Synchronicity with Bleeding Hearts

Photograph by Karen Slick

Photograph by Karen Slick

Last week I was on retreat with the Four Winds learning to expand my perception and deepen my connection to the world around me. As part of our learning, we worked on individual sand paintings. I view sand painting as a way of understanding my life by using tangible objects (a pine cone, some rocks or leaves, a stick, my finger in the dirt) to represent aspects or influences in my world that affect my experience of living. There’s a magic that happens from this shift in perspective, from seeing my world laid out before me and from physically moving elements around so that they feel more balanced, or create greater harmony.

I was pulled to create my sand painting under a lovely bleeding heart plant. It felt as if those bright pink hearts spoke to my own, as if they would shower love and protection down on my sand painting, and into my life. As the week progressed, I noticed that the longer the bleeding heart bloomed, the more open it became. The blossom literally pulled apart at the seam, dropping its love down for all to see.

The bleeding heart blossom became a lesson for my own heart, to put down the armor and allow my heart to open and my love to be seen and felt by those around me. To lose my fear around opening. To trust.

I shared my sand painting with two women from my class during a group exercise. It was like opening my diary and allowing them to read my soul. I opened further and shared my story with the class, my story of the bleeding heart and the lesson of opening and letting go. I know I spoke up, as I often do, but really, I didn’t know anyone was actually listening.

Until the next morning. Outside my dorm room door was a rolled up picture with a lovely silver bow. When I unfurled this gift, I discovered the photograph you see above. I had no idea who left this picture at my door, but I knew one thing and it burst my heart open: someone had ‘heard’ my soul talking. I was overcome by the tenderness and care of a person who would have been so thoughtful as to leave me such a gift. I mean, to photograph my sand painting and go to the effort of printing it while on retreat?

On the way to class, I took a peek at my sand painting. A pine comb I had placed in my sand painting to represent the armor around my heart…mysteriously disappeared overnight. Certainly it didn’t blow away…

At class I was antsy, wanting to share this story and find out who gave me the picture. But there was not an opportunity at first .We were to get back into our groups from the day before and talk about our experience of viewing the sand paintings. When I joined my group, Karen saw the photograph and confessed to leaving it. I was about to thank her when she said, “Yes…when I was leaving from home for this class, I felt like I had to bring this photograph. I just knew there was someone I was supposed to give it to. Then I realized, it was for you Kerri.”

Spirit heard my soul talking. It sent me to the bleeding heart because this plant is healing for those who need to learn to love themselves and others unconditionally, with an open heart (which I did not know at the time). It encouraged Karen to bring her photograph of the bleeding hearts and leave it for me so I would know I was heard…first by her, and second by Spirit. It took away my pine comb, my armor. The message was so clear: Open your heart Kerri!

The synchronicity of these small events was masterfully orchestrated for the healing of one soul’s heart. Now Karen’s photograph serves as a reminder to me that I am held, and loved, and safe. I can open my heart wide and let my love shine out. In fact, it’s my purpose.

Thank you Karen for bringing beauty and healing to my world. I am blessed to know you.


See Sand Painting: Creating a New Vision for 2012 and Beyond for a great article about how you can use sand paintings in your life.

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6 Comments on “Synchronicity with Bleeding Hearts

  1. fabulous! thank you for sharing such a beautiful and magical story!

    your description of the bleeding heart flowers dropping their love down reminded me of my favorite tao te ching verse:
    “now they flower,
    and flowering
    sink homeward,
    returning to the root”

    your heart opening, flowering, is returning you to your root.

  2. Loved this share, Laura! Absolutely, the birth of a Shaman happened, not in infant form, but a fully developed amazingly powerful Shaman. So grateful and humbled to have shared this path with you in the class. It served to heighten my own experiences just by your presence.
    In much Munay!

  3. Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience. I never cease to be amazed how we are so blessed by spirit. We just need to open our hearts to the graces they want to bestow upon us.

  4. Kerri,
    I don’t know you personally but thank you for such beautiful writings because at this moment of my life I needed to feel the spirit…..

  5. Spirit is always with us, each and every moment. I was given a very special gift of physical proof of this truth. Know in your heart that you are loved, and that you have purpose, and that you are never alone.

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