Stillness at the Center

Just like that, summer’s over. It felt like I blinked a few times and it was already September. As a mother of two small children, this time of year is really busy, as we readjust to new schedules and choreograph what feels like the intricate dance of childcare, schooling, music lessons, transportation, etc.  I’m sure many of you can relate. September is also a very exciting time around the studio as it is our anniversary month. I can hardly believe it’s been 6 years since we opened our doors and I’m very excited to celebrate under the full moon on the 15th.

 

Something that came into my awareness this summer was a sense of depletion in my body and whole being. My response to this – perhaps for the first time in my life – was to deeply listen and prioritize nurturing myself.  This has meant planning for spaciousness in my schedule, going to bed earlier, prioritizing spiritual friendships, and exploring my creativity among other things.  In fact, one of the things I was looking forward to all summer was the return of the intuitive art class I started taking late last spring at Painted Crow Expressive Arts. I discovered Angela and process painting through word of mouth and the experience has been profound.  We began again last night and I was delighted to find in the call and response of process painting all the things I’ve been seeking – spaciousness, friendship, curiosity and exploration.

 

When I look back at the beginnings of the studio 6 years ago, I see with intense clarity how these values – spaciousness, friendship (community), curiosity, and exploration – have really formed the backbone of how the studio has evolved and grown to more fully become what it is meant to be, to more fully serve our community, and to hold us all in love and wholeness as we as individuals participate in the process of becoming more fully ourselves.  

 

When Kate and I were dreaming up our upcoming fall retreat, Stillness at the Center, we set out to invite people into this space of self-nurturing, which goes beyond trite notions of self-care, and more fully into what it means to nourish the wisdom, truth, and beauty that are always present within us.  As we head into the busyness of fall and the holidays, how do we stay connected and rooted to what lies at the center of our beings? I think one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed intuitive painting so much has been because it feels like another version of Centering Prayer, a practice I’ve done for years. Centering Prayer is a form of meditation (often called transcendental meditation or mantra meditation) and I like to describe it as practicing the presence of the Divine, or Holy One, or God(or whatever term you choose to use for Spirit). Put simply, we sit in stillness until all that is not Divine/Goddess/God/Spirit/Source falls away.  I’m very excited to share this practice at the retreat and also to have Angela there to lead an intuitive painting session.

 

The deadline to register for the retreat is just one week away, September 15th. We’re offering $50 off registration for any folks who, like me, are really in a place of needing to nurture their interior space.  If you are a primary caregiver, a parent, work at a non-profit, in mental health care or social work and this sounds like something you’d like to participate in, send me an email to get registered. Next Thursday, the 15th is also the date of our 6th Anniversary and the Full Moon Yoga and Meditation practice that we are hosting in honor of this anniversary. Please join us in celebration. And, as always, thank you for being a part of this community of practice.