Last week, I led a Soul Collage Vision Retreat in Pittsford, NY. Reflecting on this experience there are many things I am grateful for: the weather was cold, rainy and perfect for being inside with magazines, scissors and glue sticks; we had a nice, intimate group that loved learning this unique soul collage, envisioning process; and I relished the beautiful creations, deep insights and intimate sharing that came out of our day together.
But the part that I am most grateful for is a sense of mission accomplished. Because the idea for doing an in-person Vision Retreat has been floating around in my head space for quite a while. Maybe years. What did it take to finally get ‘er done?
Choosing a space and setting a date.
That’s it. Well..okay, yes, there was a list of things to do after that.
I needed to:
- Make the request to Suite Artisty’s owner to use her beautiful design studio
- Set the time and price for the workshop
- Create the invitation
- Set up the registration process
- Work out the class outline including guided meditations
- Purchase the workshop materials
- Invite (emails, in-person conversations, social media sharing)
- Answer questions
- Lead the workshop
Yet, it was the throwing my hat over the wall that was the key to seeing this project through to completion and celebration. My hat was over that wall once I publicly chose the location and selected the date. After that, the to do list got done. Though there is one more critical ingredient…
An Aha Moment
I am in a happy place right now. I am working on a new blog post that needed an image of a snail. I did not have a camera with me (note to self) on my walk the other day when I saw such a beautiful one. I have been wanting to move away from purchasing clip art or stock photos in my writing and rely more on my own photography and creativity. So this morning–and this may seem obvious to some of you, but was a revelation for me– I realized that if I need a snail image, then I can create one. Oh. Wow.
Until this morning, being an artful blogger (aka someone who writes and uses her own images) has felt like a dream that will happen in the future. That future felt nearsih, but I kept believing the lame, repetitive thoughts in my head: I need a better camera, I should take more photos, I wish I was experiencing more life adventures... I knew I was “getting there” and felt on track with it, especially as I was happy to be experimenting more thru art journaling and soaking up wisdom nuggets from artists like, Lisa Sonora Beam.
But it struck me this morning: I am living that future. It’s today. Now.
This photo is my little snail art in progress (blog post coming soon.)
I also share this to inspire you. What are you holding at arms length? In what ways can you live that dream now?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao-tzu.
It Starts with a Gift and Ends with a Choice
I have noticed that after receiving a great creative idea comes the hangover. What was I thinking? Who am I to do that? Why bother…
In the Tarot* deck’s minor suits, there are the “Aces” which represent fresh starts. In the classic Rider-Waite deck this is represented by a hand coming down from the heavens with a gift. Aces are often considered to be very positive and good omens (who doesn’t like a gift?) The tricky part is that it is up to me to make choices about what I do with this gift. And some gifts come with heavy lifting.
So I am observing myself with this creative “Ace” of an idea. It is still so fresh and new that it could easily be a seed that gets tossed out on the wind and planted in someone else’s yard.
And that may be the right thing to do. Allow the gift to find an alternative recipient. More beginnings will come. However, if I always let the Aces sift through my fingers and never get myself off the starting line, then I am stuck.
So here I am, facing a creative choice. In the Tarot this is represented in the “Deuce/2” card just following the Ace in each of the suits – a choice card. Choosing no, is one road. Saying yes to the invitation is another. The Tarot Deck that is pictured here is the wonderful and earthy Wildwood Tarot. I love how the ‘Two of Arrows” beautifully illustrates this hurts-so-bad place of decision and the weighing of consequences.
My commitment is the key to unlocking the next phase of this journey.
And you? When you reflect on your life path and your crossroads, how do you handle the gifts that come with choices? When (and why) have you said “yes” vs. choosing to let it go?
*Since returning from a winter hiatus, I have been drawn to working with the Tarot in more depth. I have been a dabbler for years, but in the past months I have felt compelled to study the classic symbolism (learning it like a new language) as well as the Celtic Cross spread, which is one of the more famous spreads with some complexity due to drawing on the meanings of 10 cards.