~ A Blog About Mindfulness and Other Musings~
Join me along this journey called life as we travel ever so gently, serenely, and mindfully.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Change Awaits

Next week, I'll be starting a new position at a new school. I was at my previous school for 5 years. That may not seem like a very long time but by my fifth year, it felt as though I had been there forever and was ready for a change, not to mention a much shorter commute to work. It took me over an hour by subway and bus to get to my school. Thankfully, my new commute will be no more than 15 minutes.

Despite all the things I am looking forward to at my new school (arts-based programming, high caliber students, close-knit guidance department), I am also anxious. And naturally so. Whenever we embark on change or transition of any kind, there is a feeling of fear.

Fear of the unknown.
Fear of our own abilities to meet challenges.
Fear in our decision-making: Did we do the right thing by embarking on this change?

I am sitting with all these emotions and more.

I also created this collage to help me process some of the change that awaits.

At the time I randomly selected images on the collage without giving too much thought to any of them. When I viewed the end result, I was left with some questions. The first being, Why the parrot?

So I journaled with my non-dominant hand to answer this question. (This is a technique that I blogged about in a previous post.)

Here's what I accessed:

I've been trying to figure out why I selected this huge, brightly colored parrot in the image. Parrots mimic; mindless mimicry. I am my own person and need to rely and trust my intuition, not leave it to others. The parrot, in a reverse sort of way, is reminding me to trust myself.

The right hand asked, Anything else with respect to the parrot?

The left hand answered:
I love the colors. They are beautiful and bright. The parrot is sitting on the woman's head/umbrella. The woman is trying to shelter herself from too much change it seems (what with the lemons of change falling on her). The parrot is keeping her firmly in place. It's almost making her resist the change.

I don't entirely feel that way. I am ready to embrace change. The parrot, however, is saying if you're not careful/mindful/alert, you may fall into your repetitive ways!!! Yes. That's why the parrot is there. To warn not to fall into a repetitive, stagnant pattern, as parrots and humans are apt to do.
The right side of the collage symbolizes resistance/apprehension to change. The left side is ready to take it on and to take it afloat, like the balloons.

The right hand asked, What's the woman on the bike about?

The left hand answered:
She's turning left. Turning a corner of life. She's also doing a balancing act between different areas of her life -- her man, work, play. The woman above her is self-assured and strong. She is happy and taking care of herself and her body.
The balloons are light and carefree. The stars are there to guide the woman who is a representation of me.

She is ready to turn the corner and embrace change.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Summer's End

To me, nothing symbolizes summer more than sunflowers. They mark the warmth and playfulness of summer which luxuriously unfolds and stretches itself out in June and July. Come August, the sunflower is a reminder of the wistfulness we have for those long summer days, when daylight seemed endless.

Alas, savor the summer, what's left of it anyway.

I love how the bee was captured in this image completely by chance.

This lotus flower gave me a moment of pause and reflection. My hubs and I both listed the top five things we were most grateful for this summer.

A perfect way to end a lovely summer afternoon.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

If This Tree Could Speak...

...What would it say?

I suppose it's a weird thing to admit I love looking at trees. I suppose it's even weirder to think trees can speak? But this particular tree had me do a double-take. You have to admit, the shape is very unusual and almost human-like? (It abides in the garden of a beautiful B&B we were staying in while on vacation.)

If this tree could speak, what would it say?


Come dance with me...

or ...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Collage Journaling

I am so grateful to my friend Tracy who steered me towards the exciting inner work of collage journaling as a way to tap into the subconscious mind. For the past several weeks, I have been deep-sea diving into my psyche through collage work, finding images that resonate with me either positively or negatively. Each of the collages I have created so far have provided a portal of insight into my emotions.

What's more, Tracy introduced me to the concept of using my non-dominant hand to answer questions I may have about the images on the collage. So the idea is to view a newly created collage for a day or so -- to allow the images "speak" to you -- then to pose questions to particular images with your dominant hand and respond with the non-dominant hand. This technique may sound rather unusual but it has definitely awakened my dormant creativity and has helped me process some issues I've been grappling with. For more information about this type of work, I'll refer you to a couple of valuable sources -- an expressive arts website and a resource that leads to more information about using the other hand.

Here are some collages I've worked on so far:

Reaching My Potential

Being Happy With Life: Supporting Change

Cupping Life's Possibilities, With Love

Allowing the Healing Energy to Flow