Amanda Jolley

Reflection on pattern and abstraction of the subconscious

Sacred space

I have been enjoying the book, the Artist’s Rule by Christine Valters Painter. It really touches with the contemplative part of my spirit. I am finding myself approaching all of life with a sacredness and gratitude that was only sometimes there in the past.

One thing I am discovering is a stripping away of the subtle legalistic approach to spirituality that I learned from the church we left over a year ago. The stripping away feels so good and I am able to be my true self with applying ridiculous rules to my life in fear of offending God or approaching sin.

In Week 3 of the Artist’s Rule, the suggestion of an altar space made me identify, dig up and remove another rule. I had the belief that anything labeled altar where we place symbols of our faith or our selves or of God was entering into a form of idol worship. Altars = bad. After some self reflection, I realized that I have always, since a young child, created altar spaces full of symbology. I wish I had photos of the way I would arrange rocks and figures on my dresser as a little girl. I guess I haven’t changed.

Art cabinet
My art supply chest of drawers.

Meaningful objects
Random objects to you, but deeply meaningful objects to me.

Treasure box
My childhood treasure box still full of treasures old and some new. My name stuck to the top in the 70s. This box represents my view of things as sacred when just a child.

Earth connection
Dirt encased in wax, dried moss, a funky shaped rock, all represent the deep tie my spirit feels to the earth.

Generational connection
Pigments from my great-grandmother’s china painting, costume pearls of my grandmother’s that I wore all through college, remind me of the story of my life and the generations before me. The bells in the dish make the most beautiful tinkling and take my mind to the Holy Spirit.

This is just one of the many sacred spaces I have created in my home. I can now freely approach any of these sacred spaces with gratefulness and thanksgiving for who God is and who He has created me to be. Liberty feels oh-so-good.

6 Comments on “Sacred space”

  1. Wonderful post, Amanda. I’m working on re-organizing my studio and will have a sacred space/altar there…also, wish to create a “soaking” space in my walk-in closet for resting in His Presence on the floor. Glad that you are finding new freedom from old ideas…me, too…little by little!

  2. Love it, Amanda. I think we will have some really good talks at the end of July. I’ve been attending an Artist’s Way / Yoga workshop on thursday evenings. We are working our way through “The Artist’s Way”. The first 45 min of each evening we discuss the book, our challenges, and how it’s working for us. The second 45 min we have a yoga practice that is tied to the week’s less XO

  3. It is so freeing to let go of those invisible ropes that bound our spirits. It makes me so sad when churches are doing the judging and condemning. I think the path in our faith journey is not straight and narrow but wide and curvy and meandering uphill and downhill. God leads us on that path to people and places we are supposed to see and learn and teach and love. Thank you for sharing and leading..j

  4. The bells reminding you of the Holy Spirit is joyful.
    Your Grandma’s pearls remind me of my own Grandma and I wore
    her pearls for years. Thank you, Amanda.

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