Hello Companions to Animals!

 

When I am painting, I am in a clear state of living in present moment, much the way animals live. When I am painting your animal companion’s portrait I feel that state of being amplified. When I begin to judge good or bad about an image I am painting, I know I am working too hard, focusing on outcome or any other distraction from experiencing the present moment and I

stop.......breathe........refocus.

As long as I stay present with what I am seeing and painting, an image will hold within it an entity that is created by my relationship during the drawing and painting of a portrait. That entity is a combination of the love I am feeling and the spirit of the animal I am painting. Getting stuck, frustrated or ego-inflated become guideposts to let me step back and refocus into present moment.

Then the flow happens.

I love this relationship I have with my creative self! It is inspired by the animals I paint. When I read their body language or look into their eyes, I light up inside! My world is joy in the studio.

I am not as skillful in the outer world with people. I do the best I can. Often shyness, insecurities and sometimes fear block the joy of present moment experience. Having an animal companion, I find, is the best medicine to establishing that joyful existence.

Second best is surrounding myself with their images.

For more about receiving your animal’s portrait, go to Portraits in the menu.

Come visit me Sunday, April 18 at Rasta Ranch Vineyards, Hector, NY (our first Sip and Shop of the year!) and have a conversation with me about painting your pet’s portrait.

Love and Peace, Lisa

PS. Stay tuned! Next week I'll be sending out the continuing seasonal story of Horse!




Greetings Winter Cave Dwellers and Anticipators of Spring,

Wasn’t February challenging? It brought me to my knees in so many ways. Within the cave, I felt death: a deepening into the dormant land and a shattering of civilized stories. I am now feeling a quickening, a birthing coming, as weather warms and snow melts. It’s a liminal place of anticipation of what will come. What has died in you that has made space for new stories? What new story are you cultivating?

She travels deeper within the Mother Cave. The tension of the walls close around her, propel her through the blackest dark. She feels held and protected. There is cold. There is snow. She feels it’s chilling touch, soft against her skin. She hears Water before she see Her. Water calls to her, invites her.

She lays her body down in Water’s iciness. The flowing, trickling whispers between the rocks soothe her mind and carry away all worries. She is still and yet she is not. The perimeter of her body tingles and spasms as the water caresses her. Water washes around and over her. Slowly, her mind stills. Her thoughts are like ether and dissolve into the crusty ice that forms on the tendrils that was her hair. She is entering the ether. Her fingers slow in motion and still, forever reach, forever bounce in the undulations around her. The icy stillness slowly creeps in and consumes her skin. Her fingers and toes break away. She leaves them behind. Her arms and legs have become splinters of ice. The bones that once held her body together shatter in the cold. Lifeblood thickens and breaks apart. Her heart quiets. The fires in her belly slowly turn to black coals and dust. Water claims her completely and she surrenders into Her embrace of icy darkness. Water carries her and directs all her pieces between and over the rocks. The force of the water carries the million shards of ice that once was her, and she is no more a body; she is the icy waters. Her thoughts are the undulations over and around rocks; whispers that carry memory of an old story. Her icy shards collect around the edges, mixing with other shards. She is not separate. She is all that is, all that was and all that will become.

We are nearing the end of Winter’s embrace. We are not finished with the journey. We are still dreaming even as we feel the quickening to bloom. To assemble the pieces too quickly may bring setbacks or loss, for the frosts are not done. We are anticipating waking up and what new life that will bring. And we are still within the dream even as we feel the approach of Spring Equinox, that point of time in balance with light and dark, day and night. I am feeling the gentleness and the tension of that energy approaching as the snow slowly melts.

When we were called into Winter’s Cave, She invited us deep within the Land and into our soul. We chose or we didn’t choose. Sometimes we step into Her. Sometimes we are propelled. Whatever the circumstances, the cycle carried us and we were asked to surrender to the dark journey and crawl through the labyrinth. Along the way elementals, animals, plants — the inhabitants who embody the wisdom of the land — became our allies and teachers. We remembered our wild senses that have lived within our bellies for eons. True sight has been born: a perception born from the Land, from the Well, the Otherworld, the Wildworld. We lost our “civilized” self in Her embrace and returned to our true Wild Self. We willingly laid ourselves down and allowed Her to shatter us, to splitter our illusions of the Wasteland above.

Cycles. Each cycle expands into the next. Cycles of claiming. Cycles of un-knowing. Cycles of re-membering. Each time we listen deeply to the Land, we allow stories imposed on us to die, and we open to re-membering the wild stories: the whispers among trees, flitting sparkles in the air, the icy gurgling of a winter creek, the pungency of ripe earth, the comfort of green moss between the legs and the howls of many wild voices. This is the home we carry in our bellies, the home we are re-membering as we allow the dis-membering of the illusion that once overwhelmed us.


And now, sit in circle within my cave and gaze into translucent waters with me, and vision. And I will share more of Horse’s story….

…..So, leaving behind the open prairie, leaving Badger to hunt his meal, Horse faces forward and enters the forest. It is dark in the forest. The canopy is both comforting and disarming as the leaves touch her ears and she feels the branches comb her mane. Horse steps cautiously, carefully along the soft path between the massive tree trunks. She had not ventured far and Oh! Horse halts suddenly. She spots a pair of soft eyes. Then a pair of very large ears. Doe steps out from behind a tree and, with curiosity, asks “What brings you into the forest, Horse?” Horse is startled, cautious. “Well, I am seeking a place to rest and heal after my horrible ordeal on the other side of the prairie.” Doe inspects this guarded creature. She lowers her head and paws the soft earth, watching Horse through raised lids. Doe replies, “Well, you have come to a safe place. And I can lead you to a meadow where you can rest. I know this forest well. Will you follow me?” Horse studies Doe. This lithe brown creature has spoken softly and maintained a safe distance. Horse ponders the offer as she arches her neck. “Well, since I am not familiar with forests and you seem to be a creature sure of this place, I will follow you to the meadow you speak of. I am weary and look forward to a good long rest.” Doe dips her head in response, turns and leaps down the trail. She stops for a moment, looking back to see if Horse is following. Horse steps cautiously sideways and tentatively dances down the trail, following, keeping Doe in sight.

After a while, they come to an opening in the trees that leads into a meadow of sweet grass. Doe leaps through the opening, across the meadow and disappears. Horse tiptoes into the center of the inviting meadow. The smells tickle her nostrils. The warm breeze soothes her skin. The gentle light relaxes her eyes. The soft melodies of forest birds mesmerize her. Slowly, her legs fold under her and she collapses among the grasses and flowers. She sinks into the soft earth. She lays her chin down on the soft ground. The grasses weave together over her. The land seems to rise and consume Horse as her eyelids droop and she welcomes sleep and surrenders to dreaming.

In the darkness, the chill air descends. The birds have stopped their melodies and retreated to warm homes. The grasses are brown and the flowers wilted. Crystalline sparkles float in the air and snow falls like cotton. The icy flakes collect in all the crevices and creases in the meadow. Slowly, the forest is blanketed with Snow’s cottony softness. You’d barely notice where Horse is snuggled. She has become absorbed into the landscape, a low white mound among other undulations in the meadow. And there Horse sleeps a deep sleep, an otherworldly dream sleep. She is still under the white blanket that embraces her and she feels no instinct to move. Dissolving into the comfort of the snowy meadow, Horse dreams of open expanses, of her encounters with Badger and Doe. She dreams of where she might become among the herd from which she was disconnected. She dreams under Winter’s blanket for a very long time that is also timeless.

And so, there she lay in Winter Dreaming, cozy under the snow blanket.

And so it is with Horse for now. My eyes grow weighted and my voice has diminished to a whisper. Let us all curl up together and close our eyes for awhile and sleep. When we wake, I will continue Horse’s story. Until then, dream of the possibilities of a new season……

Blessings from within the Forest, Lisa




Welcome, Winter Travelers, into the cave of the Mother.

We are at mid-Winter, named Imbolc by our land-aware ancestors. In our common culture, it is known as Groundhog Day. We are still deep within the cave, the dark night, the womb of the Mother. We have been dreaming, embracing shadows, dissolving into the soil of the earth, of our soul, planting seeds. We are still; we are conserving energy as we feed our inner fires. Outside, the sun has only just begun to rise higher in the sky affecting the light of day. We might feel stirrings beginning, shadows transforming into seeds, our doubts drifting and truths growing roots. We are tempted by these stirrings to crawl out of our caves. We are not ready. The dark is still our friend. When we crawl out too soon, seeds wither from lack of care and they will not bear fruit.

During this descent, safe within the cave of the Mother, I approach a deeply scarred and scared child-self. She lives and breathes deep in the shadows of the cave. She is fraught with fear. She holds every belief and experience of any possible harm that can come from outside and that had come from those whom it made sense to trust. She feels isolated, alone and separate. The grief she experiences comes in uncontrollable sobs that make language impossible. I wrap my body around her. I know there are no consoling words I can offer. I feel the warmth of my heart. My deep fires of love, passion and courage flame bright. As my fires expand beyond my body, I sense them encompassing and warming the coldness of isolation the child holds close. Gradually, without imposition, my warmth of love begins to melt the ice within her. The waters begin to flow freely. Slowly she is able to turn toward me, and as she faces me within embrace, she receives my comfort. We are floating in the warm, healing waters that once was the ice of separation.  

The cave, the womb, the Motherblood provides the sustenance we require — if we are willing to receive — so we may comfort the child of our fears. To think we are totally alone in the darkness will ruin us with despair. To feel the cave walls emanating love and protection, reminds us we are not completely alone even though we are solitary in our journey. She protects us as we do the quiet alchemical work of dreaming change, planting seeds, nurturing growth. We are reminded to have patience, embrace our innocence with love and trust our unfolding and create new stories.

And now, come sit with me for awhile within my wintry cave. Snuggle into the pillowy softness and warmth of my dark, underground sanctuary. Sit in circle with me while I tell you a story of Horse, Badger and Oak.

And so it begins on a clear day on the plain. The sky is open with blueness and the breeze is gentle. The expansive plain undulates as far as the eye can see. For a moment, there is only the soft sighing of the breeze over the sparse grasses that thrive on the hard, rocky earth. From far away, a ground beating sound approaches. The sound is rhythmic, like a drum keeping time with heartbeats. Louder and louder the approaching thundering becomes a moving form on the horizon. There! The blur of fast moving legs! The flowing flag of a tail! Yes! It is a wild pinto galloping across the plain! She is white with brown splotches. Her mane is a flickering flame of white, red and brown! Her tail extends beyond her rump leaving mirages of where she has been! But oh! Her neck and head are positioned backward! How does she see where she goes forward if her focus is behind her?! Her gait is strong, insistent. She does not stumble or bump into obstacles. She runs with wild abandon until she greets the forest edge and lingers to rest near a mighty Oak. Horse’s head still faces the vast plain and she is unaware of the depth of the forest.

It is at that moment Badger pokes his head out of his deep, underground earth below the Oak. Grumpily, he queries, “What is all that thundering and pounding that has interrupted my slumber?!” And sees the backward-facing pinto nearby. What a puzzling arrangement of anatomy! “Horse! Why is your head oriented in the direction of where you have been? Does that configuration create difficulties in moving forward? Please, share your story with me.”

So Horse begins “ Oh my! I was captured to be tamed and to be used as a beast of burden! Such a frightening experience! There were paws all over me, handling me in ways that felt so unnatural and constricting! I feared for my life! I reared up to get out of reach of the claws that would hold me and tore at the air around me! See the bleeding wounds I suffered! Finally, I was able to free myself and leap over the cage and run as fast as I could! I am amazed I had the energy and strength to escape! Of course, I needed to watch out for any predator pursuit, so my neck and head became fixed in this position for my own protection! I suppose, since the threat has passed, I no longer need to gaze behind me, but I seem stuck in this position! Can you help me?”

By this time, Badger had fully emerged from his tunnel that led to his underground earth and was listening to Horse’s story intently. He pondered Horse’s request for assistance. “Well, i have lived below this mighty Oak a good long while, and not as long as Oak has lived here. Oak has deep roots and tight dense grain that gives it strength.” Badger smoothed his fur over his head and put his eyes upon the roots of Oak. His gaze wandered up and around the trunk, into the branches. He smiled at the strength and beauty of the tree and saw it’s wisdom. Finally, he asked Horse, “I wonder, do you need to be so rigid as Oak? You are Horse after all! Your strength is to move with flexible agility and speed. It would benefit you to look forward instead of back from where you have come.” Horse agreed with this simple wisdom. Badger continued, “Can you not simply turn your neck and your head will follow, pointing you in the direction you are moving?” Horse liked this advice. She stretched her neck and felt the stiffness and tension. It became painful to coax joints and muscles to change position. She screamed out and reared up and, to her surprise, she saw the vast forest before her. She thought out loud, “This forest would provide me with refuge while my wounds heal and I regain my strength after such an awful ordeal.” “Yesyesyes. There is a stream for water, a meadow with sweet grass. Now will you leave me be! I am hungry and need to hunt for a meal! Gogogo.”, and Badger waddled away in search of a juicy meal. Horse called out, “Thank you, Badger, for your help! Maybe I will have a new story to give you when I emerge from the forest.” And Horse cautiously stepped her way between the trees and disappeared into the forest.

And so it is, a story of Horse, Badger and Oak. If I am sure to not pester or annoy Badger, he may collect and share Horse’s New Story when it is ready to be told. That is another day, another circle, another season.           

Thank you for joining me, for lending me your time and your ear. May we all become richer as we create and share our stories, and listen to ones told.

Blessings, from within the dark that is winter. In love and with peace, Lisa



My photo of my yard looking toward the field

 

Through the season of decent into darkness, we find the glimmer of light that brings transformation and healing. It is an alchemical process of transforming coal into gold.

I am coming out of a soul dive, a dark night of the soul, which, for me, extends over the lunar cycle around Winter Solstice. This happens every year for me. Some dives are deeper than others, but a descent all the same. Before I became aware of the value of my dive, I would become depressed. Since, I’ve learned that depression is a symptom of pushing away the darkness. And there is no pill that can cure that. I’ve noticed that sometimes the response from others, when I share that I am descending, is “Sorry”, or encouragement to be positive, happy. Being “happy” is contrary to a soul dive where I descend to poke around in the shadows and expose uncomfortable things. There is usually not happiness there, but a feeling of trepidation or fear of what unconscious part of myself, or my view of the world, I had not been able to access otherwise. A place to examine beliefs, childhood and ancestral myths, illusions. It is a journey within, a feminine venture. It is akin to a vision quest when one is deprived of food and sometimes water and left alone in a natural place to see whatever truth is ready to be revealed to the individual who is seeking answers, change, vision. A state of ecstasy may come with clear vision, but is not necessarily part of the descent process. The descent might involve facing demons and monsters.

Darkness is a concept some humans judge as “not good”, “to be avoided”, “negative energy”, devil, depression and bad. It is also a place of the feminine, entering the cave that is the womb of gestation. Within the human psyche, it is a place where our shadows reside, directing us from within the subconscious. Each year, the sun moves lower in the sky on a shorter arc. Days get shorter, the air gets colder. Animals seek shelter into long sleep. Trees and plants go dormant after shedding their flora. Within the soul, a decent into darkness is an alchemical process, part of a vast cycle of life.

As we step through the opening into darkness, the great dark maw beckoning to us to sink deep into its pillowy softness, we enter with trepidation. Who has the courage to face the illusion of demons that await? The demons that have attached themselves to our back. Those demons we have created into monsters through neglect. Will there be battle or simply turning to face them? Will they devour or reflect? Will we embrace them as an innocent child who carries the burdens of her ancestors, the regrets of an emerging adult, the mistakes of an imperfect human, moaning and sobbing together creating cleansing waters to remove the dams that block the flow of aliveness? This is some of the juiciness of life. When we shed our spark of light on the shadowy crevices, creating fires of life passion, coal turns to gold and we receive a renewed divine invitation to dissolve into all that is, the True spark of life.

We then crawl up into the opening filled by light, stretching our muscles as our eyes become accustomed to brightness. Like a babe being born, we return changed, transformed, strengthened on the inside. Then the process of integrating the wisdom shown to us begins again.

Some are called to this journey. Some are pushed into by circumstance. We are asked at times in our lives to seek, to look beyond the skin of our material lives. We make of it what we are able. Sometimes a seasonal visit, sometimes a momentary glimpse. Whatever timeline we give it, there is healing that happens.

An artist renews this process every time she faces the beginning of an original work. The desire to inspire emerges. This “shining the light on shadowy places”, alchemizing perceptions and truths into images of reflection, recorded as collective observation or personal statement. By channeling the beauty from this process, wounds get healed individually and, when shared, collectively.

I have read writings of contemporary mystics lately who say we are in a cultural, evolutionary descent into our collective shadowland. I believe the more willingness we bring to the descent, the less suffering we will experience collectively. Ignoring, denying, resisting, fighting may lengthen the process, may disrupt the healing we seek, that our existence needs. Will we ignore that we feel what the other feels?

I think we have it in us, as true humans, to join hands and assist each other in facing the demons that have been created individually and ancestrally; to cry the tears that will cleanse the wounds of toxins, so they may heal. We are able to compassionately embrace innocence where we plant seeds of renewed human being with all that exists. We will invite divinity by feeling love, gratitude, appreciation, empathy. And in our humble prayers, ask for grace, for forgiveness.

In this way, we heal us, we heal our world.

Each season offers us another opportunity, another way to experience beauty and to heal. Autumn into Winter opens the door into the deep dive. As the season unfolds, I will speak of the experience of what Winter into Spring offers. Whatever the offering, bringing that experience into my body, into my heart connects me to the divine magic of the unfolding of being truly human. Not a perfect human. A true human in all our expressive forms.

Blessings on your journey. In whatever manner you choose to venture, go softly with compassion and empathy. Be gentle and love deeply.

Sincerely from a wild soulful heart and with love, Lisa

 

PS. Inquiries? Comments? Please visit my Contact Me page and email me.



"Small Voice in the Midst of Chaos"

 

There has been a lot going on in our world over the past months. Disease has manifested in humans the world over. We are quarantined. We are mandated to wear masks. We are mandated to social distance and not touch or embrace. Fear is palpable. Humans believe we can beat this with these outward measures of safety. We know change is afoot. It can all be overwhelming.

 

I have listened to and read writings of various learned people from differing perspectives. I have spent time in silence, in the forest, listening. I paint to engage my creative self, my imagination. I call on all the tools and guides I have befriended to cope, to grow, to seek, to find the small quiet voice within. I have felt the gamut from fear to bliss. I have expressed myself with peaceful wisdom and with fiery passion; with objectivity and with judgement.

 

And in the end, the truth that I feel in my gut is that we are as much this world as the world is us. The words of learned thinkers, scientists, writers that make the most amount of sense to me have to do with connection. We -- everything that exists -- are in this together. Not just humans. Animals. Trees. Air. Water. Bugs. Animate and inanimate. All that exists. We are all in this together. Not to defeat, but to come together.

 

I dream a world that knows this connection deep within the belly and lives connection everyday.

 

So, where it begins is in me. Each day as I visit with the forest, I open a little more as I listen for the murmurings, the sensations that lead me on a path to fully embrace connection consciously in every fiber of my being. Even though I have always believed the truth of connection, I am a product of the cultural conditioning I have lived with since I was born into this body. The conditioning of separation. I feel as though I am going through a great "undoing". The time of separation, of descent, of initiation (and eventual birthing), has been a time of unfurling for me. I am learning to embrace the chaos of releasing and letting go of control with both feet on the earth. I am learning to embrace not knowing an outcome. And, following the lead of this virus, taking this time to purge toxins from my thoughts, my emotions, my body. And to dream.

 

I don't feel alone in this process of living with chaos. So many of us - humans - are reflecting, loving, fearing, making mistakes, learning, forgiving, dreaming, creating, falling, standing.....being human. I have faith we will sort it out. It may take a few tries. For the timebeing, I dream.

 

I dream a world of all beings living in balance and harmony, thriving in the truth of interdependence and connection.

 

I often return to the knowledge of indigenous people of this land, and to their prayer: Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. The prayer reminds me to stay the course toward my dream. Humility and gratitude are a good place to start. The prayer begins:

 

 "Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people. Now our minds are one."

 

In this time of chaos, may we all find our duty to honor all cycles of life and death, and live in balance and harmony with all that exists in this amazing universe we co-habitate. May we acknowledge our mistakes with forgiveness and make efforts to change. May we have faith in the goodness of ourselves and each other. May our minds and hearts be as one.

 

Blessings, Lisa

 

Read the full  Thanksgiving Address:

https://americanindian.si.edu/environment/pdf/01_02_Thanksgiving_Address.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

I live on the land the Haudenosausee people once made home in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I was introduced to their Thanxgiving prayer many years ago when I was learning about the people who are native to this place. During that time, I was visited by the spirit of a young woman who made the hill where I lived her summer camp. She was instrumental in helping me deepen my understanding of connection. I am grateful for that time that I spent with all Haudenosaunee people, past and present, for their teachings, for their generous hearts.

I am grateful everyday, when i walk in these northern forests and visit with the oaks, the maples, the pines, the chipmunks who are scurrying collecting acorns, and for the coyotes who sing at night with the barred and screech owls. I am grateful to continue to deepen my relationship with all beings of this beautiful land we share. I am grateful to witness the sun rises and sets over the forests and over the lakes. 

I am grateful for the generosity of friends as I journey through my exploration of nomadic life, for their trust and acceptance. I am grateful to the teachings of indigenous peoples. They have taught me to be mindful of the place I walk upon, of how I take and how I give back. 

In my gratitude my heart expands to include all. 

In love and peace, remember Thanxgiving.

I invite you to take the time it takes to sink into the prayer shared below and may it swell your heart......

 

(Copied from Facebook)

Dan Wahpepah

November 25 at 1:37 AM

This prayer is a gift from the Haudenosaunee People (The Iroquois Nation) for you to remember perhaps at your Thanksgiving table – and especially with children. The real observance of the first Thanksgivings by first peoples has been all but forgotten by American culture. It is time to remember.

Let us greet the world in Thanksgiving as if we were sharing one mind, one heart, and one body. Today we have gathered and come from many different places. We have arrived safely at this place to share with each other our gifts from the Creator.

So we bring our minds together as one in Thanksgiving and Greetings to one another.We now turn our thoughts to Earth Mother. She continues to care for us and has not forgotten her instructions from the beginning of time. Now we bring our minds together in Thanksgiving for the Earth.

Now as one mind we turn our thoughts to the Waters of the Earth for they too have not forgotten their instructions from the Creator of Life. The Waters continue to flow beneath the ground, in little streams and in rivers, in lakes and in wetlands, and in the great seas. They quench our thirst and help keep us clean so we can fulfill our duty to Creation. We now bring our minds together in Thanksgiving to all the Waters of the Earth.We now address all the Beings both seen and unseen that dwell in the Water for they too have not forgotten their original instructions from the Creator of Life to provide for us in many ways. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to all the Nations who dwell in the Waters.

Now we direct our thoughts to the many kinds of plants that live upon the Earth- for they too have not forgotten their original instructions. Many members of this Nation sustain those who walk upon this Earth, and many others who continue to fulfill their duties to take away the sickness of the human family and elevate human consciousness. With one mind we send our thoughts and Thanksgiving to the Plant Nations.With one mind we now think of our relations in the many Insect Nations. Like the other members of the natural world, they too have not forgotten their original instructions to fulfill their obligation to Continued Creation.

With one mind we send our thoughts and Thanksgiving to all the members of the Insect Nations.We now gather our minds together and send Greetings and Thanksgiving to all the Animal Life in the world, for they continue to instruct and teach us even today. It is said that the Creator knew that Humans would take too much for granted if they were given all the wisdom, so instead the Creator gave a little piece of wisdom of how to live on the Earth to the different animals. We are happy that many still walk with us on our continuing journey. With one mind we send Thanksgiving to all the Animal Life in the world.

With one mind we now think of the Trees. According to their original instructions the Trees still give us shelter, warmth, food, and make the environment a suitable place to dwell. The trees remind us of the beauty and power in the natural world. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to all the members of the Tree Nation.

We now bring our minds together and send our Greetings of Thanksgiving to the Birds. At the beginning of time the Birds were given a special duty to perform. The Creator gave the Birds instructions to each find a special place to live in the world and they should learn the song of that place. During the day, our minds are lifted by the songs of the Bird Nations. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to the Birds of the world.

We are thankful to the Four Winds who continue to blow and cleanse the air according to their original instructions. As we listen to the Winds it is as if we are hearing the Creator's breath, clearing our minds as it blows through the trees. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to the Four Winds.We now turn our attention to the Thunderbeings. For they too have not forgotten their original instructions and welcome the Spring with their loud voice. Along with the lightning, they carry the waters of the spring on their backs. It is also said that the Thunderbeings were given the job to hold down the beings beneath the Earth which would prevent life from continuing. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to the Thunderbeings.

Our minds are as one as we send our thoughts to our oldest brother the Sun. Each day the Sun continues his instructions from the Creator of Life, bringing the light of day, the energy source of all life on Earth. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to our oldest brother the Sun.

We now gather our minds together and give thanks to our oldest Grandmother the Moon. She holds hands with all the women of the world and binds all of the female cycles and rhythms of the Waters so we may continue to carry out our obligation to Creation. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to Grandmother Moon.

With one mind we send our thoughts to the Star Nation who continue to light our way during times of darkness to guide us home, and hold the secrets of many forgotten stories. Even though many of the stories are no longer in our minds, it is said it is enough to be thankful to the Stars and perhaps one day we would learn these stories again. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to the Star Nation.

With our minds as one we think of the Four Spirit Beings who live in the Four Directions. At the beginning of time when the Creator first made the Human Family, it was seen that they very quickly got themselves into trouble. The Creator knew that they needed extra help and so created the Four Spirit Beings to remove the obstacles from our paths and guide us with our feelings. And now we gather our minds together as one and send our special Thanksgiving to the Four Spirit Beings.

Now we have arrived in a very special place where dwells the Great Spirit, the Creator of the Universe. As one mind we turn our thoughts to the Creator, for without the Creator we would not be able to walk on the Earth fulfilling our original instructions.

Everything we need is provided for us and all we have to remember is to give thanks. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to the Creator.We have now become like one being. We send our Prayers and special Thanksgiving Greetings to all the unborn children of the future generations.

We send our thoughts to the Elders and the Children for they give us guidance and purpose to live in a good way. We are thankful to all the Enlightened Teachers who have come to help us throughout the ages. We send our thoughts to the many different beings we may have missed during our Thanksgiving. With one mind we send Thanksgiving and Greetings to all of the Nations of the World.

Now Our Minds Are One.

 

 




As the days grow shorter and colder, I am slowing down and reflecting on the gifts of my life, spending more time in solitude.

 

The trees are changing color. They seem to sigh as they slowly get sleepy and move toward dormancy. The forests are filled with chipmunks and squirrels chattering away as they forage and collect for the coming colder months. The ground grows soft again from autumn rains. 

 

I, too, look to warmer housing for the winter. I have lived outside most of the summer and now early fall. As the nights grow longer and the mornings chillier, I find myself seeking warmer indoor shelter. I am not ready to spend more than 12 hours cocooned in my teardrop!

 

I have harvested new perspective from traveling and work experiences. I am learning from mistakes and joys. I remember to stay with the forest in my thoughts as the world around me pulls me into despair or threat. I practice connecting to my heart so I remember the difference between reality and illusion. I am not always successful at these practices at the moments when I am triggered. The more consciousness I bring to my thoughts and actions, even in hindsight, the more connected I am to the present moment and the the more I am able to find some balance. 

 

I find painting is the most peaceful and heartfull activity for times of questioning or anxiety or despair. The act of creating is staying in the present moment. It heals. 

 

Happy Fall! Receive your harvest and share your joy!

 

Blessings, Lisa




I received a "D" for my independent study Senior Degree Project my last semester at art school. My title was "Toward a Personal Mythology". I had veered off the path of my major, Illustration, and initiated an intuitive and  personal exploration into feminine mythology. There was no rational reason I did this. It "felt" important for me to do. (Up to that point, I maintained a 3.5 point average in my studies. That "D" plummeted my final degree points.) 

 

I used "process" and "conjuring" in my painting practice allowing color to guide me. I sought out books of mythology written by women. I had to go to book stores, because libraries had only traditional mythology books written by men from a patriarchal point of view. I was hungry for women's words.

 

This was the mid-1980's. Jean Shinoda Bolen's Goddesses in Every Woman had hit the shelves in bookstores. I also found Esther Harding and Christine Downing writing from a Jungian perspective about the feminine. It seemed "the feminine" was a psychological phenomenon. I devoured all I could find including Starhawk, Merlin Stone, Barbara Walker. I painted from within, conjuring, exploring what my heart, my belly had to show me. After I graduated, I shared my conjuring process with other women seeking a new language.

 

As I look backward, forward and present, I see a huge web of women bringing the irrational, intuitive world into sustenance, creating a visual visceral language.

 

We continue to cycle in spirals and weave our work as we experience our natural world polluted, over cultivated and clear cut. We gain momentum as we make conscious our deep belly wisdom that is of nature. We know we are not seperate. Even as the wilderness outside of us is slowly dominated, we cultivate a wilderness within, allowing surrender, stillness, contemplation, opening the eyes of hearts.

 

I will continue to conjure, with nature, with other artists, with other women, images that will leave breadcrumbs to guide us back home. We will listen to the sensations the wind tickles over our skin. Take in the flaming beauty of trees transitioning into dormancy. Pay attention to the pull our moon has on our blood. With this intelligence we can then engage our minds to make balanced, sustaining decisions in our physical world.

 

Happy Spring! Welcome to our New World!

 

PS An article worth reading......https://upliftconnect.com/thinking-with-the-heart/?utm_source=UPLIFT&utm_campaign=8a40cfc3e4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_04_11_06_24&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_19c1fc07c2-8a40cfc3e4-115811277