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Spring's Unstoppable Force
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Audacious Hope ...

The Creative Urge to Grow


As we impatiently hang on through spring’s roller coaster of warm-ups and chill-downs we see all around us, as writer Henry Miller observed, that “all is creation, all is change, all is flux and all is metamorphosis”.
 Spirit Tree by CJ Shelton
And change is definitely in the air … after a bitterly cold winter we finally passed through the Vernal Equinox on March 21, accompanied by a new moon and solar eclipse. And just over a week ago we similarly felt the emotional stirrings of a lunar eclipse occurring in conjunction with a full ‘pink’ moon. Those latest astronomical events also coincided with the Christian observances of Passover and Easter. That’s some pretty amazing transformative energies we experienced in a relatively short period of time.
 
Rooted by CJ SheltonNowhere are regenerative forces more obvious than in the unfailing promise of what lies just beneath the ground right now in “the audacious hope of rooted things”. This beautiful sentiment written by author Cynthia Bond really struck a chord with me over the last few weeks as I found myself drawn to the words of several writers, noticing how they shared similarities about this “creative urge to grow”, the “seed which never stops trying”, that “single unstoppable force of life – all life.”
 
Some words from French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin seemed almost in response to Cynthia Bond: “what paralyzes life is lack of faith and lack of audacity”.
Sprouting plantAnd a few days later my inbox provided another (rather quirky) little 'growth' observation from Mike Dooley, creator of TUT.com, in the form of “the reason trees are so good at time management is because they do one thing at a time to the very best of their ability”.

Tree BrainYet another tree analogy I discovered was from psychotherapist Ira Progoff: “the inner growth of a person is irregular, for it often disappears from view for long periods. The psychological cycles of growth move so slowly and circuitously that even when something very important is germinating underneath, people are often misled into believing that no growth is taking place at all”.
 
Humans, like trees and all other living things, are filled with this ‘audacious hope’, the ‘creative urge to grow’, and it is the very times when it appears nothing is happening - such as in winter or moments of deep rest, grief or stillness - when the most constructive developments are actually taking place.

Like seeds beneath the hard winter ground, the first incubating stages of creative process (or of any transformative process requiring a change from one state of being to another) we, like “an acorn contains in its unconscious the dream of the oak tree … have inside of us unlived potentials. All other species have a more or less objective pattern of development that could be described as their growth, but the characteristic of human beings is that we reach a point where our continued growth depends upon our relationship with ourselves, with our inner world. What makes it so elusive is that it has to happen from the inside.” (Ira Progoff)
 
Yin Yang SymbolThis invisible force or compulsion to develop and transform - call it Spirit, Chi or the ‘Tao’ (the Way) - operates at a fundamental level throughout our universe. Being in sync with this flow of energy is essential to the ability to germinate, grow and bear fruit, to live harmoniously and in balance. Like a seed or an acorn, with all its potential to become a mighty oak tree, the ‘creative urge to grow’ is about being aware of the physical laws of the universe and knowing how to harness that power and work with it, not against it.

Nature continually provide us with an ideal model of how to accomplish this, how to direct the events of our life, not by force but by using methods that do not create resistance or negativity but follow the natural and vital flow of energy available freely to all living things … this is simply natural law.

 

It is the Buddhist way as well as the acorn’s. If we remain steadfast and true to our purpose, allow the unknown to guide us and trust with acceptance and patience, we “gain the strength of the very earth” (from the I Ching). Creative potential is alive within each and every one of us, just like the seeds we know are ready and waiting at this moment in time for exactly the right conditions to allow them to push forth and burst above the ground.

All growing things know instinctively what to do. For humans, this also requires getting below the clutter of our own fears, our out-of-balance desires, our egos, jealousy, impatience – deep into the interior where the vital life force resides – and letting our seeds germinate according to Nature’s ‘unstoppable force of life’. By doing so we can develop, grow and ultimately fulfil our potential, becoming the mighty oak trees we are meant to be.
 
Be sure to check out my upcoming "Seed to Seed" and "Tree of Life" workshops if you are feeling ready to let things 'sprout'. Or give yourself a time-out and join me this coming Saturday at our first Red Tent Gathering. As soon as Nature begins presenting her own beautiful palette of spring colours I always get a burst of energy too and the strong desire to paint. I welcome you to visit or join me during this abundant season of life as we celebrate all things fresh and new!

May you enjoy the dance!

CJ Shelton
Artist & Healing Arts Practitioner

Dancing Moon Designs
Illuminating the Creative Spirit ...

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THE STORY BEHIND THE PIECE ..."The Red Tent"
This is my very newest mandala, created especially for Red Tent Ontario. In my last newsletter I announced I was now a founding partner in this wonderful collective seed dream to co-create a place where women of all ages can gather and 'just be'. The concept underlying the Red Tent is to provide a sacred place for taking time-out for ourselves and connecting with fellow 'sisters'.
 
When you 'enter the Red Tent' there is no agenda, no set activity, no one to ask anything of you. Your Red Tent time is used simply to nurture your own spirit however you want to - to read, listen, journal, meditate or share with others. It will also be a place for creative activities, celebration and rites of passage.
 
This new mandala represents the ‘flowering’ of our seed dream – a five petalled star symbolizing the joining and coming together of feminine principles around a strong central fire, all in perfect harmony with the moon’s phases and the greater cosmos.

Prints, silk scarves and pendants will soon be available with this design. A portion of sales will be donated to help fund the building of a permanent Red Tent for the enjoyment of all.
INAUGRAL RED TENT GATHERING
Join us for our very first gathering of the women!
NEXT SATURDAY! April 18 from 1-3 pm at the Community Hall in Hornings Mills.
$10 per person donation to the Red Tent Fund

More info at www.redtentontario.com
"THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING"
Alton Mill Arts Centre
On now until Sun. May 10

A themed art exhibition will be running throughout the Alton Mill this spring based on Naomi Klein's book "This Changes Everything"  and showcasing artistic explorations on the effects of climate change. Be sure to visit the Bartlett Gallery on the main floor where my "Storm" painting is currently on display as part of this special event.
ART IN THE ROUND
MOTHER's DAY EDITION
Saturday May 9

A beautiful way to spend some special creative time with Mum! $60 per person when two or more book.
OR
Book your own day and time for groups of two or more. Great gift idea or a fun Girl's Day out!
OPEN STUDIO Drawing Sessions - "Seeing With New Eyes"
ONGOING Sunday and Wednesday afternoons from 1-3 pm

Build your drawing skills and learn to see the world through an artist's eyes. Newbies and more advanced welcome. Start anytime | Pay as you go.
THE TREE OF LIFE
Saturday April 25
What does the tree that you are look like? Join me for a creative exploration of your own personal tree of life and its connections to the greater world.
$85 per person
"SEED TO SEED" INTRO TO SACRED GEOMETRY
Saturday May 23
Discover the magical world of sacred geometry as you artistically 'plant' your intentions and watch them grow.
$85 per person
"The Moon Tree" Pendant
The balancing energy of my signature piece "The Moon Tree" can now be yours to wear. Pendant on 16" leather cord, $30.00 each. Available at my studio or can be mailed. Please email me with your order request.

Moon Tree Pendant by CJ Shelton
Shamanic Consultations
By appointment Wednesdays through Fridays at the Alton Mill and twice monthly at Breakthrough Centre in Brampton

MARI® Mandala "Soul Symbol" Interpretation
Explore the 'language of your soul' in a one-on-one self-discovery session. The MARI system provides a visual and symbolic snapshot of what's currently going on in your life, allowing you to access your own inner wisdom and achieve more clarity. You already have the answers within you. Sessions by appointment in my studio at the Alton Mill. Visit my website to learn more about this fascinating process.
"Move through life in harmony with the flow.
Wait, wait for the point of leverage. Wait until small action is capable of producing profound results. In harmony with the flow, use the flow
To multiply both your power and that of the Great Flow of Life.
Waiting requires humility.
"
~ Roderick MacIver
Copyright © 2015 Dancing Moon Designs, All rights reserved.


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