Haiki-Inspired Art

Japanese bookbinding is a beautiful technique & one that I enjoyed using to make this little golden sketchbook with the bright red thread.

The special little book that inspired a new way to express my creativity.

It took a few months but I finally decided to try something totally new… Haiku-inspired poetry & calligraphic line drawings.  It challenged me to keep the work simple, focusing on the essence of my subjects.  I enjoyed this project, stretching myself as an artist.

My dancing zinnias-

Every day

a garden party.

Spider plant’s job?

Easy gig.

Sit there & look pretty.

Poised on my finger,

Free from his cage,

Eddie considers his options.

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Sacred Space

The best wisdom is so simple.  I shake my head & wonder, “Why didn’t I already know this?”  Maybe on some level, I did but just forgot.

Guided meditations often start with phrases like, “You are in a peaceful place in nature” or “Picture yourself in a warm, cozy room where you feel safe & loved.”  They are great ways to help us sink into a space that is calm so we can do the work required of us to become more balanced, serene, & relaxed.

At some point, I found that I needed more.  When I was open & ready to receive, what I needed came to me.  It was the realization that while there are sacred places in the world, the most sacred space is inside of me.  That’s the place I need to honor & protect.  Seeing my Self as sacred is very empowering.  It helps me reject negativity that wants to enter my space.  I symbolically put a hand out in front of me & say, “Do not enter.”  Sure, I still feel anger, frustration, sadness, & fear but I don’t become those emotions.  I cannot control my surroundings, other people, or events; however, I can control how I let them affect me.

Before you roll your eyes & say, “Yeah, that sounds good but it’s just not that easy”, let me say, “You’re right.  It’s not.”  That’s why it’s called a spiritual PRACTICE.  I’m going to have to practice this every day, sometimes being more successful than others.  When I slip & fall on my path, I’ll try to be more loving & forgive my Self.  It’s not easy.  In fact, sometimes it feels like someone is out there, deliberately putting challenges in my path to test me.  That’s ok.  I’ll do the best I can.  My peace & sense of well-being are worth the effort.

I AM SACRED…. and so are YOU.

 

Reiki- Balance, Harmony, & Healing

Everything is made of energy… finally, something spiritual people & scientists can agree on!!  You, me, the maple tree in my backyard, rivers, animals,… all energy & all connected.  The potential for balance, harmony, & healing is immense.  That’s what I love about Reiki.  It’s universal life-force energy, flowing through everything & everyone.

As my Reiki practice grows, I find that it helps my clients physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually because the energy flows where it’s needed most.  I don’t use the term “healer” to describe myself because I’m a hollow reed, a vessel, for the energy that flows to the person or animal I’m helping.  It’s not my energy that heals; it’s the energy available to all of us with proper training & heightened awareness.  It’s very exciting that the Western medical profession, from doctors to insurance companies, is publicly acknowledging the benefits of energy work.

Every session is unique, allowing me to use a variety of sources, including Usui Reiki, to help my clients.  The work I do falls into three general categories– hands-on, animal Reiki, & distant healing.

Hands-on work means an adult or child comes to me in person for reasons including but not limited to– past trauma, illness or recent surgery, stress or anxiety, and self-awareness to identify a drop in energy or a feeling of disconnectedness.

Animal Reiki is performed for pets who’ve experienced neglect or abuse, anxiety, illness, & even aging issues.  The flow of positive energy & love to the animal can relieve negativity, increase a sense of well-being, & lessen pain & suffering.

Distant healing benefits the client just as hands-on work can do & helps those who cannot see me in person for whatever reason.  The only difference is that it requires more of a time commitment from both me & my client to communicate via phone before & after the service is provided.  The results can be just as powerful.

I’ll explain more in future blogs but wanted to send out this general information because so many people ask, “What it is energy work?” and “How can it help me?”  Websites & books have more background information so my blog posts will focus on my personal experience & what kinds of results I’m seeing in my practice.

Proud to be an “Outsider”

When I was in high school, there was the “in crowd” & “the outsiders”.  Because I moved every year and a half to two years due to my father’s military career (even moving November of my senior year to graduate with strangers), I was generally the “outsider”… the new kid, the outcast, the one “not from here”, wherever “here” happened to be this time.  It’s a label people put on other people to make us deliberately feel bad about about who we are.  Not anymore!

I’ve reclaimed “outsider” & given it a whole new meaning, thanks in part to an inspirational discussion I had with a new friend a few weeks ago.  You see, she’s an “outsider”, too.  The way we’re defining it, outsiders are those of us who love being outside.  Nature lovers.  Tree huggers.  Environmentalists.  Organic gardeners.  Environmental activists.  Anyone who feels balance & serenity by being outside.  Anyone who centers themselves by being still & listening to the wind in the trees or the cicadas calling to each other.  Anyone who looks forward to snow, sun, & rain in equal measure.  Anyone who answers the question, “What’s your favorite animal?” with the statement, “I love them all.”

So here’s to us, the OUTSIDERS, the ones who know the interconnectedness of all things.  The ones who’d rather be “out” than “in”.

Let the Sun Shine In

Let the Sun Shine In — a celebration of creative energy on a 12-inch square canvas!  It’s been a few weeks since I returned from my retreat at the Omega Institute yet only now am I beginning to communicate that experience visually in my artwork.  The image of the sun seems the perfect symbol for this exciting new phase in my life.
Let the Sun Shine In

As you can see from a page in my sketchbook, I knew the composition almost immediately but had a “traditional” (i.e. boring) color scheme in mind.  When I started rummaging through my fabrics, paints, & beads, the vibrancy of the materials inspired a new direction with a bolder color palette.  I released my preconception of what the piece “should be” & allowed myself to go forward with a greater sense of freedom & pleasure in the process.

A page from my sketchpad.

I made the multicolored rays using bits of fabric but intentionally saved the more ornate beadwork for the core of the sun, the source of the energy.

The sun has been a source of inspiration for cultures since the beginning of time, symbolizing creation, energy, & transformation.  We, like the sun, carry that positive energy inside of us &  it’s up to us to shine our unique light into the world.  Namaste!

Check out the art I have for sale at www.etsy.com/shop/PureSusan

Wonder Woman & Superman

When I was younger, I wanted to be Wonder Woman.  Lynda Carter starred in the hit TV show that got my imagination soaring right along with her in the invisible plane!  I made a golden lasso out of my jump rope, bullet-repelling bracelets out of cardboard & tinfoil, & an invisible plane out of… well, nothing,… it was invisible 🙂  I fought the forces of evil– feeling strong, brave, & powerful.

Wonder Woman played by Lynda Carter. Thanks to wonder-woman.wikia.com for the photo.

It takes the qualities of Wonder Woman & Superman to break old patterns & have the courage to create a new reality based on love, light, & all things positive.  When I blogged about being “Cracked Wide Open”, I realized it’s going to take the superhero in me to continue the growth from that experience, standing up for what I believe is right.

Isn’t it an amusing image… you & I walking around like so many mild-mannered Clark Kents & Dianna Princes, until we must summon our super-power & stand up for the environment, those whose voice isn’t being heard, truth, love, peace, equality, religious freedom, etc…?  We throw off our glasses… women twirling magically, revealing their red & gold bustier & knee-high boots while men are running into phone booths, coming out in flowing capes, ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound!  There aren’t very many phone booths anymore so you guys have to get creative.

No one would suspect that mild-mannered Dianna Prince is really Wonder Woman. Thanks to superseventies.tumblr.com for the photo.

We can be active agents of change in our lives if we empower ourselves.  Stop letting negative people, fear, or doubt limit you!  It’s time for the shift in energy that many of us are feeling to become permanent.  Forget the inner critic & inner victim you’ve heard so much about.  I’m telling you that there is a superhero inside of you just waiting to come out!!

Cracked Wide Open

A few times in our lives, we experience events that are meant to change us in profound ways if we let them.  We can rise to the challenge & soar to new heights or let fear, doubt, & insecurity stunt our growth.  In mid-July, I had such an experience at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, where  I attended Llyn Robert’s Shamanic Reiki workshop.  It’s no exaggeration to say that it “cracked me wide open” & I haven’t been the same since.

First, some background information about Reiki, Shamanism, & how the two intertwine.  As Llyn describes in “Shamanic Reiki: Expanded Ways of Working With Universal Life Force Energy” that she co-wrote with Robert Levy, Reiki means “becoming a channel to allow the universal energy to pass through so it can be received by another.”  Shamanism, she writes, “teaches that nature can balance & revitalize & shift consciousness; it opens us to invisible & intrinsic energies that most of us are unaware of.”  As Shamanic Reiki healers, we “accept our unique relationship to the greater energies of the universe” with the ultimate goal being the empowerment of our clients as agents of change in their own lives.  Fabulous book & phenomenal workshop led by an amazing woman who studies with shamans & energy workers around the world!

So where does that leave me after such a life-altering experience?  I’m not quite sure yet.  Like a climber on Mt. Everest, I’m pacing myself & getting used to the change in the “atmosphere” & the deeper change in me before moving forward.  I’ve been empowered & accept (with excitement & anticipation) the responsibility of making changes that are for the highest & greatest good of myself & those I love.