Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Letting go

2008, I'm saying good bye.
Letting you go. I took some time to rewind, appreciating the many wonderful opportunities I had to explore and expand. I made new friends, joined new groups, explored new art mediums. You presented me with some challenges.. I whined, I cried, I prayed..
Things resolved. Sometimes I think miracles occured or angels embraced me and got me through it.
Yes. Love heals I learned as does art.
I came to appreciate what I have more, but also knowing I would rather simplify my life.
I don't need so much.
I've learned how to let go a little bit more.. not always easy, but realized letting go creates space for new opportunities to open up.
and I welcome you 2009 and all you have to offer :-)
Let's spend the year in love and happiness and passionate in what we do.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Seek and you shall find..eventually

"What we seek we do not find - that would be too trim and tidy for so reckless and opulent a thing as life. It is something else we find. -Susan Glaspell, The Morning Is Near Us, 1939

I had to laugh when I read the quote above in an email this morning...
Yesterday was a bit frustrating because I was looking for a book (EVERY WHERE!) but could not find it... (still looking)... but instead I found other things :-)
Oil paints, a color chart, another book, a calender that would help if I don't find the book..stuff for Saturday's Holiday Happening....
I tried to forget it by creating and made some paper angels... figuring it would relax my brain.
If I found the book right away, I wouldn't have found the other stuff :-)

On a different level, what is it I am seeking?
Sometimes I do think I seek some order in my life, for everything to be neat and accessible.. for it all to be in easy reach.
If my art room is any indication of the reality of my life... what I want to reach for is usually something very inaccessible... I have to clear off, climb up and more often than not have good balance and be brave.
Actually what I am really seeking is wholeness and unity. I want to feel at One with all there is.. To feel the presence of God/Universe/ Peace...
In the big scheme of life, does it really matter that my room is a mess... there's a lot going on there. Projects abound! It's good. (and I did do some really good clearing out)
I want to play big!
Upon reading a line in While the Heart Waits about God experiencing through us, it gave me thought about how we experience life. I'm sure God has experienced enough sadness, enough hatred and fear, so why not play big and give God a delightful experience of creative bliss!
What I really seek is to have my heart blossom, to open up into magnificence and splendor! To be a most exquisite flower that God would say, How Cool is that!!!??? and feel Love :-)
And... if we are the reflective spirits of God, and I believe we are, then we have each other to react to our "being" and the wonderful things we manifest.
"Delicious dinner!"
"Brilliant Painting!"
You and I speak - forgetting that connection - and our words are not always so uplifting....
I'd like to remember for NOW, that God, experiencing GodSelf through me, is speaking through me to you...
on a more mundane note....
I awoke to the sound of something falling this morning... I knew it was the T-square ruler (and it was) and later another sound (not sure WHAT that was).. it being the bronze dragon fly in the bathroom, where, by the way, my Frog now sits.. remember frog (read Joanne's comment) and the thought occurred.. shit! why is everything falling? I'll go check the Tao Te Ching now :-)
(In the pursuit of knowledge, every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao, every day something is dropped.)
and in the process of letting go... I'm going to clean out the underwear drawer.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Soul Coaching

This book by Denise Linn is my New Moon intention... to do it!

For 28 days, I'll follow the outline of the book.

I'm on day 3.

The full title is Soul Coaching: 28 Days to Discover Your Authentic Self

It seems I am forever in search of myself :-).... actually, I just want to be clear on my purpose.

I do know what I love.. my art, my teaching of both art and yoga, and I want to grow in these areas. No static please, but growth.

Today I declutter the bathroom which is my Knowledge and Self Cultivation area... appropriate :-)

The affirmation is "There is clarity within me and around me" to which I'll add, I am clear in my body and my mind.

I love knowing. I am always in search of knowing.. I want to know why!

I want to study and obtain more knowlegdge so I can pass it on.

Knowlege is a funny thing though.. one can read and read, but if you don't "experience" it - at least for me - I don't hold on to it. I need to experience it inside me, my body, for it to stick... memory in the muscle.

My goals are to more knowledgable in yoga posture - the pose and it's purpose - both for the body and the mind/spirit. I think I tend to get lazy here, so my intention is to go back to "beginner's mind" and study one pose in depth... going deeper than before and bring that to my art as well.

If I am clear in my own mind, I can better teach others, communicate it clearer.

That thought just brought me to what poses to delve into ... side stretches which open up the gall bladder meridian.. to release confusion and to gain clarity.

Side to side.. this way or that way.. get clear and come into balance.


Monday, November 17, 2008

The Thinker

I've been amused by myself lately. Little things that make me laugh at myself, screwed up story-telling, miscommunications, wrong dates...
Yesterday, I was torn between staying at home and going to a Wellness Fair. There were two women I really wanted to meet there, but there was a strong pull to stay home and work on some art projects. Should I go... should I stay... decision making is so difficult for me. Torn.
I went into my art room and got lost in some art making, when I heard a sound that did NOT sound good... something had fallen in the bedroom.
I got up to find my "thinking" frog had leaped off the shelf onto the floor, missing his left foot and the candle (which had been previously lit that morning) over turned.
Immediately, I was grateful that my Gratitude candle was not lit! Then picked up froggy and found his foot.
I noticed it was 1:00. Was froggy telling me something??
If I leave now, I can catch the 1:30 lecture!!! It must be an OMEN!
I'm meant to go.
I grabbed the glue and attached his foot... found a safe place for him to sit upside down while drying.... Heart over Head did not go unnoticed :-)... put on my converse sneakers, grabbed my coat and Peru hat (very windy out)... said, "see ya later" to hubby and I was off.........
Green lights and clear traffic (except one guy that wanted to cross my path) gave me further validation I was meant to go.
I entered the grounds, looking for some sort of sign... no signs?? I asked one guy and he told me to go right.... found another woman and she pointed to the building behind her... I could park along side the road I was on... no other cars??
where is everybody??
(sometimes, it takes me awhile :-)
I walked up the path, thinking, "wow, not a lot of people here means I'll get my choice of sessions"... I check one door and it is locked, another... locked.. I continue up the path..
Notice how persistant I am :-)
A woman comes out to see if I need help.. a very kind woman and when I mention the Wellness Fair, she tells me it's next week.
I laugh at myself.. again.
I over think... and of course I thought about the frog message on the way home..
Maybe he was telling me something else.
Like, clean your room! or maybe that I over think.........

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It is time....

A Truth We Possess
Chaos and Order will always be.
Dark and Light will always be.
These are infinite truths,
and they will not be altered by our will.
Our power is not in our ability to dissolve the shadows,
or to destroy the darkness
or to conquer Chaos.
Our power is in our ability to manifest worlds of Light
from our beliefs,
birth dreams of better worlds
from our desires and create realities of beauty
with our Will.
What we think, we become.
What we fear, becomes us.
What we feel, we come to believe.
What we imagine, comes to be.
This is a Truth we possess,
that possesses us.
This is the Way to realize Heaven on Earth.
This is the Light of our True Self,
shining bright from within,
nourishing and radiating out
the Divine Spark of Creation.
I found this at Creative Astrology - words for the people.
I am feeling very hopeful this morning.
Now I want to paint the butterfly!
She is releasing, leaving the cocoon.
It is time....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Follow your Dreams....

I am reading Patti Digh's book, Life is a Verb: 37 Days to wake up, be mindful, and live intentionally. In this wonderful, inspiring book, is one of my favorite quotes.
"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change." - Buddha
It is one of the things I love so much about photography - taking those close up pictures of nature, and being stunned by it's amazing patterns and intricacies. It brings me closer to that presence of being in the now and appreciating life's miracles.
I mean really, stop for a moment and look around. How the @%#*!!!! did all this happen????
How did this all mind-boggling stuff come about? The human body alone!! stars, the solar system.... flowers, insects, this computer.... and of course we just say.. God. Because it's probably too overwhelming for us... maybe we'd all go crazy :-)
On the next page is another wonderful quote:
"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black curious eyes of a child - our own two eyes.
All is a miracle. - Thich Nhat Hanh
This book, with the premise of if you knew you had 37 left to live your life, what would you do.. It puts things into perspective.
Somethings just aren't worth worrying or getting agitated about. Priorities shift.
Petty arguments dissolve.
Creating art moves to the top of the priority list.
I put more love into my cooking.
Everything... EVERYTHING becomes sacred.
My relationships take on deeper meaning.
I can open my heart more and be more vulnerable, take more risks.
I put these laces in my sneakers. They say follow your dreams as a reminder that each step I take should be one that brings me towards love and peace and happiness.
Journey in that direction.
It is better to believe than to disbelieve;
in so doing you bring everything to the realm of possibility.

(Albert Einstein)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Pondering a dream I had last night, it got me thinking about passion. Passion in doing whatever it is you are doing. Lessons from Nature. Roses speak passion to me.
Leaves changing color, too.
Gracefully moving in the direction of change... not fighting it, but moving through it in beauty that takes my breath away.

Sometimes the changes are so subtle.
Gently releasing... letting go.
In terms of Art, I'm setting an intention to open up more and "speak" from my heart, letting go of "reasons" and analysis for a bit.. I can be a bit heady and so I'd like to move more towards passion and wild abandonment!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Infinite Possibilites

What can we change when we look first to our similiarites rather than our differences?
First find the common ground.
Then we can respectfully find acceptance in our differences...
Because when we are friends, we celebrate our diversity, learn from each other.
Growing, reaching out with love beyond all surface issues because in Truth we are the same.
We are One.
When we work together as one, whole, we can accomplish amazing things.
May ALL Beings be at Peace

Poison Ivy Eyes

As I was going through my pictures, I came across this one and had to laugh...
These ivy eyes are pretty much saying what is going on with me.
Poison Oak! Yes, it is surrounded my eyes, around my face, in my ear...
It's been an interesting week, to say the least and I would love to attribute it to the mercurial hiccups, but it may just be that there are lessons that were not learned, and I revisisted them again. In the cosmic calender, it was written :"The point of Mercury reversals is to allow human beings to review, reflect and re-evaluate what's been happening in their lives for several months, make the necessary corrections and then go forward again having learned some difficult lessons."
How is it that I did not learn this one!?! This is not the first time it's happened.
About early 90's, when I was teaching in a school, I decided to pick some leaves behind my home, for the kids to draw in art class. Same time of the year, as they were changing colors, not to mention in time for Halloween!
Repeat. Fast-forward to Wednesday... I did check to see if there were the three-leaf poison ivy plants and thought I was ok, but I did have to reach for that one that had changed to a beautiful red... needless to say, I wasn't too sure what poison oak looked like, and it just may be the leaf I picked!
My eyes do not look pretty...................
I am now reviewing my past week... heated arguement in yoga class between two students.. (rash behaviour?) yes, that's right, yoga class! Isn't that supposed to be calm and relaxing...... followed by a irrate custodian leaving a message having to do with enough room in yoga class which would have prevented the arguement.
Make the necessary corrections and move forward.
1) Do NOT, repeat, DO NOT go into the back to pick leaves ever again!!!!
2) Communicate DIRECTLY to custodian about space issues for yoga class.
3) Move forward, with lessons learn.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

International Peace Day

Sunday, Sept. 21st, is Peace Day. Here's a painting I did for a "prompt" from the Mandala Oasis group. After meeting Joey today at the football game, I had an idea for next year, providing the case in the town house is clear.. Have the kids in art class make some posters, or paint some rocks, or mandalas... for Peace Day.
It was a gorgeous day which is why I went with myhusband to the game... just for the walk. As it turns out, it was a good day for some networking. I'll have to remember this next time when I think, "why in the world would I want to go to the football game?"
Peace Within = Peace Without
Be Peace.
May all Beings be at Peace.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Spirals In Nature

Yesterday on our walk, I took a picture of this spider. She was pretty big and I was a little far from her for a good shot, but this morning, It got me thinking ...
I've been coming across a lot of spirals in nature lately, as I've become more focused on patterns in nature... more so this year than any other. Probably because of my interest in the mandalas, sacred geometry and "messages".
The spiral is a pattern found throughout nature and a powerful image for me... unfolding that which is hidden or maybe folding in upon it self in order to hide.. expansion and contraction.. birth and decay.
The spider according to Ted Andrews, "teaches you to maintain a balance - between past and future, physical and spiritual, male and female." (Maintaining Balance being the "theme" of this blog)
Reading his mention that the "spiral energy, the links with the past and the future". This I had to laugh about because I ran into a childhood friend... my first "boyfriend" that I played with and like very much.... and I was with my husband. My past and my present/future. (life's funny)

According to Angeles Arrien, the spiral is about growth and change. "It is the process of coming to the same point again and again, but at a different level, so that everything is seen in a new light."
She says flexibility is a majoy requirement and this is the angel card that sits on my desk.
"The spiral in art and the spiral metaphor used in mythological spinning and weaving stories are both symbols for the same universal process of growth. They each announce the desire for diverse expression of creativity." (italics mine)
We all have this natural desire to grow and evolve spiritually with "the relentless power of the creative spirit". Our creative endeavors must be honored and respected. We must listen to that inner creative urge to explore new avenues, go where the muse will take us.. Risk, stretch, grow.
I had a dream last night that I was to travel to Mexico to take a class in clay and photography.
I found a cheap flight from Westchester airport for only $150 and the flight was to take off at 1:50. Not sure what the numbers mean (yet) but I pondered the whole process of the spiral and went into my art room to create a new mandala using the spiral.... of course :-)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Gestation period -

"Thank you for listening to the messages."
This is what she said as we were leaving, after John bought me this beautiful bracelet called "Butterfly Maiden".
I always see messages, probably more so than the average person. Probably too much.
Always looking for meaning to things, hidden meanings.
Sometimes I just cannot ignore them. It's the way of the Seeker.
This summer was the summer of the caterpillars. I saw them 3 different times, each time they crawled into the art tent. I've worked there for 24 years (!!) and it was the first time I saw them. They were big green ones which became filled with yellow hairs.
We were browsing the tables, and we came upon this one table that was selling bracelets that were made with "intentions"... and the one she pulled for me, "Butterfly Maiden" pink and topaz crystals... I thought it very intuitive on her part. We chatted for a bit and told her about the caterpillars and my astrological reading.
Just before this, I had a reading where I was told I was in a "gestation period", a waiting period where it was better for me to wait, rather than "do" anything...... Saturn was sitting in my 12th house and would soon conjunct my ascendant, but until that time, it was not a time of doing, but rather waiting.... and then I would "know" what to do.

I'm reading "When the Heart Waits" by Sue Monk Kidd, which I bought awhile back and just picked it up yesterday. She talks about waiting, the gestation period and the cocoon she found.
The importance of waiting spiritually is often overlooked in our "fast-paced" society.
Here it was again. No accident in buying this book! another message.
I'm ok with waiting, but I'm curious as well... what does life have in store for me when I do break out of my cocoon... what will this transformation look like?
There are things in my life that are working very well for me and I would be grateful for them to stay the same, but there are things that need to go.
Get rid of what is not working to make room for that which is, and to be better able to focus on it more efficiently.
I am painting again.
This brought up a dream, reminded by the book actually, of the giant cocoon filled with many little cocoons that turned into butterflies. I was standing at the doorway of my art room looking into my bedroom where this was happening. I painted this, and put it away unfinished.
Messages of transformation have been repeating themselves to me these past few months, maybe longer.
I've just been having these feelings that something is on the verge, about to change, there is something more... something different... and I am wondering.. what?
So I have gone back to painting, mostly to see what wants to show up. What is it that needs to be revealed. (The magic of painting)
Saturn in the 12th house of the unconscious will move into the 1st house. The house of me.
Who is that? What will my soul reveal to me, my purpose, my mission. I'm ok with being still, going within to discover what that is. To get in touch with the "still voice within" and discover what kind of butterfly I actually am.
I see it as a process, each time I "transform", I grow deeper into my spirituality and discover another deeper part of myself, the true Self that needs to be expressed.
Shedding away the masks we put on for the public and allowing more and more of the Self to express itself.
Amazing process really, but it calls for a lot of patience, doesn't it?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Chew on this!

Before leaving for vacation, my husband and I went to the Wainwright house for a Healing Arts fair. We went to a few lectures and I had my astrological/tarot reading done (which calls for an entire new post).

The last lecture we went to was given by Lorraine Gengo called "Discover your Essential Nature through Ayurveda".

I have always been confused about what my dosha was. Still am.

John is so clear cut, emphasis on Pitta, whereas I am all over the place.

So during my wonderful and relaxing vacation, I spent a good deal of time reading. One of the books called Prakriti: Your Ayurvedic Constitution by Dr. Robert E. Svoboda.

As I was reading, one of those aha lightbulbs went off.

It occured under the chapter Balance.... mmmm. . . just what this blog is about, me bringing myself into balance.

We all know how stress, or the reaction to stress, wreaks havoc on our immune system and allows dis-ease to enter our body. It seems that is the "answer" given nowadays by doctors... "it's stress" .. easy, lazy answer.

We all have stress. Every time something new, some change, comes along, usually unexpected, it brings stress into our lives. We need to know how to deal with it. Our natural reaction to it is determined by our constitution ( our dosha). We are capable of changing it, but first comes awareness.

The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, Kapha.

Vata is the more unstable form, Pitta is more reactive, and Kapha is more inert.

To use the example given by our lecturer, if stuck in an elevator, Vata would freak out pushing buttons and well, freak out. Pitta would pick up his cell phone and call for help. (Yes, John would do exactly that, because he would actually have his cell on him) and Kapha, would just stand by, "no worry, someone will help us" and that would be me because after all, I'm with John, Mr. Pitta who has the cell phone!

Aside from stress, it is written that Indigestion is the base of all physical disease, the condition from which all other disease conditions arise. ... the inability to digest any physical, mental or emotional input, is the sole disease of living beings.

Disease starts in the mind as "an offense against wisdom" and then projected from the mind into the physical body.

We KNOW eating the ice cream or cookie isn't good for us, but we eat it anyway... "an offense against wisdom". So, a clogged system is the punishment for this offense.

According to this ayurveda system, it is most important to be able to digest our foods, taking all the nutrients from it and eliminate the rest.

No burping, no discomfort after eating, and you have a nice poop with no problem :-)

That's the physical... but there is also the mental reaction, which again is not to have mental discomfort, you don't "burp" up any reactions, or have disturbing thoughts or dreams.

Now here comes my "aha" moment.

"Don't bite off more than you can chew", words that I have heard my mother repeatedly tell me. Not so much with having to eat, but with work. And yes, guilty I am of this (but consciously working on it) and I have looked at this as a result of self-employment. I say yes to everything that comes my way, because what if it stops coming..... (fear based thinking).

Life has proved this to be untrue, showing me that "the universe provides" but I need reminding.

Holy Shit! I realize here it is in the physical as well. I have been criticized for eating too fast, even being called a "hoover". The next bite most often goes in before I'm done chewing and have swallowed what is in my mouth.

I'm "biting off more than I can chew" literally!

This leads into issues of holding on as well. I tend more to hold on to things "just in case I need them"... thoughts jotted down on paper, notebooks filled with ideas, magazine, books, old clothes that "might" be recycled into art projects. It's that "waste not, want not" mentality.

Conscious change occurs when one is aware. Once you become "enlightened" about a situation, then you can take the appropriate path towards recovery, sometimes or maybe often times, with the support of a friend to help you stay on the path.. to point out to you that you may need to "chew on something" for awhile. And this is what I am doing.

Being more conscious of my eating physically to properly digest it all will help me "digest" all the mental stuff.

My new moon intentions are to eat more consciously. PUT THE FORK DOWN! while I am chewing. swallow. then I can take another bite...

If someone offers me a "job", chew on it before I answer. Do I really want to do it? or am I taking it on out of "fear of lack".

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mandala of Moments

Movement through time.
Counting each second as we move around from
beginning to beginning.
spiraling upwards through each cycle
spinning through space.
Moving through change
moment by moment
second by second
no stopping.......
During our stay in Phoenicia, each evening I did a mandala.
No music as I usually listen to. Only the sound of the river as we kept the windows open until it was too chilly.
I was more aware of my thoughts and then not, back and forth.
Sometimes, I felt my mind to be so still, I wondered if there were any thoughts at all. But then that was the thought that brought me back to "the voices in my head".
I tried often to watch these thoughts, to get in touch with the "witness", the One behind the thougthts, Me, the True Self... that One.
These mandalas were the catalyst to help me be there, in that space when the mind quiets.
Bliss :-)
Each day, Each moment... make it count, embrace it for what it is.

Monday, August 25, 2008


It's a wonderful feeling when you find blessings in your life.
As if the Universe just keeps pouring these gifts out to you, landing on your lap.
An extreme feeling of gratefullness, unlike the everyday blessings I feel. Rather, these open one's heart even more.
They are the blessings one finds in the ordinary and the extra ordinary.
Seeing magic and mystery in all of nature, in every seed, in every drop of water.
Perfect weather. Sun. Breeze. Clear sky.
A week of this. Following my bliss. Being in nature, reading and creating at leisure. No time limits. No watch. No tv. No computer.
This mandala was a tribute to the healing waters of Pachamama.
On arriving home, blessing continued with gifts from friends. This one (see right of blog) is from Mai-Liis, aka Chaska, and
will soon pass it on to 5 more bloggers....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Right Triangle Mandala

During my "forced" cleaning frenzy (due to a leak) I came across some things that were tucked away deep within the recesses of other stuff... piles of stuff... layers and layers of papers and books and all the things I needed to save.
In my journey through all of this, I came across Judith Cornell's Healing Mandala book, which I didn't even realize I was missing it. It became seperated from the rest of the kit.
The other kit that caught my eye is John Michael Greer's cards and book on Geometic Transformation.
I pulled a card. Right Triangle.
So I did a mandala using the right triangle. As I began, it triggered a dream I had about teaching an art class on perspective the night before. I thought that was kind of interesting........
The card's meaning (divination reading) is Proportion. " A card of synthesis, pointing to a time when parts can be brought together to form a new oneness. Everything you see is a piece of the puzzle... what matters is how you put it together. The right triangle calls for you to sort out a wider range of factors; at the same time, it doesn't insist on equality."
What deserves my time... what are my priorities?
It was thought-provoking as I was creating the mandala. As I drew lines, it sometimes created a triangle that wasn't a right triangle.. one side needs to be a right angle.. so I played around until I was satisfied I had created all right triangles (except the area near the circle).
I jumped back and forth between coloring it as a mirror of it's opposite side or to create it as a pattern around the design, alternating colors, which made me think of a pin wheel.
I didn't like it.
So I added patterns inside the colors.... I like it better.
This seems to be more of an exercise in the left brain in the beginning. Problem solving. Attention to detail, logic.
At one point I felt smart. Only way I can explain it... like I could jump into doing some math after this.
Maybe I should do something like this before my taxes.. brain prep.
This changed when I started adding color and patterns which was more free-flowing.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

gathering stones

I collect rocks.
We vacation in Phoenicia, NY on the Esopus river. Smooth round stones are everywhere. Each time, I come back with an armful in the trunk. Instead of watching TV, I spend the evenings painting on them. Mostly mandalas.
Some of these stones were given as gifts or ended up in our pond at moms. Other's are placed around our home, piles placed on the floor or window sills.
Special ones were gathered from Lake Titicaca.
Along with the river stones, are gem stones: Amethyst, carnelian, turquoise, geodes placed strategically around as well.
I was surprised when the camp director pulled out three stones from her pocket the last day at camp. She said she felt naked without them.. always carrying them. One she had used to have words on it and were rubbed off with time. Worry stones.
What is this comfort we get from holding stones?
They are like the bones of the earth. solid. grounding. slow to change.
One more week here and then we leave for the cabin there.
I rest on rocks heated by the sun, allowing it's heat to penetrate my back as I lie down, with my feet dangling in the cool running water. Just being. soaking up the energy of the place. resting. rejuvenating.... and gathering stones.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

12 moon cycles

Circle, equidistant cross and the square.
***As I am sitting here beginning to write about this, the oddest(?) thing is occurring!!!
I am watching a program on India and they are talking about mandalas... not only that but the image they showed is similar to the image ( the center part) here. .. and with the white center the same in the cross ... they say it is the most important part... representing "enlightenment"...
... so cool.
ok. now that THAT is over :-)
back to my feelings about this~
As I chose my first, third and fifth symbols to create this, (check link below for explanation)
I found my self resisting, hesitating... I think it was the square.. I kept looking at "perfection".
I even looked for some stencils. I did use them with part of this and then abandoned them.
Square to me is "structure" and I tend to have a bit of a rebellious relationship with it. It's more of a love/hate one. I need it to a degree, especially to help me get started.. to keep deadlines, etc. but when it come to the act of creating, I need more freedom, so that is where resistance was coming in. It wasn't as spontaneous as I have been with the previous mandalas.
With the square, I was also feeling that it needed to be symmetrical. (some discipline involved?)
As I moved along, I realized I was creating the Andean Cross which I have been attracted to since my first trip to Peru. The image is in the yellow square, and is made with my three chosen symbols.
I intensely observed my reactions to creating this, which is something I don't always do, at least not as much.
I began to like where it was going and my attitude was changing to one of openness, excited and then settled into this feeling of being inspired ... until one point - the moons and the background to them. Unsure what to do, I waited... and then....
...... the asymmetry comes in at last. Because there were 12 circles, I thought of the 12 months, the phases of the moon and that's where I gravitated to.
To me the square is grounding (foundation). I see it as Earth, structure, rigidity, solid, stable and it is the number 5 choice of my preferences.

This was an interesting process that can be found on Sue's blog, Sacred Circle Mandalas where you can read about these symbols in depth and some very interesting info she gathered from Angeles Arrien's book, Signs of Life. Go check it out!
I'm ready to do another one..

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Healing Earth

After playing around with the zendalas for awhile, I colored in this mandala that I had drawn a couple of days ago. This was one of the times that I sat with an empty circle... waiting...
No tracing (obviously)... next I drew the inner circle and then proceeded with the shapes around the circle... not knowing what they would be.
Finally inside the inner circle, she appeared. I think it is my desire to get in touch with nature. To feel the peacefulness, it's serenity, it's healing ability... just to have that feeling of being one with it.
It's been a "harried" week. Mom had appointments... John had appointments and of course there is work... and it was (and still is) HOT!
Tuesday was spent at the medical center... spleen specialist and cat scans.
Ironically, the place was freezing inside. Blankets were placed around for the taking and I definitely needed one.... while outside it was hot as hell! (figure of speech here - don't really believe in hell) .......anyway.........
There, I met Rose. John went to get her a blanket as she sat freezing and John being John, started up chatting away, making her laugh.
She was from Sicily, so we moved into the direction of travel and we teased John about flying. (He won't fly, but that's another story)
While John was inside getting scanned, I learned about Rose and was reminded "there is always someone worse off that you or your loved ones".
She didn't even have a spleen, was waiting for a liver transplant and has lupus. I learned about the effects of ammonia on the liver and the brain.
So, the cloud formations surrounding the inner circle, were intentions of healing the liver and spleen...
John got one step closer towards more healing as the catheter was taken out on Friday. He is a very happy camper.
Many healing thoughts go out to others today that need healing in what ever form, physically, mentally, emotionally.......
May you feel the breeze on your skin and smell a flower and hopefully it's not too hot for ya!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Blessing Moon

Early this morning the full moon in Capricorn opposed the Sun in Cancer.
Reading from Moon Circles, I was inspired to do a moon mandala. Kate, from MandalaOasis yahoo group, informed me it was called a Blessing Moon.
Yes. Now I see the blessings being poured down upon the Earth, poured down upon me. I went to sleep with the moon shining in my window and thought... just briefly.. of all my blessings.
I quickly was out... sound asleep.
This moon in Capricorn, an earth sign, along with the sun in Cancer, a water sign.. together form mud or clay, that which creates forms, vessels. I am an Aquarian, the water barer, with a mission to help carry these blessings, share them with the world.
When we focus on our blessings, uplifting us with positive and grateful energy, we are then renewed and able to bring these blessings to others... pay them forward.
We cannot give to others if our well is dry.
Therefore, we must allow the time for ourselves to replenish the well, filling ourselves up with sacred time. Time to explore our soul, healing wounds, forgiving ourselves and others, being compassionate with ourselves.
It is time for self-nurturing.
May you be well blessed during this time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Turtle Medicine

I read something on line and this image of turtle with hearts or the thought of hearts as a doorway brought up this idea... so with sketchbook in hand, sitting in the waiting room at the doctors office, I began to draw... This morning as I colored it in, I kept thinking of Turtle Medicine.
For me, home is important... it is my sanctuary. I need a peaceful environment to regenerate, to regroup, and of course to create. Our home is art and filled with love... two of us coming home to one another... sitting together and coloring.
I found this as well:

The Turtle
The turtle is a creature of the water. Because of its great age and its slow metabolism the turtle is associated with longevity. Turtle medicine can teach new perceptions about time and our relationship to it. It can also help us grow old gracefully and in harmony with our environment. When the pace of life becomes too hectic the turtle shows us how to slow down and go with the flow.
Turtles have amazing survival skills and strategies. They sense vibrations in the water through their skin and shell. Turtle totems hold the mystery of awakening the senses on both the physical and spiritual levels and can stimulate clairaudience.
Turtles carry their homes on their back. The shell is actually the backbone and ribs of the turtle and serves as home and shelter for it. Those with this medicine should remember not to acquire more possessions then they actually need. The burden of responsibility can become a heavy weight for you to carry.
When turtle is flipped on its back it uses its strong neck to right itself. This can be a reminder to use your own head and inner knowledge to right yourself when your world gets topsy-turvy.
All turtles must come ashore to lay their eggs and they are usually buried. When the eggs hatch they make their way to the water. The link between water and land especially for the purpose of reproduction has great significance.
When turtle shows up in your life, it is time to get connected to your most primal essence. Go within your shell and come out when your ideas are ready to be expressed. The turtle cannot separate itself from its shell and we cannot separate ourselves from what we do to the earth. The way to heaven is through the earth and both are interconnected.

and then I found this as well, and found some of this to fit as well:

The Tortoise
The tortoise is a land bound creature and is exclusively terrestrial. In myth and folklore the tortoise represents determination and longevity. Tortoises have high domed shells and heavy elephant like hind legs. The weight of its shell keeps it from moving too fast. The heaviness of its hind legs gives it the strength to carry heavy loads. Those with this totem often carry the loads of others as well as the burdens of self. They make good therapists but must be careful not to take on the problems of other people.
One of the most ancient and adaptable creatures, the tortoise holds the energy of patience and perseverance. They are very sensitive to the environment in which they live and have a strong psychic connection to mother earth. Extreme changes in climatic conditions can affect their overall disposition. Tortoise medicine people need a stable environment for their overall well being. Without this stability they are prone to mood swings.
The tortoise feels vibrations within the earth and reacts strongly to them. By observing the tortoise's behavior we are forewarned of any imbalances within the earth's core before an actual change occurs. This helps us prepare for geophysical changes in a balanced way.
The tortoise is self-reliant and self determined. Its ability to survive for as long as it has is partly due to its talent to stay focused. When this medicine is fully developed within us we use these gifts efficiently. If this medicine is underdeveloped staying centered in spite of the constant distractions that appear in our day-to-day life will be our greatest challenge.
Tortoises are vegetarians and are very terrestrial. Those with this totem can benefit from a similar diet and often place a great deal of importance on a stable home environment. The tortoise carries their home on their backs and reminds us that although stability in our life is important true stability lies within ourselves.
Moving slowly through life the tortoise observes and processes everything efficiently. This movement compliments its inner wisdom. When the tortoise shuffles into your life it is ready to share that wisdom with you. All you need to do is slow down, pay attention and begin to move with patient persistence. In this way longevity, inner strength and a harmonious lifestyle are attained.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


This morning I read from The Painter's Keys something he wrote and keeps around, a reminder, a prayer of sorts..

The world's engagement of beauty is my bible,
And Art is my religion.
I come to it as a child. I add all the grown wisdom I can gather.
Creativity is my salvation.
My easel is the altar.
My paints are the sacraments.
My brush is my soul's movement,
and to do poorly, or not to work, is a sin.

For many years, this is how I have felt.. the beauty of nature was my church. I stopped going to a conventional church because I came away feeling worse than when I went in. I would rather have my time spent with "God" or this Creative Universal Intelligence.. This Ultimate Divine Being alone doing art... Art.

Art is my salvation, the path I use to find that quiet, still voice within... to keep me in touch with the Divine Self and when I don't do any art for awhile, I feel it. I feel the difference in my moods... becoming cranky, irritable.. and when we are not full of Joy, that's what sin is... against Joy and Love is not being with the Divine.. my idea of sin.

Art is my passion, and wherein lies passion, lies the connection to the Divine Self...

Follow your bliss

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sometimes easily made and sometimes not.
I've had my challenges in making the best one.. but the fact is we have them.
We have the freedom to choose.
We ALWAYS have the freedom to choose how we react.. the path we take, where we want to go in life.

We may feel at times, that these decisions are made for us, or forced upon us, but ultimately, it is always our choice.
We are always free to choose.
I watched this video here and it made me think how we have become so apathetic about some things, thinking we have no choice... but we do.
It's amazing how much we consume... and waste.
We have a choice in buying goods. We are the ones with the power as a consumer.
Sometimes I'm guilty with this type of thinking.... that I'm at the mercy of the "establishment"... but most often, I'd rather dig up something in my closet than buy something that "they" believe and try to make me believe that I will be prettier, sexier, healthier, smarter... or whatever...
We have so much in this country! and we take it for granted as if it will always be there.
I became much more aware of this while visiting Peru.
Everywhere we went, only a quarter of a napkin was given - paper was not dispensed so freely as it is here.
If I don't like what you are offering, I will go somewhere else. But why not let them know...
why not voice your opinion more often.
I tend to think, my little voice doesn't matter, but if enough people spoke up or decided to lead by example (bring your own cup to work, use cloth napkins) then maybe others would follow suit.
Today, I was annoyed with the packaging of a kit I had ordered for camp. Each piece was individually wrapped in plastic. Not only did it take forever to hand these things out , but I ended up with a bag of plastic bags!!!!
We're lucky to live in a country where we can speak up and do have the freedom to choose.
Let's not ever give that away.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Permission to Play

Today I watched as some other counselors, old and young, gave themselves permission to play. They sat with the kids and enjoyed the simple pleasure of coloring and creating.

I started with the older groups and found the project to be a bit challenging and frustrating. No fun if I have to put it together for them and it keeps falling apart.... so I did what I do best... I created a new project with the parts.

Much better.... and more playful :-) We made wishing stars.

Not only that, but the counselors wanted to sit and color and it was so nice to see them get excited about their own creativity.
Summer should be about play and I'm thinking this is the theme of this summer.
My message - to allow and play and not take it all so seriously.
And to share that as well... to encourage others to play.
I heard things today like, "I wish I were young again"... to which I replied, "You can create anytime you wish.. you should always allow yourself some "art time".
Another older counselor said, "I'm going to treat myself" and sat down and created as well.
We all made some magic today.
Make a wish!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lessons from Play

Setting an intention.

I needed to change my mindset about camp and I did. The first two days were fun, laid back and playful. I didn't get to camp before hand like I usually do to put stuff away and have it somewhat organized. This stressed me out a bit....... but...

I figured I could at least find the markers and paper, so I had the kids create mandalas - first the girls and today it was with the boys.

I was surprised at how intently some groups were listening as I explained mandalas as sacred circles, magical, mystery circles... some of the groups I told them to think of something they wished for as the colored them.

It was great watching them and for the two days, I sat and colored a little bit with each group. It opened up some great discussions. Sometimes I am in awe of how smart these kids are.

At the end of class, we displayed them and I took pictures of them while they worked (process) and the completed ones.

Today, at the end of the day while most of the kids were in the pool, I went to the center of the basketball court and starting creating a mandala with colored chalk.

"Awesome!" I heard... "She's making a flower"... a few girls came over to check out what I was doing. .. and I handed them the chalk for them to add to it. More and more joined in and it was so great watching them and their counselors getting into it and having fun while I took some pictures. (other blog)

I had decided I would have a more playful attitude with this and that is just what I did.

Coincidentally, this was in my mailbox from the daily om astrology:

"When you let yourself play, you stimulate your creativity and your imagination. In our busy world, it’s easy to deny ourselves the joy of play because we have so many tasks and responsibilities competing for our attention. Allowing yourself to think like a child and be playful can help you find ways to make work fun. Fulfilling your duties can feel delightful and chores can become tasks to be completed in creative ways. Because you are focused on play, you may find yourself making time to be playful. Reconnecting with your sense of play can help you rediscover your child’s-eye view of a world that is full of wonder. When you give your inner child freedom the freedom to play today, you will find that your playful attitude adds a note of fun to your endeavors."

Kids are a blessing in my life. It's good to give yourself time to play, but when you are surrounded by children, playing with them, then you truly learn or relearn what play is about. Being spontaneous, reconnecting to a different way of seeing things, that sense of wonder children have, a fresh and new perspective.... these are what I return to when I engage with them... they stimulate my creativity... my imagination. We explore together and discover things I may not have discovered on my own with my "adult" vision.

Yes. They are true blessings in my life and I'm grateful to reminded of it over and over again.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Let it go.........

Upon awakening (no, not that Awakening:-), I sat drinking my coffee, pondering my behaviour... so, here I am pouty, feeling as I am regressing to a childish behaviour and I ask my husband, "Do you love me?"


"Do you love me even when I'm grumpy and irritiable?"


I didn't sleep, but when I did I had crazy dreams. One being that I went to a fortune teller who said she wishes she could open up a Cat Cleaner's.... I have a friend from Texas who would move here if you did, I told her.

The bottom line is - it's not really just the tooth - it's that I have to work on someone else's time.

For 6 weeks, time for myself is lessened. I work outside at a camp teaching art and I don't like the heat and humidity. I leave by 8:15...(ugh) and during the year, it's more like "whenever".

I do like kids. Love 'em. But this is pretty much 20 classes a week as opposed to 5 or sometimes 6. When I have a painting job, I can call it a day when I want to. I am my own boss :-)

So....using the wise words of Abraham, better to focus on what I DO want:

Having fun, chilling out and creating with the kids.

It's a good pay check :-) and it goes by fast.

Reward is a week in the mountains and then onto the ocean.

So, lighten up Dor, and fly...............................

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Light my path

I wish my path - the one I should take - would be well lit.
That is just what I wish, but what the truth is, no matter what path I do take... it is the path I should take. No matter what path we take, it is there to teach us something. We learn, no matter what. Maybe one path is harder and the lesson is tougher, and other times when we can skip down that path, feeling the lightness of our being.
Not today.
Today, my path feels heavy. Clouded. I'm very cranky with a toothache. There are these "should-haves" running across my mind, and although they will make my life easier for tomorrow, today I just wanted to have some time for me.
Done. No going back.
Today, I chose "grumpy".
Tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yantra for the Moon

Moon Nourishment
A great article in Yoga Journal talks about these Yantras.
Similar to Mandalas, both seen as sacred and helping one to turn inward and used for healing. According to the article, the practice originates from the use of mantra (sound vibrations) and yantra (visual depictions of the sound vibrations)...
The article, which is worth reading, is in the Aug. 08 issue, called Drawn Inward by Sarah Tomlinson, page 71.
For me, mandalas or yantras... as long as they bring me into that state of centeredness, peace and being in the moment... doesn't matter much what they are called or how it is done.
Although, what I did find interesting in the article was the approach to them. Starting at the top, working clockwise around and towards the center, brings you out of the chattered mind (external world) and into the calm place within. Oh yeah, to live there... to be able to make clear decisons, to be so focused and calm as not to be rattled by someone's opinion. Yeah, that's where I'd like to live. And how does one get there?...... practice, Doreen, practice and patience.
If you go to you should come to a page with 5 yantras that you can print out and color... thank you YJ :-)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Centering in the Storm

I am in mandala mode.
I'm also reading and focusing on the chakras.
Asked the question, "What calms me?" This came to mind.
Being still.
To be still in the chaos that surrounds us, what a wonderful gift that would be...
and what brings us there?
The breath.
The mind will follow the breath... then the body will follow the mind.
As we breathe in deep full breaths, our minds will quiet, become calmer and our body will relax. We become calm.
It is such a powerful tool. We carry it with us everywhere we go.. we just need to bring our awareness to it.
Every deep and wonderous, divine breath, I am grateful.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Digging Deep

Reading up on the root chakra, I was inspired by a passage about Earth as Home. Mother Earth - Pachamama... my mother. my home. my roots......
Friday I watched Danielle Bain, Medicine Woman, and how she had come to the realization after traveling for I think 6 months, that she needed to go back home to study the medicine of her people.
Traveling is good for the soul. We learn how similar we are even with our differences. We are all brothers and sisters on this planet.
But it is always good to come home.
In the first chakra, it is where Spirit is grounded in the material world. We manifest our creativity in a physical form.
It is here where we must get out of our head and into our body. Connecting to Mother Earth provides a healing source.
We master the fundamentals of survival here by grounding our spirit into our body. We ground our energy in some form of expression, discharging an accumulaton of emotional energy.
Consciously breathing and moving our body, connecting to our inner core, bringing awareness to the body and puts us in touch with our feelings.
Move consciously upon the Earth.
Be aware of the ground beneath your feet. Walking meditation.
Tell the truth about what you feel.
"I am a child of the Universe and I am taken care of."
"I honor my body by nurturing it with healthy food, exercise, and loving thoughts"
Mother Earth blesses me with Abundance.
I take responsibility for myself. I honor all my needs.
I am in touch with the Mother within and it's healing source.
Good yoga postures to help be grounded:
Lying on your back. Knees bent and allowing the whole spine to release onto the ground.
Tree Pose ~ Mountain Pose ~ Child Pose ~Cobra ~
Color Red
Square Shape
Blessing the Earth and being grateful.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rooted - begin with a strong foundation

I began this blog at the new moon in Gemini. Sun and Moon joined together in my 10th house. The 10th house is the career. Gemini, the twins, a sign of duality, multi-tasking, represents the lungs, arms, hands (for self-expression) A sign that represents communication... and I started a blog :-) This also explains why I usually have two or more jobs going at the same time.

Not only that, I joined another yahoo group - a mandala group. I started back up with
Creative Everyday and started to reread Susan's book, The Chakras in Shamanic Practice by Susan J. Wright. Susan is my yoga teacher and who I trained with for my certification. I'm reading Shaman, Healer, Sage by Alberto Villoldo and just so happen to be reading chapters on the chakras.

This morning, I decided I would sit for awhile and create a mandala. I thought of starting with the root chakra - that was my intention. As with any art, the creative process flows where it needs to go and I allowed whatever wanted to come up... messages of movement.

A message that has been repeating itself lately.

Yes. I need to move. Walk. Do some yoga.

Get in touch with the body and out of my head... so really, this mandala did have something to do with the first chakra. Placing your feet on the ground and move.

Muladhara is the Sanskrit name of the first chakra, meaning foundation. I decided it is best to start with a strong foundation to build upon. Our roots. It is where we begin to trust.

It is also here we connect to Mother Earth, Pachamama. What draws me to the South American cultures, Peru in particular, is the deep respect they have for Mother Earth.

She provides everything for us... food, shelter, gravity and heals us.

Walking, whether in sacred places like Machu Picchu or nearby wooded areas, provides us this opportunity to connect with her abundance.

Connecting with the earth helps us to connect with our own body. Walking and yoga are the two ways I use to help ground myself. These are the tools I use to ground me, bring me back to humbleness, to help me trust that I am provided for.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It began with a walk

I've decided to get back into a daily or almost daily walk. Even if it's just around the block, I need to get the body moving. One reason is because I've gained some weight and the other is because it helps me to think better.

While in Peru (see other blog for pictures), my husband went into the hospital. Prostate was enlarged.. but it was more complicated than that.

Rethinking diet. Rethinking how we live.

And when you live with someone you care about and love to pieces, you share and help and grow together - challenges included.

My husband goes to extremes with many things. I see this in myself as well and he will point it out how much I do it with working.

Thus work and play need to be brought into balance.... among other things.

During my walk, my mind returned repeatedly to this idea of balance.

Yes, I want to fly. I want to do it all, reach for the stars, visit other lands, try new things, go wild with abandonment on a canvas.

Earth calls me. I need to be in the woods, surrounded by trees, plants, flowers, birds... otherwise I can get too flighty, too scattered. I need to be grounded to get things done. Practical stuff like putting things away before I am buried in clutter.

What do you do to bring yourself back into balance?