Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wisdom Circles

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes." 
~ Michael Proust

We're very quickly approaching the end of 2011. I could talk for hours about what this year has meant to me, but what's more interesting is what it has meant to you.  It's in the last few days of the waning year that we usually cast our minds back to the year gone by, but my mind is already focused forward to 2012, and the endless possibilities and opportunities that lie on the horizon for me.

One of the programs I'm doing next year is Effy Wild's "Book of Days".  It's a year long adventure in journal art and memory keeping, and what's more is it's free. To begin this program, everyone is encouraged to choose a word for the coming year.  One that is relevant to them, and will help guide their art journaling journey throughout 2012.  The word I have chosen is "DESIRE".  It is also the foundation for my portion of the upcoming "21 Secrets" workshop.

Through adversity and euphoria I have learnt two very important things: life always gives you what you want; and, life never gives you what you expect. I've found that understanding and articulating my desires, then opening myself to life's offering, regardless, is the key to happiness. If I look around, I have everything my heart desires, I mean truly desires.  All I have to do is look with new eyes. 

Can you imagine how happy we would all be if we could recapture that exceptional wonder we experience when we see something for the first first time? First time experiences often fuel desire, and desire shapes our decisions. Through desire, our actions become cemented in ambition. But the question is, are our desires rooted in authenticity? Do they drive us in the right direction? 

Desire has two faces; the mean, selfish face of craving, impulsiveness, addiction & power mongering; and the kinder face of self-determination and self-responsibility.  In her book, "Women & Desire", Polly Young-Eisendrath explores the compulsion that our need to be desired, and therefore desirable, undermines our self-esteem.  Have we learnt to skillfully hide the meaner face of desire, even from ourselves?

At the very essence of what is means to be human is 'freedom'.  The freedom to change our course, alter our perspectives, and grow in a different direction.  But this change can only effectively be realized when we know and recognize our own desires.  We need to cast new eyes over our intentions, and open our hearts to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, some of our intentions are grounded in the meaner face of desire, rather than the kinder.

In my portion of the "21 Secrets" program through Dirty Footprints Studio, I will explore the concept of "Desire", and through story telling and visualization I will encourage you to cast light on your desires and see them with new eyes. 

Finding ways to express our desires, to gently acknowledge both sides of the 'desire' face is integral to our ongoing growth and pursuit of an authentic life. It is through art journaling, and the creation of mandalas, that we will give form to our desires. The patterns found in mandalas can help us describe the very nature of desire, while the circle itself helps us contemplate the core of our own reality, and what is at the 'true center' of our desire.

"21 Secrets" is an online self guided workshop where 21 talented, inspiring artists each share their art journaling secrets. Each class comes in a downloadable pdf, with video and personal feedback.  It goes on sale next week. But what is so amazing about this course is that it is only $59, which includes all 21 workshops. I am so excited to be a part of it, and I will be giving away a place on this course to one you. Click here to learn more about "21 Secrets" and stay tuned for this wonderful giveaway in the weeks to come.  

Thanks for checking in.  xx

(All the pictures in this post are from "The Mandala Book" by Lori Bailey Cunningham. For picture credits please see page 308 of this book.)