It’s time for another book report! Years ago I discovered the work of Florence Scovel Shinn, an artist and illustrator who was also a great healer and an inspiration to many. She wrote a series of helpful little books in the 1940’s that were compiled into a volume called The Wisdom of Florence Scovel Shinn in 1989.
The books are all about creating our heart’s desire by aligning our thoughts and words with the divine good that lives within us all. They’re packed with stories about people realigning themselves to their highest good, and transforming their experiences in the areas of work, love, family relationships and financial and material abundance. Shinn was often called to “speak the word” for another to help shift their mindset into their highest alignment.
A favorite Florence Scovel Shinn story goes like this:
Always on man’s pathway is his message or his lead. For example: A woman was much troubled over an unhappy situation. She thought to herself, “will it ever clear up?”
Her maid was standing near and commenced to tell her of her experiences. The woman was too worried to be interested but listened politely. The maid was saying, “I worked in a hotel once where there was a very amusing gardener, he always said such funny things. It had been raining for three days and I said to him, “Do you think it will ever clear up?” And he replied, “My God, doesn’t it always clear up?”
The woman was amazed! It was the answer to her thoughts. She said, reverently, “yes, with my God it always clears up!” Soon after her problem did clear up in an unexpected way.
It’s a quirky book; easy to read, old-fashioned in language and sometimes funny. It’s a great reference, one where I can ask a question and open it randomly to find my answer.
Her work is also filled with marvelous visuals, which reminds me how a teacher once said, “personal stories are the language of the soul.” I love to hear stories of discovery and transformation; it’s a great reminder that we’re all here to learn and grow and no one comes in fully formed with it all figured out. As Shinn says, there are certain words or pictures which impress the subconscious mind. She goes on:
A man called asking me to speak the word for his right work. I gave him the statement: “Behold, I have set before thee the open door of destiny and no man shall shut it!”
It didn’t seem to make much impression, so I was inspired to add: “and no man shall shut it for it is nailed back!”
The man was electrified and went out walking on air. Within a few weeks he was called to a distant city to fill a wonderful position which came about in a miraculous way.
How cool is that? When I think of that story the energy of the open door is visceral, it’s real!
The volume includes a section of affirmations that are bright and optimistic and include gems like, “I am harmonious, happy and Divinely magnetic, and now draw to me my ships over a calm sea”, “my God is a God of plenty and I now receive all that I desire or require, and more”, and my favorite, “I walk boldly up to the lion on my pathway and find it is a friendly airedale.”
A friendly airedale. Shinn insists that if we turn and face the thing that terrifies us, all the air goes out and it no longer exists.
Then there’s the wonderful “it’s a great life if you don’t reason.” Fantastic!
Shinn’s beauty, faith and her personal power come through strongly in her work. Very inspiring and motivating, it’s a lovely reminder that each of us contains that power, too. Her ideas are very in keeping with what we do at the center, it’s just a different way of approaching familiar themes.
Wishing you all a wonderful week, and I’ll see you next week!