A lot has changed in the past 5 years, just about every part of my belief system, to begin with! But before I could get into that business, I needed to be opened up, I needed to be shaken up, I needed to get uncomfortable, I needed to let go. I’d say, beyond moving to the very special little island of Salt Spring in Canada, straight from being a tv star in Toronto, I date the start of my transformational journey back to my backpacking trip through South East Asia. “I always have everything I need” - one of the greatest lessons I learned from this particular journey, Cambodia being the place that made me feel the deepest. I remember my yoga / meditation retreat at Hariharalaya, I’m sure I was the most unlikely to be able to quiet my mind, this was a struggle, still is. I found the silent mornings, to be my most memorable still points, I remember barefoot bike rides up the dusty back road on free time, I remember the beautiful floppy eared cattle, and giggling children I met on the road. I remember marking Hariharalaya as a place I would return to one day, again visiting feeling the ancient temple ruins in the surrounding area. I’ve noticed the instagram popular page flooded with yoga and meditation retreats taking place all over the world, over the past years, so I wanted to make this post to share that, of all the places I have travelled for specifically the calm of yoga / meditation / detox (my hardcore self development work is something else), Cambodia with my friend Joel at IG: @Hariharalaya is my most highly recommended. They are running a contest right now, on Instagram to win a free retreat with them, so I hope this post reaches someone that feels called to attend!
Photos by the INCREDIBLE Raine Skye IG: @_raine.skye_
He stretched me a fresh canvas, over one of his round frames, gave me instructions on how to use oil paints, then he told me just to feel. When he left the room, I put the paint brush in my left, non dominant hand, dipped the brush into white and began to sob. I tried to reach the brush to the canvas for my first mark, but there was something trying to stop me, the force was powerful, my body collapsed. I picked the brush up again, this time, my sword in my right. I got the brush to the canvas and began to paint a white circle, as I did, everything went black. I cried and grunted, holding back my screams. Once I had drained most of the emotion out, I sat up, to witness the negative voices present in the room. They were breathing at my neck, swirling around my head, screeching in my face, trying to get me. With "I CHOOSE WHO I AM" focussed into the stroke, I completed my first circle.
Here is a look into my process.
💜🌸 Trust 🌸💜
My latest ‘Heart Bloom’ mandala, “Trust” was created during my first trip on the @VisionTrain 🚂
I go through periods of mistrust in my life, less and less, but sometimes it’s a flip flop through the day. With each moment, “Am I in trust? Or am I in mistrust?”
Mistrust for me feels like there is a rebellious teenager inside me, clawing to get out, so she can throw a screaming tantrum on the kitchen floor. My chest is tight, nothing flows, things do not feel as they should be. 🧟♀️
When I am in trust, I am at peace. Life flows. I feel my little girl inside, she is being held and supported by life. I am being held and supported by life. My heart opens wide, life is sweet as honey and whatever happens is divine. 💗
Trust is a choice.
A choice I choose over and over.
I choice I have my friends remind me to choose, over and over.
From the start of this mandala, created in a place I needed to trust myself to vulnerably enter (thank you @carenchroma & @kaitlyncreatrix for the beautiful welcoming & perfect energy to create in)... to the finale when I handed the camera to my sweet sister @lunaloveadornments to take these photos for me, thinking I would be able to do it better myself... Trust.
A beautiful, heart shaped key, I’m here to remind you of. 💗
Yesterday I experienced my first body painting journey, Sol Adornment with @CarenChroma on the @VisionTrain - Highly recommend. 💁🏼♀️
“From who I was, to who I Choose to be”
May you find gifts galore in this share. 💝
My latest Heart Bloom mandala was birthed this week, from an open-hearted, celebratory place. A place of reclaiming my sense of Connection, to Myself, surprisingly THROUGH opening to the people I love.
My first interview as Phoebe van der Wart.
*thank you Rebecca, for daring to make the Choice that would make you feel Proud vs. comfortable and safe - the time spent with you through the duration of prep, interview and post, has been a pleasure through and through. I believe in you woman & am honoured to call you a friend.*
On day #1 of The Artist Way course, I made a tremendous discovery about myself. It’s important for my process that I share along the way.
WHY has my whole life been about music and art? Why have all my friend’s been musicians and artists? Why didn’t my job of selling t-shirts for my favourite band’s fulfil me? Why didn’t my dream career as an MTV host fulfill me? How have I landed in an entirely new reality, to find myself again, being surrounded by musicians and artists… Why is this MY passion, yet I am not pursuing it? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
I have been, a Shadow Artist.
“Artists themselves but ignorant of their true identity, shadow artists are found shadowing declared artists. Unable to recognize that they themselves may possess the creativity they so admire. They often date or marry people who actively pursue the art career they themselves secretly long for. Artists love other artists. Shadow artists are gravitating to their rightful tribe but cannot yet claim their birthright. Very often audacity, not talent, makes one person an artist and another a shadow artist-hiding in the shadows, afraid to step out and expose the dream to the light, fearful that it will disintegrate to the touch. Shadow artists often choose shadow careers - those close to the desired art, even parallel to it, but not the art itself.” - Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way.
When I was a little girl, my dream was to be a singer / performer on stage, but my dragon repeatedly asked “What if nobody likes me?” in my head. I changed my dream to being an MTV host, where everyday I would be surrounded by, affiliated with, the people living my real dreams. I got the job, it wasn’t enough. The dissonance became too much for me, I quit the job and went on a deep journey to find out “Who am I?”
After years of focussed self development work, including, facing and taming my dragons, I made the choice, I know who I am.
“In order to move from the realm of shadows into the light of creativity, shadow artists must learn to take themselves seriously. With gentle, deliberate effort, they must nurture their artists child. Creativity is play, but for shadow artists, learning to allow themselves to play is hard work.”
Today for my Artist Date, a time to PLAY, I decided to take my 20 year old self, back to my darkest years, when dancing to hardcore screaming emo music was my therapy. I became a fanatic with these band, getting them tattooed on me, following them around and eventually working for them. Today, as younger Phoebe and I throw down like old times, dancing and shaking our stuck emotions away, I hear, that Alexisonfire had been trying to tell me something “you say that you’re in control, you say that you are. I can’t think of a time, when you looked less alive. Just wait until light, my dear, just wait until light. One more day will go by, maybe today you should try. Look past the mirror and find, that there’s something inside, something more to your life. My words won’t heal you now, it is you who decides.”
Yes, yes it is.
So, this is me exposing my dream to the light, and vowing to takes baby steps towards living the musical and artistic life, that I have always dreamed, but have never dared to.
One trap I often find myself in, is not giving myself enough credit, enough pats on the back, I don’t take the time to really feel the Pride for things, yah know? I’ve been discovering that really Feeling that Pride for yourself, inside, is Self Love. 💓
Today, as I am sorting through our house, purging the old, and preparing for our big move, to the city, I have come across an old USB “Purple Powa” I called it. Inside the USB I found folders of photos from the photoshoots Andrew, @theescapemovement & I had done! I also found a photo of myself with a black scarf draped over my head, standing, in awe of Wat Rong Khun, the mind blowing temple, (that is still in creation!) in Chiang Rai, Thailand. I remembered how on this day, as I walked across the art inlayed floors and gazed at the paintings kept secret inside the White Temple itself, I had a vision of creating a bamboo clothing line, with a lotus design inspired by one of Chalermchai Kositpipat ’s flowers (thank you @mugwortdesigns for bringing this idea to life!).
This Vision wasn’t something that had come to me, and I let it float away, this was a Vision I grabbed ahold of and I took action to make the Vision, Real! By pitching the idea to my friend who runs a clothing company, together (across bumpy planes, as I was unstable within myself. 🌸) we Persevered and BROUGHT IT TO LIFE! The Vision I had, that day in the temple, was something REAL now, I could wear it! I had released a bamboo, art infused, clothing collection.
Oh and the clothing collection, @increasefrequency sold out!
So, today, I am giving the younger version of myself (the young lady you see in this photo) a pat on the back, a hug actually, because I am Proud of her, and I don’t think I ever told her. 💜
This mandala is for my mother-in-love, Vallerie.
Thank you for introducing me to your favourite (my new favourite) flower, the Fuchsia!