Doodling, Collaging, and Listening

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Zen Doodle 3 2/16/13

I’ve decided to do 2 practices during Lent this year: ZenDoodling (Yes this is a real thing) as a daily practice:

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Zen Doodle 1 2/14/13

 

 

 

 

And SoulCollage (also a real thing) with a twist. In Soul Collaging…it’s an intuitive creative process. Meaning, you don’t sit down and say, “Wow…I’m going to collage a tiger biting off my head as I fall toward a big bowl of jello” and then go find those images. You collect, peruse, select, etc images that seem to grab your attention and put them together, even if they don’t “make sense”. What emerges is always a very powerful surprise for me; it’s almost as if the card speaks to me in a language only my insides, my being can interpret.

The twist…I’m going to do a SoulCollage after sitting with Sunday readings during Lent. I’m not planning out which one or what agenda I want this collage to have (this only happens once in a while to me…ok maybe all the time)…just sit with the readings and let something grab me. A line, a phrase, word, image, reading…etc. Then, using that reflection create a SoulCollage…but not sacrificing the intuitive part. Making any sense?

Why am I doing this? I’m glad you asked! I decided that what I need is some time to listen, really listen. I know how to take space and be quiet, but I don’t know how to shut my mind off…or screens off for that matter. Pinterest is very quiet…but I’m aware that I use that, FB, trolling Craigs List, etc etc etc…to numb out rather than be aware, mindful perhaps in the silence.

For me, creative process has always been a way to let myself become silent and listen. I don’t hear words, demands, messages, signs…but my depth can be reached in images. I open myself to the spirit and let her guide me through a process and it’s amazing what images say to me.

So…how this will work on the Bloggy Blog…I will post the reading I sat with and a picture of my SoulCollage card on this blog. I will post the card and my personal reflection on Creating From the Inside…Out. This blog is “by invitation only”, just to keep myself/reflections secure…I’d like to at least know who is reading. Any/All are welcome…just please message me, comment on a post, etc with your e-mail address and I’ll give you access immediately!

Peace to you these 40 days…I’ll be reveling in the silence and discovering what might speak to me…

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Psalm 91–Be with me Lord, when I’m in trouble, be with me Lord I pray

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blockages, hiatuses, and noticing

Taken by: Katy LaFond 1/2013
Lake Dillon Reservoir looking over Rocky Mountains in Dillon, Colorado

A few weeks ago, I went skiing with my mom in Colorado (first time on real mountains!).  Some of the runs were just long, slow, and incredibly peaceful–it was like a retreat; on skis!  I snapped this picture from our condo porch.  It was so peaceful and those mountains were just stunning.  I love nature and reveling in it as a connection to prayer/spirit.  For me, this is the perfect image which describes precisely what I’m writing about today…there is such beauty in the stillness and the opportunity to notice what’s right in front of you sometimes…

Ok…so….I’m sorry for the hiatus; kind of.  I haven’t been inspired or moved to write anything lately.  When I began this blog, I decided that if what I had to write didn’t fit into one of my mission categories (real.truth.experience.joy), I wasn’t going to write or post it.  It’s not to say that nothing has happened, just haven’t had the urge to write.

What do you do when you have a writer’s and/or idea block?  Do you push through it and write/create anyway?  Do you accept that’s where you’re at and wa

it for the spark to connect?  Do you try a routine?  Music?  Exercise?  Do you let it be?  Does it stress you out or is it more “meh”?  Are you “too busy” or just not creating the space?

I used to be more, hmmmm….how might we say this…concrete…nope…i

t’s just darn rigidness.  “I said I’d post once a month, so I’m going to post once a month!”  I’d put myself on some weird new routine to coarse myself into getting this magic idea or be determined that a new “practice” would help.  Inevitably, my new practice would die out after a few rounds.  It’s not that I have trouble following through with things

…it’s that I have trouble stepping out of the boundary of what is my truth and genuine inside of me.  If I don’t feel like writing haiku’s…writing a haiku a day for a year just isn’t going to work for me.  I used to get stressed and irritated that I wouldn’t just “buck up” and write (create).

Clearly these strategies served me so well…NOT.  So this time around…I was aware that I hadn’t blogged. No pressure…no stress…no frustration.  It’s MY blog!  It’s supposed to be a release, a hobby, a stress-reliever not producer.  But I was aware that “it was time” and then “way overdue”.  What struck me is how I began to notice differently, listen differently, pay attention to what draws me and why in a different way.  Occasionally, I caught myself asking, “Should I blog about x?”  “Hmmm…no, not this time.”  The amazing thing was, I WAS OKAY WITH THIS RESPONSE!

I’m a reflective person.  I need quiet and space to let things soak in and swim around a little bit.  Being able to honor that need for processing in something as simple as a blog entry (or non-entry) without judgement was a huge thing for me.  Noticing…who knew it was such a powerful thing?  Who knew Ms. Katy Marie LaFond would ever be able to image beauty with this scenario?

I do realize the irony in writing a blog about not writing a blog…just know that I noticed this a while ago and waited for the spirit to say, “now’s the time…” (without judgement…argh…that’s the tough part)

What do you notice and step back without judgement? Do you experience the beauty in the stillness?

real.truth.experience.joy

2012 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

investments, darkness, and gifts?

I’m pretty convinced that the songwriters of Mumford and Sons hired a private investigator to follow me around since 2002 and collect fodder for their songs.  They’ve made millions on my life!  I am also determined to write a blog entry on each song…

Today’s message is brought to you by poet Mary Oliver,  the letter “G”, the emotion “grief”, the song: Awake My Soul

The Mumford P.I.’s must have written this song while I was “self-emptying” myself in formation to become a nun:

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes…And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know…My weakness I feel I must finally show…Lend me your eyes I can change what you see…But your soul you must keep totally free…

All true…but, you see, I freely, enthusiastically, with my whole heart I chose this.  I entered into the process, I trusted the process; I invested my life.  Freely.  With an open heart.

In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die…Where you invest your love, you invest your life…

Invest your love. Invest your life.  This is painstakingly my truth.

My favorite poet, Mary Oliver, has a poem:

Someone I once loved gave me a box full of darkness.  It took me years to realize that this too was gift.

Grief smacked me in my face today.  She’s sneaky…she comes in many forms.  You think she’s gone or at least leashed or sedated, but she’s still there; waiting patiently to envelop you with her suffocating presence   Today, she came in the form of love, kindness, and hugs…unexpected and overwhelming.  She also reared herself in a more reasonable, “logical” way: rejection and forgetfulness.  I hate her–her unpredictability; not knowing her place nor appropriateness or timing!

My love and life were invested.  My investments have also handed me a life-sized box of darkness.  My God…I pray I can find the gifts sooner than later.

real.truth.experience.joy

 

apple butter

My neighbors across the street introduced themselves to me yesterday and invited me over to experience their annual apple butter making experience.  I was intrigued, but didn’t really intend on going.  Lisa and I went to the farmer’s market and saw this apple butter extravaganza beginning.  We decided to stop.  It was fascinating…we learned that the man’s (I think his name is Tom?) family is from Virginia and they have been doing this for 30 years!  It’s a huge community event, very labor intensive, but time to really slow down, listen to some great music, talk and be together as a community…while producing some pretty cool and yummy apple butter.

That got me a’thinkin’…I don’t think we as a culture do much to join together as “community” in this informal, down to earth…”Hey we’re makin’ apple butter…I don’t know you from a load of hay, but c’mon over!” kinda way.

Many ways to view community, I guess.  I like this organic, come together for a casual, unique experience…learn about people’s past (i.e. Tom’s family history, Virginia rituals, etc) and new things.  It allows me to pause and remember to see the world around me and open myself to these new experiences and how those too, help me grow.  

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(yay! it’s a “joy” post!)

creating from the inside…out

Breathe has joined the Heart Exposed Series.  Come and meet her…http://createinsideout.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/heart-exposed-series-breathe/

If you need an invitation to the site, all are welcome!  Please message me via comment on the blog or FB.

 

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creating from the inside…out

Another woman in the series Heart Exposed has been added to the creating… site.  Please visit and meet her!  If you need an “invitation” to view this site, please message me via blog comment and/or FB.

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http://createinsideout.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/heart-exposed-series-walking/

creating from the inside…out

The inaugural art post has come!  If you haven’t “signed up” to view my companion site, please send me a message either through a comment on the blog or FB.  Enjoy!

http://createinsideout.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/beyond-knowing/

“Heart Exposed…” Series

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Sanctuary

sanctuary—safe haven—refuge—asylum—shelter—harbor—retreat—protection

 I’m visiting one of my “happy places”—Door County, Wisconsin.   I have been coming here since I was an infant with my family; usually camping at the beautiful Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek.  I’m not the most spontaneous person, but a couple weeks ago, I got it in my head that I needed to come up here for a few days.  (Now, some of you may argue that a couple of weeks is not being spontaneous, but for me…well…) 

I wanted just a little, tiny, cabin with a space to make some simple food and enjoy the wonderfulness that is Door County.  I couldn’t find the right spot.  Labor Day weekend in Door County?  The somewhat “last hurrah” for a Northwood’s vacationers paradise? Ummm…not only was it difficult to find a place…rates were through the roof.  I figured that my way impulsive and crazy ideas were just too plain crazy (yeah…going to Door County…sooooo crazy!) for this timing.   No big deal.  I did one more search and came across this website for a “retreat cabin” called Sanctuary.  It looked cute, simple, everything I needed, accessible to all my favorite things…and you wouldn’t believe the price.  Serendipitous! 

I don’t have it in my head that I’m on retreat; that was not really my objective.  However, incorporating some retreatish space comes naturally.  Today, I woke up (after sleeping until 10…thank you Jesus!) and had a curiosity to ponder why I’d be led to Sanctuary and what that might mean for me right now.  I don’t know that I’ve come up with anything (ha ha), but I thought it might be worth writing about…(my stream of consciousness/”not planned out” blog entries always end up interesting to say the least.)

I began reflecting upon that I’ve been pretty lonely these days; especially in my new place since when I moved in May.  The contrast which struck me is how I’m feeling “full” and content here in this place of intentional solitude.  I like quiet.  I like space.  What is it that makes this intentional solitude a place of comfort rather than a place of anxiety/loneliness when I’m at home? 

I don’t know…so if you figure that out please write to me…fast!  Have a nice day; until next time…

Ha!  Just kidding (although part of me would love to leave my readers hanging like that…).  I really don’t do feelings very well…but if someone held me down and my life depended upon naming one, I think I could name loneliness with some accuracy.

I’m just going to put it out there…loneliness sucks.  My image is this dead-like weight that holds you down while you walk around looking like a Neanderthal almost standing upright, but not quite.  It duct tapes you to the pity pot and forces you to think pitiful things.  Loneliness, schmonlieness. 

For me at this point, loneliness feels like the scratch in the record (CD? I guess you can’t scratch an MP3…) that when it hits, the damn song starts over or running on a treadmill that has no emergency shut off cord.  It reminds me of where I’m not (living in community), what I don’t have (community, friends, etc), and what I deeply desire.  When I’m in that rut…all I feel is the same old pain, anger, and frustration.  Icky! Icky!   Enough already…own it, acknowledge, blah blah don’t stuff…but seriously…I’ve had enough.

I’m an optimist by nature (although, if you don’t believe me because of my  latest writings…travel back in time to www.onefunnunslife.blogspot.com and read some of the early writings…it’s true…it’s in me somewhere, still trying to find her!)—when I’m walking like the Neanderthal and duct taped to the pity pot, I get mad and frustrated.  Oh…those are two helpful things in this situation!  NOT.  Mad+frustration+lonely+duct tape does not = optimism or a catapult out of the rut.  Truthfully…I want to focus on where I am…what I do have…what I deeply desire, yes…and see it as possible.   

Maybe this is what Sanctuary is providing me right now.  A refuge and protection from duct tape and scoliosis—reminders that solitude doesn’t mean alone, my crushed dreams and annihilated inner self don’t mean terminal, and that Sanctuary is sometimes serendipitous and exactly what I need to find another starting point.

real.truth.experience.joy