women’s circle

Welcoming the Light. Gathered in Wise Women Circle.

Welcoming the Light. Gathered in Wise Women Circle.

Last weekend I was putting the finishes touches on preparing for a Talking Sticks workshop which I held at my studio, Joyful Pause, this past Wednesday on the Winter Solstice.

The drum, loaned to me by my co-facilitator, Rachel, lay on the ottoman in my writing cottage with the Talking Stick on top which I’d created with Rachel a few weeks before.

Welcoming the Light. Gathered in Wise Women Circle.
My heart intention for 2017 is to focus on offering more workshops to provide moments of stillness, sacred wisdom and reflection for women . It’s something I’m feeling called to do, even when fear tries to take over.

When I saw the light cascading over the drum and my Talking Stick, well, I couldn’t help but feel this as confirmation. 

The early evening sky an hour before the workshop was glorious in it’s shades of pink, coral, and purple as only a winter sky can be. So much promise in that sky, I thought.

As six dear, wise, soulful women gathered in a circle for meditation and drumming, the light within my inner world ignited.

Afterwards, as each took a spot at a table with sticks, beads, string, stones, and totem jewels before them, I found myself in a meditative trance watching them, as if I was wrapped in a sacred cocoon.

As everyone worked on their Talking Sticks, I took a moment to place my stick, along with Rachel’s, on the altar and lit the candles. When I stood back to look, everything coming into full view with the backdrop of one of my tree Goddess paintings, and I suddenly felt very moved. 

Welcoming the Light. Gathered in Wise Women Circle.
It was then that I realized that within the darkness where the roots of a tree lie, there is also light that comes in from above, nourishing them. Just as it is for each of us when we pause in moments of reflection and open to it.

After journaling with our Talking Sticks, we gathered back in circle to talk about the experience. As each person held their Talking Stick it was a practice in our intention of speaking, while others practiced attention in listening…really listening.

For the closing ceremony we each laid our Talking Stick beside the drum in the center, paying tribute to silently witnessing each other where we were in the moment, and what we hope to move toward…each of us wanting to be a divine spark of light that contributes to this world in a healing way.

It was palpable and I was quite moved.

Closing with a Cherokee prayer I read, we then all mindfully began to shift our awareness to saying goodbye for the evening.

But not before taking a picture of the altar we had created as one with the spirit of each of us infused within it.

It was then I was struck again, seeing the altar through the lens of my camera, that I realized our altar with drum and Talking Sticks resembled the sun… a reminder that the light is always there. 

It is always there.

The world will be saved by the Western Woman. ~Dalai Lama

*The next Talking Sticks workshop will be on Saturday, March 4th. Time TBD (mid-morning). If you wish to be notified when registration opens, you can sign up here.

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Message from Hippo. Welcome Home to Who You Are.

Message from Hippo. Welcome Home to Who You Are.

For over three years I’ve been giving thought to forming a women’s circle, which I’m in the process of preparing for, and gearing up to do, in the new year. I’m also collaborating with another young woman to offer a workshop on a Native American tradition about Talking Sticks. It will be December 21st, on the Winter Solstice.

As I move into this new space in my life I’ve been asking for guidance from the deck of Animal Wisdom Tarot cards and also from my deck of SoulCollage(r) cards I’ve created the past two years.

My question is simple as I shuffle the animal cards and my SoulCollage(r) deck: Please provide guidance for me around facilitating workshops for women.

Shivers ran up down and my spine when Hippo is the card that has revealed itself on three separate occasions in the past seven days when I’ve posed my question and Hippos wise message of Welcome home to who you are. Each time I think of this message it just makes me so happy.

And the SoulCollage(r) cards I’ve been drawing which have not been the same, but they have revolved around what I feel are reminders to follow my heart and are about the lessons I’ve learned around keeping myself grounded, going within often, and trusting in my intuition.

The first time I posed my question for guidance around doing workshops, the SoulCollage(r) card that came up was one of my spirit animals – the animal that came to me during a guided meditation in 2014 – Wolf.  The message I received at that time was to continue to open my heart and follow the fire within.

The other two cards that surfaced during two different occasions are reminders for me that no matter what I may do going forward, it is important to take time each day to refill my own well with time for reflection and meditation in some form.

And so it is. And I’m recalling when I decided to write my first children’s book – how I had feelings of fear and excitement all at the same time – and not sure where it would take me. And how I went on to write another children’s book and now two memoirs. I can’t say as I ever saw that coming or really ever planned it – but followed what felt right.  And oh, what a journey it has been!

And in many ways, I feel like it has led me to where I am today – venturing into somewhat new territory as I give thought to doing more workshops in my studio, Joyful Pause. I don’t know how it will all unfold, but trusting that if it is meant to be, I will continue to be guided.

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Goddess Paintings Now Grace My Studio. They Have Much Wisdom to Share.

Goddess Paintings Now Grace My Studio. They Have Much Wisdom to Share.
artwork by: Barbara Techel

I did it. I painted three large paintings (24 x 48). I kind of can’t believe it.

I always said I couldn’t paint. But then one said wonderful artist, who I also happen to call Mom, inspired and encouraged me to give it a try.

The day spent with my mom a few months ago learning how to do what she calls “paper towel” painting is a memory that fills my soul with love and joy.

“Paper towel” painting is mixing acrylic paints together and then dabbing a scrunched up paper towel into the mixed colors and dabbing it onto the canvas. The ground, middle, and sky portion of each of these paintings is this technique.

I was inspired to do these tree Goddess paintings after seeing another painting that incorporated this idea.

My Joyful Pause Studio where I teach SoulCollage(r) workshops and where I happened to have a very long wall I needed something for was where I knew I wanted my Goddesses to reside.

It’s a space where I want to continue to welcome women to take time for themselves, tune into their own inner wisdom, create, and discover new things about themselves that I hope will help them to live a more meaningful and joyful life.

I felt a wave of emotion surge through me when I hung the last Goddess painting on the wall yesterday afternoon.

It took me some time to complete these paintings and at times I was frustrated. But it also made me think about this new place I’m at in my life which has been something I’ve envisioned for a long time.

Just like times I was frustrated thinking I didn’t know where I was headed, but could sense a new path wanting to emerge, I knew I had to have patience and trust in the process.

Just like doing the paintings. And just like SoulCollage(r) teaches – trusting in our own process-moving to the rhythms of our own inner soul whispers is what I believe we are all being called to do.

I also find myself fighting the urge to say my paintings are not perfect, they could be better — that I am not an artist in this sense.

But I know these are conditions I’ve been taught to believe about myself. And I know they are not true even though I must fight the urge to think so.

I am not perfect, nor do I want to be. I want to continue to grow and learn. I am an artist. I am a Goddess.

A Goddess who wants to continue to stand in her feminine, artistic, womanly wisdom and open her arms to other women seeking to embrace the power of their inner Goddess.

And together we will form a circle of love, joy and peace that will radiate out into the universe and set the planet aglow.

Now didn’t I tell you? These Goddess have much wisdom to share. I, for one, plan to keep paying attention.

If you’d like to learn more about my workshops, I have a special page set up on my website for information. You can learn more here.

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