I am not this body. I have no form underneath this skin. But I am bright and knowing and beautiful. My spirituality is living, breathing, beaming, glowing, it's the friendly exchange of energy, helping two souls grow. I've never seen my own heart, but I imagine an innocent organ that is changing shape every day. When I'm clear and happy and free, my heart is expanded and bright with each beat. When I'm cloudy, my heart lives mostly in its contraction, taking meek beats. I feel connected to the source when I'm connected to myself, coming from my heart space in all my actions and interactions.     Jamie A.  New York City, New York 2006

I am not this body. I have no form underneath this skin. But I am bright and knowing and beautiful. My spirituality is living, breathing, beaming, glowing, it's the friendly exchange of energy, helping two souls grow. I've never seen my own heart, but I imagine an innocent organ that is changing shape every day. When I'm clear and happy and free, my heart is expanded and bright with each beat. When I'm cloudy, my heart lives mostly in its contraction, taking meek beats. I feel connected to the source when I'm connected to myself, coming from my heart space in all my actions and interactions.

 

Jamie A.
New York City, New York
2006

           Dave B.    New York City, New York 2006

 

 

 

Dave B.

New York City, New York
2006

 Listen            Jennifer B.    New York City, New York 2006

Listen

 

 

 

Jennifer B.

New York City, New York
2006

 I carry in life very few possessions, for I came into life with the most precious gift of all, the gift of life.  My contents contain the things that have allowed me to mold myself into the woman that I am at this point in my journey.Red lipstick defines my sexuality, bold passionate sometimes shy and blushful. And sometimes red simplifies my broken heart that I carry in a place that is not obvious to the human eye but obvious to the humanity in those who have also shared in the loss of a loved one.  But don't get me wrong, I do not dwell in loss for there is nothing to gain from pain, so I salute my life, my Mummy, my dog, my friends, my family, my voice, my silence, my happy, my sad, my good, my bad, my vulnerability, my words, and my body and soul, for as a great woman once said "Who I Am is a possibility, a possibility that's who I am!"  Yours TRUELY Miss Tiyee. xox         Tiyee C.     New York City, New York 2006

I carry in life very few possessions, for I came into life with the most precious gift of all, the gift of life.

My contents contain the things that have allowed me to mold myself into the woman that I am at this point in my journey.Red lipstick defines my sexuality, bold passionate sometimes shy and blushful. And sometimes red simplifies my broken heart that I carry in a place that is not obvious to the human eye but obvious to the humanity in those who have also shared in the loss of a loved one.

But don't get me wrong, I do not dwell in loss for there is nothing to gain from pain, so I salute my life, my Mummy, my dog, my friends, my family, my voice, my silence, my happy, my sad, my good, my bad, my vulnerability, my words, and my body and soul, for as a great woman once said "Who I Am is a possibility, a possibility that's who I am!"  Yours TRUELY Miss Tiyee. xox

 

 

Tiyee C. 

New York City, New York
2006

 Music.  The core essentials at the base of my journey are, and have always been largely musical. With that perspective, the tuning fork stands to represent balance, harmony, melody, focus and a communal rhythm of life. All of us, tuning in, breathing in and sharing the creative energies of the world and the world beyond. Albeit, obvious or sublime.  A pine cone, a bird, the moon and stars, are nature.  The philosophy; The power of words and art to connect us to each other. To our past, present and hopefully our future. Faith in the unknown, the possibilities, and the unrealized.  Music is life. Life is music. It is a constant. Natural, Internal, External, Eternal.          Ian C.    New York City, New York 2006

Music.

The core essentials at the base of my journey are, and have always been largely musical. With that perspective, the tuning fork stands to represent balance, harmony, melody, focus and a communal rhythm of life. All of us, tuning in, breathing in and sharing the creative energies of the world and the world beyond. Albeit, obvious or sublime.

A pine cone, a bird, the moon and stars, are nature.

The philosophy; The power of words and art to connect us to each other. To our past, present and hopefully our future. Faith in the unknown, the possibilities, and the unrealized.

Music is life. Life is music. It is a constant. Natural, Internal, External, Eternal. 

 

 

Ian C.

New York City, New York
2006

 I chose two important items for my box to display. My phone. While I have not yet given into convergence on all levels, I need to be connected to my mobile world with voice, images, and text. My phone represents a much larger infrastructure that supports my livelihood. NOTE: It was not necessarily turned off for the session.  Leaves from a plant. My physical and natural worlds have a lot to do with cycles, health, and basically air. Running, stretching, and taking time to just breathe help me to adjust my reactions on a daily basis. The leaves represent my relationship or help to acknowledge my respect for life itself – even though they had to die for this project.  My commitment of time spent on this project was unexpected. I learned that I do not allow myself to think about my identity often enough. It was fun.      Brett D.    New York City, New York 2006

I chose two important items for my box to display. My phone. While I have not yet given into convergence on all levels, I need to be connected to my mobile world with voice, images, and text. My phone represents a much larger infrastructure that supports my livelihood. NOTE: It was not necessarily turned off for the session.

Leaves from a plant. My physical and natural worlds have a lot to do with cycles, health, and basically air. Running, stretching, and taking time to just breathe help me to adjust my reactions on a daily basis. The leaves represent my relationship or help to acknowledge my respect for life itself – even though they had to die for this project.

My commitment of time spent on this project was unexpected. I learned that I do not allow myself to think about my identity often enough. It was fun.

 

Brett D.

New York City, New York
2006

 My connection to the universe is a child-like, playful feeling.  Like laughter.  And not a day goes by that I don't smile at God's mysteries, practical cosmic jokes, and wicked sense of humor! I feel it in my chest, as if it's been blown wide open with gratitude. It's a moving, flowing, spinning, sensation that every single thing is in simple perfection - feeling of connection to everyone, everything. And in those moments when I'm aware of my connection, I create the most unexplainable magic - helping remind me that I too am God and that anything is possible.      Stephanie M.    New York City, New York 2006

My connection to the universe is a child-like, playful feeling.

Like laughter.

And not a day goes by that I don't smile at God's mysteries, practical cosmic jokes, and wicked sense of humor! I feel it in my chest, as if it's been blown wide open with gratitude. It's a moving, flowing, spinning, sensation that every single thing is in simple perfection - feeling of connection to everyone, everything. And in those moments when I'm aware of my connection, I create the most unexplainable magic - helping remind me that I too am God and that anything is possible.

 

Stephanie M.

New York City, New York
2006

 I’ve always classified myself as a spiritual, yet non-religious person. I have many beliefs, but they don’t neatly fit into a package that I can put a title on. I guess I could say that my religion is my family, close friends and the relationship I have with my animals. The relationships I have in my life whether current or the past have shaped who I am. They are the most important things in my life.  Loving and being loved is what I care about. It’s what I believe in. The most prominent item I’ve placed in my box is my Rainbow Blanket. It was made for me as an infant by my maternal Grandmother, my Grammy. I love it as if it had a heart beat. To me, it has emotions just like you or I. I could never leave it behind or toss it aside. It’s been with me through loss, heartache, fear, joy and every emotion in between. It’s part of me.  The Santa Claus doll is my elder cat Girl Girl’s favorite toy. Although my relationship with animals began the day I was born, Girl Girl is the first animal that I was ever solely responsible for. I picked her out as a Mother’s Day gift for my Grandmother when I was 12. Later she became my own. My time with her has taught me invaluable life lessons, which I continue to learn on a daily basis.  Not many people can understand the love I feel for her. It is the kind of love that I can feel in every ounce of my body and that radiates from me like a warm glow whenever I am around her. She is old and bitchy, but she has been a best friend and I only hope I can take care of her as she has taken care of me.  The picture of my mother has been placed in my box because I often feel like neither of us would be a complete person without the other. We’ve had each other when there was no one else. I am a product of her and she is a mirror of myself. I know we’ve been together for many lifetimes and will be together for many more. She is the mother I want to be and the person I have always strived to become.  The prism was given to me by my late stepfather who was only with us for a short time before he passed away. The prism reminds me that sometimes even the relationships that touch your life for the shortest periods of time, can have the longest impact.   The book was mine as a child. It is a book of art projects for children. Creativity has been an important part of who I am for as long as I can remember and this book is my first memory of being creative.         Sabine S.    New York City, New York 2006

I’ve always classified myself as a spiritual, yet non-religious person. I have many beliefs, but they don’t neatly fit into a package that I can put a title on. I guess I could say that my religion is my family, close friends and the relationship I have with my animals. The relationships I have in my life whether current or the past have shaped who I am. They are the most important things in my life.

Loving and being loved is what I care about. It’s what I believe in. The most prominent item I’ve placed in my box is my Rainbow Blanket. It was made for me as an infant by my maternal Grandmother, my Grammy. I love it as if it had a heart beat. To me, it has emotions just like you or I. I could never leave it behind or toss it aside. It’s been with me through loss, heartache, fear, joy and every emotion in between. It’s part of me.

The Santa Claus doll is my elder cat Girl Girl’s favorite toy. Although my relationship with animals began the day I was born, Girl Girl is the first animal that I was ever solely responsible for. I picked her out as a Mother’s Day gift for my Grandmother when I was 12. Later she became my own. My time with her has taught me invaluable life lessons, which I continue to learn on a daily basis.

Not many people can understand the love I feel for her. It is the kind of love that I can feel in every ounce of my body and that radiates from me like a warm glow whenever I am around her. She is old and bitchy, but she has been a best friend and I only hope I can take care of her as she has taken care of me.

The picture of my mother has been placed in my box because I often feel like neither of us would be a complete person without the other. We’ve had each other when there was no one else. I am a product of her and she is a mirror of myself. I know we’ve been together for many lifetimes and will be together for many more. She is the mother I want to be and the person I have always strived to become.

The prism was given to me by my late stepfather who was only with us for a short time before he passed away. The prism reminds me that sometimes even the relationships that touch your life for the shortest periods of time, can have the longest impact. 

The book was mine as a child. It is a book of art projects for children. Creativity has been an important part of who I am for as long as I can remember and this book is my first memory of being creative.

 

 

Sabine S.

New York City, New York
2006

 Fire An instant articulate violence: excitement and tumult. The instance of combustion, oxidation, laughter.      Rob R.    New York City, New York 2006

Fire An instant articulate violence: excitement and tumult. The instance of combustion, oxidation, laughter.

 

Rob R.

New York City, New York
2006

 My connection to the Divine is discerned as an inner presence... creation whispers and awakens in me. There is a fire that fuels me with passion for being... assuring me of my connection to the One eternal flame.  There are flowing waters originating from beyond, yet actively present and moving through me. The movement impels me to know and to release the essence of my being. Living waters stirring me to remember... to reveal... and to relax into the flow.  I sense the heartbeat of creation animating and connecting me to all life... to Infinite Presence and Mind. The life I AM is a bridge between heaven and earth... the seen and the unseen... spirit and substance. I AM inspiration... I am expression... I am being... I AM... singing and dancing in me.          Darlene S.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006                         

My connection to the Divine is discerned as an inner presence... creation whispers and awakens in me. There is a fire that fuels me with passion for being... assuring me of my connection to the One eternal flame.

There are flowing waters originating from beyond, yet actively present and moving through me. The movement impels me to know and to release the essence of my being. Living waters stirring me to remember... to reveal... and to relax into the flow.

I sense the heartbeat of creation animating and connecting me to all life... to Infinite Presence and Mind. The life I AM is a bridge between heaven and earth... the seen and the unseen... spirit and substance. I AM inspiration... I am expression... I am being... I AM... singing and dancing in me. 

 

 

Darlene S.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 My crest bears the motto: I learn to succor the distressed.       Kelley M.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

My crest bears the motto: I learn to succor the distressed. 

 

Kelley M.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 I have found that there is only “one story” and it reveals itself in infinite forms and plots all of which lead to knowing “peace.”          Mike F.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

I have found that there is only “one story” and it reveals itself in infinite forms and plots all of which lead to knowing “peace.” 

 

 

Mike F.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Flight: One who separates themselves from the physical body and enters a spiritual journey into the universe.          Staci B.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Flight: One who separates themselves from the physical body and enters a spiritual journey into the universe. 

 

 

Staci B.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 The Buddha has a smile because the Buddha has just realized he already had what he had been searching for all these years.          Steve A.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

The Buddha has a smile because the Buddha has just realized he already had what he had been searching for all these years. 

 

 

Steve A.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Tibetan chimes sound. Sufi mantras abound. Sacred amulet found. Seated Buddha’s in town. Hourglass sand goes down. So I ask you, Grasshopper: Who is this bearded clown?       Charles G.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Tibetan chimes sound. Sufi mantras abound. Sacred amulet found. Seated Buddha’s in town. Hourglass sand goes down. So I ask you, Grasshopper: Who is this bearded clown? 

 

Charles G.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 I am clear. I am to be a channel for compassion.      David B.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

I am clear. I am to be a channel for compassion.

 

David B.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 I live and breathe my passion as a plant spirit alchemist, weaving the scents of heaven and earth together for empowering the divine essence that is alive within all things.       Joan C.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

I live and breathe my passion as a plant spirit alchemist, weaving the scents of heaven and earth together for empowering the divine essence that is alive within all things. 

 

Joan C.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 As a single guy whose only child has left the nest, Calico is my dearest companion. She came to me last September as a 5-week-old kitten when some unknown person abandoned her on the side of a busy highway. There she sat, for God knows how long until, long after dark, I came speeding by and, for a split second saw... something... in my headlights.  Consider, if you will, how incredibly wise the survival instinct was in this 5-week-old kitten. If her instinct had told her to stand in the middle of the highway and cry for help, she wouldn’t have lasted a minute. If her instinct had told her to run from the hideous noises and fumes and hide in the tall grass, the coyotes would have seen to it that she wouldn’t have lasted the night. Instead, her deepest and wisest part instructed her to stay right where she was, not to succumb to fear and run—but neither to succumb to self-pity and insist on being rescued. Just sit. And trust.  And so, as fearsome mechanical beast after beast bellowed death threats at her from mere inches away, she held her ground, waiting patiently for someone to pay attention and manifest compassion. When I drove back and parked near her, she came running toward me. I think her exact words as she leapt into my car were, “It’s about time you showed up!” For me, Calico is the embodiment of courage and wisdom. She challenges me to be so centered that I instinctively respond to adversity from my deepest and wisest part. She models for me the traits I most seek—beauty, passion and integrity. She lives in the moment; indeed, she knows no place but the moment. This is the place where split-second decisions are made that decide who we really are, where risks are very real, where rewards are beyond anything we had previously imagined. This is the place where Calico sits, patiently waiting for me to pay attention, manifest compassion, and come play.       Larry C.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

As a single guy whose only child has left the nest, Calico is my dearest companion. She came to me last September as a 5-week-old kitten when some unknown person abandoned her on the side of a busy highway. There she sat, for God knows how long until, long after dark, I came speeding by and, for a split second saw... something... in my headlights.

Consider, if you will, how incredibly wise the survival instinct was in this 5-week-old kitten. If her instinct had told her to stand in the middle of the highway and cry for help, she wouldn’t have lasted a minute. If her instinct had told her to run from the hideous noises and fumes and hide in the tall grass, the coyotes would have seen to it that she wouldn’t have lasted the night. Instead, her deepest and wisest part instructed her to stay right where she was, not to succumb to fear and run—but neither to succumb to self-pity and insist on being rescued. Just sit. And trust.

And so, as fearsome mechanical beast after beast bellowed death threats at her from mere inches away, she held her ground, waiting patiently for someone to pay attention and manifest compassion. When I drove back and parked near her, she came running toward me. I think her exact words as she leapt into my car were, “It’s about time you showed up!” For me, Calico is the embodiment of courage and wisdom. She challenges me to be so centered that I instinctively respond to adversity from my deepest and wisest part. She models for me the traits I most seek—beauty, passion and integrity. She lives in the moment; indeed, she knows no place but the moment. This is the place where split-second decisions are made that decide who we really are, where risks are very real, where rewards are beyond anything we had previously imagined. This is the place where Calico sits, patiently waiting for me to pay attention, manifest compassion, and come play. 

 

Larry C.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Growing up, I didn’t take the opportunity to learn about my heritage or the rich history of my people. As I get older, I find myself starving for new knowledge of my culture and I find the views of the Oglala fascinating. Learning the history and spirituality of the Sioux has opened my eyes to a new world and it has given me a sense of individuality.  My box contains a dream catcher, my mother’s turquoise necklace and a book about the Sioux religion, Mitakuye Oyasin, meaning “We are all related.”       Melissa B.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Growing up, I didn’t take the opportunity to learn about my heritage or the rich history of my people. As I get older, I find myself starving for new knowledge of my culture and I find the views of the Oglala fascinating. Learning the history and spirituality of the Sioux has opened my eyes to a new world and it has given me a sense of individuality.

My box contains a dream catcher, my mother’s turquoise necklace and a book about the Sioux religion, Mitakuye Oyasin, meaning “We are all related.” 

 

Melissa B.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Much like the objects I selected, the notion that my soul is connected to spirits beyond and yet grounded to the Earth creates a juxtaposition of elements that are real and imagined.       Rose R.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Much like the objects I selected, the notion that my soul is connected to spirits beyond and yet grounded to the Earth creates a juxtaposition of elements that are real and imagined. 

 

Rose R.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Upper shelf: my glasses and pen represent reading and writing. I honor the insights and knowledge received from the minds of others through their literary expression. I have connected deeply with family and close friends through my attempts to share my own feelings and reflections.  The braided necklace with its four strands recalling the Four Directions, represents the men’s group work with which I am involved, The ManKind Project.       Bob G.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Upper shelf: my glasses and pen represent reading and writing. I honor the insights and knowledge received from the minds of others through their literary expression. I have connected deeply with family and close friends through my attempts to share my own feelings and reflections.

The braided necklace with its four strands recalling the Four Directions, represents the men’s group work with which I am involved, The ManKind Project. 

 

Bob G.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 To everyone, a fly is quite familiar. They are always around, in your house, outside, etc., but does any- one really know a fly? We can all see it fly around, land briefly, and fly off again before it can get swatted away. We think we know what a fly does, but no one really knows a fly’s true life. The fly is certainly a nuisance, but it has an agenda all its own that we know nothing about. Maybe the fly doesn’t want you to know him ... ever think about that?      Darion P.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

To everyone, a fly is quite familiar. They are always around, in your house, outside, etc., but does any- one really know a fly? We can all see it fly around, land briefly, and fly off again before it can get swatted away. We think we know what a fly does, but no one really knows a fly’s true life. The fly is certainly a nuisance, but it has an agenda all its own that we know nothing about. Maybe the fly doesn’t want you to know him ... ever think about that?

 

Darion P.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 In recognition, there is healing. My fears are hidden. Tranquility in the midst of pain.       Dona L.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

In recognition, there is healing. My fears are hidden. Tranquility in the midst of pain. 

 

Dona L.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 I see my path as one where I am learning to balance body, spirit, emotion and thought.       Jody D.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

I see my path as one where I am learning to balance body, spirit, emotion and thought. 

 

Jody D.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

        Joe S.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

 

 

Joe S.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.”— St. Paul  I find a paradox in my life, weakness becomes strength, brokenness becomes wholeness, and inadequacies become adequacies when they pass through His grace. Those things that disqualified me become His tools for good.  The broken cologne bottle symbolizes my brokenness giving off an aroma of hope and peace.       John M.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

“So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.”— St. Paul

I find a paradox in my life, weakness becomes strength, brokenness becomes wholeness, and inadequacies become adequacies when they pass through His grace. Those things that disqualified me become His tools for good.

The broken cologne bottle symbolizes my brokenness giving off an aroma of hope and peace. 

 

John M.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Many lifetimes as a warrior have imprinted my soul with compassion for those less fortunate than myself, and a reminder to daily nurture my connection with the Great Spirit, whom I serve.       John M.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Many lifetimes as a warrior have imprinted my soul with compassion for those less fortunate than myself, and a reminder to daily nurture my connection with the Great Spirit, whom I serve. 

 

John M.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Texas, Nature and Buddha—three things that keep me grounded and bring me peace and comfort.       Jon C.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Texas, Nature and Buddha—three things that keep me grounded and bring me peace and comfort. 

 

Jon C.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 My box is sparse and full.  There are only two items, but they are uncomfortably crammed together. A child’s toy. It is ragged, a bit dirty, a little awkward. The toy is not a personal effect, it is a found and random object, but it was chosen for what it represents to me, and in me. It symbolizes vulnerability, innocence.  The barbed wire encircles the toy, it signifies strength, cynicism, and boundaries. It represents the walls that I put up to keep people at a distance, to keep them away from my insides. My journey with spirituality is about duality and balance. Can opposite elements coexist peacefully forever? Strength and weakness. Insensitivity and innocence. Cynicism and happiness. Paralysis and possibility.       Kelsey M.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

My box is sparse and full.

There are only two items, but they are uncomfortably crammed together. A child’s toy. It is ragged, a bit dirty, a little awkward. The toy is not a personal effect, it is a found and random object, but it was chosen for what it represents to me, and in me. It symbolizes vulnerability, innocence.

The barbed wire encircles the toy, it signifies strength, cynicism, and boundaries. It represents the walls that I put up to keep people at a distance, to keep them away from my insides. My journey with spirituality is about duality and balance. Can opposite elements coexist peacefully forever? Strength and weakness. Insensitivity and innocence. Cynicism and happiness. Paralysis and possibility. 

 

Kelsey M.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 The small fern inside the box represents my belief that in life, we are all one with nature, and in death, we will return to nature.  The spools of thread outside the box represent my connection to those nearest me. The spools on the inside of the box represent my connection to self. All the spools of thread are knotted and pulled from the limbs of the fern... illustrating the tension involved in my need to tend and mend those around me as well as my internal struggle to understand and repair myself.  The contents define my compromise between scientific reality and metaphysical existence.       Kimberly G.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

The small fern inside the box represents my belief that in life, we are all one with nature, and in death, we will return to nature.

The spools of thread outside the box represent my connection to those nearest me. The spools on the inside of the box represent my connection to self. All the spools of thread are knotted and pulled from the limbs of the fern... illustrating the tension involved in my need to tend and mend those around me as well as my internal struggle to understand and repair myself.

The contents define my compromise between scientific reality and metaphysical existence. 

 

Kimberly G.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 At any given moment, I am simply in between what I was and what I am about to become.       Mark Z.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

At any given moment, I am simply in between what I was and what I am about to become. 

 

Mark Z.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 I reflect your light, and like a mirror, you reflect mine. Together we connect our souls and shine a brighter light for all to see.       Marlene S.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

I reflect your light, and like a mirror, you reflect mine. Together we connect our souls and shine a brighter light for all to see. 

 

Marlene S.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 The box represents my inner being which contains my heart, soul and Christ-consciousness. I am listening intently for the wisdom within.       Michelle C.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

The box represents my inner being which contains my heart, soul and Christ-consciousness. I am listening intently for the wisdom within. 

 

Michelle C.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 I know my soul has potential. It is waiting patiently to fully manifest.          Mike F.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

I know my soul has potential. It is waiting patiently to fully manifest. 

 

 

Mike F.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Harmony resides in me; my spirit is lifted and the shadows of doubt and fear are removed. I have begun my physical healing and spiritual awakening...          Shae H.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Harmony resides in me; my spirit is lifted and the shadows of doubt and fear are removed. I have begun my physical healing and spiritual awakening... 

 

 

Shae H.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 I choose to live in a world that acknowledges the paradoxes but dwells on the majesty, the music, the marriage.          Susanna C.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

I choose to live in a world that acknowledges the paradoxes but dwells on the majesty, the music, the marriage. 

 

 

Susanna C.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 My mother helped me grow in life, but my father hurt me when he left.          Whitney A.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

My mother helped me grow in life, but my father hurt me when he left. 

 

 

Whitney A.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 With the birth of my daughter, my eyes were opened to see the journey of life. My mind was opened to embrace the beauty of the world. My heart was opened to the wonder of unconditional love. My spirit celebrates the Spirit for the incredible gift of Siena.          Ellen C.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

With the birth of my daughter, my eyes were opened to see the journey of life. My mind was opened to embrace the beauty of the world. My heart was opened to the wonder of unconditional love. My spirit celebrates the Spirit for the incredible gift of Siena. 

 

 

Ellen C.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 My sister and I were shopping one afternoon and we saw a shelf of beanie babies. I didn’t own a beanie babies or particularly care about them, but the pink striped tiger made me laugh so hard. My sister went back and surprised me with it the next time we saw each other.  Spirituality and faith have a lot to do with pink striped tigers. Pink striped tigers are funny, unique, and a little out of character. Pink striped tigers are funny and my sense of humor has gotten me through some difficult times. Pink striped tigers are unique and spirituality is unique to everyone. I feel that talking about spirituality is a little out of character for me. It can be scary to open up about what goes on inside my head and heart. What I believe and how I feel about God seems so personal and difficult for me to share.  This Rosary was given to me by another sister when I was in college. She bought it while she was in Rome. I think it is so beautiful and she doesn’t know how much I treasure it. Even talking to family about spirituality is scary. The Rosary is that little extra help to focus me in times of real challenge. The physical presence of the beads is calming to me.  The Kansas University seal is to represent my passion for education and the development of the mind. I believe knowledge and religion can live quite comfortably together. The more I learn the more faith I need. Education is what made question my Catholic upbringing way back when. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that knowledge is a gift, but all needs to be balanced. Learning to balance between mind and spirit is a life long quest.      Karen F.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

My sister and I were shopping one afternoon and we saw a shelf of beanie babies. I didn’t own a beanie babies or particularly care about them, but the pink striped tiger made me laugh so hard. My sister went back and surprised me with it the next time we saw each other.

Spirituality and faith have a lot to do with pink striped tigers. Pink striped tigers are funny, unique, and a little out of character. Pink striped tigers are funny and my sense of humor has gotten me through some difficult times. Pink striped tigers are unique and spirituality is unique to everyone. I feel that talking about spirituality is a little out of character for me. It can be scary to open up about what goes on inside my head and heart. What I believe and how I feel about God seems so personal and difficult for me to share.

This Rosary was given to me by another sister when I was in college. She bought it while she was in Rome. I think it is so beautiful and she doesn’t know how much I treasure it. Even talking to family about spirituality is scary. The Rosary is that little extra help to focus me in times of real challenge. The physical presence of the beads is calming to me.

The Kansas University seal is to represent my passion for education and the development of the mind. I believe knowledge and religion can live quite comfortably together. The more I learn the more faith I need. Education is what made question my Catholic upbringing way back when. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that knowledge is a gift, but all needs to be balanced. Learning to balance between mind and spirit is a life long quest.

 

Karen F.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Peace—my essence and my gift to the universe.             Debbie K.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Peace—my essence and my gift to the universe. 

 

 

 

Debbie K.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 The Joy is in the Journey! The Journey from sad to happy, from fool to king, from bound to freedom, from isolation to expansion, from my heart to yours. Pack a toothbrush, take a towel and look for surprises along the way.         Richard R.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

The Joy is in the Journey! The Journey from sad to happy, from fool to king, from bound to freedom, from isolation to expansion, from my heart to yours. Pack a toothbrush, take a towel and look for surprises along the way.

 

 

Richard R.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Nature's guiding force moves me to create good through the spirits of my youth; the Boy Scout Law and enlightenment lit by the many bulbs of the GE sign over Edison's empire. My restless spirit overflows the box, measuring the infinite.         Bill W.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Nature's guiding force moves me to create good through the spirits of my youth; the Boy Scout Law and enlightenment lit by the many bulbs of the GE sign over Edison's empire. My restless spirit overflows the box, measuring the infinite.

 

 

Bill W.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 For me, my spirituality is about finding peace within myself and happiness and harmony in my life.  I’ve been raised Catholic and consider myself a “new Catholic” I believe in some fundamental teachings-but not all. The rope represents the struggle within myself to come to terms with my beliefs. I take comfort in the prayers of the Rosary and believe in the power of prayer. For me, I believe that’s in someone’s heart and soul means much more than a religion or label.  The intertwined “heart” ring in my box represents a time in my life when I felt as if my heart was broken. When I saw that ring I knew it signified something important for me. I recognized that my heart was broken and if would take the time to heal. I wore that ring to remind myself that my heart would heal one day. I took it off when I felt like I reached the moment- my heart was mended and I found happiness. I keep the ring- though I don’t wear it anymore as a reminder of my journey. It makes me feel good to be where I am today. I feel beauty- represented by the dried roses. I love flowers-I love their color, their smells, their life-if you let them go –without nurturing them- they lose their petals and die-like the spirit-but if you experience their beauty at the first stage- and take steps to preserve it- you end up with lasting beauty- as dried flowers.  We’re all born with our spirit, our essence, and it’s up to us if we choose to nurture it and help it grow-exist-or if we don’t pay attention and let it die. I am at a place in my life where I feel true happiness and feel like I am whole. I used to feel as if something was missing in my heart and my inner being. I don’t feel that way and haven’t for quite some time. There is a confidence in comfort that shines through when we’re in the right place in our life journey.         Nicole C.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

For me, my spirituality is about finding peace within myself and happiness and harmony in my life.

I’ve been raised Catholic and consider myself a “new Catholic” I believe in some fundamental teachings-but not all. The rope represents the struggle within myself to come to terms with my beliefs. I take comfort in the prayers of the Rosary and believe in the power of prayer. For me, I believe that’s in someone’s heart and soul means much more than a religion or label.

The intertwined “heart” ring in my box represents a time in my life when I felt as if my heart was broken. When I saw that ring I knew it signified something important for me. I recognized that my heart was broken and if would take the time to heal. I wore that ring to remind myself that my heart would heal one day. I took it off when I felt like I reached the moment- my heart was mended and I found happiness. I keep the ring- though I don’t wear it anymore as a reminder of my journey. It makes me feel good to be where I am today. I feel beauty- represented by the dried roses. I love flowers-I love their color, their smells, their life-if you let them go –without nurturing them- they lose their petals and die-like the spirit-but if you experience their beauty at the first stage- and take steps to preserve it- you end up with lasting beauty- as dried flowers.

We’re all born with our spirit, our essence, and it’s up to us if we choose to nurture it and help it grow-exist-or if we don’t pay attention and let it die. I am at a place in my life where I feel true happiness and feel like I am whole. I used to feel as if something was missing in my heart and my inner being. I don’t feel that way and haven’t for quite some time. There is a confidence in comfort that shines through when we’re in the right place in our life journey.

 

 

Nicole C.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Embrace adversity through spirituality.         Daniel F.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Embrace adversity through spirituality.

 

 

Daniel F.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Writings, music, yarn, and cotton tethers me to the Spirit and to the many lives that entwine with mine. From these materials, I fashion who I am in this world —writer, quilter, knitter, cantor, teacher. From these materials, I knit myself to God and to you.         Judith G.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006    

Writings, music, yarn, and cotton tethers me to the Spirit and to the many lives that entwine with mine. From these materials, I fashion who I am in this world —writer, quilter, knitter, cantor, teacher. From these materials, I knit myself to God and to you.

 

 

Judith G.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006


 

 Dreams have shown me where I’m headed.          Carol K.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Dreams have shown me where I’m headed. 

 

 

Carol K.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Psalms 23 Proverbs 3:5 In my box I place my little green Bible. This Bible sits in my living room open to Psalms 23. It is extremely tiny and only has the books of Psalms and Proverbs in it. Those two books contain the most important Bible scriptures to me; I recite them every day and apply them to my day to day tasks.  The above passages are very meaningful to me. Actually they are vital to my being. Psalms 23 is a passage that I have been familiar with since I could learn to pray. My Bible study class required that we memorize this passage as an activity. Of course, at the time, I did not realize the power of this scripture.  2004 was a traumatic year for me, who am I kidding? It was the MOST traumatic year of my life to date. Everything that could go wrong did just that: went wrong. I found myself feeling so low, abused and alone; the only way I could have possibly gone was up. However I was not alone, nor had I ever been; God was always with me. I just could not see or hear him because I had allowed myself to become so engulfed in the world society.          Ebony M.     Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Psalms 23 Proverbs 3:5 In my box I place my little green Bible. This Bible sits in my living room open to Psalms 23. It is extremely tiny and only has the books of Psalms and Proverbs in it. Those two books contain the most important Bible scriptures to me; I recite them every day and apply them to my day to day tasks.

The above passages are very meaningful to me. Actually they are vital to my being. Psalms 23 is a passage that I have been familiar with since I could learn to pray. My Bible study class required that we memorize this passage as an activity. Of course, at the time, I did not realize the power of this scripture.

2004 was a traumatic year for me, who am I kidding? It was the MOST traumatic year of my life to date. Everything that could go wrong did just that: went wrong. I found myself feeling so low, abused and alone; the only way I could have possibly gone was up. However I was not alone, nor had I ever been; God was always with me. I just could not see or hear him because I had allowed myself to become so engulfed in the world society. 

 

 

Ebony M. 

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 La Paloma, the dove -  She is teaching me a language of love, peace, compassion, grace, imperfection and acceptance.  It is a language so powerful, beautiful and expansive it creates wings in the expression and cannot be contained in a box.      Jen T.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

La Paloma, the dove -

She is teaching me a language of love, peace, compassion, grace, imperfection and acceptance.

It is a language so powerful, beautiful and expansive it creates wings in the expression and cannot be contained in a box.

 

Jen T.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 It is in serving, forgiving, loving, that I meet Love. I experience God. I live a spirit-filled life.           Beth W.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

It is in serving, forgiving, loving, that I meet Love. I experience God. I live a spirit-filled life. 

 

 

 Beth W.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 I think of spirituality as a question, and I think everything that happens can be an answer to that question. I could’ve filled my box with one of the many things that have somehow taught me how to be a good person, but I couldn’t choose. I also think if you stop asking questions, your physical life may continue, but your soul will certainly suffer. So my box is empty because I think questions are more important than answers. And the answers are so many they wouldn’t fit in a tiny box anyway.         Sara C.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

I think of spirituality as a question, and I think everything that happens can be an answer to that question. I could’ve filled my box with one of the many things that have somehow taught me how to be a good person, but I couldn’t choose. I also think if you stop asking questions, your physical life may continue, but your soul will certainly suffer. So my box is empty because I think questions are more important than answers. And the answers are so many they wouldn’t fit in a tiny box anyway.

 

 

Sara C.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 I wanted my box empty because my life is empty. I don’t have anything left to put in it. I wanted my box to be collapsed because I lost everyone and everything in my life that meant something to me. I have little hope.  After feeling how empty the box was, I started to have some hope and I wanted to find a way to put the box together again. To refill it with new things and people in my life.  After this photo shoot, I have found a new direction, a new spark. Touching the box had a profound effect on me, making me look into myself for a new person and items to fill the box with.           Elmer P.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

I wanted my box empty because my life is empty. I don’t have anything left to put in it. I wanted my box to be collapsed because I lost everyone and everything in my life that meant something to me. I have little hope.

After feeling how empty the box was, I started to have some hope and I wanted to find a way to put the box together again. To refill it with new things and people in my life.

After this photo shoot, I have found a new direction, a new spark. Touching the box had a profound effect on me, making me look into myself for a new person and items to fill the box with. 

 

 

 Elmer P.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Analog is the spirt of life. A continuous, infinite physical variable that is energy.   Birth, Death, and all in between are solely the finite numerical points known as Digital.  The journey to infinite is the reward, dark chocolate the balance.  All, the pleasures of bitter sweet.         Robert H.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Analog is the spirt of life. A continuous, infinite physical variable that is energy. 

Birth, Death, and all in between are solely the finite numerical points known as Digital.

The journey to infinite is the reward, dark chocolate the balance.  All, the pleasures of bitter sweet.

 

 

Robert H.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 All the elements are part of earth. I am part of the earth. The earth is part of me.          Caitlin I.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

All the elements are part of earth. I am part of the earth. The earth is part of me. 

 

 

Caitlin I.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 I watch in wonder as the seeds of my being take root and grow, each containing a blue print of life and death. Some need careful cultivation and others none to fully express.         Cathy K .   Lawrence, Kansas 2006

I watch in wonder as the seeds of my being take root and grow, each containing a blue print of life and death. Some need careful cultivation and others none to fully express.

 

 

Cathy K.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 Pain is inevitable in this short amount of time we are on this earth. But in pain and suffering, there is always hope in the midst. In hope, we see ourselves in each other where we are comforted in the commonality that we are all on e with emotion.  With this realization, I find the strength to shine my light for others. I am calm, strong, and have a stable foundation yet my heart screams with its own vulnerabilities…craving the same acceptance and reassurance.  I wear my heart as a necklace where it bleeds easily but in silence… no more do I want to stand alone.          Elisabeth M.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

Pain is inevitable in this short amount of time we are on this earth. But in pain and suffering, there is always hope in the midst. In hope, we see ourselves in each other where we are comforted in the commonality that we are all on e with emotion.

With this realization, I find the strength to shine my light for others. I am calm, strong, and have a stable foundation yet my heart screams with its own vulnerabilities…craving the same acceptance and reassurance.

I wear my heart as a necklace where it bleeds easily but in silence… no more do I want to stand alone.

 

 

 Elisabeth M.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 “It always comes back to the same necessity: go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard.” ~ May Sarton.  I have been in the process of integrating all aspects of myself: emotions, intellect, spirit and body. Participating in the Revealed project clarifies this integration experience for me by providing an outer expression of what has been going on inside for a long time. My journey through life began with a magnitude of loss, grief, disappointment and anger at the severe and unfair events of my childhood.  Over time, I learned to recognize and trust my spirit, intuitively guiding me beyond my shattered and fragmented self ~ into my poet soul. Like a miner discovering veins in a gold mine, I uncovered secret treasures while in the darkness.  In Sanskrit, mandala means sacred circle ~ representing something eternal ~ with no beginning and no end. A light inside my box illuminates a mandala, creating a stained- glass window effect. I painted this mandala in order to see and experience aspects of myself that I had hidden and disowned.  In the end, I found a sense of self made visible, an experience of self-care and compassion; a fusing together of the fragmented parts of myself ~ restoring me toward wholeness and connection to a sense of the eternal.          Annie S.    Lawrence, Kansas 2006

“It always comes back to the same necessity: go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard.” ~ May Sarton.

I have been in the process of integrating all aspects of myself: emotions, intellect, spirit and body. Participating in the Revealed project clarifies this integration experience for me by providing an outer expression of what has been going on inside for a long time. My journey through life began with a magnitude of loss, grief, disappointment and anger at the severe and unfair events of my childhood.

Over time, I learned to recognize and trust my spirit, intuitively guiding me beyond my shattered and fragmented self ~ into my poet soul. Like a miner discovering veins in a gold mine, I uncovered secret treasures while in the darkness.

In Sanskrit, mandala means sacred circle ~ representing something eternal ~ with no beginning and no end. A light inside my box illuminates a mandala, creating a stained- glass window effect. I painted this mandala in order to see and experience aspects of myself that I had hidden and disowned.

In the end, I found a sense of self made visible, an experience of self-care and compassion; a fusing together of the fragmented parts of myself ~ restoring me toward wholeness and connection to a sense of the eternal. 

 

 

Annie S.

Lawrence, Kansas
2006

 It is all about perspective. See it from my perspective.  Some may try, others may not care or understand. My hearing impairment has made me who I am today.  I was dealt this card at a young age and forced to make something abnormal, normal, in hopes that no one would notice. Maybe I would have taken a different route? Maybe not. Did I miss out on an important conversation? Maybe so. Do I know? Maybe this is what made me a perfectionist or helped me find the direction I want to go.  Looking back, I do feel that a higher power, God, has guided me through this journey and provided me with such a supportive family and this is why I am where I am today. Thank you!      Kristen K.    Springfield, Missouri 2006

It is all about perspective. See it from my perspective.

Some may try, others may not care or understand. My hearing impairment has made me who I am today.

I was dealt this card at a young age and forced to make something abnormal, normal, in hopes that no one would notice. Maybe I would have taken a different route? Maybe not. Did I miss out on an important conversation? Maybe so. Do I know? Maybe this is what made me a perfectionist or helped me find the direction I want to go.

Looking back, I do feel that a higher power, God, has guided me through this journey and provided me with such a supportive family and this is why I am where I am today. Thank you!

 

Kristen K.

Springfield, Missouri
2006

 My first memory as a young child was when it was time for me to go to bed. My parents would put three M&M’s on the rocking chair. I would sit with one of them and rock, and when I had eaten all three of them it was time to go to bed. Do you know how long three M&M’s can last? That’s why the three M&M’s on top of the box.  Also on top of the box are my grandchildren and youngest step-daughter. There are four more step children and their husbands and wives that aren’t shown. Just didn’t have enough room to fit everyone in. But, all those children and my loving husband are my life.  I married a man with five beautiful children so I have dedicated my life to their life. That’s why the serenity rock is on top of my box. Inside my box is a rose which signifies my middle name (named after my grandmother). The other is a little statue of a dachshund which I’ve always had dachshunds throughout my life.  Family, friends and my dogs are what help make me who I am and they bring me the serenity and happiness in life.          Geralyn M.    Springfield, Missouri 2006

My first memory as a young child was when it was time for me to go to bed. My parents would put three M&M’s on the rocking chair. I would sit with one of them and rock, and when I had eaten all three of them it was time to go to bed. Do you know how long three M&M’s can last? That’s why the three M&M’s on top of the box.

Also on top of the box are my grandchildren and youngest step-daughter. There are four more step children and their husbands and wives that aren’t shown. Just didn’t have enough room to fit everyone in. But, all those children and my loving husband are my life.

I married a man with five beautiful children so I have dedicated my life to their life. That’s why the serenity rock is on top of my box. Inside my box is a rose which signifies my middle name (named after my grandmother). The other is a little statue of a dachshund which I’ve always had dachshunds throughout my life.

Family, friends and my dogs are what help make me who I am and they bring me the serenity and happiness in life.

 

 

 Geralyn M.

Springfield, Missouri
2006

 Which way should I go? Which path should I take? Too many choices! What should I do? Shhhh ... Focus. I clear my mind. Open my heart. And my inner compass leads me in the right direction.         Michelle W.    Springfield, Missouri 2006

Which way should I go? Which path should I take? Too many choices! What should I do? Shhhh ... Focus. I clear my mind. Open my heart. And my inner compass leads me in the right direction.

 

 

Michelle W.

Springfield, Missouri
2006

 I wanted to use symbols in my box to show that I am a man that I am strong, that my spirit endures under the worst and the best of things. I wanted to show that like my exterior, I am rough, I am wrinkling and I am worn, but I am still here.  Quietly, I reflected in my meditations, as I played with fire and grounded myself on the bare earth, with bare feet. Silently I listed submerged in the water, watching the sun filter through the jewel-toned leaves of autumn. Each time I heard a voice, and as I silenced m own, the voice became clearer, and now I hear it for the first time. Now I am willing to say that beneath this shell, within me, my spirit lives. My spirit is innocent and frail. My spirit is trusting and believes in magic and miracles. My spirit wants to dance unencumbered by convention and expectation. My spirit sees each day, each moon rise, each autumn, each dragonfly as if each were the first, a gift given to me.  In my box is a picture of me as a little boy. My spirit is a little boy. I am a boy. My spirit is a child, a boy who believes in love and truth and gentleness. My spirit is undamaged by the world. I am still in here. My spirit giggles and cries for those things that surprise and shock me each time. My spirit wants a glass of milk and a hug.          Buck    Springfield, Missouri 2006

I wanted to use symbols in my box to show that I am a man that I am strong, that my spirit endures under the worst and the best of things. I wanted to show that like my exterior, I am rough, I am wrinkling and I am worn, but I am still here.

Quietly, I reflected in my meditations, as I played with fire and grounded myself on the bare earth, with bare feet. Silently I listed submerged in the water, watching the sun filter through the jewel-toned leaves of autumn. Each time I heard a voice, and as I silenced m own, the voice became clearer, and now I hear it for the first time. Now I am willing to say that beneath this shell, within me, my spirit lives. My spirit is innocent and frail. My spirit is trusting and believes in magic and miracles. My spirit wants to dance unencumbered by convention and expectation. My spirit sees each day, each moon rise, each autumn, each dragonfly as if each were the first, a gift given to me.

In my box is a picture of me as a little boy. My spirit is a little boy. I am a boy. My spirit is a child, a boy who believes in love and truth and gentleness. My spirit is undamaged by the world. I am still in here. My spirit giggles and cries for those things that surprise and shock me each time. My spirit wants a glass of milk and a hug. 

 

 

Buck

Springfield, Missouri
2006

 Just as life burst forth from this box, our spirits burst forth. Full of life. An integral part of nature. Beautiful, Fragile, Perpetual.         Rob W.    Springfield, Missouri 2006

Just as life burst forth from this box, our spirits burst forth. Full of life. An integral part of nature. Beautiful, Fragile, Perpetual.

 

 

Rob W.

Springfield, Missouri
2006

 All the pleasure ... all the pain. And I have learned to embrace them both.         Martin W.    Springfield, Missouri 2006

All the pleasure ... all the pain. And I have learned to embrace them both.

 

 

Martin W.

Springfield, Missouri
2006

 I am learning your heart's desire is always with you, it is you. I have always known, at some unconscious level, who my true self is.  However, I have a lifetime as a teacher, mother and wife allowing the expectations and demands of society, school, and family to shape my life, I was unconscious. I sought outside keys to unlock the many boxes in which I lived and in which I kept my heart and my heart's desires.  I acknowledge I can no longer ignore or contain my true self, my creativity, my true spirit. I made a conscious decision to allow my heart's desire to come forth, not just be covered with tears while it languished just below the surface of my daily life and to open the box - to open my heart - to truly live. Creating my living space, and creating it with intention because I am worthy and deserve it, was a monumental initial step.  Consciously opening my heart means it is being filled with authentic goodness, freedom, abundance, satisfaction, peace, and growth. I am learning to embrace change and understand change is good. I am committed to keeping the box open so I may give and receive freely. I am committed to following my creative heart and soul. i understand I was, and will continue to perish if I do not. I am, however, afraid that perhaps I have waited too long. I am aware time is running out.  Perhaps, my consciousness is too late coming and the light - the light of my creativity will be extinguished before I can fully live my true self and spirit. I try to face these fears and remain committed to following my creative heart and soul.         Alice B.    Kansas City, Missouri 2006

I am learning your heart's desire is always with you, it is you. I have always known, at some unconscious level, who my true self is.

However, I have a lifetime as a teacher, mother and wife allowing the expectations and demands of society, school, and family to shape my life, I was unconscious. I sought outside keys to unlock the many boxes in which I lived and in which I kept my heart and my heart's desires.

I acknowledge I can no longer ignore or contain my true self, my creativity, my true spirit. I made a conscious decision to allow my heart's desire to come forth, not just be covered with tears while it languished just below the surface of my daily life and to open the box - to open my heart - to truly live. Creating my living space, and creating it with intention because I am worthy and deserve it, was a monumental initial step.

Consciously opening my heart means it is being filled with authentic goodness, freedom, abundance, satisfaction, peace, and growth. I am learning to embrace change and understand change is good. I am committed to keeping the box open so I may give and receive freely. I am committed to following my creative heart and soul. i understand I was, and will continue to perish if I do not. I am, however, afraid that perhaps I have waited too long. I am aware time is running out.

Perhaps, my consciousness is too late coming and the light - the light of my creativity will be extinguished before I can fully live my true self and spirit. I try to face these fears and remain committed to following my creative heart and soul.

 

 

Alice B.

Kansas City, Missouri
2006

 From my favorite Tibetan Mala Beads given to me from a yoga teacher I adore to my voodoo doll (my grandfather was from Louisiana), I have run the gamut of spiritual systems.  The expression of spirituality requires a personal relationship with your inner self, it demands the observations of your inner world and how it reflects (or does not) your outer one.  The elekes are beads from the Yoruba religion called Ifa. Anasazi or as they preferred to be called Ancestral Puebloans from the Four Corners in SW United States and Kokopelli represent a strong spiritual connections for me, as does the Dogon tribe of SW Mal. Apparently, I have enjoyed cliff dwelling, the stars (Dogon tribe knew about Sirius B before modern astronomers), and sensing I was from somewhere other than Earth.  The Happy “Vagabond” Buddha probably will not fit in the box, and this fits well. This Buddha encapsulates how I feel about my life and spirituality, it cannot be easily categorized or ‘boxed in’.  In the Navajo language, Anasazi means ‘ancient stranger’ or ‘ancient enemy’. As I continue to live on Earth, I feel as if I have wondered through many different representations of spirituality. Joy and the grace of heartfelt connection comprise my view of the Tao, the way.         Quan T.    Kansas City, Missouri 2006

From my favorite Tibetan Mala Beads given to me from a yoga teacher I adore to my voodoo doll (my grandfather was from Louisiana), I have run the gamut of spiritual systems.

The expression of spirituality requires a personal relationship with your inner self, it demands the observations of your inner world and how it reflects (or does not) your outer one.

The elekes are beads from the Yoruba religion called Ifa. Anasazi or as they preferred to be called Ancestral Puebloans from the Four Corners in SW United States and Kokopelli represent a strong spiritual connections for me, as does the Dogon tribe of SW Mal. Apparently, I have enjoyed cliff dwelling, the stars (Dogon tribe knew about Sirius B before modern astronomers), and sensing I was from somewhere other than Earth.

The Happy “Vagabond” Buddha probably will not fit in the box, and this fits well. This Buddha encapsulates how I feel about my life and spirituality, it cannot be easily categorized or ‘boxed in’.

In the Navajo language, Anasazi means ‘ancient stranger’ or ‘ancient enemy’. As I continue to live on Earth, I feel as if I have wondered through many different representations of spirituality. Joy and the grace of heartfelt connection comprise my view of the Tao, the way.

 

 

Quan T.

Kansas City, Missouri
2006

 I chose to put a small ball of clay in my box. The clay represents a visual image that I have had of my . . . soul . . . or my . . . self for as long as I can remember. The clay, while appearing unformed, has touched my fingers and palms thousands of times. When I look closely I can see a touch of finger print here and there; a dent made by my knuckle; a small ridge where the clay formed between my index and middle fingers . . . All of these light touches inform the shape of the clay.  In the same way, when I imagine the spirit essence of me I see a shape that is constantly being refined and determined by the decisions that I make and the intentions that I have. I believe that the shape is much more affected by the thousands of seemingly inconsequential decisions I make every day, then the few momentous life decisions. There is also a sense in me that the more I can live my life from a place of integrity with good intention -- where my intentions, words, and actions are in alignment, the more pleasing . . . or perfect the shape of my soul becomes.  I also chose to place a small prayer bowl on the box. The prayer bowl represents the mystery and joy of spirit in my life. It is also a symbol of my belief in the power of intentions . . . and the over-riding importance of good intentions. Finally, the prayer bowl was made by me . . . and the fact that I shaped it . . . with the conscious intention that, while not perfectly made, the bowl would be perfect for its use . . . represents the very joyful and creative realization of creation from spirit . . . and so it is.         James C.    Kansas City, Missouri 2006

I chose to put a small ball of clay in my box. The clay represents a visual image that I have had of my . . . soul . . . or my . . . self for as long as I can remember. The clay, while appearing unformed, has touched my fingers and palms thousands of times. When I look closely I can see a touch of finger print here and there; a dent made by my knuckle; a small ridge where the clay formed between my index and middle fingers . . . All of these light touches inform the shape of the clay.

In the same way, when I imagine the spirit essence of me I see a shape that is constantly being refined and determined by the decisions that I make and the intentions that I have. I believe that the shape is much more affected by the thousands of seemingly inconsequential decisions I make every day, then the few momentous life decisions. There is also a sense in me that the more I can live my life from a place of integrity with good intention -- where my intentions, words, and actions are in alignment, the more pleasing . . . or perfect the shape of my soul becomes.

I also chose to place a small prayer bowl on the box. The prayer bowl represents the mystery and joy of spirit in my life. It is also a symbol of my belief in the power of intentions . . . and the over-riding importance of good intentions. Finally, the prayer bowl was made by me . . . and the fact that I shaped it . . . with the conscious intention that, while not perfectly made, the bowl would be perfect for its use . . . represents the very joyful and creative realization of creation from spirit . . . and so it is.

 

 

James C.

Kansas City, Missouri
2006

 I am living in the world that I have created for myself after 35 years of almost mindless wandering. Having always needed my inner compass to guide me here, I thought that since I have finally arrived, I would no longer need it. i realize now that I need it more than ever.         Michael V.    Kansas City, Missouri 2006

I am living in the world that I have created for myself after 35 years of almost mindless wandering. Having always needed my inner compass to guide me here, I thought that since I have finally arrived, I would no longer need it. i realize now that I need it more than ever.

 

 

Michael V.

Kansas City, Missouri
2006

 My spirituality is a journey to peace. A journey to wholeness, a journey to truth, and journey of the Spiritual being on a human path. Learning, discovering, and being free from restraints that I have learned from being human. the material objects displayed with the box are my symbols of the process I live with every day. They are religious icons in nature but are nothing more than a metaphor of my journey.  I do not follow a dogma, it is not of my nature to be pigeon holed into one sect. I am free and I am whole by exploring and taking the best pieces from everything the human world has to offer at this moment. To be grounded my whole being needs to be engaged. I am grounded when I chant, smell the incense or flowers, taste the water or feel it on me, hear the drums and the sound of the transcendental conch shell being blown, dancing in ecstasy. Joy flows from me, my body lightens, and my mind disengages from all thoughts.  I am connected to Spirit; I am one with the Energy that flows inside me and in every other living creature. This same Energy is present in the non-living substances, also, such as rocks, crystals, water, and soil. I connect with the Energy and become whole, for a moment in time. I am united with the Spirit (Mother, Father, God, Goddess, Krishna, Allah, and the Source) Within and I am beautiful from the glow externally.         Tracie D.    Kansas City, Missouri 2006

My spirituality is a journey to peace. A journey to wholeness, a journey to truth, and journey of the Spiritual being on a human path. Learning, discovering, and being free from restraints that I have learned from being human. the material objects displayed with the box are my symbols of the process I live with every day. They are religious icons in nature but are nothing more than a metaphor of my journey.

I do not follow a dogma, it is not of my nature to be pigeon holed into one sect. I am free and I am whole by exploring and taking the best pieces from everything the human world has to offer at this moment. To be grounded my whole being needs to be engaged. I am grounded when I chant, smell the incense or flowers, taste the water or feel it on me, hear the drums and the sound of the transcendental conch shell being blown, dancing in ecstasy. Joy flows from me, my body lightens, and my mind disengages from all thoughts.

I am connected to Spirit; I am one with the Energy that flows inside me and in every other living creature. This same Energy is present in the non-living substances, also, such as rocks, crystals, water, and soil. I connect with the Energy and become whole, for a moment in time. I am united with the Spirit (Mother, Father, God, Goddess, Krishna, Allah, and the Source) Within and I am beautiful from the glow externally.

 

 

Tracie D.

Kansas City, Missouri
2006

 The slow steady movement of time makes the urgency hard to see. Sunshine, the ocean, family - these are the reminders of how precise time is! While I have certainly been marked by life, I only hope that in the time God gives me, I use my life wisely to leave a lasting mark on others.         Nick G.    Kansas City, Missouri 2006

The slow steady movement of time makes the urgency hard to see. Sunshine, the ocean, family - these are the reminders of how precise time is! While I have certainly been marked by life, I only hope that in the time God gives me, I use my life wisely to leave a lasting mark on others.

 

 

Nick G.

Kansas City, Missouri
2006

 Many have said that I am wise beyond my years. My Big Momma used to tell me that I'd been here, on this earth, before. And maybe there is some truth in that. Some times my spirit seems weathered and aged, like I've had a long journey, Like I have this connection across generations.  Admittedly, I have seen a lot of things, wonderful and horrific. I've been many places, domestic and abroad. In all things, I have come a long way from the "skinny little black girl from down there in Mississippi". Yet somehow I still yearn for something as if I have not yet arrived, like I have not been fulfilled. I am still searching and this is my light. It leads me through the depths of my soul-searching. I surrender to the light, sometimes, other times not willingly or not at all. Those are the times I drift into the darkness that surrounds me, picking up scrapes and bruises, and heartache along the way. I am falling into the darkness, alone, but also knowing that the light is there, if I choose it, If I need it. It's always there.  I wonder if my light will always be there waiting for me, like other things and persons in my life who are waiting patiently for me. Sometimes the bumps and bruises and heartaches I encounter in my darkness are not always my own, but ones I have cause along the way. Victims of my journey, of my soul-searching, my climbing for freedom and expression, for music, for life...Real Life...where generations gather and love and share and sing, and where there is joy and peace.  No pain, no suffering, no pretending...just life...Real Life.  It is in this place that I find only my Light waiting to fill me, this empty vessel so that my heart pulses red with the love of the Lamb. For me He poured out His Life...His Light and now it shines through the core of my Soul in as much of divinity as can be expressed in me...My Light.         Melissa K.    Kansas City, Missouri 2006

Many have said that I am wise beyond my years. My Big Momma used to tell me that I'd been here, on this earth, before. And maybe there is some truth in that. Some times my spirit seems weathered and aged, like I've had a long journey, Like I have this connection across generations.

Admittedly, I have seen a lot of things, wonderful and horrific. I've been many places, domestic and abroad. In all things, I have come a long way from the "skinny little black girl from down there in Mississippi". Yet somehow I still yearn for something as if I have not yet arrived, like I have not been fulfilled. I am still searching and this is my light. It leads me through the depths of my soul-searching. I surrender to the light, sometimes, other times not willingly or not at all. Those are the times I drift into the darkness that surrounds me, picking up scrapes and bruises, and heartache along the way. I am falling into the darkness, alone, but also knowing that the light is there, if I choose it, If I need it. It's always there.

I wonder if my light will always be there waiting for me, like other things and persons in my life who are waiting patiently for me. Sometimes the bumps and bruises and heartaches I encounter in my darkness are not always my own, but ones I have cause along the way. Victims of my journey, of my soul-searching, my climbing for freedom and expression, for music, for life...Real Life...where generations gather and love and share and sing, and where there is joy and peace.

No pain, no suffering, no pretending...just life...Real Life.

It is in this place that I find only my Light waiting to fill me, this empty vessel so that my heart pulses red with the love of the Lamb. For me He poured out His Life...His Light and now it shines through the core of my Soul in as much of divinity as can be expressed in me...My Light.

 

 

Melissa K.

Kansas City, Missouri
2006

 Sometimes the journey to healing can begin only after the fire becomes so intense that one is burned. There is now a charred hole in this wooden box from the flame of my candle. Like my box, I, too, walked the path of fire, burned myself, and I am profoundly grateful for the charring.         James M.    Kansas City, Missouri 2006

Sometimes the journey to healing can begin only after the fire becomes so intense that one is burned. There is now a charred hole in this wooden box from the flame of my candle. Like my box, I, too, walked the path of fire, burned myself, and I am profoundly grateful for the charring.

 

 

James M.

Kansas City, Missouri
2006

 New sources of life find you when you least expect them to. When I found Elvis, he had no one. now because of me he has learned again to play, to be happy, and to be himself. Together we help to remind each other that its ok to be ourselves, and that the weight of that is our own relativeties. I am who I am and Elvis loves me for and despite that.  I put Elvis in my box because I see my own spirit and self essentially through his character, his innocence, and his subtle unknowing lessons to me. When I brought Elvis into my life I wasn't looking for a companion and it seems in finding me he was foreseeing the company I would shortly require. He had been ignored and mistreated, and as a result of his care became fearful and distant, hiding in a low corner of a lonely cage and doubtful of any person's good intentions. It took great patience and a lot of trust but after some time we become dear friends and eventually he came home with me.  The next few months meant a lot of things, but most importantly I had to teach Elvis how to play, how to be happy, and how to trust all over again. It was all the things we encountered together that has helped me grow, and at my loneliest moments it was the presence of this little bird who reminded me that the journey was more important than the destination.  In fact, he reminds me of this every time he meets someone new, gets embarrassed or nervous, laughs at our jokes--trying desperately to fit it, and gets an attitude (which happens quite often). I am reminded that we are who we are, even with our imperfections and reaching to be a better person, and demanding a change of character are two different things. He responds impulsively, he gets embarrassed, he has nervous tendencies, he laughs, he talks, he begs, he gets sleepy and grumpy and irritable.  He gets fearful and becomes helpless to his surroundings--he is the product of all the things the rest of us our afraid to admit is wrong with us.  He just responds...and for that, he has become a friend.   When I treat myself poorly, it reflects in his demeanor, when I neglect responsibilities I feel guilty in facing him and for that he has become my conscious of sorts.  When I am sick--he seems to understand and coos to try and comfort me.  It all comes down to the emotions we all forget to surrender to, right when Elvis had given up someone taught him to play again.  I have learned my own weight in life and my own insignificance--a balance I am reminded to maintain as times are more difficult and I'm afraid to move on.  I am who I am and Elvis loves me for and despite that!         Lisa P.    Kansas City, Missouri 2006          

New sources of life find you when you least expect them to. When I found Elvis, he had no one. now because of me he has learned again to play, to be happy, and to be himself. Together we help to remind each other that its ok to be ourselves, and that the weight of that is our own relativeties. I am who I am and Elvis loves me for and despite that.

I put Elvis in my box because I see my own spirit and self essentially through his character, his innocence, and his subtle unknowing lessons to me. When I brought Elvis into my life I wasn't looking for a companion and it seems in finding me he was foreseeing the company I would shortly require. He had been ignored and mistreated, and as a result of his care became fearful and distant, hiding in a low corner of a lonely cage and doubtful of any person's good intentions. It took great patience and a lot of trust but after some time we become dear friends and eventually he came home with me.

The next few months meant a lot of things, but most importantly I had to teach Elvis how to play, how to be happy, and how to trust all over again. It was all the things we encountered together that has helped me grow, and at my loneliest moments it was the presence of this little bird who reminded me that the journey was more important than the destination.

In fact, he reminds me of this every time he meets someone new, gets embarrassed or nervous, laughs at our jokes--trying desperately to fit it, and gets an attitude (which happens quite often). I am reminded that we are who we are, even with our imperfections and reaching to be a better person, and demanding a change of character are two different things. He responds impulsively, he gets embarrassed, he has nervous tendencies, he laughs, he talks, he begs, he gets sleepy and grumpy and irritable.  He gets fearful and becomes helpless to his surroundings--he is the product of all the things the rest of us our afraid to admit is wrong with us.  He just responds...and for that, he has become a friend. 

When I treat myself poorly, it reflects in his demeanor, when I neglect responsibilities I feel guilty in facing him and for that he has become my conscious of sorts.  When I am sick--he seems to understand and coos to try and comfort me.  It all comes down to the emotions we all forget to surrender to, right when Elvis had given up someone taught him to play again.  I have learned my own weight in life and my own insignificance--a balance I am reminded to maintain as times are more difficult and I'm afraid to move on.  I am who I am and Elvis loves me for and despite that!

 

 

Lisa P.

Kansas City, Missouri
2006

 

 

 

 I submerge myself in spirituality for those I love, I strive for genuine kindness in hopes those around me are exposed to the deep levels of God.         Sonja S.    Kansas City, Missouri 2006

I submerge myself in spirituality for those I love, I strive for genuine kindness in hopes those around me are exposed to the deep levels of God.

 

 

Sonja S.

Kansas City, Missouri
2006

 My box appears empty.  The emptiness can be looked at as devoid of anything, lacking or in some other way not good enough. in many was, that is how my mind thinks of this world... as wrong, needing to be fixed, going downhill, empty of enough people who care.  But, in these moments (which are growing in number and intensity) where my spiritual beliefs surface into my mind and my heart, I remember that there is enough love, enough wonder, enough beauty, enough good deeds. There is enough. It is all there, waiting to be tapped into, waiting for our call.  I remember to be thankful before I experience it. I remember to behold the power of mind to create exactly what it dwells on, an so to dwell on love, peace, harmony, thankfulness, health and beauty.  I remember that the essence of my soul is love itself, and that the spark of the divine is resting firmly inside the essence, as it is for all of us. I imagine tapping into the invisible and manifesting the incredible.  And so, the box appears empty, but is really filled with the invisible potential for love to come alive, over and over and over again.         Tiffany C.    Kansas City, Missouri 2006

My box appears empty.

The emptiness can be looked at as devoid of anything, lacking or in some other way not good enough. in many was, that is how my mind thinks of this world... as wrong, needing to be fixed, going downhill, empty of enough people who care.

But, in these moments (which are growing in number and intensity) where my spiritual beliefs surface into my mind and my heart, I remember that there is enough love, enough wonder, enough beauty, enough good deeds. There is enough. It is all there, waiting to be tapped into, waiting for our call.

I remember to be thankful before I experience it. I remember to behold the power of mind to create exactly what it dwells on, an so to dwell on love, peace, harmony, thankfulness, health and beauty.

I remember that the essence of my soul is love itself, and that the spark of the divine is resting firmly inside the essence, as it is for all of us. I imagine tapping into the invisible and manifesting the incredible.

And so, the box appears empty, but is really filled with the invisible potential for love to come alive, over and over and over again.

 

 

Tiffany C.

Kansas City, Missouri
2006

 My power comes from following my heart, passion, and instincts. This can be challenging at times. However, I believe when we have the capacity to feel complete we experience great pleasure and pain. This makes me human.   Blue skies, colorful flowers, and the ocean inspire me & bring me closer to my God.  Serenity…they say every time you look at a Buddha’s face it transforms you…I know he's smiling back at me :).         Helene D.    New York City, New York 2006

My power comes from following my heart, passion, and instincts. This can be challenging at times. However, I believe when we have the capacity to feel complete we experience great pleasure and pain. This makes me human.   Blue skies, colorful flowers, and the ocean inspire me & bring me closer to my God.  Serenity…they say every time you look at a Buddha’s face it transforms you…I know he's smiling back at me :).

 

 

Helene D.

New York City, New York
2006

 I look at my box and the time period as the most profound things in life. The first is my wife Joanne, a true friend and companion. I know Joanne my whole life, we lived next door to each other growing up and spending my life with her is truly a dream come true.  My Talisman was received on The New Warrior Traning Weekend. The artifacts strung on it reminds me of my journey from my first initiate weekend back in 2002 to the many staffing and workshops. The Transformational Work has helped me in my mission of service to the world. And now the Angel statue. I fell down a flight of stairs a couple years ago and on the way down I knocked off the ledge this Angel. I came to rest at the bottom of the stairs with my head just inches away from the wall. I truly believe this to be a sign that My Guardian Angel was watching over me.         Frank D.    New York City, New York 2006

I look at my box and the time period as the most profound things in life. The first is my wife Joanne, a true friend and companion. I know Joanne my whole life, we lived next door to each other growing up and spending my life with her is truly a dream come true.

My Talisman was received on The New Warrior Traning Weekend. The artifacts strung on it reminds me of my journey from my first initiate weekend back in 2002 to the many staffing and workshops. The Transformational Work has helped me in my mission of service to the world. And now the Angel statue. I fell down a flight of stairs a couple years ago and on the way down I knocked off the ledge this Angel. I came to rest at the bottom of the stairs with my head just inches away from the wall. I truly believe this to be a sign that My Guardian Angel was watching over me.

 

 

Frank D.

New York City, New York
2006

 A seed is planted...life begins... it’s nurtured and fed; twigs sprout and new leaves emerge, then blooms... it produces another apple, the apple is eaten, the seeds return to the ground and the whole cycle begins again in a different spot... the past is brought to the present and moves into future fruition.         Janeen S.    New York City, New York 2006

A seed is planted...life begins... it’s nurtured and fed; twigs sprout and new leaves emerge, then blooms... it produces another apple, the apple is eaten, the seeds return to the ground and the whole cycle begins again in a different spot... the past is brought to the present and moves into future fruition.

 

 

Janeen S.

New York City, New York
2006

 I receive in order to give. In that sense, creating is receiving the energy of the Universe and giving, which for me is teaching, is a giveaway of what I have received. That means living a life of conscious balance.         Ian S.    New York City, New York 2006          

I receive in order to give. In that sense, creating
is receiving the energy of the Universe and giving, which for me is teaching, is a giveaway of what I have received. That means living a life of conscious balance.

 

 

Ian S.

New York City, New York
2006

 

 

 

        Jill W.    New York City, New York 2006

 

 

Jill W.

New York City, New York
2006

 Transformations, starting out burnt.            Jon W.    New York City, New York 2006                

Transformations, starting out burnt.

 

 

 

Jon W.

New York City, New York
2006

 

 

 

 

 

 Baking. Baking and generally bread making first came to me through my Grandmother. My family lived with her. It was one of the earliest and strongest bonds that I built with anyone. Bread, in the most basic way represents my spiritual path. From working my hands through the dough and to the air bringing it to life. The creative force making itself evident. I feel the immediate connection.         Suzanne B.    New York City, New York 2006

Baking. Baking and generally bread making first came to me through my Grandmother. My family lived with her. It was one of the earliest and strongest bonds that I built with anyone. Bread, in the most basic way represents my spiritual path. From working my hands through the dough and to the air bringing it to life. The creative force making itself evident. I feel the immediate connection.

 

 

Suzanne B.

New York City, New York
2006

 Life and Death The photo attached to the box is of my one and only son – he represents life. My box contains the cremated remains of my cat, Pumpkin, who came into my life when I needed her most – and I in one of her lives. She was there for me during some of the tougher parts of my life. The iron horse and straw/beaded bag represent my father who passed away when I was ten years old.  Family and friends are the most important to me spiritually – hearts, minds and souls connect. Everyone and everything is born into this world for a reason. Lives cross at a time when one another is needed and when that time is over, we move on with our lives or proceed on to death. I, for one, am not afraid of death or dying. Until we meet again, Pumpkin, at the rainbow bridge………         Paula C.    Lawrence, Kansas 2007

Life and Death The photo attached to the box is of my one and only son – he represents life. My box contains the cremated remains of my cat, Pumpkin, who came into my life when I needed her most – and I in one of her lives. She was there for me during some of the tougher parts of my life. The iron horse and straw/beaded bag represent my father who passed away when I was ten years old.

Family and friends are the most important to me spiritually – hearts, minds and souls connect. Everyone and everything is born into this world for a reason. Lives cross at a time when one another is needed and when that time is over, we move on with our lives or proceed on to death. I, for one, am not afraid of death or dying. Until we meet again, Pumpkin, at the rainbow bridge………

 

 

Paula C.

Lawrence, Kansas
2007

 The leaves in my box represent life; how everything is always growing. The candle in my box also represents life, but in a different way. The candle flame represents a single human's life, and how while it is lit it glows. The flame can be blown out, but, as the matches scattered in my box, show us, there is always something there waiting to re-light our flame and make it glow again.         Sarah H.    Lawrence, Kansas 2007

The leaves in my box represent life; how everything is always growing. The candle in my box also represents life, but in a different way. The candle flame represents a single human's life, and how while it is lit it glows. The flame can be blown out, but, as the matches scattered in my box, show us, there is always something there waiting to re-light our flame and make it glow again.

 

 

Sarah H.

Lawrence, Kansas
2007

 My box is meant to represent the chaos in my life. Sometimes I have a lot of things to think about and keep track of at once. Also, I often suffer from mood swings, and I find it difficult to understand myself—my emotions, my intentions, my relationships, etc. This is why I tried to make my box seem unorganized and cluttered.  The clippings of homework and such on the walls and floor of the box represent the fact that school-related things take up a good majority of my life. The camera stands both for my love of photography, and for another one of my big time-consumers, being photo editor of my school’s yearbook. The toothbrush/paste in the back stands for how, because of my chaotic life, I sometimes overlook certain things… like hygiene. Same goes for the cell phone, buried under everything else; it represents my social life, which is pretty much non-existent. The rosary represents my faith, which is very important to me; it also symbolizes my attempt to understand myself, because I often use it during my daily meditation. The names written on paper scraps are people who are important in my life.  On the edges of the box are my closest friends; on the back wall are my parents; on the interior sides are two other people, whom I chose for my box for various reasons. On top of my box is my PDA, which both represents and actually is my attempt at organizing my life.         Liam S.    Lawrence, Kansas 2007

My box is meant to represent the chaos in my life. Sometimes I have a lot of things to think about and keep track of at once. Also, I often suffer from mood swings, and I find it difficult to understand myself—my emotions, my intentions, my relationships, etc. This is why I tried to make my box seem unorganized and cluttered.

The clippings of homework and such on the walls and floor of the box represent the fact that school-related things take up a good majority of my life. The camera stands both for my love of photography, and for another one of my big time-consumers, being photo editor of my school’s yearbook. The toothbrush/paste in the back stands for how, because of my chaotic life, I sometimes overlook certain things… like hygiene. Same goes for the cell phone, buried under everything else; it represents my social life, which is pretty much non-existent. The rosary represents my faith, which is very important to me; it also symbolizes my attempt to understand myself, because I often use it during my daily meditation. The names written on paper scraps are people who are important in my life.

On the edges of the box are my closest friends; on the back wall are my parents; on the interior sides are two other people, whom I chose for my box for various reasons. On top of my box is my PDA, which both represents and actually is my attempt at organizing my life.

 

 

Liam S.

Lawrence, Kansas
2007

 Husband, and Father, Brother, and Son. Teacher, and Student, Laborer, and Friend. Charity and Humility. unity, and Fraternity. Loyalty, and Patriotism. Ethics, and Tolerance. Passion, and Prayer. Joy, and Sacrifice. Love "For God so loved the world He gave His only son..."         Daniel S.    Lawrence, Kansas 2007

Husband, and Father, Brother, and Son. Teacher, and Student, Laborer, and Friend. Charity and Humility. unity, and Fraternity. Loyalty, and Patriotism. Ethics, and Tolerance. Passion, and Prayer. Joy, and Sacrifice. Love "For God so loved the world He gave His only son..."

 

 

Daniel S.

Lawrence, Kansas
2007

 Who am I without Christ?  No one. With out him, I am just meaningless traits. He is my peace + my hope.  The cross with the heart represents my relationship with Christ. The cross is made from a butterfly bush, representing new birth + life.  The broken glass represents my imperfections; the human part of me. I love Christ, but I still screw up.  The nails represent the pain of life. Just because I have hope doesn't mean my life is all rainbows + unicorns - its hard and will never not be hard, but now it's not bleak. Without Christ, my "spirit self" wouldn't even be worth a picture.         Harleigh U.    Lawrence, Kansas 2007

Who am I without Christ?

No one. With out him, I am just meaningless traits. He is my peace + my hope.

The cross with the heart represents my relationship with Christ. The cross is made from a butterfly bush, representing new birth + life.

The broken glass represents my imperfections; the human part of me. I love Christ, but I still screw up.

The nails represent the pain of life. Just because I have hope doesn't mean my life is all rainbows + unicorns - its hard and will never not be hard, but now it's not bleak. Without Christ, my "spirit self" wouldn't even be worth a picture.

 

 

Harleigh U.

Lawrence, Kansas
2007

 All That Is, I am. No Separation. Symbols & representations, Physical manifestations, Expressing the vibrations In joyful celebration. No separation. All That Is, I Am.         Teri W.    Lawrence, Kansas 2007

All That Is, I am. No Separation. Symbols & representations, Physical manifestations, Expressing the vibrations In joyful celebration. No separation. All That Is, I Am.

 

 

Teri W.

Lawrence, Kansas
2007

 Most of my days are in the past. But maybe, just maybe... There is some real living in the future.          Everett L.    East Greenwitch, Rhode Island 2008

Most of my days are in the past. But maybe, just maybe... There is some real living in the future. 

 

 

Everett L.

East Greenwitch, Rhode Island
2008

 A flower from my garden is the symbol I chose to represent my spirituality. The dirt and the roots give me a feeling of being grounded, connected to the earth. The flower reaches up to God - opening to the radiance of love. I feel close to God when I am in my garden witnessing the miracles and the cycles of life - seeding, nurturing, growing, fading away, resting, rebirth.         Peggy L.    East Greenwich, Rhode Island 2008

A flower from my garden is the symbol I chose to represent my spirituality. The dirt and the roots give me a feeling of being grounded, connected to the earth. The flower reaches up to God - opening to the radiance of love. I feel close to God when I am in my garden witnessing the miracles and the cycles of life - seeding, nurturing, growing, fading away, resting, rebirth.

 

 

Peggy L.

East Greenwich, Rhode Island
2008

REVEALED - Claudia D.

REVEALED - Claudia D.

Of earth and sky- Between the spaces- In the darkness and the light Casting shadows and moving into form Seen and unseen- My body holds the mysteries And yet- Cries for transcendence... To be part of the dance- The observer and the observed- The knower and the known- Here, I use words to describe that which cannot be described, only experienced- Thus the paradox of the unfolding- The wild intercourse of the body and the spirit... The named and the unspoken Who I am.

 

 

Claudia D.

Lincoln, Rhode Island
2008

 I am real. I exist. And at my core I am deeply and fundamentally divine, eternal, pure, and unencumbered by the stresses and confusions of mortality. I often experience the love of God that literally feels like a wonderful fire within me and I am filled with comfort, joy and peace. These moments assure me that I am and that God is, and that's sufficient for now. There are also places and states of being in which I am more likely to connect with the Divine, and I am grateful when I go there. I have not even begun to understand mortality, much less eternity. I know that I am capable of loving myself, and more of myself, more deeply than I do now. I experience fear, sadness, anger, joy and even shame and I am grateful for these emotions, the beauty in them and things I can learn from acknowledging and expressing them. I know loneliness and longing, friendship and brotherhood. I know that some things are always sacred, even when I don't treat them as such. And as I seek truth I seem to discover that there are many more questions than answers; I am grateful for the mystery.         Corey L.

I am real. I exist. And at my core I am deeply and fundamentally divine, eternal, pure, and unencumbered by the stresses and confusions of mortality. I often experience the love of God that literally feels like a wonderful fire within me and I am filled with comfort, joy and peace. These moments assure me that I am and that God is, and that's sufficient for now. There are also places and states of being in which I am more likely to connect with the Divine, and I am grateful when I go there. I have not even begun to understand mortality, much less eternity. I know that I am capable of loving myself, and more of myself, more deeply than I do now. I experience fear, sadness, anger, joy and even shame and I am grateful for these emotions, the beauty in them and things I can learn from acknowledging and expressing them. I know loneliness and longing, friendship and brotherhood. I know that some things are always sacred, even when I don't treat them as such. And as I seek truth I seem to discover that there are many more questions than answers; I am grateful for the mystery.

 

 

Corey L.

 Being a part of the “revealed” project, I was unaware of the profound experience that I was about to embark on. The “revealed” project gave me insight on how I viewed my life. I have a very close relationship with my family and not too long prior to doing the project I had lost my sister, Rasha, very tragically in an accident. The feelings associated with grief such as confusion, frustration, enraged and sorrow were trapped inside of my spiritual self all at the same time and I was lost. The order and placement of the objects in the revealed box represented the relationship I have with myself and the interests I shared with my sister Rasha. Organized and carefully placed with lots of love and colorful objects are all part of my “happy self”, but within my spiritual state there was sadness and anger. I wanted to scream, scream from all the pain that I was feeling from loosing her, but I couldn’t for whatever reason. I was fearful of letting go because that would make it real. The feeling of grief and sadness scared me so much that I felt I lost the ability to scream, talk and represent her. Once I finished the process of this project, I felt empowered. Hope and a feeling of relieve came over me. Seeing the photograph captured every essence of my spiritual and emotional state that I was experiencing. Seeing it, I felt was very exposed and that helped in healing a little part of my spiritual self. “There are many ways to define our fragile existence and many ways to give it meaning. It’s our memories that shape its purpose and gives it content. The various private assortments of images, fears, loves, regrets and losses. The cruel irony of life is that we’re destined to hold the dark with the light, the good with the evil and success with disappointments. In actuality in the end, that is what separates us and makes us human”. Kenji Miyazawa once said: “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey” The         Suhair S.    Lincoln, Rhode Island 2008

Being a part of the “revealed” project, I was unaware of the profound experience that I was about to embark on. The “revealed” project gave me insight on how I viewed my life. I have a very close relationship with my family and not too long prior to doing the project I had lost my sister, Rasha, very tragically in an accident. The feelings associated with grief such as confusion, frustration, enraged and sorrow were trapped inside of my spiritual self all at the same time and I was lost. The order and placement of the objects in the revealed box represented the relationship I have with myself and the interests I shared with my sister Rasha. Organized and carefully placed with lots of love and colorful objects are all part of my “happy self”, but within my spiritual state there was sadness and anger. I wanted to scream, scream from all the pain that I was feeling from loosing her, but I couldn’t for whatever reason. I was fearful of letting go because that would make it real. The feeling of grief and sadness scared me so much that I felt I lost the ability to scream, talk and represent her. Once I finished the process of this project, I felt empowered. Hope and a feeling of relieve came over me. Seeing the photograph captured every essence of my spiritual and emotional state that I was experiencing. Seeing it, I felt was very exposed and that helped in healing a little part of my spiritual self. “There are many ways to define our fragile existence and many ways to give it meaning. It’s our memories that shape its purpose and gives it content. The various private assortments of images, fears, loves, regrets and losses. The cruel irony of life is that we’re destined to hold the dark with the light, the good with the evil and success with disappointments. In actuality in the end, that is what separates us and makes us human”. Kenji Miyazawa once said: “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey” The

 

 

Suhair S.

Lincoln, Rhode Island
2008

 What spirituality is to me – the love and the connection we have with others.         Lisa S.    Lincoln, Rhode Island 2008

What spirituality is to me – the love and the connection we have with others.

 

 

Lisa S.

Lincoln, Rhode Island
2008

 Happening is the name of the most spiritual and uplifting experience of my life. Twice a year, about twenty high schoolers sign up for a weekend conference they know nothing about. And twice a year, about twenty high schoolers leave, changed forever. In October of 2005, I was one of those changed high schoolers. I learned to believe in spirit and self and love. I entered the weekend having no expectations and no idea what I was in for; I left crying and never wanting to leave. Back in school on Monday, I seemed bubbly and better-than-ever. I wanted so much for everyone to feel a piece of what I was feeling, but whenever I tried to explain what I’d been through that weekend, people would say “Oh that’s nice,” and go back to their everyday lives. I wanted to scream and tell them that my life was changed and I was in love! But the second I started explaining that Happening was a “spiritual experience,” my friends would roll their eyes and say I was in a cult. “Lay off the blue juice,” they said. I laughed it off, but inside I was absolutely crushed. Knowing that they didn’t want to hear about the best weekend of my life hurt more than I imagined. I can honestly say that I have never laughed as much, smiled as much, and cried as much as I did those two days. When I say it out loud, it sounds so fake, like the weekend was a surreal out-of-body experience. But Happening isn’t just about the weekend, it’s about taking the weekend out into the “real world” and spreading the light that shines within you. Happening is the place where I found my light. I learned to trust. I learned to love. I learned to be myself without worrying about what other people thought. Happening is the only place where I have ever been myself completely, with no masks to hide behind. It’s the only place I’ve ever dropped my inhibitions and insecurities and let everyone around me see my “true self.” Even now, finding words to describe Happening seems impossible. It’s a melting pot of emotions and a real life-changing experience. Until that weekend, I didn’t know it was possible to feel so much feeling. I’ve never been so blinded by love about anything or anyone, but the love I feel for those people and that weekend is greater than any other kind of love I know. Because of Happening, I believe in spirit and love. Happening was my catalyst. What’s yours?      Marrissa H.     Lincoln, Rhode Island 2008             

Happening is the name of the most spiritual and uplifting experience of my life. Twice a year, about twenty high schoolers sign up for a weekend conference they know nothing about. And twice a year, about twenty high schoolers leave, changed forever.
In October of 2005, I was one of those changed high schoolers. I learned to believe in spirit and self and love. I entered the weekend having no expectations and no idea what I was in for; I left crying and never wanting to leave. Back in school on Monday, I seemed bubbly and better-than-ever. I wanted so much for everyone to feel a piece of what I was feeling, but whenever I tried to explain what I’d been through that weekend, people would say “Oh that’s nice,” and go back to their everyday lives.
I wanted to scream and tell them that my life was changed and I was in love! But the second I started explaining that Happening was a “spiritual experience,” my friends would roll their eyes and say I was in a cult. “Lay off the blue juice,” they said. I laughed it off, but inside I was absolutely crushed. Knowing that they didn’t want to hear about the best weekend of my life hurt more than I imagined.
I can honestly say that I have never laughed as much, smiled as much, and cried as much as I did those two days. When I say it out loud, it sounds so fake, like the weekend was a surreal out-of-body experience. But Happening isn’t just about the weekend, it’s about taking the weekend out into the “real world” and spreading the light that shines within you. Happening is the place where I found my light. I learned to trust. I learned to love.
I learned to be myself without worrying about what other people thought. Happening is the only place where I have ever been myself completely, with no masks to hide behind. It’s the only place I’ve ever dropped my inhibitions and insecurities and let everyone around me see my “true self.”
Even now, finding words to describe Happening seems impossible. It’s a melting pot of emotions and a real life-changing experience. Until that weekend, I didn’t know it was possible to feel so much feeling. I’ve never been so blinded by love about anything or anyone, but the love I feel for those people and that weekend is greater than any other kind of love I know. Because of Happening, I believe in spirit and love. Happening was my catalyst. What’s yours?

 

Marrissa H.


Lincoln, Rhode Island
2008

 

 

 

 

 A flower from my garden is the symbol I chose to represent my spirituality. The dirt and the roots give me a feeling of being grounded, connected to the earth. The flower reaches up to God - opening to the radiance of love. I feel close to God when I am in my garden witnessing the miracles and the cycles of life - seeding, nurturing, growing, fading away, resting, rebirth.         Karen M.    East Greenwich, Rhode Island 2008

A flower from my garden is the symbol I chose to represent my spirituality. The dirt and the roots give me a feeling of being grounded, connected to the earth. The flower reaches up to God - opening to the radiance of love. I feel close to God when I am in my garden witnessing the miracles and the cycles of life - seeding, nurturing, growing, fading away, resting, rebirth.

 

 

Karen M.

East Greenwich, Rhode Island
2008

 The ash represents the physical aspect of my being. The gold within, the light, is my spirit. My life, as I know it, is the tapestry whose weave is influenced by these two forces. My body enables me to experience and to be in relation to others. This life of mine, and all comes with it, is my birthright- all the joy, pain, desire, sadness, hope, fears, uncertainty. It’s a package deal. It is my spirit who gives this experience meaning and expands me. There is awesome power in relationship. I believe the soul grows and thrives on that. My box holds a photo of my daughter Mira, and her birth mother, Mijired. This woman who lives half a world away, a woman I’ve never met, changed our lives forever. Her choices left an indelible impression on my soul. How will I leave my mark on this Earth? In whom? My challenge in this life is to be mindful of what really matters. Can I let go of my need for security, for ambition, the desire to control outcomes and minimize risk? After I draw my last breath and my soul is free again, what will I take with me and hold dear as my body melts away to dust?         Jeff M.    Lincoln, Rhode Island 2008

The ash represents the physical aspect of my being. The gold within, the light, is my spirit. My life, as I know it, is the tapestry whose weave is influenced by these two forces. My body enables me to experience and to be in relation to others. This life of mine, and all comes with it, is my birthright- all the joy, pain, desire, sadness, hope, fears, uncertainty. It’s a package deal. It is my spirit who gives this experience meaning and expands me. There is awesome power in relationship. I believe the soul grows and thrives on that. My box holds a photo of my daughter Mira, and her birth mother, Mijired. This woman who lives half a world away, a woman I’ve never met, changed our lives forever. Her choices left an indelible impression on my soul. How will I leave my mark on this Earth? In whom? My challenge in this life is to be mindful of what really matters. Can I let go of my need for security, for ambition, the desire to control outcomes and minimize risk? After I draw my last breath and my soul is free again, what will I take with me and hold dear as my body melts away to dust?

 

 

Jeff M.

Lincoln, Rhode Island
2008

 The box could not hold it all, so I brought a box of my own: a Hercules Gunpowder Box, a fitting repository for my spirit. The plants are from my garden, my solace, my center, my place to connect to the bounty and wonder of the Universe. I filled my box with old wounds, many half-healed. Even as I stand under the lights, my back aches from the car crash. I question myself and my right to be here. I question my creative fire. But on top of it all is a small wooden box, carved by my brother out of a single chunk of cedar. He carved it for me when I was young and full of boundless rage – some of it directed at him. He carved it with love, as an act of contrition that I did not come to fully understand until years after he had died. It is the most precious thing I own, this box. It represents hope and compassion for the wounded parts of me.         Stephen R.    Lincoln, Rhode Island 2008

The box could not hold it all, so I brought a box of my own: a Hercules Gunpowder Box, a fitting repository for my spirit. The plants are from my garden, my solace, my center, my place to connect to the bounty and wonder of the Universe. I filled my box with old wounds, many half-healed. Even as I stand under the lights, my back aches from the car crash. I question myself and my right to be here. I question my creative fire. But on top of it all is a small wooden box, carved by my brother out of a single chunk of cedar. He carved it for me when I was young and full of boundless rage – some of it directed at him. He carved it with love, as an act of contrition that I did not come to fully understand until years after he had died. It is the most precious thing I own, this box. It represents hope and compassion for the wounded parts of me.

 

 

Stephen R.

Lincoln, Rhode Island
2008

 I believe that life is balanced between good and evil.You can't ignore either but through intension I choose how to view life. My choice is to live life from the positive side. As a student of philosophe I choose mortificatio. By being this way I live life as centered as I can. Live in the present moment embrace what is. This is a practice that I try to live by.         Tom M.    Lincoln, Rhode Island 2008

I believe that life is balanced between good and evil.You can't ignore either but through intension I choose how to view life. My choice is to live life from the positive side. As a student of philosophe I choose mortificatio. By being this way I live life as centered as I can. Live in the present moment embrace what is. This is a practice that I try to live by.

 

 

Tom M.

Lincoln, Rhode Island
2008

 I discovered alcohol at 13. I embraced it. Disguises and masks to fit in. Self-centered, impatient and arrogant, I lied, I cheated, I stole. I was dishonest in work and relationships. I drank until I passed out. When I got out of the army and went back to college in the early ‘60s, I discovered drugs. I tried them and abused them. DWIs, marriages, as well as careers that – lacking focus and commitment – I viewed as failed. Lost and in so much pain, I would go to bed and hope that I would not wake up. Was the glass half-full or half-empty? For me, there was no glass. Because to acknowledge its existence implied that I had a basis of faith. And, I didn’t. I was raised as an Episcopalian, serving as an acolyte and later as Stewardship Chair on Vestry, but whatever I learned inside the church never became part of me. Church was all about power, exclusion and money. God seemed to be everywhere but in church. One morning I just knew that I could not go on like this. I was 61. Two friends in the AA program took me to my first meeting. It was not me that raised my hand saying that I was an alcoholic, it was God channeling through me. I felt a tremendous burden lifted from me. That was the beginning of two new relationships: one with myself and one with God. With time and commitment each has become more loving. I recently celebrated five years of sobriety. AA is my way of life. I can love and be loved. I can be of service and feel fulfilled. I can muster the courage to put myself on the firing line of life: giving my unselfish best and doing the next right thing. Is every day problem free and wonderful? I still struggle with my past, but now I have faith that everything will be OK, that as one door closes another will open. The glass half-full is an attitude, certainly. For me it is based on faith that there is a higher power, a god of my understanding. I am not alone. God is my partner in life.          Spencer B.     Lincoln, Rhode Island     2008

I discovered alcohol at 13. I embraced it. Disguises and masks to fit in. Self-centered, impatient and arrogant, I lied, I cheated, I stole. I was dishonest in work and relationships. I drank until I passed out. When I got out of the army and went back to college in the early ‘60s, I discovered drugs. I tried them and abused them. DWIs, marriages, as well as careers that – lacking focus and commitment – I viewed as failed. Lost and in so much pain, I would go to bed and hope that I would not wake up. Was the glass half-full or half-empty? For me, there was no glass. Because to acknowledge its existence implied that I had a basis of faith. And, I didn’t. I was raised as an Episcopalian, serving as an acolyte and later as Stewardship Chair on Vestry, but whatever I learned inside the church never became part of me. Church was all about power, exclusion and money. God seemed to be everywhere but in church. One morning I just knew that I could not go on like this. I was 61. Two friends in the AA program took me to my first meeting. It was not me that raised my hand saying that I was an alcoholic, it was God channeling through me. I felt a tremendous burden lifted from me. That was the beginning of two new relationships: one with myself and one with God. With time and commitment each has become more loving. I recently celebrated five years of sobriety. AA is my way of life. I can love and be loved. I can be of service and feel fulfilled. I can muster the courage to put myself on the firing line of life: giving my unselfish best and doing the next right thing. Is every day problem free and wonderful? I still struggle with my past, but now I have faith that everything will be OK, that as one door closes another will open. The glass half-full is an attitude, certainly. For me it is based on faith that there is a higher power, a god of my understanding. I am not alone. God is my partner in life.

 

 

 Spencer B.


Lincoln, Rhode Island

2008

 The yin-yang symbol is a traditional Chinese symbol. Many children use it when they are drawing doodles, thinking it symbolizes something close to the traditional peace symbol. In fact, the yin-yang symbolizes the way life works. The outer circle represents "everything", while the black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of two energies, called "yin" (black) and "yang" (white), which causes everything to happen. They are not completely black or white, just as things in life are not completely black or white, and one cannot exist without the other. The hemp is crossed all over the face of the box, because the path through life is not as straight and as smooth as everybody would like it to be. It covers the sign saying hope, meaning the road through life takes awhile to get through, and although at times it may seem like you should give up, hope is always there, all through the ways of life, hope can be found. Even in the worst of times. Hope is a light in a dark room, that one light can seem like a million stars in the pitch of night.         Cassidy W.    Lincoln, Rhode Island 2008

The yin-yang symbol is a traditional Chinese symbol. Many children use it when they are drawing doodles, thinking it symbolizes something close to the traditional peace symbol. In fact, the yin-yang symbolizes the way life works. The outer circle represents "everything", while the black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of two energies, called "yin" (black) and "yang" (white), which causes everything to happen. They are not completely black or white, just as things in life are not completely black or white, and one cannot exist without the other. The hemp is crossed all over the face of the box, because the path through life is not as straight and as smooth as everybody would like it to be. It covers the sign saying hope, meaning the road through life takes awhile to get through, and although at times it may seem like you should give up, hope is always there, all through the ways of life, hope can be found. Even in the worst of times. Hope is a light in a dark room, that one light can seem like a million stars in the pitch of night.

 

 

Cassidy W.

Lincoln, Rhode Island
2008

 What objects express the ethereal nature of my own spirituality? I love to dance, sing and I enjoy working with food, all of which bring an intense spiritual affinity within me. I love my soul, my body I inhabit and the souls that surround me in this universe. I love the world, this earth, the rounded ecosphere in which we all inhabit and create our lives in. I look up and see the sky, a non-ending path with shining bright stars at night and a moon which takes its various shapes throughout each month. I love the Sun, its light, color and warmth and including all that it provides for our world. There is a deep unity that underlies everything and within our own individual spirituality we can begin to see a connection that may otherwise be obscure or hidden underneath our ego disposition and manifestations in the physical form around us. In a sense beyond senses we are holding hands and our energies are being shared both productive or latent such that we co create a world of advancing ideas and destructive undeveloped casualties. I believe this cycle is of a forward evolutionary nature where we seek to create a harmony of rhythmic dynamism and one that more essentially reflects the nature of the soul. As the decades go on I notice we all become further in tune with ourselves and our ability to express that which is intangible through the sharing of experience. I believe in a deep awareness that is within every living being, animal and plant that has no connection with thought, a pure rhythmic wave, a frequency that creates it’s-self and is expressed as love. This is the harmony of souls that unites us, an energy so coherent that strengthens us. This is my tune within and my spiritual expression I embody and reveal.         Lara P.    Lincoln, Rhode Island 2008

What objects express the ethereal nature of my own spirituality? I love to dance, sing and I enjoy working with food, all of which bring an intense spiritual affinity within me. I love my soul, my body I inhabit and the souls that surround me in this universe. I love the world, this earth, the rounded ecosphere in which we all inhabit and create our lives in. I look up and see the sky, a non-ending path with shining bright stars at night and a moon which takes its various shapes throughout each month. I love the Sun, its light, color and warmth and including all that it provides for our world. There is a deep unity that underlies everything and within our own individual spirituality we can begin to see a connection that may otherwise be obscure or hidden underneath our ego disposition and manifestations in the physical form around us. In a sense beyond senses we are holding hands and our energies are being shared both productive or latent such that we co create a world of advancing ideas and destructive undeveloped casualties. I believe this cycle is of a forward evolutionary nature where we seek to create a harmony of rhythmic dynamism and one that more essentially reflects the nature of the soul. As the decades go on I notice we all become further in tune with ourselves and our ability to express that which is intangible through the sharing of experience. I believe in a deep awareness that is within every living being, animal and plant that has no connection with thought, a pure rhythmic wave, a frequency that creates it’s-self and is expressed as love. This is the harmony of souls that unites us, an energy so coherent that strengthens us. This is my tune within and my spiritual expression I embody and reveal.

 

 

Lara P.

Lincoln, Rhode Island
2008

 Spirit is as individual as fingerprints. I find spiritual connection to be a sort thin layer above intellectual thinking and certainly far from anything physical. It can border on an emotional feeling and can contain elements of religion and/or belief, but I think it can also be simpler than that. I believe spirit supports a certain level of mindful awareness that requires no effort whatsoever once you have discovered it. It takes much effort to reach that point of course and it needs constant maintenance and use, but once you have found the real you and what make you “you”, you should develop and nurture your spirit so it gives you what you need. For me, I need to have balance in my life. No thing should ever be in excess and all things needs to be centered towards an inner spirit, a sort of calming happiness, and certainly a strong sense of balance. My spirit has no face, no structure, and no name. Good food is important to me as well as having fun. Maybe this is my spirit’s face. Maybe this is what make me “me”.         Heather W.    Lincoln, Rhode Island 2008

Spirit is as individual as fingerprints. I find spiritual connection to be a sort thin layer above intellectual thinking and certainly far from anything physical. It can border on an emotional feeling and can contain elements of religion and/or belief, but I think it can also be simpler than that. I believe spirit supports a certain level of mindful awareness that requires no effort whatsoever once you have discovered it. It takes much effort to reach that point of course and it needs constant maintenance and use, but once you have found the real you and what make you “you”, you should develop and nurture your spirit so it gives you what you need. For me, I need to have balance in my life. No thing should ever be in excess and all things needs to be centered towards an inner spirit, a sort of calming happiness, and certainly a strong sense of balance. My spirit has no face, no structure, and no name. Good food is important to me as well as having fun. Maybe this is my spirit’s face. Maybe this is what make me “me”.

 

 

Heather W.

Lincoln, Rhode Island
2008

REVEALED - Laura D.

REVEALED - Laura D.

It’s been over a year since I had my photo done for this project and, for some reason, I keep putting off the essay. It occurred to me that I must be avoiding the confrontation of my own spirituality.
I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with spirituality, and especially religion, for as long as I can remember. My parents raised me as a Jehovah’s Witness. The first chance I got, which was 2 days after I turned 18, I left that and never looked back. The concepts of God and spirituality were frightening and overwhelming, required too much work for too little reward. At that time, all I knew for certain was that I wouldn’t find spirituality in the Kingdom Hall. My scientific mind needed something more logical, concrete, and visible. My artistic soul needed something less restrictive, intolerant, and unrewarding. The next 10 years were spent avoiding any form of religion, which I was raised to believe was intricately and inseparably tied to spirituality.
During that time my sister, to whom I was very close, died unexpectedly. The incident left me with a nagging need to know where she was, what had happened to her, and how I could be close to her again.
Several years later my daughter was born. In her, I glimpsed the familiar love and radiance of my sister, along with the joy of getting to know a brand new little person. I began to understand that spirituality is the endless life cycle of energy and connection. My sister could be found in my daughter, in myself,
in everything I wanted her to be in. I began to understand that life has no boundaries. I realized that spirituality is not found in a building or in a book. Nor is it what one person or group tells me it is. Spirituality is whatever I want it to be, is found wherever I want to find it. It is in people and relationships; it’s in the art we create and in the music we make. It is in the difference we made in someone’s life by the briefest interaction—a difference we often have no idea we even made. A little bit of our spirit is
left behind in everyone and everything we touch, and this is spirituality.
This is my youngest son at only a few weeks old. Right now I find spirituality in the warmth and love of my children, in the happiness and comfort of my family, in the satisfaction I get from taking care of them every day, and in the pleasure of their gratitude shown by a little kiss on the cheek or a barely perceptible “I love you” in baby-speak or a homemade bookmark given to me for Mother‘s Day. Later in life, this could change. The relationship I want with spirituality could become more traditional, more complicated, or more ritualistic. But for now, this is what spirituality is to me: the uncomplicated fulfillment of a deeper connection with the rhythm of life and with our Mother Earth, wherever one finds it.
And right now this is all the spirituality I need.

 

 

Laura D.

Lincoln, Rhode Island
2010

 When I was asked to do this Revealed project about the deepest part of myself, I wondered " What do people not know about me?" Throughout my life I have always been a fighter. Not with violence but through my soul. I grew up in a born again christian family who was very extreme in their beliefs. I broke free from the fear, brainwashing, and depression. I became a yoga instructor, a reiki master, and angel clairvoyance because it felt right to me. These are my beliefs, and even though i do not have a family supporting my views, I know that this is what my soul wants. In my box I put thorns around the box with a flower coming out of the center. It represents never giving into what's around you just because you fear it. To break free from the maddness, growing and learning on your own.         Sarah D.    Lincoln, Rhode Island 2008

When I was asked to do this Revealed project about the deepest part of myself, I wondered " What do people not know about me?" Throughout my life I have always been a fighter. Not with violence but through my soul. I grew up in a born again christian family who was very extreme in their beliefs. I broke free from the fear, brainwashing, and depression. I became a yoga instructor, a reiki master, and angel clairvoyance because it felt right to me. These are my beliefs, and even though i do not have a family supporting my views, I know that this is what my soul wants. In my box I put thorns around the box with a flower coming out of the center. It represents never giving into what's around you just because you fear it. To break free from the maddness, growing and learning on your own.

 

 

Sarah D.

Lincoln, Rhode Island
2008

 I believe that life is never static. It is in constant motion. As living beings we must accept this, and keep up with the perpetual movement that affects both the body and psyche. No matter what happens to us, we must continue progressing forward and stay the course. We must never stop growing and evolving, for when we do, life stops. What do we ultimately want when we die? To be remembered… to know that our life had meaning? To have lived a “successful” life? I can say that I never hesitated in my life. I never made a decision NOT to do something because of fear or uncertainty.         Jayne P.

I believe that life is never static. It is in constant motion. As living beings we must accept this, and keep up with the perpetual movement that affects both the body and psyche. No matter what happens to us, we must continue progressing forward and stay the course. We must never stop growing and evolving, for when we do, life stops. What do we ultimately want when we die? To be remembered… to know that our life had meaning? To have lived a “successful” life? I can say that I never hesitated in my life. I never made a decision NOT to do something because of fear or uncertainty.

 

 

Jayne P.

REVEALED - Erin S.

REVEALED - Erin S.

I was a child who was “born under the red flag” during the Culture Revolution. From a very young age, I came to witness deaths of too many, including my own close-to-death events and the bereavement of my desolation. In China, to converse about the departed ones was totally foreign; you were simply expected to carry on with your life. Prisoner of my own despair, I became the architect of my heartache and learned to assemble walls to conceal the stubborn unyielding losses. While I sealed the poignant chapters behind, bits and pieces of my own self were buried among them. Life had to continue and there was no way I was to look back. I simply did not know how. There were times that I couldn’t help but to speculate if there was such thing as “bad Karma” or maybe that destiny was casting a joke upon me. I truly believe since I had observed so many deaths that they had shaped and defined who I am. There were, and always would be times, when seemed my late loved ones were dying all over again, especially during the toughest hours of my life. I don’t think I could stop missing them nor that I ever should. Nonetheless, I am no longer the hostage of my own everlasting grief and edgeless guilt. I rose through redemptions of self-forgiveness. My departed loved ones had transformed their compassion, wisdom, and love into me. Through that, we reincarnate in this life. My two beautiful children are their factual reflections on this earth. I am aware that every precious fleeting moment could be fragile, with the breath-taking splendor of life. I embody the connections; from death to life, struggle to triumph, and from the east to this west. There are teachings to be done. My children, they will discover and appreciate art in all its formations, they will learn to be thankful for what they have, they will try to give the best they possibly can, they will live with affection, kindness, and simplicity in their hearts.

 

 

Erin S.

East Greenwich, Rhode Island
2010

 

 

 

 My life is filled with spirituality every day. But it is not the spirituality most in our world think of. When I think of spirituality, and what drove me to develop the box for Revealed I think of my ability to connect with a higher feeling or higher sense of being – this to me is spiritual experience. Growing up Catholic, though not overly religious, I had a spiritual connection/ experience whenever I stepped foot in the church. That same experience/connection that I felt then is present today for me through playing the piano and the beach, the two things that occupy my box. This is what helps me think and understand the intangible. They put me in a different place, a place so much more than the physical world….difficult often to verbalize. Being part of Revealed was one of the most amazing spiritual experiences…….         Jessica G.    East   Greenwitch   Ri.    2008

My life is filled with spirituality every day. But it is not the spirituality most in our world think of. When I think of spirituality, and what drove me to develop the box for Revealed I think of my ability to connect with a higher feeling or higher sense of being – this to me is spiritual experience. Growing up Catholic, though not overly religious, I had a spiritual connection/ experience whenever I stepped foot in the church. That same experience/connection that I felt then is present today for me through playing the piano and the beach, the two things that occupy my box. This is what helps me think and understand the intangible. They put me in a different place, a place so much more than the physical world….difficult often to verbalize. Being part of Revealed was one of the most amazing spiritual experiences…….

 

 

Jessica G.

East Greenwitch Ri.

2008

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 The night I decided to sign up for this photography session I had a series of nightmares. I dreamt I was a vacant person and that I was not a spiritual person. I dreamt of having doubts, and an empty heart, and a loss of something concrete to call my own. My nightmares confirmed my worry that I would be judged without some label of religion, or pathway, to call my own. In truth, I have been searching, on and off, for something to hold on to. A religion to call my own. I was brought up to believe that religion meant spirituality and that you could not have one without the other. I am not so sure that is true. Here is what I know: I find my God in nature. In the sun and in the stars. I find him at the Grand Canyon and on a small pier overlooking a tiny lake in Wisconsin. I find him in the clean air, in rock formations, in the center of sunflowers. I find Oneness in yoga class. We students gather, barefoot and tired, and sit in Oneness on our mats. I feel Oneness in my classmates, who chant, and sweat, and reach to salute the sun together. We breathe together and bow to the teachings in soul, our teachers all around us, and to a divine spirit. I find Spirit in love. In weddings. In a child’s love. In a cat’s eyes. In a friend’s hugs. I feel that love connects us all and reminds us that we are a species that must connect.I find Angels and Ghosts in theaters. I have felt the presence of ghosts while performing a show and feeling a presence of an old actor in the wings. I find ancestors in personal jewelry. I have rings from my Aunt Freda and from my grandmother, who I only knew as an infant. When I look at them or wear them, I feel their energy. I have a sense of knowing that these women are watching over me and protecting me. They do not judge or interfere, they just watch. I find my Spirituality when I am alone. When I see water. When I reflect on a sunset. When I sit in meditation or in stillness. When I pray. I also find my Spirituality in angel readings, in Tarot. A higher force guides me through the selection of cards and they remind me that I am not alone on my journey. I travel with a big posse.         Ericka K.    Camarillo, California 2010

The night I decided to sign up for this photography session I had a series of nightmares. I dreamt I was a vacant person and that I was not a spiritual person. I dreamt of having doubts, and an empty heart, and a loss of something concrete to call my own.
My nightmares confirmed my worry that I would be judged without some label of religion, or pathway, to call my own. In truth, I have been searching, on and off, for something to hold on to. A religion to call my own. I was brought up to believe that religion meant spirituality and that you could not have one without the other. I am not so sure that is true.
Here is what I know:
I find my God in nature. In the sun and in the stars. I find him at the Grand Canyon and on a small pier overlooking a tiny lake in Wisconsin. I find him in the clean air, in rock formations, in the center of sunflowers.
I find Oneness in yoga class. We students gather, barefoot and tired, and sit in Oneness on our mats. I feel Oneness in my classmates, who chant, and sweat, and reach to salute the sun together. We breathe together and bow to the teachings in soul, our teachers all around us, and to a divine spirit.
I find Spirit in love. In weddings. In a child’s love. In a cat’s eyes. In a friend’s hugs. I feel that love connects us all and reminds us that we are a species that must connect.I find Angels and Ghosts in theaters. I have felt the presence of ghosts while performing a show and feeling a presence of an old actor in the wings. I find ancestors in personal jewelry. I have rings from my Aunt Freda and from my grandmother, who I only knew as an infant. When I look at them or wear them, I feel their energy. I have a sense of knowing that these women are watching over me and protecting me. They do not judge or interfere, they just watch.
I find my Spirituality when I am alone. When I see water. When I reflect on a sunset. When I sit in meditation or in stillness. When I pray. I also find my Spirituality in angel readings, in Tarot. A higher force guides me through the selection of cards and they remind me that I am not alone on my journey.
I travel with a big posse.

 

 

Ericka K.

Camarillo, California
2010

 My motivation, my energy, my spirit, my passion and my love comes from God and Music.         Kelly B.    Camarillo, California 2010

My motivation, my energy, my spirit, my passion and my love comes from God and Music.

 

 

Kelly B.

Camarillo, California
2010

 A journey, the quest for exploration and the seeking of what a path might bestow. Either a physical manifestation or a pondering whim, the keystones which I need to fill an existence with stories, knowledge, and strength, will be unveiled to me from my experiences on that journey. The unrelenting impulse of quest has brought forth the gifts of both touching and sensing the grace of worldly places, and the accompaniment of cultures in spaces unfamiliar. This same pulse, however, which fills me with life, has taken the lead role in deterring settlement and commitment. I believe that each soul has many journeys in which they wish to embark. They can contradict, as in the soldier striving for peace preparing to fight the war, they can endure through time, as my Grandparent's journey has through understanding and partnership for 60 years, and they can be as dreamy as wanting to extend my arms atop foreign mountain cliffs and float in every sea. Though I predict how I select my journeys will morph and become influenced by outcomes along the way, every turn of events will be that which has propelled me forward this whole time, the opening for a new journey. I simply must just dare to voyage.         Sky P.    Camarillo, California 2010

A journey, the quest for exploration and the seeking of what a path might bestow. Either a physical manifestation or a pondering whim, the keystones which I need to fill an existence with stories, knowledge, and strength, will be unveiled to me from my experiences on that journey. The unrelenting impulse of quest has brought forth the gifts of both touching and sensing the grace of worldly places, and the accompaniment of cultures in spaces unfamiliar. This same pulse, however, which fills me with life, has taken the lead role in deterring settlement and commitment. I believe that each soul has many journeys in which they wish to embark. They can contradict, as in the soldier striving for peace preparing to fight the war, they can endure through time, as my Grandparent's journey has through understanding and partnership for 60 years, and they can be as dreamy as wanting to extend my arms atop foreign mountain cliffs and float in every sea. Though I predict how I select my journeys will morph and become influenced by outcomes along the way, every turn of events will be that which has propelled me forward this whole time, the opening for a new journey. I simply must just dare to voyage.

 

 

Sky P.

Camarillo, California
2010

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 I've always had a deep connection with God. Despite being raised Catholic, my relationship with a higher being has never been tied to an organized religion. I've come to this conclusion because I've stopped going to church on a regular basis. And despite that, my spirituality has grown and has gotten better over the years. I now consider myself more of being "culturally Catholic." It's hard not to be tied to the church one way or another when you're Filipino. These days, instead of going to church, I find sanctuary in more common places or states of mind: our home's solarium in Boston, the beach where I grew up in San Francisco or just by closing my eyes and meditating. Also, I don't pray with the rosary anymore. In its place, I use prayer beads or anything close to it to be in touch with God (the non-white man with a flowing beard kind). It's liberating to not have the stereotypical image of God when you're praying, especially if you're a person of color like myself. Another incredible spiritual capability I have is my knowing that there is something else in store for us after we die. I don't know exactly what it's going to be, I am just 110% sure that it will be incredible! Believing that our time here on earth is just a "stage" makes me want to be a better/good person. I know that whatever I do here, I will carry on to whatever is NEXT.         Bren B.    Providence RI    2010

I've always had a deep connection with God. Despite being raised Catholic, my relationship with a higher being has never been tied to an organized religion. I've come to this conclusion because I've stopped going to church on a regular basis. And despite that, my spirituality has grown and has gotten better over the years. I now consider myself more of being "culturally Catholic." It's hard not to be tied to the church one way or another when you're Filipino. These days, instead of going to church, I find sanctuary in more common places or states of mind: our home's solarium in Boston, the beach where I grew up in San Francisco or just by closing my eyes and meditating. Also, I don't pray with the rosary anymore. In its place, I use prayer beads or anything close to it to be in touch with God (the non-white man with a flowing beard kind). It's liberating to not have the stereotypical image of God when you're praying, especially if you're a person of color like myself. Another incredible spiritual capability I have is my knowing that there is something else in store for us after we die. I don't know exactly what it's going to be, I am just 110% sure that it will be incredible! Believing that our time here on earth is just a "stage" makes me want to be a better/good person. I know that whatever I do here, I will carry on to whatever is NEXT.

 

 

Bren B.

Providence RI

2010

 The Buddha, for me, is a reminder to live in the present. It's a fairly new concept for me, but is needed to control my mind and all of the negative thoughts that have started to take it over since the birth of my children. Death, disease, disasters.... hurt feelings, bullying , all have a way polluting my mind. ~ Live in the now ~         Josh T.

The Buddha, for me, is a reminder to live in the present. It's a fairly new concept for me, but is needed to control my mind and all of the negative thoughts that have started to take it over since the birth of my children. Death, disease, disasters.... hurt feelings, bullying , all have a way polluting my mind. ~ Live in the now ~

 

 

Josh T.

 I believe in handkerchiefs. Nothing is disposable and chivalry is great. I believe in flowers on the table, a little bud vase next to the bed. I believe in flowers and there are several poets who can tell you why. They open, slowly, to the light. They are rooted in the dirt and emerge fresh. They grow. They toil not. I believe in art, sex, laughter, anything that helps us communicate our experience to each other beyond the ego. Communication is incredibly difficult between humans, though we seem to talk endlessly. I believe in contemplative spirituality: meditation, practices that reconnect us with our True Self and our direct experience of the world as co-dreamers of the world. My work is about this. Through meditation practice, it is possible to experience being in integral part of a whole living world. I believe the entire universe presents itself in each one of us. I believe in holism. I believe in treating everything as an altar and everyone as a guru, and we should bow as often as possible. We should avoid sticking out our feet toward our teachers, which means everyone. I believe in non-belief. Belief is a fixation. In my experience even the ground is not fixed. I believe we give our bodies to the world as a sacred gift. Everything we do in the world is the gift of the body.         Sarah W.    Providence, Rhode Island 2010

I believe in handkerchiefs. Nothing is disposable and chivalry is great. I believe in flowers on the table, a little bud vase next to the bed. I believe in flowers and there are several poets who can tell you why. They open, slowly, to the light. They are rooted in the dirt and emerge fresh. They grow. They toil not. I believe in art, sex, laughter, anything that helps us communicate our experience to each other beyond the ego. Communication is incredibly difficult between humans, though we seem to talk endlessly. I believe in contemplative spirituality: meditation, practices that reconnect us with our True Self and our direct experience of the world as co-dreamers of the world. My work is about this. Through meditation practice, it is possible to experience being in integral part of a whole living world. I believe the entire universe presents itself in each one of us. I believe in holism. I believe in treating everything as an altar and everyone as a guru, and we should bow as often as possible. We should avoid sticking out our feet toward our teachers, which means everyone. I believe in non-belief. Belief is a fixation. In my experience even the ground is not fixed. I believe we give our bodies to the world as a sacred gift. Everything we do in the world is the gift of the body.

 

 

Sarah W.

Providence, Rhode Island
2010

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