Friday, July 8, 2011

honoring my cycles and rhythms

Silly me ... I just can't seem to accept the fact that while Summer may conjure up notions of freedom, play, no hurries, no worries, life as spaciousness, sunshine and sleeping in that is the reality of a child - yes, my child and my childhood - but not the reality of a mother.

Not that I am complaining ... well, just a tad. I enjoy that our summer days are filled with play - the pool, bike rides, the park, getting together with friends - but it is anything but spaciousness or calm.

So I was watching this wild woman/goddess vlog about working with sacred tools, thinking I really needed to get myself a big 'ole hunk of amethyst crystal and selenite to help me find my way, when I stepped away from the computer (okay, my desk at work) only to return 15 minutes later to find a small praying mantis waiting for me upon my pile of papers.

not this fellow (I didn't have my camera that day)
I actually have an archive of praying mantis images when they previously visited me. obviously, they decided I needed a follow-up visit.

Things that make you go hmmmm?

Like, how in the world did that little guy get all the way into the building, up to the second floor and through another room to end up in my office? As he was lazily waving his arms at me, I knew he traveled the arduous path to bring me a very special message.

Find safety in stillness. Pay attention to my energy flow and how I am using it. Move according to my own rhythms, my own instincts. Most of all, cultivate patience.

floor tile from the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence

While in Italy I was taken by the personal emblem for Cosimo de Medici: a turtle with a sail. The motto Festina lente meaning "make haste slowly." This is me right now. Plodding along slowly, methodically, directed but not rushing.

week one of Elements involves making and prepping your journal.
There is still time to join (but hurry, registration closes July 15)

Last week I started Elements of Art Journaling with Effy Wild which is a 6 week course exploring our relationship with each of the natural elements: earth, air, water and fire along with the fifth element of spirit. The timing of this course couldn't be more perfect as I recognize a need to return to self-care through ayurveda (the sister science of Yoga). According to ayurveda, I am pretty much split equally between fire (Pitta) and air (Vata) the result being I need structure, order, discipline and then I crave spontaneity, change, and lots and lots of mental and visual stimulation. A true see-saw life.

i am working on the opening spread ... taking my time!

Here Mel, the full effect ... while I love my journal (little snippet from goddess leonie i love myself inside and out ) I am honoring my need to just "do it" and not sweat the details.
To see a truly breath-taking journal and read a good summary of the course, check out glitter Queen Mel's pimped out and rockin' work here.

What I am realizing is I have natural cycles or rhythms to my energy and to my interests. In the Spring I was all about writing. Now I am craving deep time with my art journal and painting. I'm sure in a few weeks I will want only to play with my camera. Rather than struggle with what I think I ought to be doing right now (keeping the skills up) I have to honor that when I am so inspired, I will return to that part of my being. What soothed me yesterday was sewing.

"what is it?" you may ask. why it is a name banner/bunting for Cowgirl

it was a lot easier to sew than to try and photograph in its entirety!

Easy to say, but hard for this monkey mind to maintain. My mind jumps in with all sorts of proclamations and judgements about what I could manage. But my spirit knows better. My need right now is earth - solidity, groundedness, centeredness - combined with the flowing, moving, cooling qualities of water. A slow stream though, not a raging river.

Speaking of which ... I do have a little project brewing that defies all these resolutions. Announcements to come soon. But as a teaser, let me just say ...

... we're coming back! This August we will be painting up some arty goodness that we will raffling off for charity! Details to follow. Painting with a Purpose, Season Two with a few juicy surprises and bonus goodies.

And with that, this turtle is seeking a light breeze to guide her on her way. Festina lente, my friends, lente.


  1. Yeah!!Can't wait to see what you two will be creating!
    Praying Mantis are such magical creatures (I believe they have connections to the Fey folk).And his message works so very well with yoga & the wisdom of ayurveda- definitely a totem for you,Lis!
    Your journal looks lovely & inspiring as always!Interesting to incorporate the pitta & vata energies as another layer informing your experience of the elements.
    Much turtle time love-

  2. praying mantis. so cool. they are so magical to me. intriguing. alien. knowing. they LOOK at you, and just scream "listen to me, pay attention to me, SLOW DOWN." ha! okay, that's what they tell me anyway.
    festina lente. love learning new things.
    love your journal. looking forward to hanging out with you and mel and effy and the whole gang of great folks.
    xoxo! t

  3. Boy, can I relate to everything in this fabulous post! A scorpio thing? And that picture of you and Cowgirl delights me to no end. Plus your beautiful and amazing suprise gift MADE my week:) A million Thank Yous!!

  4. Thank you so very much for sharing!

    As a former perfectionist I pretty much know, what you're talking about. The time of knowing the truth, but old emotions being still pretty hard and trying to push us back into old patterns is the worst. But it will be over some day, you will not even notice :) The awakening is the main thing. Nothing can stop the profess afterwads!

    Love the work you have done on your art journal! Especially the rich happy colors on the elements page!

  5. I love everything about this post, Lis.

  6. i know what you mean about summer and its promise vs. the reality... i wanted to take the elements class but i am really completely full right now. i look forward to seeing what you get out of it. and i can't wait to see what you have brewing for august. :-)