Opening to Being Seen

Soul Portrait Session

I’ve wrestled with a thing most of my life, where I could not allow myself to be seen for my truth. I guess it didn’t help much that I grew up in Southern Louisiana, where there’s a different church on every corner, and nobody can agree on what the Bible says (for the most part) — but it definitely agreed that things ‘out of the norm’ were bad. Like when I hit 13 or so and discovered an awesome little cottage shop called ‘The Enchanted Forest’, and they sold fantasy statues and books on magick and incense and wonderful CDs and ohhhhhh… but they’d have little old hardcore Christian ladies walking down that street touring the cottage shops, and thus a few short years after I discovered My Favoritiest Store Ever, it closed down.

Add to that some lingering vague sense of not wanting to stand out or else someone would ‘come get me’… (I suspect past life influence, there)… I kept to myself as a child. I have a very big family; both my parents have 5 siblings, which makes for a plethora of cousins. I was one of the first ones to come along, so there weren’t that many when I was a kid, but after that… plethora. Still, I was very quiet. I didn’t like hanging out with other kids. This got me in trouble in daycare. DAYCARE, for fuck’s sake. Like, pre-kindergarten.

I was reading at 3 (I’m told my folks used flash cards). ‘Painting’ with nail polish or scribbling before that. I have memories from when I was 2. Only a couple, but they’re there. So I was a very advanced only child. Grateful for that only child thing. Very grateful. I had two cats, and St. Bernards, and playing outside with imaginary friends to keep me company. And my books. And those cousins.

I can’t remember if I ever saw faeries, or spirits or anything. I remember an eye, once, in a patch of wild onions at the corner of the porch. And a gripping fear of the attic hatch in the room that became my parents’ bathroom, as we stood underneath it and my mom talked to the realtor. (I’m still not sure what to think about that bathroom. Stuff has come to light sense, but… this is something I still turn over in my mind…) I didn’t say anything at the time, and I wonder if things had been different if I would’ve, but what’s done is done and I needed to ‘stay safe’ by being quiet.

So for most of my life, my interests in the ‘non-mainstream’ have been quiet and subtle, as I never wanted to deal with the bullshit of someone harassing me for my beliefs. (My best childhood friend, mind, told me I was being ‘tricked by Satan’ when I finally got up the courage to tell her that I was Pagan, at 15. I kept to myself a lot after that…) Cue years passing. In 2015 I joined a ‘Your Year of Miracles’ program with Marci Schimoff (whose book Happy For No Reason changed my life, a few years before) and Deborah Poneman. Now, see, I’m very eclectic. I’ll dig into things, take what works for me, and discard the rest, so my belief system is a very eclectic mesh of this, that, and the other thing. So I paid attention to the course for maybe half, 2/3 of a year, before I drifted off. Made a few temporary friends, most of which I no longer talk to (already), but some I still see from time to time, from the local group. No big surprise there; that’s just how I operate.

Stuff Shifted a wee bit over the course of 2015. I started seeing synchronicity. I became obsessed with horses and unicorns for the first time since I was a kid. I went back home to Louisiana for the summer. Took some riding lessons. Went to the Black Hills in South Dakota with my mom. Discovered that I loved making shaman drums. And then I started meeting people from my soul group, or rather was found by someone from my soul group… who introduced me to a few others… and things have been rather Interesting ever since.

Which leads us here, maybe 6 months later, of intense reading, past life exploration, developing my intuition, and trying to figure out where I’m going with my art. Cause it’s always been about my art, ever since I started painting with nail polish at age two. One thing led to another — reading a book led to mention of spirit guide artists, so I did some research, was very interested… ordered a reading, hoping for validation of my own experiences… which failed, but opened up other intriguing ideas… Started looking for a teacher, couldn’t find one, and in the end it turns out I could Do This Thing without needing the training. (Remind me, I shall discuss this in detail later, lol.)

Saturday the 16th marked the day I stepped out of my comfort zone and sat down in front of a crystal store and Let Myself Be SEEN for having an unusual gift. I was terrified at first, but I think the day went pretty well. Everyone I worked with seemed utterly delighted at the results.

So maybe this ‘being seen for being myself’ thing won’t be so bad after all.

~Brandy

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