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Posts Tagged ‘self love’

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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.

kubler-ross-change-curve-1024x655

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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Kathryn and I met in a yoga class on our adjacent mats at Metamorphose Yoga in Kauai.  In that moment, I felt a total kinship with her upon our first Ommmmm that day.  When I learned that Kathryn was a fellow artist and designer, I was lucky enough to be able to visit her Art cottage studio and even pick up some of her By the Sea Company merch!  I love my butterfly dress and aloha pom-pom organic sarong, and of course, a few organic gauze market bags.  I was so inspired by Kathryn’s vision, our conversations about being artists and her highly creative, diverse collection of handmade goods and artworks.  I also was so happy to be able to participate in the Kilauea Art Walk with her!  Kathryn, you are a beacon of beauty, creation and light!  Shine on sister, and mahalo ke akua for sharing your art and gorgeous gratitude list with us!

hello paradise - 11. I am grateful beyond words for the natural beauty that surrounds me. I create in a tiny Art cottage perched in the jungle of Kauai, Hawaii. Tropical fruit trees, a vegetable and herb garden are at hand, plus the majestic rainbow eucalyptus trees standing tall in my yard. I am immersed in nature, with birds singing, roosters crowing and trade winds gently blowing. The shapes and colors inspire me daily.

eucalyptus trees - 1

2. I’m grateful for my conscious awareness, which directs me to create messages of positivity and enlightenment, with uplifting visual cues.

art is medicine - 13. The ability to invent and create freely, without limitation. I left corporate America 10 years ago and my healing journey began. I am successful at running my own business as an Artist because I don’t listen to negativity. Everyone will have an opinion about what you are doing; what others think does not affect me. I am strong yet flexible in my beliefs.

kantha on the rocks - 1By the Sea Company kantha on the rocks

4. Imagination is the BEST nation! My imagination and creative impulses are the driving force in all I do.

artwork assortment - 1

Current projects include:

Just a Thought, daily inspirations for living, set to release in 2016.
The Hawaii Coloring Book, release date, January 2016.
An illustrated book called The Heart Farmer, for all ages, because the world needs more love!
I dreamed of a game for therapists, woke up and created it . . . “the feeling better game.”
Participation in Art Tribe Kauai. (A group of us create beautiful weddings by the sea in the Hawaiian islands, including beautiful decor and amazing handmade flower leis and haiku).

sarongs and jewelery - 1Running my own fair trade company for organic home goods: www.bytheseacompany.com

beautiful - 15. My ability to help make the world a better place by spreading positive messages and teaching people art, especially those who think they are not creative. Everyone is creative! Some people have been told they are not good at art—it may take time and practice to find out what inspires you artistically.

Indigo dye6. Working with indigo and color. Indigo is one of the oldest-known dyes. It is pure magic to work with! The color starts as chartreuse and changes right before your eyes to navy . . . truly wonderful to work with such amazing techniques.

textile love - 17. I am so very grateful for all the support I receive from the community, their participation and encouragement for my sharing of creative projects.

love rocks - 18. Random acts of kindness. I have always been a giver;
giving is the gateway to abundance and it feels so good!

work space - 19. Winsor & Newton paints and Copic markers, Berol Prismacolor, organic dyes and really, really fine papers!!

hawaii - 110. Divine guidance. I am divinely guided in all I do. Source works through me. When I create art, source is with me, guiding my mind. I am grateful for my personal spiritual alignment which allows me access to the universe and brings forth global messages of positivity and higher knowledge.

5 second bunny - 1p.s., Everyone who comes to visit my Art cottage is asked to draw a 5-second bunny. This has been a tradition in my house for many years and always a great laugh!!

life on the edge - 1Living on the Edge

selfie - 1Kathryn Letson was born and raised in Minnesota, where she spent time in the city and the woods. She went to Parsons School of Design in NYC and graduated with a BFA in Fashion Design, going on to work at some of the most well-known Design houses in the world. After traveling the globe as a Corporate Trend Director, she become a mentor at Parsons, an illustration instructor and a global speaker in the Fashion industry as an expert in textiles.

Kathryn moved to Hawaii to make her dreams a reality. Now creating Art and textiles from her home office in Kauai, her life is focused on sharing knowledge, creating new concepts to better the world, and serving others through Art. What could be more powerful? Your imagination is the engine that runs your life, and Art is a direct pathway into your imagination. Kathryn lives life with love and gratitude.

www.bytheseacompany.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

www.lorieneck.com

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darkskiesDark/Light Sky ©LE Art & Design

“You have the opportunity to drink in this energy of Balance and allow it to transform the very atoms at the core of your being.”  ~Archangel Michael via Shanta Gabriel

Happy 1st Equinox of 2014!  This day is significant in that there is an equal measure of lightness and darkness (or shadow) in our Earth and Sun dance.  This “outer” balance of dark/light reflects our own delicate balance of our inner light and inner darkness.  And, in the northern hemisphere, the light is getting brighter and stronger day by day… building towards our Solstice in June.

How can we work consciously with these outer energies in a way that is favorable for us?  For me, doing some sort of ritual to honor the light/dark balance in a simple way is my charge today.  Lighting a candle on my alter in the morning with prayers and meditation and later in the dark of the evening, I will create a simple ceremony again with fire as the central element.  For more ideas on rituals and ceremonies, check out Mystic Mamma’s ideas.  (scroll down on that page to Rituals)

harlesdon_flowersHarlesden Spring ©LE Art & Design

The power of clear intentions is a sure way to move forward and harness these cosmic energies. We are also in the “new year” in the astrological world, moving from Pisces, the 12th sign of the cycle into Aries, the powerful first fire sign.  So, to my many astrologer/y friends and Persian friends, “Happy New Year!”  To quote one of my favorite online resources for charting the annual cycles as well as wisdom of the “Mamma”:  “This symbolic point of balance has been celebrated by our ancestors since the beginning of time. In cultures across our planet this period marks an initiation and symbolic integration of the forces of light and dark.

For more insights on the meaning and significance of this transition time/space, see this link and many many Bright Blessings in this new season!

Ciel:Mer XVCiel/Mer XV ©LE Fine Art

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

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Blue PearlBlue Pearl 9X12 inches Mixed Media on Paper

What nourishes you from your inspiration?
What ever nourishes and inspires you fully can be the starting point for Living your Life from the effortless Flow of Being, from the Inside out.
~Cass Phelps

Did you know that if you follow what inspires you, you will become more of you essentially are, your authentic self, stripped down to the core to your eternal being?  I love this!  Yes!  What if your daily practice was to simply follow your inspiration?  Similar to following your bliss, look inside and outside to  what inspires you, take a breath inhale and exhale deeply, inhaling spirit, in-spir-ation…  Observe what in-spirits you, gives you energy, makes your heart sing with joy, gives you goose bumps, gets you excited, discover and follow that.  Touch it and follow it like a butterfly….

Experiment with this focus and see where your inspirations lead you and what expressions, creations and visions emerge out of this process.  Trust your inspirations and take note, mark your musings and new awareness throughout~ whether in writing, sound, video, photos, drawings, or all, it’s your choice.  The exciting bit is that you will discover magic and brilliance within and without… You’ll feel satisfied, experience more causeless joy and pleasure!  And, our world will benefit through the sharing of your inspirations through your new manifestations in the material realm!  Play with this and see where the bread crumbs take you…  I wish you all love, light and blessings on your quest and path of exploration!

I look forward to your comments and questions … would love to hear from you via this blog, FB, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude, and beauty,

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Recommended Resources

Awake-One

Cass Phelps is an amazing individual and his inspired body of work and offerings have been a

phenomenal resource for me! His work is comprehensive and rich…

“You Have The Energy Of The Sun In You.”
~Rumi

“Inspiration is always a surprising visitor.”
~ John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

www.lorieneck.com

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Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas Mixed media original on paper 9×12 ins  ©LE Art & Design

“Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” ~ Chuang Tzu

Wonderful warm April greetings to you!  The big theme right now in my life, what is inspiring me, and where I am being drawn into is all about what is known as “the flow“.  The flow of life, the flow of love, the flow of the dynamic present moment…  It’s easy for us to think of the “now” as a static moment, however, as a wise friend recently reminded me, the present moment is one of our paradoxes!  The “now” is an ever-changing, fluid, dynamic awareness… in other words, the flow.  Feeling into the flow, the present moment and dropping down into that golden, quiet, still place within where eventually time, space and form dissolve is where the nectar resides.  This very personal  practice has enveloped my daily life and for this I am grateful, truly humbled…  It’s a deep sea dive into the lushness of Self.

And, so my days now look a little bit like this:  The day opens with the first moments of awakened consciousness, taking in some deep breaths, I relish and nourish in this still, silent, fertile place within…tapping in, diving deep into my inner world whilst still lying in bed.  As the flow moves me, I move my body slowly from the bed into the various morning rituals in a pace that feels good…. Each activity throughout my day seems to lead to the next with a new sense of grace, joy, ease and gentleness that I am finding to be most comfy and ssllloooowww.  It’s wonderful!

I am really loving my pace of slow in the flow and if you have noticed, there is a “slow movement” in effect from slow food, to slow money, to slow sex, it seems “slow” is what’s trending now in American culture!  Hopefully, it’s not just a passing fad or a fleeting counterpoint to our “fast food nation” so to speak, that has been the norm of US culture and exports for decades now.  My hope is that slow merges and slows down everything and everyone on a grand scale, breath by breath, thought by thought, action by action, person by person, day by day…  One of my teachers told me all that I must do is breathe, simply be breathed, that’s it.  All of the rest will take care of itself.  And, then another one of my teachers echoed the same, live each moment breath by breath.  Hmmmm I think that I am finally getting the message!  So simple, yet our ego mind loves to complicate things! ha ha ha  🙂

My inspiration to slow down into the flow has been an inside job, I assure you and has organically be born out of my own inner response to the self-imposed career and lifestyle change that began June 2012.  Now, that I am coming up soon on the year cycle, I have noticed that I am slowing down even more, stepping off of the merry-go-round, and loving the languid life that I am leading…  The beauty of all of this is that I feel as “productive” as ever and yet more satisfied, fulfilled from within through a practice of listening in and respecting my own flow and tuning in as best I can to the larger life flow that we are all moving within.  Remaining true to Self and this pace whilst keeping my word to worldly time and space based commitments can be a challenge when everyone around is zipping around so quickly!  I have even started driving the speed limit (which is considered slow it seems) and get all sorts of looks and honks… it’s okay by me.

So to close, I invite you to experiment with your own version of slowing down and going with your flow, inwards and outwards, the flow that feels true and yummy to you!

I look forward to your comments and questions … would love to hear from you via this blog, FB, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude, and beauty,

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Recommended Resources

Steve Gold Experience

I love this singer/songwriter/entertainer/mystic!

Steve is living the dream! Living his “gift” and sharing it with our world!  So inspiring! I had the chance to see him live in April and was moved beyond….

zenhabits

I stumbled upon this blog and love it! Leo Baubuta is awesome! Check this out-all of his work is uncopyrighted and he writes on many of my fave topics!

(this is where these great quotes came from too!)

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”~Thich Nhat Hanh

www.lorieneck.com

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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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