The Alchemy of Art and Craft

The Alchemy of Art and Craft

Creating art is a dynamic experience. When one applies the concept of use of self as an instrument for change in regard to indigenous art and crafting, creativity becomes a breakthrough activity. Not only does the prima materia transform to a wondrous, awe-inspiring work of art, but the finished piece also conveys a sacredness that propels the beholder toward a transcendent awareness. 

And the connection to a primordial past. The ancient ones and “holy people whisper down into [me] the artist” as magnificent pieces are created

 (Daniel Stayley, 2002). These serve as visual metaphors for the ancestral bond that honors a rich past and extends forward as a bridge into an unknown future reaching seven generations to come. 

According to recent research studies conducted with twelve Native artisans from three Southwest Indian tribes, reflections from both the natural environment and the ancient past greatly contribute to their sense of inspiration, motivation, and contribution to community development. On a personal level, each participant clearly expressed that through their relationship with their craft they have developed a stronger character and sense of self-identity.

Native peoples have long known and celebrated the benefits of spending time in an introspective state while creating objects with their hands. Inspired by the natural world around them, they were provided with everything necessary to live a happy, healthy, and harmonious life (Cajete, 1994). They were wizened by their interdependence with the environment that they lived so closely with. “To all my relations” is a Lakota Sioux concept that acknowledges the relational connection to all creatures (Storm, 1972). It shows evidence of the mutually causal relationship of all phenomena that is ever-changing.

Many young artists today are aware of an urgency to contribute to the creation of art objects as a means of preserving the past while simultaneously creating the future.

Many, though, are unaware of the alchemy involved in performing the seemingly simple, everyday tasks of creating beautiful art. From these intimate interviews, I have learned that the role of the artist in the tribal community is often taken for granted and has become lost in the translation between cultures. Also, many young people have fallen into the societal plight of indifference and alienation. They have forgotten how the connection to an ancestral past is brought alive in the present.

Creativity is a breakthrough experience.

By entering into the transpersonal realm of the creative process, one breaks through the confines of mundane reality and releases the self into a flow of creative energy (Harmon & Rheingold, 1984).  A shift occurs into a dynamic state of being where profound ideas, images, solutions to questions and problems continuously emerge. They bubble to the surface from the depths of our unconscious mind. In the flash of an instant, profound insights are revealed. This dynamic movement is alchemical in nature as it transforms consciousness from one state to another. According to Travis Lasuvi from the Pueblo of Zuni, it is as if one is carried in the flow of the rapidly moving white waters through the subconscious mind.

The subconscious is a warehouse for the imagination and intuition, which stores all of the collective images, archetypes, and symbols that become accessible whenever the floodgates are opened (Jung, 1968). As we flow on the river of creativity, we visit nooks, crannies, and eddies of the unconscious mind along the way. The white-water rapids of the creative stream offer heightened states of consciousness and expanded awareness. Access to this interior realm is realized through the symbols and images that lie therein. Ideas bubble up from the depths of the unconscious mind into non-rational moments of profound knowledge. The twelve interviews confirmed.

Accessing the creative flow can be self-induced or spontaneous. One can easily learn the skill of manoeuvring through these uncharted waters. However, in order to find one’s way, it is necessary to have a boat. In this way, the voyage toward the pinnacle of heightened awareness can be traversed at will. One then has more opportunity to experience the full bloom of human potential that lies in the spacious lake of the mind. Maslow speaks of this state as self-actualization (1964).

Through increasing self-awareness, one may reach the state of self-actualization. As a self-actualized human, one becomes aware of the intricacies of the universe. All of life is said to be in a state of continuous change. As we interact with our world, we form connections. From this view, we see the web-like patterns of flows and connections throughout our universe. These fractal patterns, including the human form, are impermanent (Briggs, 2000). Within these connections, both change and impermanence are inevitable. With a perception of mutual causality, all of life is in process.

Everything is in a state of flux and flow. Within this fluid state, all sentient beings, creatures, minerals, and plants are energized with the sacred spirit. The spirit flows through creating a bond between all aspects of the natural world. In systems thinking, this flow is considered energy. 

A systemic view reflects a mode of thinking that the western technological world is beginning to embrace. More recent discoveries in the area of quantum physics have prompted a paradigm shift in conscious awareness that is moving us rapidly toward a view of globalization. Yet, this systemic concept of globalization has been a deep embodiment of *primitive minds. Through patterns and symbols on ancient works of art, this idea is depicted repeatedly among native cultures worldwide. For it is here that we see the Lakota expression, “to all my relations” come to life in hozho (Dine word for beauty).

This fact alone is cause for the celebration of life that occurs on all levels. Spending time in nature is a technique used to master manoeuvring through the unconscious mind. Nature has always been a great teacher and agent of change. It is said that all one ever needs to know can come from spending time alone in Nature. First of all, from communing with nature, people of the past acquired the skills needed to survive in the natural environment. As Jerry Honawa, Hopi Kachina carver explains, they (the people) became innovative as the watched, copied and mimicked the ways of Nature. They watched the alchemy in process.

For example, sitting by a stream and observing the pools of clear water that collected in the curvature of the earth and rocks, inspired the creation of containers in an abundance of pottery forms. Cheryl Mahooty, Zuni potter tells how the ancient ones learned their trade. Likewise, by meandering downstream, one would notice where the debris of branches washed ashore in a tangled heap, forming somewhat of a shelter. Similarly, watching the wind blow furiously at tall grasses and reeds, illustrated the graceful ease in which the strands passed over and under each other forming an entwined fabric. Listening to the stories of Spider-Woman, as told by Hasbah, the web of a spider suggested the ancient arts of spinning fibres and weaving them into blankets, rugs, and clothing.

*(To clarify, when the term primitive is used here, it is used to describe a style of life that was simple, basic, close to the natural rhythms of the earth, and essential; not technological. The term primitive relates to some people of this planet who are indigenous) 

Other important aspects of connecting to the natural world involved a keen awareness of the physical senses and perceptions, which were heightened by the ability to tune into the senses and read their messages. This means that the indigenous person was finely tuned to their physical body as the first and foremost environment. Both the interior and exterior environment was important for maintaining a healthy state of balance, beauty, and well-being. For the Dine, to “walk in the beauty way” is the ultimate life purpose.

I have often heard that the more time one spends in Nature, what is artificial falls away. Becoming authentic is a key proponent of current trends in transformational leadership. Again, primitive peoples related to their relations from essential nature, which is similar in concept to that of the eastern Indian concept of atman or jiva, or purusa (Prabhavananda, 1953). This essence is at the inner core of each being and is aloof from experiences. Being in contact with essence thus eliminates a need for false views or masked persona.

Indigenous people did not recognize separate selfhood, rather understood the illusion of the independent, separate, and enduring self as the human effort to claim a distinct nature.

In order to release attachment to a notion of self, first people realized that no experience was separate from the experiencer. Therefore, while hunting a buffalo, the hunter would become the buffalo, itself. The two were merged in reciprocity that bound the hunter inseparably to the buffalo and vice versa. The plants, animals, and all of nature were merged with the individuals as totems. This way of being in the world also reflected a uroboric stage of evolution (Gebser, 1984).

In like manner, when an individual merged with the plants of the earth, a sort of communion between the two took place. The plant was able to communicate its virtues to the recipient who then became adept at intuiting the medicinal qualities. These were distributed back into the community. This recycling of resources was a major factor in the promotion of healthy community life.

Similarly, individuals connected to the natural elements and discovered properties and uses by transmuting one form to another. These forms often took the shape of tools, ritual and ceremonial artefacts, and other utilitarian or decorative objects. The expression of creation involved changing one substance to another.

While engaged in the creative process, not only were a connection made to the material in hand but, also, a connection in the form of energy flow or dialectic was established between the artisan and the spirit within or the deep essential nature. In turn, this connection to deep Self had the potential for transmuting the energy of the individual toward a higher notion of Self, as a universal aspect that connects to the ultimate and absolute nature of reality (Ver, 2004). 

The transmutation of substances into objects was a result of dynamic transactions with the surrounding world. Even though the interplay of opposing forces is in conflict, a delicate and dynamic balance occurs in the process. When a homeostatic state is reached, the object is complete. The transmutation has taken place.

MAGIC! is what occurs during an encounter with the creative process.

Many have described this process as a continuous feeling of flow and well-being (Csikzentmihalyi, 1990). This can happen as one engages in the process, say for example, of making a woven basket. First of all, the natural element of the materials themselves comes into play. “My hands feel the strength and suppleness of the grasses”…as they move over and under each other, they are reminiscent of the wind blowing through them on the sandy shore (Teiwes, 1996).

Another artist spoke these words, “ the colors and textures of nature come alive in my mind all over again. I remember times spent in nature, where I vividly see the colors and patterns engulfing me. Sometimes, I take a photograph to remind me and it all comes alive again. Other times, I can find a Nature scene in a magazine that has the same effect of color and pattern coming to life. So, I just want to recreate this with yarns of all colors, thicknesses, and textures” (Sarkett, 1996).

A woodcarver recently stated in describing his experience, that the wood takes shape as he holds it in his hands. It is almost as if it comes alive and tells him what he is to carve (Anonymous, 2000).

From intense concentration upon the material in hand, a centring occurs. One becomes firmly planted, stable and grounded in a physical sense. Also, from the concentration and focus of attention, the mind becomes supple, relaxed, and collected. These instances, when we are more awake, come about through persistent efforts of concentration and focusing on the subsidiary skills required to perform the task. In an artistic endeavour, the single-minded time and attention upon the object in hand with the full intention of manifesting a completed object of beauty births the creation.

The objects brought forth are manifestations of the unconscious mind.

They are the symbols in a manifested form containing stories of the mythic past. Through an alchemical process, the prima materia is transformed into an object of functional beauty. This is the place where the pragmatic and the spiritual meet. At this point, genius is born. The most superior capabilities of the mind become manifested in the object of creation. The mundane is transformed into a sacred object.

Yet, at the same time, another alchemical action is underway. This one is much more subtle. The real magic to this process is not only the feeling that the artist experiences, or the final product that manifests, but a very subtle experience of being able to transcend the mundane existence of the daily grind and enter into an altered state of well being and inspiration from merely the viewing of the piece. Similarly, the feeling of well being is carried into the day to day existence and maintained for some time by both the artist and the viewer.

The artist has a deepened advantage in that from engaging in the process of the alchemical act, a deeper sense of self-awareness arises. The challenges, frustrations and conflicts of the process also contribute to self-awareness. They can be translated to reflect inner states of tension, stress, and struggle. As they are worked out externally during the creative process, they seem to replicate for the artist and unravel on an interior level, as well. These interactions offer continuous opportunities for problem-solving, decision-making, and attention to the thought process. They offer great glimpses for introspection. With guidance in this process, a person can attain clarity of motivation and determine values toward self-knowledge (Ver, 2003). 

It is a process of self-observation that can allow for one to notice the slightest inconsistencies and flaws of character, which may, perhaps, stand in one’s way of developing beyond their current situations.

From a community-based project that included a Needs Assessment and a Youth Leadership project, it was evident that those who fall into the category of the at-risk population often lack the confidence, motivation, and stamina to get beyond their personal dramas. Engaging in the creative side provides a place to practice the skills necessary from a detailed perspective. When a person feels comfortable in reshaping a mass of clay from a blob of earth to a vessel or object of purpose, he/she can also conceive of reshaping the mess of their own life.

The simple utilitarian object holds a depth of meaning and purpose that is as basic as existence itself. This. Too, serves as a three-dimensional metaphor for the change that magically takes place when one connects with nature. The great reverence for Nature is reflected in the object as the object provides the initiation to nature. It becomes the boat that carries us through the white waters. It provides the opportunity to maneuver.

References

Arieti, S. (1976). Creativity:  The magic synthesis, Basic Books, Inc./Harper Colophon Books.

Bennett, Hal Zina (1999). Zuni Fetishes: Using Native American objects for meditation, reflection, and insight. New York: Harper San Francisco.

Briggs, J. (2000). Fire in the crucible:  Understanding the process of creative genius, Phanes Press.

Cajete, Gregory. (1994). Look to the mountain. Durango: Kivaki Press.

Csikszentmigalyi, M. (1990). Flow:  The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper Perennial.

Cushing, Frances Hamilton The mythic world of the Zuni. (1956). Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Dissanayake, Ellen (2000). Art and intimacy: How the arts began. Seatle: University of Washington Press.

Harman, W. A. R., Howard (1984). Higher creativity: Liberating the unconscious for breakthrough insights. Los Angeles:  St. Martin’s Press.

Maslow, A. H. (1964). Religions, values, and peak experience. The Viking Press.

Mathur, Satish G. (198). Cross-cultural implications of creativity. Indian Psychological Review, vol. 22, no. 1, 12-19.

McCall, Ava L. (1999). Ribbons and beads:  Native American art reveals history & culture. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 8-11.

Moustakas, Clark. (1967) Creative life. Newberg Park: Sage Publications.

Prabhavananda, Swanmi. (1953). How to know God. New York:  Signet Books.

Storm, Hyemeyohsts (1972). Seven arrows. New York: Ballentine Books.

Teiwes, Helga (1996). Hopi basket weaving: Artistry in natural fibers. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press.

Willink, R. S., Zolbrod, Paul G. (1996). Weaving a world:  Textile and the Navajo way of seeing. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press.

Whitherspoon & Peterson (1995). Dynamic symmetry and holistic asymmetry in Navajo and western art and cosmology. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

While Working With the Ebb

While Working With the Ebb

While Working With the Ebb

We love the flow of life when all is in movement and ‘up and running’. We exchange metaphors of movement in our conversation which represent a sense of aliveness. “Let’s get moving” is an expression for encouragement as is “make it happen” or “just do it”! These words motivate action and accomplishment.

Move on

Keep at it

Keep it going

“All motion is cyclic. It circulates to the limits of its possibilities and then returns to its starting point.” (Robert Collier)

On the other hand, when we hear phrases such as, “Hang in there,” “Wait and See”, “Be patient”, “See where it goes”, Ride it out”

During the time of the ebb is not as comfortable for some as it is being in the flow. It may be a simple ‘introvert’/extrovert’ distinction. A true extrovert would find it challenging to wait for the flow to return. What to DO with all this time? How to just BE?

Looking for the smallest opening of time to love Feeling each emotion in the present moment

TEN TIMES in the Ebb: ideas for purposely passing this time more productively, positively, and patiently:

ONE 

Clean and organize your closets. Getting rid of old things that are cluttering up your space, allows you to feel a new sense of clarity and freshness both internally and externally. Making a bag of throw-aways and give-aways brings an ethical awareness of sharing with others in more need and also letting go of a scarcity mentality that lurks in the back of our mind telling us to save every little thing.

TWO

Practicing Mindfulness by becoming the observer of your life. This helps to de-escalate over-powering emotions like fear, dissolution, discouragement, or insecurity that creep into the ebb times and take over the space. Mindfulness offers a breathwork technique that anchors us in the present moment. It keeps our mind centered so as not to carry us away in negativity. 

The space in the ebb can be a home to beautiful creations or old historic debris.

THREE

Learn to bake with health consciousness. Baking is a nurturing act of creating a hearth of warmth and nutrition. While in the ebb, learn about your own self-healing. Learn the foods that your body needs for its optimal nourishment. So often, food is taken in while on the run. We grab and go, rarely noticing what we are eating. We miss the sensory experience of eating and feeding ourselves with foods that our bodies are craving for health.

Baking also involves the hands. The hands are an extension of our hearts. Taking time to knead and blend brings the ingredient of love into our food. We become intimately involved in our nurturing process.

FOUR

Write… Journal. Period. Take a special notebook or a napkin and write whatever comes to mind for 15 minutes each day. Try to do this at the same time so that it becomes a way of life. Writing creates mental movement and brings about the change of tides in a timelier manner. Avoid correcting your writing. Keep the ‘stream of consciousness’ in motion. Write until the time is up or go on longer. Keep the movement of pen to paper of fingertips to keys.

FIVE

Make jam. This is a sticky, hot, messy, yet precise process. One must be focused on each step and time each step accurately. Again, we are forced by the nature of the task to stay in the present moment. We learn to work with our own sticky situations, with our own messiness. How do we clean up our messy situations? Working in the ebb brings up the sticky spots in our lives where we may need to do some clean up. Detail by detail, step by step, we complete the process and enjoy the benefits of the sweetness in life. We capture the ‘sweetspot’ in each jar of jam and celebrate the beautiful sound of the ‘ting’ as each jar securely seals and setts. Then, we can breathe, relax and admire the success of creating sweetness. Where else in our lives can we clean up a mess and contain our sweetness?

SIX

Discover a new hobby.

SEVEN

Learning a new dance or expression.

EIGHT

Do Yoga.

NINE

Watch new or old movies.

TEN

Spend time in nature.

These activities are of course inspiring, motivating, and healing in themselves and can be done at any time. When going from the ebb to the flow, the activities will follow you right into the changing tides. The ebb is making the time and space for integration to take place. Once internalized, the activities move naturally into the flow and become a result of your BEING instead of DOING from a panicked urgency to try to BE or become something you are not.

The ebb allows us to get comfortable with ourselves like curling up in a big cozy chair with a soft blanket. We return to that feeling of being swaddled and protected.

Water the Flowers not the Weeds

Water the Flowers not the Weeds

With the coming of May and Mother’s Day, my mind swirls with images of flowers of every scent and color. I could never really identify which would be called “my favorite”. For each, have their own distinct qualities, virtues, and attributes. All varieties flourish in the full potential of bloom. 

As I come to understand the meaning of the metaphor, “water the flowers, not the weeds”. I realize that we are speaking of the need to distinguish between what is positive and what is negative. Or perhaps, we are asked to make a selection between which is useful, valued, or pleasing and which may be detrimental to growth and flourishing?

So, with this metaphor in mind, it becomes an easy transfer to linking flowers with thoughts, those that bloom to their full potential and those that cut off growth.

Although, even most weeds serve a purpose, either medicinally, nutritionally, or as repellants to more harmful weeds, insects, and other predators. They may stand in the way and inhibit the full growth of a budding flower. For example, the Belladonna (beautiful lady) plant, also known as, ‘Deadly Nightshade’, has powerful healing narcotic properties that relieve pain in severe diseases. It can be found to wind its purple flowers clinging so tightly to a rose that it strangles the life force.

The same is true with our thoughts.

Our negative thinking patterns can strangle and overtake our positive thinking process. This is especially true when we are making tough decisions, transitions and changes in our lives.

Our old thinking easily clicks into default mode and takes over our attempts to form new patterns that can lead us beyond our old habitual ways. The connections have formed deep grooves in our brain where the slightest trigger can set off autopilot. Before we know it, we are following the ‘psychopath’ into the tangled overgrown weeds instead of the scenic path lined with begonias, salvias, and impatiens. 

So, we begin to look for a new pathway to Intervene causing an interruption of vicious cycles that keep us lost, circling, and sinking into victim mud. Before getting stuck in the mud, we can sink the roots deep to ground us and open to the light of the sun. We know a beautiful lotus flower grows out of the dark, stagnant mud. It grows in the darkest places, yet continuously strives to find the light of the sun.

 

Our beliefs create our attitude.

A change in our thinking can change our speaking. Changing our speaking creates a pathway to new behaviors. New actions will change the entire system. We do create our own destiny by taking ownership of what we plant, what we nurture, and what we water. Each moment becomes an opportunity for change. What we pay attention to is what gets nurtured. We can create a miracle in a moment. What will yours be today?

  • If you obtain what you want, how will it look?
  • If everything were going better, what would it be like?
  • Place attention on what you want to expand and grow
  • Energize all that is positive

 

Exactly what is needed for growth and development?

The quality of your life is directly related to the quality of distinctions that you make. Distinctions are the way we prioritize one perception over another – how we see the differences – not just black or white.

 

Trees Shedding Their Bark

Trees Shedding Their Bark

Like a tree our growth depends upon our ability to soften, loosen, and shed boundaries and defenses we no longer need.

Trees grow up through their branches and down through their roots into the earth. They also grow wider with each passing year. As they do, they shed the bark that served to protect them but now is no longer big enough to contain them.

In the same way, we create boundaries and develop defences to protect ourselves and then, at a certain point, we outgrow them.

If we don’t allow ourselves to shed our protective layer, we can’t expand to our full potential.

Trees need their protective bark to enable the delicate process of growth and renewal to unfold without threat. Likewise, we need our boundaries and defences so that the more vulnerable parts of ourselves can safely heal and unfold. But our growth also depends upon our ability to soften, loosen, and shed boundaries and defences we no longer need. It is often the case in life that structures we put in place to help us grow eventually become constricting.

Unlike a tree, we must consciously decide when it’s time to shed our bark and expand our boundaries, so we can move into our next ring of growth.

Many spiritual teachers have suggested that our egos don’t disappear so much as they become large enough to hold more than just our small sense of self – the boundary of self widens to contain people and beings other than just “me.”

Each time we shed a layer of defensiveness or ease up on a boundary that we no longer need, we metaphorically become bigger people. With this in mind, it is important that we take time to question our boundaries and defences. While it is essential to set and honor the protective barriers we have put in place, it is equally important that we soften and release them when the time comes. In doing so, we create the space for our next phase of growth. 

  • Where can I expand my thinking, feeling, being?
  • Where may I be hiding behind unnecessary barriers?
  • What boundaries have I outgrown?
  • Where do I need to create healthy boundaries for healing?
  • How does your next ring of growth look?
Lucky Penny Day

Lucky Penny Day

As I walked my dog, Bear, on this lovely Spring morning, I was aware of the fullness of the day.

The air was filled with sounds of Spring. The clouds laid heavy overhead, grey and full of rain ready to burst. The many colours of Spring flowers popped vivid and alive against the grey background. In hurrying to complete the walk before the rain, I stepped quickly off the curb approaching the car.

Glancing toward the ground, a shiny penny at my feet caught my eye. “Ah! A ‘Lucky Penny’!” My initial thought was to pick it up out of habit. My second thought was to leave it there. We may choose to ignore the penny out of our haste and busyness to stop. “I don’t have time.” We may choose to ignore the penny from our ego of self-importance and elevated thinking, “It’s just a penny.”

Then, in an instant, a very old familiar story came to mind. It was a story that my father, Daniel, always told me about his father, who was also named Daniel. 

Daniel came from Hungary when he was a young man. Daniel was a blacksmith by trade. He was very meticulous in working with his hands. He forged and crafted all of his tools. His mind was strong and sharp as the objects which he forged.

During the years of the Great Depression, whenever a shiny object lay in his path, he always bent to the Earth to pick it up. He examined it carefully, dusted it off and place it in his pocket. He had a detailed system to categorize these lost objects after sorting by their type. He placed them in small glass containers that he hung by nailing the lids to a shelf.  This efficiency saved him time in that he was able to see each separately. He was a walking testimony to Einstein’s saying, “Genius is in the detail”.

This was a story that contained many lessons for me as a child.

It taught me the importance of humility, conscientiousness, organization, and creativity. It taught me that in scarcity there is also abundance. It taught me that I have the choice to determine what I want to gather from this life and how I choose to use what I gather along the way. How do you gather your lucky pennies and sprinkle your blessings on others?

Some may think comes from ‘scarcity thinking’ and yet others may view the painstaking detail and conscientiousness as preparation for future innovation. Some may see the gratitude in humble gifts as signs of the way the Earth continues to support us. If we are open to seeing the gifts of each moment, we can generate the momentum to continue to create. Another great teacher, Dave Ellis, coined an idea: “Create Creation”. By the way, I did take the time to pick up the shiny lucky penny. I looked at it, dusted it off, and put it in my pocket. I came home and wrote this blog.

I am choosing to make this a “Luck Penny Day” all day long. 

  • How do you continue creation throughout your day?
  • How do you use your gifts?
  • What does success look like for you?

Explore these questions and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Bless the Winds of Change

Bless the Winds of Change

I can feel the winds of change! Time to prepare the nets, sails, and chart the course!

Often the wind gives me a sense of urgency, especially when it blows furiously. I recall first moving to the Sonoran Desert of Navajo land. Every afternoon throughout the entire Spring, right about 1:00 pm (Navajo time), the 40-60 mile an hour gusts would come to town. Window ledges were covered inches thick with sand, Sand was under the covers on the bedsheets. People walked huddled over in shrouds to protect their eyes as sand caked into their nostrils and ears. Windshields were pitted and pockmarked. No barrier kept the sand away. 

This visitor came in a fury and shook our very foundations. It did not announce itself, nor ask for permission. One needed to be ready for its arrival. It ushered in a strong sense of urgency, an anxious feeling of not knowing what to expect. The Navajo school children were affected with an unsettled feeling. They were “hyper” everyone would say. Animals also reacted to the wind by restlessness and hypervigilance.

Life could appear uncontrollable.

Yet, the wind over ions of time created the outer landscape around us. They painted the desert and mountains with a rainbow of color and shapes. Just as the wind’s perseverance can shape the outer landscape, we can also use its power to shapeshift our inner dreams and directions.

The sense of urgency created from experiencing the wind can become motivational.

What needs to be put in order? Where do I need protection or shielding? Are my belongings and affairs in order? What do I need to tend and care for at this time? 

Yesterday, I remembered that sense of urgency and experienced it again as the wind blew furiously all day. It forced me to take shelter and draw inward. Yet, I became acutely aware of a bigger vision and began to unfold the steps to set sail toward that new territory.

Often, in Visioning, we create a vision and work backwards. Remembering that the “genius is in the detail,” I began to look at each detail as a part of this greater whole. It is like putting together each piece in a puzzle in order to create the final whole, yet having the final picture visible on the cover of the box while working the pieces. 

The wind can be the alert that motivates us toward our next action and call us to our priorities.

By the way, what is that vision that is drawing us to set sail?

We can begin to channel the force of the wind to help navigate us to reach that vision. Thus, with a new respect for the power of the wind, we can trust in our own power, begin to let go and sail on!

Dancing Your Dreams

Dancing Your Dreams

“If you have the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance!”

Are lyrics from a popular song, which played as background music to my mom’s life video commemorating her 80th Birthday. She lived 10 more years and shortly after that celebration began deteriorating with Alzheimer disease. She never did get out there and dance, as she once loved to do. Although, from the wheelchair, days before her death, we DID dance at her last New Year’s celebration.

In analyzing the key positive and negative words of the above paragraph, those that stand out as significant in creating thought patterns are:

POSITIVENEGATIVE
favoritebackground
chancechance
hopedeteriorating
dancedisease
newnever
celebrationlast
deathdeath

 

“Paying attention to our favorite things is an important self-awareness. When we attempt to tap into our passion, those favorites come in to play…our favorite color, style, past time, the place to travel, food, animal, etc. Our favorites indicate what brings us joy and pleasure. We identify our desires. So often, we are told to focus on our needs NOT desires. In actuality, by listening to our desires, we begin to hear our dreams. When we hear our inner voice and give it the attention that it deserves, we begin to think in new patterns. We then develop new ways of being. We follow our desires and become more desirable. We believe that we deserve to craft the life of our dreams.”
– Lao Tsu

We begin to see the opportunities in the moment and to take a chance of looking odd, feeling too old, waiting for a better time, getting the right gear…whatever the excuse, we often miss the chance.

Hope can be a great inspirer and also a procrastinator. Hope contains a great deal of patience. My mother had the patience that eventually allowed her to hope to pass her by in certain areas. Dance is one way that keeps us moving through hope. It keeps the momentum flowing with the dynamic tension of stillness. It is a balance of both. There is a continuity of new and old, one unfolding into the other.

When we live in our background, we live in the past. We simply take a passenger role to life and passively observe it through the window. We watch the rain and wait for it to pass. We allow life to happen by chance that may never occur. It may be too late to play the leading role or any role for that matter. Deteriorating is an active word. It is a slow process, yet nonetheless, a process in motion. It moves toward decay, death, and decline rather that growth and action. The last scene always tells us how it will end.

My mom was also an artist. She painted beautiful flowers and inspiring scenes all the way to her last breath. Although she completed her final painting through me, the guidance of her spirit taught me to capture the moments in beauty and joy. My mom dared to dream through her passion until her final breath. She moved her background into the foreground as she entered her destiny.

 Reflections

  • How balanced is your work/life situation?
  • Where are you missing the dance?
  • Where do you need to learn some new steps?
  • How will your story end?
  • What part will you play in creating your life?
  • Do you dare to dream?

Book your breakthrough call here

Create the Life of your dreams. Work more effectively with passion, productivity, and joy! Leadership Coaching is a process that offers a one-on-one relationship with a certified life coach to provide undivided and full attention to assisting you to create the life of your dreams both personally and professionally. The success strategies assist you to identify your strengths and challenges so that you move beyond obstacles with multiple pathways for action. Leadership Development for individuals and organizations to promote the growth and development of individuals within the workplace.

Would you like to…?

Transform to Your True Potential…

and Capture your Brilliance!

Create the Life of your dreams. Work more effectively with passion, productivity, and joy! Leadership Coaching is a process that offers a one-on-one relationship with a certified life coach to provide undivided and full attention to assisting you to create the life of your dreams both personally and professionally. 

Learn The 7 Day Change Process

FOLLOW THESE STEPS FOR LASTING CHANGE, BREAKING HABITS AND FORMING NEW HABITS.

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