A Year of Circle Work

I created Circle Work because I needed it.

I needed something to revolve around that made sense to me.  I was trying to plant myself in a place, but Circle Work helped me to instead situate myself internally.

This lunation marked the 12th cycle since I claimed myself as a Circle Worker.

That's a year y'all.  I’ve never carried something for a year, ever.  

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Circle Work has gifted me a way to engage with my growth through thematic creative projects, aligned with the cyclical rhythm of the moon.

This “experiment" I created to expand the sacred space in my life, is now creating me.

It has become a practice, an identity, and a medicine all its own. 

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 As I look back at each new moon's post, I see the process of an opening widen.   

I have challenged myself to be seen, to show up, and to continue to step closer to my Self with each lunation.  

 I am becoming a more truthful version of myself because of the wheel I've been turning here, enlivened by giving Spirit a marble to roll, specifically designed for It.  

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I bump up against, or glide through the lessons it guides me to,

and either way is really fine with me.  

The point is that the process is always guiding me into new space to be honest with myself, not necessarily comfortable.

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This moon cycle, I rolled into a few full circles:  

A year of Circle Work, a year in Denver, and a year as a single individual.  

It should be noted that I've never lived anywhere, or done anything for an entire year since I earned my bachelor's degree in 2013.  

I've also never maintained my individuality for this long since I started dating when I was 15.  

So, for me, these things are big deals.

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Relating internally, and holding space for these larger cycles to complete themselves has proven to be the Circle Work itself this month.  

It was natural, and necessary, to review the route that got me here, to honor where I am, and to set my sites on where to shoot the marble next. 

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Creatively, my desires are larger.  

I want to take on bigger projects that can't be completed in one lunation.  

Spiritually, I am entering into a fallow place, a natural resting period after cultivating and harvesting so much creativity.

I need space to let things run wild and unstructured for a bit; to start over again; to be The Fool.  

I want to play some spiritual pin ball, following the whims of the Self through the Circle without a deadline or a "product" to be consumed by anyone except myself.   

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So I'm giving myself time to bump around, and see what pastures I roll into.  

I’m taking time off the blog to allow myself to listen to where Circle Work wants to go, so this is my last one for a spell. 

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For now, the plan is to begin to step back into some structure at Samhain: the Celtic new year and Halloween.  

I don't know what structure Circle Work will take after that, but I trust, and I'm excited to find out. 

I'm willing to follow this work, circle by circle, wherever it goes.

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QOYA

Once I was done with my little herd of paintings, I could breathe more easily.  

I felt a lot of spaciousness, but there was one more shadowy granule, heavy with doubt, unworthiness,  and "unfinished business" stuck in my lungs.  I had one last seed to cough up and plant in the world.  

I needed to teach a Qoya class.

Qoya is a style of  meditative dance, engaging our bodies through movement as a portal to remembering.  

Qoya teaches us to find our way back into our bodies as sacred space.  Through Qoya, we can tap into the wisdom our bodies have to share with us, and the truth that we can access there at any time.  

Qoya has become one of my greatest tools for discovering change and healing within myself.  For more information about Qoya, click the button below and explore the official Qoya website.  

The first time I ever danced Qoya was in October of 2016.  I was playing one of Rochelle’s videos, from the website above, in my bedroom.  

At the time, I was harboring a lot of grief: for  an outworn version of my self; for a failing romantic relationship; for all that I have yet to bring into the world and was worried I never might.  

As I danced, my bodied guided me into allowance and non-resistance.   Dancing helped me find a way to welcome in challenging feelings, instead of pushing them away from me.  

I allowed myself to hear them, too.  

My body guided me into a powerful experience of revelation and release.  

When the class ended, I didn’t feel necessarily “fixed”, but I felt newly aware of what I was actually coming up against emotionally, by journeying somatically into those places.  

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I felt empowered by the tool I had just discovered for accessing that truth, with wild ease and radical freedom.  

 I felt a confidence in knowing that I could travel into those difficult feelings, and come out the other side as a fresher version of myself.  

I could hold space for them and then move through them, not just shove them away, or sit inside of them with no way out. 

I signed up for the Qoya Collective Retreat and Initiation Training in Costa Rica that same night, no second thoughts, which happened to fall on my 26th birthday.

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I awakened to a lot over the course of that week, dancing for hours every day.  

I made the choice, along with 40 other women,  to go inward, to feel, to hold space for whatever came up, and to be in community and support each other while we did that.   

My body revealed to me what I was unwilling to let go of, where I feel unworthy, and where I limit myself without realizing it.  

But my body also taught me how deeply I can love, how joyful I can be, how truthfully I can feel, how much bravery I can embody,  and how authentically I can express. 

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Some of my most supportive relationships are among women I have met in this space.  

The tattoo on my back bonds me to three of my Qoya sisters, reminding us to open up the back of our hearts;  to the moon and to the shadow; to bring forward and honor equally all that we have hidden in the dark in order to move through it.  

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It reminds us of the powerful connectivity that dancing with other women, creating and holding space for one another, fosters.  It anchors us to the authentic sisterhood that we feel because of this, even at a distance.

To me, dancing Qoya is divine medicine.  The movement of Qoya helps me to access the sacred connection within myself, and is my greatest tool for discovering a deep knowing of my Self. 

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Mirroring my education in massage therapy, and my education in general,  I thrived in the learning process of my initiation training.  It was once I was done learning, and it was time for me to teach Qoya in the current of my daily life, that the doubt swept in.  

Could I do this?  

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Could I hold space for other women as so many women have held space for me?  

Could I create a container where other women felt safe enough to journey into themselves? Was I ready for that?  Was I worthy of that?  Had I healed enough?  Learned enough?  

There was fear, and there was anxiety, and there was the laziness and procrastination that plagues me when I feel the voice of “I can’t”.

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It has been over a year since I received my initation training, but finishing my paintings had given me new courage.

 They taught me I could do these things that seemed hard and overwhelming to push through, it is just a matter of setting a deadline and committing.

I set my bar very low.  

I was going to teach ONE Qoya class this moon cycle.  Just one. Whether it be to one person or to five.  I was going to do it.  

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It was vulnerable for me to teach a Qoya class to people who had never practiced Qoya before.  There was fear in sharing something so close to my heart, without knowing if the women I was sharing Qoya with would connect with it as I do.

Before this class, as I set sacred space, I prayed to give it all up.  I offered up my fear, my anxiety,  my  feelings of unworthiness, and my desire to control the outcomes and experiences of others.  

I put my trust in the support I was calling upon, and in the sacred container I was invoking.  I made the choice to trust.  I resolved to rest in, and be supported by the Knowing that Qoya, for me, is real and true.

And that is enough.  

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In this first class, as I called in my intention, I danced to remember  what it feels like in my body when I trust in the present unfolding, unconditionally. 

I have two new Qoya sisters because I found the strength to have faith in this space.  I was able to introduce two more women to the power of Qoya as a tool for remembering our truths, and coming home to our bodies.  

Class ended with expressions of excitement, connectivity, and desires to do this all again sometime soon.  

I was humbled and grateful to be able to extend this gift to other women as it has been, and continues to be extended to me time, and time again. 

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The Herd

I don't have much to say this moon cycle.  I did it, and I'm proud of myself for finishing on time.

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The most major theme that walked with me this month was knowing when to be done, and learning how to walk away and be satisfied, maybe even be pleased, despite my own ideas about imperfection and inadequacy.  

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 I'm great at starting things.  I'm not so great at finishing things.  But by some miracle, I finished these things.

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 I herded these little babes into the metaphorical barn that is Keith's Coffee Bar, and there they will rest for a while after a long journey.  

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This feels good, and that is good enough for me.  

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If you're interested in purchasing any of these paintings, click the "paintings" tab at the top of the blog page, or come visit Keith's in Denver.  

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A  couple are already sold, but the rest are for the taking.  

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And I do hope you'll let me shepherd them into your homes and onto your walls, because they no longer belong with me.  

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I'm really grateful for all the support I felt from my friends and my family this cycle.  Thank you for holding space for me so that I could hold space for these images.  

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Thank you for encouraging me that these creations in me were worth finishing.  

Anxiety of the Maker

  I often come up against "seeing things through"

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My apartment is covered in half-finished projects and half-read books. 

I have yet to keep a job for over a year.    

I am a level II Reiki practioner.  

I am a level I Qoya Instructor, but I have yet to teach a class.  

I have a massage therapy license, but I practice infrequently.  

I received a bachelor's degree in multi-lingual studies, becoming a proficient speaker of Spanish, French, and Italian, but I've never held a job that applies any of them.   

I know a little bit about a lot of different things.  

As a "jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none,"  Its hard to feel really good at anything.

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Time, for me, always seems to be the issue. 

If I devote all of my time to one thing, I sacrifice other passions, but by choosing to keep all the balls in the air, I've been sacrificing something else. 

This moon cycle I turned 27.  

I see others my age reaching new pinnacles in their pursuits and careers, achievements they have diligently earned through carrying one thing from start to finish for years at a time.  

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For now, I am a barista, and I feel the anxiety of reaching a place in my life where it seems like I should have already started to build something solid for myself.

But it doesn't outweigh the Anxiety of the Maker; 

That feeling like life is slipping away into meaninglessness if creations aren't flowing from my hands.  

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I chose my job because it allows me the flexibility of schedule and mental space to Make.

Life has little purpose for me if I am not communing in this way, but I still need to eat, to pay my bills, and I desire to reach a place where I am not just surviving paycheck to paycheck.  

I'm working on bringing my monetary path and how I feel I must live to be a physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy human being into alignment.

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This moon cycle, I ran into my own lacks, along with a growing desire to tie up loose ends.  

I desired to clear a path to guide my creativity and my adulthood towards one another.

A half-finished pile of braided rope loomed, a personal mountain, crowding a corner of my little studio apartment.  

I felt the weight of the unfinished paintings, stacked tidily on my desk, like a pile bricks on my chest.  

In creating halves of things, I have created obstacles for myself.  

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With all of these projects circulating in my head I couldn't think straight.

 I worked to choreograph an ending to the dance I was doing with them.  If I could just bring the song to a close, I thought, they would let me out of the revolving door.  

I could step back into the crossroads, see clear pathways, and decide from there how to walk the line of harmony without being pulled out of tune by projects gone rouge, heckled by the discordant voices of "I can't",  "I haven't", and "I never will."

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It's been 9 months since I first began cutting fabric for this rug, and I felt into the medicine of an obstruction turned life tool.  

Rather than dwell on the unfinished paintings still sitting on my desk this new moon, I'm  allowing my self space to feel my accomplishment.

I'll step into the labyrinth, allowing the dance to be the way through.

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Doodleglyphics

A friend of mine told me that 80% of a piece is already decided by the time you make your first mark.  I told him that I believe that, and I do.  It's actually integral to the way I create visual artwork.  I begin by making a mark and bringing out what lies within it.  

I've only ever planned out one painting from start to finish.  I was 16 and it was the first painting I ever made.  A stormy seascape featuring a red bucket half buried in the sand.  It may still be dimly pulsing in a back closet at 89 Mountain Road, or it may have long since been buried itself.

From 16-20 there were paintings, I know there were, but I really can't remember them.  Most of them were half finished landscapes or still lives that I'd abandoned in boredom, or frustration.  Creating realistic looking images didn't inspire me and I also wasn't great at it, but I had no idea what else to paint, so I let painting slip away for a while.  

When I picked up the brush for another time at 20, my process revolved around making a mark.  

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I would turn the canvas and strengthen some aspects of the mark.  I would turn it again, and again, adding to it without  forethought.  I created line thickness, or added dots and squiggles where it looked and felt asthetically pleasing to do so.  Then, suddenly, I would see IT, and I would stop turning the canvas.  

From then on I focused on bringing out the image that had made itself known.  In a way, its a lot like cloud watching.  I look and don't look at the mark I made, and let my mind fill in the gaps. 

The painting above is the first painting that I create this way.

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The first time I experienced this alternate way of creating, it felt like a breakthrough for me.  I had busted into a new world where I didn't have to do anything but find some stillness, make a mark, and play until I found what was already there.  It didn't matter what it was.  It wasn't supposed to be anything except for what it was naturally unfolding into and becoming.  

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I continued to paint like this, because it revised my role from creator to co-creator, and I preferred that.  By finding stillness and focusing intention, often closing my eyes to make a mark, I felt like I had found a path to one of many places where the veil meets the world.  I could stand there, waiting for wisps of images to be passed to me.  All the pieces in the "paintings" tab of my website began this way way.  

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I haven't painted in over a year.  During my last bout of painting, the honeymoon was over.  The images that were happening were truthful, but  I was growing frustrated and discouraged with my technique.

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I'm an untrained painter.  I've taken plenty of other art courses, but I steadily avoided painting classes.  

While painting in the manner I have been creates organic movement and shapes that I find extremely satisfying, I was growing to feel like my pieces were overworked because of their blindly unfolding direction.  They tended to looked unfinished in a, "crossing the T's dotting the I's" kind of way, even when it was clear to me they were done.  

I was feeling the desire to paint well up again.   I wanted to find a way to do it that left me with a cleaner finish, while still remaining true to the co-creative process that I hold so dear.  

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So I started drawing marks, and they just kept coming.  

In the thick of it, if I went a day without doodling, it felt like I grew unfocused and anxious until I could sit down and release an image or two.

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I drew a circle(s) with one fluid mark over it, and began to pull out an image from there.  

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Because they each stem from a single mark, they began to feel like symbols and not images.  

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I cut them out, laminated them, taped them to the back of canvases, and traced their outline onto the front with my light board shining below.  

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I realized I was developing a little library of motifs, and I could begin to tell stories, continuing to see and reinvent each symbol anew.  

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This ever expanding library allows me to create images that feel authentic to my process, but also allows me to address the medium rather than the image on the canvas.

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 The focus shifted from, "what is trying to be seen?" to, "how should I use the paint?" This broke up the process into three parts:

  1. Pulling forward a symbol from the "fecund abyss," as Brian Swimme puts it.  
  2. Preserving and combining each symbol.
  3. Translating the symbol into a different medium

The last stage allowed me to focus on the complexities of color and of paint itself

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These paintings were tricky.

 They began as a unit and they decided, somewhere along the way, that they would end as a unit.  

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I began to think of them as a herd.  No painting would allow any other to be left too far behind, or move too far ahead of the pack.  Each time one canvas inspired me anew, the light behind my insight would eventually grow dim.

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 I would glance around at the others, seeing which one was waving its hand at me, asking to be tagged in.  It was a way to continue forward without having to force anything.  

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Creatively, I find that the more of my own premeditations something contains and the less it is growing in the moment, the less inspiring it is and the harder it is for me to finish it.  

Hopping from one painting to the next, following impulse, was a way of getting myself a little more out of the way.  

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This was especially important because I don't feel I have a mastery of paint as a medium, and it was easy for me to get frustrated that I wasn't rendering something "the way I wanted it."  

Continuously moving from painting to painting allowed me to focus less on my shortcomings.  

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If I felt like something wasn't going well, I shifted my attention to how I felt I could positively move forward in that moment, which mostly meant turning my brush to a different painting.    

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It took me some time to recognize the creative rhythm that this herd of paintings was calling for.  

I spent the whole week after the full moon ignoring them completely, convinced I was stuck, when in reality I'd just been forcing my focus in the wrong place.  

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I couldn't force them to be finished either, and it wasn't much of a surprise to me that they wouldn't be done on the new moon.  If there is anything that circle work has taught me so far, its that I don't get to choose the size and pace of each projects monthly circumference.  

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I just get to choose one path and walk it for a while, discovering how long it is, how far it goes, and what kind of challenges lie across it.

Circling Up

January's new moon marks six months along this journey into circle working.

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I've noticed a shift in the way I feel this process.

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It has changed from being something that I do, to becoming part of my identity.

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By that I mean it has incorporated itself into the pillars that hold up my perspective and fuel my actions as I walk through this life.  

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I imaging what it means to be a circle worker will continuously change and shift as I continue to grow and learn within its path,

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but at the beginning of this moon cylce,  I could feel that my roots into circle work  had grown sturdy under the surface.

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A growing desire to bridge the gap between my internal and external life, my circle work and my community, was beginning to bud.

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I began this cycle with the intention of being more brave.

It can be hard for me to discuss work that it is so interwoven with my spiritual practice.

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It is vulnerable to share all that circle working is teaching me, because I know that it reveals my most truthful self, and it's also a little weird. 

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I'm learning that what begins as weird is really just unfamiliar, and the more and more my community sees whats in my heart, the more familiar it becomes to them, and they become to me.

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As I begin to step outward with less fear and reservation and more curiosity, I have felt the vitality of that shift, weaving my two worlds into alignment.

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I'm realizing I’m not traveling alone.  

Friends and family color with me, have sent me pictures, or poems, or videos of circle work they are encountering, or that they have created themselves.

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Ailish sent me her own circle work. 

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Emma taught me how to make candles

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and the circle work she sees within that process.

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On this new moon, my friends gathered in my home,

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raising up the dark circle of the moon together.  

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I couldn’t feel more lucky to be playing this game of call and response with the universe

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through the individuals in my community and what they have to share with me.

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Exploring how the experience of being vulnerable creates space for my community to be the messengers, informing me to how the path curves. 

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Doodle Decoupage

This moon cycle, my heart was turned like the compost.

It was a time for digging up, and airing out.

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Dormant ways of feeling were churned from the bottom to take in oxygen again, and be better integrated with the present.

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In times like this, my nomadic impulse tells me to drive in order to keep up with the internal momentum.

But in exploration of staying put, of taking in, and not pushing out, I needed a different kind of vehicle.

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The road has always felt comfortable to me.

With no specific place to be and no specific time to be anywhere,

I am neutralized.

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I can explore.

I can process.

There is no pressure.

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Doodling is kind of like that.

Drawing with no direction, but waiting for the direction to become illuminated.

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When It arrives, it strobes through my vision.

It flashes with the image, or color, or shape, or number to make next,

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The Way through verifies itself with the familiar stamp of sturdiness behind my belly button, filling the inside of my ribcage.  

The feeling of fullness blips on the radar, and lets me know I've found the current.

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I don't resist the signal,

I just follow without hesitation,

because it really doesn’t matter what this looks like.

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What matters is the smooth comfort of chalk, blurring between my finger and the paper; 

the full sound the marker makes curving long against the page; 

the light bouncing off the color and bringing it alive.

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What matters is getting the mind into the body. 

What matters is the game I am playing with the present

to just listen.

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Just listen,

and stop making this moment

all about myself.

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Managing my emotional space can feel like a game where I am sometimes losing ground,

sometimes gaining twice as much ground,

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and sometimes losing it all again. 

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I'm reluctant to be forgiving of myself

when I return to outmoded patterns, repeating lessons. 

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I “should” on myself for not having learned the first, or second, or the twelfth time.

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Coloring helps me view what I am coming up against emotionally with more distance.

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By acting from a desire to align with Higher Will and listening for its morse code, pulsing deep in my body,  I am recalibrated.

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I can return with more fluidity to a neutral state.

Its the best tool I've found so far for getting myself out of dejected spaces.

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It expands the container I create for myself in the process,

giving me the ability to hold space around whatever arises,

"good" or "bad", and let it breathe again.

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Let it be known, and felt, and gently turned between my hands.

Warming up the emotional tissue,  

letting it grow soft and return to the Whole.

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 The sacred act of coming home to my body, 

acknowledging the information my vessel wants to communicate,

and practicing non-resistance to it

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preserves my Life force.  

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It builds a relationship with Flow that I can feel, and let guide me as I walk through this embodiment.

 

 

Lanterns

This past full moon to new moon cycle felt slapdash and unsettled.  I found myself busier with outward commitments than usual,  and additionally faced a lack of internal calm as I was moving into a new apartment.  Within this personal transition, I couldn't muster up enough focus to create something that I'm truly proud of.  

Everything felt rushed.

From my external life to my internal life, I was having a hard time just being still.  When I did have the opportunity to be still, my mind continued to race.  

The product I'm left with this cycle is an honest reflection of my inward agitation.  

Thing were not as tight as they could be; The blog is late, the pictures are sloppy, some lanterns didn't work the way that they should, and I didn't have enough time in my days to troubleshoot the problems.  

 I'm learning more each moon cycle about the process of bringing something from start to finish.  This project period highlighted a need to give myself more time to create work that is truly meaningful to me.  Blogging about my creations gives me impetus to finish what I start, but this cycle's project was not as attached to why I create, and that shift troubled me.

I circle work to create sacred space in my life, first and foremost.  

This cycle I strayed a little from that path, and I felt that lack of connection in my personal life.

So ...I've decided I'm going to shift my project timeline from bi-weekly to monthly.  

New Moon to New Moon.  

It's challenging to birth something infused with true personal power in two weeks time!   I believe this shift to my method will allow me to align my creativity more deeply with an entire moon cycle, and feel more complete in my creative process.  

So with that said, I humbly present to you this new moon's work. 

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Back to Basics

When I  alter the amount of structure a creations has, it changes its qualities.  

More structure, while providing something beautiful, balanced and potently intentional, compromises movement, spontaneity and the unexpected.  

Less structure returns me to the fecund abyss, anything can rise from it because there are no boundaries.  

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When I create my meditations, I follow the internal impulse that tells me how to move, rather than create something pulled and crafted from my thinking mind.  

The only boundary is that the drawing be focused around a circle.  The circle serves as a funnel, allowing the channel to flow with more directed strength.

These meditations show me a concentrated reflection of a moment in time.  I look at them and I am returned to embodiments of feeling.  I can remember how it felt to be in my body when I made it, the way the air smelled, where I was sitting, and what kinds of sounds were around.  I can remember if I was hot or cold, if I was comfortable or uncomfortable, if I was happy, or sad or any range of emotions in between. 

They allow me to reach into these moments with all of their vivacity and sense my journey.  In a glance, I can understand what would take me many words to express, and the place that I stand in the present is given deeper meaning. 

I can weave the physical with the mental and the spiritual through the practice of leaving space for the present moment to draw itself through me.  Within that freedom from judgement to be anything specific, the meditations unfold as they are.

As I have delved into this practice of drawing circles into my life in a deeper way, I found that I've strayed away from these meditations.  Towards this full moon I felt the need to return to the practice that started this journey into circles 3 years ago.  I wanted to honor this simple process that aligns me with the present moment in trust and truth.

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I began by trying to document this process along the way, but I quickly abandoned it.  I found that it was getting in the way with truly aligning with trust.  It shifted my psyche into questioning if what I was creating was "good enough".  I also couldn't fully connect with the meditation when I was preoccupied with stopping at different points to capture my progress.

Astrology Map

 I am a being on a planet, revolving in a solar system, spiraling in a universe, flowering in a multi-verse.  

While I understand this conceptually, I have only just begun to know it in my bones.  

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It wasn't until I read The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos, by Brian Swimme, that I began to know how it feels to understand universal citizenship in an experiential and embodied way.  

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With the help of his references, I could experience what it feels like to sit on the earth and feel the motion of it's weight pushing up against me, turning away as the sun moves below the horizon line.  

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It was the pushing away of a ceiling I had never seen before; the understanding that as I stand here on this planet, I can feel the motion of the dance that bonds me to the earth and puts me in relationship with all that is, that was, and that has yet to be.  

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This example helped to place me in the solar system.  Other references Swimme provides helped to place me in the Universe.

I was on the map.

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 I was IN the Universe for the first time and I knew I hadn't tasted the full sweetness of that understanding yet.  It was a flavor I had to concentrate on, like a flickering connection on the radio.  

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I could do this.

 I could feel this all the time if I work to re-invent my cognitive norm. 

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Towards this new moon I took steps to help myself learn how to hold that feeling of embodied knowing of my position in the universe.

I created an astrology map for myself, making the constellations and planets magnets that I can move as time moves.  

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Being aware of how all is set in motion, and my orientation to that motion, is one way I can bond myself to the feeling of being a universal citizen more and more each day.  

Altar

If I'm choosing to tap into spiritual energy when I create, why not strengthening that connection by dedicating the space I create in to the sacred? 

As such, my desk is my most meaningful possession.  Why not make it a talisman, invoking a lifeline to spirit? 

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I bought this desk at a Habitat for Humanity Restore for $25.  It folds out in nifty ways. It can hold my sewing machine.  Its ancient.  It fits in my prius.  I'm in love with it.  

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When my heart opened to the idea of it as an altar, a place where I come to give thanks, to offer up and invite, I felt the perfection of it.  

I saw myself for years to come, carrying it with me wherever I live; my own personal interface with the spirit.  

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As a pretty transient individual for the past four years, seeing myself doing or keeping anything for longer than a year is a big deal.  

The pull to weave this tool more deeply into my spiritual-creative practice was strong.  

I had to make it so. 

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I wanted to make an altar that would allow for flexibility of use.  Whether to call in the directions, work with a duality, the seasons, the zodiac, single dedications, or the new and full moon, it needed to be accomodating. 

I wanted enough openness that it could be used in a variety of ways, but still feel like an item would have an intentional location during ritual once its placement was named.

 I came up with a design that I felt held this balance of open and specific. 

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I was sensitive to the call to create sacred space while I was making this object of power for myself.  

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Whether that meant lighting a candle, listening to certain music, speaking affirmations, or asking for guidance,  I endeavored to invite this this energy in during each step of creation. 

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I completed  the design with words that are powerful to me in my own symbol alphabet.

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Once the design was done, I procrastinated for a few days.  I was scared to pour in the resin coating that I had planned to seal it with.  I had never done it before, and an altar seemed like the least appropriate place for a guinea pig project.  

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In the end I lit candles. I called upon energies to help me seal in the significance of this space and the power I could access there.  I gave this last step up to trust that it would work.  

I would trust that I would mix the resin right, that I would catch all the bubbles, that it would settle evenly without sticky spots, and that the energy I intended for this space would find home there.

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Then I  gave thanks, covered the resin to protect it from dust, and let it harden for 72 hours. 

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The resin dried beautifully.  I love its reflective quality.  

I'm feeling grateful and excited to formally awaken my finished altar for the first time on tomorrow's full moon.  

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The Circle Worker

Hello fellow circle enthusiasts!   

The moon is full and I have a personal hypothesis that I can expand the sacred space in my life through the shape of the circle.  I want to explore how I can strengthen the depth of my intention and understanding through daily experience with circle-making.

Welcome to my experiment. 

I'm endeavoring to pull circles into my life in creative ways, then log my findings here bi-weekly, on the full and new moon.

Geometry is for everyone!  Join me if you dare. 

My inspiration: a belated yet timely wedding gift for my sister and brother-in-law.  They chose the mural location and the design above.  I set out from there.  All the tools and materials used to make this circle, except the chalk, came from a Habitat for Humanity Restore or were otherwise salvaged.  

It was my first time painting on brick.  The surface was weathered and I understood it would not be as simple as copying an image.  The need to adapt was engaging. I had to be mindful of the materials in order to render the image in harmony with its parts.  I couldn't use the paint and brick the same way I had used the pen and paper.   

On the uneven brick, I learned a dot is better made by a heavy dollop of paint pushed lightly onto the rough surface with a tight clockwise circle of the brush-tip.  

I learned a tree can be created with brisk and shallow diagonal strokes across the surface, allowing the contour of the brick to form the branches by itself.

I learned there were some aspects that could not be translated, and others aspects that would emerge in their place.

This project grounded me during the first weeks of my move to Denver.  I find when I'm in the process of transition, my sense of self can feel vague.  Every time I worked on this circle, I found something of myself constant there.  The event created a space I could return to, yet it was dynamic.  Like a dexterous player riffing over a familiar bed of notes, I could process my possibilities in the midst of change; I could choose a line that would carry me forward through transition and arrive into harmony.  That line is a circle.

So I'm just going to keep making them.