How are you
other-care with self-care?
Is it a bit of a challenge?
A lot of a challenge?
A Dementia Australia counsellor told me that I offer an ‘exquisite level of care’.
I breathed in the fine compliment. I breathed out a delicately complex response, including a watercolour-plus-collage artwork – a paintage.
I’m showing you the pretty bits and leaving out the grisly ones. Ah yes well. Sometimes it’s a grisly process, this caring palaver.
Here’s the question of the day (or year or lifetime):
How might we apply
an Exquisite Level of Care
Last weekend I led ‘Nourish and Flourish – the Art of Self-Care’. It was my first Art and Soul playshop in a while. Why? Because I’ve been caught up in eldercare.
Nourish and Flourish was delicious.
What sorts of things happened in the playshop?
I invited participants to consider…if their care for OTHERS had a colour, shape, texture, sound, title … for this moment … what might it be?
If their SELF care for this moment had a colour, shape, texture, sound, title, how would that look and feel?
Participants wrote or made art in response to this contemplation.
They each chose a miniature from the sandplay collection to represent their ally or companion on the journey.
We heard different individual self-care strategies. We pooled them. They range from dancing to reading with a cat on your lap; surfing to spending time with friends; saying No to having a massage.
We did a walking sensory awareness meditation. We sipped tea. We ate chocolate. Or healthy stuff, as the case may be.
The dear participants
each made art, art and more art.
They found ways to nourish themselves
in the process of making art about self-care.
It was a treat for me to host these splendid Art and Soulies; exploring, playing, being authentic, expressing joys and difficulties, beautifully showing kindness and insight as they offered positive feedback to one another.
Gratitude. I feel gratitude.
I do believe the next Art and Soul offering
is probably Saturday 13th July.
Most likely it’ll be
the annual ‘Creative Flame’ playshop.
Maybe see you there.
with love, art and soul
How to name this time of year?
The season is Festive or a Holiday for some, but not for others. Do you say Happy Christmas to those in deep grief? Do you falalala about prickly green and red plants and ruddy-nosed caribou?
(Indeed I do. I find myself hosting Arty Hearty Parties in an aged care facility, singing and strumming ukulele. Anything to bring a smile to a sorrowful face.)
How to communicate swift positive wishes to all, sundry, those who are traumatised; those who give no hoots?
It can be a
(Let’s have a jacaranda-coloured post, in keeping with the season)
I ting a Tibetan bowl and lead a guided contemplation for the six women participating in the Art Garden playshop.
We sit with four elements that potentially nourish the self-garden.
What’s your ground? What helps
I am invited to run a creative playshop with three generations of women. My heart warms and swells with delight.
Grandmother, mother, daughter.
Not only that, but I’ve met the grandmother and mother before.
Not only that, but the grandmother, Bridget, was in my VERY FIRST EVER ART WORKSHOP in 1993 at the Women’s Academy. There’s a blast from the past.
Ohhh the threads run deep and golden.
I will take this opportunity to say
to digest your experience of the year and sustain yourself through Solstice, Christmas, Chanukah and New Year.
For some, this is a blessed time of year. For others it is tough.
I encourage you to make some space –
even twenty minutes –
to reflect on your experience of 2017.
See if a shape, colour, theme or motif
and allow yourself to write or art it.
Perhaps you will discover a guiding image to help you flow
into your strong, beautiful soul’s dance
Nestle was our final Art and Soul playshop of the year.
I asked the question:
Would you like a nourishing, spacious pause
in the midst of the seasonal HurlyBurly?
I invited participants to
Presenting the beautiful writer:
I vividly recall the first creative playshop Kerry attended maybe ten years ago.
I remember her uncertainty about what was on offer. Once she felt more sure that this was to be a safe space, she gave herself 700% to the process. She let her big heart shine. She willingly shared her intricately woven fictional characters, who, over time, became as real to me as any of the playshop participants. Maybe we needed extra chairs around the table for Kerry’s living breathing human creations.
Here’s her website: Imagine365
Over to Kerry for a small adventure…
The day off
I am a writer.
I mostly write fiction but I also write non-fiction articles, blog posts and run a whimsical website called imagine365. Sometimes I write copy for other people’s sites or help them create business materials. But today I’m not going to write because I worked late last night in a different job and
I’ve given myself the day off.
So I start propped up in bed, pillows all around me and a cup of tea to hand. My miniature fox terrier, Rupert, joins me but don’t tell my husband.
I speak to my sister on the phone,
there’s no hurry.
We catch up for 45 minutes. I spend almost an hour longer in bed meditating with a second cup of tea.
When I do get up, there’s
Sally McKern’s Creative Circle of Life continued…
So now my baby girl daughter is 23 and I am 46
She is a beautiful young goddess in her own right.
Looking back on all of this now I am realising that these creative moments were crucial points in my development.
These experiences went a long way in defining who I became as an adult and who I am today.
My beautiful son is now 19 and he is also out in the world doing his own thing in the big city like his sister, hundreds of miles from my home in the country. I am not so identified now with the mother archetype, not in the same way I was when the kids were growing up. Now my holding and guiding is done from a distance and there is more letting go and observing.
All these years
Is this too political?
Here at Art and Soul Space, I try to not be issues-based, barrow-pushing, brow-battering political.
I wish to create a breathing space of spark and light; an honouring of human creative life force. I aim to cultivate beauty and authentic expression amidst the hurly-burly of haranguing horridness that many are faced with daily.
Sharing my Yes Art fits with these desires AND it’s political. So I will stick my neck out, publicly proclaim a passionate opinion and risk whatever flak might arise.
I’ve been political before here at Art and Soul Space blog, and it seemed to sit well with a few of you fine folk out there.
(see Art Heart Resources for troubled times)
Here goes, then…
Introducing Sally McKern, a wonderful woman who isn’t convinced she is creative, but you will see otherwise.
Sally’s mother attended my first ever creativity workshop way back in 1993, when Art and Soul was called
Art for Heart’s Sake.
Sally contacted me this year to see if she AND her mother AND her daughter could come along to a playshop.
I was touched.
To me, this is the Creative Love Exchange
It’s the Circle of Life.
Here she is….
Creativity over the Generations
Sally Swain asked me if I’d like to write something about creativity and I said yes because I love Sally, but the biggest part of me has no idea what to write because in my day-to-day life I don’t feel very creative.
I don’t feel like I have anything to say nor even