Finding Guidance In the Unknown
About 2 1/2 years ago, we decided to move from Raleigh to Asheville. It was a creatively inspired move as my wife Elise Hodara Okrend was drawn here for the mountain landscapes, and interpreted them into her paintings. I also loved the vibe, musically, the progressive ideas, the beauty, the idea of expansiveness. It was also the perfect place to introduce our book, Messages to the Heart which was a joining of my writings with Elise’s beautiful art. So the reality of the move made sense on many levels, but hasn’t always been a straight line, where you can predict anything. Yet, Elise has found a home here to make art, to really be the artist that she has dreamed of. I think I came here for a sense of rediscovery, and to let go of ideas or preconceptions of my life that no longer served. That is a process in itself that is still occurring.
A New Chapter
Now after renting since our start in Asheville, we have bought a place in Black Mountain. Its beautiful here, but I feel a new phase, chapter is beginning, and I don’t even know what it will look like. I think it is the acceptance of this not knowing that has been most challenging for me. I am willing and able, and open to listen more and more, and to get out of what I think it will or should be. It is this sense of allowing that I think will make me happier, more fulfilled in this journey. I think learning to be grateful for all is key, whatever the experience.
The above reflection that I wrote shortly after my move drew me to the passage and art in Messages to the Heart that speaks to Trust. The painting paired with the passage is Lake Fontana by Elise Okrend.
What is it to radiate love? What is it to radiate peace? Let the clouds of illusion lift from your eyes and see that all the fears you thought were real were just distractions from you realizing your strength, your beauty, your purpose. Allow a sense of trust to rise above and lead you to a better way. The illusions you thought were real will crumble as you stop giving them power. They will melt away and you will see the path. Follow the sun and if you don’t see it right away, feel your way there, listen and trust. It will get brighter. It will get warmer.
As I go through my own journey, it is comforting to know that almost everything that I fear, love or need to overcome is addressed in this book. I know as well that whatever struggle I may be going through, others may be going through as well. If a piece of art or passage in Messages to the Heart has spoken to you at a time when you needed guidance, please let us know. We would love to hear about it.
Wishing you peace and comfort on your journey,
Phil Okrend, April, 12, 2016