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Archive for the ‘Evolution, Inspiration and Ascension’ Category

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Hello!  I am happy to be back writing here in my blog, after a turn-of-the-year hiatus and by demand of very clear, poignant and pivotal events of late. In this blog, I am embarking in an area that is not often openly talked about and is quite a complex, layered, and profound area of the human experience.  For some time now, what has been brought to my attention once again, is the grieving process, the stages of grief and my own personal layers of grief that began in earnest with the death of my six-year-old sister when I was eleven years old.  For me, grief had been a very scary and sensitive topic (death and dying included) and I avoided or denied those feelings with some underlying.  I was a young girl, just in the 6th grade and the space and stages of grieving were paused and delayed in earnest until I was about eighteen years old and a freshman in college.  It was a car accident where I was injured, shaken up and overall, experienced trauma and stress, and was the catalyst to a profound spiritual awakening and the earnest start in my search for meaning and truth.  It also was the impetus of my own conscious grieving process of the physical death of my only sister and my desire to connect with her spiritually.  This process has been a constant, as with every death “out there,” all loss and grief is re-triggered for me.  And like everything in life and personal growth, progress not perfection has been my ally as I continue to navigate the many losses and feel the grief in my life and in the collective.  One of the ways that I process and integrate loss and grief now is through my art practice and I will be blogging more about art, healing and grief in subsequent blog posts… stay tuned.

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Here are my observations right now and what inspired this post today.  The veils are certainly thin these days, and I am being reminded once again how truly precious life on Earth is, to cherish every moment and to continue to LOVE above all else, especially when the external realities are extreme and polarizing.

sobonfu Sobunfu and I at the Rowe Center, MA, June 2000

This is from January 19, 2017: Today I started my day like many others, morning rituals, welcoming a new day to embrace, embark and do my very best.

I learned of the passing of one of my very special teachers, a powerful healer named Sobonfu Somé. I do not know the details of her passing to the Spirit world other than the fact the she was with her family in Burkina Faso. What I do know deep in my bones, is the impact that she had on me and the sweet memories I have with her, studying her books, learning from her culture, the Dagara in Burkina Faso and most importantly, being with her in sacred ritual at the Rowe Camp and at the Omega Institute in NY, both in 2000. Her name itself means, “keeper of the rituals” and her work and legacy touched many many lives here in the West.

I was introduced to her work through another teacher and mentor of mine who has also passed, Joy Parker, who was studying with Malidoma Somé. I was excited to study with him but destiny guided to study with Sobonfu instead! After devouring her books, I was able to be with her in person at one of her grieving ritual 3-day retreats, this one at the Rowe Center. It was powerful, transformational and taught me about honoring the sacred in everyday life, to honor my ancestors and to embrace grief, something that was and still is a life long learning curve.

Sobonfu also taught me about the sacred element Water. She founded Wisdom Spring, working diligently to provide various villages in West Africa with drinking water and to provide resources for education through its various programs including Art for Africa and Walking for Water.

Ironically (or is it?), there is a Grief Ritual scheduled for March 2017 near Washington, D.C.

Anyway, I’m continuing to reflect on how knowing of and receiving Sobonfu’s life gifts here on earth has impacted me and what more I can do to integrate and honor her legacy.  To learn more and benefit from her wisdom, visit http://www.sobonfu.com

It is comforting to me to know that she is crossing over to the realm of the ancestors and her Spirit endures through her work and us…

My reflections so far about Sobonfu and her teaching will continue in forthcoming blog posts and revolve around her legacy of discovering and sharing our gifts and for me that includes the healing, art-making and evolving through the grieving process.

Something that I heard today from another wonderful teacher/friend of mine, Georgette Star of the Life Blessing Institute, who said. “I’m learning to “share this intimacy of grief with others who can hold that level of sharing. What an incredible gift to connect heart to heart.”  And, with that my friends, I’ll share that my heART is here to heal, to teach and to inspire healing the hearts of others and the world through engaging intimately with the creative process.  I truly look forward to sharing my three new art program launches this spring which range from a foundations in art-making course to a program that facilitates a deep dive into your creative healing process with me as your gentle guide.

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connect to me via my Facebook page, explore my Art with Lórien art classes on YouTube, and if you would like to make sure you are notified about more content like this, please sign up for my newsletter here.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love and the spirit of Aloha,

In love, gratitude and beauty…

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insta_WaterIIIWith one of my healing Water paintings, Water III. To lean more about my Water Series, click here.

I am thrilled to start up a new blog series theme: Artist Interviews.  In this blog series, I will be interviewing inspirational artists and will sharing these insightful and inspirational messages in a variety of ways that I look forward to launching soon!  For now, I am sharing the first interview of yours truly.  In 2014, I was interviewed by Art 4 All People as part of an art exhibition focused on arts and healing.

Here is the interview, short and sweet!

How would you describe Transformative Art? 

Transformative Art is art that reaches into the soul and acts as a mirror revealing the deep and rich inner beauty of the Self, as well as the shadow self.  It has the power to shift consciousness and not only raise the vibration of an individual, but shift the collective consciousness.

What inspires your own Art and what does Art mean to you? 

My own spiritual journey and quest for beauty, for what is true, and as a devotion to the Sacred is what informs and inspires my art practice.

In my experience, art serves as a visual response to the questions that one asks or that the collective is asking.  For example, questions about the nature of reality, what it means to be a Spiritual being having a human experience, or about what is possible in the human experience.

As an Artist what is the significance of doing Transformative Art in these times, in this century in the now?

If an individual feels the call to create and share their art with the world, the significance of doing Transformative art now is ad infinitum.  Art is a bridge between the mundane and the Sacred and has the capacity to bridge the gap of disparity between suffering and pure bliss. Artistic expression gives meaning and healing to the human condition.  Art is the glue of the Universe and provides a safe space for the Soul to rest and take refuge.  More than ever, art and artists serve as the foundation for the evolution of human consciousness.

 

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my facebook page, check out my Art with Lórien art classes on YouTube or email me at artwork@lorieneck.com.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love, creativity, adventure and play!

In love, gratitude and beauty…

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Happy New Moon Monday all!  I met John in Northern New York where I worked and studied for my M.Ed. degree from St. Lawrence University, a beautiful country setting along the US-Canadian border.  Knowing and witnessing John evolve and grow over the years has been such an inspiration to me! I had the pleasure and privilege to teach Reiki to John and his mom Diane, as well as support John in becoming a Reiki Master Teacher.  He is a gifted healer and wise beyond his years, if you are in the SF Bay Area and require a transformative healing session, I highly recommend John, his hands are angelic, intuitive and compassionate beyond words.  A hearty thank you John for an inspired blog post!

 

I was recently asked: What inspires you?

I have to admit…it’s a somewhat difficult question… but not for the reasons one might think. It’s not that I have difficulty finding inspiration; in fact it’s much the opposite! There are SO MANY sources of inspiration for me I don’t even know where to begin! The world is filled with so much beauty, so much love, and so much joy, if we just open our eyes and hearts to see and feel it!

Personally, one of the biggest inspirations for me is when I see other people living their truths, and creating the lives they want to live! I’ve had, and have SO many amazing people in my life! My mother Diane was one of the biggest inspirations in my life! Although she passed on over a decade ago, her memory continues to inspire me. She was a loving, kind person, who would not speak down to anyone, but would speak out and stand against injustice, with such a HUGE heart, that she would always give to those in need, if she could, while keeping just enough for herself! As a result, I have never felt *poor* no matter how few material comforts I have.

mom DianeMy mom Diane on her wedding day.

I’ve been inspired by many others, including my friend Relani, who helped me to see myself as whole and beautiful as I am at a young age, helping me be comfortable with myself as a queer and gender fluid person. Through Relani I was introduced to Lórien!  Seeing all the beauty Lórien has put out into the world through her art, her organizations that give back to communities in need, and the healing work she does has propelled me down a path of not only self-healing, but the healing of others and the planet! From her I learned Reiki, and was introduced to MANY other amazing spiritual and inspirational people! Today I am working as a Massage Therapist helping people ground and heal their bodies with manual manipulation and Reiki, as well as teaching about plant-based nutrition, juice fasting/cleansing and detox, as well as working for human rights issues, and protections for animals and the planet!

reiki hands image

This brings me to something else that inspires me: Gratitude. Whenever I see people giving thanks for the things they have, especially those who have little, inspires me to feel grateful for all I have, and reminds me that I’m here for a purpose, which is to share my Light and Uniqueness with the world, and add to the collective healing of our planet and all its inhabitants! Having and expressing gratitude every day brings more abundance and beauty into my life, as the focus gets shifted from *not having* to being truly *rich*! Even though I don’t focus on material wealth, I’ve found the more I express gratitude, the more I receive the things I need and desire. The law of attraction is very powerful and can give us everything we need, if we are grateful, and open to receive!

reiki

There are so many other people in my life who inspire me on a daily basis: I could go on and on! I recently was introduced to an amazing spiritual man who has become my mentor, helping me with self-care (something we healers often forget about in our passion to help others). Because of his support I am now actualizing my dreams and moving forward at lightning speed after a few years of struggle, and am now creating new and amazing things! He continues to inspire me to challenge myself, and work through the difficult times with great joy in my heart, and with Love!

DanawithMissLoveDana and John

I’m inspired by my friend Dana Morrigan who has chosen to live her life authentically, and also hosts karaoke in the SF Bay Area, which is therapy for me. When I’m feeling stressed or down, there is little that can inspire me to great joy more than belting out one of my favorite tunes, while being surrounded by other folks who are also expressing their loving authentic selves in silly, serious, and playful ways!

karaokeJohn singing at Dana’s karaoke event

JezebelDelilahLove(Photo credits to  Nye Lyn Tho http://nyelyntho.com/ )

Although I have not formally met her in person, I feel incredibly inspired by my Facebook friend, Jezebel Delilah X (Vanessa Rochelle Lewis) who shares so much Love, insight, and truth, with such a degree of vulnerability and authenticity, she makes me want to do the same. I learn so much reading all of her insightful posts. She truly is a real life Magickal Mermaid Goddess, sending out waves of Love on a daily basis, showing me what true beauty really is!

 

NatureGorgeous Nature

I’m also greatly inspired by Nature having grown up in rural upstate New York. I love getting out and exploring the forest, going to healing hot springs, and immersing my body in the waters of Life; whether it be in a lake, river, or the beautiful ocean, for which as a Pisces, I am grateful to be living within sight of, from my bedroom window, just a short trip away! I always feel the most whole when I am surrounded by trees and plants away from the din of the city. It’s what balances and grounds me, helping to reset while living in a heavily populated city can be a bit chaotic at times, but still full of Love and amazing beings!  Going on a hike, alone or with friends is truly a walking meditation, as I connect deeply with all the wild plants and animals around me, and realize that I too am a part of nature, not separate, but one with!

healthynutrMy home fridge filled with all of my fave fresh, organic fruits and veggies

Seeing other people make positive changes in their lives also inspires me! I’ve had so many friends recently decide that it was time to no longer just sit and wait for things to happen, but actually get up and put the effort into making their goals and dreams come to fruition! Sometimes it’s something very small, for example, going to bed at a certain time to be well-rested, or practicing daily meditation, even if it’s just for five or ten minutes a day, or once a week with in a group setting. The point is, these people have started making changes, and working towards their goals, even if with baby steps. Seeing this, and the eventual fruition of some of these goals is extremely inspirational to me, which proves that I too, can achieve my goals, even if I need to start small and take things moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day and so on! There is so much Light and Beauty, and Abundance in the world for everybody! We just must take that baby step, and start healing ourselves, and manifesting our realities. I was touched and honored last week when Lórien asked me to be a part of this blog, having been inspired by something I had written. Even just doing this guest blog has inspired me to create my own blog on healing, healthy food, spirituality, joy, and creating the Lives we want, while being authentic and loving to ourselves!

With so many sources of Love, Creativity and Joy everywhere, how can I not be inspired?

John Bio pic 1

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John Graves has been practicing massage therapy, Reiki and energy work for more than ten years, having received his training at Sonoma College (formerly Western Institute of Science and Health) in San Francisco, under the tutelage of many wonderful teachers with varied backgrounds in many massage modalities, acupuncture, chiropractics, yoga, eastern thought, and natural healing!

John has received over 735 hours of training in advanced massage therapy, including Swedish massage, deep tissue, reflexology, energy work, pregnancy massage, pre- and post-event sports massage, and triggerpoint therapy. He is initiated and ordained into the Essene Way, studying Essene Mystical healing techniques and meditation and continues to study other styles of massage and healing work, including nutrition, herbal medicine, meditation and yoga, and looks forward to branching out into many different healing modalities.

***CAMTC Certified as an Advanced Massage Therapist in the State of California, ABMP Insured

Massage and Reiki With John: http://johngraves.massagetherapy.com

His blog can be found at: https://peacelovefoodbliss.wordpress.com/

 

Resources:

Connect With Dana Morrigan: https://danamorrigan.wordpress.com/

Swim With Jezebel Delilah X at: http://www.jezebeldelilahx.com

 

 

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Marla is a phenomenally inspired woman: her job title even happens to be “Chief Inspiration Officer,” so inviting Marla to share her #HolidayHumanity Storytelling Campaign was a natural fit.  I had the pleasure of meeting Marla through a mutual friend, another inspired woman, when they were on a so-called “Artist’s Date” (à la The Artist’s Way) in 2012.  As the owner of Embrace Your Spotlight, Marla does amazing work as a mentor and coach for entrepreneurs looking to build a genuine, trusted and compelling personal brand while redesigning a leveraged business based on a healthy money relationship generating leads, ideal clients and higher revenues.  I am honored to call Marla my friend and power-walking partner along the beaches of So Cal.

Check out her blog post here and perhaps you’ll be inspired to contribute your story to her #HolidayHumanity Storytelling Campaign. 

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

Embrace Your Spotlight

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What inspires you?  Sometimes life can feel flat, dull and dry. How do we change it up, keep inspired, happy and moving forward in the direction of our wildest dreams?  Maybe we lose sight of what our dreams are, what makes our heart sing or excites or moves us…  We are spiritual beings having a human experience and this can happen from time to time to anyone, especially if you are like me and tend to review, reflect and reinvent myself over and over again!

kalalau 2In one my fave places doing what I love… moving my body and Spirit near the sea…

We are creatures of change, of transformation and always evolving.  And, whilst moving along, my journey, purpose, joy and following my bliss can at times seem foreign and distant.  When I have found myself in those places or in a funk, which I have, one of the ways that I have navigated back to my joy out of sadness or fear is to look for what inspires me and sometimes this is jump-started by the simple act of taking a walk outdoors in nature…

gold sandBeauty is all around us, in nature, in the raw primal elements…

What inspires me is all around me, all of the time.  I find that it simply requires paying attention, being awake and being aware.  Sometimes, that’s easier said than done!  What I find works best is to keep it simple, be gentle, at ease and simply focus on what feels good.  What inspires me is the natural world on Earth, the cosmos, love, natural beauty, color, family, good friends, the ocean, kindness, puppies and all that is good in our world.  Truly there are infinite possibilities of inspiration ~ my motivation to stay inspired keeps me seeking and finding it.

sushi spreadtulips

 

Here are some of the people, places and things that inspire, give me life and provide light to be my best self and to do what I am here to do!

outdoor labyrinthme and babies

alisa and frog

 

pink sunsetspring water venice masks stained glass and sunlight
pigment colors

 

lilies meemie  fire 2-up gold sand kalalau 1   color leaf

dotted leaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

may17 event 7

paris and K and me

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Let’s face it, it’s easy to slip into the habit of taking the simple things in life for granted and at times, forget what is truly of value, especially when those things of value cost nothing.  We are so fortunate in so many ways, nature providing abundant nourishment, life force energy and the essential basics of fresh air to breathe, water to drink and the heartbeat of the mother herself keeping us all nurtured and cared for.

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my facebook page, or email me at artwork@lorieneck.com.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love, creativity, adventure and play!

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

Art to Awaken Your Heart, Nourish Your Spirit

www.lorieneck.com

 

 

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fire I 95%Fire I, close up, 3’x4′, Mixed media on canvas, ©LEAD

Love is particular.

When you love someone,

A tangible, touchable someone,

The whole world opens up.

If you want to know the universe,

Dare to love one person.

All the secret teachings are here–

Go deeper, and deeper still.

The gift of concentration

Is the spaciousness that surrounds it.

Focus illuminates immensity.

Sutra 99

The Radiance Sutras: 112 Gateways to the Yoga of Wonder and Delight

(English and Sanskrit Edition, Lorin Roche, Ph.D.)

To love is to pay attention, to give attention, to tend to the being that is YOU or the being/s in front of you.  As I read this sutra above and allow its essence to permeate my awareness, my thoughts and feelings vacillate between the Self and the “other.”  Daring to love me, to know thyself through loving, tending to my own rich tapestry of intricacies is a day to day practice of tending my lifelong journey of wonder, magic, delight and actualization.  The word attention itself is derived from the words tender, tenderness, to tend to it.  Paying attention to the soul, the Self can be as natural as breathing, and is by default, a way of loving the Self.  We love ourselves as we pay attention to our physical needs, our emotional shifts, our thoughts about ourselves and our longings and yearnings in this life.  This way of perceiving how I love myself has been a refreshing, compassionate, kind and gentle way forward as I move forward on my life path.

Self love is the foundation for all other types of love.  Through my own deepening practice of Self love, I am progressively learning to love all else in a more attentive way… from my love for others, for the planet, for what I do, what I create, and everything else that I pay attention to that is outside the boundaries of this being that is Lórien.

love yourself_photog. unknown

Isn’t this perspective an exciting, beautiful and interesting method of loving the Self ?  Since this discovery, I have been in a constantly deepening state of awe, spaciousness and curiosity in love and life.  Awakening to loving myself in this way is transforming all of my interactions with others, from drivers on my morning commute, to my art students, to my more intimate connections, like family and close friends, and of course touching the details and entirety of my life existence in a way that is immeasurable, yet tangible at the same time.

I especially enjoy this line from Lorin Roche, “Love is a state of perceiving great value in the beloved.”  Love can therefore be a practice of paying attention and appreciating the layered nuances of the Beloved Self from the first moments of awakening in the morning to the last moments of alertness before falling into sleep and dream at night.  Aaahhhhhh…

Cast aside the ten thousand things,

And love only one.

Don’t go on to another.

Engage your lively awareness

With this one focus–

One object, one thought, one symbol.

Now go inside,

Find the center.

The soul, the heart.

Right here,

In the middle of the feeling,

Attend the blossoming–

Attention vast as the sky.

Sutra 39

The Radiance Sutras, Lorin Roche, Ph.D.

fire III palette_fuschia

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my facebook page, or email me at lorien@lorieneck.com.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love, creativity, adventure and play!

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

Personally Experienced and Recommended Resources

Gently Moving Forward

Change Your Energy, Change Your Life with Kathleen Nelson Troyer

The Radiance Sutras

Paths to Enlightenment in Everyday Life

as translated by Lorin Roche, Ph.D.

Elixir

Songs of the Radiance Sutras

Sample Track: Go There

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lorien in the studio with fire seriesIn my outdoor studio with my new Fire Series in the works, (l-r) Fire II, Fire III, Fire I ©LEAD

WHO IS YOUR MUSE?  Where do you find your inspiration?  What inspires YOU?  Where to start?  I recently was chatting with a woman at an event I was at, she told me that her challenge with creativity is where to get ideas.  Hmmmm.  She asked me about where I get my ideas and how it all starts for me.  Well… that question is one of my favorites to reflect upon as I am regularly inundated with yummy inspiration, a flood of ideas and stimulation emerging from both within and without.  The early stage of the creative process is for me often my favorite, although the entire journey of the creative process is exciting and enjoyable.  I wrote a bit about my creative process in my last post, Trust and the Creative Process

Fire 1Fire ceremony ©Photo LEAD

pele goddessPele~ Hawaiian Goddess of Fire

Inception of an idea can start anywhere, for example, a hunch, a whisper, a dream, a conversation, an image, a word, a glance, the options are endless really.  To illustrate, I will refer to my latest inspirations for my new Fire Series, as past of my Elements Collection.  From water came fire for me and it was (and tends to be) a spiral-like journey, vs. a straight line.  My initial interactions with the element of Fire was ignited strongly whilst on the Big Island last year when I spent time in meditation, retreat and ceremony with Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of the Volcanoes while at the Kalani Retreat CenterPele grabbed me and I have been under her tutelage as my main Muse through this moment as I continue to create my new Fire paintings.  Pele urges us to follow our passion… what’s yours?  Are you following your passion?

fire 2Pele flowin’ on the big island of Hawaii ©Photo by MaKia

Fire I in processExcerpt of Fire I in process, 3’X4′, Mixed Media on Canvas ©LEAD

kilauea volcanoKilauea, Hawaii

Kilauea is the most active volcano in the world. The Hawaiian mountain has been steadily flowing since 1983! That makes it one of the most long-lived eruptions known on Earth.

I look forward to sharing more about the journey into the Fire as I roll out my paintings one by one over the next few weeks, sharing the story and artwork here and on my website.  Stay tuned and in the meantime, there is a wonderful NEW art show where I am showing the paintings below at,  MUSE: The Art of Transformation and Healing.
Cosmic XCosmic X, 9X12 inches, Mixed Media on Paper ©LEAD

EckBLagoon Nebula III, 12X16 inches, Mixed media on paper ©LEAD

MUSE flyerCurated by Art 4 All People

June 28 – September 28, 2014

Commonweal Gallery, a nonprofit health and environmental research institute
451 Mesa Rd. Bolinas, CA 94924

Opening Reception and Arts and Healing Festival
Saturday, July 12th from 1:00 pm – 6:00pm

The Opening Event Line-Up

Closing Reception
Saturday, September 27th, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

All are welcome! 

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear from you via this blog, my face book page, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

www.lorieneck.com

“Art has the power to heal.” ~ Lórien

 

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