Monday, November 30, 2009

Valley Ridge Story

Valley Ridge Story

Learning Focusing to Help Free the Artist in You
Instructor: Karen Wallace

Do you want to learn how to:

* Be a better listener to yourself?
* Make clear choices?
* Be calm and compassionate to yourself?
* Support yourself through change?
* Feel relaxed and less stressful?

Focusing helps you learn how to be Present and listen to yourself so that you can move ahead in your life in an empowered and safe way. Focusing brings you closer to wholeness and allows you to access your inner wisdom. This helps you move in the direction of your potential. It can help you move beyond blocks and get in touch with your goals. Focusing is a gentle and powerful way to develop a deep interpersonal healing relationship with yourself.

Awareness of sensations in the body can be blocked through habits of dissociation and repression. This is because the sensation maybe uncomfortable or painful, and we are not trained to focus on this inner knowing and awareness of the body. Transformation of energy involves the acknowledgment, and information of the inner movement of sensation. This energy and awareness is essential to reconnect what has been fragmented by life stress, injury or trauma.

In this workshop we will work with:

* artist’s blocks
* money issues that we may have around our art
* time issues that we may have for our art making
* why we can’t get into the studio

This program begins the evening of Friday, September 10 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM, , and continues on Saturday and Sunday between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM

What is Focusing?
Focusing is “direct access to bodily knowing.” It is a practice that takes a person towards a state of conscious perception that goes far beyond knowing something on a mere conceptual level. As with Somatic Experiencing, Focusing refers to this bodily knowing as a felt sense. As the Focusing Institute’s website explains, “You can sense your living body directly under your thoughts and memories and under your familiar feelings." Focusing happens at a deeper level than your feelings. Under them you can discover a physically sensed murky zone which is concretely there. This is a source from which new steps emerge. This murky zone “opens” as you learn to stay with it longer. Being with it increases the ability to sense feelings behind words or images, even when those are not yet formed. Eventually, you can learn how to let a deeper bodily felt sense come in relation to any problem or situation. It is a subtle process, hard to define in words. Focusing was developed by the philosopher Eugene Gendlin in the late 1960s and early 70s, while he was working with the famed psychologist Carl Rogers.

You will learn the skills of and receive credit for Level One Focusing by taking this workshop. You can continue to take Level 2 to 4 with Karen or another Focusing Teacher after this workshop.

To Register:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


“All human actions have one or more of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion and desire.”Aristotle

What is motivating you today? 

Saturday, November 14, 2009


“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life:  It goes on. “
~ Robert Frost

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Empress Archetype

Images of creating hand casts in the Artful Archetypal Journey Group.

In my Archetypal Group we are exploring the Empress archetype. Empress energy is usually held in the womb, breasts and reproductive organs. When it is felt as a positive sense, then you can easily access your body sensations and intuit what you need in your life. When you are experiencing the Empress as a shadow energy, then you can feel negative about your body, experience a lack of psychical energy or have health issues. This can be the result of not listening to your body wisdom, not creating and playing, and not giving and receiving support. The lesson she is teaching you, is to develop your ability to express.
This archetype speaks to you when you are busy doing. She is present when you feel sensual and attractive, wanting to attract others, wanting to procreate, wanting to nurture self and others and when you work with your hands. She shows up at celebrations, weddings, parties and community events. You experience her wisdom when working in the garden, walking in the woods and being in nature. You hear and see her in animals. You experience her in the seasons and learn from her how to find a creative rhythm in your life. When you are pregnant you are very close to this archetype. You also feel her presence at the time of death. This archetype is also reflected in your relationship with your mother, how you see yourselves as mother and in your relationship with your daughters.

How do you experience this archetype in your life?

I'll tell you what love of this life is.
It's looking up
through trees newly bare of leaves
and seeing there the oldest road,
a broken line of white stars
stretching out across the sky.

It's thinking,
this could be enough.

~ Susan Elbe, from "Light Made From Nothing" ~

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Reflecting on moving in the opposite direction . . .

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.”
- E.F. Schumacker

Why do old, eroding, structures appear romantic to me? I love the way the materials are blending into each other, the slow process of becoming one with the earth and the wonderful mix of chaos and order that appears to be playing out. Perhaps it is the ‘move in the opposite direction’ that I love so much. Maybe I am attracted to the gentle movement of letting down and letting in.
My son Teiji and I had an art show in Harris Saskatchewan this weekend. As we drove there, we saw these buildings scattered across the landscape. He wondered aloud if it was a law that every farm had to have one disintegrating shed, lean-to, or barn in the field next to the road. I couldn’t help feeling that the structures had entered a phase of peace making with the earth. It looked to me as if the structures, which once stood up straight on the land they occupied, were now bowing to the land.

You cannot be nonviolent if there is any part of yourself that you are in opposition to.
-Cheri Huber


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