healing haven

August 7, 2014

Art Journaling Journey

For years I have been intrigued by the pictures of various art journals, both the images and the ideas expressed.  Usually the ideas are a phrase or a quote.  But I  also like to process and journal my feelings and patterns I discover within and without myself.  But for some reason I never attempted to actually art journal, keeping my journaling and memoir writing separate from any artsy stuff I would do.  I realize I never thought I could really do the “artsy stuff” myself.

A perfectionist artist father both gave me some tools for art and discouraged me from doing art, or even thinking of myself as an art person.  Soul Food Café facilitated by Heather Blakey, was the first internet site that really drew me in with its writing prompts and information on how to set up a blog. The group was inspiring and encouraging to someone just starting out.   I loved writing as I wove in memoir and experiences with the fantasy stories.

These became part of my blogging (see blogs starting at the beginning in 2008) and proceeding onwards for those writing regarding trips to Lemuria and Riversleigh.  Shortly afterwards I came across SoulCollage (formulated by Seena Frost) and Kaleidosoul (facilitated by Anne Marie Bennett) which really resonated with me by having both aspects of the collage making and journaling to specific questions from the collage picture made.  The questions used (see my SoulCollage-Kaleidosoul page for the list of questions) are as if the collage picture itself is speaking, allowing the unconscious to come forth at times.  I also used the collages I made as part of my posting in the Soul Food Café and Riversleigh posts.

thalia-collage-cropped

SoulCollage and Kaleidosoul questions and answers combined into Project Life cards for my album in addition to photos of my everyday life and special occasions.  Project Life has provided a rich tapestry of daily life in photos and words.  Some pages had more journaling than others, but generally was limited by the size of the inserted cards, even when using the back of the cards.

Wounded child card

Document Life Project took  everything one step further and really got me I into art journaling.  The prompts were inspiring for a page or two of doing art, as the Art to the 5th Academy website and Document Life Project facebook page had wonderful videos and instructions for learning how to use the wonderful tools of art available.  The moleskin journal recommended also included a page for planning (left side) and a full page for journaling (middle page) as well as the added yip-in art page (right side of gesso, acrylics and stencils).  This all truly combined my love of journaling with playing with art – a true combination of visuals and words.

DLP wish list 3 pages
(Pinterest has been an ongoing arena for inspiration for all of these, and other, projects.)

January 21, 2014

With Patience, Goals take Shape

As I wandered around Riversleigh forest these last months, in any one of my myriad forms, I occasionally came across various colored bottles scattered throughout.  Old, left over from who knows what event, tossed aside when finished, but, who would do that here?  Yet these were beautiful, in multiple colors, too nice to have just been discarded.  Perhaps they were left, on purpose, by fairies or some other beings.  But for what reason?

I gathered them into one spot, sometimes having to go back in a larger form in order to pick up and carry the bottle, not knowing what to do with them, but assuming I would eventually find a use.  One day, I also found some cut-glass sunflowers in the middle of a shrub which I added to my growing pile of vibrant glass.  However, I was a spinning spider that day, having dropped to that shrub from a tree, and couldn’t carry items of that size so I needed to shift into something larger.  As a dexterous raccoon three trips worked perfectly.  Then I found straight pieces of wire which I could drag to the collection spot, one by one, in my wolf’s mouth.

What to do with my assemblage of intriguing objects?  Originally all in one pile, I then scrambled the pile to see if an idea presented itself as to what I could do with it all.  Then I reorganized the pieces so like was with like.  Still no ideas but I liked the tactile feel of the smooth glass as opposed with the cut glass in conjunction of the straight metal wire-rods.

Becoming a ladybug, I flitted around the piles of prism bottles reflecting the sunlight, the three glass sunflowers looking like amber jewels, the tangle of wire like the old-fashioned pick-up-sticks.  Since rearranging the objects themselves elicited no ideas I thought perhaps a different perspective could come up with what to do with it all.  Idea!  Put it all together into a sunflower plant with a framework of the wire which would hold the bottle leaf/arms.  Then I painted labels on each bottle of my human goals, allowing for one bottle to be labeled “unknown”.

collage-Goals  bottle sunflower (2013-5-15)

Later I found a small statue of Treebeard holding a pearl (left by a hobbit? ) and a brilliantly colored, graceful vase on the beach (what was it’s story? had it washed ashore from a distant land?).  Arranged together in a sculpture, they became a focal point in one of my secret groves.  A place to speculate on my future: who was I really beyond all the shapes?  where was I going?  what was I doing?   Much to ponder in these quiet times of Riversleigh.  ( I wonder if anyone in the future will find this as I found all the components?)  Patience was needed to wait for the final realizations to sink in just as patience was needed to collect all these necessary objects.  Was this the intent?  All  will be given you – wait and go with the flow.

(The human I cut out these images from a gardening magazine to make into a SoulCollage card relating to my Goals, and then journaled about the ramifications of those Goals.  Afterwards I scanned and made the card into a Project Life card and journaled further.  Also made a mind-map relating to my goals.  Very helpful to think in terms of how my Goals would evolve and take shape, just as the shape shifter me watched the slow process of discovering and putting it all together at Riversleigh.)

January 9, 2014

The Key in Riversleigh

Filed under: fiction,Riversleigh,shape shifting,Uncategorized — by thalia @ 2:18 pm
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It was one of those lovely winter days when I was lying on a branch of a tree, content to have shifted into a small female human and be hidden – or so I thought.  Suddenly the raven flapped down beside me and squawked.   I took it to mean “hello” so I responded appropriately.  She muttered as she reached under her wing and pulled out a small key on a string with her beak.

holding out the key

Extending it forward towards me, she nodded and murmured.  I tentively reached out and she nodded in response.  A key!  Whatever for?  As if she could hear my thoughts, she replied, “It is the key you will need as you travel in a variety of ways and many places.  Use it wisely!”

I was already in this realm of Riversleigh, so it wasn’t for me to get in.  Where might I need this?  Always more questions than answers.  As I mulled this over, the raven flapped her wings and took off for places beyond my sight, so she didn’t want me to shift into a raven and join her.  I clutched the key in my palm as I fastened the string around my wrist for safekeeping.  Settling back down to once again to resume my time of being small and hidden, I pondered the nature of things appearing when you least expect.   What was next?

Healing the Wounded Child

My time in Riversleigh has helped me get further along in my journey of healing my wounded Inner Child.  It has been one of the aids along the way: others include spiritual meditation, processing and mulling, art therapy using SoulCollage and Project Life, writing and journaling including memoir, Soul Food and Riversleigh activities, SoulCollage and Project Life.  My Wounded Child, depicted in the lower left of this SoulCollage card, has been able to transform and access into the upper right part of the card.

collage-wounded child transforms (2013-10-4)

Writing the SoulCollage “I Am the One Who” has assisted in the verbalizing the process after much meditating and mulling.   Riversleigh has been a place of retreat for me to mull in between adventures.  It has symbolized the quiet silences in the spaces between activities.  I have stayed in Riversleigh even as others left: as a shape shifter I could adapt and blend into whatever was happening and whomever was there.

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The quiet time has been necessary, but then there comes a time to be with others again, to share in each others’ lives and appreciate the growth patterns we all have undergone.

January 4, 2014

Riversleigh Revisited

There seems to be more activity of late at Riversleigh.  For quite a while nothing much went on other than various animals, birds, fish and insects living their lives.  As a shape shifter, I am equally at home moving from squirrel scampering up a tree, to hawk catching the updrafts, to a fish in the stream, to a wolf prowling the tundra, to a turtle burrowing into the ground for winter’s hibernation, and so on.  Occasionally, I would transfer to the barest hint of a human, sitting and observing the beauty of nature and its inhabitants, and the patterns of life.

Picture from "Meditation Masters" facebook site

Picture from “Meditation Masters” Facebook site

The freedom to do whatever I wanted and to be whatever I wanted was exhilarating.  All forms were possible.  And all forms were pleasing as each expressed a different part of myself and my Inner Child.  During this time I often reminisced about the days when Riversleigh was more fully occupied and inhabited, and how I interacted within the parameters of those people.  A rich realm, filled with unlimited potential for all – truly a blessing!

November 21, 2010

Transformation

“We fear that we are inadequate, but our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves: “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”

Actually, who are you not to be these things?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people around you won’t feel insecure.

We are all meant to shine as children do.

We are born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.

And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically releases others.”

– Marriane Williamson from ‘A Return to Love’ –

Shivering, she darted across the snow, her feet making no indentation in the white crust glossed on like a final coat of icing during the last freezing rain.  She had been hiding in the woods, trying to keep warm and dry, afraid to enter the rambling house whose lights beckoned with such welcome and warmth.  Hesitant, not sure if she had anything to offer, she hesitated, watching as the doors of Riversleigh opened to invite in others as they arrived. 

A gust of wind pushed her physically and mentally toward the entrance wreathed in lights.  The door was chinked enough to allow her egress, so she slipped in, unnoticed.  Scurrying along the wall, she followed the scent of delicious food into another room.  People moved to and from the table, placing items on their plates.  She was able to move unnoticed, checking out one morsel after another. Memories wafted to her along with the fragrances of baked cookies and other treats, laced with wisps of music drifting from an even different room, punctuated by the chatter of adults and the laughter of children.  Chocolate, walnuts, pumpkin, cheesecake, apple pie, fruitcake-all satisfied the palette and the expectations of Christmas.     

Full for the moment, she moved into a secluded corner to sit and relax, even as she took note of some things being different.  Her mind drifted back to that first Christmas in Panama, which wasn’t her idea of what Christmas should be.

What did I learn from that Christmas that has helped me deal with change ever since?  Does that Christmas in Panama and this one in Riversleigh have any similarities?  She thinks it is mostly about finding patterns leading to transformation.  The ability to transform what is to what might be, and what one expects to what one actually has is so important.  The journey I took that first Christmas from being sorry for myself to gratitude for what I had, and then sharing some of that abundance with others transformed the day into a real Christmas in any climate.   Mundane transformation occurs even after taking individual ingredients and stirring them into a cookie or a cake or a meal or of taking material and creating clothing; creative transformation occurs when taking words and making them into poetry or memoir or when taking individual colors and images and making them into art.  One can influence the transformation of how most people view death to allowing for dignity and transformation in trauma; or moving from the grief of loss into grateful healing and wonderful memories.  And the transformation of dying into transformation itself. 

 collage-transformation1

Transformation is where we release one identity and allow for another identity.  It challenges the essence of “Who am I?  How much can I give up and still be me?  Am I really giving up a part of myself or am I expanding myself to encompass others with different identities, religions and cultures, physical and emotional traits, human and non-human:  in other words, ‘throwing out the borders of my tent.’   This transformation does not make you less than you had been, but more of who you really are.”   

Transformation can also be changing one’s physical shape to fit the occasion, thus allowing for the next new lesson to be learned as one walks in another’s shoes.  Each transformational experience releases us from the focus of ourselves to identifying with others, whoever they may be.  And the ages-old transformation of  having reached the darkest day to moving towards the light, even while recognizing that in this world of duality, what is Christmas Winter Solstice in one location will be Christmas Summer Solstice in another. 

Riversleigh appeared to be a place where interesting things might happen.  And the guests looked extremely intriguing.  Maybe she did have something to offer.  She had been enjoying being involved in Soul Food Café and its many activities, as well as doing SoulCollage cards, and now combining the two.  A shape shifting character had emerged on its own, one who travelled on the various journeys that seemed to be versatile enough to intrigue readers.  

She glanced down at her tiny paws and thin tail, twitched her whiskers, darted among the feet of some people as she ran under the settee.  She might stay here for a while as she was.  There were good things remaining to eat after a party in this house.  But she will have to watch out for any cats or other critters that might like to nibble on a mouse.

(reprinted from January 2009)

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