Writings on the Wall: A Note to Artists & Leaders
During Advent Season
Reflection by Drea Chicas
Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership Graduate of Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry
Painters stroke, podcasters talk, dancers move, social media experts create slogans, filmmakers develop shorts, writers write, musicians make music, and comedians crack jokes—all to release stress, fight post-election blues, and act as the prophetic voice of the people. Regardless of the medium, or the approach, each of us has a special way of contributing to the collective conversation. During this advent season, may we connect within to creatively transmit the soul’s voice, and generate some kind of wisdom and some kind of healing during times like these.
But it’s easy enough to fall into contention, or get swept into the rightness of perspective. In the process, we may ignore our inner-guide. In each of us, there lies a quiet voice with its very own language which leads us to our soul. The problem is it’s really hard to hear over the noise and screens. The benefits of letting your inner-guide speak are magical. When we give it space to emerge, we hear the deep terrains of our soul’s sonar landscape. One close listen can transport you further into your soul’s promise land. This is not self-care, it’s soul-care. So, before you mobilize into action, and do some good, and even before you create the next prophetic masterpiece, sit first, and be still. For as long as it takes, let your soul’s voice emerge and hear what it tells you.
The idea sounds nice right? But try to sit for two minutes to really listen. It’s hard. If you’re like me, you’ll immediately want to wash dishes, and sweep floors. Any outlet can be therapeutic but they can also be distracting. In general, I struggle to sit and listen to my inner-voice. With the recent news of the election, I initially avoided meeting my inner-voice. Instead, I attacked the pool by swimming extra laps. I also hit street pavements by running extra hard. I called, texted, emailed, even liked photos on Instagram of my loved-ones. It was automatic—to connect with loved-ones rather than make space to sit and to receive word from my soul. I felt as though the world was ending, and that for people of color in particular, our safety was at stake. It was and still is very distressing.
But the world has not yet ended. And I believe the answers we need are already within. My challenge to all, during this advent season is for a little bit each day, practice silencing your audible voice, and turning up the volume of your soul. Breathe. Listen. Remember. Repeat. And when you’re ready, go create. Paint a picture, talk it out, bust a move, make movies, create new language, laugh with friends, run some laps, sing, play, cook, host a conversation. Keep the world living, just as our ancestors did. And who cares if you think it’s already been done. Or it’s already being done. Uniquely contribute in the way you were meant too. The world is still half-asleep and in denial. We have some listening (read work) to do.
Drea Chicas holds a Master of Arts in Transnational Leadership from Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry. During her time at SUSTM, she started the first Children's Defense Fund School in Washington State. Her current work includes business development, consulting, process improvement, organizational design. Prior to attending SUSTM, Drea received her bachelor's degree from Occidental College where she studied Urban & Environmental Policy.
Drea is recognized as a New Faces of Ministry. To read her complete profile, click here.
Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry
Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry is recognized by the Center for Faith and Service as part of the Seminaries that Change the World Class of 2016-17. To learn more about Seattle U, visit their website at www.seattleu.edu/stm/ or view their Seminaries that Change the World profile.