Saturday, March 22, 2014

Journaling with Intention

I just got back from a workshop called "Medicine for the Earth" taught by Sandra Ingerman.  We were amazingly housed in Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings in the Joshua Tree Retreat Center, in Joshua Tree, California.  The desert landscape, along with the topic we worked with for our 5 days, were simply stunning.

I love to dedicate a blank book to an experience like this.  I take notes during the workshop sessions leaving lots of room for later painting and collage.  In the venue I could not spread out much, but even just being able to make line drawings to fill in later was fine.  (It's also fun to bring along a travel watercolor kit and some inktense pencils, and just paint right there!)

I can sum up all I learned as this:
Healing the Earth starts with healing the Self.  
Let your inner light shine, and do what you will.

It really was a stunningly simple and deep message.
Here is the cover of my journal, and some snippets from my pages:
 Can you tell we had a fabulous time?
A bush sized rosemary plant was growing outside our door.
 Sometimes the pages are doodles, sometimes it's illustrations of what I'm learning.
 Always fun to add in photos later.
 I used a gourd rattle with dragonflies.
One of the lessons - we are holy and our inner light is divine.

Oh, and a Joshua Tree looks like this:
Using shamanic journeying, visualization, or meditation to reconnect with this inner place every day is a wonderful spiritual practice to keep us centered and focused on what is truly important.  We spent most of the 5 days just getting this lesson deeply implanted, and journeying together to the elements: air, water, fire and earth.  We also set an intention of love and light with each other.  I will keep those feelings of Divine Connection with me as I move on into the next part of my life.  (and it really does feel like a gate has opened to a new beginning.)
We burned talismans representing our new dreams at a drum circle fire under the full moon.  How magic is that?!

and I leave you with one of the loveliest blessings I have ever heard - Michael Stone was facilitating ecstatic dance each morning at our workshop, and when he read this, I almost melted in the beauty of the words:

A Blessing for Longing

Blessed be the longing that brought you here and quickens your soul with wonder.
May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.

May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
To discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.

May the forms of your belonging--in love, creativity, and friendship--be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.
May the one you long for long for you.
May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.
May a secret Providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.
May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which your body inhabits the world.
May your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.

May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
May you know the urgency with which Spirit longs for you.
 ~John O'Donahue

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Using zentangles in your journaling

I love zentangles. Zentangles are a way of using dots and lines and circles to doodle in repeated patterns. There are many tutorials on youtube you can google to see the process.

The repetition of making many little lines and dots and swirls is a very therapeutic and relaxing thing to do. I put on music and draw these patterns or hours. I did an owl in zentangle patterns in my journal, then scanned him so I could try him out on different backgrounds. Even these backgrounds are the result of messing around in my journal - using some photography, some stenciling, some splattering about with paint. The layers here really please me.

I will probably use these images on cards. Try some zentangle doodling, it really is addictive.

Thinking gives off smoke to prove the existence of fire.
A mystic sits inside the burning.
There are wonderful shapes in rising smoke that imagination loves to watch.
But it's a mistake to leave the fire for that filmy sight.
Stay here at the flame's core.     --Rumi