On Monday, I posted the above photo you see here in the frame on my studio shelf on instagram, with the message "we are human beams" written over it, creating the hashtag #wearehumanbeams. In the week leading up to posting this photograph, I was feeling these words resonate strongly through me. As I felt the powerful energy and importance of the meaning of these words, this moment I captured in this photograph came to mind. It was almost exactly 3 years ago. My Mum had just passed away, and I had taken Laly to my parents to assist my Dad with household changes. Perhaps we were staying there, I can't remember the details of that time, I just remember the intensity, the fatigue and how surreal it felt, like I was walking between worlds. I spent quite some time looking for this image in my archives, wondering if it was how I remembered it and my heart felt expansive when I found it: seeing the beauty and awe of that moment. When I took this photo, through the tidal wave of grief, I remember how it pulled me up to the surface - to the present - as I stood captivated by how my daughter's human form connected & communicated so wondrously with the sun, the sea and the sand. It felt like I'd witnessed a moment of real-life magic. I could see the sunlight radiate through her skin and her inner glow play with this light, encouraging it, nurturing it. There she stood before me as a human BEAM.
This is what I saw, and this is what I posted.
However within a few minutes of posting it, I had someone I'd not heard from before called Vivienne comment something along the lines of "I wish you'd be more circumspect when choosing photos of Laly, this is inappropriate". It pissed me off, I admit, but I took a moment to reflect on her comment and try to see things from her perspective. I wrote a reply along the lines of, "I was absolutely circumspect when choosing to post this image. I understand some people see things differently, I respect that". I got the impression that she too respected that and I thought we had resolved our differences. But when I awoke the next morning, my photograph had been removed by instagram, along with all the comments - most of which I had not read because I was asleep - and I was and still am locked out from using the hashtag I created #wearehumanbeams.
That got me really pissed off.
Then I sat with my feelings. And so much came up...
Feeling shamed, feeling like someone told me I was a bad parent, feeling like I'd been disciplined for something wrong that I didn't do, feeling like I wasn't good enough, feeling like I hadn't understood something, feeling confused, feeling violated, feeling misunderstood.
How often had I been misunderstood in my early life? I think that's why I have spent all these years strengthening my ability to communicate clearly, to ensure that if there is a misunderstanding, I know that I've done everything in my power to communicate clearly.
Anyway after the anger began to dissolve, I felt the powerful energy of the experience sink in. "Sure", I thought, "I get it". I can see life from other perspectives - again, it's something I have found as an important attribute to work on in life - and I'm all for safety, and I'm absolutely all for keeping our children safe.
But this? So much strength came forth after the anger released. I realised that this behaviour, these emotional reactions from people, these restrictions from companies like instagram are EXACTLY why there are so many incredible souls too scared to be themselves, to let their creativity shine, to lead a creative, heart-centered life.
"Why can't you see what I see?" I wondered. It was really perplexing, I struggled to understand what was happening. But that's when it hit me like a brick: they aren't connected to their centre.
For me, I chose to post this photograph because of the art. For me, and so many of us I know, we are seeing the art, the beauty. But others simply can't see this - all they can see is a photo of a nude child. And that brings up all sorts of deeply disturbing emotions for them. Feelings they are too scared to feel, too scared to allow come up to the surface. They can't connect to their hearts, it's just too confronting.
I know there are deeply damaged souls out there. And I understand that the people who report photographs like mine think they are doing good, that they are protecting me and/or my child. I understand they think they know something that I don't know. That I am naïve and vulnerable, and that they know better. But I know that removing this type of photograph - of which I was very discriminating in selecting to communicate the concept of being a human beam - will NOT stop damaged souls from feeding their addictions. What this action does is even more damaging: It stops authenticity, art, talent and beauty from shining in an increasingly dark world. This action and the actions of these major communication companies are feeding the fear in the world - fear of seeing & experiencing life differently, of not conforming, of not standing out from the crowd. This behaviour stifles freedom and disconnects us from our heart centres.
What do you see? This is how I came to write My Heart Wanders in the first place:
What you see is a reflection of what you feel inside. And people would rather stop something like my photograph from being published than deal with the emotions that arise from what they see.
It's what you feel that matters. It's what this image brings up in you. It's not what I don't see, it's what you see and how that makes you feel. That's the purpose of ART: it evokes our feelings, particularly those feelings that are trapped and stuck.
This is why I am so passionate about the importance of tapping into your creativity, because if we don't, we will become stuck like this: we will only be able to see things from the darkness, from the fear. We will rationalise our limited viewpoint as 'logical', 'reasonable', 'sensible', 'practical', 'truthful'. But that's not heart speak. Humans are not meant to only think with our brains. That would make us computers. We are also meant to feel, express, radiate from our heart centres...
We are human beams: We are light - traveling under the ocean, above in the ether, and right here on earth for our lifetime. Every new idea we form is light. Close your eyes and imagine the the world at night, look how it lights up with the light we have created. We are drawn to light. Because we are light. And what we project is also what will be reflected back to us.
So ANYWAY, in response to the removal of my photograph, I have made this...
Because I won't allow anyone to take my art away. Instead, I'm going to beam my light BRIGHTER. My child is art, I am art, what I express is art.
And it got me thinking: How would you, my fellow creative souls, express the idea that we are human beams? I want to see your interpretation - I want us to make this art.
And since I am no longer able to post using the hashtag #wearehumanbeams, it doesn't stop you from using it!
So I got an idea - a beam of light: How about we come together as a mass creative collaboration and use this hashtag to create a body of incredible work, that showcases in each of our unique ways, how we would express that WE ARE HUMAN BEAMS. And to get you inspired and focussed, I'll choose someone to receive a 3-hour creative mentoring package from me, no matter where you are in the world.
If we can create an incredible body of work for #wearehumanbeams, if this becomes big, we can turn it into a book! Let's rock this place up!! Vivent les artistes!
So in my usual fashion, I don't have deadlines and limitations on this for now - I will give it the freedom to expand - that's always the BEST place to start. And the only way this can happen is through YOU. For now I feel if we use the hashtag on insta #wearehumanbeams , spread the word - you can repost my new piece above "we are human beams" - and tag people in the post I write on insta, then you're in the collaboration. Even if you don't want to make something for it, let others know who you know would love to. Then, when you post your work for "we are human beams", hashtag it so others can see and follow your work, and tag me in it so I can see you want to be in the running to receive the mentoring package.
Note: there are no limitations on how many works you submit. You can use any form of art - whatever your heart is drawn to. The idea is to ignite your creative spirit. Kindred spirit & fellow artist Midnight Blue already posted a wonderful video she made in support, take a look at the hashtag #wearehumanbeams on insta to see it! It will get you inspired! I don't know if, when I post this on insta, my hashtag will work so I will need to rely on you guys to repost it there for everyone, so they can see it in the hashtag and understand the project.
Fuck, I'm excited about this.