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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…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

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This moth image was “captured” at the Museo di Storia Naturale La Specola, Florence, Italy ©All Rights Reserved, no reproduction or use without written consent of the artist. Thank you.

“A thousand miles begins with one step…” Lao Tzu

So, where did I leave off?  I was in studying drawing and painting in Florence, Italy for 3- weeks, as well as traveling around a bit throughout Italy, and visiting friends on a beautiful island called Sardinia.  The beauty of this stage of Eat, like I mentioned in last month’s entry, is that it is sooo easy to accomplish that in the land of great espresso, vino, pizza, and gelato!  But, I am not simply talking about food and libations per se, nor consuming it all at once or personally ingesting it all.  What I am referring to by Eat, is to partake of all that life on earth has to offer with a refined, patient, and conscious awareness.  This may sound cliché, but I am in essence speaking of living this one and precious life fully, without fear, without trepidation, in FULL living color, sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes

My month in Italy showed me just how luscious, how sensual, how aesthetically beautiful each detail and moment can be.  The sheer volume and plethora of (as a friend calls it) “bright, shiny, objects” is truly remarkable, in addition to the architectural, artistic, and culinary environment that Italy provides.  As I moved through each days of endless “NOW” moments, I was in a constant state of awe and reverence for all of this beauty that I speak of.  To breathe in and be fully satisfied in the NOW and the next NOW, is where I feel the meaning of my life is taking me.

What I want to emphasize here, is that it was enough to look at and experience through the senses, but not imperative for me to “own” through the compulsive consumption that being enculturated in the states has instilled in so many of us unconsciously and yet leaves us dissatisfied and always wanting more, bigger, better!  So, as an experiment, I relied on my mantra, “just looking” and chose to keep this strong muscle in check and staying as present in the NOW as possible.  No easy feat in a place like that!  However,  I chose instead, especially during the Drawing and Painting intensive class in Florence, to sketch, take “creative” pictures, and simply keep paying attention to the knee-jerk reflex to “consume”.  Part of this self-control was by default, as I had to keep my luggage under 15kg, as I was moving around so much! ( I highly recommend doing this as a safe guard against unconscious “collecting”!)

So, where did I move around to so much and what did I see… Venice, Florence, Assisi, Verona and Alghero, Sardinia…  All sublime and offering so much natural and genius-inspired beauty.

These pics are just a few of the highlights of the eye candy and musings that I speak of…

Opening to the Next Dimension, Firenze, Italia

Ponte Vecchio Over the Arno, Firenze, Italia

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Firenze, Italia

The Grand Canal, Venizia, Italia

The Ponte Pietra over the Adige river, Verona, Italia

Basilica Papale di San Francesco, Assisi, Italia

Sunset Over the Harbor, Alghero, Sardinia

Chapter 1 is complete and now I step into Chapter 2.  And, as I segue into this new chapter of the book that is my life, I leave you with a quote and a practice that I have found to be both beautiful and practical.

“Transformation can be difficult to see, as we mourn a release of our past, to allow the birth of something new to arrive. We cannot always see what is really happening with our eyes, but we can Know with our Hearts that a new beginning is about to take place.”

~Carolyn M Greenleaf

Breath of your Heart
“Taking time to create a deep connection within you is paramount right now. For many, having a physical action that can be repeated will provide a connection that transcends mind, body and spirit. When the mind is frantic, bringing your hands to your heart and breathing into the warmth of your palms can begin a process known in physics as entrainment.

Spiritually you are attuning your entire being to the beat of your heart, which connects you deeply to God’s Love. As you slow your breaths, you begin to balance your heartbeats and your breath. This rhythmic breathing pattern will begin to calm your mind, and bring a sense of harmony to your body in a short amount of time when it becomes a familiar ritual.”

~Archangel Gabriel via Shanta Gabriel

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.

Until Next time

Much love,

Lórien

To be continued…

Recommended Resources

O’Connor Mortuary

New Paradigm Astrology

Essence Coaches

www.lorieneck.com

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©LE Art & Design

The Spring Equinox  officially rolls on March 19th @ 10:14 PM PST & on March 20th @ 1:14 AM EST & 5:14 AM GMT/UT.  Does this fact, this transition of the “outer” season/cycle affect your “inner” world’s season/cycle?

For myself, although I live (and have mostly lived) in a predominantly season-less place, Southern California, I do feel the outer shift in my inner world.  How?  I feel excited about all of the newness that is about to sprout up from seed thoughts and actions planted deep in the three-month span of a snow-less winter.  I feel a surge of fresh energy, like fresh oxygen from a deep breath of pure ocean air in my day.  I do feel a subtle, but very powerful infusion of vital life force energy coming up from the earth and moving through the ethers….

It is a very exciting and “all things are possible” time on planet Earth.  Dream Big, plant the seeds, water, sun, love, belief, trust, and let us all remember to breathe deeply as we move into this next season.

As for my creative projects and creations… lots going on and to be revealed soon at:

Lórien Eck Fine Art

And, lastly, a few of the resources that are supporting and inspiring my journey of late:

Oneness of Us

Gently Moving Forward

Acknowledge is Power

Chi Field

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.

All love,

Lórien

www.lorieneck.com

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