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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Shape Shifters and a Blog Hop

Shape shifters Galia Alena painting
Shape Shifters

 Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrongdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. ~Rumi
I was asked by an artist friend to join her in a blog hop, so here goes. First some questions about my work and process and then I will introduce you to a few friends on this blog hop whose work you should check out :)
 

What am I working on?
Creativity is not a replica of life but rather a tool for insight. Carnwaith
At the moment most of my creating time is going into a series of mixed media paintings, some  of which you can see in this post (and there are more in previous posts). The work is coming faster than I can keep up and I have to steal as much time as possible to get into the studio and lay the paint down as the paintings demand. Other projects which I thought I would be working on have all be shoved aside or abandoned for now as my energy is demanding to be given over to these pieces.


How does my work differ from others of its genre?

  
The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.”
― Miguel Ruiz
 
I’m not sure what “genre” per se we would be speaking of here but in general after struggling with the postmodern conundrum of “its all been said and done before” I’ve come to realise that that doesn’t really matter. I have to say and produce what I have to say and produce, I have to repeat it for myself, something within demands I do. I’m constantly struggling with the grasp of the language i.e. my skills and techniques are still learning and the results never quite land where I want them to but the process itself is paramount and each attempt gets closer to articulating what I’m trying to convey. The work is an intersection of all my experiences and perceptions of them at a certain space in time, that is how I process my unique experiences through my own eyes and my experiences, all the little things and the way that I perceive them are at once universal and yet unique to me, unique and ever so precious. That we each have a unique voice, and that if we allow them all to sing truly, then we have something beautiful.

Why do I create what I do?


The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create -Ben Okri

The simple answer is because I have to. When I try to create something different, or nothing, it doesn’t work for me. If I set out wanting to do a different style, a more intentional piece or try other colours I like, or make work along the lines of others' work I am drawn to, then I get stuck, it feels wrong, it’s not me, it’s not “authentic”. I can practice other styles and techniques to train my eyes and hands, to hone my craft but then I have to produce the particular work that I do and often that just means getting out of the way and knowing that it is not up to me to judge the work.


How does my writing process work?

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”  Vincent van Gogh
This quote is exactly what my process feels like at the moment- the images that I’m painting are coming to me in dreams and visions, I get the images down quickly and then begin to work with them, painting the layers, listening and watching what else wants to comes through. The paintings change from the first vision as new things show up in the process and dreamtime works with them by night. For me they are full of meaning and symbolism, some of which is surprising and yet obvious. For example, Butterfly Song had first been visualised with a different sort of butterfly, more like a flower unfurling from the throat and I knew the image would have a lot of blue in it for the throat chakra. When I started painting it, orange also wanted to be part of the image, orange which is representative of the sacral chakra, where our creative urges stir. Once I thought about it, it made perfect sense that liberating the throat chakra, from where we speak our sacred truths, that our sacral chakra would also be liberated. The butterfly itself also has strong feminine imagery in it with the valva but you can also see very clearly the hands in the peace sign, Namaste…
So I guess you could say that this group of work is an exploration of dreamtime.





Now let me introduce a few friends:
Laly Mille is a French artist who lives near Tours, in the Loire Valley of France. Her soulful paintings and poetic assemblage pieces invite you to listen to your dreams. Laly is also currently working at a nursing home where she facilitates creativity and art workshops for the elderly. You can find her on Facebook or visit her blog at www.lalymille.com. Her beautiful artwork is featured in the July/August edition of Somerset Studio, the popular artist’s magazine.


My work as a fiber artist working with fabric and fiber to create abstract 3-dimensional forms was my focus for many years. I started painting full time in 2009 focusing on portrait/figure work painting in acrylics, watercolors and mixed media. Fractured Angels is the continuous thread throughout my work. My art parallels my spiritual journey and I identify with the flawed, cracked and fractured human yearning for peace and fulfillment.
The older I get the stronger the pull to explore and express this theme in my work. Along the way I discovered I loved teaching. I find the creative process so incredibly interesting. My energy lies in that process and to share that with others has been the most fulfilling role of my life. The spiritual nature of the creative process is something that I think about a lot. The idea of constant practicing of my craft along with allowing myself to let go in moments of creating is the key to authentic art. 


Becky Cavender is a writer, relationship coach, artist, and single mom living in the Pacific Northwest. Becky has several articles published on Huffington Post and she has lived in five countries on four continents -- including Myanmar, where she published a guidebook for expats moving there. When she’s not writing poetry, traveling, interviewing inspiring creative types, or working on her novel, you can find her at any of the best local coffee joints sucking up her caffeine.
You can read more of her work and learn about her coaching services on her website:
http://beckycavender.blogspot.com/

Veronica Funk was raised in Northern Manitoba, studied art & design in Alberta, apprenticed with potters, stone sculptors and painters and spent a year painting on a farm in Saskatchewan. She is inspired by the changing colours of the Rocky Mountains and prairies which surround her foothills home.  She has been painting professionally since 1999 and is currently continuing her education towards completion of her Bachelor of Fine Arts designation.  Despite forays into mixed media, altered books and pottery, she has always returned to the medium that got her career started: painting. Over the years she has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles and her work and writing have been published in a number of art books and magazines.  Her goal is to create a visual story.  She combines symbols, imagery and vibrant color through the use of opaque and transparent acrylic glazes, stamping, utilizing her hands as tools and drawing with her brush. Her images are an endeavor to capture the essence of Canada. http://www.veronicafunk.com/
 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Of Women made of Moonlight Magic and Macabre

Women know how to let things go
how to let a dying thing leave the body
how to become new, how to regenerate
how to wax and wan
Who's inspiring me right now? Dominque Ashaheed, whose work InSpirers in the true sense of catching my breathe, pausing my inhalation, "inflame; blow into".

Today I'm sharing this poem which cut right through me the other night as I stood in the kitchen serving dinner to waiting children listening with my body as I do with her words, tears flowing from my belly up through my eyes. I shared it on my facebook page and groups and watched it go viral amongst my friends as it spoke to their bones, souls and BLOOD. Her words speaking to all our truths and our wishes for our daughter's.


You can find another of her poems I love "i am learning how to become a flower" here  and visit her web site here


And in honouring this "necessary conversation" I am putting my "Of the Heart" on-line workshop, my daughter's menarche book, a mixed media love letter, on a 50% sale Details here .

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lotus Fairy

Galia Alena, Lotus Fairy painting

"In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus, and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty." Kabir

Dragonfly medicine, bringer of light, cuts through illusions and her shifting colours help with transformation and transition as we move through the mud of this world to be raised pure as the lotus. She helps us dig deep through our emotions while keeping a lightness of being and joyfulness.

“As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world” Buddha

Friday, June 20, 2014

Butterfly Song

Butterfly Song- Galia Alena painting, butterfly medicine and throat chakra
Butterfly Song
"When you do not speak, the thousand stars that lay upon your tongue slide back down your throat only to be swallowed one by one, jagged, pointed and weighing more than planets. When we swallow the truth, we turn our bodies into graveyards." Tama Kieves

Butterfly medicine is about transformation but also about joyfulness and here the lightness around speaking your truths and the transformation that those truths can herald. This painting speaks of the voice chakra and its connection to creativity when we find our sacred voice and the inner peace from allowing our sacred voice and creativity to merge.


This original painting is available in my Etsy :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

BEAUTIFUL MESSES & PERFECT IMPERFECTIONS


CREATIVE PLAY * SELF EXPLORATION * EXPERIMENTATION
PERMISSION TO REVEL IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS
BEAUTIFUL MESSES & PERFECT IMPERFECTIONS
DIGGING DEEP * FULLY EXPRESSED

Finally I'm all settled into the beautiful Blue Mountains where a rainbow of winged ones visit my studio daily, the skinks scurry as I walk through the garden and the lorikeets spit gumnuts down from the top of the tees. Here in this beautiful setting, I'm excited to be able to begin my live art journaling classes and workshops, and surround myself with kindred spirits and creative souls. Are you called to express yourself between the pages.

Classes:
These are weekly, “how to” classes, covering a range of topics such as Overcoming the Blank Page, Backgrounds, Collage, the use of Text, Exploring mediums, mark making and so on. A great way to get started if you are new to art journaling or a wonderful way to pick up some new techniques if you are seasoned.

Circle:
This will be a group of women committed to coming together once a week to explore and support each other’s practice in a safe and sacred container. Together we will use our journals to explore such things as our chakras, moving around the medicine wheel and through the seasons and elements, exploring our personal symbology and other rich and delicious tools.

Workshops:
The workshops are day long intensives where we explore a particular themes, such as Nature Journal, Mapping the Interior, Collage Jumpstart, Fire & Water, Beneath my Feet.
Perfect if you are coming up to the Blue Mountains for a weekend or day trip. 

For more information on either the live workshops or online classes please subscribe to my newsletter in the sidebar (selecting which you are interested in) or email me.
There are more examples of art journaling on the Journal Page in the menu bar.

 Art Journaling in the beautiful Blue Mountains

Galia Alena Blue Mountains

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pixel Dusting Photoshop Tutorial

Pixel Dusting logo

Finally I have uploaded the first of the Pixel Dusting tutorials, amidst an uncooperative hard drive, I'm hoping I got there in the end. It's on making a watermark brush to copyright your photos or artwork before uploading to the web.
I hope you find it useful :)



More to follow shortly.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Between the Pages


Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media
 It's been awhile since I've shared some of my journal pages here so I thought I'd post some today.
Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media 21 Secrets
This one above is from the class I taught for 21 Secrets Spring, a page rich with meaning for me (there's a little video on this over here). 21 Secrets is still going on- I'm loving seeing all the work that's coming out of that.

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum
And here is the page I guided for Spectrum, a very different lesson from what I put together for 21 Secrets- the diversity you can have in your own journaling process is amazing- sometimes there is more pondering and other times just following the flow. Below are  just some of pages I've done in response to other lessons and topics coming up in Spectrum. I know my Spectrum journal is going to be bursting at the seams with juicy goodness by the time we're finished. Spectrum continues until December so it's not to late to join in with this deliciousness (link in the sidebar).

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed media- Spectrum
 And a quick little sketch of my view in QT before I said good bye to it:

Galia Alena art journal page

Then Orly Alvenri inspired me to do a few pages for her new project No More Silence #yesallwomen. In her own words "So we have written letters, we went to the street, we protested, we discussed, we commented, we shared, we cried, then internalized, we yelled and quieted down again, we denied and then remembered, we meditated, and spread love, cause we think it all starts with one, ourselves, we defined fear, origins, causes, and solutions. All of it needs to be done. But WE, people who express ourselves through the VISUAL LANGUAGE, our fury, our beauty, and our silences, should use this platform big time, to make a change in ways that are fresh and bold and different. We should never feel like oh well what can my little journal pages do other than express my little intimate world. Well lots!! Think about THE 1000 JOURNALS PROJECT or NOTRE COMBAT. We are going to do this together my friends, one journal page at a time and all at once, collectively." Orly

Galia Alena Art Journal page mixed mediaGalia Alena Art Journal page mixed media
How do you let the rawness out on your pages?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finally my Etsy shop is up and running again

After a long break, my Etsy shop is finally open again with some new works from below.  I am still not able to take any custom bowl orders at the moment but I am hoping that I maybe able to again soon- fingers crossed. In the meantime there are a couple of lucky last bowls from the last batch :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Recent work- keeping up with the Muses


"The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light, as innocent as love itself." Rumi
Galia Alena- The Great Wings Beating were Her Own, painting
The Great Wings Beating were Her Own
"The garden of the world has no limits
Except in your mind.
Its presence is more beautiful than the stars
With more clarity
Than the polished mirror of your heart." -Rumi
Galia Alena- More Beautiful than the Stars, painting
More Beautiful than the Stars
“I am a garden of earthly delights.
I am the apple you would fall for a thousand times.”
― Diane Lockward
Galia Alena- In the Garden of Earthly Delights, painting
In the Garden of Earthly Delights
“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”
― Rumi
Galia Alena- Fly Towards a Secret Garden, painting
Fly Towards a Secret Garden
There is a morning inside you waiting to burst open into Light.
~Rumi.
Galia Alena- Dear Heart, painting
Dear Heart

Friday, May 16, 2014

Today is a Perfect Day to just Be...

Galia Alena Photography, quotes and texture

"This morning I'm composed after the wild day and night that was the pull of the full moon in Scorpio. I sit quietly in the garden nursing tea, still amongst the busyness that is always going on out here. The bees buzzing along their familiar routes, the chit chit chit chit of the birds cracking gum nuts, the tiny insects that dance in the autumn light. My garden is always a flutter of winged ones and I in rhythm with the gentle breeze that meanders through the grasses. I commit to nothing today but rest and gentleness. A bath, some chi gong and yin yoga sounds pleasant, perhaps a walk, perhaps I'll not move from this spot where I watch the sun rise through the trees. The blank canvas shall make no demands on me today but I steep in the rush of downloads the muses sent with the moon. Today is not a day to do, today is a perfect day to just be..." excerpt from the journal

Galia Alena Photography, quotes and texture

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Room of My Own

The Night Dreams of You, Galia Alena, mixed media painting
The Night Dreams of You
It is autumn here and the garden is ablaze with the leaves doing their swan song in vivid reds and yellows. This week feels like things are starting to settle down here tucked away in our new life snuggled in the mountains. Yesterday was the first fire of the season and after a morning of painting in my studio to the sound of rain on a tin roof I snuggled with my family and cooked homemade minestrone soup (the first of many) and cheese and chive damper. All so cozy on a Saturday in the mountains. I'm settling in, nesting down and inspired up.

 Above is the first piece I have painted in our new house and I feel a series coming on, I'm already working on a couple more and am keen to see where they go. I've also started work on two new e-courses that have been waiting for some space for me to give them my full attention (more on that shortly, I hope you will be as excited as I am). Next I will find myself a new kiln and relaunch my Etsy shop, so many of you have been asking when you can order one of my  custom blessing and offering bowls and I'm itching to get working with clay again, and there will be some paintings for sale too.

View from my Studio Door


 This week I moved into my new studio, and I'm very excited, it's a proper studio space, removed from the house, where I can drip paint, sling clay, melt wax and any other messy thing I want to my hearts content. In fact yesterday I took such delight to look down at the floor and see colourful paint drips already (and I didn't have to stop to clean them up). I'm still moving in and finding my way in there, balancing pretty with functional, and finding my new working flow but I'm sure there will be many photos to come. In the meantime I've been thinking about previous spaces, stolen corners in the house, care taken not to ruin carpets or floorboards, or to make my family feel like my artwork takes over the house. I'm grateful for these spaces in getting me to where I am, but I'm also grateful to now have a proper dedicated space and can't wait to see where that takes me. Of course, I will still take over the dining room table on occasion and curl up on the couch with my journal, not to mention all the delicious spots to stop and sketch in the garden- the creative life refuses to stay confined to the studio ;)
Galia Alena Photography, Creative space studio
The Loft Space
Galia Alena Photography, Creative space studio
Scenes from my last space
Galia Alena Photography, Creative space studio
My Space in Queenstown

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 Instagram 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

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