Sacred Santa Fe-ith Part 1!
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"As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit."
~ Emmanuel Teney
This week, The Heart Beet reports straight from the heart of a sacred journey. Mary Kent goes to Santa Fe, revealing why we all should 'keep the faith' a little closer to our lives.
Santa Fe. A city that means Holy Faith. From what I've learned so far, faith means having the courage to trust in something that isn't based on proof, that can't be seen, and can't be immediately known. It means having holy confidence in the unknown, the mysterious, and in something far greater than ourselves to take us silently by the hand to show us what we need to learn to make our existence on Earth that much more meaningful! Taking a journey to a city all wrapped up in faith was something my soul ordered up to reveal to me just how guided, loved, and protected beyond my wildest dreams I really am. Santa Fe, nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is truly one of the most magical places I have visited amongst Mother Earth's sacred spots. What started out as a journey guided by the forces of one super talented musician, Dr. Jason Lindsey, (yes, it is possible to be a doctor and a heck of a musician), ended in nothing more than a pre-ordained divine plan to heal the heads and hearts of two travelers on the path. I'm not exactly sure if my friend realized that we were being guided by forces beyond our wildest dreams, but Lord knows I did (wink wink).
Weeks before I packed up to leave for Santa Fe, I noticed there was something speaking to me from within. I kept having visions in my head of these collages, or what I now call Protection Collages, of Mother Mary. I just kept seeing her with a lot of gold and color around. So to fulfill my vision, I ran down to this cute, little Mexican grocery store and bought some candles with Mother Mary on the exterior. I immediately peeled off the stickers and placed them on a canvas. Being the little artsy crafter that I am, I modge-podged the stickers on to the canvas and added a bit of golden magic to make them dazzle. To me, the collages were so incredible and I felt a sense of calm while looking at them. Yet, for some reason I still couldn't get Mother Mary off my mind. I have been to Lourdes and have a deep respect for Mary, but I am by no means Catholic, as I was raised Presbyterian. Nevertheless, I kept having this odd, magnetic feeling about Mother Mary. I then found this wonderful poster online of Our Lady of Guadalupe and held this image in my mind's eye until I would meet her in Santa Fe.
The trip started out with the most incredible brunch at an adorable little eatery called Café Pasqual's. Even though I am completely in love with Huevos Rancheros, I opted for the Huevos Motulenos instead. Huevos Motulenos are eggs over easy on corn tortillas with black beans topped with sauteéd bananas, feta cheese, green peas (which I said please hold), roasted tomato-jalapeño salsa, served with Green Chile. I know. SO AMAZING! During the meal, which was sat at a community table, there were many unknown travelers surrounding us. Yet, somehow one conversation lead to another and I realized with the help of my friend I was sitting next to someone who had been to the Integrative Institute for Nutrition a year after me in New York. As we sat and talked about the wonderful knowledge we had both gained from IIN, I laughed and said, "This is so hilarious." And, in that moment, I shook my head and realized there were no accidents for me being here in Santa Fe. That's just how it was going to be from here on out. And, I took one look on the wall to the left and noticed the most incredible little glass box that held something wonderfully spiritual inside. It was called a nicho, which I would learn much more about sooner than I thought. I then turned my head right, almost as if I wasn't the one doing the guiding, and saw a woman wearing the most beautiful necklace with a Mother Mary charm on it. I immediately turned my head again and saw Our Lady of Guadalupe on a cool, black, tight t-shirt. And, that was Mother Mary's fashionable welcoming tailored to show off her way to me at our brunch community table. I absolutely loved it!
And sure enough, after wandering around the streets around the Inn of the Anasazi, where I spent the most wonderful three nights, I was on the verge of being lead into a little place that would provide me with just the right amount of divine guidance and faith to make my eyes fill with sparkle. If you've never been to Santa Fe, it a city filled with most incredible art everywhere you walk. I mean it is a place where the likes of Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams ended up, so there most be something creatively magical about the whole place. We walked around the city and landed in the most beautiful, little art gallery on East Palace Avenue, where the owner, Barbara Bowles, just happened to be sitting. I had arranged to meet with another artist, but something told me I was perfectly positioned to hear just what I needed in this little spiritual, artistic haven. I was fascinated by her photographs of crosses and beautiful angels, but it was her nichos, small altar-esque pieces that she makes out of tin and glass, that were absolutely incredible. I asked Barbara to enlighten us a bit about her leap of faith and the message she is trying to convey in her art.
Barbara: In pursuing my dream, in terms of being an artist, I had to quiet my mind, my logical thinking and follow my heart. Your heart doesn't have the fear that can hold you back. But, there's a place for logical thinking. You have to take calculated risks. You have to do the hard work.
MK: Yes, it's not easy. Trust me I know.
Barbara: So, I mean, if you think of it logically. Moving to Santa Fe. Taking all these photographs of churches and junkered trucks. And, then, opening a gallery. It just doesn't make sense. But, from an intuitive heart place, it did. I was following my dream. I wanted to move to New Mexico for ten years. Of course, I was afraid. What would I do when I got here? What would I do for a living? All those fear based thoughts that kept me paralysed.
MK: Where did you move from?
Barbara: From the DC area. Pretty conservative area and more logical thinkers. (laughing)
MK: And, how did you start doing your little altars (or nichos as they are called in the Southwest)? I keep seeing them everywhere here, but there is something really special about your's.
Barbara: Well, the altars are a series called Seeing Faith. In the media, there is a lot of messages that are fear based and so by using my eyes if you look around there are symbols of hope around. There are signs of hope everywhere.
MK: Yes. Yes.
Barbara: So, it's a matter of switching your focus.
MK: Totally. So, these litte altars help you switch focus?
Barbara: Yeah, they just keeps me focused on the faith verses the fear.
MK: I love your message. (laughing) Yes, I think I am in harmony with what you are doing.
Barbara: Have you been to Santa Fe before?
MK: No, this is my first visit.
Barbara: Wow. This will be life changing for you.
MK: Yes, it already is. (looking around) I like the energy of your gallery.
Barbara: This is sort of my unique take on it. Living in New Mexico you are influenced by the Spanish Colonial art and their traditions. And, you have some influence from Mexico and the Native Americans. But, then, there is that thing of walking your own path. There's one thing about being influenced by other artists. These altars are making it my own. Some people say I have never seen a Buddha in a nicho. For me, I read both Christianity and Buddhism. I take what is helpful for me in my life. I need as much help as I can.
MK: (laughing) We all do.
Barbara: So, a lot of the writings of Buddhism are helpful for my thinking because a lot of my problems have been thinking problems.
MK: Yes...not necessarily all physical problems. It's all in the mind.
Barbara: Exactly. How I think about something. You can turn it around. Anyways, so doing that kind of reading and that influencing me, I was in a flea market and I saw a Buddha in the sun, just in Santa Fe and the light hitting the face just looked so beautiful, so I put it in the nicho. The thought is like looking into a kaleidoscope - just for a few seconds you are transported to a different place. For a few moments you can go somewhere.
MK: Tell me about the material you use for the nichos.
Barbara: I have a guy who goes to Mexico who gets me the tin. It's like a raw tin. And, then I put different layers of paint, metallic paints, and iron oxide on them. It's all to kind of give you something to reflect on. Reflect on your thoughts....the reflection of the light.
MK: I love metallic paints. And the titles? And what's inside?
Barbara: Sometimes they just come out. I have one called Inner Beauty. And to make it your own, you have to add something to it. It could be a stone, a rock, or whatever you see or find on your travels. They look really cool when you start putting something in there from your travels. I don't add too much. I just put a few things in to get your started.
MK: (picking up one of Barbara's photographic cards of a beautiful image of Mother Mary) Where is she?
Barbara: She is at a healing church about 50 miles away called Chimayo. A beautiful drive. There's also a church in Taos.
MK: (dying laughing) Yes, we are going there tomorrow. That's the second person in about 45 minutes who has told us to go there.
Barbara: Make sure you go all the way to the front of the church up to the altar and turn left. You will then go into another room where there is healing dirt in a hole in the floor. And, you will see crutches and notes and things all along the wall of people who have experienced healing. They have containers for the healing dirt.
MK: Oh my gosh. I still have my water from Lourdes. I'm so getting the dirt.
Barbara: Yeah. You gotta get the dirt. One time
I was there and a Native American man asked me if I would mind if he took his shirt off and he started rubbing the dirt all over him. I was like oh yeah get that dirt! But, it's amazing, people have pilgrimages there. They have been going there forever and ever.
And, then, I smiled so big and knew for sure I was being guided to the little church of Chimayo by Our Lady of Guadalupe to receive a divine healing. So, from the get go I had envisioned Mother Mary not by accident and it was her divine energy inviting us to visit what is known as the Lourdes of America, Chimayo! Thank you Barbara for sharing your incredible talent with us and for passing along the divine message to journey to Chimayo! So, we're off to Chimayo next week with lots of love to reveal from The Heart Beet. Until then, Happy Fourth of July.
Get your spiritual journey on! Take a trip to sacred Santa Fe! Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week. Santa Fe-ith Part 2!
PS. Mary Kent is wearing skinny jeans and sweater by J. Crew. She is standing on Water Street in front of St Francis of Assisi Cathedral.
PSS. Check out Jason Lindsey's music on MySpace. And, check out The National's new CD. It's great!
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