Sunday, April 11, 2010

8 Steps to Living with a Natural Flow

        "Only engage, and then the mind grows heated, begin it, and then the work will be completed."

'The Four Directions #2'
drawing: white ink on black bristol Drozda 2001 

For today's Blog Triage assignment we are asked to choose a topic that we are ready to blog about and then write it in three different voices. We are then asked to post the voice that most closely expresses our natural voice. We've been provided with a list of choices and I have selected mother, student and fellow artist. I decided to post all three since I thoroughly enjoyed the process.

My topic: Living  with a Natural Flow

Dottie, I think about you often as you've been 'resting in peace' since 2003. As my mom I don't know if you realize how you helped me (as well as your four other children) learn to live with a steady and continual focus (I notice that in the photos here you had provided me with binoculars for observing closely). It may have been those many trips to the Cleveland Zoo, wandering and watching, or the bi-weekly trips to the Cleveland Public library. I adored being able to go through the files of animal photographs filling the large brown paper envelope (the one with the figure eight closure around the paper buttons) with my favorite pictures for my next group of drawings. You encouraged me every step of the way to believe in my talent and to help me to create skills. Remember how you would remind me to draw, whenever I didn't feel well, or when I was frightened by something. You never failed to bring me paper or my sketchbook and you didn't coddle me...I don't think you saved any of those drawings, knowing there would always be more to come.  As I've looked back and reflected I appreciate that lesson. I took from that to value what's taking place now and to let the rest... rest.

Sabastian, you are eight years old. When you entered the studio you couldn't know that we'd be working together here at the contemporary art center studios until you're twelve. However I do hope that when you look back you will recall this: whenever you mentioned,with such joy and determination, "I want to be an architect when I grow up." I asked you to wait just a minute! Then, with a big smile, I would remind you that you ARE an artist/architect right now!! I would suggest that your only concern will be to not ever ever forget. I trust that you will have, at your fingertips, the memory of conceptualizing, drawing, planning, and constructing your many projects...from foundation to shutters to handmade trees and lawns surrounding your magical structures. Whenever you were in the studio you radiated a quietness and a focus that touched my heart and helped the other young artists by watching your example.  Each time your mother came to pick you up her tender pride filled the room.  

A house that Sabastian built

To my fellow artists I send out  a salute and an awareness that most of you already have a sense of flow and connection to the natural unfolding of time. For those of us who periodically lapse let me offer up a simple 8 step approach to 'going with the flow'. This eight fold path is based upon the natural and eternal phases of the moon. I've been a master teacher of working with the phases since the early 90's. It's a gentle and merry way to row your art boat down the stream.
All you need to begin is a classic kitchen calendar. Find the next new moon (which is April 14) and you can step into a gentle flow of time...month-by-month, year-by-year:

With each New moon…have a vision. Close your eyes and open your heart. Set a goal. Ask for clarity, which will lead to wisdom and illumination during the coming 29 days of the unfolding moon cycle. Create a treasure map using color, images and words to illustrate your heart’s desire. Three days later at the Crescent moon phase do your research and allow your vision/goal space to struggle like a seed planted in the ground. Imagine that it reaches up to find the light as it simultaneously stretches down to set a root. Breathe in the beauty and the wonder that surrounds you.

When the three days of the First quarter moon come it’s the time to take an action (write the letter, make the phone call, dance, or paint or sculpt your vision) all to inspire growth, trust and love for your goal.

The Gibbous moon phase is three days before the full moon; this is the time to remain positive…remain completely focused and create, create, create in connection to your goal.

The Full moon reflects. This is the three days in which you can see the shadow or hidden side of your vision or goal. This is when you can experience your goal's challenges from deep within. Now you can see, sense and feel what works and what may not. Introspection at this time leads to inner strength.

Three days after the full moon comes the Disseminating moon phase. This is the time to share what you have learned thus far regarding your goal. Speak to a trusted friend or mentor or write in your journal, or blog, recording your discoveries.

The Third quarter moon each month offers a time to say “thank you”. Now we begin to cleanse, renew and purify our thoughts and feelings being very grown up and recognizing that we’ve done what we can to accomplish the goal for this cycle.

The Balsamic moon phase each month falls three days before the next new moon. Now we release what has come and prepare to begin again…this is the time to dream the dream of the seed idea or vision that will be planted with the next new moon…

There you have it, a simple gentle recipe for circles, cycles, and following your moon….or as I like to say…enjoying your Luna-see…each new moon gives a chance to create a new vision.

winged moon
drawing: white ink on black bristol Drozda 2009

The two black and white drawings are taken from my archives of years of contributions to the pages of the beautiful Luna Press calendar...a wonderfully creative tool for walking in rhythm with the wheel of life. I also send out a monthly newsletter that keeps you abreast ot the current key energies of the cycles. You can subscribe at my home page here.

~sing the day


  1. you flourish. your work speaks to the soul.

  2. Wow, Donna! I LOVE 'Winged Moon!" Your art, and your writing, are beautiful! I am honored that you left a comment on my blog - and to have discovered a beautiful soul in our Blog Triage class! Consider me a new fan!

  3. Iona,
    I am very touched by your post. The messages you wrote to the people in your life are very moving.
    Thank you for your beautiful expression in words and art. I'll say more at the Blog Triage blog.
    I'm a new fan, too!

  4. love your work. Loved the little housexxthanks for visiting my blogxlynda

  5. Iona, interesting concept about flowing with the moon phases. Blog triage excerise - makes us think differently doesnt it?

  6. Iona, I love how your writing and words just flow together. I love what you wrote. I want to learn more about the natural and eternal phases of the moon. Count me in as a fan as well! Thank you for sharing this!

  7. Just went to your Blog and had to smile, 'Living with a natural flow'............. I found a wonderful new word/phrase
    in the 'A Different Kind of Luxury' book I have fallen into in the last few days.........'Furyu', the characters are 'wind' and 'flow'.
    (I have taken this as mine since I am Wend and Flo!!!!!!!!)
    Like the moving wind, it can be sensed but not seen. It is both tangible and intangible in its suggested elegance.
    And like the wind, furyu points to a wordless ephemeral beauty that can only be experienced in the moment,
    for in the next instant it will dissolve like the morning mist. Someone with furyu has time to write haiku,
    or can appreciate flowers, and they have space in their emotions to look at the moon or the stars.
    They're not too busy working or making money to take time.

    Also interesting that you wrote of your appreciation for your mother. I just finished making mother's lemon meringue
    pie recipe and as I was making it I journeyed back in time to when I used to cook with her in the house in Ohio.
    Sweet memories.


  8. do you accomplish so much? I am in awe of your beautiful words and spirit.

  9. It is exciting that I read this post a day before the next opportunity to pay attention to the moon phases starting with Day 1.

    I was very touched by your advice to your student-that he already is what he says he wants to be. What a lucky boy, to have an inspiring teacher like you!

  10. Lucky us, that you share your inspiring words, wisdom and art with all of us. You are a blessing in our lives.

  11. Thanks so much!
    Yes Kadira the class is wonderfully challenging and 'stretchy'.
    Dora...I do believe there will more luna-see to come in this location.
    Che'usa, even though I can't pull you away from your merry art makinglong enough to post...I'm happy to cut and paste your comments in so all can share:-) make me do any of us pull a day together these days...thank you for your kind words.
    Hannah I am a fan...thanks for coming outa' the studio to pop over here ...what does Myers Briggs know;-)

    Yay!!Nonnie...I put you in my sidebar so we can keep in touch better.


Thanks for stopping '-)