Tuesday, 25 September 2007

My Sacred Life - Inspiration

When I began blogging I had no expectations or ideas one way or the other, as to what it was all about. Who knew? To my delight, I discovered these amazingly inspirational and spiritual communities of artists, writers and poets, who have all provided a supportive and positive influence on my day to day life. I am so grateful for this, and since this is my 100th post, I thought I should let you all know just how thankful I am.

I have now finished up regular postings for My Sacred Life, but will continue to participate on Sacred Life Sunday. It has been such a beneficial focus to have.

Now, these are just great! lesson #1 and lesson #2 on art journalling by 'suziblu', found while visiting judy wise. Take a look, you'll be inspired and delighted!

The first mandala was made using straight lines and geometrical shapes, which means you have to concentrate and play by the rules. Very tough. The second mandala was made using only curved and wiggly lines. Which one looks more alive to you? I enjoyed this second one so much more (my mandala teacher Cheryl will not be surprised to hear :)) It was inspired by tropical water, coral, bubbles, seaweed, fish and sand. I think it means I need a holiday!

Friday, 21 September 2007

My Sacred Life - Centeredness

Mandalas are generally created with the design emanating from the centre and are very pleasing, satisfying and calming to look at for this reason. I feel the same way about healthy balance in my life. When I am off-centre it is because I have allowed other priorities or stresses to overshadow looking after myself.
If you look closely at this mandala and choose to read some meaning into it, I would say I was currently a little off-centre.

Participating in my sacred life has highlighted areas in my life where I had let slide a couple of the things that are important to my wellness.

So what do I have to do to stay centred?
  • daily hour of yoga (stretching, breathing, meditation)
  • daily walks with Jess the border collie (fresh air, sunshine and other sensory delights)
  • eating fresh, colourful food (predominantly vegetarian, but some meat to keep iron levels up).
  • drinking water
  • expressing myself with art, poetry and writing
  • singing out loud at every opportunity
  • plenty of sleep
  • music in the morning (no starting the day with TV)

I am very fortunate to have the time to practice this self care on most days. Most of these things come very easily, others take effort, but it's so worth it, to feel calm, centred and at peace.

Monday, 17 September 2007

My Sacred Life - Basking In the Glow

This weekend my son played in his soccer grand final match. He plays in a team full of enthusiastic and talented players. A tight game meant that at full time the score was nil all. So they played a further ten minutes each way, after which the score was still nil all. As happens in finals, the game was to be decided on a penalty shoot out (each team takes five direct shots at goal, the team with the most goals wins) Thanks to some sharp goal shooting and the efforts of a supremely talented goal keeper, they won the match!

Watching the joy and triumph on their 14 year old faces was just beautiful. We all want so much for our kids and when they achieve success, it is truly a warm and proud moment for parents.

Friday, 14 September 2007

My Sacred Life - A Sense of Self

I have been reading Gretchen Rubin's post @
the happiness project and one of the things she has devised in her pursuit of happiness is "my twelve commandments" (check out the side bar). The first one on the list is to "Be Gretchen".

"Being Patti" has become more and more important to me as I get older. When I was young it was all about joining in with friends and searching, but not always knowing who I really was. Later it was all about raising children and caring for an elderly mother, putting their needs first. In a yoga class years ago while meditating, we were told to ask ourselves the question "Who am I?" I remember not knowing the answer even then and it really bothered me. I was 38 years old.

Since then, I have spent the years decluttering and rearranging my life, I am now finally left with who I am. I know what makes me happy, what nurtures me, what my talents, strengths, weaknesses and opinions are. I know my passions and I know what gives me peace. I also know that there is room for growth and change. This knowing is sacred.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

My Sacred Life - FUN!

Fun, sacred? Yes, yes and yes. I couldn't survive without it. Life gets so serious sometimes and it can be very easy for those frown lines to burrow deeper when we look at the world at large and consider our own real or imagined troubles.

So let's have some fun! :-)

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Aardvark who?
Aardvark a hundred miles for one of your smiles!

Q. Why don't skeletons fight each other?
A. They don't have the guts.

Q. What did the ground say to the earthquake?
A. You crack me up!

Q. What do you get when you cross a cow and a duck?
A. Milk and quackers!

I gotta million of them!

And even more fun - You'll see in the sidebar I have added my personal dna. It seems I am a "benevolent creator", which I kind of like the sound of. If you run the mouse over the bars of colour, it gives you an insight into who I am. The questions are compiled by a team of psychologists and it is free and easy to take. Maybe you'd like to have fun finding out your dna?

And another mandala cos they're fun too!

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Writers Island - An Imaginary Life

Poetry Thursday has folded and there is now a new place to express poetry and writing. Welcome to Writers Island
An Imaginary Life

On a tropical hill a white walled house with a red roof watches the ocean like an old sailor home on leave. A veranda wrapped around the outside is where I sit, fanning my glistening body in the purple shade, while transparent geckoes dart, snaring lazy mosquitos.

Sweet juice from fragrant market fruit plucked from a woven basket drips down my chin. A beaded curtain clicketty clacks as the breeze grows strong, then drops away to nothing. A pungent garden spills vibrant flowers onto the soft ground below. A distant shush and roar floods my ears as waves relentlessly wash back and forth.

Moist air weighs heavy on this island. Bare feet find a track worn to shabby patches of rich, red earth, leading to hot white sand. The reflection of glittering water pierces through the blue sky glare . Salty spray spritz's my hot face and a faded, striped hammock swings and beckons. It knows I never refuse.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

My Sacred Life - Growth

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure
nor this thing nor that but simply growth,
We are happy when we are growing.
William Butler Yeats

Universities are considered sacred places of learning for good reason.

However the learning and growth I am referring to can be as simple as finding the meaning of a new word in the dictionary, working out html so you can add that new element to your blog, experimenting with a new food combination to delight your senses, finding a quote that makes you think in a different way. Sacred little spurts of growth every day.

Reading all the different perspectives on sacredness and spirituality posted by the "My Sacred Life" participants has been a stimulating experience, giving me plenty of opportunity for growth.

Learning how to create and use mandalas has been my latest spurt of growth. I have discovered that they both clear your mind and stimulate creativity, as well as giving you an insight into your psyche, so here's a couple more.

P.S. Mandalas are often, but not necessarily, symmetrical and often, but not necessarily use a limited palette.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

My Sacred Life - Creativity

Being able to express myself creatively is one of life's essentials to me and even if I only had my finger and a patch of sand, I would feel the need to create something there.

If you are a "My Sacred Life" participant, you may have seen Cheryl's blog Art In Every Day where she has been posting some amazingly colourful and creative mandalas and listing some interesting links to mandala sites. As you can probably tell, mandalas have captured my imagination. Here are a few of mine.

About Mandalas;

"Mandala is a Sanskrit word, meaning circle. It represents wholeness and is described as a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies"

"A mandala is an integrated structure, organised around a unifying centre"

"Tibetan monks considered that mandalas should consist of five excellences:
the teacher; the message; the audience; the site; the time".

Mine shown here are pretty basic, but I am working on some more meaningful ones. Mandalas are incredibly satisfying to make as well as look at and they exude loads of energy. To see some gorgeous and intricate examples of mandalas from around the world, take a look at the Mandala Project, where you can join in and post your own creations.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

My Sacred Life - memorabilia

There is no doubt that family photo's are important, but equally important to me are all the special memories of my children I have collected over the years. I am still collecting them now. I don't know a mother who doesn't have a box or folder filled with finger paintings, baby shoes, locks of hair, notes and cards, small gifts made in craft class etc. In our cupboard upstairs is an archaeological dig, with layer upon layer of our lives recorded in photographs and memorabilia. These are some of the special ones.

This little pink love bear was made by my son in kindergarten. He brought it home on a day when I was particularly unhappy and I unfolded it to reveal a heart he had drawn. It simply melted mine.

These "notes" were made one night when my son and I were sitting opposite each other at the kitchen counter. I was preparing dinner and we decided spontaneously, just for fun, to write instead of speaking out loud. (just to put you in the picture, I was tending a rash that I got from some plant in the garden. It also might help to know that my son's affectionate family nickname is "Moo") So we were pushing the pen and paper across to each other. It was the kind of conversation we have often had, and still do, always ending with; "Love You" and "Love you too".

And finally, these are my daughter's hand prints to remind me of the many days we would set out the paint pots and paper and glue and glitter on the kitchen table, immersing ourselves in play.

Precious times.