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  • Writer's pictureJudith Newman

The Beauty of Effortless Being...

Updated: Jun 28

I would like to share with you how my creative journey in the Arts  led to self realization.

Mine was a fairly normal childhood, raised as a Catholic, the youngest of five children, but from the beginning I felt different from my siblings. They each had strong personalities; I was sensitive and felt threatened by the harsh outside world. But I found joy in creativity and felt safe in my own world of creative imagination. My childhood nickname was Sophia, bestowed on me by an older sibling. It was only much later in life that I became aware of the significance of this name.

It is a week before the winter solstice in Australia. This morning, I was pondering how life takes us on a journey of forgetfulness in time and space in order to help us recognize and accept who we truly are.  And what a journey it has been for me, spanning several decades, traveling through many countries, and meeting significant key people along the way. It was easy for my human self to allow and go with whatever I felt passionate about in the moment. For example, while walking down the street, a sign on the footpath said, “Yoga upstairs.” The thought popped in that I'd like to try that, and so I did – and the course of my life took a new turn. Yoga took me on many trips to India and trekking the Himalayan mountains, studying Vedanta with swamis and sages. Returning to Australia, I taught yoga and meditation, and dived deep into the teachings of Vedanta, exploring it fully until I no longer felt a need to. It's really that easy if we trust and allow the flow.

I was also pursuing my passion for art and spent many years painting with two prominent Australian artists. I should mention here that something significant happened in 2005, an experience that I could only describe as falling back into a heart opening I had never known before. I felt boundary-less, a love where there was no separation between me and other. It took years before I realized this was the recognition of true self-love or my true nature. However, at the time the intensity was not easy for the emotional body. 

Then in 2011 a friend introduced me to a fine arts course at college. This sounded like an exciting new opportunity to explore more of the arts. Expanding into sculpture, printmaking and more. I knew that opportunities always lead to more exciting expansion, and if it resonated with my heart, it was the right next adventure without any expectation of an outcome. So, I moved forward. 

During a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria, while viewing a painting by American artist Mark Rothko, the identity "Judith" disappeared, until a voice next to me said “You'd have to be brave to paint that.” For those who haven't seen a Rothko, they are formless blocks of color. To me, this one depicted the fragile nature between human doubt and self-acceptance, which was the dominant frequency within me at the time. [link to image]

A few days later in art history class, I listened to artist Agnes Martin speak in an interview, and this time, I recognized the formless nature of pure awareness. Agnes painted formless non-conceptual art, painting with her back to the world. She painted “the invisible, but absolute nature of beauty” (link). This also alludes to the Vedanta teaching of "Sat Chit Ananda" or "Awareness Aware of itself" or the recognition of "The Absolute." 

Great art carries a frequency that resonates with the viewer. There's an immersive quality of losing oneself in the beauty of classical music, literature, great art or poetry. Each of these expressions have the ability to connect one to their true nature, and recognizing this is when I realized the significant responsibility that creative expression has, to be pure and authentic, to carry a high frequency as a transmission to the viewer. There's a transcendent quality to any expression when it comes directly from source created in a conscious way.

There came a point for me when the outside reality was no longer a reflection of the inside, and withdrawal from the external world was needed. It was a period of silent integration, a wisdom understanding of all the teachings and experiences I had had. It felt like dying over and over, falling deep into the soft empty nothingness.  I began to understand gravity very clearly, and the games of power and control. Feeling and sensing things that were entangled with collective human consciousness gave way, dissolving into neutrality. Here we still use human words, but they have a different meaning now.  Meister Eckhart called this a period of poverty, a state of desirelessness, inner void or emptiness. It was a dissolution of the separate sense of self, that for me, lasted about five years. Adamus calls this integrating the light body. 

Looking back, I see a rich tapestry of experiences all of which were consistently and softly guiding me back to my natural state. The truth is, there is no mental answer to the question “Who am I?” However, with the acceptance of all experiences, Who I Truly Am revealed itself as exquisite beauty and love, ever present as everyone and everything. 

While speaking to a friend, I became curious about the name Sophia. According to one Gnostic myth, the shaping of the material world was the result of Sophia, who was often described as the emanation of eternal light, the "immaculate mirror of God's activity."

WOW!!! I was floored. Never again would I think I was nothing special, with no worthwhile purpose. Nor should you, for this is who we all are in essence.  We are complete perfection.  Once awake to the truth of our being, one begins to see  everything as a paradox, to the belief in separation. This was the head smack moment for me. This is where  “The Art of Light”  comes into play.

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