circles of feminine wisdom

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Paper doll cut outs with personal messages on the back are a great way for women to share their wisdom with one another. I recently had all my guests at a birthday afternoon tea do this for me. For those who were unable to attend, I mailed out a doll for them to complete. When I have them back I will string the dolls together into a circle of Women’s Wisdom as a reminder of the support women provide for me in my life and the wisdom of the feminine. 

I used a template I found on line and scrap booking paper from Aldi to make these dolls.

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Solstice Global Healing Day 2014

The Global Solstice Healing Day was a great success, with many different faiths and groups represented. The theme was “Healing the Family” which was a timely  reflection coming so shortly after the Lindt Cafe tragedy. What struck me most as we sat on this warm Summer afternoon, was hearing directly from the speakers how each spiritual faith holds dear the values of love and compassion for all of the human family, even those who have strayed far from the path of what it means to be a decent and good human being.It was a very healing moment in what had been a harrowing week. The language, the rituals , the cultural accouterments may differ but the heart essence remains the same
Channel 7 news were there and interviewed some of the speakers and recorded footage of the release of the doves as a symbol of universal peace.
See the link below.
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Releasing the doves for peace
Read all about our celebration of the Summer Solstice here in Melbourne:

The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion (Bendigo, Australia)

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The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion has been under construction in Victoria, Australia for the last 15 years. The site was blessed by the Dalai Lama of Tibet in 2007  when the initial concrete slab had been laid and the frame of the bottom level erected.  We sat inside the structure in  the cold June sunlight as His Holiness arrived via helicopter! 

Through the generosity of donors, the Stupa is now well off the ground and reaching high into the blue Bendigo sky.

The Stupa, when completed, will be a replica of the Gyantse Kumbum Stupa in Tibet, and will be the largest Stupa of its kind in the West.

Stupas are said to have many benefits which include magnetizing enlightened energy, creating peace and harmony,  promoting longevity,  and subduing physical and mental illness, pestilence, and disease.

You can read more about the stupas in general and the story behind Great Stupa of Universal Compassion here.

Congratulations and well done to all those who have contributed and are contributing to this beautiful reminder of our enlightened potential. May the Stupa benefit all beings for thousands of years to come. ♥

 

 

 

Compassion Games 2014

COMPASSION  GAMES 2014

SEPTEMBER 11-21

The Games are on!! I’m warming up my compassion muscles as part of the 6 Degrees of Creativity team run by the wonderful Gretchen Miller . For the next 11 days we will be doing an art related compassionate deed in our own community. After receiving each day’s prompt we will complete our art, photograph it and then share it with the world on a real time Compassion Map. Many compassionate acts make for a kinder world!

“The Compassion Games are designed to make our communities safer, kinder, more just, and better places to live. No matter where you are you can perform a Random Act of Kindness, or become a Secret Agent of Compassion and receive a secret mission for each of the eleven days” (www.compassiongames.org)

CREATIVE DEED 1: “SHOW US YOUR HEART”

” Take a photo of a heart you’ve cut out of paper and place it inside the palm of your hand to symbolize care, motivation to be mindfully kind to others & ourselves, and as a visual, simple reminder to extend our heartfelt empathy in times of distress & suffering”

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 CREATIVE DEED 2: ” CHALK IT UP FOR COMPASSION’

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CREATIVE DEED 3: COMPASSION WORDCLOUDING

I used a  favourite quote of mine from the Dalai Lama on compassion to create this Wordcloud.

Lots of fun.

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 CREATIVE DEED 4: Random Acts of Creative Kindness

” It’s an opportunity to use creative deeds in the form of art-making & creative expression to show our kindness to others in unsuspecting ways.”

I  made a little magic vial of condensed happiness -red hearts and glitter balls to symbolise the magic and beauty of living in the present moment, and a small bracelet wishing the wearer a happy day. I will put these anonymously around the neighbourhood for whoever needs some affirmation!

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 CREATIVE DEED 4 : COMPASSION ALL STAR AWARD

“Inspired by the Seattle Compassion All Star event, the 6 Degrees of Creativity Creative Deed Team is recognizing a Compassion All Star in our lives & communities with a creative twist! Today, nominate someone as a Compassion All Star and create an artsy award in honor of & to give to him/her”.

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This Compassion All Star Award is for my friend Nancy

who is kind, open hearted and has a great listening ear.

She’s always finding ways to make others happy,

nourish people with lovely food

or be there in times of suffering.

I’m honoured to have her in my life.

Thank you Nancy!!

CREATIVE DEED 6: CREATIVITY AND COMPASSION QUOTE HUNT

“Have fun today on this creativity & compassion quote hunt! Find a favorite compassion related quote, saying, or inspiration that speaks to the use of the arts, art therapy, & creativity to help others in need, our community, ourselves, etc. With free, online quote generator programs you can copy & paste your quote (please include crediting the author ) and transform it into an image, save, and share to spread word about the role of creativity in compassion!”

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When our spirits can breathe, we are happier, kinder and gentler…

the beauty of art and art therapy is that it

provides this space for the spirit.

Imagine if in every community

there was a place where people could go to make art–

our world would be more compassionate

and healthy I think.

Thanks Gretchen for a fun prompt. See more contributions from 6 degrees of Creativity participants here

Create your own quotes using:

http://www.quozio.com

http://www.recitethis.com

http://quotescover.com

 

CREATIVE DEED 7:  COMPASSION CARDS OF AWESOMENESS

 

“Our Secret Agent mission will use our creativity to create unanimous Compassion Cards of Awesomeness to leave in places like the inside of books @ at a bookstore or library, discreetly for a friend, family member or co-worker to discover, at a grocery store, post office, or any place you want to spread awesomeness for others to discover, be reminded of and see in themselves.   The theme of these cards (which could be in the form of a decorated index card, greeting card, artist trading card, etc.) is everything & anything about BEING AWESOME (!!) 🙂 ” 

 

I created this card and left it in an envelope titled “for you” in  the local laundromat.

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CREATIVE DEED 8 :  Nature– 

 

“Throughout the day, identify ways in which nature achieves its balance. As your understanding of this increases, so will your appreciation for it. By bedtime, complete a tangible act of appreciation for nature that grew from your increased understanding”.

 

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Nature has her own rhythm and timing…that’s how she stays balanced. She won’t be pushed to reveal herself before the time is right.

 

Creative Deed 9 : Compassion Mandala

 

“Create  a mandala with your materials of your choice expressing what compassion means to you.”

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CREATIVE DEED 10: COMPASSION STICKY NOTES

 

“Using Post-It notes create works of compassionate art and place them in public places for others to discover”.

 

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CREATIVE DEED 11: International Day of Peace Prayer Flags

“Today’s creative deed in celebration of International Day of Peace—–  with a square of fabric or paper (or series of squares) using markers, paint, or whatever material you choose, create a Peace Flag that you can display somewhere as a reminder to yourself, others in your work & life, or community about the power of peace, what it symbolizes to you and reflects the message of the Compassion Games “.

 

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change…one mandala at a time

Like Carl Jung, who famously documented his inner world with a series of mandalas, I have taken to drawing a daily mini mandala as a means of staying connected to myself and to express some of those emotions that can take up a lot of energy if not acknowledged and released.

The beauty of these pint sized circles is that they take only ten minutes – perfect if you are struggling with low energy, have limited materials, are feeling creatively blocked or are time poor. At the start of the week I will trace 7 circles into my visual journal so that the form is there to remind me each day...”fill me with your story”.

It’s surprising to see the variety of emotions and energy from day to day. This can help us to not get overly identified with one state, be it depression or anxiety, excitement or calm. If acknowledged and allowed to be, uncomfortable emotions will eventually release to be replaced with something else. 

Interestingly, art making can sometimes reveal bodily states that we are not yet conscious of.

For example in mandala 5 I was experiencing severe abdominal pain. I drew convoluted red intestines and noticed that a black dot appeared on one of them. I hadn’t put it there intentionally (it had leaked through the page from my previous mandala) but there was something compelling and slightly discomfiting about it. I wanted to erase it, but found that I couldn’t. It needed to be present in the image. Three days later I was in hospital with appendicitis. The scans they took of my abdomen revealed a black enlarged spot–my swollen appendix.

Mandala- circle-evolution-cycles-change-transformation!

Healing hospitals?

I spent some time in hospital last week with a case of appendicitis. Whilst I didn’t have to be operated on thankfully, I was virtually anchored there on a IV drip of antibiotics.

I had plenty of time to ponder the resilience of human beings, especially of the elderly with broken hips and legs, facing the immense task of learning to walk again in the twilight of their life. Life is always throwing up challenges and age isn’t a barrier.

Then there were the  nurses,  there when I went to sleep and still present when I awoke, continually cheerful whilst attending to the bodily needs of the ill at 2am , 3 am 4 am…

In this intense environment I saw the precariousness of life, tilting towards death and back again, and how it is the care that we have for each other, even of complete strangers, that makes it all somewhat tolerable and even courageous.

On day 2 I was released from the drip and took a walk outside in the fading light. Camera in hand I was like a child again, hungry for nature’s comfort and delights. It felt so good to reconnect with the natural elements after being in the hothouse of the hospital with curtained beds, grey walls and the constant stream of lights, buzzers, beepers.

It seems that hospitals reduce the human body down to it’s essential functions, the minutiae of vital signs and infections. But what about the wounded animal that is in us? How is that healed? We need the glimpse of green, the quiet of nature’s stillness, the fresh air of a sea breeze to remember who we are.

Sadly in the 21st century, hospitals are not places for recuperation and recovery, or  of healing in the broadest sense of the word. We need more art, more nature, more thought about what revives the human spirit during times of crisis and then create the environment with that at heart.