Tag Archives: Creativity

Tending The Inner Garden

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This summer seems to be going by so quickly.  Once again I find myself housesitting in a lovely cabin on the south side of Cortes Island with a beautiful ocean view. I am feeling very blessed indeed. Coco, the cat, comes and goes as she pleases. Yet the smoke in the air from all the wildfires covering this part of the world in a thick blanket of haze, makes everything appear unreal and strange. The thick air paints the sun and moon deep red or glowing orange with temperatures that are surprisingly cool.

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This morning I found myself thinking about the Orcas that I had seen one foggy evening earlier this spring when I was housesitting not too far from here on the same beautiful beach. I was having a deep conversation at the time with someone when we spotted the whales. There was a male with a much larger fin in the distance moving up and down through the water and a couple of other Orca whales much closer to us that seem to be resting or perhaps waiting. I had heard before that the male will herd a school of fish towards the waiting pod. Then my thoughts turned to the Orca mother who had carried her dead baby for over two and half weeks recently. How can one not be affected by this display of love and deep grief? I couldn’t help wondering if it was the same pod of whales.

With my heart aching for these giants that are suffering and struggling, I got up to put my mug into the sink and looked up to see where grey ocean meets the grey haze. In that very moment my eyes discovered in this endless see of grey a big white spray of water. A whale rose from the water in that instance, letting itself fall back into the depth of it. The feeling of deep surprise is hard to describe as I watched the whale breach a few more times. What are the chances to be looking out the window right in that moment! This recognition of our connection and the many events of synchronicity that keep pointing that there is no separation brought tears to my eyes.

P1260020As a tiny spider climbs up my computer screen I wonder what her message is. Perhaps it has to do with the web of life that we all weave together and that every action, every thought effects the whole web. When we open our hearts to those suffering regardless if they are two-legged, four-legged, finned or winged, we are each called to respond just like a mother responds when her child cries out.

A few weeks ago I came across this mushroom breaking through the earth. It made me pause and take in this moment of birthing, watching earth opening, as a new life form pushes through into the light. Isn’t every birth worth stopping for a moment to witness this tremendous miracle of something new being born? And isn’t every death worth pausing to honour the being that is leaving, who has given it’s unique gift to the whole web?

P1250585As the summer’s harvest is in full swing and I watch many around me busily collecting and processing what they have planted and tended since early spring, I have to say I miss my garden, but not the huge amount of work that harvesting can be.

I recognize that right now I am tending my Inner Garden. I feel a softness as I write these words and yes, I can see and acknowledge to myself that I, too, am harvesting from my inner garden. A few days ago I picked up my art supplies from home and spend some sweet time in the garden pulling the long overdue garlic from the earth and tying them onto bundles to dry. What bliss it was to see the towering sunflowers and the abundance of beans…

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Photo by Dancing Wolf

Yet it is also fun to play again with colours like I haven’t done in a long long time. And it is so freeing to not have any goal, to just let creativity express in whichever way it wants. There is almost a childlike pleasure of discovery and joy in the moment. I just watch as something unfolds with no preconceived notion what it might turn out to be. This drawing named Inner Garden Goddess that came into being a few days ago is part of the harvest of my Inner Garden.

Elke's Goddess #1Holding out my finger to the little spider it jumps fearlessly onto it, not just once but a few times, before I carry it outside where it happily climbs onto the clematis leaf. Once again I am reminded “I can trust life” and feel deep gratitude for the whales and what they are here to teach us. May we all open our hearts to receive their gifts!

 

 

 

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The River Of Creation

 

 

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Observing the month of May unfold with its bright greens, new blossoms appearing daily and the incredible vibrancy of so many birds adds to the awakening and liveliness all around. The sense of new beginnings fills the air, even if the temperatures still rise and fall, letting us know that trying to predict life and nature is impossible. So why even try!

Yet all is not unfolding as peacefully and harmoniously as the beauty around me suggests. The energy of the Scorpio Full Moon waxing, coming into its full power and now waning, undoubtedly has added to some of the intensity that I have been experiencing.

P1220986While walking out to the bluff the other day, I heard a lot of splashing in our little bay and to my dismay watched as an eagle repeatedly was diving down, attacking a beautiful small duck. I had been observing the little drake for a week or so as it has enchanted me with its peaceful presence. As I rushed to the water’s edge both birds were getting more and more tired, the eagle from repeatedly diving into the water and rising heavily with wet wings and the duck from diving under and barely getting its breath before the next attack. It seemed a matter of who would give up first. I have to admit I was breathing a big sigh of relief when the duck was able to fly away after the eagle retreated to a favourite treetop lookout.

To my surprise the brave little duck came back a couple of hours later, his mate joining him for an evening paddle on the water, before returning to sit on a nest hidden somewhere nearby. I still feel a bit of unease whenever I see one of the eagles sitting in the trees around the bay, especially when the tide is getting low and the drake is all alone on the water.

P1220952The ravens haven’t been happy with the eagles either. They are also nesting again this year after a two year break and their young ones have obviously hatched, according to the noise that goes on up there. My guess is that Mother or Father Raven is bringing some delightful morsel home for the young brood that causes this much noise and excitement. We know from experience that it will only get noisier as they get bigger and believe me, it is not the prettiest sound by far.

However, the raven parents gang up and chase any eagle bravely away if he comes a bit too close for comfort, which obviously benefits the ducks as well. Everyday I observe this kind of life and death drama unfold around me, holding my breath, knowing that every one needs to eat, but still it does not make it any easier to witness.

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Making a video with the poem I recorded for the radio show, which I mentioned in my last post, was much more complicated than I had thought it would be. It was also a lot of fun to co-create and see where the river of creation would take this. In the end, all the effort, patience, persistence and surrendering to the process was all worth it, with every challenge an important piece of the creative unfoldment. All of it manifested a deep sense of fulfillment, joy and wonder, as the message of the poem and our love for Nature was guiding us and leading the way.

And now I am finally able to share it with you as promised and hope that this video and my reading of Mary Reynolds Thompson’s beautiful poem “Song Of A Wild Soul Woman” will speak to you and delight and awaken your senses and wild soul:

In response to Daily Prompt: Observe

The Turning Of The Wheel

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As I watch the last days of Winter dance and intermingle with the first days of Spring, showing me once again that life doesn’t happen in a straight line, nor can it be predicted or controlled, my mind has a hard time to surrender to “what is” at times. Whereas another part of me is glad, that this is so, for it allows the experience of awe and wonder, keeping us connected to the great mystery of life.

Witnessing the great wheel turning and seasons changing, I open myself to whatever the new day might bring: perhaps another round of snow, or sunshine and the sweet fragrance of Spring, that makes me long to be outside and receive it with every cell of my body, or even hail or thunder announcing both an ending and a new beginning.

P1220674With winter ending in this part of the world, I notice many changes and awakenings around me as well as inside of me. It has been a long journey, that felt a lot like having been deep under water, only coming up for a breath of air here and there. Today as the sun is warming my skin and the birds are singing ever so sweetly, I experience a feeling of lightness, reminding me of what it feels like to float on the surface of the water without any resistance, allowing the current to carry me gently to an unknown destination.

P1220720The last six months have been intense, expanding, beautiful and hard. Letting go of a partnership is a deep process with many doubts, fears and old patterns, all rising to the surface at once, yet giving the opportunity to meet them in a new way, as well as allowing myself to take a deep honest look at myself, the relationship and what is prompting the letting go. Sitting with one another in the love, the pain and the grief, witnessing each other in this process, so unique and different, yet shared with such sincerity.

Today I feel the wheel of life shifting not only the season, but my life into something new. I have no idea of what it will look like. Lying awake in the early morning hours, listening to first stirring of the day, wondering where life might take me and hoping to find that special cottage or cabin, my own little nest in Nature somewhere on this island, that feels right for me, where I once again can immerse myself in the work that I love so much: Vibrational Alignment sessions, transformational coaching, writing, blogging and creating to my heart’s content.

P1220711Feeling the deepest gratitude for the powerful and rich experience of coming together five years ago, following our dream here to Cortes and now shifting into a new way of relating, as we cut the cord and untethered under the Libra Blue Moon, where we offered this relationship to the fire, acknowledging the support we have given each other through the many emotional waves that letting go have stirred up in us on this journey, meeting the deep call of growth. Love has been our guide and has brought us to this point.

Breathing into this turning of the wheel, I allow myself to inhale deeply, allowing the gift of life all the way in, where it expands my belly, my chest, my awareness, before releasing it slowly, channeling it through my heart deliberately, then through my throat and out my nostrils. With each deep breath in and out, I feel the space in my heart expand and a softness in me welcoming this new day and season, holding onto trust that all will be well. Writing this, I remember the dolphins attending our ceremony around the Solar Eclipse, not only supporting us on this journey of untethering, but raising the vibration so high, and that there could only be joy.

P1220016Right now I also feel deep joy in writing and sharing with you once again. It has been a while since this urge to communicate and share got strong enough to break through, whatever resistance or process I was in. Yet in this long pause I have also learned to trust deeper in the Muse to guide me and show me to give room for this inner turning that is going on, much like the seeds in the grounds preparing for the right moment to break through the earth into the light.

And for my dear friends who haven’t heard from me in a while, please forgive me! I needed to give myself this time and space to fully immerse myself and honour the deep process of letting go of my relationship and the expansion that was being asked of me.

P1220166As I looked into my now former partner’s eyes today, I saw the same lightness also reflected in his eyes and I have never seen him more radiant.

I am so very grateful to know and see you and be known and seen by you. To a new way of “relating”! And to Love!

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Daily Prompt: Radiant

 

Immersion In The Mystery

IMG_1759 The world was shrouded in layers of fog, as I opened my eyes this morning. Deeply enjoying the view for the last time, I lay there watching the fog shift and change, giving me little glimpses of the hidden inlets, mountains and ocean.

It was time again to pack my bags and let life take me to the next place, as it has for the last three months. Cleaning and packing, while still taking in the expansive and ever-changing view, I took notice of a deep inner calmness of allowing life to unfold without me trying to control it and feeling into the magic of this immersion and trust in the mystery of life.

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Gently I wrapped up the sacred objects I had brought with me and soon the house was ready to welcome back its owners who had build and created this beautiful home. I retraced my steps from a few days ago in the hopes of finding my lost camera. And sure enough, it was exactly where my intuition had told me it would be: at my neighbour’s home. I was very happy to be reunited with this precious instrument, that inspires me to share the incredible beauty all around me.

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Walking carefully on the wet rocky path, the mossy rocks invited me to take their picture, tickling my senses with their vibrant greens and unique shapes. It had been a wonderful week, where I felt my own expansion as both the beautiful spacious home and the wide angle view opened something inside of me. It even inspired me to do Yoga each day, creating a feeling of expansion in my body and breath as well.

Meeting and getting to know some of the neighbours added to the richness of the experience, offering me different views from their homes and their hearts and loving the wonderful and surprising expressions of creativity I encountered, that made me long to enter into that beautiful creative flow again.

P1210392I loved what I saw and who I met, each experience bringing me deeper into the trust that I’ve been feeling since returning from the Big Island of Hawaii, that life is taking care of me and providing me with what I need, not what I think I need. It has taken me to several different homes and unique places, making me fall deeper into love with this mystical island and continuing the lessons about water and flow.

Being here at the very potent time of the Full Moon Lunar eclipse and watching the moon come into her fullness, helped me move towards an inner fullness, where I recognize that home is on the inside and is always with me no matter where I am.

Doing ceremony at Reflection Cove around the fire on the evening of the Eclipse, drumming and singing with two people very dear to me, was so powerful. With each person bringing their own medicine offerings to the fire, we allowed ourselves to be guided and spoke from our hearts.

Sharing space with Boko, the cat, has been another gift and delight. He took a while to warm up to me, but it was so worth the effort, when at last he let me pet him for the longest time and rewarded me with such a deep purr of love. On the last evening while sharing the couch, he even let his paw rest on my foot, which I didn’t dare move. It felt like such precious offering.

P1210453As I walked up the hill to my car with my belongings, I met yet another neighbour who kindly offered me a hand with my heavy bag filled with books, journals and treasures, which I have a lifetime history of carrying from place to place. With each of us grabbing a handle, the weight was shared and so was our mutual appreciation for this very special part of the island.

Driving home to Reflection Cove and Elkenwolf Cottage, I noticed the joy of returning to this place which still feels like home and probably always will, and where my golden companion Frodobear lies in his final resting place with the golden elephant watching over this sacred spot. I still see him curled up in the special blanket we wrapped him in on another Lunar Eclipse last August, as we stood at his grave. Surprisingly his shape looked so very much like an elephant and his huge golden presence is still shining in my life. And I have a feeling he is still teaching me about love from the other side.

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Forever grateful!

Sacred Dreaming

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Sweet sunlight touches my fingers as they glide across the keyboard feeling light and weightless. Today is a new day and it holds so much promise.

Plans of washing clothes, vacuuming, and cleaning up, are all flying out the window as I bask in the warmth of the light coming through the glass…thoughts of different possibilities drift by gently as I consider how to honour the gift of this day.

Nature is beckoning as light fairies are dancing across the water. I know I will be going outside soon with my camera to capture some of the magic.

It is fun to allow the words to weave themselves as Grandmother Spider is sending out a barely seen thread into the world on a slight breeze on this winter morning.

It is even more fun to allow myself to dream again. This day feels like it was made just for that.

Yesterday I started a new collage. I used to make one almost every year. They help me focus on what I want to manifest in my life. Their images remind me of what is important to me and keep me aligned with my dreams. Many of them have come true. p1130621I just have to look around and see what is here: living in one of the most beautiful places I could ever imagine, a sweet home with a wood stove and many windows and a beautiful view, a partner who appreciates and loves me, living in nature with a bountiful garden, fruit trees and berry bushes….the list goes on and on. There is so much to be grateful for and many dreams are now my reality.

Working on this collage brings up memories of dreams I am still longing for, some old ones and some I only recently allowed myself to have. It is a delight to see this new collage unfold as I carefully choose and position each image. In this process a memory of my father speaking about the fulfillment of one of his big dreams arises. He had a dream for many, many years to one day own a brand new Mercedes Benz. I was so happy when I heard around the time of his retirement that he was finally able to fulfill this dream. The next time my parents came for their yearly visit, I asked him how he liked his brand new car and his answer surprised me very much. He said: “The car is great, but the dream was even greater!” For him the joy of having and holding the dream and the connection to the mystery of its unfolding was more dear than the real thing.

My father passed away a few years ago, but still visits me occasionally in my night time dreams. He was instrumental to my partner and I moving to this beautiful place. I had a dream in which my father gave me the greatest gift. The problem was, when I woke up I couldn’t remember what it was. It was too big to bring back into this reality. I remember wondering all day what the gift had been. That evening I talked to a friend of mine who had known my father and who also knows me well. I told him about my dilemma of not remembering the dream fully. My friend asked me: “What is the biggest thing your father could give you?” Automatically I replied: “His Love!”. “No, bigger than that!” my friend said. I was shocked. This surprising answer from my friend prompted me to enter deeply into the question: “What could be a bigger gift than my father’s love?”  The answer came slowly to the surface with deep emotion. Tears were spilling from my eyes as I replied: “He gave me my life! …And then the memory of the gift came back: “In the dream he gave me permission to live my life the way I want to live it, not the way others expected me to or how I had been conditioned.” Tears are running down my cheeks again as I write this. He could not have given me a greater gift. The day after I had that dream and out of the blue my partner found this beautiful home on Cortes Island. We made the decision right then and there to let go of our lives in Victoria and move here. Less than two months after the dream my life had completely changed. I am not sure if I could have taken the step and given myself the permission to live my dream without the message and encouragement from my father.

The thread that Grandmother Spider has sent out is now anchored firmly to the big Fir tree in front of my window with the light and wind playfully changing it’s colour in the most magical way. I feel grateful to the power and sacredness of dreams and dreaming and hold a vision in my heart that our collective dreaming will weave a web of love, connection and a growing consciousness that celebrates the sacredness of all of life.

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Red Pearl

 

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The wind has a different plan for me today. I work part-time at a Natural Food Co-op here on Cortes Island and on Friday mornings we usually get our deliveries. However due to stormy conditions the ferry is not running, which translates into no delivery truck coming over from Quadra Island till the sea gives her permission and allows for traffic to flow once again.

I’ve been wanting to write a new post all week, but something was in the way. I am still not sure what it is, but todays intervention by the wind felt like a sign: it is time to sit down and write regardless of creative blocks or lack of ideas.

It feels good to sit at my desk with my old dog Frodo sleeping peacefully on the round rug behind me, as I watch the trees dance in the wind. Even our normally very quiet bay is restless. I don’t know why, but this movement, this churning, this dance mirrors the sense that something inside of me is moving as well.

All week a book called “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love, has asked me to pick it up and give it my attention. The book is divided into six parts: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust and Divinity. Each part has many short stories, many about Elizabeth’s own experiences and wisdom gained in her exploration in “Creative Living Beyond Fear”.

I love her incredible persistence and beautiful dedication to living a creative life. Her words speak to a part in me that has wanted to give myself this permission for a very long time. The book has found it’s way to me at the perfect time of my life where many things are shifting, as the slow process of birthing my crone Self is unfolding. Creativity is one of the vehicles for me to fully express this journey and all the hidden gems inside of me. p1130492It is time for me to shed old beliefs and habits, just as fir and pine are shedding their dead needles.

I love Elizbeth’s frank words that cut through the old voices, expectations and fears. A feeling of aliveness is spreading through my body as my whole being comes alive when I break through the walls and follow that wild call into unknown territory. Just imagining the freedom to explore and create without any fears or holding back gives me tingles. Creativity, when it flows, is so exciting.

Lately on my walks the wild has been calling me to step off the known path and explore the places beyond the familiar. I discovered beautiful new bluffs as I scrambled up and down the coastline and through the forest following an inner voice and inner knowing. Often feeling lost but somehow trusting and each time surprised where it took me and how much this wild beauty touched my heart.

This little red Arbutus berry found in a nest of white lichen on one of those excursions seems such a vibrant symbol of what can be discovered when we step out of the known.

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The red pearl is the beautiful seed from this magnificent coastal tree who sheds it’s bark to stand naked and vulnerable as the wind blows away all which is not true. For me the red pearl symbolizes what is waiting to be discovered both on the inside and outside. It is a symbol of hope and renewal and choosing to live a life of vibrant aliveness. It is the seed of creativity that is waiting for each of us to give it our full attention and unique expression.

As a young bald eagle glides effortlessly in a spiral over Reflection Cove, there is so much to be grateful for: the power of the wind, beauty, creativity, life and the “Big Magic” contained in one red pearl and in each of us

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Life And The Loom

p1130348Here it is: my first handwoven creation!

At the end of October I had the fortune to buy a beautiful small loom from a friend. Weaving is something that I had been curious about for many years, ever since I saw and fell in love with a gorgeous Saori loom on Saltspring Island. I had never tried weaving before, but just sitting at the bench touching the wood left a deep impression. The ideas of weaving were put away till someday when perhaps I could afford a loom like that. This summer the longing to try weaving returned. So I considered buying a more affordable loom, but got lost in deciding how and with what to start. So I let it go once again…

Then out of the blue a friend announced that she was offering her beautiful Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom for sale and I knew I had to see it. Within a few weeks we met up and I saw the small loom for the first time, I knew right away that this was my starting point. My friend showed me the basics and since then I’ve been learning a lot from this little Harp loom about weaving and life.

The greatest joy for me was playing with different colours and textures, immersing myself in the creativity like I never have before. There were also some challenges that I needed to learn from. It showed me clearly my deep attachment to the outcome and how much it effected me when it was or was not going well. The biggest challenge showed up when I was getting closer to the end: one of my warp threads broke and I was devastated thinking the worst had just happened. p1130072My mind was telling me: All this work for nothing! I contacted my friend with no luck, researched like crazy on the internet, tried a few things and in the end had to give up and let it go. After a few days I took the unfinished scarf off the loom and for the first time got to see what I had woven. I had not followed any pattern, just let the loom, wool and colours guide me. I was astounded at what I had created and to my great amazement and joy the scarf turned out to be the perfect length. I guess the loom knew when it was done. A big lesson learned! And deep gratitude for the outcome!

I had just picked up a book from the library, that I had ordered in, called “Dying To Be Me” around the same time I got my loom. The author Anita Moorjani writes about her near death experience and healing from cancer afterwards. I was touched by what she wrote and what she had learned from her experience and want to share a little excerpt as it directly effected my weaving:

“I saw my life intricately woven into everything I’d known so far. My experience was like a single thread woven through the huge and complexly colourful images of an infinite tapestry. All the other threads and colours represented my relationships, including every life I’d touched. There were threads representing my mother, my father, my brother, my husband, and every other person who’d ever come into my life whether they related to me in a positive or negative way.

….In the tapestry of life, we’re all connected. Each one of us is a gift to those around us, helping each other be who we are, weaving a perfect picture together. When I was in the NDE state, it all became so clear to me because I understood that to be me is to be love. This is the lesson that saved my life.”

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Reading this book made weaving for me a very deep experience. As I wove I got a sense that I was weaving something much bigger than a scarf. Each thread seemed important. As I wove, I reflected on my life and myself. I wondered if perhaps at the end of our lives we take the tapestry we have woven through our interactions and relating from the loom of life and we get to see what we have created and how it all fits into the tapestry of all life. Weaving for me has become another form of meditation and also a beautiful way to express my creativity.

Before I read the book I heard Anita give a Ted talk. I loved the simple yet powerful message she has brought back from beyond. Here is the link, if you feel curious:

http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Dying-to-be-me-Anita-Moorjani-a