|Illustration from Chapter 4 of Fallen, "Catch a Fallen Dream" by Claire M. Perkins|
The most challenging aspects were trying to keep Alora's facial features consistent from drawing to drawing, and capturing her emotions. Skill-wise, a professional illustrator may have been able to do a better job in a much shorter time, but the illustrating experience deepened my connection to the story and its characters. I didn't really want to trust the handling of them to someone else. They felt too much like family to me. Drawing also provided a much needed respite from the work of editing and revision. I hope the reader will find that the drawings add character and charm to the story.
It's true on the collective level and for each of us as individuals. But just like the deteriorating caterpillar, when we are in the midst of the chaos that precedes transformation, it's pretty difficult to imagine the wings we are about to grow.
The way you answer these questions becomes your story.
The first thing to grasp about this is that we can choose what to believe. And the second is, that we can choose the beliefs that work for us, regardless of whether they are "true." Because, once we have chosen new stories and begun to act on them, our minds (and the Universe, if you choose to believe in the Law of Attraction) will work to make them true.
A major theme in Fallen is the idea that we are more than earthly beings—that we remain connected to the spiritual source that dreamed us into being. We are one with that source and empowered by it to move the dream forward as we choose. Adopting this belief, whether it is "true" or not, can be empowering in at least a couple of ways.
One, it would mean that anything that happens here is simply experience, as opposed to being good or bad. Even death is not the end, because in death we return to that higher state of being. This belief can make us brave in the face of frightening experiences.
Two, it would mean that we have a higher power to call upon in times of trouble. We don't have to feel alone or helpless. We have a powerful ally in our court at all times. We have never truly been separated from this aspect of ourselves. It has imbued itself so completely into our life, our dream, that we can find it wherever we look, as Alora does when she finds her wise animal guides.
This belief can override any of the other stories we've been telling ourselves. It awakens us to our larger selves. We can awaken within the dream and reclaim our power to shape it. Nothing is impossible. We can become "lucid dreamers" in the dream of life, shapeshifters and world-changers.
One basic choice we can make is whether to believe we are victims, at the mercy of the elements, or the heroes of our own story, empowered to choose how we will respond to the elements and interact with them. Even when we feel as though the wind has taken us off course, we may find it has actually taken us to where we most need to be. Alora discovers this when she drifts off course and encounters Lizard, the first of her wise guides, in Chapter 9.
The very elements that have been tossing us about may well be leading us home. Yes, we can learn to harness them. Yes, we can choose our course. And, we can learn to see how the elements may have been serving us all along, even when we were feeling tossed and tumbled by them [as explored in the previous question]. What if everything in our life experience was here to serve us? To help us grow? To help us awaken and remember?
Albert Einstein said, “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” How we answer that question is the biggest story, the most important tale, we'll ever choose.
Will we approach life from a place of fear or embrace it as an adventure? For me, the hero's journey begins by choosing to see the world, with all of its drama, uncertainties, and challenges, as friend rather than foe.
CP: I love your perception and description of the Deep. It is all that you describe and more that I cannot completely put into words. The Deep is where we connect to the truth of our being, to our larger selves, to our source, to our oneness with all that is. It is the portal to our awakening.
We have to brave up in order to claim our own light, our own power. We have to risk the drowning and trust in the unfolding of that "mysterious and pregnant potential of the unknown."
The paradox is that once we dive into the Deep, rather than becoming stuck there and drowning, our own light will naturally draw us back up to the surface to breathe, to take action, to shine. Where once we merely skimmed the surface, drifting along untethered and at the mercy of the elements, we return to the surface transformed by our journey through the Deep.
We bring our rediscovered light and power with us, which completely changes our perception of and interaction with the surface world. We deepen our surface experience. We see through the dark places into the light we now know shines, not only beyond them, but within them.