If you are new to our tribe, to follow along, you will need a blank-page journal or a sketch book and some basic colours or collage materials. Every month we will explore a theme using art exercise and stories, sometimes I will suggest songs, poetry, or traditional wisdom that will add some insight to the theme. Finally, we’ll discuss common Body whispers® related to the theme we are exploring.
This month story is about life meaning, about what we are looking for and where are we looking for it.
There is an old folk tale in the region about the discovery of the mine. Here is how the story goes:1 There once lived not far from the River Indus in India, a wealthy farmer named Ali Hafed. Ali owned a very large farm, he had orchards, vineyards, and green pastures. The farm was protected by surrounding mountains and supplied by its own stream of fresh water coming straight from the river. One day an old monk, a wise man of the East, passed by Ali’s house. He sat down by the fire and told Ali about those precious rocks that grow deep in the centre of the earth… “They call them diamonds,” the monk said. “A diamond is a congealed drop of sunlight.” He added. The old monk told Ali that a small diamond, the size of a chickpea, could purchase a whole town, and a mine of diamonds could place a man and his children upon thrones.
Ali Hafed heard the story and went to his bed that night a poor man. “I want a mine of diamonds,” this was all what he could think of.
First thing in the morning, Ali sought out the monk. “Would you tell me where I can find diamonds?”
“Diamonds! What do you want diamonds for?” asked the monk surprisingly.
“Well, I want to be rich.”
“Oh. Ok. Then, go on and find them. That is all you have to do; look around and find them, and then you have them.”
“But I don't know where to find them.”
“Go and find a river that runs through white sands between high mountains. In those white sands you will find your diamond,” answered the monk.
“I don't know where to find such river.”
“There are plenty. They are everywhere. All you have to do is look and you will find them, and then you’ll have them.”
“I will go,” Said Ali, more determined than ever.
And, off he went. He sold his farm, collected his money, left his family behind, and away he travelled in search of diamonds. He walked through the Mountains of India, the sands of the Middle East and the river streams of Europe, and at last when he ran out of money and he was homeless, starving and in rags, he stood on the shores of the Mediterranean in Barcelona, Spain, and a great tidal wave engulfed him never to be seen again.
Meanwhile, the man who purchased Ali’s farm was one day leading his camel to drink, and in the shallow water of the river bank, the man noticed a shining light coming from the white sands of the stream. He pulled out a strange looking rock that had a shining eye reflecting the light of the sun. He loved how it looked, so he took it home and placed it in the centre of his room reflecting the light of the fire place. A few days later our old monk passed by the farm and stopped to greet the new owner, and as soon as he entered the room he saw that flash of shining light, and he rushed up to it, and shouted: “What a beautiful diamond! Has Ali Hafed returned?”
“Oh no, Ali Hafed has not returned, and that is not a diamond. That is just a stone I found right here buried in the sands.”
“But, I tell you, that is a diamond!” Affirmed the monk.
Then together they rushed out into the pasture and stirred up the white sands of the river that come flowing down from between the high mountains, and lo & behold! more and more diamonds. And, here it was … the diamond-mine of Golconda, the most marvellous diamond-mine in the history of humankind. It was there… It has always been there at the river that runs through white sands, between high mountains, it was in Ali’s backyard all along, but he failed to notice.
The story is part of a lore that has passed from generation to generation in the area. People have told it as a reminder that the diamond we are looking for is there and has always been there, in our own backyard. The diamond is inside us, if we fail to notice its shining light, this means we are looking in the wrong places.
1 Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell
- Body: pains, aches, stiffness, wrinkles, scars, cellulites, hormones…
- Mind: negative thinkings, critics’ voices, self-doubts, dreams, aspirations, goals, achievements, to-do lists…
- Heart: aches, joys, grief, anger, cravings, pleasures, passions, hopes…
- Soul: yearnings, lament, prayers…
STOP HERE ... Do the exercise and then come back and read the rest of the instructions.
Now, I want you to imagine that the blank clean white spread you started with is your “Diamond” - it is now buried under this pile of “stuff” - good and bad “stuff.”
Remember, there is no right or wrong way of doing it. Your art could be realistic or abstract… don’t worry about the drawing skills… don’t worry about colouring inside the lines, perspective or proportions… just freely capture the feelings you are experiencing.
Take your time and keep adding any words, colours or shapes and images that come to mind. do you feel like adding, erasing, tidying up, covering it up, turning the page and starting all over again... just be aware of your feelings. There is no right or wrong way of doing it.
When you are ready, take a good look at your art:
- How does your page look now?
- How deeply buried is your diamond?
- Are you satisfied with the way your art piece has turned out? why or why not?
- Was the exercise scary or exciting?
- Were there any revelations, insights?
- Where do you need to start digging?
Traditional Wisdom of the month
Don’t ask your Moses for vile Pharaoh’s wealth.
From your heart keep thought of provisions out,
Stay at the king’s court - never be without!
The body is the spirit’s tent, its shell,
Or like an ark for Noah - heed this well.
That you might lose your tent why should you fear
When to the royal court you are so dear?” - Rumi
“Good, evil, joy & grief are transient states
Eventually they die and leave to God all their estate.”
“In just two months though garden grass may grow,
To bloom, a red rose needs a year or so.”
Reflection & Journaling prompts
- Is there an area (or areas) of your life that needs simplification?
- Is there an area that needs your attention?
- What do you need to add or remove from your life
Your liver is the main detoxifying organ in the body – literally and figuratively. When it starts to whisper, it is an attempt to warn you that your load of “toxins” is exceeding your capacity to handle. In Greek Mythology, the liver is the seat of contentment. In traditional medicine, liver stores the anger.
Liver problems signal some underlying resentment about life circumstances and about your own reactions/interactions with those circumstances. At their root, liver problems are signalling some form of power struggle… They are warning you from the stored anger arising from feeling powerless, helpless, and worthless; from being unable or unwilling to handle the overloading and overwhelming demands and responsibilities that are causing your discontent and that might lead you to the point of hopelessness and despair.