Ghosts in the wall… #streetart

I think about the wall often.

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Many ask me about it.

It no longer exists.  But lives on in my heart.

My new friend, Chrissy Davey (aka @craftyfatalist) recently connected with me on Instagram about my embroidered drawings.  Serendipitously, she had taken pictures of a street art wall (in the lane behind 119 East Cordova in Vancouver) a few years back- which amazingly turns out to be the wall I worked on with my youth program.  She sent me some photos that take my breath away.  The wall may be gone.  But the ghosts live on.

Photos by Chrissy Davey:

 

That is why I love the creative process- especially street art.  You create, you share, you let go.  It deteriorates but leaves a mark in the heart.

Photos of the wall from my archives:

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With fondness, I look back through some of my blog posts about the wall.  What I love so much about that is the connections made with the artists and with the community…

 

The power of paper and glue. – JR

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We were drawn together on Saturday- and now I know why…

I love family.  And we have shared so much- all the life markers, the ups and downs of life and through it all there is that special glue that connects us.

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Illustration by Björn Berg. Emil i Lönneberga by Astrid Lindgren.

We had an impromptu get together at my place on Saturday- somehow ALL of us (niece, nephew, brothers, sister in laws, daughter, son, daughter in love, parrot) were together in my creative mayhem- my crowded delirious delicious chaos.

It’s not unusual for us to get together, but this day felt a bit deeper and very special.  I was so aware of a feeling I couldn’t name- joy, love, gratitude, what?

I looked around as I sat sewing my nephew’s Cookie Monster costume and smiled, watching the hurricane of activity as everyone ranging in age from toddler to adult was talking at once, doing something, playing with something, eating chicken! ribs! cupcakes!, being real loud and hilarious.

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Chaos meets chaos in the name of LOVE!  I felt the strong presence of mom and dad and that they were celebrating with us.  Celebrating family.  I felt Tobey’s spirit walking around snuffling for scraps.

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And I really had this sense that we were drawn together for a reason– if nothing else than to just BE together.  But in my heart I felt there was something more.  I had a smile on my face all Sunday and just had to send a message of love and gratitude to the family today, acknowledging there was something magical about it.  It definitely was not a typical family dinner.  The palpable connection and vibe harkened back to our vigils around Mom and Dad during their final days.  We were all together celebrating our connections.

And so now, we cut to about an hour ago and I receive a message from my cousin in Stockholm that my mom’s brother, my uncle Olle, passed away peacefully on Saturday surrounded by family.

Is this why we were drawn together on Saturday!?

It’s amazing- a family drawn together.  Souls celebrating, acknowledging.

My uncle was so funny, so loving.  The rest of us were frequently doubled over in laughter.  And often woken by his late night cook offs in the kitchen.  I recall he was so worried that I would get lost in 1984 when I hopped on the train to visit my friend outside of Stockholm.  When I arrived at Huddinge station, he was sitting in his car, ensuring I had arrived OK.  In 2009, when my son and I were taking the bus to visit my cousins at their summer cottage, Olle walked us to the bus stop, bought the tickets and thrust chocolate bars in our hands for the trip.  He loved history and he influenced my love for American literature- introducing me to the likes of Miller and Heller.

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Photo by my son Julian Bowers of my uncle during our visit in 2009.  Olle looks out his apartment window over Stortorget in Stockholm.

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My aunt and uncle’s apartment is the yellow building on the left. PARADISE!

Say hi to Mamma and Pappa, Olle.

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My mother, Karin, and my Uncle Olle.

An homage by my son, Julian:

My great uncle Olle passed away on Saturday.

I only met him once during the half a week I was in Stockholm, but he was a really wonderful and warm person and he was one of the many things that made my trip to Sweden in 2009 so phenomenal.

A story mom’s fond of telling is his bashing around in the kitchen at three in the morning to make himself a full dinner. I can relate to this habit.

When I went to Stockholm, he was living across from the Nobel Museum.
“See that place?” he asked me.
“Yeah, I went there yesterday,” I said.
“I’ve never been there in my life,” he laughed.
“OUR FAMILY HAS HAD THIS PLACE FOR TWENTY YEARS,” I said.
“I’ve been meaning to go.”
“IT’S…RIGHT THERE.”
“Ehh, I’m not in a rush.”

I always thought that story was funny, but in hindsight, I appreciated the fact that he wasn’t too concerned about rushing in to doing things if it wasn’t necessary. It doesn’t matter if he ever went or not, he was obviously relaxed and satisfied with how his life was going and it was wonderful to see someone content with the flow of life as opposed to fighting it. He was a comforting human being to be around, just judging from the few days I was able to see him.

I took this photo of him in his apartment.

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Dedicated to Olof Orwald and Aunt Siv, cousins Annika, Dan, Gunilla, Tom and their families.

Interestingly, today it is 48 years since my family arrived in Canada:

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Leaving Grums train station October 1968.

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My retreat journal part 6 of 6: The Closing Circle

I experienced a life-changing weekend as I co-facilitated Creativity and Connection Retreat October 17-19, 2014 on Bowen Island with Laura Mack at Xenia Retreat

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Here are some journal excerpts so you can get a small glimpse as to how powerful the experience was for me.

Recall:

PART 1 October 17, 2014 FRIDAY INTO SILENCE

PART 2 October 18. 2014 SATURDAY MORNING INTO THE LABYRINTH

PART 3 October 18, 2014 SATURDAY MIDDAY THE CYCLOPS GODDESS

PART 4 October 18, 2014 SATURDAY AFTERNOON THE SYMBOLS WAY

PART 5 October 18, 2014 SATURDAY NIGHT THE DANCE

PART 6 October 19, 2014 SUNDAY: CLOSING CIRCLE

Sunday AM.  Woke up at 6:30.  Showered, prepped.  Cozy.  Slept so well as the room was inviting, the bed so comfortable and the light so right.  Going to grab a coffee while I can and then come back and savour these moments in the cabin. 

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Chatted with others in the kitchen about fathers and death.  Such camaraderie in that.  Prepping for 8:30 start on the Raven drawing.

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After breakfast, we sat in opening circle and pulled Goddess cards. 

Participant 1 pulled “Mary Magdalene” and that message certainly resonated with what this participant focused on this weekend: self-love/heal the situation with love. 

Participant 2 pulled “Mother Earth.”  Though the message at first seemed environmental and about taking care of the planet, upon reflection it also became about taking care of the self and the inner world. 

Laura pulled “Sorceress”- making complete sense to me.  I love watching Laura move into new, richer, visible leadership.  Trust.  I am so blessed to watch my dear friend blossom and expand her work. 

Participant 3 pulled “True Love”- a card that shone with the message of the gift of staying in the present. 

I pulled LEAP OF FAITH- again!!!  Take a risk and put your heart’s true desire into action!

Our drawing session began with a Raven drawing and unfolded into an image of grounded perspective and reflecting the work we have been doing around archetypes.  Water (LOVER), Earth (WARRIOR), Raven (MAGICIAN), Crown (SOVEREIGN).

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A bio break and then snack time with Saria’s delicious muffins and blueberries plus crumble and whipped cream.  Bliss.

Laura has taken us into more perspectives around the work we have been focusing on at this retreat- providing tools to carry with us as we “re-enter” our lives.  Clean Talk, Clear Actions.

We are now journaling around what awaits us as we step back into the world. 

Deep breaths.  Address a piece at a time.  In small steps.  TRUST.  Trust that I am taken care of.  This pause from my daily life certainly feels cleansing, but certainly stepping back into it feels slightly ominous because this experience truly allowed me to take a real emotional dive/mental break from TV/Phone/To-do Lists/Worry/Fear- is it possible to allow myself to carry this lesson forward into my life “on the mainland”?  To be cleansed by this LEAP OF FAITH?

Filling this journal with stream of consciousness and drawings has been the greatest feeling.  Dancing again, teaching, creating, being together, being in the structure of the yurt during processes, pausing and being, being nourished by this welcoming land, being nourished by glorious food, being taken care of but also leading, guiding, sharing who I am as a creative force. 

It is Sunday AM and I am tired.  A plane flies overhead.  Reminds me that tonight I do not open my computer or prep for the week.  Leave that to tomorrow.  The yurt is being pelted by leaves.  Loud leaves.

The participants role played and practiced clean talk. 

Then off to a beautiful Mexican lunch with Saria.  We presented her with our art piece: Creative Prayer and I read her “A Breakfast for Barbarians” by Gwendolyn MacEwen.  To me, the poetry of Gwendolyn MacEwen partnered perfectly with this retreat and this particular poem was a perfect thank you to Saria.

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my friends, my sweet barbarians,

there is that hunger which is not for food —

but an eye at the navel turns the appetite

round

with visions of some fabulous sandwich,

the brain’s golden breakfast

                                        eaten with beasts

                                        with books on plates

 

let us make an anthology of recipes,

let us edit for breakfast

our most unspeakable appetites —

let us pool spoons, knives

and all cutlery in a cosmic cuisine,

let us answer hunger

with boiled chimera

and apocalyptic tea,

an arcane salad of spiced bibles,

tossed dictionaries —

                                        (O my barbarians

                                        we will consume our mysteries)

 

and can we, can we slake the gaping eye of our desires?

we will sit around our hewn wood table

until our hair is long and our eyes are feeble,

eating, my people, O my insatiates,

eating until we are no more able

to jack up the jaws any longer —

 

to no more complain of the soul’s vulgar cavities,

to gaze at each other over the rust-heap of cutlery,

drinking a coffee that takes an eternity —

till, bursting, bleary,

we laugh, barbarians, and rock the universe —

and exclaim to each other over the table

over the table of bones and scrap metal

over the gigantic junk-heaped table:

 

 by God that was a meal

Gwendolyn MacEwen, “A Breakfast for Barbarians” from Magic Animals: Selected Poems Old and New. Copyright © 1974 by David MacKinnon. Reprinted by permission of David MacKinnon.

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We then packed and entered our closing circle. 

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Laura shared more tools to sustain the experience of the retreat and we reviewed our original intentions from Friday evening.

My original intentions:

Be present

Stillness of the heart

Allow

I truly feel I have met my own intentions during this retreat.  I allowed the fears to come up and I met them with love and stillness.  I navigated the journey with Laura with ease, being present to changing currents.  I allowed myself to welcome back the dancer.  I even sang!  I know that I now infuse and exude all the lessons of my life and I can maintain my intentions to be present, to allow, to have stillness of the heart.  I immerse myself in the creative process- not to escape but to simply BE- to allow stillness, connection, action, results and move back and forth through the spiral.  No judgment. 

The SIMPLICITY in all this is that I have gifts that I love to share and those gifts are my guardians.  I am safe.  I am me.  I am taken care of by the peacefulness of the creative process, by the stillness of knowledge, by the trust. 

That is one thing I’d like to share with the group: TRUST.  When the fear arises, fall back to stillness and trust.  Unravel the past from the present, from the future, the depression from the anxiety from the peace and give them all space to dance and breathe together, to let it all BREATHE.

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Thank you, Laura.

My retreat journal Part 5 of 6: The Dance

I experienced a life-changing weekend as I co-facilitated Creativity and Connection Retreat October 17-19, 2014 on Bowen Island with Laura Mack at Xenia Retreat

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Here are some journal excerpts so you can get a small glimpse as to how powerful the experience was for me.

Recall:

PART 1 October 17, 2014 FRIDAY INTO SILENCE

PART 2 October 18. 2014 SATURDAY MORNING INTO THE LABYRINTH

PART 3 October 18, 2014 SATURDAY MIDDAY THE CYCLOPS GODDESS

PART 4 October 18, 2014 SATURDAY AFTERNOON THE SYMBOLS WAY

PART 5 October 18, 2014 SATURDAY NIGHT: THE DANCE

After lunch, Laura took two participants through the Symbols Way process.  Beautiful and profound moments and insights.  

We had a labyrinth drawing break before dinner- we added the labyrinths to the Cyclops Goddess.  A friend came by who lives on Bowen Island and joined us for dinner; she gave me a beautiful book as a gift from her SFU class: The Flight of the Hummingbird.  Again- magical connections as the theme of the book is the power of taking small steps to achieve a big goal.  “I am doing what I can.” – Dukdukdiya.  Recall the LEAP OF FAITH theme this weekend!

After a lovely salmon dinner and chats about restorative justice and all that good stuff, we headed back to the yurt for the final process.  I loved the experience of scribing for the participants and gathering information for them as a take away tool.  Then dessert and I moved my things into the Writer’s Retreat cabin to have the experience of that cozy lodging.  

At 9 PM we all returned to the yurt to dance.  Intense muscle memory came back and I literally gave myself to the dance.  I was stunned, relieved, at ease, grateful…  Obviously, I will feel it in my joints and muscles tomorrow [I actually didn’t!  My body is loose and pain free] but my soul was thankful to revisit the dancer- who is seemingly alive and well.  

         

How could I have left her so dormant?  

She wasn’t dead.  She was dormant.  

Like the floor of Death Valley covered in flowers after a rare rainfall.  Seemingly nothing grows there until the right conditions arrive.  

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I allowed myself to welcome back the dancer- “dance” in the schedule was the one thing that made me hesitate more than the anticipation of darkness.  

Stay tuned for Part 6: The Closing Circle

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My Retreat Journal Part 4 of 6: The Symbols Way

I experienced a life-changing weekend as I co-facilitated Creativity and Connection Retreat October 17-19, 2014 on Bowen Island with Laura Mack at Xenia Retreat

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Here are some journal excerpts so you can get a small glimpse as to how powerful the experience was for me.

Recall:

PART 1 October 17, 2014 FRIDAY INTO SILENCE

PART 2 October 18. 2014 SATURDAY MORNING INTO THE LABYRINTH

PART 3 October 18, 2014 SATURDAY MIDDAY THE CYCLOPS GODDESS

PART 4 October 18, 2014 SATURDAY AFTERNOON: THE SYMBOLS WAY

Laura took each participant through the EXTRAORDINARY POWERFUL process called the Symbols Way.  I find the process not only a valuable tool for self-exploration, but a paradigm shifting exercise that changes the way I view my life.  The imagery is so rich, so tangible. Laura brings such depth and safety and beauty into the facilitation.  I loved scribing the processes for the participants through mind-mapping.  Each process took a little under two hours.

Sample of the mind map I created for myself when I went through the process with Barbara Cecil and Laura- the process truly a gift I treasure forever:

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“At a personal level, The Symbols Way is a way to reflect on your calling, unique to the phase of life you are in. the process yields personal clarity, rooted in one’s central core of meaning. At an organizational level it reviews current reality and reaches into relevant and meaningful possibilities for the future.”

– Barbara Cecil

FOR MORE INFORMATION drop me a line!

Stay tuned for Part 5: The Dance

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My retreat journal Part 1 of 6: INTO SILENCE

I experienced a life-changing weekend as I co-facilitated Creativity and Connection Retreat October 17-19, 2014 on Bowen Island with Laura Mack at Xenia Retreat

A HUGE THANK YOU TO LAURA FOR PROVIDING THIS OPPORTUNITY FOR ME.

SPECIAL THANK YOU Saria, and to Angelyn, Loretta, Fran and Lorena

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Here are some journal excerpts so you can get a small glimpse as to how powerful the experience was for me.

PART 1

October 17, 2014 FRIDAY

Sitting in the kitchen at Xenia with Laura as Saria makes Shepherd’s Pie.  We took the 11 AM ferry- lunch at Artisan’s Square then to Xenia to prep and settle.  Expecting guests at 6:30 and the large Yurt is all set up.

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Later…

Everyone has arrived.  Angelyn comes to visit as we wait for dinner and talks about the history of Xenia.  

Opening circle after dinner (checkins, intros, intentions, expectations, What is the crossroads that you find yourself at this time?)  We chanted and sang as we walked in the rain to the Sanctuary.  

Photo source: Globe Dater
Photo source: Globe Dater

Laura read a beautiful quote on LISTENING.  We then went into SILENCE (to end at 9 AM opening circle on Saturday after breakfast).  We sat in silence for many many pregnant minutes.  Ok- so THIS is indeed SILENCE.  

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We walked back to the lodge and ate dessert.  I walked to the yurt to get my journal and enjoy the space for awhile.  I am now back at the Maple Lodge (sharing it tonight with Laura)- prepping for bed.  

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I had panicked at the sanctuary- that familiar trigger as the darkness felt like a black pool of ink floating above me and descending.  But I found I could stay with it.  I breathed deep breaths in time with my heart and I was right back to being with my parents at their last breaths.  My heart beat with theirs and as theirs slowed mine carried on- carried on beating for them.  

But I am now feeling angst come up as I anticipate turning out the lights.

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Xenia is inviting me to feel safe.  Enveloping me in magic.  And I am ready to see it, hear it, experience it and give myself to it.

Recall seeing two deer– gentleness, move through life and obstacles with grace, sensitive, intuitive, ability to change directions quickly, to be in touch with life’s mysteries.  

Recall seeing the little frog trying to get in through our door at Maple Lodge.  

“As symbol of transition and transformation, this spirit animal supports us in times of change. Strongly associated with the water element, it connects us with the world of emotions and feminine energies, as well as the process of cleansing, whether it’s physical, emotional, or more spiritual or energetic.” [source]

I took the frog as an invite to dive into creative process- and as a reminder that this weekend is a leap of faith on our part. He was a small frog- ie. small steps, take it easy.  Recall that Laura drew the Aine: Leap of Faith goddess card yesterday and I drew it today… [I drew it again on Sunday!]  Hello!

“Allow yourself to trust that the Universe will support and guide you where you need to be. Virtue recommends going on a nature walk, meditating, or praying to aid in making a decision upon what your heart truly desires. Once making that decision, the Universe will provide for you! You will begin to see helpers come your way, sudden opportunities opening up for you, or even books that can help you along your journey. But none of this will happen if you do not take action steps and get started on fulfilling your dreams. Do not get overwhelmed. Breakdown your goals into smaller tasks to complete over a period of time. Be gentle and kind to yourself, but remain focused.” [source]

It was interesting falling into silence— very liquidly somehow.  Texting, mumbling, writing may not be full silence- but hey one step at a time.  OK- lights out.  Be still my heart.  The deer and frog protect.

Stay tuned for Part 2 Saturday morning…

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And for information on more workshops and retreats!

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Inside Out: youth empowerment, peer to peer interaction and community connections.

I am so excited to be part of this incredible project inspired by my hero JR:

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MOUNTAINSIDE SECONDARY: Inside Out Project: Own Your Journey

Youth-run initiative using the vehicle of portrait photography and street art to learn life and transferable skills while developing self-empowerment, peer to peer interaction and community connections.

THEMES: Connection and Empowerment

CO-FACILITATORS: IAN POWELL, KAT THORSEN

Pilot Project: September 30, 2014- October 30, 2014

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Mountainside Secondary School (MSS) is the North Vancouver School Districts smallest and newest secondary school, meeting the Ministry of Education requirements for funding as an Alternative School (BCEDAlternate Program Policy).

MSS functions as part of the continuum of social/emotional/behavioural supports that are available to all students at all secondary schools in the NVSD, and targets students in Grades 9-12 (ages 14-19).
MSS aims to allow for varied and alternate pathways to graduation (80 credit or Adult) or School Completion, and beyond.

MSS Core Values

  • Mutual respect
  • Genuine relationships
  • Flexibility
  • Choice
  • Individual accountability
  • Community Connections
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TEST SHOOT, INTERSECTIONS MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH SOCIETY, 2013-2014 (including Mountainside students/alumni)

We are proud to be part of the global art initiative INSIDE OUT PROJECT founded by JR:

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As mentioned, we are part of a global art initiative founded by French street artist JR, winner of the 2011 Ted Talk Prize.  Our project is called: The Inside Out Project- Own Your Journey.

As they work through the curriculum, the students will be gaining some valuable life and transferable skills.

We use TED TALKS to inspire and to induce dialogue and self-reflection around the theme.

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Student journal entry

When you try to be yourself there will be people who will put you down. You grow up looking up to people and not knowing who you are and being told what to do and what not to do. We all deal with pain in different ways- some do it in a sad way. Having to live in a world where judging a person we don’t even know is a good way to make yourself feel better, or even judging a person makes ‘cool.’ But in the end we are all on this earth for a reason ans we should all love ourselves the way we are and respect all of our good qualities and get rid of all the negative, cruelty thoughts. – student journal entry

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We are registering our project with JR’s site on Tuesday! And our unique angle is that it is a youth run project and that by addressing their own vulnerability by connecting w people/community through portrait photography, the youth, in turn, empower the subject to feel comfortable being vulnerable in front of the camera!
The project will culminate in a large outdoor installation in the Spring.  A documentary and a behind the scenes short film will also be produced!

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Co-facilitator Ian Powell and his dog, Finnegan!

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STAY TUNED FOR OUR FUNDRAISER TO HELP US WITH PRINTING COSTS AND PROGRAM EXPANSION!!!

Source: The Music Empowers Foundation
Source: The Music Empowers Foundation

“I am wandering awed… gnawed trees breathe a delicate air.” Creativity & Connection Retreat Oct 17-19, 2014

Connections

CREATIVITY AND CONNECTION RETREAT WITH LAURA AND KAT

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We will provide you with tools for gaining insight and shifting perspective using inspiring themes such as archetype symbology and shadow-work.  Self-reflection activities will take you deeper into your own journey while group experiences expand your mindset.

Laura will share authentic leadership exercises to assist you in gaining perspective on your personal and professional challenges.  Kat will guide you through creative process and expression and will facilitate those precious aha moments we all love to celebrate.

What we’re offering you is a weekend of Safety, Gentleness, Nurturing, Discovery and a wee bit of Wildness!

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FACILITATORS: 

Laura Mack

My mission is to create opportunities for inspiration & transformation.”

Laura is a business consultant, facilitator and writer. She has a broad understanding of both the rewards and challenges of entrepreneurial life as well as the corporate and non-profit sectors. Laura is an associate consultant with ViRTUS, and Authentic Leadership Global, Inc.   She brings a variety of facilitation, strategic planning, team building and leadership tools into her practice. Known as a connector, Laura is passionate about sharing her experiences with ‘netweaving’, actively connecting those with similar interests and activities. She also is a volunteer facilitator of restorative justice with the North Shore Restorative Justice Society.

Katarina (Kat) Thorsen

My mission is to awaken creative expression through global art initiatives.”

Kat is a Vancouver artist, craftivst and therapeutic art facilitator and is passionate in her belief that art can heal and build connections.  Kat facilitates arts and crafts workshops for all ages across the Lower Mainland and coordinates Frames Film Project, an arts-based program providing life- and employment skills for local at-risk youth.   Her popular interactive art events and street art encourages participants to become part of the creative process.  Kat published her first book, Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges with Art in 2013. Her next book is a true crime analysis and graphic novel based on her research into a historical Vancouver murder mystery.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

CONTACT LAURA MACK: EMAIL

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Some previews of what you will experience:

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The Labyrinth is an Archetype, a divine imprint found in spiritual traditions in various forms around the world. By walking the labyrinth we are discovering a long forgotten mystical tradition which becomes a metaphor for our own spiritual journey. The walk is a shared journey – an activity which communities can do together to coalesce and unify vision. The labyrinth is a mandala that meets our longing for a change of heart; for a change of ways in how we live together and for the energy, the vision, and the courage to become agents of transformation.

Xenia

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I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them.
― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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RETREAT LOCATION:

Experience self-discovery, connection and the glorious insights that being in nature provides as we embrace the gorgeous BC rainforest and island setting of Xenia Centre.

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Xenia Creative Development Centre

You will be nurtured by amazing fresh food and our Xenia host Saria will be available throughout the weekend to provide healing sessions.

Why Xenia?
“Xenia” stands for the cross-pollenation of ideas between guest and host.  It means hospitality and being friends to the stranger. Xenia has always opened its doors and heart to whomever finds their way down here.
Xenia Centre is a gift to humanity, evoking service, she offers back peace, presence and a direct experience of ones true nature. Through so much love and attention being poured into her, Xenia has impacted the lives of thousands from around the world. This is truly a sacred place, a place that brings us home. In 1994, a young widow with a small child risked all to convert a dilapidated old sheep farm into one of the worlds most beautiful and unique sanctuaries. Against all financial advice, she followed her souls yearning to service this mission, the dream of Xenia called Angelyn to its birth.

XENIA CENTRE

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Pricing:
$650.00 for shared accommodations or
$750.00 for private.
A non-refundable 50% deposit will secure your room selection & possibly roommate selection if you’re sharing.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

CONTACT LAURA MACK: EMAIL

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Human Connection, Creativity and Health- @bridge4health free workshop with @parentasleader and @KatThorsen

Human connection

Would you like to spend an evening exploring the healing power of human connection through a gentle introduction to netweaving and creative expression? Bridge for Health and the Burnaby Public Library present this free workshop by an authentic leader and facilitator Laura Mack, and therapeutic art facilitator Kat Thorsen.

Laura Mack is a business consultant, facilitator and writer.  She has a broad understanding of both the rewards and challenges of entrepreneurial life as well as the corporate and non-profit sectors. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with ‘netweaving’, actively connecting those with similar interests and activities.  She also is a volunteer facilitator of restorative justice with the North Shore Restorative Justice Society.

Katarina (Kat) Thorsen, is a Vancouver artist, craftivist and therapeutic art facilitator and is passionate in her belief that art can heal and build connections.  Kat facilitates arts and crafts workshops for all ages across the Lower Mainland and coordinates Frames Film Project, an arts-based program providing life- and employment skills for local at-risk youth. She published her first book, Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges with Art in 2013.

Authentic human connection is paramount to our well-being and general overall health, and we can actively seek out it out through netweaving.  Netweaving is the evolution of networking, allowing for more authentic connection, genuine communication and caring interaction.  During this two-hour workshop, you will open your heart and experience the healing power of interaction through netweaving exercises, hands-on tools, group discussion and gentle creative expression. You’ll have an opportunity to meet some really amazing people, share what you’re most passionate about, and have some fun & laughter.

Registration is required. Please to register call 604-436-5400 or register online.

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JOURNAL SERIES ROUGH SKETCHES Part 3: INSPECTION/HISTORY connections

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book 

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art.

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I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts.

As I build the journal series, I will be sharing my notes and process here and welcome your feedback and your photos!

Your contribution is invaluable and may find its way to my book! Contact me at Email.

 JOURNAL SERIES ROUGH SKETCHES

Part 1: INSPECTION/PRESENT DAY

Part 2a: INSPECTION/HISTORY: ROOTS

Part 2b: INSPECTION/HISTORY: PHOTOS

Part 3: INSPECTION/HISTORY: JOURNEY/CONNECTION

I have been thinking about where I come from and the story is a long and complicated one.  But also very short.  I am simply a product of my mother and father.  To connect with that simple concept, I paid a visit to my father’s residential care facility and spent the afternoon creating art.  It was delightful and humbling to feel how the power of art can lead to new connections and deepen conversations.  The afternoon also allowed me to feel a connection to my parents.  When I worked with the residents I felt the presence of my Mom.  I was always so impressed by her ability to connect fully with the elderly.  And helping facilitate art, I felt like I was working with my Dad again.  It was a joyous time with lots of laughter and delight.

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Thank you to Jon and everyone at Evergreen House!

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Journal Series Part 2b: INSPECTION/HISTORY #roots #photos

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art.

IMG_9525

Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 8.25.43 AM

I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts.

As I build the journal series, I will be sharing my notes and process here and welcome your feedback and your photos!   Your contribution is invaluable and may find its way to my book! Contact me at Email.

 Part 1: INSPECTION/PRESENT DAY

Part 2a: INSPECTION/HISTORY: ROOTS

Part 2b: INSPECTION/HISTORY: PHOTOS

All things must come to the soul from its roots, from where it is planted.
Saint Teresa of Avila

Collect and immerse yourself in photos/images that reflect your roots.  The images need not be your actual roots.  They can be images that allow you to reflect on your past, on your ancestors.

Enjoy savouring what the photos do for you.  Just let them be with you.  Feel how the exercise makes you extend your connections into the past and thus, into your future.

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Journal Series Part 2a: INSPECTION/HISTORY #roots

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art.

IMG_9525

Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 8.25.43 AM

I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts.

As I build the journal series, I will be sharing my notes and process here and welcome your feedback and your photos!   Your contribution is invaluable and may find its way to my book! Contact me at Email.

 Part 1: INSPECTION/PRESENT DAY

Part 2a: INSPECTION/HISTORY

This particular exercise was inspired by my original piece, which I found very healing to create while struggling through major life changes:

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1. WRITE IN YOUR JOURNAL 15 MINUTES (STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS, NO STOPPING)- focus on your life timeline.  Where you were you born?  What are some things that stick out for you?

2. DRAW A CROW; CUT IT OUT

You can sign up for a “drawing a crow” tutorial at LINK if you like.  You’ll need to sign up on VIMEO, paper, charcoal, dry Pastel, eraser, scissors, white Acrylic Paint, fine brush ($2 for 72 hours access!)

3. DRAW A TREE  WITH ROOTS

4. WRITE YOUR JOURNAL NOTES IN THE ROOTS

5. GLUE ON THE CROW

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Tomorrow: Part 2b: PHOTOS

 

DOCUMENTARY: Drawn Together- Roar Thorsen’s Recovery through Art

Thanks to my backers on our Indiegogo campaign, Drawn Together, I was able to fund the making of the documentary short, Drawn Together: Roar Thorsen’s Recovery through Art, directed, edited and filmed by Julian Bowers.  And I am honored to have original music created by J. Lastoria and Julian Bowers, members of the band, Sleuth.

I will forever be grateful for the extraordinary gift of being able to visit with my Dad by watching this video, hearing his voice.

Enjoy:

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 Be sure to check out SLEUTH:

Sleuth: Oliver McTavish-Wisden, J. Lastoria, Julian Bowers, Jesse Easter

SLEUTH ON FACEBOOK:

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Gratitude and other scenes from the ER. #DrawnTogether

Thanks to our backers and all our supporters for helping our Indiegogo campaign, Drawn Together!  

WE REACHED OUR GOAL!

On Sunday, Dad got a chance to watch the documentary his grandson, Julian, made.  He was very moved.

Unfortunately, Dad’s health has taken a turn for the worse as he battles bladder cancer.  We spent Monday in the ER and here is Dad’s essay (he asked me to record the events):

When it came, the wreck left me alive.  It flung me on the coast with a warning that what I had to look forward to now was no longer the maximum but the minimum with which I could begin my life afresh… I began to forget what life could not offer and to appreciate what it could…

– Frigyes Karinthy

Thank you family and friends for all your kind words on Monday on Facebook, on Twitter, on phone, in person!

Our dear friend, Darcy, spent the day with us.

Dad is back in his room and it’s all about making the moments the best and most comfortable they can be.

I am now going collect all the material into the manuscript!  Our mindmap is the guide!

Thank you for supporting our project

Much love, Katarina and Roar

 

A legacy for the next generation. #DrawnTogether #strokerecovery #artheals

Henrik and Roar by Roar Thorsen

Our book is about art and a father/daughter story, but it is also a legacy that we are creating for Dad’s grandchildren- Anna (27), Julian (24) and little Henrik, who turns 1 next week and whose middle name is “Roar.”

Grandpa and grandson. Photo by Fredrik Thorsen
Photo by Fredrik Thorsen
Photo by Fredrik Thorsen

WE NEED HELP TO BRING THE BOOK TO THE NEXT STAGE!

Please consider supporting our project.  Much love, Katarina and Roar

THANK YOU to all our supporters!

Scenes from Level 2 #DrawnTogether #strokerecovery #artheals

My father draws inspiration from books, television, newspapers, his life… including residential care.

Excerpt from Drawn Together:

Dad, how do you stay connected?

ART. 

A shot of whiskey.  A cup of black coffee.  My pens and my paper.  TV on in the background.  A view of Grouse Mountain.  That’s all I need.  

I have now been in my room for five plus years.  Roommates have come and gone.  Most of them have died.  And the last one will be shot.  

I’m supposed to be nice, but I can’t!  I have no patience!  And I’m sorry to say, I cannot look forward to being “one of them.”

WE NEED HELP TO BRING THE BOOK TO THE NEXT STAGE!

Please consider supporting our project.  Much love, Katarina and Roar

THANK YOU to all our supporters!

My father makes an impact. #connections #DrawnTogether #strokerecovery #artheals

My father inspired a friend to accept help by showing how his life is rich in a residential care facility.
Roar inspires youth-at-risk with his art and with his youthful humor!
The staff are KEY to making Dad’s life as happy as it is. I could not be more grateful. He gives back by lending an ear, providing snacks, and being his feisty inspiring self.
“Stay connected.” by Roar Thorsen

Some comments we’ve received regarding DRAWN TOGETHER:

“My grandma is suffering from early Alzheimers. I write her letters and she writes back. Her letters end up being so poetic because she repeats herself a lot. I’ve been transcribing them as poetry. Might send them to some Lit mags.

I think we forget the huge cache of knowledge and experience the old folks have, and it gets trapped inside their aged and deteriorating bodies. It’s important to keep them talking as long as possible.”

“In honour of my Dad who is also an elderly stroke victim and artist and is slowly drifting away from me too. Though he fades he never stops laughing and smiling, a constant inspiration.”

“Fantastic project and inspirational. Makes me wanna start an art project with my dad .. just because!”

WE NEED HELP TO BRING THE BOOK TO THE NEXT STAGE!

Please consider supporting our project.  Much love, Katarina and Roar