Routine? No, ROOTine.

The word ROOTine came up for me the other day when I was texting with my daughter who is on a life-changing journey, travelling in SE Asia:

Looking back on your life from a mom’s perspective as to when you have felt the most happiest is during developing an idea and planning transitions.  When you have gotten “grey” is when things settle into routine.  Your core competencies are definitely on experiencing and facilitating those transitions… what’s beautiful is that by identifying that this trip is about making space for change, that you yourself have the power to facilitate change, has opened you to also embrace DEVELOPING ROOTS.  

As long as where you land, where you you work, who you love, fosters that change power in you–  you will be happy.  Some people need routine and no change.  Predictability.  You- no.  That’s why you will love being a mom as it’s all about facilitating growth and change in your children.  The routine or ROOT-ine in that and in loving a partner is not at all suffocating- as long as you continue to develop yourself

 

The word ROOTine made sense to me as it came up in my text to her.  When I personally feel the angst of being disconnected from the predictability and routine of home (like this past Friday when I headed over to the island for 5 nights to work and and spend time with friends), I know that is the time for self-reflection and mindfulness.  In the way that works for me.

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I don’t seek sameness in my life- that is certainly why I immerse myself in the creative process- it is about CHANGE.

My psychological or even physiological makeup is not one that suits the routine of a 9 to 5 predictable schedule.

I find a rich sense of freedom in the uniqueness of my personal routine.  In what makes me relax IN MY WAY.

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Qualicum Beach, April 2, 2017

So, I guess the angst that arises is when the flow is disrupted?  I’ve been thinking about this a lot.  Is it ROUTINE or ROOTS?  I am fully rooted in my purpose- blessed to have found it.

My niece Emma just sent me this poem and it seems fitting:

What to Remember When Waking by David Whyte

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake, coming back to this life from the other more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began, there is a small opening into the new day which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.

What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough for the vitality hidden in your sleep.

To be human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.

To remember the other world in this world is to live in your true inheritance.

You are not a troubled guest on this earth, you are not an accident amidst other accidents you were invited from another and greater night than the one from which you have just emerged.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window toward the mountain presence of everything that can be what urgency calls you to your one love?

What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea?

In the trees beyond the house?

In the life you can imagine for yourself?

In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?

The ROOTine is where I find my flow.  And when the flow is disrupted, I feel uneasy.  And that’s OK.

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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.

 

I thought I was holding on to this ONE life I knew. #journal

I thought I was holding on to this ONE life I knew.

My heart feeling the weight of  having died a thousand deaths.

I thought I was the tree, whose roots dug so deep,

So deep that it was surely invincible.

I thought I was the tree that houses the egg,

the chick.

Providing a safe place in which to grow,

and from which to leave.

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I thought my role was to grow deep roots,

and multiple branches,

and rich green leaves.

I thought I felt the a pain of my roots being cut,

my body toppled.

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But I have died a thousand deaths.

And I know now that I am one of the birds.

And as the roots are cut, and the tree is toppled,

My leaves turn to wings,

the wings of thousands of birds.

And I fly.

I fly.

– Katarina Thorsen

Frida Angel

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.

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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