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A spirited home; a spirited life; spirited art

Having stayed at the house for so many years before calling it “my home”, it was not that difficult to adapt to living here. It has, in fact, been perhaps one of the most inspired, comforting, fulfilling, productive, and enriching periods and places in my life. The great love that I feel from Martita and Oscar is like that of my own grandparents, whose presence I also feel more acutely since moving in. While some may shiver at the notion of living with the spirits of the dead, I’ve relished living in the comfort and light of my grandparent angels. They’ve been with me at special moments when I’m shopping in the market, cooking, weeding and watering in the garden, making art in my studio, and making important life decisions. It’s a resource that I cannot begin to explain or value fully, a richness in my life that I never imagined, a sense of family, of belonging, that I have dreamed of.

Many years ago, Marta commissioned me to create a mosaic mural in the garden here featuring the Nawales of the family members who have passed the house down from generation to generation. (You can see it here on the "Garden" page.) The "Nawales", or Chumil, are the spiritual energies of the original ancestors according to Mayan cosmovision. Little did I realize then how profoundly connected I would become to the Nawales and my ancestors while living here. They are my secret helpers, healing energies that I have gradually incorporated into my life, and my art.

In addition to my personal connections to the house and the spiritual connections I feel living here, there is a sense here that many of our guests and friends have remarked upon. There is a peacefulness here, in spite of the buses and trucks rumbling by out on the cobblestone street, a healing energy, something that makes people wake up and feel refreshed, renewed. It’s a very, very special home—one that I had always felt was special, but did not realize just HOW special until living here and developing a relationship with this energy.

In March of this year, I made the acquaintance and fast friendship of Carlos Barrios, a Mayan “Ajq’ij”, or spiritual guide, and author of “The Book of Destiny”, a book many--myself included--consider to be an authoritative guide to Mayan spirituality and the Mayan sacred calendar. Principal among the many blessings of coming to live in this house has been my friendship of Carlos, my neighbor from up the street, whose tremendous knowledge of Mayan spiritual tradition, histories of the Maya, Guatemala, and indigenous spiritual traditions from around the world has enriched my life and helped to solidify my own spiritual life. His humility and gentle nature have guided me, and his appreciation of the special energy of this house has affirmed my love for it, and helped me to define my own vision for the house.

Among his various teachings, Carlos has shared his fire ceremony, and with him as my guide in this I have come to realize the power of the Mayan fire ceremony to heal; I’ve discovered the “medicine” there, and also my own healing power.

Profound changes, incredible creativity, and incredible powers have been awakened in me. To say that my art has been affected in a positive way is an understatement, to say the least. Certainly my art has been infused with new vigor and inspiration, and my approach to living a truly creative life has been strengthened as well.

In late May, I became very sick with intestinal parasites and the side effects of the obligatory antibiotics. I never felt so sick in my life! This was literally the day after Carlos led the first fire ceremony here. Through my healing and recovery I discovered my own healing powers. I began to truly see everything as a step on the path to healing and my own greatest good. Never having placed a lot of time or attention on exercise, diet, and what truly makes me feel well, I’ve been surprised to see the changes in myself, not just physical healing, but a strengthening of my mind, body and spirit.

The healing I have discovered here has created a unique vision for the guesthouse. I have desired to share Carlos' knowledge with others, organizing classes here at the house for him to share with us some of the ancestral wisdom that is found in the "Chumil" or "Nawales", spiritual energies of the 20 days in the Mayan sacred calendar. He offers personalized readings based on the date of one's birth, and energetic cleansing, as well as Mayan fire ceremony, to our guests and friends in the Antigua area, making this an ideal spot for you to begin your own spiritual journey and healing in the Heart of Guatemala. In addition, I am getting to know some of the other holistic practitioners and Mayan spiritual guides here, expanding my understanding and providing me with more resources to share with guests and visitors.

I'm also working on a project, The Garden of the Nawales, a new interpretation of the nawales in mosaic that I have been creating now for 7 years. With this project, I am offering workshops to members of the Antigua community wherein I teach mosaic techniques for the garden while creating the 20 nawales in mosaic with my students. I am learning a lot from my students, and having some affirmative learning about the nawales through teaching about them via mosaic. Here are just a few photos of recent workshops:

If you'd like to take a mosaic workshop and learn mosaic techniques while creating a Nawal in mosaic for the garden, please contact me!

Note: You haven’t heard a lot from me over the last few months, because, well, I’ve been busy living these truths and experiences and integrating them into my goals and vision. Recently, in analyzing the Nawales in my Mayan cross “chart’, based on the spiritual energies present at the time of my birth, Carlos encouraged me to take up my writing again as an important part of my creative mission and healing. So, many weeks later, I’m taking his advise and moving forward with my writing, as well as my art and my health! I'm looking forward to using this medium to write about my art as well as spiritual and healing work that continues to guide and inspire me.

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