Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Course Correcting

 On Christmas Eve, my family and I flew home after a few years living abroad. We bought a house on line and were waiting to move into it. Many said it was a brave move, buying a house off the internet. I had heard that before, that it was brave to pack up your family and move to a new country with no real plans. For me it didn't feel brave, it felt like the only thing to do when that itch to break out of one life and try another, to jump- not jumping wasn't really an option. Buying a house on line wasn't brave either. What was brave was admitting that the move wasn't working, that the children were not happy. What was brave was releasing a dream (sometimes we hold them too tight and dreams are fragile things) and doing what needed to be done to bring harmony and make room for new dreams. What was brave was risking failing, and leaping anyway, and then doing it again. Course correcting.

Luminous Mandala word of the year journal page, Galia Alena
Luminous Mandala- word of the year page
We didn't go back, there is no going back, as the saying goes "you can not step into the same river twice". So we didn't go back- we made a conscious choice to go forward, to find a place where we could all flourish. Course correcting.

View from Couch Surfing
 So on Christmas Eve we flew out of the land of the Long White Cloud and returned to the land of OZ. We arrived, with no plans but in time to spend Christmas with family and friends. After a few days couch surfing with family and then at a friends place near the beach luck dropped a little boat shed to rent for a month and we spent a few weeks with the ocean lapping at our feet.

Travel journaling Galia Alena sketching boat shed
Scenes from the Boat Shed
 Literally an old boat shed which was down several flights of stairs into the rocks, the old boat shed had been converted into a studio flat right on the water, so much so that if you were a sleep walker you would be in dire trouble in the night. In the mornings I was woken by the wake of the passing ferries and would then dangle my feet down into the water at the end of the bed while nursing my morning coffee. We reacquainted ourselves with old stomping grounds, caught up with friends, enjoyed the warm weather and outdoor concerts while waiting until our new house would be available for us.

Travel journaling Galia Alena sketching boat shed

 When the month was up, it was time to move up the mountains so the children could start their new year, and a little furnished house serendipitously fell into our laps until we could finally move into our new house.

Picasso Inspired Journal Galia Alena
Picasso Inspired Journal
 So many elements of luck and trust were at work in our move home. I made the decision to bring my family home sitting in a sweat lodge at Esalen surrounded by my beautiful sisters all supporting one another in our truths. In the dark hot tent, to the singing voice of Pixie and others I knew what needed to be done. It took awhile from the initial knowing, to the later hearing and then the final breaking of the camel's back at which point having none of the details sorted or the means to do it, I threw myself at the mercy of the universe, opened myself to trusting and declaring the intention of going home and left so many of the details open. In so many ways I/we were supported by friends, family, chance, luck and serendipity and while all the details are still unfolding it has been a pleasure to watch the pieces fall magically into place. With gratitude I sit here and type from my new home where my children are again happy (I will share more on the new home in another post, although if you follow me on Pinterest you would already have had some sneak peeks).

Fleeting Altered Book Galia Alena, mixed media journal
Fleeting Altered Book
Of course, while in between lands and homes, there was light sketching and playing in little journals, a different way of working for different circumstance, an extended travel kit and inspiration from Misty (fleeting altered book and Picasso homage journal) and Jeanne (pattern journal). I hugged my children, worked in my books, listened to the whispers of the muses and let things fall where they would.

Pattern journal, Galia Alena, art journal sketches
Pattern Journal
A word on course correcting, we should all always be doing it, looking at our lives and seeing what is working, what isn't and what is missing (what's still needed as my friend Maya says), risking mistakes to find our own way, making glorious and brave mistakes, and being brave enough to course correct, sometimes a few degrees, sometimes 180, always with quiet listening and fierce abandon for life.

With Gratitude

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Are you your own Hero?

There's been so much going on over here in the last few months and I'm hoping to pop back over the next week to share some of it. In the meantime I've put together a little sneak peek into my class for 21 Secrets for you:

21 Secrets will be starting very soon and I can't wait- 21 art journaling workshops from 21 different artists, some of whom I both love and admire, like my beautiful inipi sister Katie Kendricks who I shared some time with at Easlen and whose work I can't get enough of, she is such a luminous soul, and Jane Cunningham who also prepared her workshop from the land of the Long White Cloud, Erin Faith Allen who I connected with through photography many moons ago and whose mixed media pieces intrigue me deeply. There are way too many other inspiring arts that I can't go through them all but if you would like to learn more pop over here to see.

In the meantime I'm LOVING seeing all the work going on over at Spectrum and loving the discussion that are coming out of it, so much richness and beauty. Its not to late to join us- I'll be getting my journal out and digging deep with all the artists there.

Back soon with a peek into what's been going on over here of late and some new plans. Xx

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spectrum Place in the Festivities

Congratulations Eli M, your name was drawn and a place at the festivities is waiting for you :) (please get in touch with me with your details and email address, we start in a few days).

For those of you whose name wasn't drawn, you are still welcome, we'd love to have you all- just follow the link to Spectrum in the side bar.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Spectrum- A Give Away

I'm super excited for this, Spectrum kicks off in March, and to celebrate I am giving away a place in this gorgeous offering. Not only do I get to contribute to this but I am looking forward to doing all the other lessons being taught by some amazing women.

To enter, all you have to do is watch the video above and let me know how this is speaking to you here in the comments and I'll write your name on a slip and toss it into my singing bowl from which I will draw a name in a week.

To increase the number of times I write your name you could do any or all of the following, just be sure to pop back and let me know in the comments:
  • share this competition or the class on your blog, twitter, pinterest, google or facebook page
  • subscribe to my newsletter in the side bar here.
  • like my facebook page (or invite some friends to)
  • Tell me why this class is calling to you
  • subscribe to this blog 
I will pop back in a week to announce the winner, thank you and good luck. And if you want to join in this amazing journey click  HERE. (or in the side bar)
We will be starting in less than two weeks and I can hardly wait :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

And the Winners...

Galia Alena Photography

The winner of the random draw was Karrlin Bain
& the second winner is Francine Bonjour-Carter who said:
Oh my, why is your give-away calling me? It makes me feel shy, scared and excited so I guess it means there is some deep stuff to unveil :) I know 2014 is my year to open the door to my creative artsy Self, and I see you and your beautiful art waving at me for few months. It is also a year of very tight budget so, this opportunity seems to completely
fit with the 2014 ambiance! One shall see...

This post makes me think deeply about which story I would choose. Which story I carry with myself, about myself, could be a seed of transformation. I came with two answers : my story about the first man I loved and my story about my biological father from whom I know only his first name and his country of origin. And I guess they both come down to the same topic : my Masculine. How do I transform my own Masculine aspect to fit who I am now? Hmmm, this question feels quietly blissful.
Thank you for the opportunity to get a closer look at myself.
 I will be honoured to see where this goes for you Francine. Xx
 I will pass both your names onto Connie of Dirty Footprints Studio so she can set you up for when we start. Thank you everyone who entered and shared.
To sign up for this wonderful soulful artful workshop with 21 amazing instructors pop on over here

View from Here :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Luminous- Mantras & Words of the Year

Luminous Galia Alena Photography

Right now
Cicadas are the soundtrack of summer
Gardenias it's scent
Mangoes it's taste
It's touch
the constant movement
between the blanket
of warmth which pervades all
the Southerly that gently unwraps
mama ocean cooling my toes.
A gentle laziness
of friends and picnics,
of familiarity
of coming home
& new beginnings dreamed

I love having a word of the year but more and more I'm finding having a mantra of the year works even better for me. In 2012 my mantra was "Go Deep, Stay Light",  inhale, exhale, a gentle reminder to dig deep into the core of all, of authenticity of both self and life while still remaining slightly detached (something I am not so good at) and whimsical. As a Scorpio my natural tendency is for intensity which can lead to drama and loss of perspective, this gentle mantra brings me back to the moment and some perspective. While not shying away from the real work I try to stay carefree and light.

I don't seek out these mantras, they just seem to find me. I found myself whispering with my breath "Go deep, stay light" while out on a walk in the forest one morning. It came up from the earth through my soles and found itself lodged on my psyche and it stayed. I traveled with it for the whole year. The following year I tried to find a new mantra to work with but it never stuck. Then looking back over the year I realise that at some point I started  working with a mantra that just found me. "To pay attention, this is how we pray". I carved it into bowls, I wrote it onto journal pages and I lived it in the moments. At first I thought it was a quote I had read somewhere that I couldn't get out of my head but then I came to know it just as mine. The word pray is one I avoided for the first 40 years of my life, brought up outside religion the word held only connotations of institutions whose dogma cause much grief. A broadening of my understanding of religion allows me to see my walks through the woods as visits to the temples of divine spirit where the mottled light coming through the trees far out shines any light through a stained glass window.
So in any moment, I stop and pause, I notice the shadows moving across my walls, the way the light shifts with the seasons, the soft curve of my daughter's cheek, the warmth of my coffee cup nursed in my hands, the million greens on my favourite path, the shape of a pebble picked up, a treasure, everything. The sheer beauty within a moment paused…
This paying attention, this noticing of the beauty all around in any moment, holds infinite gratitude. This is how I pray. I breath in the beauty all around, I take it deep into my cells, I exhale gratitude.

I wonder what mantra will find me this year...
I have a suspicion it has found me already. We will see, I watch, I listen and I will know.

As for a word of the year...
I've enjoyed the embodiment of a word of the year over the last few years, its always amazing what unexpected gifts they bring forth. My word for 2013 was Generosity and one of the surprises that came out of holding that word was all about receiving, allowing others and the universe to be generous to me and to accept this with grace. As women we don't always remember to be the receivers, we align more often with giving of ourselves. However, receiving is tied very closely with the feminine and it was quite the lesson to learn how to sit in this.
The other aspect of generosity which also surprised me (although it shouldn't have, it just hadn't occurred to me when I had chosen the word) was it's strong connection with mothering. Mothering, and the generosity of that, was a huge huge huge part of my year (turned my life on its head, again).
At the end of the day, Generosity proved to be very much about being open to the flow, to both giving and receiving. As I put it on a blessing bowl I made for myself "GIVE WITH  ABANDON, RECEIVE WITH GRACE."

How did your word for 2013 hold you, what surprises did it carry?
I still feel generosity spilling into 2014 as I sit by the waters edge typing from a boatshed that I couldn't have dreamed up a few weeks ago. And I feel the generosity of family and friends, of home, of place, of trusting in the unknown.
Boat shed Galia Alena Photography
Office for January
Boat shed Galia Alena Photography
View from Here
I've been musing on what word I want to walk through 2014 with, and I thought for awhile it might be "Visible" but something someone said to me shifted that to "Gentle". Neither really stuck in a way that made me claim or pronnounce them fully. And then last night it came to me, so clear, so perfect and so definately. My word for 2014 is LUMINOUS.

LUMINOUS- light filled, light from within, light giving, radiating, clarity, of comprehension, of wisdom and enlightenment.

If you are looking for a way to work with your word more deeply perhaps you might like to do an art journaling ritual with the word. Pop over here for my Journaling as Sacred Vessel ritual I did last year with Generosity (a free gift to you).
And there is still time to throw your name into the bowl for one of two places on 21 Secrets an Art Journaling workshop in my previous post.

Love and Luminousity

Friday, January 3, 2014

Are you Free-falling or Flying- A give away

A story is the difference between free-falling and flying.
I've heard this saying before but was remind of it (or should I say shaken by it) recently during a sweat lodge when our water pourer was telling us stories. A reminder of both perspective and how we frame things for ourselves- are the stories we tell ourselves about our own lives framed in a way to empower us or do they enforce the victim myth? In Claiming Our Mythos (the class I will guide for 21 Secrets 2014) we will be taking an event or situation in our own lives and mythologising the story in such a way to give us heroine status and to find the hidden gift in a story that might otherwise have weighed us down. We will be working new life into an old story. Pop over to 21 Secrets 2014 to read more about this class and all the other wonderful offerings.

"Thank you for the experience, and get me through the experience, help me appreciate the experience but most of all don't let me judge the experience. Don't let me leave my spirit in the experience. Give me the guidance, give me the visionary insight so that I can go through this experience and never leave my spirit behind" Carolyn Myss
We will be empowering our spirits within our stories, not leaving our spirits in our stories!!

And to celebrate the New Year I am giving away TWO places in 21 Secrets 2014 :

One I am giving away to a random draw: To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment here and I'll write your name on a slip and toss it into my singing bowl from which I will draw a name in a week.

To increase the number of times I write your name you could do any or all of the following, just be sure to pop back and let me know in the comments:
  • share this competition or the class on your blog, twitter, pinterest, google or facebook page
  • subscribe to my newsletter in the side bar here.
  • like my facebook page (or invite some friends to)
  • subscribe to this blog  
The second I'm giving away based on your comments, I will be picking one that I am drawn to from your comments, that I intuit should be in this class. I love reading your comments.
  • Tell me why 21 Secrets is calling to you
  • Tell me a story you would like to reframe or one you have reframed
  • Tell me do you fly or free-fall
I will pop back in a week to announce the winner, thank you and good luck.
 “I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs

Thursday, December 12, 2013

To the land of OZ

 I haven't announce here, or anywhere really, just whisperings, but come December 24th, my family and I will be heading home to the land of OZ. We've spent 2 1/2 years here in Queenstown NZ - there is too much to say so I'm going to say it in pictures but that will be a post for another day.

Ceramic mantra bowls by Galia Alena

In the meantime today I sent out the last of the custom made bowls until I set my family up again and find access to a new kiln. I'm really hoping there will be one in my future. This was such a special batch to make and a privilege to make for such soulful women, filled with love for family or gifts for sisters. 

Ceramic mantra bowls by Galia Alena

By Monday I will be putting my Etsy shop into holiday mode for a few months while all my beloved art supplies bob there way across the ocean. I'm hoping to re-open it as soon as I can with new creations. In the meantime, if there is something calling you then you have until Monday to put your name on- there are still a few bowls left.
Then I will be taking in some of this exquisite place while I still can- in between walks up the mountain and around the lake my daughter is dragging me to fear factory and there will be a girls road trip down to the bottom of the island to visit the dolphins. Trying to breath it all in while I can. I am going to miss the mountains and the lake but am looking forward to the heady sweetness of Gardenias and trays of mangoes and my friends!! Looking forward to my friends. Xx

Ceramic mantra bowls by Galia Alena

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What a Pilgrim Seeks- recent journal pages

Galia Alena Mixed Media Art Journal Pages
What a pilgrim seeks
must be found and refound,
each finding both
the fulfillment of a moment
and the echo of a desire
the illuminated spiral within

What a pilgrim seeks
lives within a single moment
the sillage of a promise
given when the soul forgot
that it was
slipped into silence

What a pilgrim seeks
are the eyes of wonder
that see with sparkling clarity
the delicate home
that was always
Galia Alena Mixed Media Art Journal Pages

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bring a Friend- Black Friday through to Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday Special Offer:
Bring a friend for Free
Black Friday through to Cyber Monday, sign up for Of the Heart and you get to bring a friend along for free (or half price each :) ).
(just include both your emails in the message to seller box and I will add you both to the classroom)

 This is a mixed media, self-paced on-line workshop.
For more details click here


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