What is Art + How Do You Define POWER by Xenia Viray

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Standing In One's Power: 

A Gentle Unfolding for the Full Moon by Xenia Viray

The first person who ever mentioned to me that all artists are channels was JL Umipig. 

Art isn't just one thing
(as much as the fictional Jack Donaghey would have you believe that art is "paintings of horses)-

it's a way of turning a critical eye on everything around you and then taking the responsibility to create your world.

Not just to rebel against what is (which is still another form or reaction), but to be profoundly aware of how reality is constructed, and building your own reality from the inside out.

The wonderful plant-advocate, herbalist and spirit medium Angela Angel once told me that a career path for for me wasn't about a vocation or a place, but an energy I had to be. 

For the last few years I have been slowly learning to understand that my work in the world requires me to become the energy I want to hold-

rather look for a space to occupy that has already been shaped by external reality (also known as finding a traditional career path and contorting yourself into it.)

When I was a teenager I used to fantasize about having the title Creative Director, even though I didn't know what that meant. I now know that what I wanted was to create visions that expanded people's minds about what was possible and what was beautiful.

Now that I am older I understand that when I wanted to "creatively direct" what I sought (and still seek) was

a combination of imaginative creation and a feeling of power and influence so that I could create a world that is friendlier and makes more sense to children.

Not just the children you see in your neighborhood or all over the world but the children that we were and carry around inside of us, the children our parents and grandparents were (this one always makes me tear up), and the inner children of those who occupy great positions of power. 

I have a lot of discomfort with the word power.

In my adolescence I rarely saw representations of powerful people that really resonated with me; often the "powerful" were depicted as opaque, mean-spirited, people who told others "how things work" or always got their way.

I know understand power is assigning one's own meaning to everything.

Power is feeling the complete freedom and responsibility for being who you need to be and sometimes want to be and letting that change all the time.

Power is vocalizing and also being quiet.

Power is being generous on your own terms.

Power is telling the truth about your non-negotiables in every form of exchange. 

My own power has always been to reflect at others the kind of love I craved as a child and still actively cultivate as an adult: the power to soften into spaces where I an see people for who they really are,

and to describe what I see which is most often a supernatural uniqueness, a courageous reaching towards the sun in the same determined motion that a flower turns.

What I most often see in people is a profundity in their hearts that makes them feel vulnerable and complex, as their heart becomes brave enough to feel more and more.

The power I am learning to cultivate is to know what I want and need to to define these for myself in flexible ways, that are always changing but undeniably deserved and inherently right for me. Right for who I am in this moment and in this circumstance. The power to know that no one knows what I need but me. If I ever feel abundantly full of this kind of centered, peaceful self-trusting power, I will be sure to let my cup runneth over into yours.