Joyful Living: Relaxation and Creativity with Michele Lilyanna


Unfortunately due to personal issues, I am unable to facilitate at the Aug 22/23 workshops.  Sincerest apologies.  But I am happy to write that Michele will be facilitating! 

Love, Kat



with Michele Lilyanna



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1549 Ocean Beach Esplanade, GIBSONS

ADULTS*: AUGUST 22, 2017 7:30-9:30 PM $60.00/participant

TWEENS: AUGUST 23, 2017 1:00-3:30 PM $50.00/participant

CHILDREN: AUGUST 23, 2017 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM $40.00/participant

Each session begins with a guided meditation. We then move on to joyful creativity and round out the session with a healing practice. Nourishment and fun at its finest!


* Teachers may use this class for Professional development. Check with your district as it will give you practices to share in your classrooms as well as provide you with ideas for wellbeing.

 Class size limited so please sign up early!

To register and pay course fee contact Michele at: Email


About the Workshops:

ADULTS: AUGUST 22, 2017 7:30-9:30 PM 


TWEENS: AUGUST 23, 2017 1:00-3:30 PM


CHILDREN: AUGUST 23, 2017 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM


About the Facilitator:

Michele Lilyanna:


Michele Lilyanna taught in the Canadian public education system for over thirty years. Her teaching focused on social and emotional learning and artistic expression.   She is the co-author, with James Baraz of Awakening Joy For Kids, awarded the 2016 Nautilus Gold medal. She is a featured parenting writer for Dr. Rick Hanson on both his website and in his Ten Pillars of Happiness course. When Michele is not teaching parents, educators, or children, she is awakening joy on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia with her partner, Peter, and her two sons.

Michele’s Website:



Mind mapping creates, hears, discovers, gathers, teaches… #graphicrecording

What is mind mapping?

A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance. – TONY BUZAN

I use mind mapping in all my facilitation work (one-on-one, in group, with youth, in organizational meetings), in my work with, or in my creative projects in order to:

create participant engagement, capture dialogue, make discovery, educate, gather data in order to write reports, address needs, develop customized workshops, deliver tools, and plan projects.



Beverley Pomeroy’s Living Grief Workshop,



Big Draw Vancouver

Big Draw Vancouver









Mind maps integrate both right-brain and left-brain thinking by capturing your stream of consciousness in a structured way. – Jennifer Lee


For more information on my services



Check out:






That is a step on which… #creativeprocess

I was working on my Molly project today— contemplating a slightly new format, to reconstruct the prologue.  The idea came out of the first weekly mini writer’s retreat that I started last Monday with my soul-sister, Patti Henderson:


Patti encouraged me to attack the material in a new way.

I love how collaborative dialogue can push, pull, inspire.  Afterwards, perseverating on the ideas that were brought up, the magic begins as one idea flows into the next, and the creative process leads as opposed to being led.  The dots connect and coincidences become more than coincidences…

For example,

I was on the ferry headed to a wedding on Friday when suddenly, in my mind’s eye, I saw the prologue unfold in a series on visuals with a particular focus on the character’s eyes.  We see the children see…


I wrote some notes and continued to mind map when I got home today.


I put an episode of Charlie Rose on in the background…

I heard Kenneth Branagh quote a moment in Macbeth… That is a step. On which I must fall down, or else o’erleap… He emphasized and mused on the word o’oerleap and how in the context it meant the choice of murder.  I was intrigued by the word, by his take on it and how it worked well in the context of Molly.  So I looked further and searched for the moment it appears in the play:

The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step
On which I must fall down, or else o’erleap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires:
The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be,
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see. (1.4.55-60)


Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see… how wonderful!  By seeking more on o’erleap, I find a quote related to my new vision for the prologue.  Coincidence?


And so, that is a step on which… I build.

Ingesting information using mind mapping.

I use mind mapping when I plan a project.

E.g. as in Molly, a true crime analysis:


I also use mind mapping when I ingest information.  It is a way to take non-linear notes, engage the whole brain and create one easy visual that allows me to remember what I read with a single glance at the completed map.

“Normal linear note taking and writing will put you into a semi-hypnotic trance, while mind mapping will greatly enhance your left and right brain cognitive skills.” – Tony Buzan

For example, reading the Power Path’s August Forecast

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As I start to read, I write down main points and let them interact with each other, one leads to the next, one might direct you to another area etc.

Once I get the overall main points, then I add more detailed notes (this can evolve overtime), and though from your point of view, the result may look chaotic… for me, the map makes sense to me as I remember physically creating the whole map.  In one glance, I can recall ALL the material that I read.


Then I gather related material to develop and enhance.

Keeping the mind maps for future reference is useful!  For example the business plan mind map I created in 2013, which helped my daughter and I produce a highly praised  business plan, is being pulled out this week to utilize it on another project.  IT ALL RELATES and EVOLVES.


Mind map tutorial:

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Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 1: Preparation

Recall Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Preview:

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I’m keeping a diary and will try to post at the end of each day. Today in Part 1, it is about preparation:


As much as art and connection are part of the 3-day intensive, I also want to incorporate life skills in a natural way.  One of those life skills is project planning.  On Day 1 we will be mind mapping an action plan as a group.  I want this to be youth-led, so my role as facilitator is to create a safe and dynamic space/environment.  Of course, I have a plan and agenda in case there needs to be a nudging in order to achieve the goal, but as much as possible, this is the overall vision is that of the participants.  By mind mapping together, the participants will experience project planning in a tangible way, and my goal (part of the longevity piece) is that they put that experience into their personal tool kit.  .

I practice what I preach.  I am spending this weekend preparing for the trip.  Making checklists, packing, mind mapping out some curriculum and action plan, researching, and looking to other creatives for inspiration.  For example:

Thomas Kail of Hamilton Joins Prof. Dolly Chugh’s Managerial Skills Course:

As a facilitator, I have to have a plan, an agenda-free agenda if you will.  I also have to be flexible and in the moment, ready to throw plans over the shoulder and let the experience and group dynamics lead.  Plan, be ready, RELAX, have FUN!

“Before you can think out of the box, you have to start with a box.”
― Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life


Group mind mapping: RJ as a pedagogical tool @SFU


On March 30, 2016, I took the  Criminology 315 (CRIM 315) students at the Simon Fraser University Burnaby Campus (teacher: Associate Professor and director of the Center for Restorative Justice, Brenda Morrison) through an in depths mind mapping process as they reflected on their understanding and learning during the course.

CRIM 315 is designed to contrast restorative justice with the dominant adversarial/retributive/punitive model of justice through a critical analysis of these two paradigms of justice. Several key principles, assumptions, and concepts necessary for understanding the foundation and practice of restorative justice are explored during the course.

This particular group of students has been focusing on restorative justice within the educational setting (from theory to practice to social echo). My role as  guest teacher was to engage the students creatively and to discuss my restorative art-based practices with at-risk youth, young offenders and fragile populations.

I was delighted to have my former student, now colleague, Miko Philip participate as co-facilitator during my session.  I shared my own restorative practices and successes within the secondary school setting through the lens of  Miko’s personal experiences. Miko spoke openly about her time Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School, her personal struggles, her transformative experience in the summer of 2015 in the Inside Out Project at Mountainside Secondary, and her current powerful and life-changing studies at Rhodes Wellness College.

But before we began the mind mapping segment (outside in the sun), Brenda discussed delicious items for the students to keep in mind:

Pedagogy– how do you achieve educational outcome?

• Discipline of the circle 

Declare mission (versus declaring major)

• What does the circle add to higher learning?

• What is your discipline beyond criminology?

• Theory/Praxis/Practice

• Social Echo

• Justice/identity/belonging

Spiral of Inquiry: Scanning, Focusing, Developing a Hunch, Learning, Taking Action, Checking.

Capturing dialogue and participant voices is such a treat and I love how the whole brain is engaged by the group.  Students can see the process unfold and gain new insights and perspectives as a result.

At the beginning and part way through the afternoon, I utilized a couple of my favorite Lynda Barry exercises to cleanse our brains!

To really start the process, Miko asked the students the big question: What is Restorative Justice?  Not so easy to answer it turns out!

We started with one word reflection per participant, then the students broke off into groups to create a sentence answer.


What is Restorative Justice?

An opportunity to grow as a person when you have done something wrong in a way that is rehabilitative rather than punitive.

A value based philosophical framework guiding a rehabilitation process.

An inclusive approach to learning that emphasizes passion, respect, empathy, positivity, and acceptance in a safe and productive environment.

A values based approach to building community by empowering stakeholders.

We then discussed what identity and belonging means to each participant to enrich the exploration:


Relationship based, learning from each other, growth, supportive community, different way of learning, listening skills, equal opportunity to talk, accepted and not judged, having a place, empowerment, voice, equality, spend time in a place despite being uncomfortable, inclusivity, understanding (less about knowing), safety, community (actions affect others), non judgmental, ontological security, transparency.

Groups then shared their reflections on the mind map on social echo:


The effects of stereotypes and perceptions; igniting your inner passion to make a change; being an agent of change; individual and collective; whatever you take from it; expanding knowledge; being a voice through which knowledge can be carried to a broader audience.

We ended with a circle reflection!

Huge thank you to Miko Philip for being so open and enriching our day so much.  And thank you to Brenda Morrison, Cristina Serverius and the students who participated to willingly!

Check out Brenda’s recommendations:


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Creative mind mapping example: developing characters

A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance. – TONY BUZAN

I use them in all aspects of personal and project planning.

For example,



Organizing massive amounts of research, drawings and additional information for my illustrated true crime analysis can seem insurmountable at times.  But mind mapping is THE BEST TOOL for my process.   It’s all about taking felt pens to paper and working non-linearly.  It helps me see the big picture, facilitate ah ha! moments, take a look at the case from all angles.

I can use mind mapping to organize the multiple timelines:


To organize the story structure:

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And it is PERFECT for character development.  For example, my main character’s brother:


Mind mapping this character not only helps me see the unfolding of Joseph’s life, but facilitates me to make connections and develop insights into the story that I know I would miss if I only worked linearly.  And I keep adding notes to them.  They evolve as they need to.

Adding visuals (either drawings or photos/collage) not only connects me more deeply to the mind map, and creates a more pleasing map; taking the time to create visuals on your mind map cleanses the mind of racing thoughts, taps into both the right and left hemisphere’s of my brain and expands the mind mapping process.



Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 6: Addressing

I have been diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process!

Tutorial so far:

Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week

Part 1: What is a mindmap?

Part 2: the Big Vision

Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping

Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting

Part 5: Enhancing


PART 6 OF 7: Addressing

By now, we have gone through multiple steps to start organizing and taking action on our project and/or self-reflection.

Time to dig a little deeper.

Let’s not only address the to do’s of the current mindmap:

Action steps are the detailed, practical tasks you need to perform to achieve your goals… By breaking the strategies down into discrete tasks, you’ll better be able to plan for resources and timing. – Jennifer Lee

… let’s also take time to write in your journal as to why you feel it is important to take time to properly address your action steps.

What is it all really about?

My journal entry October 30, 1013

Art for me is not just about being in the moment and in the heat of the creative process.  My right brain ways certainly thrive on that.  But as a right brain enterpreneur, I am ready to embrace DISCIPLINE.  Ready to focus on business, sales, marketing, numbers, grant applications, networking etc.

And all this left brain stuff would only be daunting if I hadn’t designed an action plan.  It will no longer be about trying to fit in the art around the work schedule but defining myself as a working artist.

Specific day-to-day foci include:

Product, Branding, Customers, Operations, Illustration, Writing, Research, Personal

Time sensitive, Proactive, Arty, Inaction

Sticking to it is key.  Including “off” times.  Ironically, my new schedule that reflects fluidity and flexibility will be more rigid and disciplined than now.  And double ironically, the more I work on art, the more my left brain is awakened and fearless!

Allowing the temptations of distractions and answering to the needs of others above my own is no longer an option!  I have to weigh requests and take a breath before saying yes.  Before saying no.

Within the new “limitations” though lies absolute freedom and a fulfilled heart!


The journey since the journal entry above has been intense, difficult, humbling, beautiful and enlightening.  The success I wanted to achieve then looks very different than what I envisioned and hoped for yet, there is success nonetheless.  Why?  Because the journey centres around my personal core value: FREEDOM.


Have you identified your (current) core value(s)?

Starting from this place will help us bring more ease, empowerment and success into our personal and professional lives. – Laura Mack

I recommend the following exercise: core-values-worksheet


So address each item in a slow light and meticulous way keeping your core value(s) in mind. Makes for a much stronger strategic plan.


Part 7 of 7: Reviewing

Mindmap tutorial week Part 5 of 7: Enhancing

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process!

Tutorial so far:

Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week

Part 1: What is a mindmap?

Part 2: the Big Vision

Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping

Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting


PART 5 OF 7: Enhancing

Last time we consolidated our mindmap- stripped it down to key components.   

Today we focus on each component and ENHANCE.


This is similar to the stream of consciousness mapping but now you are more focused.  Think ACTION PLAN.  You are building a structure.  Research a bit.  Make a to-do.  (We will ADDRESS the items in more detail tomorrow).

Mind maps integrate both right-brain and left-brain thinking by capturing your stream of consciousness in a structured way.  This method is perfect for brainstorming goals and organizing related ideas.  – Jennifer Lee




  Recommended reading:

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If you are finding this blog series helpful, please consider a small donation so that I can continue to provide free tutorials.

Email transfer or PayPal:


Thank you!



Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 4: Prioritizing, consolidating, connecting

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process!

Tutorial so far:

Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week

Part 1: What is a mindmap?

Part 2: the Big Vision

Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping


PART 4 OF 7: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting

So once you have spewed out your thoughts all out onto your large paper: 

Color code the bubbles— don’t overthink this.  Just circle the items that seem to relate to each other.  Just very loosy goosy…

Start drawing arrows to items that relate to each other more… How do they CONNECT?  This is a “thinking out loud” exercise as you pay attention to what part of the map excites you, what part you know needs priority, what part is a distraction…

Now redraw the map as it reflects the REORGANIZATION of your stream-of-consciousness one…

Make “out loud” notes onto your map.  Converse with yourself.  Be honest.   What is truly your passion?   Essential PRIORITY?  What can be removed?  What is the BIG PICTURE?

Now strip it down.  CONSOLIDATE to the top three categories.

CONSOLIDATION requires getting rid of excess. Some of this excess is not anything definable but rather energetic information both useful and non-useful that has been collected and stored in the energy system waiting for integration. Too much psychic information can feel like a burden; overwhelming, unfocused and irritating.

PRIORITIES need a clear space to settle into. So clear some space, consolidate your energetic resources and allow what’s important to prioritize itself in your life. – The Power Path August 2015 Monthly Forecast

Remember- this can be a personal reflection exercise, or a project planning exercise etc.  It is all really the same principal.


Part 4: Enhancing

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 2 of 7: the Big Vision

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process!

Tutorial so far:

Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week

Part 1: What is a mindmap?


PART 2 OF 7: The Big Vision

You may recall my journey with mindmaps using:

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Right-brain entrepreneur Jennifer Lee is a certified coach, writer, artist, yogini, and the founder of Artizen Coaching. Before pursuing her own passions full-time, she consulted for ten years for companies such as Accenture, Gap, Sony, and HP, helping leaders and organizations manage change. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and her website is www.rightbrainbusinessplan.comsource



Utilizing Jennifer Lee’s BIG-VISION VISUALIZATION SCRIPT, I encourage you to write about your ideal future, to think big, to see abundance and success in work, in relationships, in spirit.



Personally, I find it very empowering to write about an abundant future.  It’s an ENLIGHTENING experience and a good anxiety-decreaser during those familiar dark and anxious times.

It is also fun to compare the big vision entries over time.  For example two of my entries two years apart:

May 2013:

Despite my default setting of envisioning myself in a magical little cottage down by a little lake, what do I actually envision for myself when I really concentrate?  My stream of consciousness writing shows:

  • a beautiful workspace
  • intimate corners
  • cozy couches and blankets
  • a library of books
  • supplies
  • airy and sunny
  • hardwood floors
  • garden, outdoor patio
  • kitchen, open space
  • coffee and fresh pie smells and fresh fruit
  • the pets
  • easy to have visitors and family over
  • but also private
  • a place to store my art
  • more income than expenses
  • time for me
  • time to enjoy
  • ease of mind
  • mortgage fully paid
  • lots of savings
  • blissful and at peace
  • the smell of fresh basil
  • flowers in vases
  • candles
  • online presence
  • ease of blogging and lots of followers
  • my art has a distinct vision and people are responding with ease and delight
  • I keep pushing the envelope and make new groundbreaking work
  • I have time to craft and explore new ways of manipulating art
  • there is an ease to waking up in the AM with a sense of acceptance and accomplishment
  • my books are best sellers and I mainly work on my own art which the world is hungry for

July 2015:

You now stand fully naked, fully present, fully you.  Gone are the shackles that pulled you downwards into self-doubting, crippling anxiety.  No longer do you hesitate before expressing.  But most importantly, no longer do you collapse in shame and doubt after you expressed yourself.  

Speaking your truth used to cause you to feel like you were choking on amniotic fluid.  Felt like it came at a price.  

Now you can breathe in and breathe out with open mouth, open nostrils, open sinuses, open throat, open heart, open eyes, open mind without fear.  

You release your truth, your art, your work onto and into the world and receive back the conversations/communications with an open and fearless heart- a heart that is ready to dialogue.  

Your work used to require boundaries.  Your life used to comprise of self-imposed boundaries to protect your heart from rejection and loss.  But now you are boundless.  And so the work you have built on awakening creative expression in others- a gift you truly were born with and have worked so tirelessly to deliver- takes on a new level on a global scale.  You are not in need of accolades.  You are simply expressing, thereby allowing others to feel the same freedom.  It need no longer be frontline work (in person), it is a new principle and way of living.  

Full presence.  

You have taken all the heartache, all the joy, all the blood and guts of life and built a mission and vision that has created true abundance.  

You will never be anxiety-free and you will never not have heart-shattering challenges, but you now have a giant delicious toolbox with which to meet those challenges and easily process, die into them and rebirth from them.  You are truly living with ease.  

All is as it should be.  


I find the BIG VISION process a cleansing experience.  It is the opposite of processing the now or the processing of yesterday.  It is a way to ease the heart and soften the belly.


You will find that mindmaps are a way to envision and put into practice your intention.  This intention is thereby transformed into fruition.  The process is not just an idealistic visualization but an actualization.


Part 3: stream of consciousness mapping

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 1 of 7: What is a mindmap?

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process!

Recall: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week


Part 1 of 7: What is a mindmap?


Mindmaps (or mind maps– but I prefer the one word version) are essentially visual diagrams.

Wikipedia definition:

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank landscape page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.

Mind maps can be drawn by hand, either as “rough notes” during a lecture, meeting or planning session, for example, or as higher quality pictures when more time is available.

Mind maps are considered to be a type of spider diagram.  A similar concept in the 1970s was “idea sun bursting”.

For me, mindmapping is a tool to move all the churning ideas and voices out of my head onto paper, in order to organize my thoughts and to quiet my mind.  I gain perspective; I can start to strategize and prioritize or make new realizations and connections.  I can develop, or pare down.  I gain new insight on what direction works, what direction doesn’t, what I can cross off, what I can add.  I love the visual.  I love the tangible.  I love the evolving mindmap.  I love looking at old ones and seeing what worked and what didn’t.  I can create a mission and a vision statement more easily.

Mindmaps can be personal, or done in a group, with a group, for a group.   You can mindmap alone.  You can mindmap for someone else as they dialogue.  It is a great listening tool.


They can act as a type of journal, or therapy, or a tool for strategic inquiry or project planning.  The possibilities are vast and endless.  I use many kinds like:

• emotional mapping

• project mapping

• priority mapping

• “current situation” mapping

• gathering support mapping

• personal challenges mapping

• story structure mapping

• character background mapping

• journal mapping

core values mapping

• mission and vision building mapping

• creative strategic inquiry mapping

• meeting notes mapping

•  etc.


I use a variety of kinds of mindmapping styles like the familiar linking or bubbles, or making lists, making scribbles on a torn piece of paper or more elaborate panels.


I love to illustrate and color them.   To make the task more ME and to make me energized, I tend to collect images I love and draw them out.


Looking back on them, I can shed a tear or crack a smile at their ridiculous complexity:


And sigh in relief when I get to the core of it:



Write for 15 minutes in your journal about what you might want to mindmap about this week.  Don’t overthink.  JUST KEEP WRITING.  There is no right or wrong.



Part 2: the Big Vision