Contemplative Creatives Journey – Spring 2017

EXPLORING — AND CELEBRATING — THE EXTRAORDINARY IN THE ORDINARY

This gently guided journey with Bo has infused my existing practices with renewed energy. Her exquisite leadership is informed by experience, training and soulful instinct. I consider her a modem mystic. ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

If the words contemplative and creative have a sweet juiciness for you and you’re interested in a different sort of workshop, read on.

  • Instead of schedules, I offer serendipity.
  • Instead of a planned curriculum, I offer surprises.
  • Instead of expectations, I offer possibilities.
  • Instead of learned objectives, I offer an always-available way to engage and interact with the world through art, nature and the written word.

I combine my roles as curator of life experience, writer, artist, and Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach to offer you a meaningful and fulfilling workshop. Or might be truer if I substituted the word play-shop!

MY SPRING OFFER: YOU WILL RECEIVE REGULAR AND RANDOM PROMPTS, QUESTIONS, AND EXPLORATIONS as we shift from the sweet darkness and introspective work of the winter season, and journey towards light and a new time of awakening and growth. I will offer inspiration, new ideas, new ways of seeing and being.

Together we will explore themes and creative practices that inspire and encourage, elicit wonder and awe, uplift your spirit and feed your soul.

THE SPRING JOURNEY BEGINS MARCH 15, 2017.

This practice does not require that you set aside a certain amount of time each day (unless that is your desire.) Mostly, it is this:

  • a practice that is gently woven throughout your day
  • a practice that illuminates the extraordinary in the ordinary, enhances the uncommon in the common
  • ways of interacting with place that highlight the wonder of and connection with nature, no matter where you live, work and play.

We begin March 15th, as spring approaches, and we will journey together until June 15th.

I will journey with you throughout the Spring as we Mine the Divine from Within. I will share dozens of creative and contemplative practices as together we explore and connect with the awakening earth.

MY SPRING OFFER:

YOU WILL RECEIVE REGULAR AND RANDOM PROMPTS, QUESTIONS, AND EXPLORATIONS as we shift from the sweet darkness and introspection of winter, and journey towards light and a new time of awakening and growth.

I will offer inspiration, new ideas, new ways of seeing and being, as we explore themes and creative practices that inspire and encourage, elicit wonder and awe, uplift your spirit and feed your soul.

These practices do not require you set aside a certain amount of time each day unless that is your desire. Mostly, it is this:

• a practice that is gently woven throughout your day

• a practice that illuminates the extraordinary in the ordinary, enhances the uncommon in the common

• ways of interacting with place that highlight the wonder and connection with nature, no matter where you live, work and play.

There is a strong community and collaborative aspect in the group, but it is always invitation and opportunity, never a requirement.

Bo has created a safe and sacred space for creativity to flourish, respite to abide, and healing to occur – no matter what is happening in our internal or external worlds. The vulnerable and honest sharing of her own creative practices has invited me more deeply into my own. I cannot recommend this offering or her heart on others’ behalf highly enough. ~Ronna Detrick

In community and individually, we explore these themes:

word * vision * place

WORD

This practice focuses on how to connect — to the world, community, and self — using words. We will play with words, explore words, and connect nature and place using words.

I will share many ways to create poetry, even if you do not call yourself a poet or a writer. Poetry can be simple to complex, straightforward to multidimensional. Many of the writing practices are collaborative invitations.

Not only will we play with words – one-minute poetry, collaborative poetry, poetry prompts to create original pieces – but during the Spring season we will create postcard art and art using letters and words.

VISION

Mandala making will evolve from the practice of using metallic pencils on black paper – my preferred winter practice – to exploring the emergence of Spring’s color using found objects and a brighter palette of colors and papers. Focus: found art and mixed media.

We will learn to make simple book structures and incorporate these books in our exploration of the everyday sacred. Focus: Simple book structures. Content creation.

The photography component will focus on contemplative photography practices (using any camera.) Focus: new ways of seeing and interacting with your world. 

PLACE:

As Spring approaches and the days lengthen in the northern hemisphere, exploring and connecting with the outside world becomes more accessible.

I’ll be introducing the concept of backyard phenology – the study of nature’s calendar, an in-the-present survey of the cycles of plants and animals as they interact with climate and habitat.

We will consider the art of pilgrimage and how one introduces the concept of taking a pilgrimage when exploring one’s home and environment.

We will use writing, art and photography as creative vehicles to create a sense of place and embrace the essence of place.

QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU CLARIFY:  

Do you see metaphors everywhere and anywhere? Do you think in metaphor? If your answer is yes, then this workshop is likely something you will love.

Do you thrive with to do lists? Do you do your best, most creative work on a schedule while meeting deadlines? If your answer is yes, then this workshop will likely be a different sort of experience. Are you ready for this kind of change? Then come along and explore the creative and contemplative life with spaciousness and spontaneity.

Are you searching for a place of sanctuary, a place to recharge your inner battery so you can show up bright and energized for the demands of everyday living?

Together we will walk on a journey of enhanced awareness of the miracles and beauty of the ordinary, of renewed appreciation for the renewal of life as the natural world reawakens in Spring.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER IF YOU ARE INTRIGUED BUT UNDECIDED:

What if you to had a creative practice that could be done in free moments? What if instead of checking social media whenever a free moment arises, you chose to check in with yourself instead! I know there is a connection with self that I greatly desire and often neglect and I want to re-establish my connection with the present and the place in which I find myself.

Do I have the right kind of supplies? You create with the simplest of supplies, things you likely already own.

  • Paper of any sort, i.e. sketchbooks, copy paper, ephemera.
  • Any sort of mark-making media you already have, i.e. pens, pencils, markers, pastels, paints.
  • The camera of your choice (Cell phone camera is perfect.)
  • Mixed media supplies such as old magazines, household ephemera, a glue stick.

Whether you have a fully equipped art room or a box of supplies you store in a closet, you will find new ways to explore these things. Surprises or nudges will get your creative juices flowing. Hints on how to see or create in new ways will offer you unlimited creative possibilities, easily incorporated into your everyday routine.

WHEN:

The Spring journey is 13 weeks long. We begin on March 15 as Spring approaches, and continue until June 15th.

HOW:

Private community on Facebook. Everything will be delivered to a private Facebook group page and may show up anytime. Surprise and serendipity! You are encouraged to share your discoveries and experiences in the private group however and whenever you choose.

This guided and easily accessible process allows you to engage in the practice wherever and whenever you choose.

THE COST:

I offer you my knowledge, my skills, my presence and my enthusiasm. The cost for the 13 week Spring journey and community is $99.00. (This is about than $7.50 a week, what you might pay for a fancy coffee. Consider this a different sort of coffee break!)

Note: This price is locked in for you. Once you have journeyed through one season with me, you are welcome to join other seasons I offer at this price.

TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE:

Registration is now open. You can use the PayPal link below.

Click Here to Register.

I do hope you will join me.

 

 

Emergence – Poem and Mandala

Emergence ©2016 Bo Mackison

Emergence ©2016 Bo Mackison

In the middle of the night
when my companion is the tick
of the second-hand
– and heart beat

In the early morning hours
awaiting first light
so still in the house
– too quiet

In wait for the coming of storm,
be it thunder, hail, snow squall
– or a brewing wild within

Midst scheduled days or days unfettered,
in calm or angst
with joy or grief,
– take up your pen and paper

And in keen or chant, praise or lament,
in raised voice or sultry whisper,
(remember this)
– all is sacred and profane

Cast spell and benediction,
turn your words into phrases
and phrases into lines
– invite unruliness and ecstasy too

Take up your pen,
invoke madness or muse
Take up your pen and write
– then, poetry emerges.

Blessing – A Poem and Mandala

img_4322-2

Blessing © 2016 Bo Mackison

A Thanksgiving Blessing

Bless the beginning and the end
and all moments in between.

Those in-between moments, long pauses,
interminable wait or – paradoxically –
too much action. A blur, a flash, a crash.

Bless this very moment.
Bless me, sitting at my desk, with filtered November shining through my window,
a light/shadow abstract cast upon these written words. Holy words.

Bless this moment of routine
of ritual.
In the midst of the ordinary and mundane
In between the common and the trivial.

In the midst of unspeakable despair
lingers a relentless awareness of what is.

Yes, here is the sacred.
In this – the present – there is presence.

Bless the quiet night
and the firelight,
the dark shiver and the cold.

Bless the dream unfolding in sleep
and the dreamer;
Bless the seeds germinating in damp earth
and the cracked seed, foreteller of life.

Bless a pale sun that casts blue shadows on crested snow;
Bless the lakes and rivers in icy embrace.

Bless us, in our silence and our singing,
our laughter and our weeping.

Bless absence in the presence
and presence in the absence.

Bless this moment.
Bless us all.

After Votes Are Counted, A Low Simmering Hatred Boils Over – A Cento

img_3594-2

This is a different sort of writing. A different sort of writing practice. I wrote a cento.

Cento, from the Latin word patchwork. A collage poem, a cento is a poetic form that is composed of lines from other poets’ poems. A true cento is formed entirely from other poets’ lines.

After Votes Are Counted, A Low Simmering Hatred Boils Over

a cento

Weep for the country in its present state.
So fallen! So lost! The light withdrawn –
All night I dreamed of roses
Of morning, the languor of another morning.

Today the headlines clot in my blood.
We need to know in America there is still
blood
for forgiveness.

Let’s look at our loneliness in this desert
The deep night, and birds singing, and clouds flying,
And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal earth.

When the few true defenders of love and justice survive to tell the tale,
Then, perhaps then, God Bless America.

~~~~~~

from the poets George Horton, John Whittier, Sophie Jewett, Cesare Pavese, Naomi Shihab Nye, Shann Ray, Raul Zurita, Rupert Brooke, John Fuller

 

Sound Byte – A Poem

 

Morning Flight © 2014 Bo Mackison

Morning Flight © 2014 Bo Mackison

Sound Byte

The sound was so even, so precise,
I looked around the room, half-expecting
to see the old rocker swaying,
inhabited by grandmother’s ghost.

But no, it was the creak of Canada geese —
their approach, fly over, diminuendo.
And I was held in stillness — breathless
at the wonder of it all.

~~~~~

Playing with words is a part of the practice on the Contemplative Creatives Journey, of holding an awareness of what catches your attention. What are the connections made without thought? What insight comes when transcribing words from thought to writing, the moment not lost but gently held?

Please consider joining me on the Contemplative Creatives Journey, an online workshop and community. Beginning December 1st, 2016.