Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Art Stretches Us

This quotation comes from Danny Gregory's blog. Danny is also author of a number of inspiring books as well as the upcoming book Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are, which is already in my amazon basket.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A labyrinth for the beginning of the year

One of the ways I like to use my book Journaling the Labyrinth Path, is by pulling the pages out of the book and laying all the pages out so that participants in my workshops can choose whichever color labyrinth is calling to them that day. I did this at my annual open studio in December. In addition, on the back of the labyrinths is a quote and a question, and it is always interesting to watch the synchronicity that is at play when the messages are revealed.

Feel free to print out the above image (by right clicking on the image) and use it to journal the path of the labyrinth. The colors of the labyrinth felt right for the beginning of the year as they reminded me of the quiet of winter and the seeds that sleep beneath the soil, waiting for the right time to birth themselves into the world. 

The quotation that goes with the labyrinth above is 

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
Joseph Campbell

Think about this as you journal the labyrinth path.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Secret Patterns of the World

For my international photography retreats I create printed journals for the participants which incorporate photographs, quotations, journal pages and creative approaches to image making. I like the idea of participants being able to have a container for their journey. Because there is always a creative component to my retreats I like to call them Creative Pilgrimages. Right now I'm  preparing the journal that will be used for Slow Photography: Seeing with Your Senses and your Soul which I'll be teaching in Orvieto, Italy for Adventures in Italy, in May, 2015. I found this wonderful quote from a TED Talk given by Pico Iyer which I'll definitely be including in the journal as Pico expresses so beautifully one of the reasons I love to travel.

I've always felt that the beauty of being surrounded 
by the foreign is that it slaps you awake.
You can't take anything for granted.
Travel, for me, is a little bit like being in love,
because suddenly all your senses are at the setting marked "on". 
Suddenly you're alert to the secret patterns of the world.
Pico Iyer

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Petals and Blood ~ A Legacy of Poetry

This is a book of spiritual awakening and unfolding. Each thick glossy page is rich with images of Africa, Hawaii and the natural world. The poetry in the book speaks deeply to me, as in these words from the poem The Entirety and the Particular:

For we are all in this together,
in time and out of time,
blossoming is the birthright of us all.

Or these words from Occupy Your Heart:

Seize your birthright.

Let the occupation begin ...

Occupy your willingness
to never forget
who you really, really are,
ever again.

Be true to your heart's
deepest longing.

But even more than the poetry, it is the story of Gavin Harrison's life that touches me. A journey from South Africa to Hawaii, a journey from chartered accountant to Buddhist monk. A journey that includes living with HIV. In the book, Gavin says: "I will not be defined by this virus. I am greater than the journey I'm about to begin". By sharing his vulnerability with us, the stories in the book show how Gavin has made his life a deeply meaningful one, despite living with HIV since 1982.

Petals and Blood is a legacy of what has meaning for Gavin. He has dedicated the book and donated the proceeds from the sale of the book to Woza Moya Project and the Group of Hope in South Africa. As many of you know, Woza Moya Project is an organization that is close to my heart, and those that purchase the book are helping many of the beautiful young women at Woza Moya seen in this video to fulfill their potential (listen to the words of the song!)

I interviewed Gavin in July, 2013 when he talked to me about what inspired his poetry. He said "Perhaps the poems will raise the bar, opening us to the infinite possibilities we share, in living this very precious and fleeting human life - to live with love, kindness and wakefulness within every corridor of our lives." They certainly inspire me to live each day more fully, and I think you will find the same. I know these words from the poem A New Day certainly make me more mindful of my thoughts and actions.

May your heart release its gift
before thought and self-involvement
the limitless possibilities ahead.

And may this daybreak
midwife footsteps
unfettered by habit and repetition.

May you follow the thread of Love
winding outward from the silence
of your awakening heart
into the majesty of a world
anticipating your loveliness.

If you want to hear more about Gavin, listen to this November 2013 interview with him by Janet Conner in The Soul-Directed Life.