Friday, March 30, 2012

Fear of Dragons/Love of Dragons

I used to fear Dragons, especially the Dragon inside. I kept my own internal Dragon submerged deep inside my subconsious. After all, Dragons are greedy, hoarding, hugely destructive, and symbolic of the devil, right? And the best way to deal with  them is to heroically kill them, like St, George, right?

Yes!! No, not at all! I mean, look what happens when we jump to killing everything we see as a threat. Pretty soon, everything looks like a THREAT! That's how we get tragedies like Faluja, and the firebombing of over 100 men, women, and children who sought shelter in a fortress like cave in Bagdad during the 1990's, and latest war with Iraq for it's "weapons of mass destruction" that turned out to be nothing of the sort.

There Must be some other way of dealing with our fears, our "enemies", our Dragons.

Our stories are models for behavior. The way we see Dragons and the way we deal with them in our myths and legends teach us how to deal with threats and fears in life.  What if our stories of Dragons told of a different way of dealing with our fears?

Dragon Lady faces her greatest fear and her Inner Power 
Well, I did some research. I learned that Dragons in China were considered wise, and even beneficial, though even more powerful than Smaug or Fafnir. I found stories of heroes and heroines who had a very different way of dealing with dragons, like St Margaret, whose weapon was the Cross, and Medea, who used song and herbs to put the dragon to sleep. I especially love Ann MaCaffry's Dragon Riders of Pern, where the dragons are powerful allies in defeating a greater enemy, and a Chinese story where the Dragon guards the kingdom.

 Gradually, my understanding of dragons changed. This has changed--and continues to change-- the way I deal with my own fears. Some of this change is reflected in my paintings of Dragons.

During April, beginning April 6th, many of my Dragon paintings, along with their stories, will be on display at Vashon Intuitive Arts. I will be sharing many of my favorite Dragon Stories on this blog, and will have cards and prints available both on my etsy store, and at Vashon Intuitive Arts.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's All About the Money; It's Not About the Money

Thinking about Money

Each of us experiences a tug-of-war between our money interests and the calling of our soul. When we’re in the domain of soul we act with integrity… When we enter the domain of money, there often seems to be a disconnect from the soulful person we have known ourselves to be. It is as if we are suddenly transported to a different playing field where all the rules have changed… We become smaller. We often grow selfish, greedy, petty, fearful or controlling, or sometimes confused, conflicted or guilty.

We see ourselves as winners or losers, powerful or helpless, and we let those
labels deeply define us in ways that are inaccurate, as if financial wealth and control indicate innate superiority, and lack of them suggests a lack of worth or basic human potential… (But) money itself isn’t the problem. Money itself isn’t bad or good. Money itself doesn’t have power or not have power. It is our interpretation of money, our interaction with it, where the real mischief is, and where we find the real opportunity for self-discovery and personal transformation.”

- From the brilliant book ‘The Soul of Money’ by Lynne Twist

Monday, March 26, 2012

Can a Beautiful Scarf Save the World?

So...thinking about creating beauty and awakening joy in those who wear my scarves, I was both delighted and encouraged when I ran into Deana at the library the other day. She was wearing one of my beautiful purple scarves, the one she bought at Christmas time when she visited my studio.

"I wear it all the time", she said, with a big smile on her face, and I knew that scarf does bring her joy. If our Joy does change the world, even a beautiful scarf can contribute to that Joy.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Our First Photo Shoot

Donna in the Rose Scarf
Donna on the Dock in hand painted silk  Octopus Scarf
Donna and I had such fun photographing the scarves at Tramp Harbor! Donna is a natural!
me and the Octopus

Donna with the hand painted silk Octopus scarf,
 and the Fishermen

Me, the rose scarf,  and the Fisherman

Thinking Woman at Tramp Harbor Beach

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Awaken Joy--My Business Soul Mission

My Business Soul Mission: To Share my Joy and to Help People Connect with Their Own Deep Joy

For a long time, I thought this was kind of a wussy mission statement. I mean, how un-businesslike can you get? And, yeah, right, how is this going to change the world or eliminate hunger? Or contribute toward World Peace?

Then I saw the movie, "I Am".  Wow! Proof of what the ancient peoples and sages have been teaching us all along. We ARE connected! We Do affect each other, even when we are miles apart!

Electrons which are in close proximity adjust their vibrations to match. When one electron is moved far away, and its vibration is changed, the other changes its vibration as well.

Our hearts radiate vibrations depending on our emotions, and these vibrations are picked up by the hearts of others around us, changing their vibrations, as we are changed by them! So what the Buddists say, "If you want to change the world, then change yourself", is true!

My business mission really is practical!

" It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." - Albert Einstein

Monday, March 19, 2012

Soul Business: Business Culture

In the business world, money counts; people don't. Or so I've always been taught. The lesson hit me really hard when a wealthy businessman hired my son to wash his cars for the then handsome sum of $5 an hour -- just over minimum wage. This same businessman, hearing that I had just graduated from college (as a single mom with three sons), offered me a job as part time office manager.

I was on a special program at the time, where the state would pay half my wages. This businessman, recognizing that my son wasn't mature enough to handle the  job, but that I did have the skills needed, offered to pay me a whopping $4 an hour--of which half was paid by the state! He would be out of pocket $2 an hour. "You have to understand, " he said, "washing my car is personal. This is business."

Oh, so business means screwing your workers, I thought. I did not take the job. My attitude toward business was a bit soured after that.

It has always been important to me to be a kind, compassionate, honest person. To recognize that people are more important than money, to live my work life with the same integrity as my personal life. And I always felt divided, like making money would require me to be the kind of person I detest. Like my personal life and my professional life required me to be two different people, living by two different sets of values.

Until I met Kelly Rae, through her class, Flying Lessons. Here she promised one CAN have a successful profitable creative business in line with one's values. And then, in the HelloSoul HelloBusiness class, she and Beth Nichols showed me how to create a business culture that expresses the same values I live by!!

Here are some of the values I want my business to express:
*Giving Beautifully
*Living Joyfully
*Behaving with Integrity
*Respecting the Earth
*Caring for the Earth's Inhabitants
*Celebrating People of compassionate Power

I am so excited! My business can be a means for living my values! For doing the work -- the soul work--that I feel called to do!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Monster's Got Me! Working on My Vision and Mission Statements.

The Monster
I'm shaking and scared inside, though from the outside it looks more like I'm comatose. My brain feels dead and all I want to do is sit. The Monster Fear has got me!

Day after tomorrow, we start the "doing" stage of the ecourse "Hello Soul Hello Business". After 4 weeks of dreaming, thinking, journaling, digging deep inside to discover the soul reasons I want to develop my business as an artist, I am about to learn how to make it really happen. Fifty years of dreaming, of yearning to create art and have that bring in an income, and now, at last, I will learn how to really make it happen! 

I just saw the movie I Am, and it really helped me to claim my mission and my vision, by showing scientific proof that we ARE all connected, that our emotions DO affect other people and change the world around us—even bacteria! Have you ever been in a room when a fight was about to start and someone walked in and suddenly peace broke out? Have you ever known anyone who really brings out the best in everyone they meet? I want to be that person.

Today I was finally able to write my Mission and Vision statements: 

My Mission: To change the world by sharing my Joy; to awaken Deep Joy in other hearts.

My Vision: I will awaken Deep Joy in the hearts of everyone I am in contact with, through my images, my stories, my teachings, and with every interaction.

What my Vision will look like:
My studio welcomes visitors with tea and calm.
My images are joyful, and available in one form or another to people of all income levels. Editions of my work sell out immediately.
My classes fill and have waiting lists.
I am in demand as a speaker.
My stories are published in many formats: books, pamphlets, videos, movies to name a few. Puppet shows.
People feel honored, enlivened, joyful, and wiser when touched by my work.

My tag line—inspired by an exercise we did on corporate culture—is “Come Fly with me on Wings of Joy!”.  

It's a tall order. No wonder I'm scared!

I love the poem on fear from Sarah Marie Lacey, Moving with the Fear.