In A Master's Hand.


photos and text by Aria E. Appleford (


Master's Hand

"Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are." --Arthur Golden Our lives are processes.

As children we explore everything about who we are …taking each new lesson and making it uniquely our own. I remember my son at 3 who decided he should help with the dishes. He was always volunteering to do the dishes and while we could dance around it for a bit, not his turn, maybe tomorrow … eventually we had to give in. He would smile and insist on doing it all himself. In his little blue velour sweat suit he would get up to the kitchen and the flooding would begin. Water would be everywhere, an entire bottle of dish detergent would be used, each dish would be dipped in the water, sort of, and put away in the proper place. In fairness to him, they may have had a dish towel dragged over them in similitude of drying but the towel, like his suit, was soaking wet within the first five minutes. He would stand and beam at me showing me the kitchen and tell me a blow by blow while I would wring him out in the bath tub and strip off the now weighing 8 tons of wet clothes from him. He was stoked. Then I would go back into the kitchen when he was in bed and scoop water off the counters, mop it off the floor and drain and rewash the dishes he had put away … I was exhausted but he was doing dishes his way!!

If only we could carry that enthusiasm with us into adulthood. He never once considered whether he was doing the “right” way or even the way mom did it. He just wanted to make it his own. The process begins almost as soon as we are born – teaching us we are not enough. As children, instead of time with nothing to do - which forces us to use our imagination and become creative - our every hour is orchestrated with activities and sophisticated toys. We can’t even drive in a car now without a movie popped in to keep us entertained. We quickly cover the distance from connection and understanding of self, to creating a chain with the physical things of the outside world. We look to other people for information and approval. This process empties us more and more, and as we become emptier, we seek to fill the void with more of the physical. It is like a steady diet of junk food which may taste good on the way down but does nothing to nourish and sustain our bodies …

Today my work is with people who are seeking to reconnect to self. I use Silva Ultramind.  It is one of the most fantastic journeys you will ever make and certainly the most rewarding. When people tell me they are beset with tragedy and trials in their life it is terrific news BECAUSE the process of stripping away the garbage has begun. Life has a way of stripping us bare so we can look at ourselves in the mirror and see who we really are. Like the potter with the vase he was working on, now a lump of clay again in his hands, he sees the possibilities and instead of trying to fix an ineffective vase that is going nowhere … he begins on a magnificent plate, or a terrific bowl … endless choices ….

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