Staying on the Path…

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Pitching in for a friend/artist colleague from whom I have learned so much. Thanks Lani!

Time to give back. So this Monday, I am posting a “Monday Challenge” and linking in to her site.

challengebutton

Mindfulness and self-compassion are my areas of growth for the present moment and the present moment is the only one we’ve got. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, this life in which you find yourself incarnated, is all you have; this present moment is yours to savour and to learn from.

In a little Facebook group we’ve carved out to learn more about “Elephant Training”  we’ve been talking a bit about goals, their uses, their benefits, their drawbacks. How and why to set them – and when not to.

I’d like to go across the grain and say that I feel there is a seduction in goal setting that can get us stuck, keep us procrastinating and often push us to be self-critical in the extreme. I have good company.

Leo Babauta has helped me to view goal setting as counter-productive if it takes me off that perfect path, out of the present moment.

Jonathan on “Paid-to-Exist” speaks eloquently on goals as a means to cultivating your path, but unhelpful when they pull you off it – which really speaks to me.

But as I reread for the third time, “The Mindful Way through Depression” I came across this, “Over time these goal-driven mind states will become more familiar and less of an enemy or an obstacle…Rather than a reason to despair, however, such goal-driven and judgmental mind states can be treated as cues, reminding us of how easy it is to get caught in difficult emotions around ‘getting somewhere’ or ‘making progress.’”

Kent Nerburn speaks so poignantly about not letting “goals” get in our way here:

Your Assignment … should you choose to take it

Just for today try to be more in the present moment, not letting goals – yours or someone else’s – get in the way of the wonder that resides in that unique and fleeting space in your life.

Tonight, write or sketch about that in your journal and smile, enjoying that presence and that moment twice in your life.

Be well!Image

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Full Cold Moon

Walking to St. Thomas Anglican Church last night to deliver cookies for the Cookie Walk today all i could feel was the welcoming silence, snow under my feet, snow clouds overhead, twinkling lights all around…and silence like a hug wrapped all around me.

Getting back to journaling, reading, making collages…has stilled the nonsensical need to have approval, more letters after my name, an institutional stamp on my forehead (in a manner of speaking) … and has allowed me to reconnect with my self, to hear my own voice, to reclaim my own dreams. And today Jamie Ridler’s tweet about her Full Moon Dreamboard inspired me.

If classes were still going on, I would have ignored the pull to engage in a full moon activity of any sort, but today i do have the time. It’s what I choose to do … for me.

What I did this time is a 2 page spread in my journal.

Here is what came to me today.

closeup of left side

(just click on the image to “embiggen” them)

close up

of right side

As Jamie taught me you just open up the nearest magazine or flyer and cut the pictures, the words, the colours that speak to you. Don’t ask why! Just snip, snip, snip — even tear, if you’re brave.

Then arrange them on your page (you can do them really big … poster or bristol board size) or like me just do a page or two in your journal of the moment. Remember this is not “art” … it’s intuitive. Try to just clear your head, put your brain in neutral and just feel.

After it’s all put together, I let it rest for a bit. Later, I’ll light a candle and ponder the images, the words, and i’ll journal what they are whispering to me. I’ll still myself and lean into the silence … who knows what I’ll discover?

I’m hoping to inspire others in my own community to do the same. I’d like if we could do it together. Would you like to join us? I hope so. If you do just comment and I’ll get back to you with more information. Make 2012 your year to connect with your self…the one that is waiting in the shadowy silence to speak her (or his) own voice.

And a little eye candy for you on this Full Cold Moon (taken today)

courtesy of Jeff Suchak at Mythic Landscape

Enjoy…

Jamie Ridler says, “You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy.” And while it may not always be “easy” it is possible and so i invite you to join us in wishing today.

We respond to the prompt, “What do you wish to enjoy?” And though i tried to get a very early start today, i’m stumped. Yes, can you imagine, me, at a loss for words? Well, worse than that i’m stumped for a wish. So i’ll sit here and ponder a bit…

Oaky doakey so that’s just an ATC i made for a friend. We are working through Carol Lloyd’s book, “Creating a Life Worth Living” and there is an exercise called, Life is… and you fill in the blank until you can’t think of anymore things to say. I had a sizeable list, or so i thought, until i saw my friend rosann’s. Wow! she has a whole page!

Here is the front of cookie crumbles…

And the other two…

And then i am following links to Karen Maezen Miller and find this…

“Do you abandon yourself to preoccupations with the past?”

in a post on “parenting” of all things….

Wherein she says, “We don’t see our lives clearly when we live it as though it has an external object and outcome.”

In other words, how you parent (or more actually how you “mother”) yourself is as important as how you mother the children, the people in your life. And that got me to thinking… If i were to parent myself as i had parented my children what would that mean? I mean we try to be good parents, even great parents, but we don’t have the toe tags that should come with a care and maintenance label for each child who comes into our lives. We grow together or we grow apart. And there is no judgment entailed in that statement, nor should there be.

But parenting roles change…and change…and change. As with our children so with our selves. We need to change how we “mother” our selves as we change. It’s not so hard to find “me” time now. But it is just as important. It’s not so hard to eat right, get enough sleep, or read a book either. It is hard though to not beat myself up for what i coulda woulda shoulda done. And that ties in with last week’s post in which i wished that i could stop that! Still working on it.

But if i give up on that stuff, what to wish to enjoy? I have it!

I think for today, just for today, i’m going to wish to enjoy letting go of the past. The mistakes, and the dreams, and the plans, and the degrees i haven’t finished. Just for today, and maybe for a bunch of tomorrows I am going to enjoy that the past is past and that i have to plow a whole new path into an unknown future. And, you know, that’s a goodenough wish for me, for now, for today.

So today what i’m wishing to enjoy is “Shooting for the Moon!” Hope you can join me in wishing this for me. Thanks…

Back at the sewing machine

It’s been a great while…indeed too long…since the hum and whirr of the trusty sewing machine was heard around this ol’ house. But I happened upon a video from Teesha Moore got me to thinking about making another fabric journal. Not a fabric book, like this one i made aeons ago for Kate (youngest daughter)

Hebrew letters spell out Jonah

Jonah working in his garden hears a voice

Jonah snaps back, "NO" at the "Voice"



And then he tries to hide...but you guessed it, no such luck

Aboard a ship in the opposite direction to Ninevah, Joppa to be exact

Realizes he is the cause of the storm and urges sailors to chuck him over the side of the ship right into the briny drink!
Caught by a fish…A Very Big Fish!

Swallowed...in the belly of the big fish (for how many days, boys and girls?)

Sorry, i digressed there, didn’t mean to teach a bible lesson. LOL

but this project will be a journal covered in fabric with lots of random sized pages of good weight paper in which to scribe and draw and paint in.

I couldn’t find a couple of starts that would be perfect…but they will show up. So inbetween doing the RBBP i decided to give myself a break and work on this a bit. There will be a lot of hand stitching in this. It will be a work in progress for a while, but since i have made the painful decision to forgo spending a year in London away from home, studying…while couch surfing i might add. No that was the right decision. There is too much else that calls to be done. So i’m off to the studio to stitch for a bit!

Wishing can open doors…

Jamie Ridler has got me to dreaming. Dreaming big. Dreamboards and all. And she has also got me connected to a tribe of wishcasters. We do our wishcasting on Wednesdays and join each other in supporting all of those dreams and wishes and I’m absolutely certain that if you wanted to join us absolutely everyone would welcome you in with open arms…Today we are wishing to open doors. And we invite you in!

Join me as I cast wishes and dream big imagining doors opening, inviting in creativity, newness, and enthusiastic adventuring…

It is a time just within our grasp, not yet, but not far away.

It is autumn in the country. The sky is that intense blue,

the clouds scuttle across the sky.

The Bay is aglow with a million star-like sparkles.

The air is crisp and everywhere your eye falls it is passionate purple

Photo Credits to Jeff Suchak

sparkled with opals and oranges, scarlets and golds.

Photo Credits to Jeff Suchak http://mythiclandscape.com

I can see it now. I know what my wonderful wish for today is:

I wish to open the door to Songbird haven,

http://rosschapin.com/Plans/Houses/Songbird/Songbird.html

bringing in an armful of wildflowers; cooking a hearty breakfast for me and my hubby.

Then off to open the door to Back Bay Studio

http://rosschapin.com/Plans/Cottage/BackBay/BackBay.html

to prepare for the next group of retreatants coming to tap into their wild and wonderful selves through a series of profoundly passionate and pleasurable journaling experiences. I will be their companion and guide through this process.

You are invited and I am so looking forward to sharing time with you here in this place we reverence with its natural stained glass.

And we will all be opening doors to deeper understanding of where we fit into the universe,

Photo Credits to Jeff Suchak http://mythiclandscape.com

where we are called to share our gifts, and where we need to take those next small steps into our wild and precious lives. This is where we will weave together all those loose ends into an incredibly rich and precious tapestry.

I am so glad you are joining me…

Nourishing dreams…

“There is power in wishing – putting your wishes out there sets mighty forces into action” … Donnaonthebeach

Photo credit to Jeff Suchak @ http://mythiclandscape.com

For the past few weeks i have been joining Jamie Ridler and a great group of wonderful wild women in Wishcasting and it has been wonderful, wondrous, miraculous (dare i even say it aloud?). And i want to encourage anyone who happens upon my blog today, my regular readers, someone who stumbled on to this post by accident…please, do this. Put your wishes, your hopes, your dreams out there…in a safe place, with a tribe who will support you. If you have some real, live, flesh and blood peeps…great on you. If not, find some. We live in a wondrous age when you can feel supported and part of a community though we all live in our own little corner of this beautiful blue marble that is Earth.

It does work. Tomorrow i hope i am home in time from the doc (heck, i might just change my appointment) to participate in a chance to make a dreamboard. I have started collecting things for August full moon’s dreamboard, but that’s not all i want to do.

I want to dream big, bigger than i’ve ever dreamed before. And i want to make it happen…or at the very least help the Universe to open up and let it happen. Nourish my dreams which feed my “business” which is to help people to come together into “tribes” (it’s a metaphor) so that they can nourish their own dreams. I’d like to do this vis à vis (face to face). I want to bring people together in a space and place that nourishes them, to write, to journal, to make beauty in their lives.

Because what i do is important. People depend on me. Most of them don’t even know that yet, but as i nourish this wish or wish this nourishment … they will, in time, come to realize that we can connect and that the result will be exponential to what either of us is or can become. I believe that.

My tribe supports me. My family supports me. So i am going to nourish that belief. And maybe someday, we’ll be together in a retreat centre, sharing peace and blessings, and supporting each other’s dreams, encouraging each other’s self-trust, and won’t that be fine!

May all your wishes be supported. May all your dreams manifest. May you blossom into your very best you! May it be so.

As you wish for yourself, so i too fervently and reverently wish for you!

Finding your sacred…

This is one spread i am working on today…along with one other…no where near finished, but thought i’d share it so far…

So far just finished the collage process…more to come!

But wait, there’s more! I am searching to express my own spirituality. It may not be yours; may not resonate with you…and that’s a good thing. Our spirituality needs to be deeply our own … and it may need redefining now and again. Spirituality isn’t some mumbo jumbo stuff either. It is (in my own opinion) what makes us human. But it doesn’t need to be separate and apart from religion. And religion doesn’t necessarily mean organized religion either. Religion (as many of you will know) comes from “the Latin religiō, the ultimate origins of which are obscure” which gives us the English word (go here to see my sources) with an equally misunderstood or at best confusing array of “meanings”. Not only can the meaning be interpreted in many ways, but the word … like many others … has a connotative meaning … which means it is emotionally loaded and laden. Perhaps you have had an enlightenment similar to this wonderful lady! For me this has great significance and forces me to examine and re-examine what i mean by both the words spirituality and religion.

I am a Christian. I was born into a family who revered Jesus and his teachings. That shaped me and still forms and informs me. Now, that said, i must confess to a heap of misgivings about “church” and the hierarchy (and patriarchy) that has given fodder for the many who would poopoo any attachment to “religion” because they believe that the two are intertwined and inseparable. Perhaps that is true. Perhaps not. Perhaps it invites inspection and introspection. That’s what these pages will do. See you tomorrow with more progress.

Pssst…if you’ve gotten this far you deserve a little bon mot or tidbit … i prefer the definition that Joseph Campbell and Tom Harpur prefer.

More about that tomorrow! Bet you can hardly wait…. smiling and chuckling to herself on this blistering hot day on the shores of Georgian Bay!

Try…

I love Yoda! I love what he says, “Do or don’t do…there is no try.” And so i have to find a twist to our Wishcast Wednesday prompt, “What do you wish to try?” I’m a little fed up with trying. Trying to please others, Trying to be accepted here. Trying to be somebody. Trying to fix things.

So I’m putting on my thinking cap. What can i try that is achievable? Instead of trying to please others…how about pleasing me? Instead of trying to get other people to accept me…how about accepting myself? Instead of trying to be somebody…how about loving the somebody i am? Instead of trying to fix things…how about fixing one little thing that i am doing that is keeping me stuck?

Okay. How about that? Which one? All of the above? Will one thing achieve all those goals? I loved Rae’s post about tweaking … baby steps … one small move in a better direction. So guess what? That’s what i’m going to try.

Here it is in black and white, for all the world to see:

I am going to try to trust “synergy” which i am defining as the forward movement of encouragement from like hearts, twin souls, angels in my life if you will.

I will try to listen to the voices that encourage…like those who comment on my blog. Through wishcasting Wednesdays i have made the acquaintance of the most marvelous bunch of people. They are the bravest most creative group i have ever met…well, i haven’t even met them, but virtually anyway.

It is courageous to post what you wish for on a blog for anyone out there to see…but because i feel supported in this, i will do it. And i will keep doing it. And it is helping. Really. (@rosannadanna)

Now i suppose i have to put this into words … make it concrete so to speak … etch it in stone … That way it will stick. That way it will become tangible and doable.

Today i wish to try to make babysteps into my business plan. To commit to one path and to MOVE into it. This includes more movement (physically) in my life. So, i’m going to wish to try to be that dragonfly that  i am supposed to be…

The how-to hasn’t appeared on my horizon, but i think i know some people in my real life who will help. You know who you are … thanks for being in my life.

Full Raspberry Moon

I know … the irony does not escape me!

Jamie Ridler has been inspiring me of late. And so i decided to do a full moon vision board for this past full moon.
Although Jamie calls it Full Buck Moon, i have always been taught that it is the 2nd sacred berry or Raspberry Moon.

But, then new grandson James made his appearance and attention turned away…for just a moment and the intent of raspberry moon had to take an about face…my family doesn’t need raising, at least not by me. They are all grown and flown.

And that got me to thinking…how can i follow Raspberry Moon’s intent for this time in my life. Aha! i have been needing to create a business plan AND a plan for Fall when i return to Huron to finish my MTS. So page rescued, intent set, everyone wins! Don’t you just love when that happens?

Yeah, me too.

Here are closeups. Just click to enbiggen,