Art. Photography. Gratitude. Life.



Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Interview

I had the loveliest experience recently.  The very sweet and bubbly local reporter, Emily, paid me a visit.  We sat on our deck overlooking the wheat crop, which was just starting to get the faintest shades of yellow on its way to gold.  I do love watching the progression of a crop.  From fallow land, to neat little rows of tilled soil, to the seedlings slowly pushing their heads out of the dirt to greet the sun, and then with the added blessing of water from the heavens, they just burst forth, literally growing in front of our eyes daily........  but I digress, happens so easily for me.......

I do find that taking the time to observe the passage of growth of a crop on our farm, is a great way to stay grounded in the Present and to focus on being Grateful.  And focusing and bringing more Gratitude into our lives through the act of Mindfulness is very much a part of the reason Emily came to be sitting on my deck.

I am teaching a class called "Gratitude through the Lens"  within a wonderful offering of 10 classes called "Genuine You" and Emily came to find out about the class and the story behind how this class came about.

Emily and I chatted for ages on the deck, and as above, I digressed and chatted about all sorts of things about my "Art Journey" and showed her the Oracle Cards project I contributed to called
 "Awakening to Your Devine Self".  I also dragged out some of my paintings to show her.  I was having a merry-old-time. and could of chatted endlessly about how I find that ART HEALS and my passion for sharing this with the world. 

And here is a little taste about my class...............

Gratitude through the Lens
Come and explore ways of expressing your Gratitude for all that is good in your life through fun and fun photography. Take an fresh look at your life and connect with all that you have to be Grateful for, the BIG things and the small things that are so easy to overlook in our crazy, busy lives.

Class excerpt:
Relationships can be the source of our greatest Joy and our greatest pain. Family and friends are important in our lives ,as Human Beings , we are social by nature. The more we are grateful for the people and how they enhance our lives and for the qualities we appreciate in them the more positive our relationships will be.
Each day for a week reflect in your JOURNAL why & what you are grateful for in one or more of the following:

So if you feel you may gain something from joining me in this class and the 9 other classes on offer  (you get all 10 classes for the one sweet little price), please follow the link on the side of my blog to register and come and join us for a year of FUN and SELF-DISCOVERY.

Just follow the link and come join in the fun!

The classes in Genuine You are taught by caring and talented teachers who are available to answer your questions. Join us! Find out more: Genuine You 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Genuine You Teacher Spotlight: Lisa Dieken

I am very honoured to have been invited to teach in Genuine You by the talented Lisa Dieken. Today I'd like to shine the Spotlight on Lisa and share a little about her and her class in Genuine You.

Nature: Cultivating Your Inherent Link

Lisa Dieken is dedicated to helping others become their Divine Self and live their divine blueprint. She offers online classes on communicating with your spirit guides for raising your consciousness and becoming your Divine Self. Lisa also offers written assistance, one-on-one telephone healing sessions and wisdom sessions, a Business Mentorship, a Personal Growth Mentorship and additional online classes.

Divine Self
From the book “Partnering with Spirit”
Your Divine Self is your authentic self. You can think of your Divine Self as your higher self together with your unique inherent human characteristics in their best expression.
Another way to think of your Divine Self is as a specific group of your spirit guides. These spirit guides have high consciousness. Some of their abilities and characteristics are what we think of as human abilities and characteristics. The abilities are those like being a healer and being a teacher. The characteristics are characteristics such as having inner strength and gentleness. Not all of the abilities and characteristics of your spirit guides who are your Divine Self are your abilities and characteristics. When you have become your Divine Self you have the abilities and characteristics of the spirit guides who are your Divine Self in a way that is authentic to you. When you become your Divine Self, it feels like you at your very best.
In her book A Mythic Life, Jean Houston shares what the archetype Athena has told her. Houston mentions that Athena has been important to her throughout her life. Because archetypes can be spirit guides, she is describing becoming your Divine Self.
Houston writes that Athena shared the following:
“You must try and devote days to staying with your archetype almost continually, days in which you have a fair amount of freedom to do this. This kind of time builds up the connections between us. As you grow the relationship to your archetype, the archetype dwells more and more within you. Then we can be bridged into your world, rendered diaphanous to your world, and you to ours. It becomes a healing exchange, with the archetype holding the higher “pattern” of “you” that can come through-not just for the healing of you but for the “wholing” of you and the deepening of the world.”
You are already your Divine Self. You just need to release all that is in the way of it. What isn't your Divine Self are the fears, beliefs, habits and so on of heavy leaded consciousness. Heavy leaded consciousness is what is commonly referred to as the ego. As you release this heavy leaded consciousness, your consciousness continues to raise into light consciousness. When all that is heavy has been released, your Divine Self is fully revealed.
Your Divine Self has a quiet mind. Your Divine Self is at peace. Your Divine Self is grounded. Your Divine Self includes your unique inherent human characteristics in their best expression. Your Divine Self is your highest potential.
By becoming your Divine Self you manifest your divine blueprint: carry out your life purpose and manifest your dreams.

The classes in Genuine You are taught by caring and talented teachers who are available to answer your questions.

Join us!

Find out more: Genuine You

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Lesons in Compassion

Once a month I told myself,
that's not too much to expect,
I thought I had November and December all sewn up,
2 guest posts that I could do flash links and 'button-thingies' for,
show off my new techie skills...........

"Seeds of Change"
I managed a couple of blog posts and then hit the wall.
Seems droughts don't just hit this "Wide Brown Land" that I live in,
they hit my "Big Blogging Plans" too.

                                "Bwhhhaaaa" roared my Inner Critic/Gremlin, Mr Gibblewort!
I had so many issues trying to do a button in the side bar for the Genuine You class post recently,
that Gibblewort had a fine ole time in my head.
It took a lot of guts to let go of the Perfectionist whom lives inside of me,
pull up my Big-Girl-Undies that I learnt all about in another course,
(save this for another day)
and finally decide to press the dreaded publish button after my self-imposed deadline,
with the linking buttons not working!!!
Oh, MY Gibblewort did his "you failed" happy jig all around me
 as I sat dejected as my self-imposed deadline ticked over....
I went through the typical litany of  "what was I thinking?"
"how could I expect to learn all of these blogging tricks so quickly?"
"You are letting down your readers..........."
yadda yadda yadda..............

You get the general idea.
But I am so proud of myself.
After a bit of self-reflection,
I put things into perspective,
as I say to my kids, "Have you broken any bones?  Did anyone die? No? Well...............?"
Yes, Melissa, take a sip of your own medicine, WELL??????????
See, the world didn't end because I missed a self-imposed deadline.
Who knew about this but me?
(and now you)
Just Me, my most harshest critic.
I think we all run the same hamster wheel.
We put unrealistic expectations on ourselves,
all self-imposed.
And when "life" gets in the way,
 we come down on ourselves like a tonne of bricks,
flailing the cat-of-nine-tails around like our back is made of rock, not flesh.

 We eagerly show Love and Compassion in truck-loads for our family,
our friends,
our pets, 
even total strangers whom we watch on the news,
 but will never meet.
But, do we show similar depths of compassion for the most important person in our lives?
Our Self?
Each time life presents a challenge, no matter how big or small,
no matter how life altering, or just moment altering,
we can choose.
I can choose.
Do I stop?
Do I take a DEEP BREATH?
Do I take a moment to reflect?
To be mindful?
To soften?
To be Me?
This is one of the lessons life keeps presenting to me over and over again,
I must need extra time to learn this one.
But each time I face this lesson,
and remember............
Remember to be kind,
to be gentle,
to be loving,
to be compassionate with my Self.

Each time I re-learn, I don't just run around and around in that same hamster wheel.
I move a little forward on the spiral-like journey of learning.
I move a little closer to showing Compassion for myself more often.
I move a little closer to showing Love.


Saturday, 23 August 2014

Genuine You ~ Pssst......I'm teaching here.

Psst......................can you keep a secret?
I've been longing to teach on-line for a few years now.
Ever since taking my first on-line art course
with Connie of Dirty Footprints Studio
several years ago.
"She-Tree" painted during DEEP class with Connie.
So what has taken me so long? You ask.
I have all of the skills, after-all I'm a secondary art teacher by trade,
I have a computer,
I have inter-net access (even if it is a tad limited).
I have a passion for sharing art.
I have a passion for helping people.
I have a passion around healing of mind, body and soul...........
"Fiery Opening" journal page
So what has taken me so long?
in two words :  "My Gremlin".
(You can read about him in the above link,)
but you know him,
he's inside us all,
having an uninvited party in our heads,
stamping on the desires of our heart.
That undermining voice who puts every obstacle in our way,
convinces us not to try,
 after-all who wants to fail?
"Silver Lining of a short time on the beach...."
photo credit Melissa Dowling
Do you have a 'burning desire"?
something you've always wanted to do?
or a quiet 'whisper'?
 something you have a secret longing for?
or a persistent niggling?
 something new you've discovered you love but are afraid to pursue?
photo credit Melissa Dowling

For me this desire was on the back-burner,
simmering away,
waiting for the right opportunity,
the right vehicle.....
sent me an email re-enquiring if I wanted to teach in her latest offering.
I had no idea to what she referred,
her first email had disappeared into cyber-space.
"Elements and Grandmother Moon" painted during Primal Power class with Lisa
My heart skipped a beat,
a longing was being answered.
You see we'd had a conversation about me teaching on-line years earlier
and I gave her every excuse under the sun as to why I couldn't.
Everything from lack of time,
lack of inter-net access,
lack of technical knowledge,
too busy with my family commitments,
too much going on with our farm and drought,
and, and, and...........
you get the picture!
photo credit Melissa Dowling

photo credit Melissa Dowling
What has changed you ask?
Well I am still time-poor, and maybe even more so now,
as I now have a health and wellness business I run from home
and it also involves a lot of travel.
We do have a few more 'gigs' a month download,
but we still can max it out before the end of the month.
My html knowledge still is at the kindy level!
My family commitments haven't lessened. 
 I still have a hubby and 3 busy kids
and play 'mum's taxi'
and my eldest still is 'differently-abled'.
We still have a farm
and in the ensuing years we've had 3 massive floods and more drought.
So what has changed?
Taking the step to sell my paintings

To para-phrase the famous quotes:
 "if you want something different in life, you've got to do something different",
and "in order for things to change, you have to change".
Through my health and wellness business
I have been fortunate enough to undertake some amazing personal development,
 combine that with all I have learnt from the value of doing something
every single day and the wisdom of tapping into
Creative Source
"Seeds of Change"
You LOOK at yourself one day, and I mean really LOOK 
and realise you have changed.
And you ARE taking steps towards fulfilling your dreams.
You DO have the courage to take the risks.
You ARE happy to fail forward.
You DO realise you have gifts to share with the world.
You DO realise that
 can benefit from what only you have to say or share.
"Release the Fear"
 So even though I'm still busy as.....
And even though I still have another 5 or more plates in the air............
And even though I still have other really BIG GOALS I am working on.
And even though I still have the "Gremlin" muttering in the background of my mind.
I have planted my feet firmly in the ground,
and I have reached inside, to my heart space
(with the gentle guidance of Lisa)
to see what it is that I can offer to the world.
And so, Gratitude through the Lens was birthed.

photo credit Melissa Dowling
So I invite you to come on a journey with me.
A journey of seeing "Silver Linings" in your daily grind.
A journey of Gratitude.
A journey of quiet Courage.
A journey of careful Observation.
A journey of Mindful Reflection.
A journey of Fun and Exploration.
A journey of Creativity.
A journey with your Camera.

photo credit Melissa Dowling
I'd be humbled to have you join us.

You can take a look at my fellow 9 amazing Genuine You teachers
and you can read about their 9 amazing Genuine You classes
that all come together as one course, Genuine You.
Pop over to Wild Creative Heart
and join us on a different path.

photo credit Melissa Dowling

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Heart of my land.....

It is an unpredictable land in which we live.
In primary school we had to learn a poem off-by-heart,
I chose "My Country" by Dorothy MacKellar.
the words of that poem rang so true to me as a 12 year old,
and even truer now, to me, as a woman.
True not just on the pages from which they are read,
but TRUE to the heart and core of living in this land.

We have blistering heat,
long hot days where the sun sears
turning green to brown,
drying up the last of the muddy puddles in the billabongs,
forcing all living creatures to seek shade,
leaving the earth cracking open, bone dry,
and one wondering......
while looking to the sky, burnt a pale blue by the sun,
if it shall ever rain again.

Just when you are hand feeding the cattle,
and giving up on a summer crop,
down she comes.
Ahhh blessed rain.....
As you give thanks,
the words of gratitude barely leave your lips
and the words of that poem haunt the corridors of your mind:
"A land of droughts and flooding rains".
And so comes the rain,
and so comes the flooding waters.
All in their fierce path all is washed away.
Loved Ones.
In the still of the moonless night,
 as the flood waters rise.
There isn't the sound of a single living creature.
No night time serenade of crickets and cicadas
No chorus of frogs and toads
Just the bone-chilling roar of swift water.
Our small creek that is dry most of the year
and meanders lazily through the farming flats of our valley
becomes a ferocious beast
roaring across the landscape
scouring with its claws
gnashing with its teeth
taking all in its path
like an angry beast on a wild chase
hungry to reach the ocean.

Our little creek travels miles and miles before it joins a river.
As it makes it's way
it is joined in its ruthless march by unrecognisable rivulets, streams and gullies.
Each new recruit swelling its ranks...
swelling its capacity,
swelling its volume,
swelling its banks,
swelling its force.
One is left speechless...
Strangely, ironically,
with such savagery also comes strange beauty,

We choose to live in this land.
We choose to live on the land.
We choose to make our living from this land.
We choose to be part of this of this land.
We choose for this land to part of us.
This ancient land of great contrasts.
This land that seeps into your bones
and takes you from breathtaking to breathless
all in one day.