Monday, January 26, 2009

Week Three - Following your fascinations

Week Three of 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women got me thinking about intuition and bravery in my life. I've been fighting my intuition lately. I know we all do sometimes. It goes something like this: I have an image of what I want my life to look like right now, what I want to spend my time and money on, and it seems to be about being/becoming a great somatic therapist, travelling, spending more time painting, knitting, writing, singing, dancing, and making real connections with others. But a scared part of me wants to mess with that. Wants to insert a degree somewhere in there. Wants to make me a "better" person, that is, someone with more social status. Many people I know have graduate degrees and I DON'T! Also, school historically has been a place of greater safety and visibility for me, and I don't want to feel that I don't have that as an option. Why can't I want to have more degrees?, the scared part wrings its hands. And it keeps thinking of degrees I might want to do to entice me. But a part of me knows what it wants. And doesn't give a fig for social status, or safety (can't buy that anyhow). I keep following the path of what smells, looks, and feels right to try. And it will keep on developing, and changing. But I have to keep following it. Perhaps the greater strides I take on the path that is calling me, whatever is calling me, the softer the scared clutching will become.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Week Two - Honouring your inspirations

Week 2 in our online book club. The exercise for this chapter that I decided to follow was "Personal Attractions". It asks a bunch of questions, and I answer them! Here they are (I've included some, but not all (a few got a little lengthy).

What inspires me?
lots and lots of things, here are a few... silliness, movement, colour, whimsy, hugs, openness, beauty

What kinds of people do I most like to talk with?
outdoorsy, down-to-earth, intelligent people; people who make me laugh, and I them; compassionate, open-minded people

What do I fantasize about?
having other people to knit with
asking the question "How are things? What is the nature of the world?" and keeping on exploring

just to be happy and have people around who I love (see below for a poem by Walt Whitman on this). have some fun. spread a little love. be better educated. know how to articulate my love and vision(s). make things a little easier for some people. write, paint, sing, dance, explore ideas and relationships.

here's the poem:

I have perceived
that to be with those I like
is enough,
To stop in the company
with the rest at evening
is enough,
to be surrounded by
beautiful, curious, breathing,
laughing flesh
is enough,
To pass among them,
or touch any one,
or rest my arm ever so lightly
round his or her neck for a moment
What is this, then?
I do not ask any more delight.
I swim in it, as in a sea.

-Walt Whitman

Thursday, January 15, 2009

upcoming expressive arts workshop

A friend of mine, Ayrlie MacEachern, is facilitating an expressive arts workshop in a couple of weeks that I thought you might like to know about. Here's the info:

~ a playshop for women ~
Are the cold, dark winter days bringing you down?
Feeling the need to take time for your self?

Come spend an afternoon exploring creative ways to deeply nurture your self. Through expressive arts ~ movement, painting, creative writing, music & more, we will play, have fun and discover new possibilities to nurture ourselves, others, & our communities.

When: Sunday, February 1st, 2009 – 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Where: Bavia Arts – Ossington & St. Clair
Fee: sliding scale $40 - $60 – art supplies included

Facilitator ~
Ayrlie MacEachern is an expressive arts facilitator & therapist who loves to dance! Creating her company, training at, working at L’Arche Daybreak, and growing up on a farm has helped shape Ayrlie’s love and respect for the healing power of the arts, nature and community. Building intentional community, creating sacred space and celebrating our unique relationships is where her passion lives!

Please register by January 27th by contacting:
Ayrlie ~ 416-422-2134 ex. 7 or 705-444-0550
Ann ~

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

little line, just crossed my mind

you only a little bit love anybody,
compared to your children

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday, late

I've just been reading about the Portfolio Project dreamed up by Jen Lemen and Jen Lee to circumvent their procrastination, perfectionism, and negative inner voices, to just get some work done. The idea is to just do it.. to go for quantity instead of quality.

I think I might need some of that. In the spirit of that, I am going to blog every day (did i just say that?).. omg. I might write a load of crap (and hopefully a few gems), but I'm going to do it. Starting today. So here I am.

I also am in the process of refining what I want this blog to be. And I think I want it to be a record of my family's life. I want to focus on that. Yes, I do. That's scary, but that's what I want. I want it so that I will look at what I have right in front of me, and because I love them so damn much. I want to get it all down. I haven't done that as much as I'd like. Thankfully, Ted has taken so many photos and videos, he has filled some of the gap. I'd like to add the written commentary. From my perspective anyhow.

I'm not sure how to start. I'm kindof lazy, or afraid of being fully alive, one or both. That's hard to admit. Some things that happened today: Maeve cried hard this morning about wanting me to be at school with her all day. What is she afraid of? Her school is lovely. She is lovely. I want to give her lots of chances to cry when she needs to. I just listened, and she kept telling me about it. I'm glad. I let her stay home this morning, not sure if it was the right thing to do. But we played, she watched a movie, she and I and Farah all danced together as "princess ballerinas". Maeve is very graceful.

Noam had a playdate at a friend's, then came home at dinnertime. He isn't as charming at nine, I have to admit. Critical of his sister, just starting to not want hugs all of the time. But he kissed me a number of times before bed passionately on the cheek. He's a funny one. We wrestled vigorously on my bed together for about 15 minutes. He laughed so hard. It's probably our most fun thing to do together right now. I'm so glad I can wrestle him.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Creative Women - Week 1

Thank heaven I have a new book to blog for, or I might never get back here! I have blogger's block bad... but I'm hoping this book might help a bit (I just had to get all those b's in there.. I love alliteration).

So far I like the book. I read Chapter 1, Week 1, today. I appreciate Gail McMeekin's voice in the first chapter, which rings with honesty. I also can relate to much of what she writes about, as a woman in this culture, and as someone who has struggled with chronic illness. And with the excitement she feels for art-making.

The thing that struck me most today though was the first line I read when I opened the book at random. It was a question - to remember the last time I felt so passionate about something, I would do anything to get it, do it, be with it. What I remembered was coming across a description of a year-long course called 'Somatic Spirit' at the Strozzi Institute. The course, which included a river trip in the middle, was an exploration of living in the body, all of our bodies. The description ran something like: the more we seek to live from the body, directly experiencing life, the more we experience ourselves as many bodies, or no body. The more we live in the body, the more we contact spirit, and the more we can be helpful. This was my kind of thing I would do anything to have/go to/learn. Something about holding the space for the physical, biological body, at the same time as spirit, excites me to no end. I want that! I want both. This is obviously an important learning for me, and it made me think about my attraction to art, or the place of art for me.

I haven't particularly identified as an "artistic type" up until now, so I've been wondering what I might do with this new interest. What does it mean - why am I interested? Why are other people interested? I thought today that what I am primarily interested in is not paint, words, or anything else, though I love them, but wanting to know more about, be more directly in the experience of, the deepest self. Wanting to know more about the nature of life. And why? So I can love. So that I know that those I love, and all others, will be loved; that we are held in this universe with care, and ultimate meaning. And sometimes art brings me to this bigger sense of self, and connection. The sensuality, expression, joyfulness, and community of art-making are also important reasons for me, especially joy. A part of me is finding it difficult to expand my identity to include "artist", but a part of me is just skipping off to join this fun.

And that's what I've done so far with the book.