Today, August 8, 2021 is Severe ME Awareness Day. I have had severe Fibromyalgia Syndrome and ME for over thirty years. I would like to announce an upcoming online exhibition of my work: See ME Expo – Shiloh Moore Art and Words – COMING SOON to seemeexpo.com See ME Expo will display art by artists around the world with ME/CFS. I will be their first featured artist, showcasing 35+ of my previously published artworks, and revealing 35+ new ones! I hope it will inspire and encourage you to express and escape using creativity within your own capability.
While many of us are in lockdown due to COVID-19 this awareness day, I would like to teach you my ‘Compassion Prayer Chant’ that is illustrated in my self portrait on the poster. This prayer helps me feel connected through periods of being bedridden with severe pain, exhaustion and anxiety.
‘This is my Compassion Prayer For Humanity:
Power and Strength
Hope Grounded in Reality.’
Over the three decades that I have been living with severe Fibromyalgia Syndrome and ME/CFS, I have had to develop ways of coping with the illness such as ‘wholehearted rest:’ resting with absolutely no stimulus. Even thinking at a normal pace is painful as my head is bombarded with pain and overwhelming stimulus, so to slow… down… my… mind…, I meditate on mantras and chanting in my head. In 2020, my incredible mentors Alexandra Westaway and Rev Simon Ruth De Voil taught me to write my own chants. I was overwhelmed with my own suffering and the suffering of my friends, the disability community, and the world, so I wrote this chant and body prayer that I can do even when bedridden.
For this chant, I hold my forehead with one hand, and sing in my head ‘Power and Strength’, feeling strength enter my body through my hand. Then I rest my other hand on my heart and sing in my mind ‘Hope, Grounded in Reality’, feeling compassion and hope pour into my heart and into the world. Then I repeat chanting over and over in my mind, slowing it down to meditate on it, sometimes for hours.
I drew and lettered this self portrait, brush lettering my prayer on my arms. I learned brush lettering using Procreate on an iPad with Apple Pen by the amazing online teacher Liss Amyah. I developed my own rainbow style of portraits. The way I am holding the globe shows Australia (where I live) under my arm in green and gold, the North Island of New Zealand as a red love heart, and you can see my friends in India just under the word ‘Hope.’
It sucks that even after lockdowns, I can’t be out in the world, involved with friends and doing things I love. This prayer and chanting is something I can do, to feel involved with my friends even from my bed.