The Art of Being in Flow

The Art of Being in Flow

To be in flow is to be in harmony with the current of life, however it is showing up.  Taking things in stride, trusting a bigger picture – staying connected even when it’s tempting to tune out. Being in flow is rooted in non-resistance and non-attachment. I have learned a lot about the Art of Flow from the element of water. The oil painting above, “Whale Songs” was painted on the West Coast of Vancouver Island while traveling with the Women Painting Canada collective.  It was painted on the shores of Long Beach after a delicious morning of whale watching and feeling in flow. With easels anchored on the beach, we savoured the ocean air and allowed it to have its way with our brushes. I have a long standing love affair with the ocean and this painting captures her teeming life force, power and vitality. The feeling is of depth and fullness which is the way I experience life – full to the brim, rich and surprising.  Constant movement on the surface, potent stillness in the depths. Loose brush strokes suggest fluidity – nothing is fixed or certain. Moody, ephemeral, soggy and saturated blues evoke the songs of the whales and tug at my throat to respond. To see the whales, we braved an open Zodiac tour in full body flotation suits insulated against the cold ocean wind in Ucluelet.  Lurching wildly with the high waves, we feasted our eyes on rare sea otters, sea lions, seals and whale sightings too. Sitting on the edge of the boat and clinging to my light breakfast as much as the... read more
The Art of Receiving

The Art of Receiving

To master the Art of Receiving, one has to become receptive. Makes sense.  The oil painting above, titled “Receptive”, presents a spongy field with green shoots of new life.  The thirsty land is soaking up life-giving water and allowing it to nourish whatever is emerging.  This painting always made me think of frogs and pollywogs – minnows and the soggy soakers of spring thaw. The colours relate to the heart and throat chakras that house love and personal expression where we receive Divine guidance and hear our muse’s whispers. I’ve been playing with what it would look like to be able to receive everything with gratitude. Everything?  Yes – everything. Receiving everything is about consciously accepting what is – without resistance, judgement or attachment.  It’s about honing a talent for receiving whatever is offered with grace and gratitude.  If every day is a gift, then receiving the day with all it brings is a heart-full way to live. It takes trust to receive without judgement.  Trust in a bigger picture.  The Art of Receiving is a way of being that embraces; The grateful acceptance of things actively given, presented, or paid like a compliment, gift, resource, or piece of advice (wanted and unwanted), as well as synchronistic signs and coincidences. The gracious acceptance without judgement of whatever shows up, exactly as it shows up. Enlightened beings are known to “not mind what is” whether a traffic jam or rude behavior, they simply don’t take it personally. The less tangible mental logging or felt sense of something communicated by body language, gesture or symbolic cueing. The universe and our own... read more
The Art of Allowing

The Art of Allowing

Breaking my wrist this summer forced me to step back, reevaluate, and gave me the opportunity to learn more about the art of allowing.  After indulging in some heartfelt but ultimately unhelpful, “Why me?! Why now?!” drama, I gradually surrendered to a state of allowing. It turns out allowing has a lot to do with witnessing, noticing and accepting what is. To be in a state of allowing is to become an empty vessel with space for whatever is wanting to emerge.  The self-portrait, The Vessel (shown above) was painted in 2010 when I was finishing up my core training with the Four Winds Society and trying to integrate the teachings with my art practice. The brush strokes are loose and earthy, suggesting the malleable nature of the self being explored.  Nothing is certain or fixed. The focal point is on the third eye which appears to radiate an ethereal being.  The third eye activates our inner vision and dreaming. It’s a portal to the fertile Field of Pure Potential where all things are possible. I suspect the state of allowing accesses the same creative life force of pure potentiality. When we become empty vessels, we offer a clear channel for Spirit to work through. As many teaching stories illustrate, “you can’t fill a cup that’s overflowing.” To become empty, it’s necessary to let go and trust. While I am a big fan of positive thinking and the power of intention, I struggle with the dance of true trust.  On a conscious level, trusting in ease and grace is my main tagline and living mantra.  On another, less conscious... read more
GOD IS IN THE DETAILS

GOD IS IN THE DETAILS

I’m back in California for some training and paying attention to the details. As my wrist heals, I’m having to learn how to do many things differently. In addition to this, an ongoing pattern of real or potential mini trauma or drama is showing up, followed by a quick recovery of sorts. For example, I forgot my cell phone when I left for the airport, which would have felt disastrous. Luckily, I noticed when I went to capture the gorgeous skyline at the end of my street so I was able to pick it up quickly. It means a lot to mean to be able to stay connected when I travel so I am very grateful. Over the past 2 weeks I’ve had 3 black and white bracelets break – 2 of them were beaded medicine bracelets I made myself and have worn for several years following readings by medicine men in Zimbabwe. It was startling to release these healing talismans and, at the same time, a part of me acknowledged that I don’t need them anymore. I’m now wearing a combination of bracelets that have meaning for me. They happen to be black, white and pink which feels like heart energy balancing the yin / yang of the masculine and feminine, light and dark and other dualities. Who knows how long they will last. The right arm of my prescription eye glasses broke on the first flight yesterday making navigating the airport extra challenging. Luckily it wasn’t far to my connecting gate even feeling as disoriented as I did. Prescription sun glasses got me to my hotel and a... read more
DANCE OF CHANGE

DANCE OF CHANGE

I started this post in the dawning of the recent new moon which is carrying the energy of change. My work is about transformation and transformation is about change so this should be familiar territory for me. Right? The thing about change is, it’s constant and, well – always changing – so it’s hard to stay on top of it.  A recent wrist injury has me pondering how fast things can change.  One minute I’m bouncing down the sidewalk on West Century Blvd near LAX “thinking of love and feeling groovy” and the next, tumbling to the sidewalk with more than my dignity ruffled up and backtracking to “slow down, you’re moving too fast”. Scrambling to right myself, many thoughts arose. Slow down definitely resonates as I have fallen into pushing rather than allowing and yes, I get the pun about falling. It was 6:00 AM so I was probably thinking more about coffee than love and I was headed to Norma’s, a nearby family restaurant, to work before we headed to Venice Beach. Letting go and trusting things to unfold with ease and grace is part of it too. While trusting is something I am deeply committed to, I am very much a work in progress. The delicate balance between showing up and doing my part, and getting out of the way to allow what is emerging the space it needs, is something I get to play with almost every day. I’ve learned to take note of my thoughts when something sudden and jarring, like falling, happens.  As Mike Dooley, the author of Notes from the Universe reminds me... read more
MOUNTAINS & MOONSCAPES

MOUNTAINS & MOONSCAPES

Rocks and stones have always intrigued me and studying earth honouring traditions has deepened my relationship with the stone people. Growing up in Sudbury in the 1960’s, we enjoyed lakes, rivers and rocky terrain. Rocks were a beautiful, sculptural part of the landscape and I had no idea the area was considered a barren moonscape. While we reveled in their beauty, there was no hesitation when it came to blasting huge rock faces to widen the connecting highways or make way for other structures. It’s unlikely anyone thought to commune with the rocks before tearing them up with explosives, let alone ask for permission. Sudbury was primarily a mining town although no one in my immediate family mined.  Even those of us that loved the rocky terrain were largely ignorant of its life force and innate wisdom. Mother Earth was our play ground to shape and mold as we saw fit or so it seemed. Thankfully we’re becoming more aware of our role as caretakers of our earth mother who provides for all our needs. I was completely taken aback when I moved to Southern Ontario as a young adult. People kept referring to Sudbury as a barren moonscape that NASA used to practice moon landings. This didn’t make sense to me but to my surprise there was truth in their comments. Click here to see a short video clip Moon Landing Sudbury Ontario early 1970’s Part of what made Sudbury interesting to space study is that the Sudbury Basin is in fact one of the world’s largest meteorite impact craters.  Visiting astronauts studied shatter cones (conical, striated rock chunks) and impact breccia (rock... read more
FIRE & WATER

FIRE & WATER

We spent our summers at the lake with Mom as kids.  That freezing cold plunge late May marked the beginning of the season filled with lazy days basking in the sun and playing in the sparkling clear waters of northern Ontario. Books, puzzles, hot dogs, popcorn and swim breaks – no rush, no fuss.   As often as not, our water adventures left us covered in leeches and running for the salt shaker. Garter snakes, raccoons, frogs and other creatures wove their way in and out of our attention. On weekends when Dad joined us, seven kids and 2 adults crammed into a wide-bottomed but tippy, metal motor boat. Fishing gear, towels, snacks and the essential “fisherman’s brew” my father concocted with his own secret ingredients and the rumoured dollop of beer to add some spice, all fought for space between scabby knees and sunburnt bodies.  It wasn’t really about fishing – it was about being together on the water. Life, like the boat, was full to the brim then and still is. Five years ago, I felt a strong urge to live near big water. I still dream about a home by the sea but for now, Lake Simcoe is our ocean.  I had no idea I would fall so deeply in love with these waters. Sunrise walks have become a nourishing and inspiring way to start my day.  Most of the time, I can’t wait to jump out of bed and race to the water with a greedy grin on my face. Everything else can wait – even brewing that first cup of coffee.   That fiery ball... read more
SEEDS OF NEW BEGINNINGS

SEEDS OF NEW BEGINNINGS

  As the recent new moon energy fades, I’m thinking about the seeds I’ve planted. I’m in the middle of launching a new website and re-organizing my art and healing businesses under one roof. It’s engaging work and there are tons of details to attend to. I could feel overwhelmed and, in the past, I might have. Instead, I feel light-hearted and energized. Everything I need is more or less appearing at just the right moment.Bringing my worlds together is a creative process. As I thought about this, seven key ideas surfaced that feel important; Intention – Pulling together my businesses is about making a life that I love that will take us through the next few decades with ease and grace.  I intend for this life to be a creative one of sharing and continuous expansion. This is my “flight plan” or guiding light – that big hairy audacious dream that is drawing in everything we need. Focus – As long as I stay focused, there seems to be enough space to get things done without crowding out relationships or losing my perspective. Focus fuels the journey set by my intention. My life has always been full – full to the brim which is beautiful, rich and fulfilling in so many ways.  It can also be very distracting. Lots of shiny things to catch my attention so focus is a good thing. Surrender – My best work comes out of allowing for free fall creative brainstorming. I need to let ideas and insights come through unfiltered at first – a kind of letting it all hang out.  This is... read more
LIFE MIRRORS ART

LIFE MIRRORS ART

Following the energy of discovery, I’ve started making larger and more complex dream catchers. These days I’m calling them intentional Energy Weaves in recognition of their ability to hold and reflect the essence of what is emerging. This may sound a little “out there” but I have repeatedly experienced the power of art to show me the way forward. The process of making art and then living with the resulting creation over time has proven to be unexpectedly revealing. Catching glimpses from the safety my peripheral vision, I become aware of where I’m being called as well as where I’m now feeling confined. In bypassing my treasured, but sometimes overly ambitious, rational mind, I can sometimes leap over troublesome blind spots and end up somewhere brand new – at least new to me. Many people I encounter these days are in the midst of huge shifts in their personal growth. My colleagues, clients, friends and family all seem to be letting go of old paradigms and calling in brand new stories. This demands fresh thinking and often, an expanded world view. Intentional works of art can assist with this process. Stepping into new stories takes guts – it’s not for wimps and neither is making art or life for that matter. The creative process itself demands relentless surrender. I made the three foot diameter Energy Weave shown above for a gallery submission. After some experimenting, I decided to craft four 3’ plaster seed pods from a lone shell I had. I was taken with the sensuous curve of the bowl shape and the mystery around what was once sheltered. Now an empty vessel,... read more
WEAVING WORLDS TOGETHER

WEAVING WORLDS TOGETHER

These days I’m thinking a lot about bringing my worlds together.  In the past I’ve kept my art world pretty separate from my energy medicine world and both of these detached from my corporate marketing background. I’m realizing that I may have “thrown the baby out with the bath water” as the saying goes so I’m stepping back with fresh eyes. It’s become clear to me that, aside from “me”, the common denominator in all my worlds is that they are heart-centered. Even in the heady and analytical world of corporate marketing, I tried to give my intuition and heart a leading role. When I walked away from the business world more than a little disenchanted, I thought I was leaving it behind for good. Now I find myself playing with the role of entrepreneur in a vibrant and growing market – the world of transformational healing arts. Although I currently think of this as Energy Medicine, I’m beginning to see it can be expanded to include visual art. The seeds of the intriguing idea of weaving my worlds together began when I started making personalized dream catchers for people I love.  It accelerated when I followed the energy to attend Maclean Masterwork’s Success Attunement Event while visiting my sister in California this Fall.  I took the opportunity to showcase my new dream catcher mobiles that reference the chakra system alongside offering mini chakra cleanses to attendees as a partner during breaks and meals. Strand by strand, my worlds have been weaving together. While I think of my dream catcher work as a form of “painting with beads”, I also create them in a sacred manner and infuse them with love and blessings... read more

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Giving and sharing are the foundation of my practice and I'm delighted to be able to support organizations like the Unstoppable Foundation which strives to ensure every child has access to education.  Over the years I have donated works of art in support of several hospitals, survivor groups, environmental and gallery fundraisers like the MacDonald Stewart Art Gallery now known as The Art Gallery of Guelph.