Thursday, July 19, 2012

Intuition into Art

Most of what I write relates to the everyday practice of sensing and working with intuitive messages as well as clearing the blocks to connecting with the messages.  My intention with my blog posts is to shed light on everyday situations where the application of intuitive insight can add to the flow and ease of everyday life.  Intuition and insight can bring broad perspective to very narrow situations. 

This post is of my personal experience with intuition and art.  My current medium is glass and this story is about making art from nothing; a totally intuitive, visionary process.  The creative process is highly intuitive and filled with faith in both the internal vision and the materials and science with which I work.  Finishing this project involved magic, intuition, emotion and was one of the most important pieces I've ever done.  My intuition guided my skill (or lack thereof) every step of the way.

One day, my dear friend Mark brought me a Kate Bush song, Sunset, asked me to listen and then interpret the music into a piece of glass art.  As the music flowed through the air, my mind's eye filled with colors and swirls and textures.  For many months, that's how the art lived... floating twirls of light and tint and color not quite taking shape or form.  I sat with the music, did some drawings, and listened to them both. I asked the muses for an impression of how the music wanted to live in the glass.  Did it want to be a textured wall piece? Sculptural?  Square? Round? Vertical?  Horizontal?  Everything and anything was an option.  I checked in with Mark for a little assistance with the design, he said "You're the artist.  It's your project, create what you hear."  So much for external input on this one!  Hah!

So, as a few more months passed, I went on with the stream of projects in the studio, prepared for a gallery show, created other commissions and let the ideas about Sunset flow through my conscious and sub-conscious mind.  I made notes, folded paper into interesting shapes, noticed color blends in my other work, all the time working on the piece without yet putting it into shape or form.

What my intuition had given me: red, amber, rust, light, texture of bubbles and sand and swirly flow, fluidity, honeycomb and the feel of the air moving.  In glass.

In the studio, I played with the random inspirations that came to me. 

I did a screen melt, where you pile pieces of glass on a screen and heat it up til the glass oozes through the screen and makes all kinds of fun swirls.  I cut the piece up into strips and put it aside, not knowing where it would end up but these things always find their way home.

In December, a shape and form came to me.  I made a model out of  cardboard: found a box, cut it up, taped it; finally we had a home for the Sunset vision.  I liked the shape and could see it holding a fluid pattern.

Next step, more technical/less intuitive, create a mold from the model.  A combination of silica and hydro-cal makes a heat tolerant, ceramic mold.  This type of mold is usually good for just one firing but hey, this was going to fly on the first time so no worries, right?!

The mold is complete and dry and I have a clear visual of the finished piece.  Time to pull together the components.

Ah, some of those baconstrip-looking parts from the screen melt had found a new place to live.  

I imagined the sea of honey in the base...  amber ripples through clear space, bubbles, above a red, sandy floor.  Time to cast a small block inside the walls of kiln bricks: red opal strips on the bottom so that red will reflect up into the clear and amber, clear strips and frit (crushed glass) in varying levels crossed with stripes of amber to bring a wave and flow feeling.  A little more frit to create bubbles.  (more surface area inside the construction creates more opportunity for bubbles). 

Above the flowing amber sea, I envisioned a swirly twist of sand and fire and light rising.  This evolved as layers of frits (crushed pieces of glass in varied densities, from the size of small pebbles to powders) patterned on clear pieces of glass.  

Clear glass was cut to fit in the mold and then a design built in layers.  Each layer was tack fused (warm fired) to hold the small pieces in place so I could put them in the mold face down.    For a reflective touch, I added a layer irridescent glass that formed around the texture of frit to bring a little glow around the colored pieces. 

On the sides, the honeycomb texture wanted to live. But how was I going to work that into the mold?  All of a sudden, I saw honeycombs everywhere: on the grocery cart, in corrugated cardboard, Styrofoam containers, real honeycomb wax... all of them were pretty but not quite the texture I was seeking.  SO, I rewound, paused, and looked at my materials.  What have I created textures with in the past?  Fiberpaper!  Fiberglass paper that you can cut into any shape or design.  So, I put on a good movie and spent two hours cutting out half-inch polygons.  OK, maybe it was two movies.  There was a lot of cutting.  Fiber paper pieces was cut to fit each side of the mold and to them the polygons were glued.  This created a honeycomb texture on both sides into which the glass would melt (fingers crossed) and provide a lovely impression and a tactile experience beyond the visual.
All components complete, four firings, how many months later? and time for final assembly:
In what was to become the base, I laid two bacon strips with lots of clear to let the light through.

Resting 'above' that, the amber sea block.  

Filling the diagonal top portion, the layers of clear and frit swirls, and the balance of the space filled in with clear billet (chunks of a 1 inch thick glass block).
The Bullseye Glass app for iPhone is handy for checking annealing and firing schedules. It told me that this 2.75 inch thick baby was ready to spend 84 hours in the heat!  (After each component spent at least 18 hours in the kiln already.)

The mold is leveled on the kiln shelf, the programmer is set to delicately adjust the glass temperature throughout the fusing process, the lid is closed, opened again to check one more thing, closed, opened, closed, and a prayer is given up to Pyrexia for her to watch over a successful firing.  And then we wait.  There are times in the firing process where we can peak on what's going on.  And times when it is forbidden to flex the temperature the 10 to 50 degrees an opening might cause.  And then we wait some more.  This is a time for faith... imagination may fuel the fears so stick to faith in the process and the intuition that brought us to this point. 

Three days later, it's time to open up.  At first glance, I check for cracks.  Cracks in the glass.  Did the temp ramp up or down too quickly and cause the glass to fracture.  No. No cracks.  Are there cracks in the mold which might have caused the glass to seap from the mold shape?  No cracks in the mold.  

Looks promising.  

Because the firing process weakens the mold material, caution is needed when removing the piece from the kiln.  I test the plaster to see if it will break, which it does, and end up removing the mold in pieces around the 10 pound hunk of glass in the center.
The surface of the glass is rough, an exact duplication of what was on the mold.  It will need polishing but a good squirt of water on the surface tells me it is very close to what I had envisioned.  

The polishing process is a whole different dimension in glass art.  After a couple of hours on the belt sander and another bout with the lapidary wheel (which resulted in an ugly scratch on the face - repairable but still NOT wanted), I opted for enlisting the aid of 
professionals.  I'm fortunate to know few polishing masters who just finished polishing several 7 foot pieces of glass, surely they could help me out with my little mess.  Sure enough, the geniuses took over and presented a highly polished, glowing piece of my work.  

This project was important to me on so many levels. 
It was for a friend for whom I wanted to create an amazing visual and tactile sculpture.  (Which brought up all kinds of anxiety about my work not being good enough.)  I was trusted on a completely unguided opportunity to take what was in my heart and my head and move it through my hands and into glass. 
Technically, it was a challenging piece, to build a thick piece and have all the components stay in place and allow movement of the glass only where I wanted it. 
The polishing process took me to a new level of frustration until I remembered that, although I work in the studio alone, I am never alone in my creative endeavors.  I find glass artists to be so generous with their talent and expertise.  Thanks to the guys at Spectrum for saving my gl-ass on this one! 

Sunset feels like a pivotal piece for my body of work.  I took the project more seriously through the whole process.  Sometimes that meant digging in and working til I got it right and sometimes it meant walking away completely until the next step presented itself.  It brought me to a new level of both trusting my ideas and expanding satisfaction in my ability to create.  

Now, what comes after Sunset?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

People Heal

I woke up this morning itching to write... not sure about the subject.  So I asked my guides for a lead and from Danielle LaPorte I received "People Heal."
So much of the Mediumship work I do is around healing, completing relationships, resolving the unresolved and permission to keep living.  There is a clear line and deep necessity when we lose a loved one.  They are very gone.  We are very here.  And we miss them so very much.  People, scenery, scents, music, textures, stories, colors, or maybe just the silence sends us into the past and once again brings grief and loss to the surface.  If we have loved deeply, created a life with someone and lost them (even if they didn't die) we will forever be touched and changed by our connection.  That is the gift of Love.  I've talked before, and will keep talking, about the flow of Love.  That it moves through our lives as a gift, not to be held & locked away but to be embraced in the moment and cherished for the light it brings to the now.  
Love sometimes brings us together in partnership and when one of the partners leaves, there is an obvious gap in a life that was caused and created by two.  This gap, when filled with grief, mourning, resentment or anger, overwhelms the memory and vibration of Love, of connection, of the truth that lived between mates.  The Love still exists, it is just forgotten or overlooked by the seductive nuances of loss and absence. 
And, People Heal.  

Our hearts are resilient.  
We are heart-wired to Love, to connect, to grow and to learn about ourselves through our experiences with each other.  
When Love saunters through our lives, it always makes us a better person.  We get to see ourselves through the eyes of another.  We realize new opportunities.  We feel more connected with God and with life and with nature.  And what brings these feelings is not the other person.  It is the allowing of our hearts, the opening of our spirits, the flow of light through our beings.  It is we who choose Love and we who attract that person who magnifies the experience.  So, when the person who shares this experience with us is no longer here, it doesn't mean the flow has stopped, just that the flow is changing course.  After loss, Love may flow through in other ways: generous friends, compassionate family, in-pouring from our community.  
The love is still here.  
Through my experiences, it is the one who passed who often fosters this continued flow as a reminder that the Love remains.  
Continuing to Love and give and share life with someone new can be a tribute to what was shared with the one who is gone.  Continuing to live in honor of what was co-created is vital to the flow of Love and the feeling of vitality.  Living for the sake of giving and receiving Love, not for the other person, is the continuity of life and the preservation of Love.   
Grief is a natural part of the separation process.  I am not saying not to feel it or acknowledge the loss.  I, and those who have gone before us, encourage an openness in grief and loss.  Embrace every feeling and then let it flow through.  Toss and sort, discard and memorialize the feelings the same way we filter the closets and desks of their possessions.  All with the acceptance that what really mattered will never leave us: the choice to give Love and receive Love, in order to allow Loving and being Loved again.  The heart will heal as fast as you allow it to; it was made to Love and wants to Love again. 

You can make those promises with just as much passion the next time around. Such is the regenerative power of the human heart. –Marion Wink

Monday, May 7, 2012

I Care!

I really do!
So often, we say "I don't care," "whatever," "trust the process," "give it to God," or "let it go," not as an act of faith and confidence, but as an "f-you" to the powers that be because we aren't getting what we want, how we want it, when we want it.  We choose to give up hope because we don't want to hurt.  We perceive the risk of feelings, pain, image, criticism, you name it. 
What's behind these declarations are feeling of "I don't want to care," "I'm afraid of looking foolish," "I don't want to change," "What if this doesn't work?  Again?"
And, what's behind the fear and the giving up is that we really DO CARE.  We care about being happy, serving, loving, surrendering, believing, trusting and aligning with something more than our small state of being. 
We are told that life beats us up, life is hard, love is work, happiness comes with a cost, all faith meets with a test, rewards are not easy, and there's probably a consequence in every gift.
What if this wasn't true?  What if the moment of surrender was it's biggest reward and that when we feel scared and cautious is the exact moment to dive in deeper?  We are all going to have fear at some point.  We are born with a fear of falling and of loud noises.  All other fears are conditioned and can be reconditioned.
We've all been "hurt."  But really, isn't hurt just another way of saying we didn't get what we wanted when we wanted it so we choose to hold a grudge about it and call it hurt?  (I'm not talking about physical hurt or abuse.  If that's what you're facing, get out. Choose more for yourself.) 
And when we attach the label of hurt, can we see that we've taken ourselves out of the equation and put the ownership of a situation on someone or something else?  We've disconnected from a situation in which we were once invested and now we walk around, or away, wounded. 
What is my connection? 
How am I creating this? 
What am I choosing, not on the grand scale, but in my everyday interaction and perspective? 
Who do I see myself to be? 
I'd venture to say that the degree to which life has hurt, damaged or angered us is the degree to which we've removed ourselves from our purpose, our vision, our sense of self and our partnership with those around us.  Even if staying connected brings us to a place of separation or moving on.  Authenticity is our gift.  First, to our hearts and spirits and second, to each other.
When looking at any situation: a job, relationship, home, child, creative project, vacation, community action, investment, etc., are we willing to see what it really is? A gift from the Universe to know ourselves better.  To up our game.  To give and receive more.  To manifest that of which we dream.  And, are we willing to remember this as we move through the ebb and flow if this offering?
What is set in front of you, regardless of magnitude or price tag, is a gift to become more.  To expand.  To leave the past in the past and to start anew.  While we go by the same name, live in the same flesh and have the same eye color, we are new every day.  What is given to us today is not what we've lived through in the past.  It is the Universe saying we deserve more than what we know, that we are trusted, that we are loved and are capable of loving and trusting and learning more than from our past.
Connection is key to the never-ending process of surrender, of trust, of knowing who we are today and living true to that as a kindness to ourselves and everyone around us.  While love and community connect us to each other, connection to our hearts and spirits is what flows outward and allows us to serve outside our being.  And connection, like surrender, happens in the moment.  As the moment.  And is gone until we connect in this next moment.  Connection here and now can resolve a lifetime of disconnection and refresh the experience of life.  We are new every day, every moment, and revived by that with which we choose and connect. 
Living and Loving Connected ~ To serve my spirit and to serve the world around me. 
Blessed Be.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Our Heart Connection & the Future

"Your mind knows nothing but the past. It imagines the future will be just like yesterday, so it makes it decisions based on that. Only your heart can see beyond memory's horizon." posted today by Neale Donald Walsch on Facebook. This resonates with recent messages and conversations on intuition, love, partnership and healing from the past so I'm giving it a chat today.
I've received a few downloads lately based on expanding our intuitive abilities, enhancing our living tribute to Love and how we try to steer ourselves on the path of connections, commitments and the relationships created thereof. Of course, I suspect that I am the first person being instructed to hear and follow these messages, or they wouldn't come through me. (Even though I work through my intuition every day I still have clarity to refine and new horizons in which to work.) I also experience that personal and professional relationships are on the top of the list of questions when I work with clients so I feel like it is important to discuss openly.
Reflecting on Walsch's comment about using the mind to both choose and direct our lives, we often look to experiences from the past to determine what will work, where we are to go next and with whom we should align. Our thoughts, the "science" of life lessons and those memories of perceived successes and failures often get too much credit as we look through our dreams, ideals and natural wisdom to create a future that excites, empowers and expands the life experience.

Life gives us all lessons: "good," "bad," blessings, obstacles, challenges, triumphs, opportunities. As a spiritual being driving this body on the highway of humanity, we are to see each event, not as an indicator of things to come, but as a dust storm, a speed bump, a detour or just a road over which to pass. And we are to keep driving, moving forward. We may not view the same scenery again, but because what we saw made an impression on our mind and emotions, we are braced to avoid or focused to recreate the same occurrence in the future.
Working within the limitations of the mind and ego, we are restricted to think of the future in terms of what we already know. We forget, if we ever knew at all, that the heart, and it's connections can be wiser than any information we have. EVEN if we've SEEN something happen it doesn't set forth a truth for the future.
In terms of the heart connection, I speak in reference to the physical heart, to the spirit which speaks through ones heart, and the intuitive link we share with those around us. We've all felt a resonance with a place or a person. An unexplainable attraction, repulsion, curiosity, or interest. Our training as "reasonable" humans tells us to go to our minds first to find a "reason" for this feeling. Often, when the feeling doesn't fit into a familiar mental record, we force the connection into a known category and either negate or move forward based on that predetermining information. The tragedy in doing so is that a fresh encounter is limited to merely repeating scenery from the past. Imagine driving for the first time on an magnificent coastal highway filled with exotic vegetation, bright colors and active wildlife and only seeing the gray buildings and drab fixtures of your daily commute. This is the limiting vision of scrutinizing life's events from the mind over seeing from the freshness of the heart.
Trusting your intuition and spirit-driven inspiration is an exercise in listening to the heart over the mind. Following an internal urge rather than listening to the GPS may not make sense to your mind at first. But with a little practice, you will gain access to information from beyond the satellites or technology based only on happenings from the past. Pay attention. Those places, people, jobs, foods, books, investments or projects are giving you clues to what's next in your journey.
How do you know you're getting messages from your heart and spirit rather than your head? One of the most common ways of feeling the connection are physical sensations: experiencing a tingle, "goose bumps," sudden temperature changes or a flutter in your heart. At the moment you notice a physical impression, go to what you were thinking, discussing, viewing, etc. and pay attention to the new thought or idea that came up. Don't decide if it makes sense but ask it for more details, write down what was sent to you or follow in that direction to see where it leads. If you're not feeling the physical sensations yet, start paying attention and they will show up.

As a catalyst to growing our collective awareness and deepening our intuitive connections, I teach a course called Living Connected in which we explore methods and tools to expanding, as well as overcoming the obstacles, to heart-centered living. Watch for news of the next classes to begin mid-April. Private training is also available.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Memories & Memorials

We create memories with others all through life. Sometimes, they are devised in collaboration for the interest and good of all involved: marriage, schooling, highway systems, advanced healthcare directives. Other times, memories are directed upon us: traffic accidents, surprise parties, stolen TVs, inheritance, murder.

Memories leave us changed: experienced, scarred, rewarded, improved, bitter, broken, evolved.

When lived up close and personal, memories can range from intoxicating and creative to tragic and paralysing. In the drama and excitement of experiences that endure, we are directly touched by the moment and formed by its impact.

Memorials are tributes to the memories of others. They serve to keep the impact of others' experiences alive in order to educate future generations and contribute to positive evolution, growth and connectivity. Memorials live to tell the stories of those who can no longer speak for themselves.

As a psychic medium, I get to hear or feel the memorial that lives after a person has crossed over. They aren't built of steel or concrete but remain the work of art that was one human life. I get the privilege of mending families, resolving issues and clarifying questions, fears and doubts through my work and the gift of spirit.

Of course, there are times when the energy of spirits show up outside the course of client sessions. I am fortunate to be able turn on and off my receptors most of the time but there are occasions when interaction with the spirits of a place is purely unavoidable.

Thus was the case with my visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial this week. I was not sure just what I would feel, hear or see on the visit but knew I wanted to experience the camp as a tribute to all who were sacrificed during this annihilation of humanity - a remembering so that history can never be repeated.

As I write this, my whole body feels a posture of resistance to sharing the sensations I experienced on the camp tour. Some of them I have no words to describe, smells in the air & tastes in my mouth that I can't recognize, deep nausea, disorientation, sounds of screaming and quiet sobbing, blood, so much blood, thoughts of determination and pressing forward, one breath at a time, private memories of family and friends, prayers to God, requests for forgiveness.

A natural reaction to this fierce intensity & heaviness is to pull away or close down. And I know I cannot serve from a closed position. Making it about me does not honor those whose story is here to tell. So I stayed with them, walked with them, listened, cried and invited them to complete their transition.

I have no way of making sense of the events that transpired at Dachau and across Germany during this slaughter. We can't always understand death and its repercussions. We can honor the memories and build memorials in our minds and hearts to acknowledge, honor, love and release the dead into peace. We can choose LIFE to honor those who no longer have that option. And their wish for us it to live it fully.

Ho'oponopono: I Love You, Please forgive me, I am sorry, Thank you

Monday, August 29, 2011

Out of Here

I was recently asked to explore the idea of when a person's soul leaves their body and how we can know that they have moved on.
Fred's been watching a good friend, who we'll call Joe, for weeks move through one health crisis after another, the most recent of which was a debilitating stroke which has rendered him functionless. Joe's family is going to great lengths and expense to keep him on life support in the hopes of recovery. Joe however is no longer in control of any of his faculties with no sign of interaction or response. So, is Joe still with us, since he is breathing and his heart is beating, albeit on command of a machine, or has he passed and is just his shell left lying in the hospital bed?
There isn't yet a science to the transition of a soul from the body although there is research that implies a change in physical state when a person's spirit crosses over. And there are plenty of us who have seen an energetic presence above or around a body at the time of physical death. Yet how do we explain and understand the transition when there is brain death and the heart continues to beat? Loved ones cling to the concept of recovery and healing through life support, yet the body has almost always given over to death. Sometimes we are so close to believing in recovery, we are unable to see that life (the spirit) has abandoned the fight and is ready to move on.
Because of the closeness of the human bond and the entanglement of grief, the newly freed spirit will hang around the body until the body too is freed from the bond of artificial life. They stay close because they feel the pull of loved ones. They want to ease the pain of separation. They want to transition completely when life fully leaves their body.
Our souls have a life beyond the time they spend in the body. And they have connections to the other souls with whom they have shared their physical life. Because of this, they remain bound to the grieving until there is enough acceptance to allow the body to die. Turning off life support is the first step in the acceptance of death.
So, brain death begins the departure of the soul. It creates a path out of the body and on to the hereafter. However, the soul is not free to leave the human dimension until their body is fully released to death. Our departing loved ones understand our grief, our struggle to let go and our hope for recovery. They are not on a timeline to the hereafter and will remain patient until we are able to take a step in separation.
They only wish us love and peace and acceptance of the continuity of life. They are always with us and will always love us.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Blessed Travels~

The life you lived was yours, and we were fortunate if we got to be a part of it ~ to see your enthusiasm about new opportunities, successes and the threshold of big life changes.
And now that you've chosen to travel on a different path, it's still your life that we get to honor and your wishes that we get to respect.
In the wake of knowing I will never hear you laugh at me again, never ask you for help with my messes, never excite in plotting escape from the cruelty of high school or never toss a log of freedom onto the solstice fires, I feel the seduction of loss, grief, guilt and what I don't get now that you're gone.
Those feelings are about me, my expectations for your life, my ego driven desire to have caused a different outcome, the "shoulds" that would assure me I did all I could have for you and the void of possibility that I don't know how to fill. When engulfed with these feelings, I don't get to honor you or respect you or hear the voice that tells me you're well in your new home. I only get to hear about me.
I cried, I wondered, I wished, I talked to you, I lit a candle and I sent you a prayer. And I released you from my needs and expectations to your new post in the universal collective.
Last night I saw you in the light, iridescent, luminous, angelic, and most of all peaceful; free from the torment of external and internal voices that suggested you were anything other than a bright light of hope and love and grace.
While your time to stand beside me in flesh is over, you will walk with me for a long way and when I think of you, I will see you in the new light and know that you're at peace, bathed in love and ready for the next big adventure.
~ namaste, little sis ~