Where Have I Gone?

Today I got a message on my last post made 19 days ago.  The message was from my blogging friend katyoparty over at ArtOutWithYourHeArtOut   The message said: “Where are you?  I’ve missed your posts!”  

What a good question – where am I?

As I pondered what to say in response I rejected all the reasons I might normally give – busy with clients, busy in the art room, busy reading, busy listening to self improvement CD’s, busy with family, busy with Orlando, busy playing slotomania on facebook …….

The truth is I’m not busy, I’m evading.

I’m evading the season, the weather, the emotional pulls that revisit at this time every year,.  I’m in survival mode.

And I’m barely making it.

My work as a life coach means I help others find a path through their troubles, I teach them how to change their thinking from glass half empty to glass half full.  I encourage, I make them exercise their emotional muscles, I give homework and never accept excuses when they try to fool themselves or feed me red herrings.  They tell me I am a good life coach.  I know I change lives, I am their mentor and none of them know when I am wobbly.  I don’t let them see it.

But it’s really hard to coach yourself!

Having chosen to leave my ultra busy and over extended previous existence to become more quiet and contemplative in my daily life, I live far away from my life long friends and I have no family except my two beautiful and loving daughters.

I’m struggling with a question that goes something like this:  how do I remain grateful for all I already have while wishing for something more?  The longing for my family to be closer geographically tips me out of my contentment with what is.  I become impatient and discontented with my situation.  I lose the art of living in the moment, which is my greatest treasure.

Katy’s caring comment went bang straight into my heart.  It came at a moment when I was feeling especially vulnerable having just read a couple of posts.  One on dealing with loss and the other a really good Johnny Cash quote which hit home quite strongly.  

I was on the verge of making the decision to pull myself up by the shoe laces, white knuckle it and get over myself.  At a time when I felt really alone and really tired of being alone and really fed up with yet another year when the shadows from my past start to gather about and attempt to drag me back to a place I left long ago.

And somehow that question made it all alright.  In this strange and still somewhat alien blogosphere someone notices your absence, someone cares enough to say hey, how you doin’?  And a shaft of sunlight blazes into the place where my heart huddles coldly and reignites it.

Thank you for caring enough to send that message Katy.  I am here, and I will be just fine now.

And I bet you never expected to get a response like that to your friendly enquiry!  🙂

Time Out of Life – Creating A Vision Board

I’ve just emerged after an hiatus from the daily routine – my girls and I had six days together, just being, sharing, playing, eating and drinking…………. we do this from time to time.  It’s our chance to just be together – we like being together for no particular purpose, just catching up.  One of us lives a thousand Kilometres away.  We Skype regularly, and one or other may travel to visit, but most of all I value the times when we are just the three of us together with nothing to do and nowhere to be.  Often one or other of us is going through something at these times and so our time together can focus on the need.  This time no-one was in crisis or need of support – which left us with hours of talking time unfocused and meandering!

So we decided I would lead them through a Vision Board exercise.

In my old life I ran workshops which included a process which culminates in the production of a vision board – it is the process which is important and exciting and the picture that goes home with the participant is unique and personal.

The process is not usually about material things, rather it is about the new aspects of the soul which are longing for expression.

The requirements are organised – paper and pens; scissors, paste, large base paper, roughly about  80 x 80 cm and a large assortment of magazines of all kinds collected randomly over a period of time.  [And I mean random, the more random the better.]

With a glass of wine to hand we began the process, I began by talking about letting go of expectations and thoughts of material goods – such as winning Lotto, or the bigger, better car, house or job.  The girls noted down what they wanted to gain from the process – thoughts like ‘clarity’ ‘a way forward’ and ‘hope’ were expressed.  Next they noted down their thoughts on various questions I put to them – favourite time of year and why – people who had touched their lives and how – miracles that had happened in their lives – things they are grateful for and things they like about themselves.  All these things were discussed and shared and we moved gently into a more contemplative state.

In this mood of inner quietness the girls began to look through some randomly chosen magazines.  This process can be quite challenging, as now there is no control – the process must be followed so the subconscious can reveal its desires.  Magazines are flipped through quite quickly, just looking at pictures and moving on.  When time is up each participant may take no more than two pictures from each magazine. This too must be done quickly.  When time is again completed, the magazines may be again be quickly perused to find a few words that speak to the person.  When time is up, it’s up and this part of the exercise is complete.

Now the rustle and rip of papers from magazines dies away and an intense silence settles over the room as the creators cut out their pictures and pile them up.  When all cutting out is finished, the pictures are laid out on the large sheet of paper along with any words that were also chosen.  Now it is really quiet with long periods of stillness as they look over their creations and refine them.

I love this part of the process – it is intense – now for the first time they are seeing their wishes laid out before them in visible form – often it is a complete surprise for workshop participants, but these two are a bit more in touch with their inner worlds.  Still they are quietly pleased with what they are seeing – the best of them revealed!

Next we shared, looking at one work and offering thoughts and questions about what we were seeing.  As we know each other so well we can go deeply and help each other uncover the code hidden within the choices of pictures and lay-outs.

To anyone else the finished boards mean nothing – to the creator just looking at the picture reawakens the feelings associated with the process and reminds them of the way forward and focuses their intentions on what they want in their lives.  It’s a living process!

All I can say as an ending is that both were extremely pleased with their visions – pleased, proud and happy!  Which is a strong indicator that the process had worked for them and a new path way revealed and validated.


D’s Board – colourful, sensual, soulful and spiritual.  A validation of all the work she has done over the last two years in discovering herself and being true to her own moral compass.


J’s vision board: a picture of her improving health and self-esteem.  Water features a lot [which symbolises the unconscious]. Trees represent strength to her and the pathway at the top leads straight and true into the unseen future – lined with symbols of strength.

NB:- George Clooney seems to feature often on vision boards – in this role he represents the Ideal Everyman – fun, sexy, self deprecating, educated, worldly and 100% on the side of Every Woman!  Cor!!  We probably all want one like that…..