She began speaking to me at the early age of 8. At least this is when I remember Her… She never spoke directly to me, rather guided my thoughts and directed them Her way. My upbringing being strict Roman Catholic, it was many years later before I realized that it was She speaking to me. Her voice was inaudible to me all those years ago, although my service to Her was quite obvious. Blinded by the rules of the patriarchal upbringing I was born into, I never realized that She was even present. How could She be? For the role of a woman in patriarchy is limited to silence and obedience/submission (1 Corinthians 14:34).
With all of the boundaries that contained me, keeping me in a woman’s place, how was I to hear Her? Her gentle loving voice was drowned out by the boom of the patriarchal father’s voice and the crack of his whip. But still I questioned the authorities – priests and nuns who were “teaching” me the way to God. At 8 I found myself questioning my “teachers” about the Trinity, about the Holy Ghost – ghosts are scary things!, about why nuns were entombed in many layers of clothing year round while the priests ran ball in shorts and tee shirts in the summer months or dressed in a single layer of slacks and button up shirt. I had gotten so bad that they started to cringe when they saw me coming, knowing that my inquisitive mind would not settle for their generic answer of “it’s all a mystery” when they themselves could not logically or satisfactorily quell my inquiries.
Fastforward 18 years and Mother had fallen quite ill. Mother was the hand that guided our religious instruction, bringing her children up in the traditions which she herself was raised. And as it became apparent that she was entering her last days, my desire for a close personal relationship with God blossomed. I was losing my one direct connection to the Divine who guided me in religious matters all of my life and it was time to build a bridge to journey the rest of the way for myself. Mother passed when I was 28, the same year I journeyed to the Baptist tradition seeking to establish the one-on-one relationship with God which I was seeking.
I threw myself into the church. Working tirelessly as Church Secretary, Pastor’s Assistant, Deaconess, and Head Trustee. Yes, me – a WOMAN – was given the coveted position of Head Trustee. But in a small church where the only male was the Senior Pastor, who else would be given the title? But do you see the pattern already established here? A church where all the members are women. Goddess had guided me to a place where I could begin seeing Her: She put me in a tribe of all women. But I was still blinded by the patriarchal structure and never realized the gold mine I had fallen into. What I did realize, however, was that even with all of my involvement, my service, my study, my teaching Sunday School, my relationship with God the Father was still suffering. I was bound and determined to have the religious life I sought with every fiber in my being. After many years in the Baptist tradition, I moved on and embraced the religion of Islam.
Again, I fully embraced the religion that I thought would be the answer to my prayers: the manifestation of a close personal walk with God. All the while She was still there, still walking with me, still gently calling me to Her. Yet I found myself in another religious tradition that did not serve my Purpose. And then I began being drawn to images of the Madonna. Of Mary the Magdalene. Of the Virgen de Guadalupe… I began my own studies, devouring everything I could find on spiritual, mythological, mystic subjects which drew me closer to the Goddess. When I next looked up, not only had the books on my bookshelves morphed into topics of religion, patriarchy, the validity of the Bible, and most especially reconnecting with the Divine Feminine, but I finally heard Her speak to me while realizing that the images I was now drawn to were images of Her.
At first I wasn’t sure – it was just so farfetched from what was ingrained in every fiber of my being since birth. A devastating situation transpired in my life and I took to journaling. My journaling was intended to heal the wounds I had suffered from the aforementioned devastation. But Goddess used it as a tool to allow me to finally embrace Her. She allowed me to receive “Divine Downloads” from Her: clear messages in the prose with which I was writing to heal my Self. I had finally re-membered Her!!! Connection. Reconnection. Ignition. Re-ignition. All along I had been connected to Her but I was blinded by the demons in my head that held me true to religious traditions that no longer served me. Really they never did because they are kept me from hearing, seeing, knowing, loving, serving Goddess.
It was at this juncture that the world before me opened up. All that had always been there: Goddess speaking to me, Goddess Guidance, Goddess influence in my every thought and action – was still there. Not only could I hear Her speaking to me, She was showing me the way. My Path. The gifts of words and art were my tools, placed in my hand by the Right Hand of the Goddess. She guided me to a teacher who would help me to look inward and explore my stories, transforming them into the truth: the She that is within Me, and transmuting what never served me: patriarchy. Through intentionally creating what was in my heart, I was able to bring Her to the forefront, out of the pain and shadow of patriarchy. And Maestra led me down the path to Her, manifested through Intentional Creativity: painting, prayer, prose, and poetry.
Intentional Creativity has become the backbone of my creative spiritual practice. By choosing to create intentionally, I am able to author my own future with the guidance of Goddess, which I can now make manifest. I can bring Her to life within me and also within my environment via the written word plus visual artworks. I am able to hear Her voice because I no longer seek the close personal relationship with the Divine on the outside. I journey within through the beauty of Intentional Creativity. I write my own story and paint my own world with the hand of Goddess holding the brush. Her hand extends to mine through the ritual, meditation and prayer aspects of Intentional Creativity, allowing me to finally hear the Silent Whispers that have apparently been present all of my life.
You too can delve deeper into an understanding of She that is within you. We must change how we interpret the story of our lives else they become ingrained in a way that may not be so beneficial to us. I had no choice in how my religious life started and was formed for the first 18 or more years of my life. Intentional Creativity, however, is the tool I used to change how that story lived inside of me and by doing so, it allowed me to see Her face and hear Her Silent Whispers…
Take action for your Self and allow Her to live fully within. By doing so, you make Goddess manifest on the outside, thereby bringing Her presence to the Present. There is nothing you must do to tell others that She lives other than letting Her Wisdom live within you and guide your life. It is in Her Light that you walk. Others will see your Light and therefore see Her. Embrace the soft voice you hear in your soul guiding you to your Right Path, whatever that is for you. Each of us has a very personal and very different course to tread. When we realize that we were not meant to be pinned under the weight of patriarchy, when we allow ourselves the freedom to love Self as the Goddess loves us, we are able to hear her Silent Whispers and the outside world can then see and know Her.
I invite you to join me here to learn more about Intentional Creativity and how it can benefit you and your life too. It is a place where I share my art, my words, my soul… By building a community of those who seek to learn how to hear Her Silent Whispers through the power of ritual, words, art and community, I am in service to Her. Passion + Talents (Gifts) = Purpose (Passion plus talents/gifts equal purpose). I am passionate about helping those seeking to heal themselves learn tools that will make their walk with the Divine S/He more personal and less fraught with dogma and fundamentalism through words + art.
Find me online:
New Community: https://www.patreon.com/SimplySumaiyah
Website: http://www.Simply-Sumaiyah.com or http://www.Soulful-Emergence.org