Principia

I like to say and I like to think that Principia College is not only my alma mater, but it’s where I grew up. It’s where I went from being a teenager to a young adult. It’s where I learned the fundamentals of theatre performance, the fundamentals of writing, of friendship, of what it means to be a good student, how to take care of oneself, and the basics of being present with Love.

Each day for 5 years I was put to the test. Each day I would boil over with everything I didn’t want to be and I wrestled with everything. I was very fortunate to have professors, friends, and loved ones that were not afraid to walk into the darkest of places with me. I would spit out every dark thought I could until daytime turned into the blackest of nights, but there was always someone there to catch me, to take my hand and show me how beautiful the sun is. There was always someone there to show me that Divine Love will always be brighter than the dark.

Principia College is the place my ego wrestled with me daily and I learned the power of making my own choices. I learned that making my own choices is a privilege, and an act of self-care. I learned that making choices is not only the adult thing to do but the caring thing to do, and with care comes love.

I learned I could choose to starve myself or make myself a meal. I learned that at the hours most go to sleep I could allow myself to rest too, or stay up until the sun came up. I learned that while the sunrise is beautiful it is easier to enjoy it when the body has had proper rest and the homework has been completed. I learned the value of time management, responsibility, taking ownership of oneself, being present, and the amazing healing power of theatre.

I learned how to shoot my ego in the foot so it won’t get up and start another raid on my soul. I learned to listen to Soul, my Holy Origin, and I began to embrace it.

As I wrestled, and fought through everything I’m not, I simultaneously began to embrace the tools I was given. These tools slowly filled in the negative space, the darkness, and I soon began to feel like positive space, beautiful light.

I learned the power of gratitude, even if it was something I could only feel. I understood how it propels one forward. I fell in love with people, connection, and friendship more than I had loved myself. And I began to fall in love with myself as I fell in love with Principia College.

I’m forever grateful for the brave and beautiful theatre professors that allowed me to wrestle and that stood beside me as I fought with my ego. Though I often enjoyed my hermit, introverted ways I continuously learned that I am not a victim. There is nothing wrong with being quiet, but I have control, and therefore do not need to be held captive by the dark. I learned that taking small, baby steps does not mean one is behind, or weak. When a child is learning to walk there is no one to compete with, no deadline to meet, and the child is always supported by their innate understanding of Divine Intuition. So they have no reason to feel weak or behind. They know no shame and are delighted to be going at their own pace. I learned how profound childlikeness is and that I am strong when I tap into childlike patience.

I learned how to be, and fell in love with being an artist. I learned that God and my artistic work are intertwined like a silk braid. I live, and breathe, for that gorgeous silk braid that is my life. Principia College is where I grew into myself and I claimed that I am an artist.

Though none of this really began to take shape until years after graduating. Like a puzzle scattered on the table all my pieces were there. College was the place where I threw out old pieces, wrestled to throw out others, found and was given new pieces, and I created other pieces. Years after graduation I looked deeply at that scattered puzzle and I have been putting it together ever since. It was scary and just as hard as being in the thick of my college days, but I am happier for it all.

Principia is where I looked Barbara deep in the face and dug out all she was not. It is where professors, friends, looked Barbara deep in the eye and asked Freeing Beauty to come out. Principia is where 8-year-old me, 15-year-old me, and the emerging young adult Barbara were all invited to come play. From all that playing Freeing Beauty merged the good facets of each stage of Barbara to create a stronger, kinder Barbara that was eventually able to stand up tall, and say confidently, “Hello. My name is Barbara Foster. I am who I am and who I am is enough. I am creative, smart, and kind. I am loved by many and grateful for it. I am not a perfectly cut gem, but I am my own painted stone, crafted by Soul, glittered with Spirit, and polished by the waters of Truth. I am grateful to be alive and to always be learning.”

Principia College is where I learned the difference between humble pride, and bombastic ego. It is where Freeing Beauty became my friend and I let go of all that kept her at bay. Beauty cannot be freed when hatred and doubt are filling the room. Beauty cannot be freed when the light bulbs are burnt out and shattered, and there is no one willing to replace them.

I had a lot of cleaning up to do. College is where I began to clean up the hate and doubt. Professors came in and replaced the light bulbs allowing my wings to warm up, rise from the dust and let Freeing Beauty emerge on her own time.

Principia College brought me home. Thank you, Principia, friends, and professors alike. There’s no turning back. Onward I fly.

From Spinning to Walking

Spinning in space. Lost in giddy, childlike, all encompassing joy. Lost in your own world, lost in the music, in the fun of it all, and caressed by safety. Life is sweet, innocent, pure, rich and inviting. The possibilities feel endless and you feel full of talent and unafraid of it.

Then at one point you are forced to spin out, and stumble into the big wide world of adulthood. Safety feels fleeting and so does everything else. The elixir of music, and all it brought with it evaporates. Now the floor of life always seems to drop from under you. You are forced to confront reality and it feels like you never seem to stop spinning in space.

But don’t lose heart. Grab hold of the beauty and innocence that can never be lost, and are innate to you.

Fear slithers around you like a slimy snake. Fear hangs around like a toxic friend. It holds your hand and whispers insults in your ear, but it doesn’t have to keep you captive. Take out your little treasures of beauty and innocence. Hold them close to your heart. Remember those childlike moments of joy. Those moments when your heart was beating for the right reasons and your lungs were filled with clean, refreshing life. Then you can calmly put fear at bay and walk on.

Walk on because you can. Walk on because Love lights your path. Walk on because it’s your divine right. Walk on.

New and Improved America

“We can do this if we open our souls, instead of hardening our hearts.”

-Joe Biden

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“Then love becomes our legacy.”

-Amanda Gorman

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“Neither shall we learn hatred anymore. We shall lie down in peace.”

-Rev. Silvester Beaman

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Thank you to Joe Biden and the Inaugural Speakers for their beautiful words of wisdom.

Light hearts, and gentle hands to give to our new and improved America. Loving, but firm words to unite our country. This is what America is about and what it desperately needs.

We will be okay. We are okay.

“Love is the liberator.”

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, 225:21)

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Thank you to Joe Biden and the Inaugural Speakers for sharing this liberating love. The most profound kind of love. I look forward to seeing what the future brings when we unite in this kind of love, and peace. America is ready for a new and improved country.

Unleash Your Childlikeness

Pen in hand I write my way through hardship, and document joy. I make contact with my childlikeness. I find the purest parts of myself, and I write away my ugly ego when pen kisses paper.

However, once my pen is down and the ink no longer flows it means I have returned to my adult responsibilities. The day fades into an off-putting shade of gray. It has lost its color and I am now slapped with mundane tasks. I walk out into the world of suppressed emotions, and busy schedules where people only know how to operate as human doings. They go to therapy and practice meditation to relearn how to be a human being, one that is allowed to breathe and feel, and take time to rest. Meditation is to practice quieting the mind and for resting. Therapy is for human connection and encouragement. But what happens when the session is over?

We step out into the world of doing and return to our oxygen deprived lives. We lose sleep, and waste energy. We spend money faster than we can make money. But mostly we lose ourselves. Somewhere among all the schedule filling, the money spending, and the shoving aside emotions we lost our childlikeness. We trained ourselves to lose it.

Childlikeness- The place and quality where the soul is ignited, the mind elevated, the heart unafraid to beat, the body simultaneously at peace and fully energized.

Children have bursting personalities and egos that propel them to voice their needs thus causing them to be the center of attention. But they are innocent and only operate the best they know how. However, as they grow they have a profound sense of adventure and a keen emotional intelligence. They have an extensive imagination and deep love of life. The world they know may move fast at times, but it is not without joy and play. This allows their imaginations to flow, their bodies to work as intended, and their hearts to beat in profound gratitude for being. When they need to children take their rest without shame.

Shame is something that gets developed over time. It weakens the heart, it clutters the mind and then it is easily trained into the soul. Once this shame becomes a tangible feeling nothing is ever the same again. Childlikeness is lost. The forever complicating adult world begins.

Adults are forever exhausted as they try to keep up with their lives, their loved ones, the world views, beliefs, keep up with protocol, right vs wrong, their own ideas, and all the while trying to find something that will make themselves feel whole and energized in a world that is so draining. Often what is found is just an escape because it is easier to maintain an escape for a short time than to accomplish a life long dream. An escape allows the adult to take a step towards joy and remember what childlikeness feels like without having to commit to looking foolish, to staying still, or surrendering too much of their ego for too long. Being for an extended period of time would be dangerous.

When I begin a Netflix show I understand the escape, the safe joy of having an escape. It leaves my heart momentarily separate from guilt and my mind at rest. But when I begin to write, to put pen, paper, and idea together I understand the importance of chasing a dream. I touch and tap into my childlikeness. I realize it was never lost, but just needed encouragement. It needed a reason to come out and play. As the ink from my pen flows onto the page I breathe and become a child writing my great adventure story full of love, mystery, joy, and buckets of fun! As I write this story I think and hope to share it with my classmates and watch their faces light up as they listen. Then connection emerges and everyone is brought together in those few minutes of sharing. This is life at its best. The world is in living color and how beautiful it is.

My fellow adults,

To escape is great, but it is not often something we can aspire to and does not inspire long term peace and growth. Find a reason for being. Something that lets you breathe and ignites your childlike essence. Grab hold of a dream and run with it. Unleash your childlikeness. Leave shame in the dust and go play!

Negative and Positive Space

When depression, anxiety, discomfort, pain, hate, blame, and all other forms of negativity come to bite it is often hard not to get swept away. One negative feeling takes us to one negative thought, and another, until we become negative space. We lose sight of who we are at our core.

We are NOT negative space. We are NOT darkness. We are positive space. We must accept this and take up the space we occupy.

So how do we do this? How do we allow ourselves to be and take up this positive space while negative space feels so overwhelming?

We must affirm the good, the strengths we have, the positive qualities we have, and the good that’s around us. Find the shred of light in yourself and others. Then nurture it. “I am kind. I am loving. I am glad to be alive.” Take nothing for granted. “I have clean water. I have a place to live. I am important to those who know me.” With these simple positive affirmations we fill our cup. We fill the positive space. The more we do this, the more we feel good about ourselves and can bring that positive space into the world.

Positive space may be difficult to fill and it may be even harder to keep it filled, but it is important work. One ounce of negativity in thought or in the world can turn into a vast amount of negative space. A small amount of darkness will lead to a striping away of so much of the good that is at our core. We cannot be both negative space and positive space. We must choose one and commit to it.

Choose. Make a choice to be overcome by darkness or to let the light into your heart. Make a choice to be negative space, the dark storm cloud that brings everyone down. Or be positive space, a true breath of fresh air that is joyous and brings peace.

By committing to positive space this does not mean that you must smile all the time or that things will go smoothly, but it is about ownership of all the good you have and can share. It is about being in control of your thoughts, your feelings, and allowing others to feel comfortable around you because of your commitment to positive space. This is not a selfish act. This is an act of love for yourself and your fellow human.

To commit to negative space is a selfish act. It is unkind to yourself and your fellow human. But it is a choice and no one can choose for you.

It will always be up to you. Choose wisely.