Authenticity with Strangers

Authentic connections can happen with strangers, if one is true to oneself. I recently encountered a beautiful soul. The experience brought home the importance of risking being yourself. Here’s the story.

Cindy commissioned a spirit portrait. Aside from a handful of online communications, she and I did not know each other yet.

I titled her portrait Heart of Stars. (I was thrilled when, channeling the painting, it turned into a picture-poem. Sometimes, when images come to me, they are accompanied by a new poem.) Here it is, followed by the rest of the story.


It was amazing getting to know this lovely spirit while channeling her soul portrait. Nevertheless, painting the piece and creating its words were a little scary, because I was trying to portray a little bit of a soul—the soul of someone I do not know. I worried. What if my perception was wrong and she hated the painting?

But, whew, here’s Cindy’s response to her portrait:

“Oh Francesca, thank you thank you, the painting is how I see my secret self, you are totally amazing! I thought about what I could give you and this poem I wrote last year when I was staying in Gualala you might know it tiny town on northern ca coast

So many stars, I feel small
Then I remember connection with
Goddess, tears come to my eyes
Our Gods power is strong
The Mystery is always with us
Beauty is everything
Beauty is everywhere
Mother I give my life to you
I am special in your eyes
I am worthy Mother
For I am your reflection
I am your eyes, your hands, your heart
I wish to do your will
I want to live my life in unity with you
To live in motion with the word
And the word is you

Thank you again for the painting.
Love, Cindy”

Cindy’s words, filled with heart and beauty, and also touching on things dear to me, such as serving our gods, affirmed an important lesson: When I risk expressing what feels authentic to me, the cosmos responds with its own authenticity. The profound relationship between Cindy’s poem and the portrait picture-poem, as well as the similarity in our worldviews, demonstrate beautiful connectivity, made possible because she and I both risked expressing ourselves.

Painting a spirit portrait is a great privilege, because I get to glimpse a person’s inner beauty. Everyone has immense inner light. But we may not see it unless we risk showing our own inner self (which, in my case, was painting Cindy’s portrait, because it was my heartfelt view of her).

Just be you. Authentic connections can happen with strangers. Then, as with Cindy and I, we are not strangers anymore.


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