On this New Moon, contemplating the weeks and months ahead, as we start to emerge slowly from over two months of sheltering-in-place, potentially welcoming more social contact but also perhaps anticipating further waves of losses and a possible return to more vigilant physical distancing protocols, I continue to revisit the wisdom from this passage:
"In shamanism, there is a rite of passage called the quest for vision. You spend a few days alone in the forest, without water, without food, without protection. When you go through this portal, you get a new vision of the world, because you have faced your fears, your difficulties ... This is what is asked of you.
What world do you want to build for yourself? For now, this is what you can do: serenity in the storm. Calm down and pray. Everyday. Establish a routine to meet the sacred every day. Good things emanate, what you emanate now is the most important thing. And sing, dance, resist through art, joy, faith and love.”
A message from White Eagle, of the Hopi Nation on 16/03/2020
(Full excerpt in YIELDING TO STILLNESS, EMBRACING HARMONY)
With so much uncertainty still remaining and continued conflicts of our need for closeness but also for safety, I find solace in my prayers, my practice and my creativity. It is still unclear to me, as it is to many of us, how my life and career will be moving forward. Finding our way gradually and steadily (as is the way of this Year of the Rat), is best taken one step at a time with careful attention and tender awareness. Establishing a routine to meet the sacred every day helps me to remain steadfast and calm through this storm.
Over the past weeks, the book The Artist's Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, By Julia Cameron has been integral to my sacred routine. It has been my lifeline and my daily journaling and painting practice have become my closest friends and allies in nurturing and soothing my soul. I cannot recommend this book enough and hope that it can provide the same support to you in these times of great change, disruption and despair. The book is a twelve week course in discovering and recovering your creative self. Through daily journalling prompts and exercises as well as weekly "artist dates," it helps us to rediscover our inner child (our inner artist) and open us to a higher power that channels through us and our creative endeavors. This book helps us to cultivate both an artistic and spiritual practice, which I relate and connect very deeply to my daily prayer, meditation, yoga and T'ai Chi practices.
"Art is a spiritual transaction. Artists are visionaries. We routinely practice a form of faith, seeing clearly and moving toward a creative goal that shimmers in the distance - often visible to us, but invisible to those around us.
For artists, a wing and a prayer is routine operating procedure. We must trust our process, look beyond "results." Artists throughout the centuries have spoken of "inspiration," confiding that God spoke to them or angels did. In our age, such notion of art as a spiritual experience are seldom mentioned. And yet, the central experience of creativity is mystical. Opening our souls to what must be made, we meet our Maker."
As well as this book, there are two artists that have greatly inspired my paintings and process. I hope that they may also awaken the same light and energy within you..
H I L M A A F K L I N T
The Swan, No. 12, Group IX/SUW, 1915 (Left) and The Dove, No. 25, Group IX/UW, 1915 (Right)
The paintings and process of Hilma Af Klint (1962 - 1944) were only just recently introduced to me by a client but I had an immediate connection and affinity with her approach and investigations.
"The pictures were painted directly through me, without preliminary drawings and with great power. I had no idea what the pictures would depict and still I worked quickly and surely without changing a single brush-stroke."
Hilma Af Klint
A G N E S M A R T I N
This Rain 1960 (Left) and Untitled 1958 (Right)
The abstract expressionist paintings of Agnes Martin (1912-2004) have long been a source of inspiration for me.. since my art school days and throughout my career as a weaver and textile designer. Like the warp and weft of a textile, the vertical and horizontal lines of her stripes and grids not only establish a rhythm and 'sound' but also connect me to a sense of time and space.. a sense of expanding beyond. Her repetition of line and her disciplined approach to her work is like a mantra, as Agnes continues to paint rigorously, seeking the purest non-objective expression of truth, beauty and innocence.
"Art work that is completely abstract – free from any expression of the environment is like music and can be responded to in the same way. Our response to line and tone and color is the same as our response to sounds. And like music abstract art is thematic. It holds meaning for us that is beyond expression in words."
These days, when I am not teaching or connecting with clients, you'll find me writing, painting or out in nature, exploring new realms and finding joy through unexpected discoveries.
"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary."
Join me on this journey of finding our way through patience, creativity and dedicated practice..
“Laura offers such a nice, lovely and grounding class, it what just what I was missing! I have to say online practice is not my favorite. I’ve been doing some classes on YouTube when I don’t feel like doing my own practice and when I’ve focused more on the physical aspect of it. I think because I know Laura, her class felt more grounding and calm and I could connect more to the practice as a whole and because I’ve had classes with her before, I get a close connection even if it is just as a memory. It feels familiar. I really enjoyed it. I will keep practicing with her online. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Ana Oliveira, Shanghai, China.
"Laura is a highly intuitive and precise Reiki therapist with a lot of holistic knowledge that she seamlessly weaves into her readings after the treatment. We have been working on my issues for a while, starting with hands-on, and continuing on over distance. Despite being based on different continents now, her distance treatments continue to be very healing and deepen with each session, and she seems to be able to push much more energy into my field now that we have this bond, which I feel physically and emotionally even before our post-treatment calls.
Her Chakra knowledge is unprecedented and being a yoga teacher she is insanely attuned to her body as an antenna. I remember during our recent distance treatment Laura told me her legs were restless and moving as she was working on my root – and given those few days I was literally uprooted, moving houses and changing districts and all the usual habits of a settled life, I did feel quite uprooted.
Laura is incredibly warm and an amazing listener – I really appreciate that during the calls she doesn’t just give me dates she came across (which are amazingly accurate, sometimes she channels them to the day!), but also gives space to walk down memory lane and reflect on what they mean to me and which issues they bring up. There is a lot of space holding that happens, which truly is a sign of her human side, not just her clairvoyant side, being dedicated to this work. There is also a lot of warmth and reminding that this is not one day’s process, that she will hold my hand no matter what and regardless of which darkness she comes across, there is love and acceptance and understanding I feel radiating from her, sometimes even before I can drop my own judgement of that darkness. I love working with Laura and looking forward to our next lunar Reiki session!"
Valeria Boyko, Shanghai, China.
"Narrowing down just one reason why I continue to work with Laura is a fool’s errand, for she has touched my life in numerable ways. The healing effects of her Reiki sessions have not only notably raised my vibration within hours or even minutes of a session, they have also erased the collection of marks stress has left upon my body, mind and soul. Whether it is through distance healing sessions, one-to-one meetings or even taking a Chakra workshop or yoga class with her, I know that Laura’s skilled hands, knowledgable approach, and open heart will be there to guide me towards the goals I seek and the healing I need. Laura has the gentlest of touches, yet she stands firmly and confidently in her healing powers. What a gift she is for our community. Healing is a choice, and I choose her!"
Wynene Wilson, San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA.