicola Auckland.

Nicola was one of the very first to read and review my novel, The Munich Girl, and offer insightful feedback about it.

Her Sometimes Stellar Storyteller blog features delightful Six Word Story challenges, and explores one of my favorite things — creative process.

As she hosts me this week, I’ve done my best to address some of my own experience with it:

“Nine years ago, I made a bid on an eBay item that would change my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined at the time.

“Something within me was strongly drawn to it, though I didn’t yet understand why. It was a portrait of Eva Braun drawn by an artist who never gained acclaim for his work — though his infamous name is branded on history forever. Eva Braun chose to die with him 72 years ago this spring.

“That portrait is at the heart of everything that became a part of my latest novel’s story, set largely in the Germany of World War II. The experience of writing The Munich Girl showed me that, rather than being something I ‘do,’ writing is a process that acts upon me, strengthening my sense of connection with my own wholeness.

“My responsibility, I feel, is to listen and watch, rather than impose ideas or plans of my own on what comes forth as a story.

“Albert Einstein described the intuitive mind as ‘a sacred gift’ and the rational mind as ‘a faithful servant.’ We have, he said, ‘created a society that honors the servant, and has forgotten the gift.’ ”


Stellar Guest Post from Phyllis Ring




The blessed way of not knowing

EB pix Germany and more 069Immersed in a book’s writing process once again, I’m reminded daily that faithfulness to this process involves being present to discover what is ready to be revealed, rather than trying to impose anything.

In addition to the pages it generates, writing, like all creative endeavor, is an invitation to authenticity — a powerful and liberating experience of investigation and discovery, as life itself is meant to be.

Creative process’s greatest gift may be the way that it leads quite naturally to the harmonizing of heart and mind as collaborators in a journey of learning and expression, in service to truth. In fact, it requires this harmonizing and partnership, this dynamic balance. EB pix Germany and more 619

I find that while my focus and intent must train in like a camera, they must also merge in a kind of surrender that my mind can’t ever fully grasp or encompass, but my spirit can recognize, and respond to. Indeed, my mind must become a servant to that surrender, and whatever it is that spirit can draw from and impart to it. Diedenbergen_signs

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant,” Albert Einstein said, adding, “We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

I am writing out of my own search. Authenticity comes from keeping the commitment, while not knowing, something I consider sacred practice.

I am devotee to the experience of the discovery, on its own terms. What that “sacred gift” will bestow.


Two wings of one soul

IMG_1670_2   Albert Einstein said:

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is faithful servant.

  We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

In her book about creativity and spirituality, The Soul Tells a Story, author Vinita Hampton Wright refers to these as “the intuitive mind” and “the analytical mind”.  She describes that the intuitive mind draws from the deep (unlimited) inner well of our soul, and the realms from which it emanates, while the analytical mind receives what it brings forth and then integrates, relates, and organizes it.

DKHIMG_0757Each of these two partners is potentially strengthened by the other. She calls their mutual partnership and cooperation “the balance that leads to greatness,” and what allows us to be true and “full participants in a divine process”.

It would seem that being such a participant calls for learning about what the analytical and intuitive aspects are like, and how they work together. When they do work as partners, they can yield a heady blend of skill and structure, as well as unlimited possibilities for our creative vision.

This partnership has the power to liberate resources that separation and disunity have chained up. It can even effect a dynamic coherence between the material and spiritual requirements of our lives.

IMG_2993Dynamic: Constantly active, changing; vital – alive

Coherence: Holding together; wholeness in unity – balance

What allows our being and our doing to remain dynamic?

How do we feel and recognize the balance of coherence?

What helps our intuitive and rational capacities work together to make these possible?