Where does the creative exist in your life during a day or a week?
Maybe you garden or cook? Maybe draw or sing? Write or journal?
But, wait. There may be more. Creativity doesn’t necessarily mean only expressing yourself through art.
What about your creativity within parenting? Or collaborating with colleagues at work? Or beginning that work project? Or even how you unfold each day in your life?
Creativity is a fundamental expression of the human being. An expression of the authentic self engaging in the world. One that can only be unique to you.
“Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.” -Paulo Coelho
Creativity is essential to our health and well being. As long we are creating, we keep growing, developing, and evolving, as individuals and as a community.
If we cease to create, then our life energy decreases. Decay and deterioration enter in. Our state of health declines.
Creativity is like a refreshing breath of life for us, helping us to thrive. It feeds us, making us feel invigorated, energized, and alive. It gives us the gifts of vitality, health, and strength.
Let me share with you 5 ways that creativity supports you in becoming the best self you can be in your life.
1. Improves your mood: Being creative on a regular basis helps you remain grounded and centered, even in chaos or stressful situations. It helps to reduce stress, similar to meditation. It enhances your energy and invites you to play, have fun, and experiment. You engage in learning and being curious. As a result, more generosity, openness, and positivity blossom within your life.
2. Able to solve problems in new ways: In creativity, you explore new avenues, new possibilities, new perspectives. This enhances your ability to be creative in solving problems in your life – in relationships, at work, within society locally or globally.
3. A longer and healthier life: Within creativity, you feel more alive and connected to the world. Curious about life and engaged, more of a childlike quality. This reduces the risk of illness and disease, including conditions such as Alzheimer’s, and increases your healing potential. You live longer and with a healthier, higher quality of life. Now even proven in scientific studies!
4. Builds confidence: Through creativity, you connect with your self more deeply and learn a little more. You grow and stretch yourself, moving out of your comfort zone. You challenge the status quo, engaging in new experiences. You enter into a space where you do not have to have all of the answers. You come to trust your intuition, trust your feelings, and to trust your self.
“The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” — Alan Alda
5. Make a difference in the world: Through our creativity, we can engage our own talents and gifts while we imagine and create the new ideas, the new solutions, the new ways of thinking that are needed within our communities. Becoming a powerful healing force in the world.
I hope you are inspired to go out and be creative today! If you’d like to explore new ways of being creative, join our supportive community within my doctorofthesoul classes each month. Find out more here.
Have you ever gotten an intuitive message that you didn’t necessarily want to hear? Something you feel you should act on, but you knew it would not be easy?
What do you do? Do you follow your intuition? Or do you try to convince yourself you didn’t hear this message? Certainly that CAN’T be the message. Or do you simply ignore it and continue on in life?
Imagine if we did that with another sense other than our intuition. You smell smoke one morning and walk outside to investigate. You see a forest fire flaming on the hillside not far from your house. You must act and do so now. But, what if you think you didn’t necessarily want to see that this morning and you try to convince yourself that certainly a fire does not exist. So, you simply ignore it and continue on with life.
Crazy, right? You would act immediately. Even if you knew your next steps would not be easy.
Yet, sometimes when we hear a message - often experienced as intuition for many of us - we don’t always respond.
Well, in case you haven’t already discovered it, let me reassure you that the Divine has many modes of communication. If one doesn’t work, another, more drastic step, may be needed.
You see, a message from the Divine –– is not only about yourself.
Yes, of course, it will help you grow, develop towards your Higher Self, and also unfold your destiny in the world. But, that is not the only purpose.
The message to you is often for you to bring something out into the world – to benefit the health and wellbeing of others in the world.
And, yes, sometimes this is frightening. Sometimes, you’d rather stay curled up in your safe home where it is easier.
Yet, the world is waiting and needing your work, your message.
A Message for St. Hildegard
St. Hildegard, in the 12th century, heard a divine voice telling her to speak and write about her experiences.
“… a voice from heaven was saying to me: ‘O weak person, you who are both ashes of ashes and decaying of decaying, speak and write what you see and hear. But you are shy about speaking and simple in explaining and unskilled about writing those things. So speak and write those things not according to human speech or human inventiveness but according to the extent that you see and hear those things in the heavens above in the marvelousness of God…
So you too, o woman, speak those things which you see and hear. Write those things not according to yourself or by the standards of another person, but according to the will of the one knowing, the one who sees and arranges all things in the secrets of His own mysteries.” (Hildegard von Bingen's Mystical Visions/Scivias)
St. Hildegard didn’t want to do this. She didn’t want to act on what the divine voice was telling her to do. She was frightened and anxious. She felt unskilled in these areas.
Also remember that she lived in a time where women were not part of the clergy. Women did not preach, speak publicly, or write. Let alone on controversial topics such as corruption in the Church or visions from God.
Yet, she was being called to speak up and to write.
“…. I put my hand to writing. Once I did this, a deep and profound exposition of books came over me. I received the strength …. and under that power I continued to carry out the work to the end..” - St. Hildegard of Bingen
Through simply taking one step at a time and lifting her hand to write, she began to find the courage and strength to heed her call. To share the message that she referred to as the Living Light speaking through her. And she received the support she needed from close friends and the spiritual world.
It is amazing how much help does come, once you take the first step.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If you want support in taking those first steps, join our community in the Healing with St. Hildegard classes each month. More details here.
Think back to a moment when you have created something – created anything at all. Something where you were fully immersed in the moment in time, away from all other distractions.
How did you feel?
From where were you inspired?
What seemed to want to express itself through you?
As creator, as artist, a vibrant flow of energy flows through your whole body. You know you are part of something greater.
The Divine flow that moves you needs to come to earth, in physical form. To express itself in form through you, the artist.
Meister Eckhart says it beautifully, “Whatever I want to express in its truest meaning must emerge from within me and pass through an inner form. It cannot come from outside to the inside, but must emerge from within.”
Fueled with the breath of inspiration from within, you, the artist, begin to paint, sing a song, move in dance, write words, or use other materials for expression in creating.
The outer world of daily tasks and the chatter in your mind both disappear, and your focus comes to the task before you.
You can feel the call from within, and you know it’s time to take action.
So, you begin.
You lose track of what’s outside in the world – schedules, meals, tasks, and time. Your thoughts dissolve. This vibrant creative force infuses your whole being. You feel fully alive. And joyfully engaged.
Your process may be smooth and flow easily at times. It may be bumpy and chaotic at other times. It may move quickly. Or slowly.
But, it’s not time for judgment or critique. Nor for thinking. This is the time for presence in the moment. Surrendering to the process and that which moves you from within.
And when your creative moment is done for that day, you are pleasantly drained, for you feel complete. You are grateful. And now satisfied, you rest peacefully.
The sweet nectar of the Divine has been brought to Earth through you.
Creating art, when focusing on the process and not product, can help us to access a meditative state, tapping into a deeper and quieter part of ourselves. A place of inner stillness without the busyness of the mind.
Here we can enter a feeling of flow and freedom, free of judgment, separation, and physical boundaries. A space without limits. A space for self discovery and expression. An opportunity for healing.
Human beings are naturally creative. It is part of our nature.
And being creative brings us back to this state – our true nature.
Our true nature that brings us to a place of balance and a place of health.
At age 42, when St. Hildegard felt God commanded her to write down and share what she had experienced, she did not act on this call to create immediately. She felt insecure and inadequate. Unable to write.
Soon, she became sick. She interpreted her illness as a consequence of her resistance to the Divine.
Finally, after some time, she gathered her courage and strength and began to write.
Once she did, she was able to move beyond her self-doubt, and she felt her own strength grow, as Divine inspiration moved through her.
“Beaten down by many kinds of illnesses, I put my hand to writing. Once I did this, a deep and profound exposition of books came over me. I received the strength to rise up from my sick bed, and under that power I continued to carry out the work to the end, using all of ten years to do it.” - St. Hildegard of Bingen
St. Hildegard, despite her frequent and debilitating illnesses, found the strength to begin the creative process of writing. Or maybe one can say, beginning her creative process of putting hand to writing gave her the strength to continue forward. Moving through the obstacles when they arose. And experiencing joy in the journey.
When was the last time you engaged in art in a way that created a meditative state? Too long?
Maybe you don’t think of yourself as an artist? The good news is you don’t have to! You are a creator – one who creates out of the materials that long to be used for creation.
As human beings, we are naturally creative.
You may be pleasantly surprised to discover how much art you have inside of you. Yearning to be discovered and come out in the world.
“Humanity, take a good look at yourself. Inside, you’ve got heaven and earth, and all of creation. You’re a world – everything is hidden in you.” -St. Hildegard, Causes and Cures
Which art calls to you today?
As you engage in art, in creating, energy begins to flow. For energy flows toward creativity.
And where energy flows, a powerful healing force can arise. For yourself. And for the world.
Creativity is not a solitary movement. This is its power. Whatever is touched by it, whoever hears it, sees it, senses it, knows it, it’s fed. That is why beholding someone else’s creative word, images, idea, fills us up, and inspires us to our own creative work. A single creative act has the potential to feed a continent. One creative act can cause a torrent to break through stone. -Clarissa Pinkola Estes
In this season of spring, of growth and renewal, discover how art can be a meditative practice. Begin today so you can….
Inspired to engage in art as a meditative practice, but want some guidance? Join my series of classes on Healing with St. Hildegard that are starting very soon! Register here for a discounted price before April 7th.
What a treasure it is when you have a dear friend who walks with you on your journey through life. Through the highs and the lows. Someone who supports and loves you. Who encourages you and gives you guidance. Someone who recognizes your greatness and lifts you up when you have self-doubt or fear. Who encourages you to do your destiny work in the world even when you may resist.
If you have someone such as this, open your heart to love and appreciate this person’s presence in your life. Be grateful in this moment.
Listen with an open mind to the words that are shared by your friend. Our friends often are the messengers from the spiritual realm, in earthly form. Bringing us the news we need as guidance on our path in life.
St. Hildegard had such a confidant, friend, and mentor in her life that supported her in following her divine calling, even when she felt incapable of doing so at times.
While living at the St. Disibod Abbey, St. Hildegard became acquainted with the monk Volmar who acted as prior and father confessor to the nuns there. At this time, she had kept painfully silent about the unique visions she was experiencing. When she finally was able to gather her courage and share with others, it was Volmar who was the first person to hear about her visions and validate them as divine experiences. He soon recognized her rare spiritual gifts and became a good friend and mentor for many years in her life.
St. Hildegard often doubted herself and her abilities to share her experiences with the world. She had no formal education, as it was not available to women in these times. And, as a result, she considered herself unlearned and unworthy. She also thought of herself inferior as a woman – something that was common in the male-dominated society of the times.
So, at 42, when she felt God commanded her to write down and publish what she had seen and heard in her soul, she did not respond joyously nor immediately move into action. She felt insecure and inadequate. She felt fearful and anxious. Women did not write in medieval society. Only men did. So, she resisted this call.
“Behold, in the forty-third year of my passing journey, when I clung to a heavenly vision with fear and trembling, I saw a very great light from which a heavenly voice spoke and said to me: ‘O weak person, you who are both ashes of ashes and decaying of decaying, speak and write what you see and hear. But you are shy about speaking and simple in explaining and unskilled about writing those things. So speak and write those things not according to human speech or human inventiveness but according to the extent that you see and hear those things in the heavens above in the marvelousness of God.
Bring to light those things by way of explanation. Be like a listener who understands the words of his or her own teacher but explains them in one’s own way of speaking, willingly, plainly and instructively.
So you too, o woman, speak those things which you see and hear. Write those things not according to yourself or by the standards of another person, but according to the will of the one knowing, the one who sees and arranges all things in the secrets of His own mysteries.” (Scivias, page 1)
Soon after hearing this voice, St. Hildegard became sick and interpreted her illness as a consequence of her resistance and disobedience of God.
“…I refused to write for so long that I felt pressed down under the whip of God into a bed of sickness.” (Scivias, page 3)
She turned to her teacher and friend, Volmar. She shared her experience and her self-doubt, and he strongly encouraged her to write.
Over the next 10 years, she shared her experiences in the text that would become her visionary work, Scivias (Know the Ways of God) Volmar became her secretary, writing down the words she dictated.
We see the meaningful role Volmar played in her life as I have portrayed him in my version of her Illumination called: A Self Portrait.
Recognition and validation of her work by the Church was vital to St. Hildegard’s ability to share her work with the world. Her friend and mentor, Volmar actively supported her to have her visions recognized by the Church as a divine message of God. This led to Pope Eugenius III approving of her work and moving her forward into the public light as a spiritual leader – something that was unheard of during these times, and even prohibited for women.
Volmar, St. Hildegard’s friend, confidant, and secretary, was in her life for over 40 years. When he died, she grieved deeply. In her Book of Divine Works, she shared,
“I was grief-stricken when he died. He was a happy man, and he helped me in so many ways. He served God by listening to every word of this vision, and he corrected them all and made them more orderly. He always kept me going.
He cautioned me never to stop writing because of my physical weaknesses and illnesses, but to persevere in setting down this vision. He served God until the day he died, always supporting me. I mourned him, saying: “Your will has now been done with this man, your servant, whom You gave me to help with these visions. Show me how to carry on!”
It’s clear that St. Hildegard greatly valued and appreciated her dear friend and mentor, Volmar, who supported and encouraged her. She was not alone in navigating the unprecedented path for a woman to share her visions with the world. An inspiration to us in our contemporary times.
We see how the steps on our journey are a little easier to follow when we have someone in our community that supports and encourages us. We don’t have to do it alone.
Looking for a community of supportive people who are also on a path of spiritual development just like you….. so you can unfold your gifts in the world? Where you can be who you are and express yourself on your unique journey in life? Join my series of classes on Healing with St. Hildegard that are starting in April. Register here for a discounted price.
St. Hildegard made many contributions to the field of holistic health and wellness. The wisdom that she shared about natural healing, nutrition, and healthy living was a seed planted that now flourishes within the field of natural medicine.
In the mid 12th century, St. Hildegard recognized the health benefits of many herbs and spices and shared a basic recipe for biscuits or cookies that are commonly called “Hildegardplätzchen” (Hildegard’s Cookies). Today we might call them "Joy Cookies" as she says they lift any melancholia, open your heart, and bring you a sense of cheerfulness and joy.
In her book, Physica, St. Hildegard recommended the use of nutmeg for its healing powers and offered the following recipe.
“Nutmeg has great heat and good moderation in its powers. If a person eats nutmeg, it will open up their heart, make their judgment free from obstruction, and give them a good disposition. Take some nutmeg and an equal weight of cinnamon and a bit of cloves, and pulverize them. Then make small cakes with this and fine whole wheat flour and water. Eat them often. It will calm all bitterness of the heart and mind, open your heart and impaired senses, and make your mind cheerful. It purifies your senses and diminishes all harmful humors in you. It gives good liquid to your blood, and makes you strong.” - St. Hildegard von Bingen, Physica -1153AD
If we take this seed that was planted by St. Hildegard long ago into our current times within natural medicine, we see that nutmeg is known for many health benefits including the following:
Here’s a recipe for St. Hildegard’s cookies that I’ll share, based on her original ingredients, but adapted to our modern times. Enjoy!
The spice of nutmeg along with cinnamon, and cloves, all have their own health benefits that will support mental functions such as concentration, boost immune system and blood circulation, increase vitality, reduce tension, and improve mood. This will promote a sense of joy and ease in daily life and a good night’s sleep. Something we all would appreciate!
St. Hildegard’s Cookies
¾ cups butter
1 1/2 c. coconut sugar
1 egg, beaten
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
optional: 1 cup chopped almonds
The sweet aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves that arise in your kitchen will also bring a sense of joy and well-being! Enjoy and also don’t forget St. Hildegard’s view of moderation – finding balance in your activities and in your enjoyment of food.
We’ll try St. Hildegard’s Cookies of Joy, along with other healing recipes and remedies, in my upcoming classes, Healing with St. Hildegard, starting in April. Sign-up here to join us.
St. Hildegard had a passion for music. For her, music was alive and found in every living being.
"There is the music of Heaven in all things." - St. Hildegard of Bingen
I remember when I first started singing St. Hildegard's music. I was part of choir, and we were getting ready to perform St. HIldegard's masterpiece: O Jerusalem. I would show up at rehearsal after a day of teaching feeling drained and ready for a nap. After singing St. Hildegard's music however, I left rehearsal feeling like I had just gotten plugged into a socket of powerful energy. I had a spring in my step and was ready to climp the nearest mountain!
For St. Hildegard, music was the Word of God and the Word of God was music. She said, “….without the Word of God no creature has being. God’s Word is in all creation, visible and invisible.”
What is this Word of God of which she speaks? We hear this word “Word” and might think of the words on a paper. That’s a good place to begin, for us, as human beings. But now, open your mind and expand your thinking to include much more.
We, as human beings, create and one way that we create is through our words – in song, poetry, and speech. Words that are written on paper become alive in our activity of expressing them through us. Singing a song, speaking a poem or lines in a play.
“The Word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening, all creativity.”
–St. Hildegard of Bingen
We can even remember the story of the Kalevala, the great epic of Finland where creation arose through song and where creation remembers its origin through song.
From the Kalevala, the epic of Finland -
Vainomoinen opened his mouth and began to sing. He sang a most powerful song that only the wisest and the oldest upon earth could sing.
It rang with eternal wisdom that stretched to the farthest depths of the sea. Across the wide expanse of land. And to the heights of the sky.
He sang of life and death and the origin of all that was created upon Mother Earth.
He sang of the waters, the mountains, the animals.
And of himself, the first human being.
He sang of love and hate.
He sang of creation and destruction, of ease and pain.
He sang of all such matters of importance in the world.
The words of song traveled across the land as seeds do in a breeze. The earth came alive and shimmered like the leaves of a birch tree.
For She remembered her Origin.
The sunlight danced. The streams bubbled. The mountains trembled. The flowers swayed.
All creation sparkled in this knowledge. All of the land glimmered with the life of creation.
We can picture our words, our speech, originating in song, in music. Each word that is sung exists as creative divine power. Each word is made up of sounds within the word. And each sound has creative divine power.
Every element has a sound, an original sound from the order of God; all those sounds unite like the harmony from harps and zithers.”
– St. Hildegard of Bingen
In ancient times, when you spoke the names of the letters, you spoke the divine spiritual mystery of all human beings. Each individual sound had deeper meaning where the divine was revealed. A letter such as Alpha when spoken revealed the “one who experiences breathing in the world.”
These pictures can help us to realize that what lies behind our words and all of our creating in the world exists as Divine Wisdom or Divine Word. This creative power is a spiritual force that is alive and living. It’s a fertile ground within us for birthing and creating our gifts within the world. Our thoughts, actions, and words blossom from this fertile ground out into the world.
When we become aware of this creative spiritual force that is living in us, we become aware of the Divine within us and within the world.
St. Hildegard speaks of God invoking the Divine Word that is in every creature. And everything manifest is Divine Word, is God. The Divine Word, Divine Wisdom, is alive in everything.
“All creation is awakened, called, by the resounding melody, God’s invocation of the Word.” – St. Hildegard of Bingen
St. Hildegard inspires us to discover the Divine Word in all of creation. Here are a few ways for you to explore her wisdom in your daily life today.
“There is no creation that does not have a radiance. Be it greenness or seed, blossom or beauty – it could not be creation without it.”
– St. Hildegard of Bingen
2. Sing Praises - Offer your praise in return to all of creation. In song or in words. Express your gratitude for all that you have received.
For your breath, for your health, for nature’s contribution to your health, for your spirit guides, for those people in your life, for the Divine, and more. Offer your thanks, your praises. In the morning when you arise and before sleep when you go to bed.
"The fire has its flame and praises God.
The wind blows the flame and praises God.
In the voice we hear the word which praises God.
And the word, when heard, praises God.
So all of creation is a song of praise to God."
– St. Hildegard of Bingen
3. Speak with Integrity - Speak your words throughout the day remembering them within the origin of the Divine Word. Our words have great power. Power to heal and power to create anew. Strive to be open and honest, yet not hurtful towards others. Speak with integrity and honor.
Interested in learning more? Join my upcoming classes on Healing with St. Hildegard starting in April. Sign-up here.
In our exploration of St. Hildegard’s numerous pieces of writing, we can take a closer look at the words of wisdom shared in her many letters of correspondence to others. In her correspondence to a young Benedictine nun, Elisabeth of Schöngau, we see that she speaks of moderation as a foundation for health:
“Listen, then, …..and learn moderation! For moderation is the mother of all the virtues for everything heavenly and earthly. For it is through moderation that the body is nourished with the proper discipline….
When there are unseasonable downpours, the fruit and vegetables growing on Earth are damaged; when a field has not been plowed, you do not find good grain springing up…
It’s the same with a person who lays on herself more strain than her body can endure. This is a sign that the effects of holy discretion are weak in such a person…” - St. Hildegard of Bingen
We see how St.Hildegard compares moderation in the human being to that needed in caring for plants. There’s a balance between too much and too little in order to reach health.
When we hear the word moderation, we sometimes think of depriving ourselves of something. Exercise moderation in food and drink. Those glasses of wine or bites of chocolate. It seems like hard work and not too enjoyable. Yet, we know it’s wise for us in the long run.
If this arises in your thoughts when you hear the word moderation, set aside this view for a moment and consider moderation as a support in creating balance in your life.
Balance between …….
work and relaxation,
activity and rest,
speaking and listening,
taking action and being open to what arises,
time with others and time alone,
giving and receiving.
St. Hildegard describes the balance that is in nature – with an excess of rain, the fruits and vegetables would be damaged. A lack of activity in not plowing the field would lead to no good grains sprouting. Balance exists in between the extremes.
Balance is what is experienced when we have the right connection between the efforts we put forth in a situation and the receptivity for the situation to unfold with its own inner wisdom. These two meet and find a right relationship with one another to arrive at health and well being. This meeting place has the potential to be fertile ground for something new to be birthed and created.
“When one’s thoughts are neither frivolous nor flippant, when one’s thoughts are neither stiff-necked nor stupid, but rather, are harmonious – they habitually render physical calm and deep insight.” - St. Hildegard of Bingen
Moderation will support us in finding balance in our lives. When we’re in balance, we’re empowered to be our best self. We are guiding our own path. The excess of activity or inactivity doesn’t take control of us.
Excess at either extreme can lead to unhealthy aspects that take control of our lives – addiction, self-centeredness, and disease/illness that interfere with our health spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Developing our own self-discipline to not venture in to excess or inactivity, guides us into this place of balance.
Take a moment to picture the rhythm of water
flowing – not a flood, not a drought. Water that flows rhythmically nourishing all life on Mother Earth.
Finding balance in our lives nourishes us. It helps us to recover from challenges, rejuvenate our energy, and be receptive to what comes toward us as new possibilities.
Balance resonates within us. We have a feeling of harmony with what is outside of us in life and with what is in our inner life. It is a subtle experience or state of being that we work to discover.
In times of balance, the qualities of space and time that we live in begin to change. We experience how balance is a creative and dynamic relationship between ourselves and the world.
Energy for life and renewal bubbles up within us. Inspirations come. Illnesses have the opportunity to be healed. A new wholeness enters.
Each person’s place of balance varies. Yours is not the same as someone else’s. You’ll know that point of balance that serves you, contributing to health and well being in yourself and the world.
Do you want to explore balance in your life a little more? Observe this week, without judgment, where does balance exist in your life, where would it serve you to experience more balance?
Interested in learning more? Join my upcoming classes on Healing with St. Hildegard starting in April. Sign-up here.
St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), the remarkable abbess of the 12th century, was a renowned mystic, healer, scientist, writer, preacher, composer, and artist. She was born the 10th child within a noble family in the lush, green valley of the Rhineland that was burgeoning with rich soil and flourishing vineyards
As early as the age of 3, Hildegard experienced visions. Yet, it wasn’t until she was 42 years old that she began to write down her experiences. While "beaten down by many kinds of illnesses", she "decided to put her hand to writing". Once she did this, she "received the strength to rise up from (her) sick bed, and under that power (she) continued to carry out the work to the end." For the rest of her lifetime, she was a prolific writer.
One of Hildegard’s contributions that still remain important in our time is her idea of Viriditas. Translated as “greening power,” Viriditas can be described as the divine life force that lives and breathes within all living beings. This potent force is full of vitality, moisture, and fecundity, able to bring creativity and health into the world. It makes all things grow, expand, and thrive. And it is the force that returns, after being absent, when healing occurs after an illness. We experience it in the dynamic growth of plants in nature as well as our own sense of health.
“The soul is a breath of living spirit, that with excellent sensitivity, permeates the entire body to give it life. Just so, the breath of the air makes the earth fruitful. Thus the air is the soul of the earth, moistening it, greening it.”
- St. Hildegard of Bingen
For Hildegard, the Divine permeated all of life – every plant, every animal, every stone, every human being. Each was a small part or microcosm of the whole of God that was macrocosm. These physical manifestations in the world revealed to us the face of the Divine Creator.
“I, the fiery life of divine essence, am aflame beyond the beauty of the meadows, I gleam in the waters, and I burn in the sun, moon and stars ... I awaken everything to life.” — St. Hildegard von Bingen
As human beings, filled with the fiery power of life, we have the possibility to embody this radiant flame in our own balance of health and healing in our lives, aligned with nature.
most royal greening verdancy,
rooted in the sun,
you shine with radiant light."
"Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars.
Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings.
What delight God gives to humankind
with all these things. . . .
All nature is at the disposal of humankind.
We are to work with it. For
without we cannot survive."
- St. Hildegard of Bingen
Hildegard honored the sacred connection to nature that creates harmony and vitality. She felt that if this connection was out of balance, then there was a drying up of vitality and illness could arise. One could reconnect with this powerful divine life force once again – filled with vitality and moisture - through creating healthy balance through rest, herbal remedies, and proper nutrition. At the core, Hildegard believed natural health was achieved through balance and prevention.
In her homeland of Germany, Hildegard is well known for her contributions to holistic health and wellness, as the founder of alternative medicine. The wisdom that Hildegard shared about natural healing, nutrition, and healthy living was a seed planted that continued to flourish into the future within the field of natural medicine. It can still be found within the principles of healthy living in our current times.
Interested in learning more? Join my upcoming classes on Healing with Hildegard starting in April. Sign-up here.
Diversity is the nature of the Universe. Look closely around yourself in nature. All that is there in the world emanates with beauty and with diversity. You see no repetition of sameness.
Look at the majesty of the entire cosmos. The lovely sculpting of the mountains, valleys, and rolling hills. The vast varieties of beautiful colors and shapes of the plants – from flowers and fruits to grasses and trees. And the spectacular forms and radiance of the stones such as amethyst, turquoise, citrine, and emerald.
John O’Donahue, the great Celtic poet and philosopher, speaks about the Divine as an artist who uses imagination for expression in creation.
“Everything that is – every tree, bird, star, stone and wave – existed first as a dream in the mind of the divine artist. Indeed, the world is the mirror of the divine imagination and to decipher the depths of the world is to gain deep insights into the heart of God. The traces of the divine imagination are everywhere. The beauty of God becomes evident in the beauty of the world.”
We see the beauty of the world in its diversity. And, in this, see the beauty of the divine imagination.
In the shining radiance of the sun, the moon, and the stars.
In the lapping of each new wave upon the seashore. A seashore that is scattered with shells, each one with an intricate and unique design.
The multitude of animals that move through the water and the land. Each one with a special ability.
The eagles that soar high in the sky on their majestic wings and see in the distances with their keen sight. The grand lions whose strength and courage carry them across the land as royal beasts. The buzzing bees that feed on the sweet nectar of blossoms while helping to provide food through their work for all human beings and animals.
We see that the Divine loves diversity……..…………..loves difference.
And the human being is truly a great expression of diversity of the Divine. An incredible masterpiece of creativity.
Each and every single person is an expression of beauty and of uniqueness in individuality.
Take a moment to look at the faces of each individual you encounter. You can see the evidence of their own personal stories of life upon their faces. The stories of their origin, their culture and traditions, their families, and their own life’s events.
Look into their eyes. You see the special expression of their own soul. What lives as joys and sufferings, passions and longings, gifts and challenges in their lives
Your own beauty and uniqueness lives within you as an expression of the Divine. Your warmth of love within your heart, the fire of passion and creativity in your soul, your inner strength and courage to bring forth actions in the world.
And yet, you, as unique and individual, are constantly changing and new. You are not the same this moment as you were yesterday. You grow, change, transform, in every moment.
And when you, as a unique expression of the Divine, come forward to offer your greatness, what a wonderful gift this is to the world, contributing to its wholeness and life. A creative expression of the Divine within you, shared with the world.
Diversity is the nature of the Universe.
We rejoice in and courageously honor the rich diversity within the Cosmos and expressed among individuals and across multiple cultures, religions and ancestral traditions.
The 9th principle of Creation Spirituality
Curious about the rich diversity of various spiritual traditions? Find out more in my upcoming class on the Introduction to Creation Spirituality.
Now, more than ever, it’s important for us to have a regular spiritual practice that we are committed to doing.
Our daily lives can become busy very quickly and even overwhelm us at times. The challenges and suffering that we see and experience in the world seem to be ever present. The daily surprises and threats to our well being as an individual, country, or world that come to our attention can be frightening and unsettling.
So, not only is it a wonderful idea, but it’s truly necessary for us to develop and deepen our spiritual practice now. For our own health and for the health of the world. Heal Yourself, Heal the World.
Here are 5 ways to help you begin or deepen your spiritual practice – simple and easy to incorporate in your daily life. Yet with profound benefits for your health and the health of the world.
Meditation is a space and time to come back to your true self. In quieting your mind and being present to the moment, you can connect to your Higher Self. This will support you in taking the steps on the journey in your daily life that help you grow spiritually.
Meditation isn’t a time to contemplate and think about your next steps. It’s a time for creating a space that is attentive and mindful of the present moment with an openness to listening.
If thoughts arise, you observe this and let them float away. You create an open vessel for higher wisdom to enter. Yet, what arises for you may come later on, after meditation. But meditation creates the fertile ground and the openness for it to come.
Even 5 minutes a day is helpful!
2. Art as Meditation
No, you don’t have to be a talented artist, if you’re thinking this! Art as Mediation is a way to connect to higher spiritual wisdom through art. It might be movement such as dance or Qi Gong. It may be painting or drawing. Or it may be through an instrument, singing, or chanting. Art as Meditation connects your creativity with matter. And, through you, spiritual energy will flow, guiding you on your path to further discovery and growth toward your Divine essence.
Practiced regularly it will develop a higher consciousness and deepen your wisdom.
Whether you’ve had a wonderful day or a difficult day, the practice of gratitude brings to your awareness the gifts that come each and every day to you. You soon realize there are many! Such gratitude is like an offering to the Divine – for all that has been given. And when such appreciation is a regular practice, a space opens for more gifts to flow into your life.
Every evening before you go to bed, recall or write 3 things from the day that you are grateful for.
Breathe in, breathe out. We often take our breath for granted. Yet it’s our source of life and one way we commune with the world.
In a deep inhale, into your belly, you help your blood be nourished, fueling your whole body. As you exhale, you let go of the waste the body does not need, detoxing your bodily systems.
Throughout the day, pause for a moment to inhale slowly through the nose, deep in the lungs and belly. Exhale through the nose slowly. At the end of the exhale through the nose, open your mouth and blow out any remaining air in your lungs until they are empty. Breathe in deeply again through your nose and repeat. This expels all of the used breath and fills your lungs with fresh, new air. Supporting health and well-being in your body.
This can be done in the car or as a short break at work or at the end of the day.
Silence, sweet silence. This practice can help you get in touch with the deepest spiritual center of yourself. When you enter into silence and stay there for a while, you can access that great river of health, abundance, wisdom, and guidance for yourself. The dwelling of your Higher Self. In the present moment, not the past, not the future. This space is always within you.
And being open to listening during silence will cultivate a space for communication. Maybe through an image, idea or thought that arises during the silence or some time after a period of silence.
Schedule an hour or even half an hour a day to practice silence. Turn off any device or electronic that communicates or creates sound. Put down all reading material. You can sit quietly, staying in the present moment (not thinking of the future or the past) OR engage in an activity that does not require you to use language (reading, writing, listening, speaking). Taking a walk in nature or gardening are possible activities, again staying mindful of the present moment.
At the end of your silence, express gratitude for this time and continue on with your day.
Which practice resonates with you? What spiritual practice have you developed already? What would you like to develop more? In healing yourself, you can also heal the world. Write a comment and let me know.
In our lives, it is through the work of spiritual practice
that we find our deep and true selves.
Through the arts of meditation and silence we cultivate a clarity of mind and move beyond fear into compassion and community.
The 4th principle of Creation Spirituality
Needing a little more guidance in deepening your spiritual practice?
Click here to find out about my classes at the Fox Institute.
Click here to learn about my Healing With St. Hildegard group events in my Viriditas Home Studio for 2018.
Click here to learn about my Healing With Mantra group events in my Viriditas Home Studio for 2018.
I was born in London, England, educated in Switzerland, and am fluent in English, German, Spanish, and French. I hold a Doctorate in Ministry Degree and Masters Degrees in Counseling Psychology and Education. Also, I am an accomplished artist and educator. I use all of this and much more when helping others heal their souls.