Connections and Creativity: The Inner Critic at the Centre for Peace Feb 23 #yvr

We had a fantastic session on January 26, 2015:

CONNECTIONS & CREATIVITY USING VALUES, MINDMAPPING and AUTHENTIC NETWORKING

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Announcing our next Connections and Creativity session:

THE INNER CRITIC

Buy tickets at EVENTBRITE

Laura Mack and Kat Thorsen invite you to experience a deeper connection to self, tap into your creativity and connect with others at a truly authentic level in their new series: Connections and Creativity.  Laura and Kat share tools and practices with you, in an experiential format that will enrich your personal and professional lives.  And, if you value FUN, then this is the right event for you!

Welcome to Connections and Creativity!

 —

February 23, 2015

CONNECTIONS & CREATIVITY:

THE INNER CRITIC, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

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On February 23, 2015, we will be gathering at the Centre for Peace at the corner of Burrard and 16th from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM to dive deep into the exploration of The Inner Critic.

This exciting 2.5 hour interactive gathering will examine the the question:

 HOW IS YOUR INNER CRITIC LIMITING YOUR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE?

During the evening, we will take you through a series of delicious tools that guide you to:

• Define “The Inner Critic” as it means to you

• Reflect on those definitions in group

• Use humorous and profound creative expression tools to ask your Inner Critic:

Who do you think you are?

 Shift your thinking as you address your Inner Critic with compassion

• Take away action plans to build on your new relationship with your Inner Critic.

We will provide you with all the supplies you need!  Tea will be provided.  We encourage you to bring your own snacks!

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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.

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Katarina (Kat) Thorsenis an artist, craftivist and therapeutic art facilitator, passionate in her belief that art can heal and build connections.  Kat specializes in arts-based programming for at-risk youth and young offenders.  Her interactive art events and street art encourages participants to become part of the creative process.  Kat’s own artwork can be found in private collections in North America and Europe.  She published her first book, Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges with Artin 2013.  Her next book is a true crime analysis in the form of a graphic novel.  Kat resides in Vancouver, Canada.

Connections

TESTIMONIAL FOR CONNECTIONS AND CREATIVITY:

Kat and Laura bring together a wealth of experience from two very different but wonderfully compatible approaches to coaching and facilitation. They create a welcoming and safe space and draw on their passions of netweaving and creativity to encourage participants to engage with each and together explore the workshop content. Very inspiring stuff! I recommend these workshops to anyone open to learning a bit more about themselves and others as they build some useful life skills in a group environment. – James Thomas

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Abundance means less. What? #selfleadership

I’ve been really committing to the mantra Abundance 2015. My mindset is more focused on creating abundance. But my realization is that I’ve been coming at it all wrong. Abundance to me does not mean more. Abundance means less.

What? Doesn’t abundance mean more?

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The lesson for me, as I quickly approach 53, lies in taking a long hard look at what it is I truly value in my career development.  What is it that I need to focus on right now?

What can I take away to open space for abundance?  What can I do less of?

LET’S MINDMAP ON IT!

My Current Mindmap:

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As I look at it, I see that the path has been too cluttered.   What the hell is feeding what?!  Where is the simplicity and ease I added in the centre?

In all honesty, and in my heart, I feel that life is now ready to align in a way to allow me to simplify,

to put myself first,

to say NO when it’s the right thing to say,

to say YES to that which creates passion… but also allows for less clutter.

Life is allowing,

requesting,

demanding:

EXCELLENCE.

That is key- abundance means excellence.

EXERCISE:

Create your own mindmap that includes ALL you can possibly think of that you are currently juggling at the moment.  Just when you think you’re done, add more.  And then one more.

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Take a good look at the mindmap.  How many more bubbles can you add? How do they all relate to each other? Can you see a theme as your mindmap gets more and more cluttered? Keep adding. What is in common with all those bubbles?

For me, as I reflect back on the last year when I have been at my happiest in my career development, I realize it’s been  when working on developing curriculum and developing my own shit in my home office, as well as collaborating with like minded individuals on even further development.  It’s not been the front-line work, as I call it, nor in seeking scraps here and there.

My happiness is about expanding out, in a less hectic, more defined way.  Affecting more people.  But from the comfort of safe havens, in workshops with people who are READY TO DO THE WORK and in intense collaborative sessions and settings.

Serendipitously, I came across this quote today:

Self- leadership quote:

Self-leadership is your path out of the overwhelm. It’s your personalized approach to realizing your ideas in a business that brings you the wealth, peace, and ease you really want.

Self-leadership isn’t just about what you want to do—it’s about how you want to do it. You get to decide where you’re headed and how you’re going to get there. Self-leadership is the key to creating a framework that has you relying more on yourself than on gurus or can’t lose formulas.

Self-leadership also isn’t about being more productive—it’s about being more effective. – Tara Gentile

 

Aha!  There’s MY THEME!  

(Your theme may be TOTALLY unrelated of course- but there will be a theme nonetheless.  Find it)

Now- create a new mindmap using your theme as the starting point.

What are key bubbles now? What do you really want to do at this stage of your life? What truly requires your exquisite attention so it can be fully expressed?  How simple can you make it?

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I tried a few times.  Kept changing…

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IMG_1884Then adding…IMG_1885Then changing it up again and really stripping it down to a visual that encompassed everything I want to focus on and that inspires me.

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HOW DID IT FEEL FOR YOU?

Try not to hesitate or overthink.  Just keep that pen moving.  Change papers as needed.

Can you create a simpler mindmap that allows you to focus? By doing less?

Share your experience with me!

Love Kat

Check out TARA GENTILE’s QUIET POWER STRATEGY: Feeling Overwhelmed? Why Self-Leadership Matters in the New Economy

And if you are in the Vancouver area and want to dig deeper, join Laura Mack and I at:

Connections and Creativity on January 26, 2015:

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Connections & Creativity: an interactive gathering with Laura Mack and Kat Thorsen

I AM DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE MY NEXT COLLABORATION WITH LAURA MACK!

HEADER 10We invite you to experience a deeper connection to self, tap into your creativity and connect with others at a truly authentic level.  We will be sharing tools and practices with you, in an experiential format that will enrich your personal and professional lives.  And, if you value FUN, then this is the right event for you!  Welcome to Connections and Creativity!

MONDAY January 26, 2015: CONNECTION & CREATIVITY USING VALUES, MINDMAPPING and AUTHENTIC NETWORKING

On January 26, 2015, we will be gathering at the Centre for Peace at the corner of Burrard and 16th from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM to dive deep into the exploration of values, mindmapping and authentic networking.

During this 2.5 hour interactive gathering you will:

• address who and what you are aligning yourself with in order to make 2015 the best year ever;

• gain a deeper connection to self and an authentic connection to others;

• access tools and practices to clarify and simplify what next steps to take and who to take them with

• meet some amazing people

• share what you are most passionate about and connect to what others care deeply about

VALUESWhat do you value, Who do you value and Why is this important? We’ll get clear on our core values and explore how starting from this place will help us bring more ease, empowerment and success into our personal and professional lives.

MINDMAPPING – Mindmapping is a powerful and creative tool that organizes your thoughts and projects as a visual ever-evolving map allowing you to explore themes in your personal and professional life, gaining insights into best next-steps.

AUTHENTIC NETWORKING – Authentic Networking will introduce you to netweaving – the evolution of networking. Whether you love networking or tend to avoid it, learn 3 steps that will enhance your connections with others.

The $49.00 fee includes handouts and supplies for mindmapping.  

(We encourage you to bring a journal and pen.)

I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.  – Brené Brown
PURCHASE TICKETS AT:

Laura Mack is a business consultant, facilitator and writer.

Katarina (Kat) Thorsen is a Vancouver artist, craftivist and therapeutic art facilitator.

 

As I walked the labyrinth, I repeated the mantra: the question is…

Journal entry- at Xenia Retreat Centre inside the Sanctuary after walking the labyrinth on December 29, 2014 [unedited]

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@ Xenia with Laura.  What a treat!  Thank you!

She picked me up at 7:10 –> Ferry –> breakfast at Snug Cafe.

My hands now cold, limbs frozen, toes frozen, numb and painful.  Reminds of being on the lake in Sweden during Winter 1975 and 1976- skating and skiing with Pappa and Fredrik, toes painful and frozen.  

“Ta av skorna.  Försök att få blod tillbaka i tårna.  Vicka på tårna.  Fortfarande kalla.”

So what happened today?   This book/diary/sketchbook/journal was begun when I started my Connection and Creativity collaboration with Laura.  Now I am back in the sanctuary and ask the question… yes, I can profess, investigate, reflect, beg, recall, invite the question: 

What is the question?

As I walked the labyrinth, I repeated the mantra in Swedish: Frågan är… Frågan är… The question is…  The question is…

And what immediately came up- despite thoughts of “shoulding” around 2015 plans/ where I am now/ what I need to let go of- what came to me was family.  The question is family.  

I knew going into the labyrinth I did not need to dig further.  It felt like the labyrinth was tilted downward.  Angled in descent.  I was walking down hill.

I became hyperly aware of the Viking symbology.  As I stood at the centre in silence, eyes closed… the answer came: roots.  The answer is roots.  

As I exited the centre. I walked out with a new mantra: the answer is roots.  Roots.  Sweden.  Life.  Leaves.  Trees.  Mushrooms.  Torpet.  Fishing.  Ancestors.  Sweden.  Africa.  Family tree.  Upward.  Downward.  

As I worked my way out, the labyrinth now seemed angled in ascent.  

So entering into the roots, exiting into the branches of the family tree.  

Where do we come from?  Where are we going?

BRANCHES: PAST FUTURE

TRUNK: PRESENT

BRANCHES: PAST FUTURE

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I want to keep the past alive for the generations to come.  Our DNA journey.

I know now I need to translate all the letters my mom wrote to Sweden.  I need to read Moberg’s The Last Letter Home.  I need to connect/open space to visit Sweden and Africa with my children.  To fully sit in BC, where my kids were born, where my parents died.  To open to reconnection.  New connection to extended family.  Can the difficult conversations be helped along through a gentle delicious family exploration? 

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1976 conversation at the kitchen table in Sweden w my bestie Anki! I now have this table.

 

In a wonderful turn of events, my little brother invited me to work on our storage room on December 31.  He had already done a lot of the prep and we spent 12 hours together emptying locker 1022.  He then dragged my 400 sketchbook journals, dolls, kids clothes, memorabilia home to my West End apartment.  It is time to re-explore those roots.

Old pen and ink study (Dec 2000) of "Death comes to the monk" from Holbein the Younger 1538. I brought home approx 400 of my "image idea files" (I.e. Sketchbook/journals) and planning to share highlights on the blog throughout the year. An incredible purge and feels so good to have them all in my studio-bedroom now. Letting go of a lot of stuff as we emptied the storage room on the last day of the year was exhilarating.
Old pen and ink study (Dec 2000) of “Death comes to the monk” from Holbein the Younger 1538. I brought home approx 400 of my “image idea files” (I.e. Sketchbook/journals) and planning to share highlights on the blog throughout the year. An incredible purge and feels so good to have them all in my studio-bedroom now. Letting go of a lot of stuff as we emptied the storage room on the last day of the year was exhilarating.

 

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 3 of 6: The Cyclops Goddess

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

Laura explained the Symbols Way process and got us in the frame of mind to fully enter the process this afternoon.  

As part of our facilitation posters, I had reflected the 4 archetypes in my own way, and I feel the imagery I chose worked well within our natural Xenia landscape:

The Warrior (SOUTH)- imagined as a blackberry bush- emotional gateway ANGER; The Sovereign (NORTH)- imagined as Opa the tree- emotional gateway JOY; The Love (EAST)- imagined an autumn leaf- emotional gateway GRIEF; The Magician- imagined as a raven- emotional gateway FEAR
The Warrior (SOUTH) EARTH- imagined as a blackberry bush- emotional gateway ANGER; The Sovereign (NORTH) FIRE- imagined as Opa the Xenia tree- emotional gateway JOY; The Lover (EAST) WATER- imagined an autumn leaf- emotional gateway GRIEF; The Magician (WEST) AIR- imagined as a raven- emotional gateway FEAR

But before each participant was taken through the Symbols Way process individually, we dove into more messy creative process.  I took the participants through my chakra drawing exercise— taken from previous lessons I have shared with other students.  I love building and re-interpreting.

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We drew a human figure and then went on to drawing a 3-D eye.  We wrote the chakra chart and started incorporating the lessons thus far.  It was truly a GO WITH IT exercise, creating a CYCLOPS GODDESS that we just kept layering on top of!

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Delicious.  

Of course, I had to look up the meaning of the CYCLOPS to see why she was appearing:

Blind, yet seeing.  Ego vs spiritual enlightenment.

CYCL: the circle, the wheel.

HERE WE GO.  More magic!  How appropriate that the words in the chant we sang on the way to the sanctuary last night were:

We’re spiralling into the circle, the circle of our wheel.

We’re spiralling into the circle, the circle of our wheel.

We are the weavers, we are the woven ones,

We are the dreamers, we are the dream.

We are the children, we are the chosen ones,

We are all part of the web.

Aaaaaah-mazing!

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We also journaled around the matrilineal question: What was your mother’s name?  And if you know them, your grandmother and your great grandmother’s names? What are some qualities you or others associate with each of these women?  This was a great way to “set the scene” for beginning the Symbols Way process.

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I read MORNING LAUGHTER  by Gwendolyn MacEwen

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See more of the poem at: link

Stay tuned for Part 4: The
Symbols Way

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My retreat journal Part 2 of 6: Into the labyrinth

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:

Photo credit: Xenia on Bowen Island
Photo credit: Xenia on Bowen Island

6:30 AM The darkness did not overwhelm me last night.  The porch lights from next door were enough to illuminate to make me feel calm.  At times my heart wanted to race but I breathed through it.  Amazing.  

My sleep was like skipping stones though.  Perhaps tonight I will feel safe to fully fall asleep.  

Laura woke everyone up with a GONG!  We are still in silence.  The breath I felt in the sanctuary was one of the best moments of silence- felt like the deepest heart-est breaths.  

Laura just came back with a surprise cup of coffee. Bliss.  

At 7 am we have breakfast in silence then at 8 meet for walking to the labyrinth (still in silence) then to the yurt for opening circle…  

Before breakfast I walked with my coffee to the yurt.  I keep being pulled to it.  Set up the archetypes using iPhone compass to fully align with NSEW directions.

I then stood for a long time leaning on the fence looking out over the meadow, feeling Mamma and Pappa.  

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Ready to let go of pain and unhappiness.  Just allow the joy of my childhood to be what now lifts me.  I am loved and I am deserving.  I am a daughter.  A woman in very aspect.  I am “the mother.”  There is no power or fear in that.  I full step into me.  Let go and start fresh yet carry on.  To be in this childhood summerhouse-type setting is powerful.  I have a ball in my throat and tears behind my eyes that need to burst forth but sitting at breakfast now.  

Kitchen in the lodge.  Photo by Laura Mack.
Saria at work in the kitchen in the lodge. Photo by Laura Mack.

Recalling dinner by Saria last night.  Exquisite.  Shepherd’s pie, mixed salad (with everything from the garden), beets in orange juice and vinegar… baked glazed pears with whipped cream, fresh muffins.  I just want to keep writing but I need to pause.  Grab a cup of coffee and make sure I eat.  The breakfast spread: everything including grilled avocados with egg.  I had muffins, granola, yoghurt, fresh fruit.  A participant sits beside me.  Voraciously reading about the history of the property.  I love her curiosity, and tireless quest for knowledge.  A kindred spirit that needs to ingest, to feed on life through research.  

This experience is intensely safe.  Comforting.  Excited about the day ahead.

"Xenia Retreat. Feeling full. Awed. Peaceful. Expanded. On purpose." - Laura (Walking to labyrinth, we paused at Opa.  Photo by Laura Mack.)
“Xenia Retreat. Feeling full. Awed. Peaceful. Expanded. On purpose.”
– Laura (Walking to labyrinth, we paused at Opa. Photo by Laura Mack.)

The labyrinth walk in silence.  Profound.  The walk in, I had scattered thoughts, breathing into this early morning musings by the meadow.  In the centre, I felt peace and clarity and white light.  I cried throughout the walk outward, grieving, mourning, letting go.  Holding, releasing, allowing.  

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 “The poet Marianne Moore famously wrote of ‘real toads in imaginary gardens,’ and the labyrinth offers us the possibility of being real creatures in symbolic space…In such spaces as the labyrinth we cross over [between real and imaginary spaces]; we are really travelling, even if the destination is only symbolic.”
― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Photo by Laura Mack
Photo by Laura Mack

I picked up two mottled leaves as I started to walk outward.  They represent Mamma and Pappa as they entered the last few days before their hearts stopped.  

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But did they stop?  Did the family not just pick up the beat as we synchronized with them?  I had my ear to mom’s chest as her heart stopped.  But I beat with it and carried it on for her.  

How could I not consider this life that I have truly miraculous and worth living?  Truly miraculous and always worth living.

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Opening circle and breaking silence in the yurt at 9 AM.  We reflected on our dreams, our experience in the sanctuary and at the labyrinth.  Laura introduced the Symbols Way and the 4 archetypes that we will focus on this weekend- encouraging us to ask ourselves: 

Where are you now?  

What archetype are you not so in touch with? 

Our first art-making session included mark-making and revisiting the labyrinth by tracing our steps on top of my drawing.  Delicious.  

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“Show not what has been done, but what can be. How beautiful the world would be if there were a procedure for moving through labyrinths.”
― Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

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Stay tuned for Part 3: Saturday late morning- Cyclops Goddess and the Matrilineal question to set the stage for Symbols Way…

“THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP is at the headwaters of every woman’s health. Our bodies and our beliefs about them were formed in the soil of our mother’s emotions, beliefs, and behaviors. To become optimally healthy and happy, each of us must get clear about the ways in which our mother’s history both influenced and continues to inform our state of health, our beliefs, and how we live our lives. Every woman who heals herself helps heal all the women who came before her and all those who will come after her.” – Dr. Christiane Northup

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And for information on more workshops and retreats!

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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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“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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Losing heart… Fix or accept?

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So— things haven’t gone as planned.  It’s not working out as I hoped.  My mom’s shattered dove and pot above tell the story.  When they broke, I cried.  I cried yesterday— alot.

Broken-heartened, dis-heartened…

But I found myself surrounded by love and support from my kids (Anna and Julian) and together we dug deep into our exhausted resources and fixed up the apartment for today’s realtor photos.

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Tomorrow our home is listed.  It’s time to let it go.  To zero out the debts and to start fresh.

But—

What about this loss of heart now?

“What” is to accept the loss of heart.  To accept that this is a LOSS.  To allow the grief.  And not go into fix-it mode.

From Dmitri Bilgere:

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Time to just stop, sit, and surrender.   And then dust ourselves off and see the plans we have worked so hard on unfold- but see them with new eyes.

Maybe things are going as planned. after all?  Maybe this is all OK?  Maybe, as my friend Laura Mack posted today on Facebook:

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Maybe all that should be done is to take some time for allowing the loss of heart to be a loss.

For today: no more affirmations.  No more fix-its and never-give-ups… maybe all that needs to be done is to just FEEL IT.

And to let the tears come.  Then once the healing starts and the energy starts coming back:

If all you can do is crawl, start crawling. – Rumi

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She netweaves a tapestry of connections and we are all the better for it: Laura

I am so blessed to have Laura Mack in my life.

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She’s my mentor, my friend, my special guide.  Her ability to netweave connections in her local and global community is truly a profound gift.  She often refers to netweaving as threads building a tapestry.  I am lucky to find myself woven into it.

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Destiny itself is like a wonderful wide tapestry in which every thread is guided by an unspeakably tender hand, placed beside another thread and held and carried by a hundred others. – Rainier Maria Rilke

Did something unexpected happen? Laura asked. #sfo #reflection

I had a wonderful conversation about my San Francisco trip today with my incredible friend, Laura Mack.  As always, she managed to ask powerful questions that nudge me to reflect.  Did anything happen during the trip that was unexpected?  Hmmm…

The art event was amazing- and not unexpected.

The street art filled my soul with glee- expected.

The photoshoots delighted- expected.

Friends, new and old, were amazing- expected.

San Francisco was a dreamland- expected.

Working on business with my daughter seamless and empowering- expected.

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But what was unexpected was my lack of anxiety.  What was unexpected was that I felt deserving of feeling good.

My journal entry on Noe Street, the Castro, San Francisco August 20, 2013 [unedited]:

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What is it like to wake up to a morning in SF with the place to myself?  My mind wants to wander to a place of anxiety- yet at the same time my heart feels strangely at peace.

TRUST is a word that comes up regularly in me.  I can and will trust that the flow I am feeling is the start of trust or the depths of trust or the familiarity of trust.  Have I actually ever felt the theme/emotion/state of trust?

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TRUST- definition:

trust- reliance, confidence, strength

I looked around the room last night, as Anna’s friends were bouncing off the ceiling and joyously sharing together, and was touched by how we find ourselves in this cottage apartment in the Castro because of our work together, because of my art.

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Is it hard to imagine because I do not allow myself to trust it?  Is it hard to allow myself to relax into it because I do not allow myself the time?  Is this trip about taking a break or stepping into it?

Such a fascinating time to simply let go of the old “unquiet heart” way of doing things and softening to accepting that I deserve this right now.

Is it hard to imagine because I don’t need to imagine it because I am already living it?!

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Money lives in New York.  Power sits in Washington.  Freedom sips cappuccino in a sidewalk café in San Francisco. 

– Joe Flower

Gather your abundance… journal ramblings.

What’s the one thing missing in your life?  In mine- that’s easy.  I have passion, I have my art, I love being myself, and being by myself, I am happily divorced, I have no unfinished business with my mother who passed, nor with my father now, I have an extraordinary family and friends who lend an ear and a give hugs and feed me, I’m a good mom and my children are spreading their wings and are exceptional humans, I have a too-loud laugh, and there is no end to my creative ideas or output… but’s what’s missing is money!

I can’t borrow anymore.  That’s not the answer.  I’m maxed out there anyway.  I can’t cut corners- that just isn’t the solution.  I am not an over-the-top indulger, by any means.  With the amount of output I do every day, I’m sorry, but I fucking earn every coffee I buy, every dinner out, every book.

I just need to open myself up to earning more money.  What does that actually mean?

I had an epiphany on Sunday (I’m pretty slow)- my current situation only reinforces my low self-esteem.  In order to earn more, I have to value myself more.  SIMPLE. Well, actually it is.

So this Fall, which feels so beautiful and large and epic-will be a time for turning a new leaf.  For making changes.  My nephew turned one.  My father is nearing the end of his life as we birth our book together.  Truly remarkable.  The sun is shining and the leaves are changing.

I have to let the equity build not only in my home, but in myself.  I have to trust.  I have to build my own support network and focus like hell on what I do the best, and leave the rest to the experts.  I’m not there yet, there are some bumps ahead but I am in a new mindset (today at least).

My friend, Laura Mack, sent me a note of encouragement: Focus on creating abundance and then give from there.  I cheer you on.

The Old Apple Tree by Roar Thorsen

Recommended:

 

by Tara Gentile

Making money should be beautiful. Making money should be liberating, fortifying, and joyous. Making money isn’t what defines you but it shouldn’t be bewildering either.

 

Approaching fruition: my weekend with @InspireABook and Influence Publishing

I just spent an intensive and fabulous weekend with Julie Salisbury of Influence Publishing at her Inspire A Book Mastermind class!  Incredible!  I am working on the book that showcases my Dad’s art and our journey together.

Julie has a brilliant way of facilitating a group to support each other in the creative process and I feel on track and very excited to collaborate with her!  The group was astounding and inspiring and I thank Sharon, Leslie, Nelie, Carroll, Brad, Lucca, Nathalie for their generous spirits and Hannelore for hosting the event and opening her heart to us.

The amount of info shared and exercises processed was quite remarkable and I came home loaded up with all the guidance and courage and gameplan I need to ensure that Dad and I see our project to fruition.

Roar dictating notes.

Thank you Laura Mack and Christine Awram for the initial connections!

Conception, gestation- a movement begins. #women

A movement is only composed of people moving. To feel its warmth and motion around us is the end as well as the means. – Gloria Steinhem

An idea is building and I thank the women I met with last night for our initial brainstorm.  Stay tuned as we move from the concept to the concrete!  What unfolds will be a surprise to all involved.  A beautiful surprise!

To keep it clear in my mind, I'm finding it helpful to stick with a TRIAD organization.

Do not become alarmed when you experience yourself in totally new ways… You are changing, getting ready to be initiated into the third stage of your life. Are you ready for the ride of your life?
– Susun Weed

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. – Gloria Steinem

Journaling at WOW- the Women of Worth Conference

It was a pleasure connecting with Christine Awram, founder of Women of Worth, and listening to Yvonne Evans last night at The Granville Island Hotel.

Theme:

An Empowered CEO on A New Business Culture & Currency

I look forward to processing the lessons that I chicken-scratched in my journal and building on the concepts I found empowering and on the connections made.

As a divorced, self employed mother of one, with little support and scant foundations, I made every mistake possible. I created painful realities at each turn and travelled down labyrinths of confusion that led to dead ends. I used all of the change techniques, “secret doctrines,” and healing modalities available, and nothing changed. Descending time and time again into the pain of what Dante calls the “dark wood,” I made the pursuit of transformation my life’s work. From a deep and lengthy enquiry into how to create change, I emerged personally and spiritually transformed with a profound and complex understanding of how to change ourselves and our lives. Important insights into misunderstood “teachings” about emotions, feelings, and the nature of alchemy completely changed my world and my work. I was not only creating loving and abundant experiences but also experiencing profound spiritual openings without seeking them. This book reveals to you all that I have learned about change and reality creation. At times simple and other times complex, this vital knowledge is essential for all of humanity, so that we may create a personal and a collective world resting solidly on a new foundation of co-creation, harmony, and bounty.

Yvonne Evans

Thank you, Laura Mack, for the introduction.

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series: Week 2 Part 6 PORTRAIT COFFEE DATE #Picasso #arttherapy

WEEK 2 PART 6: Picasso

Last part before we move onto our third artist, Lisa Larson!

Invite your journal and a friend out for coffee and draw while you chat.  In Picasso-esque style.

I had the luxury of spending an hour and a half with my mentor and my dear friend, Laura Mack:

Self-portrait:

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Week 2 Part 1- PICASSO

Week 2 Part 2 PICASSO: BREATHING

Week 2 Part 3 PICASSO: ART ABOUT ART

Week 2 Part 4 PICASSO: THE SILENT STUDIO

Week 2 Part 5 PICASSO: INFLUENCE

Part 18 daily journal workshop. SURVIVOR #arttherapy @Kris_Carr

A survivor is a triumphant person who lives with, after, or in spite of a diagnosis or traumatic event.  Survivors refuse to assume the identity of their adversity.  They are not imprisoned by the constructs of a label.  Instead, survivors use their brush with mortality as a catalyst for creating a better self.  We transform our experience in order to further evolve spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally.  Our reality challenges us to go deeper.

Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor

Kris Carr

What have you survived?  What does the word mean to you?  What about trying to survive profound loss?

I’ve gone through a lot, as we all have.  All of it attacks the heart.  I even survived listening to my mom’s heart stop beating.

A man’s dying is more his survivor’s affair than his own. – Thomas Mann

Write for 15 minutes about the questions posed and anything else that comes to mind around the concept of SURVIVOR.

 

Now find a nice font (look at dafont.com for ideas) and write out (or print out and glue) SURVIVOR in large letters.

Now decorate the page, stream of consciousness style.  Just let it happen.  Maybe pull out key words from your journal writing.  Just doodle.

Great quote:

Quote provided by my friend Laura Mack

Recommended:

To move through the fear, I had to change my focus and turn to the one thing that had always saved me in hard times: creativity.

– Kris Carr

Tomorrow:

“Cancer”

Daily Journal Workshop:

Part 1 JUST WRITE

Part 2 DRAW OUT THE WORDS

Part 3 HEART

Part 4 SPILL OUT COLLAGE

Part 5 NAKED SCREAM

Part 6 INVITE ALTER STRETCH EXTEND

Part 7 ARISE AROSE IN 3’S

Part 8 SELF-PORTRAIT. HUMAN

Part 9 WORD CRAZY QUILT

Part 10 VINTAGE WORKOUT

Part 11 GESTURE DRAWING

Part 12 DEAR WORLD. SECRETS

Part 13 NEGATIVE – POSITIVE

Part 14 BE THE MAP

Part 15 GUEST SPEAKER

Part 16 COMICS!

Part 17 ALTER

My vision board is started. Perfect way to process this heavy day.

Woke up this AM feeling like my heart weighed a thousand pounds.  Today is the 3rd anniversary of Mom passing away.

Karin, 1957.

I was lucky enough to spend the morning creating vision boards with Laura Mack, giving me a place and safe space to just be.

I’m excited to watch the board develop and to reflect on it over time.

My children take flight
Sock monkeys will get me to New York, to Sweden
Think BIG.
Drawing on Menopause
The world needs more you? The world needs more me? No. The ME needs more ME.

BIRTHDAY ART: calm in the storm- gifts from a friend @parentasleader

My friend Laura treated me to the most beautiful messages today in her generous birthday gifts.  In the midst of the mayhem at school, with kids needing me right, left and centre, she popped in and thrust wisdom in my arms!  I adore this woman for so many reasons; I am also acutely aware that I need to pay attention to her messages!

Laura Mack is an international business consultant and facilitator.  She brings to her clients a broad understanding of both the rewards and challenges of entrepreneurial life as well as the corporate and non-profit sectors.  She has been executive director of a national association, worked in partnership development with an international association and prior to that operated a sole proprietorship promoting speakers, leadership and organizational development facilitators and trainers.  Laura is certified as a One Page Business Plan® consultant, a Legacy Leadership Practitioner, an Authentic Leadership Conversations™ host, recently completed a series of courses in the Instructor Development Program at the Justice Institute (which included Appreciative Inquiry and World Café), has studied Nonviolent Communication with Marshall Rosenberg, has completed numerous courses with the Canadian Society of Association Executives, and is currently engaged in a part-time Business Liberal Studies Program at Simon Fraser University.  Known as a connector, Laura is passionate about sharing her experiences with ‘netweaving’, actively connecting those with similar interests and activities.  She served for two years as member of the Board of the Gifted Children’s Association of British Columbia in addition to co-facilitating the creation of a series of informative and engaging sessions for parents of children with learning differences (LD) – both gifted and LD.  Laura believes strongly in philanthropy and volunteerism and has supported various causes in Vancouver’s downtown eastside over recent years, in addition to sponsoring a child in Zimbabwe and volunteering with AWE (Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs). She is currently working with an NGO that is bringing water into a remote community in Nepal and planning a medical centre. [source]

LAURAMACK’S BLOG– leadership, parenting, family therapy

Laura Mack is a facilitator, business consultant and parent.  Her mission is to inspire parents to embrace parenting as a leadership journey. Laura shares her personal stories and inquiries making for a fascinating read.  Child and family therapist, Alyson Jones, also shares her professional advice as well as her own parenting experience.

Laura Mack on Twitter: @parentasleader

Laura’s dog Skippy 🙂