The similarities between sculpting and soul-making fascinate me. Both sculpting and soul-making embody intention, surrender, risk, patience, and gratitude.
Mary, my friend and sculpting teacher, often reminds me that each stone goes through an ugly state, and my challenge is to continue to be patient and loving. I am reminded that I too go through ugly stages in my spiritual journey when I resist, judge, deny, and allow my ego to believe I am in control of the process.
As I continue to file the stone, I remind myself that I am engaged in a creative process. I understand that I must trust and leave lots of space for wonder and the unknown to surface. Working with the stone helps me to reflect on how I approach other relationships in my life as I wonder what this stone wishes to become. I hold the stone and examine it from all sides. I look for a plane or curve or an interesting texture as a starting point. I invite my imagination in by asking what song this stone might enjoy. Supported by my imagination, I ask inwardly what symbol might emerge if this stone told its story:
File and search.
File and brush off stone dust.
File and listen.
File and trust.
File and pray.
File and connect with spirit of the stone.
File and laugh at myself for trying to force meaning.
File and surrender.
File and breathe.
Then I remember to be curious and imagine this is the first rock I have ever seen. I behold the rock and the beauty I hold in my hands. Then I relax and I imagine that God holds our destiny patiently waiting for us to chisel, file, and sand away whatever stands in the way of each of us claiming our beauty and our destiny. I laugh as I imagine God waiting patiently as each of us questions, seeks, and eventually merges with our essence. Sculpting reminds me that life is a co-creative partnership and everything has a spirit—even a rock!
Excerpted from Awaken by Rosalie Deer Heart