Monday, May 25, 2009

Past, Present, Future

Though he doesn't understand it all, he knows how important it is to he framed and hung my artwork in our hallway.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Divine Feminine

Recently I joined a meetup group called "A Woman's Spiritual Pursuit," and attended Tuesday night for the first time, as the topic was Soul Collage.

Soul Collage is a "simple creative process used to explore the depth of your soul." In the process you engage "your intuition and imagination" by using "images and personal symbols to create a powerful deck of cards that tap into your inner guidance." The process is not new to me, as I use my intuition in creating art, and have even done some pieces with different archetypes, but the focused intentionality of this workshop was awesome.

We began with an exercise, picking an image that spoke to us, and gave it voice by speaking as the image, saying "I am the one who..." What I loved about this process is it accessed parts of myself that I don't often give voice...and it is something that I know I'd be able to use with clients in the future. A form of narrative therapy is to externalize problems, so rather than saying "I AM depressed," we say "I have depression," or "depression has me." If we are not the same as depression we can separate these parts out and have them talk to each other.

I dare you to try it. Be it anger or depression or simply an image ripped out of a magazine, they are parts and parcels of us, and we can give them voices.

So tonight's intention was to creat a card that represented our divine feminine, and this is what I created:

When journalling my responses, this is what came up:

I am the one who is with you in every stage of your life.
I am the one who provides passion and security, and takes care of you in your quietest moments.

What I have to give you is permission to be yourself, groundedness, and the ability to embrace what comes about.

What I want from you is nurturing acceptance, a place to call home, and recognition in even the smallest tasks.

When we had all finished the process of making our card, we met back as a group and shared our pieces. We then did a group reading, where we drew random cards and asked a group question and let the same process flow through us as we all went around the room answering the question, by giving voice to the card we had drawn.

Our questions were:
How do we embrace the presence of the feminine and how do we bring balance between the masculine and feminine in our lives?

You embrace the presence of the feminine by:
Taking time to nurture yourself, feel softness, warmth, your spirituality through every life phase from birth to death.
By tending to our souls fire by allowing ourselves to bloom, by opening the pages of the mystery.
By letting down our hair, being playful, sincere, opening ourselves to our sensuality, sensitivity, love and playfulness.
Through being sexy, being strong, but soft.
Embracing, nurturing ourselves and others to open our minds to infinite possibilities to be who we want to be in the moment.
Shutting our eyes, throwing our heads back and letting the freedom move us in any way it wishes.
By living fully in the present and seeing beauty in all things.

You bring balance between masculine and feminine by:
Staying centered and being able to be soft and strong and being comfortable in those spaces.
By putting ground under our feet and allowing the air to support us.
By being playful and sincere.
By relaxing and allowing yourself to float through life taking time to smell the flowers.
Let the light in when we feel dark. Complimenting small things with big things.
Feeling the ground beneath us in quiet moments. Recognizing that the balance already is.
By risking vulnerability.

For more information on Soul Collage

Saturday, May 2, 2009

La Llorona

I am La Llorona, the wailing woman who wanders along riverbanks calling for the children she drowned before killing herself. This Hispanic story has always haunted me, and while exploring some deep sadness inside me during a massage, the image of La Llorona came up in my mind (or in my heart?). The children I've lost are really parts of me that have disassociated for various reasons over my lifetime. This incredible sadness, which feels sloshy and wet, like I'm standing next to a cool ocean of sadness feels too deep to even begin to penetrate.

In the last few weeks I have been reading a book by Sandra Ingerman, a shaman who works with Soul Retrieval. Soul retrieval is based on the belief that during trauma (even small traumas) often a part of our soul disassociates from our body. What struck me was how similar this is to working with trauma patients who often experience disassociation. And in the spirit of self-reflection, while meditating, and through my massage, I have been able to identify at least, a few parts of me that I have been missing.

There's my baby self, floating in a basket, screaming into the void, wondering where mama is. It left when I was relinquished. The part that stayed in place was the compliant one, the one that became adaptable and self reliant...never too trusting.

I can see my third grade self, who calls herself Jennie after my great-grandma (my namesake) Jennie died. What sparked this fiesty eight year old to leave?

My thirteen year old self at least came up to me during my visualization. She said "what took you so long?" She is my "Seattle Self," the one who stayed when I sacrificed and chose to vote for moving to Yakima rather than staying in Seattle.

Before I was naive that they were gone, and then I realized that they were, and that was what prompted my deep grief and sadness. Because I miss them...all of them...even the ones I don't know are gone.