Journey of the Heart, Day 23- 03.01.23

Guiding Thought:

We follow the guidance of our hearts and experience life anew!

We express love, and experience love everywhere.

We find new ways to love; we recognize new depths and nuances of love.

We are patient. We are kind. We are wise and we respond to life with love, as love.


Guiding Thought Audio (plays in a loop) can be found here:
Listen to the Guiding Thought as you paint/draw/create and connect with your heart!


For this round, it appears, landscape is my theme. What came to my heart as I was creating this is the contrast between the two sides of the river was a memory of lenses.  Years ago, my husband’s friend rode his bike across the country and recounted the beauty of a particular state. His trip in this state took quite a different route than what my experience of landscape was. He was waxing on about beauty, and I was waxing on about desolation.  It took me quite some time to realize that we were talking about two very different places/locations. I am reminded that whichever side of this river, or my heart,  I explore, there is always something new to see.






Bent HaloSteve

“We both are in Love,
And dance on the same flower”
Acknowledgement goes to Richard Kirsten-Daiensai, whose picture I replicated after a fashion. I love his work, and this picture so happily expresses the joy of love shared. We are all in love. Let’s dance!



This is a support system. If we build it well, everybody trusts, everybody is trustworthy  and everybody succeeds. WE are all in it together.

Call for Guest Journeyers: Align with your Purpose

Hello Everyone!

The Journey of Purpose was the first Journey created. It grew out of a feeling of being lost and drifting aimlessly through life. I had a job that gave me purpose, a loving relationship that gave me purpose, a family I loved (and still do!) that gave me purpose, but what is my real purpose? What is my purpose in the context of enlightenment, ascension, or finding and being my highest self?  Finding purpose in the relationships I have and the things I do is different than fulfilling and serving my highest purpose.

I (susanwithpearls) take these Journeys for myself, for you, for everyone– for we are One, and there is no separation. As I am lifted all are lifted. As each of us digs in to our Highest Purpose, we clear the path for others to do the same.

People who Journey with me– Guest Journeyers — are courageous souls who are adding their light on this path, adding their light to All, for the benefit of All. There is no monetary exchange; the exchange is lifting each other, combining our energies, and providing a service to All.

If your heart is speaking to you about depth and purpose; if you feel an inner calling to come to the aid of humanity; if you want to bring light to your life, your purpose, your relationships and all your affairs, I welcome your participation. Click here to go to the application to become a WithPearls Guest Journeyer. (See this page for recent Guest Journeyers)

The next Journey– Journey of Purpose –begins on February 25. This is a call for Guests to join me on this Journey.

You may use Journey of Purpose to

  • find deeper purpose or meaning
  • gain greater alignment or harmony with a purpose you know you have
  • extend what you found out on Journey of the Heart into your purpose
  • add a layer of depth/meaning/nuance for your purpose
  • whatever you come up with as your intention for it

The requirements to be a Guest Journeyer are:

  1. committing to doing the Journey (52 days, contemplating/writing for 43 of those days)
  2. working with me to add your contribution to this website

Fill out the application here. I look forward to working with you.


Journey of the Heart, Day 22 – 03.01.22

Guiding Thought:

Today, we decide to give our hearts reign.

Trusting in love, assured with its gentle comfort, we invite our hearts to lead us with joy and peace to joy and peace.

We surrender our minds and wills to our heart’s love.


Guiding Thought Audio (plays in a loop) can be found here:
Listen to the Guiding Thought as you paint/draw/create and connect with your heart!







I like the blue flowers; I’ve been using a lot of blue lately.

Today’s “technique” is the “original” technique, blended with yesterday’s “wet-on-wet” technique. I’m at a point where I just enjoy watching what happens when I put color on the paper: how much of the color I use; how much water I use; how thin/thick of a line I make; how much pressure I put with the brush on the paper. I was fascinated today with how much happens with the smallest amount of color or pressure.

Also…If you’ve been listening to the Guiding Thoughts at the link above, you will hear the voice and music of Brad Vanlandingham (a dear friend to at least 3 of this Journey’s participants). Brad once remarked to me about the liberating nature of restrictions, as a musician. He described one exercise wherein he limited himself to only 3 notes. What can you do with three notes? You may think that the limitation of three would restrict the creativity or the musical expression. Yet what it did was expand the possibilities. When creativity is limited, it has the opportunity to find new pathways for expression. I am surprised I did not remember this sooner in the Journey, considering my semi-insistence on doing the technique and flowers. I am newly invigorated with flowers!


Bent HaloSteve

Today, the journey continues. Regardless of how we feel, it continues. I think about us/we, and that brings me up and out of how I feel. We do not stand alone. I think of you, and I become aware of our connectedness. The day becomes brighter. My heart beats lighter.


I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells,

I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace.

When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me,

We are one.








When we began this Journey of the Heart, it was, at least for me, with a pretty high level of fear and uncertainty. The heart is non-verbal and we were challenged to “speak” non-verbally in response to the daily Guiding Thoughts. As we began, I would have been the first to declare that I am most definitely NOT an artist.

In the spirit of We for this third round of the Journey, Steve and I had a date night. We attended a “paint and sip” event at a new place in our community synchronistically called The HeART Gallery. We each painted a mountain. After looking at our paintings and reviewing my portfolio of submissions to this Journey, I now declare that I AM an artist. When I surrender my mind and will to my current heart’s love, I can create a mountain. I can also (re)move the mountain of the false belief that I can’t “do” art. I have opened my heart to a vast new realm of possibilities. As a result, I find myself being happier and more willing to surrender to new ideas, new forms of expression. Someone once told me that fear is excitement without breath. I’m breathing in the excitement of what more I can do. I would likely not have begun this particular Journey without my fellow Journeyers. My heart swells with gratitude for each of them, their willingness to be vulnerable in this Journey and their heartfelt support. Together WE are exploring new dimensions of expression and discovering new depths of our own hearts, creativity and spirituality in the process. I’d encourage anyone surfing the waves of this Journey to dive in and become one of us. We would love to support you in surrendering to your heart’s love.

Journey of the Heart, Day 21 – 03.01.21

In the third round, the subject of the Guiding Thought is “we”.  This is the “unifying round”. I am not just I, you are not just you. We are we, together, all One. Think of this as “society” or a social complex, if that fits for you; “we” are a collective of people. I cannot be in this by myself or for myself; I can only be with you and for you, equal to myself. This round serves to expand your notion of “I” and “you” into this unity of “we”.

Steve, Mary, and Lita are introducing this round as we, in a very special way. See their combined Journey for today below. Om Namo Namah.

Guiding Thought:

All hearts know how to love.

Everything is energy.

The most potent energy is love.

As we learn love, we invite the most powerful energy to express through us, to live as us, to be us!

The heart is Love’s abode.

The heart teaches only love.

We are willing and joyful students!


Guiding Thought Audio (plays in a loop) can be found here:
Listen to the Guiding Thought as you paint/draw/create and connect with your heart!

Bent HaloMary-Steve-Lita

We are willing and joyful students.

We lovingly and with humility offer this bouquet to Susan Billmaier, founder of and our fellow Journey companion. We so much appreciate your commitment to these flowers and the technique used to create them. So, we each gave it a try and wish to acknowledge the patience and determination you have demonstrated to each of us. Clearly we have much to learn from your example and we ARE willing and joyful students! Namaste,  Lita, Steve and Mary





I’m honestly not sure what I had in mind in advance of painting this. I found a “technique” (wet-on-wet), and thought, “I’ll try that”. On the right is the model I found on the internet; my rendition is on the left; the article for the technique is here.

I think I just wanted to be open today (I did not remember that today is “willing and joyful student” day.) I wanted to be open to the energy, to something new, to maybe screwing things up, to being ok with whatever came out.

I don’t particularly like the results; but I didn’t particularly like the model. I didn’t choose the model because I thought it was aesthetically pleasing; I chose it to try the technique. and the technique was fun. I tried new things! I added old to new! I discovered something I think I am going to try that is my own rendition of new and old!











Journey of the Heart, Day 20 – 03.01.20

Guiding Thought:

Your heart-love establishes your inner-peace.

Solidly grounded in your own inner-peace, you approach all of life with love, compassion, and wisdom.

Live as your Self, shining with the beauty of the Love you are!


Guiding Thought Audio (plays in a loop) can be found here:
Listen to the Guiding Thought as you paint/draw/create and connect with your heart!


Once again I’m searching for exact words from a song, and I cannot identify the source or verify the words are correct, but these lyrics spoke to me of today’s Guiding Thought:


May the warm breath of springtime flow upon you,

May your tears quench the thirst in your heart,

May you always have rain and sunshine,

May your Soul and your Self never part.



Standing like a tree with my roots dug down

my branches wide and open

come down the rain

come down the sun

come down the fruit

to a heart that is open

to be standing like a tree with my roots dug down…repeat

Chant by Betsy Rose (video/song below)





“Water color feels so forgiving” was my thought while painting today.











Bent Halo


How do you draw compassion? One representation is the Chinese goddess Kuan Yin (Guan Yin). She is the Goddess of Compassion, the One who Perceives the Sounds of the World. One of the most well-known and beloved Buddhist deities, she is often referred to as the female aspect of the Bodhisattva Avalokitasvara. In Japan she is referred to as Kannon. Tibetans often refer to her as Tara.

She hears and responds to the cries of sentient beings, to relieve their suffering. The personification of compassion and kindness, she is a mother goddess, and patron of mothers and seamen. She is sometimes depicted holding a vase with pure water, to relieve suffering. She may also hold a willow branch, to sprinkle the divine water.

Compassion is a deep awareness of the suffering of others, with desire to relieve their suffering

That is what the encyclopedias say.

What does compassion mean to me?

It is an awareness of myself and acceptance of my own suffering. It is the desire to relieve my own sufferings. This is done with love. I must love myself in order to experience compassion. With love I can experience inner peace. With peace, I can begin to taste wisdom. With wisdom, I begin to love and experience compassion for others. I become myself.

What does compassion mean to You?

Standing like a tree

Journey of the Heart, Day 19 – 03.01.19

Guiding Thought:

Gratitude strikes your heart like a bell, resounding love through your being.

Gratitude opens your heart to Love’s purity, your very own essence!

Experience such deep gratitude for your heart, your essence, your ALL of Life!


Guiding Thought Audio (plays in a loop) can be found here:
Listen to the Guiding Thought as you paint/draw/create and connect with your heart!


According to the internet, the ringing of a bell is associated with the mind and the expansion of consciousness. When a bell rings, the vibration created expands far beyond our conscious ability to hear it. So, too, does the sound of a beating heart reverberate endlessly out into the Universe. Like a bell, let your heart sound and mine fill the emptiness with love and gratitude.



With today’s guiding thoughts, it is more about the process than the product, this breaking through the boundaries of the back of my heart. And that is what this image suggests, a breakthrough. Although this could be a rather crude lyre with the strings sideways or a vibrating horseshoe. The good thing about process is that it does not have to be so literal. And it does not necessarily matter knowing where the bell is, as long as we hear it and respond accordingly, for the heart – my heart, your heart – hears and rings what is True.



An example of how Journeys tend toward taking on a life of their own, and leading you (me) down the “highest”/right path: I began with my Why commenting on violence in the world and mourning for humanity. Since then, I have had many opportunities to discuss things like eco-theology, sustainability, taking care of the earth, ancient earth spirits (fairies), and ways to honor the earth. These conversations have all focused on the violence humans have done to the earth. Then, earlier this week, I received as a gift, a beautiful orchid. I have no clue how to take care of orchids, so I started researching that. Did you know that there are over 100 thousand different species of orchids? And (of course) people are poaching them for profit, and their habitat is being destroyed. So, in combination with my recent learning and desire for honoring the earth, I decided to ask my orchid how I could honor it and take care of it. Today’s painting is only part of the answer; I need to listen again for more. Yes. I painted an orchid. The one on the left/above is the one I did; the one on the right/below is my model.

By Jelena Milojevic


Bent Halo


In gratitude I pray

In gratitude I sing

I gratitude I love

All life.

The bell sounds

I am struck by love

In gratitude I pray.

In gratitude

What do you do?

Journey of the Heart, Day 18 – 03.01.18

Guiding Thought:

Love-as-light streams from your heart to my heart!

We are connected by Love; we are One in Love.

Imagine this stream of love-as-light connecting with everyone in time and space.

Imagine receiving this stream of love-as-light as it returns to you from everyone in time and space.

This is enough. We are One.

Guiding Thought Audio (plays in a loop) can be found here:
Listen to the Guiding Thought as you paint/draw/create and connect with your heart!



this is enough



Love as light pushes beyond boundaries, whether they be self-made or by others.



On the one hand, I am “tired” of doing flowers.
On the other hand, I know what I am getting (what to expect / what I am creating) when I do the flowers.
On the other hand, my nature wants to be free to express beyond limitations of technique.
On the other hand, I want to express with certainty of results, or of outcomes.
On the other hand, how does one express “we are One in Love” with any certainty? (this was where my thoughts were focused).

I decided on flowers. By the end, the focus of my thoughts was, “this is enough”. Peace.

Bent HaloSteve

All Kundalini Yoga classes end with the beautiful song Long Time Sun. I could not resist including a link to a version of this song by Snatam Kaur. The video is beautiful also, and rings with the message of love as light connecting us all.
This song came up for me when meditating on the guiding thought.

The lyrics:
May the long-time sun
Shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light
Within you
Guide your way on