Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chapter 6: Check In here

As we finish the chapter on ABUNDANCE and start working on CONNECTION I want you to get to know my sweet friend Kathryn aka Collage Diva.

She has posted her Journey´s page on the connection subject which you may download by suscribing to True North Arts Newsletter for free. In the post I linked to she talks about connecting on and off line and tells her own story about them by sharing her experiences. She is interested in meeting and getting to know people exactly where they are at, with an open heart.

You will love her Journal of the Heart pages and by suscribing you will get access to a weekly journal page with new artwork, prompts, affirmations and/or inspirational quotes. You can unsuscribe at any time.

Here she is pictured above at a lovely B&B in Camden, Maine where she spoiled herself with wonderful food and gorgeous vistas. And here is what she has to say about CONNECTION.

It was truly a precious gift to receive an invitation from Paula to write about connection for her blog. The gift really came in the form of a gentle reminder to revisit the work of Julia Cameron and her book, "The Artist's Way." I had worked through the lessons some time ago - I think it has been two years now. Since then my practice of doing the morning pages and artist dates has waxed and waned. It can be such a challenge to do "everything" we need to nurture our bodies, minds, and souls. Just like taking vitamins, practicing meditation and yoga, and eating lots of
fresh fruits and veggies - I know that my time in my journal is essential for my emotional and physical health.

So when I received this invitation to share my experiences, I returned to the book and was pulled back in. Returning to my simple notebook and writing three full pages each morning is like returning to an old friend. This friend is gentle, kind, and always ready for my visits. I don't fear boring its ears with my babbling stories of work or relationships. There is a magic that happens in these morning pages. Invariably by page two a shift happens from writing about the mundane, silly stuff to making meaningful connections. Connection to ideas, connection to experiences, connection to people, connection to my Self, and connection to something much
bigger. What I believe happens is that the first page offers us a spot to splatter our junk - the emotions and thoughts that bounce around and get stuck inside. Once we clear that out and give them a safe place, we can dig deeper. We can get into that zone where we swim the waves of creativity. I love this place where I feel more like an instrument. My ego and any concept of rules or have-to's vanish and I am one with this creative process.

Julia Cameron speaks of synchronicity. My morning pages have given me the opportunity to reflect upon some of the amazing occurrences that happen to me on a daily basis. I tell my
friends some of the stories - the "signs" that appear and reappear in my life. I believe as Julia mentions in her book that we all have these signs appearing for us. What we need to be is open to recognizing them. I allow myself to be moved by them and to guide me in finding my way. This experience of recognizing and responding to synchronicity is how I came up with the name, "True North Arts" for one of my blogs. I enjoy working intuitively in various artistic mediums - from collage to painting, photography to ikebana, Japanese flower arranging - to experience synchronicity and connection. I use these experiences to guide me, they are my true north.

The artist dates are another wonderful way to feel connection. I took an entire week this summer to vacation by myself. I did meet up with friends for supper or a morning of shopping, but most of my time was spent with my camera and journal. I love going out on solo outings with my camera. I follow my own whims and I open my eyes wide to be one with the environment and what I'm feeling.

When I read the first task from lesson 7 in Julia's book, I thought, "I do this. I've learned to treat myself as precious. I have learned to speak with kind words and encouragement. I listen and I treat myself well. I don't wait for others to spoil me, I spoil myself." I pulled out a scan of a recent painting and added the words from task 1, "Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong." It is so true. I returned from the vacation this summer feeling so good that I took care of myself. It has been three years since I took a real vacation. I came back ready to reconnect with others because my needs were met.

Task 2 in lesson 7 is to listen to an album. I love to indulge in this by putting on my iPod and going for a walk. It is fun to download something new off of iTunes and then experience it. I like that feeling of aliveness that we experience when we are doing something for the first time. Paula asked me if I listen to music when I create. So often when I write it is in silence. Sometimes though I need to get into the mood and I have a couple of albums that get me there. I think it may be a conditioned response. These albums are "Spirit Romance" by David Lanz & Gary Stroutsos, the other is Chinese and Japanese Koto Harp and Shakuhachi Flute Music.
When I paint or collage I will turn to a variety of music. I am so moved by music and I love to dance and play to it.

Task 3 invites us to visit a sacred space. Nature offers us sacred spaces. Earlier in the summer I went on an artist date to a local garden. I sat for some time next to a pond and watched the dragonflies in the tall grass. Paula asked me if I create sacred spaces in my home. I live in a very small three bedroom apartment that I affectionately refer to as the tree house. It is filled with my art and the art of my friends. Each nook and cranny is filled with love and warmth. It is a humble place but one that encourages self care and creativity.

Pictured above is one of my favorite spots in the tree house. This is a small drafting table that a friend gave me. It is where I enjoy writing my morning pages. I like to think of myself as a scribe from years ago. In fact, I have a love for calligraphy and typography. One day I'll get some instruction and this is where I will practice. I like to keep this space simple and ready for writing.

I'd like to thank Paula again for inviting me to share my experiences with "The Artist's Way." This book is a treasure that I will return to again and again throughout my life. It has played an important role in my creative journey.

I hope you'll swing by my blogs. www.collagediva.com is where I post daily and where you'll find my latest artist dates, journal entries, and creative adventures. www.truenortharts.com is where I blog weekly and share a prompt and journal page from a project I call, "Journey of the Heart Journal."

Thank you for your guest post Kathryn! :)

And before you link to your own experiences with chapter 6: You might remember that Jamie Ridler has kindly given me three copies of Your creative spark to give away. Today I´m putting eight names into the draw. Using the True Random Number Generator by Random.org, the chosen number is #4: Camilla! Drop me a line darling and I´ll send you your code to claim it. :)

How to share with MrLinky: you type in your name in the first box (the way you´d introduce yourself) and then the url/link to your post (not your whole blog url) where you share your work with the current chapter. When you come back next week your name will likely automatically be entered but you need to redo or paste over the url/link with your new post's address.

6 comments:

KathrynAntyr said...

What a treat to be a guest on your blog. Thank you again for the invitation. You helped me to reconnect with TAW!

{soul hugs}
Kathryn, Collage Diva

Dream With the Fishes said...

I love Collage Diva!! I've been a follower for some time. It was so good to have this chance to 'hear' Kathryn talk about her experiences with the Artist's Way and other things. I feel we have quite a bit in common - the love of collage, flower arranging, and going out solo to explore with our cameras. How amazing that she went away for an entire week's vacation on her own! That sounds divine. Thanks for sharing another wonderful interview with us, Paula!!

And congrats to Camilla for winning a copy of Jamie's book!!

Genie Sea said...

Hiya Paula! I have missed visiting your sunny corner of the blogosphere! :)

How prolifically abundant you are and what an awesome post! Thank you for sharing Collage Diva's insights with us!

Kathryn - Thank you for sharing your invaluable experiences! :)

Shionge said...

Hiya Paula, I came via Lulu's blog and shall check out Kathryn's soon.

" M " said...

Yes Kathryn is very nice , been following her blog for quite some time now. Im really enjoying the Artist Way project.

Thanks Paula! : )

Lucy Ladham-Dyment said...

Love that you posted pictures with your tasks for next chapter. Love that insight.

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