Labyrinth Love

The labyrinth is a mandala that meets our longing for a change of heart, for a change of ways in how we live together on this fragile island home, and for the energy, the vision, and the courage to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

~The Labyrinth Project at the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

One of my favorite places on the campus of Ursuline College is its beautiful outdoor Labyrinth.  For me, this is a peaceful and calming refuge that I often use as a walking meditation and a way to slow down and pause- spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

I recently was able to introduce one of my art therapy groups with Ursuline’s ArtSpace Outreach Program to the power of the labyrinth through a visit to the site, as well as engage group members in creating their own finger labyrinths to use as a portable and accessible meditative tool to manage stress, anxiety, and promote awareness.

I discovered this fabulous finger labyrinth how-to from Heather Plett that was perfect timing for this labyrinth fieldtrip.

Here are some photos from the making of my labyrinth, as I tried out the materials and process as prep for my group:

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

I chose to use bleeding tissue paper with mod podge to cover the craft cord I glued down over the labyrinth pattern.

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

When all the craft cord was covered and dried, I took a silver ink stamp pad to brush/press over top to accent the pathway against the background.  Lots of fun to create!

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

It was wonderful to tie in an art-making experience with this special trip and thank Heather for the inspiration! 🙂


In the Presence of Now: Creating One 3×5 At a Time

[Things end because…. something else is ready to begin.]

The last 10 days of my 3×5 365 project has been an interesting transition from 2013’s 365 project. A mixture of loss (from the familiarity of what was) mixed in with much excitement (about what can be), along with a reminder (to just be present in the here and now).  A helpful, simple tool I’ve started to use for this gentle reminder into the “presence of now” is this handy (and free!) Gratitude and One Minute Meditation app.  For me, this added practice helps re-frame and create a moment of pause before beginning to work on the day’s 3×5.

As I’ve started to embark on this new 365 adventure, these beginning days have been spent getting to know and being present to this project’s new form, being, and structure…a building of rapport and flow connected to this project’s voice.

I’ve already noticed how much I really do enjoy having the 3×5 space to [breathe], create, and play in.

I am eager to see what develops in these sacred spaces over time.. remembering to embrace this process one 3×5 at a time.

[ “Tomorrow will always hold curiosities but it is the enchantment of today’s possibilities which has me true to the present.” ] ― Truth Devour, Wantin


Related Posts:

3×5 365 Begins

Heart Space: 365 Days of revo’lution making

Revo’lution Bits: My 365 Project Begins

Through a Grateful Summer Lens: Honoring Our Light

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.  ~Celia Thaxter

Through a Grateful Lens: Summer Light | creativity in motion

Behold (!) the collection of my most favorite filtered light captures I’ve taken throughout this summer on my iPhone and then posted on Instagram. Over the last 14 months, it’s been fun, rewarding, and grounding to keep up this practice of “following the light” as a simple, visual reflection of being in (and honoring) the present moment, as well as a creative expression to pay gratitude to the love & light energy that shines all around.

This week I stumbled upon this lovely news article about the photography of Charles Blackhall and his view of photography as a form of mediation to “open the good eye”.  Blackhall uses photography as a process to “regain fresh eyes”, slow down the moment, practice here and now focusing, attunement, and more:

“This practice, in my opinion, is really mindfulness meditation with visual perceptions as the object of attention rather than watching one’s breath.”

— Charles Blackhall


It’s also comforting when I take these photos and so very often during this practice I think of other “light followers” who also post their amazing captures with such warm & inspiring intentions.  I sometimes reflect on how we are all under the same giant sky no matter who & where we are. For me, this awareness creates a refreshing simplicity and a humbling perspective.

Through a Grateful Lens: Namaste | creativity in motion
“The light within me bows to the light within you.”

As the summer light begins to slowly fade, it’s a little hard for me to adjust to shorter and shorter days. This transition helps create an appreciation for the remaining moments of evening light…


Related Posts:

Through a Grateful Lens: Spring Light Simplicity

Through a Grateful Winter Lens: A Sense of Sacredness Among the Ordinary

Through a Grateful Lens: Following the Light

The Making of Mindfulness through Art

It’s planning and preparation time again for this year’s Buckeye Art Therapy Association’s Annual Symposium to be held September 24-25, 2010 in Dublin, Ohio.   This year’s theme, The Making of Mindfulness through Art, will include two days of workshops and presentation offerings highlighting the use of art therapy in the practice of mindfulness, meditation, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).  The Symposium Program will also be premiering  ART IS LIFE IS ART: The Life and Work of Don Jones, a documentary by Bruce L. Moon that examines of the extraordinary life and work of BATA and AATA Founder Don Jones.

BATA’s Symposium keynote will be Michael Franklin, Ph.D., ATR-BC, who directed the undergraduate art therapy program at Bowling Green State University from 1986 to 1997 and introduced the field to me as my first art therapy professor.  Dr. Franklin is currently a core faculty for Naropa University’s Transpersonal Counseling Psychology Department and Director of Naropa’s Graduate Art Therapy Program in Boulder, Colorado.

There’s still time to get your registration in if you would like to attend this year’s Symposium and enjoy a little mindfulness and art therapy!  The mail in registration deadline is September 7, 2010.

On Day 2 of the Symposium, Cathy Malchiodi and I will be teaming up again to present Papermaking as Self Reclamation and Transformation: Deconstruction to Reconstruction. This presentation will provide an overview about how papermaking can be a transformative, mindful, and reparative process that facilitates and enhances exploration of personal meaning.  The basics of papermaking as an art therapy approach through practical applications and first person experiences will be explored, as well as highlighting The Combat Paper Project and suggestions for art therapy’s role with returning military.

In connection with this presentation, I have been working on my own handmade book  that chronicles some significant experiences and crossroads in my professional life over the last few years.  The paper that was made to create the pages of this book came from unwanted personal material and content that was shredded, pulped, re-transformed into new sheets of paper, and then liberated into new life and meaning for this project.

I’m really looking forward to sharing some of my personal experience and the art created for this book!

My Book: Papermaking as Self Reclamation and Transformation

What Ought to Be: On Untangling and Putting Fragments Back Together with Art

Earlier in the week I was reading a post about what daily meditation can do for your creativity and wrote down these words that the author, Mark McGuinness highlighted: Focus, Patience, Calmness, Clarity, Insight, and Perspective with the intention to reflect on the state of my own mental clarity and what McGuinness described perfectly as “getting tangled up in thoughts”.

As the week went on, I lost track of this intention. What did follow was lots of tangling and static coming from many sources and by the end of the week, my mind felt like it was in tight knots unable to make sense of anything or what to do next.  Except for one thing: to make art.  When I am having a hard time understanding what’s happening around me or within, art-making usually helps me start to untangle everything and invite many of the qualities listed in McGuinness’ post.

This past week in particular, I was really thinking about themes related to shattering, fragmenting and scatteredness… feeling this within and wanting to do something constructive and meditative to make these pieces more containable and start to put them back together for my sanity and my ability to keep moving forward with fresh eyes, a clearer head, and creative mind.

Fragments of Me: What Ought to Be

I used several square and rectangle plastic “Fragments”  from Tim Holtz’s idea-ology and adhered the words I wrote down from McGuinness’ list and others important to my untangling process.   Holtz’s “Fragments” are small clear tiles that can be embellished by adhering patterned paper to, inking, or gluing on printed paper for creating “a concept or thought developed by the mind of what is desireable or ought to be“.

Fragments Box

I also collaged a box to hold and contain these fragments of “what ought to be”.

Fragments Contained

Developing and containing these fragments through this process reminded me (again) of my core intentions, purpose, and helped “untangle” most of the “thought knots”, as well as put back and contain all the little pieces of me that were scattered everywhere and ought to be paid attention to for continued creativity, energy, and collaboration.

You Don’t Make the Fish, You Catch the Fish

One of my favorite creative people is filmmaker David Lynch, who created beautifully bizarre cult classics such as, but not limited to:  Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks, and more recently, INLAND EMPIRE.  Lynch is also a visual artist who creates paintings, photographs, sketches, drawings, and doodling in his trademark  fashion: strange and mysterious to say the least.

David Lynch is also an avid believer of Transcendental Meditation (TM) and has been practicing this technique for over 30 years. He even founded a non-profit, The David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace that provides scholarships to implement in school TM programming, as well as funding for universities to research the effects of the program on creativity, intelligence, academic performance, concentration, stress reduction, and managing anxiety, depression, etc. throughout the US and globally.

Lynch often lectures on concepts related to creativity, idea making, and consciousness which I find rather interesting to listen to and motivates me to perhaps take another go at really learning meditation, which I have never been able to get the hang of, but could probably benefit from.

The video below showcases Lynch talking about his thoughts on where ideas come from and how the awareness or “catching ideas” is impacted by your level of consciousness.  He uses the concept of fishing to describe this process further:  it’s just not good enough to bait your hook to attract the fish (seeking the idea), but it is also influenced by how deep your fish line goes (diving into consciousness). According to Lynch, the fish/ideas that “catch” directly relate to your level of awareness.

“You don’t make the fish, you catch the fish…. There are no original ideas– just the ideas you caught”.   David Lynch

Here’s to catching lots of fish and being aware enough to know that the fish are biting!  Check out Lynch’s book, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity for more.

In This Instant There Are No Obstacles


No Obstacles

This is one of my favorite collages and a mantra that I often try to remember: In this instant there are no obstacles.  It is important for me to keep moving forward, even in moments or times in my life where the reality I thought would be, became completely out of my control.  This is where my own creative energy and resilience launches into action to help cope and problem solve on next steps and where to go next.  Making art helps with this process- becoming a blueprint or map for me to find my way.

Check out this meditation article about Creativity and Obstacles.