Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Contemplative Practice, Heather Blakey, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Resilience, Self Compassion, Wild Play

Hasten Slowly

Today the butterfly is reminding me not to rush the process of transformation. I am writing my final essay and I am preparing for a 500-hour placement beginning in June. Butterfly reminds me to spend some time in the cocoon of my home nurturing my creativity and getting in touch with my feelings. Within the cocoon, I can embrace the rapture of transformation and rebirth; trust that a force greater than me has a guiding hand in what I will do when I finally complete this degree in September.

Take the time, within the safety of a special cocoon-like space to read more about butterfly symbolism.

  • Wrap yourself tightly in a blanket for a few minutes and then slowly unwrap it and emerge. Does this seem like a metaphor for anything in your life right now?
Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Heather Blakey, Romancing the Creative Spirit, Self Compassion, Wild Play

Ghost Bat Heralds Rebirth and Renewal

When Ghost Bat wings her way into your life she is urging you to let go of the past and allow yourself to be reborn. You will go through many periods of renewal in life as new cycles are already waiting for you. Don’t be afraid to allow the changes to come into your life, and be willing to let go of what you no longer need, as this is Spirit’s way of telling you there is something greater awaiting your rebirth. Now is the time to take the next step to a new you.

This may feel frightening but remember that the Australian bush needs a bushfire to allow new growth to come forth. Recently I torched my maidenhair fern. The rapid new growth is a delight. Fan a personal fire and encourage the flames to speed a renewal. Remember that meditation is a great way to get in touch with your inner guides.

Posted in Akari Mystery Tours, Akari Write Your Own Adventure, Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Expressive Arts, Heather Blakey, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Self Compassion, Wild Play

Host A Brolga Party

Along the theme of experiencing joyfulness, brolga also lets us know that it might be time to draw in ‘party’ energy. While this might literally involve organising a party, attending one with friends, or going out with a group it could, equally, simply mean that you intentionally release stress and energy and have a good time.

Social gatherings are often very healing when we go with no expectations but to treat ourselves and look after our social spirit. Rather than going on an Artist’s Date alone you might host a brolga party OR  bundle some friends in the car and go on an Akari style mystery tour with an end destination such as the Brolga Room at the Healesville Hotel!

Cocktail
Brogla Room

The menu below can form part of the canapes to start a function or to create the perfect cocktail party. When confirming your numbers & timing we can work together to develop a menu, you may choose fingerfood for the event or match it with some more substantial dishes.

Cocktail parties include feasting on
freshly shucked oysters with red wine and shallots dressing

smoked buxton trout rillettes with horse radish cream & lavish

rice paper rolls of green herbs, chilli and hoi sin pork

duck rillettes on buttered sourdough toasts with cranberries

cured yarra valley salmon, crme fraiche and chives on rye

crostini topped with-pork & pistachio terrine with pear chutney
crostini topped with-babaganouj w dukkah

buxton trout rillettes w yarra valley salmon roe

yarra valley goats cheese & tomato tartlet w green olive tapenade

pumpkin, sage and fetta arancini

zucchini fritter with tahini yoghurt

lamb kofta with tzatziki

chorizo and sweet corn fritters with aioli

confit duck pithiviers

middle eastern lamb turnovers, zaatar dipping sauce

little caramelised onion tarts, rocket and fetta

salt & pepper squid lime aioli

cones of local beer battered fish & chips

mini beef or chicken burger sliders

slow braised spiced lamb on cous cous

kennedy and wilson chocolate tartlet

mini pavlova with passion fruit cream mini lemon curd tarts

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Aussie Birds and Animals, Brolga, Contemplative Practice, Expressive Arts, Heather Blakey, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Resilience, Romancing the Creative Spirit, Self Compassion, Wild Play

Romancing the Creative Spirit

Over 52 weeks I will be learning all about how to live and work creatively. My teachers are Aussie birds and animals. It is week eight and Brolga has danced into my life, on the arm of and the creative force, to build on the lessons that Australian birds, animals and habitat have been initiating.

Brolga by Ravenari, Wildspeak.

When brolga energy has come into your life, it indicates that there is a focus on relationships – particularly romantic or more-than-platonic relationship. It might be time to court your partner again and remember romance or the joy of finding a person you love.

Alternatively, there is something quite intoxicating about being in true connection with the creative spirit.  When this happens, as it happened to me as I gifted my one true love, the creative spirit, with the Twelve Days of an Australian Christmas, it can feel like a passionate love affair that washes over you like a storm. It can feel like a Mystical Union that puts everything into perspective and fills one with a deep sense of peace.

When Saint Teresa of Avila wrote I Gave All My Heart she was writing about her relationship with God, her beloved one. When I meditate upon this work I acknowledge that I have given all of my heart to my one true love, the Creative Spirit.

I gave all my heart to the Lord of Love,
And my life is so completely transformed
That my Beloved One has become mine
And without a doubt, I am his at last.

When that tender hunter from paradise
Released his piercing arrow at me,
My wounded soul fell in his loving arms;
And my life is so completely transformed
That my Beloved One has become mine
And without a doubt, I am his at last.

He pierced my heart with his arrow of love
And made me one with the Lord who made me.
This is the only love I have to prove,
And my life is so completely transformed
That my Beloved One has become mine
And without a doubt, I am his at last.

For me, courting the creative spirit also involves making romantic gestures to self. This might involve buying a bouquet, a box of chocolates or king prawns for dinner ‘just because’ is a great way to establish a bond with self.

Brolga also teaches the value and wisdom of flirting. Sometimes flirting harmlessly with friends and meaningfully with partners allows us to re-experience what it is to have fun with others. In the French language class I am enrolled in I am enjoying playful banter, conversation and flirtatious behaviour. This is a way to experience fun within the friendship of this group.

Sometimes it’s time to just let loose and be joyful, instead of being serious all the time.

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Heather Blakey, Nature Fix, Self Compassion, Wild Play

Brolga Dreaming

Long ago, back in the Dreamtime, there was a very beautiful young girl, named Brolga. Even though she was very young, Brolga was the best dancer in the whole land. Everyone in the tribe was very proud of Brolga, her dancing was so graceful, and her movements so special. When she danced, the old people would sit around and say,

‘She dances so well. It makes us proud that she’s part of our tribe.’

‘Look at Brolga, she must be the best dancer in the whole land!’

Now Brolga hadn’t always been such a good dancer. When she was a very little girl, she used to get up very early in the morning, and creep past her sleeping brothers and sisters, out of the gunyah and to the plains around her camp. Once there, she would practise swooshing her arms like the Pelican, parading like the Emu, and whirling like the wind. Brolga soon became so good hat the rest of the tribe asked her to join in their dances. But Brolga didn’t just do the old dances. She liked to make up new ones. Dances about the trees and the wind dances about the Spirits and the animals. The dances that Brolga invented were so good, that people from other tribes would come just to see her dance. The more she danced, the more famous she became. The old men of the tribe were very proud of her. Never had there ever been anyone as talented as Brolga. And they were sure that her dancing would make their tribe the most famous in the whole land. They would sit and watch as the beautiful young girl whirled and twirled – she seemed to fly through her dances.

Sometimes the old people would worry. Brolga was very pretty and very famous. What if she became too proud? They worried that she would become vain, and ask for special treatment. but she never did. Each day found her the same happy modest Brolga as the day before. Each day, Brolga would spend some time to gather food with the women and at night she would dance for the rest of the tribe. One day, Brolga went off by herself to dance. She went out onto the dry red plain near her camp. On this plain, was her favourite tree, a big old coolibah tree. Brolga began to dance in its shade moving with the shadow of the old tree’s branches. As the wind swayed the tree, Brolga swayed, dancing out into the sunlight. The early morning sun fell on her face and with her arms floating out she spun for the sheer joy of it. As the little puffs of dust rose from her feet, an evil Spirit, Waiwera, looked down from his home in the Milky Way and saw Brolga. She was, without doubt, the most graceful and beautiful girl he had ever seen. Waiwera decided that Brolga must be his. He would steal her to be his woman!

Waiwera quickly spun himself into a whirlwind, a willy-willy and flew down onto the plain. Brolga saw the willy-willy swirling across the plain. It looked so very pretty, a gentle column of dust spiralling upwards. Brolga didn’t know that it was the evil Spirit, Waiwera!

As the wind came closer to Brolga, it made a sudden great roaring sound and enclosed her. Brolga was swept off her feet. She was caught! The wind roared, and Brolga thrashed, but it was no use, she could not escape! Far away she could see the big old coolibah tree and near it the camp of her tribe. She began to cry. When Brolga’s tribe discovered she was missing, they went looking for her.

       ‘Maybe another tribe has stolen her.’

‘No, we would have heard her cries.’

‘If we can find her tracks, then we will be able to

follow them. They will show us where she has gone.’

But the wind had covered her tracks. The tribe searched everywhere for her. They found the big old coolibah tree.

‘She used to come here to dance, but there are no tracks.’

Then they saw the path where the willy-willy had been. One of the old men suggested they follow the path of the willy-willy, perhaps that would take them to Brolga. So the tribe set out. For several days, they followed the path of the willy-willy, until they came to a hill overlooking a small plain. There below them, they saw the evil Spirit, Waiwera, and with him was his captive, Brolga! The whole tribe rushed down hurling their spears and their boomerangs. Waiwera, seeing them coming, began to spin the whirlwind faster. Brolga was now his, and the evil, jealous spirit, realizing that he couldn’t escape with her, decided that no one would have her. The whirlwind swirled around Brolga and just as the tribe reached her, she vanished! Brolga’s tribe watched as the willy-willy wound its way slowly up into the sky. On the spot where it had been, there now stood a big old-coolibah tree. But there was no sign of Brolga.

They knew that the evil spirit, Waiwera, had returned to his home in the two black holes in the Milky Way. The old people shuddered and hoped that they would never have to pass along the Milky Way, for to do so, they would have to pass the two black holes where Waiwera lived. As they stood near the tree which Waiwera had left, one of the children shouted,

‘Look! Look! There is a bird! A bird we have never seen before!’

As they watched a beautiful tall grey bird appeared from behind the tree. Not even the old people had seen one like it. The bird slowly stretched its wings, and instead of flying away, it began to dance, making the same graceful moves that Brolga used to make. The bird danced, taking long, hopping steps, and floating on its graceful wings. The men called out,

‘It’s Brolga! It’s Brolga!

See, the bird is dancing just like Brolga!’

And the bird seemed to understand. It pranced slowly towards them, and with one last graceful bound, flew up into the air, and away! Then they all knew that the wicked Waiwera had changed Brolga into a bird. A bird which the Aboriginals, from that day onwards, have always called the brolga.

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Contemplative Practice, Expressive Arts, Nature Fix, Self Compassion

Embryonic Diapause

Over 52 weeks I will be learning all about how to live and work creatively. My teachers are Aussie birds and animals. It is week seven and the creative force has produced the Kangaroo to build on the lessons that Australian birds, animals and habitat have been initiating.

Embryonic diapause (also known as delayed implantation in mammals) is the developmental arrest of a fertilised embryo. This evolutionary device, which has evolved in over 100 mammals, allows reproduction throughout the year and maximises survival of young during less favourable environmental conditions. An embryo is considered to be in diapause when mitosis is decreased or has stopped completely and considered to begin development again when mitotic activity reoccurs. There is a complex interplay of stimuli which regulate the entrance into and exit from diapause, but in marsupials it is very much dependent on a suckling young being in the pouch. The main benefit of embryonic dipause is to lengthen the active gestation period; regardless of mating seasons, birth can happen at the optimum time for the species, or to effectively space out births.

Kangaroos have a particular ability to delay the growth of their young through a process known as embryonic diapause.  This is a very adaptive way with which they are able to slow the growth process of their young ones when there is not enough source of food in the area where they are located.  Kangaroos communicate through various bodily movements such as touching, stomping their feet, grumbling and snapping.

♣ The lesson of kangaroo is that things can grow by delay! Is there a project you have in embryonic diapause, waiting for the right time to be kick-started again, waiting to be born at an optimal time?

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Expressive Arts, Heather Blakey, Just Killing Time, Self Compassion, Wild Play

Make Space for Intuition

Over 52 weeks I will be learning all about how to live and work creatively. My teachers are Aussie birds and animals. It is week seven and the creative force has produced the Kangaroo to build on the lessons that Australian birds, animals and habitat have been initiating.

The kangaroo is a marsupial, meaning the female possesses a frontal pouch where her prematurely birthed offspring complete their development outside the womb. Watch this video and you will see how the infant must instinctively ascend their mother’s belly and crawl into the nurturing pouch.

The lesson of Kangaroo is to make space for intuition. It is time to enhance our natural instincts and allow them to guide us. When we let our intuition guide us our over-analyzing tendencies diminish. When we learn this lesson, movement becomes freer and fortunate synchronicity increases.

Making Space for Intuition: Try These

♣ Sitting in sacred silence and meditation in the morning to connect with your inner world.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson says,  “Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.”  In the mornings, I enjoy sitting at the kitchen table in the sunlight, eating my breakfast mindfully and in silence.  Along with meditation, these two things help to attune to my intuition before my day begins.

♣ Scheduling in gaps of time where you don’t make any plans, but follow your intuition.  Sundays are my days for this.  I like to do whatever I feel intuitively guided to do that day and really try to not making any plans.  I love sleeping in when it feels right or rising early when the energy in my body gets me up.

♣ Dialogue with your Soul, asking for her needs, desires, what it wants to experience today.  Listen intently.  Be curious.  Ask questions.

♣ Take your time back from being busy to creating intentionally.  Review your commitments and check in to see if they align or you’re just doing them out of obligation.

♣ Drive without music.  Rather than filling it up with music or talk radio listening to everyone else blare messages into your head (oh and I love driving and singing so it’s definitely not a bad thing), at least once a week turn it all off.  Make your car an intuitive spaceship.

♣ Write to liberate your Soul.  Give your thoughts some wings and journal freely, with no agenda, everything that’s on your mind.

♣ Creating the space for your intuition allows her to show up and shine.  How can you make room to hear your inner voice?  What ways can you begin letting your intuition guide you each day?

♣ Make room to receive.

Posted in A Donkey and A Raven, Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Contemplative Practice, Heather Blakey, Just Killing Time, Nature Fix, Pencil Drawings, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Resilience, Self Compassion, Wild Play

Quantum Jumping Over the Moon

Over 52 weeks I will be learning all about how to live and work creatively. My teachers are Aussie birds and animals. It is week seven and the creative force has produced the Kangaroo to build on the lessons that Australian birds, animals and habitat have been initiating.

Quantum Jumping over the Moon – Heather Blakey 2018

Known for their strength and agility, at full speed, the adult Grey can reach 40 mph and can jump a distance of approximately 25 feet in one hop and about 9 feet high. The tendons in their large back legs stretch and then snap back, providing lift-off. When travelling great distances, as momentum builds, the kangaroo expends less and less energy through the use of these special tendons instead of using muscle. Their breathing is also very efficient.

In mimicking Kangaroo’s forward momentum skills and in remembering to take a breath during times of stress, we can learn how to progress and achieve our goals quickly, and our stamina during will be greatly enhanced as we leap over any obstacles in our way.

Kangaroo prompts us to simply use the knowledge from our past to keep us from repeating mistakes, but will never allow us to live in the past. They teach that it is best to look ahead and to keep moving forward toward our hopes and dreams.

Take a leap of faith! Go Quantum Jumping with Kangaroo

Posted in A Donkey and A Raven, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Contemplative Practice, Pencil Drawings, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Resilience, Self Compassion, Still-observing, Wild Play

In the Beginning

Life While-You-Wait.
Performance without rehearsal.
Body without alterations.
Head without premeditation.

The seed I planted, when I began working on the idea of what I would do while I was Waiting for Godot, was planted back in November 2014. At that time I established a small visual journal and undertook to draw a donkey, with a raven companion, each day. Like me, they were waiting for Godot to provide some inspiration. I maintained the practice for three months, adding clippings and poems by poets such as Mary Oliver to my journal.

Then I got distracted! I enrolled to do a Masters of Social Work at Monash  University and my notebook, pencils and the idea lay idle.

But things have a way of growing by delay and after a daunting first semester last year I actively established this site. A series of creative projects have brought me back to my notebook. I was surprised by how a sense of fun dripped out of my drawings.

I have begun to draw again, in conjunction with the still-hunting that Ted Andrews inspired me to undertake! I do not need to know where any of this is going! All I know is that the creative spirit is growing as vigorously as Jack’s beanstalk.

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Aussie Birds and Animals, Echidna, Expressive Arts, Heather Blakey, Nature Fix, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Self Compassion, Wild Play

Tunnel Deeply

Over 52 weeks I will be learning all about how to live and work creatively. My teachers are Aussie birds and animals. It is week six and the creative force has produced the Echidna to build on the lessons that Australian birds, animals and habitat have been initiating.

Echidna teaches us the value of focusing on the little things. Paying attention to the small details can make the bigger picture that much more successful and nourishing. Take the time to look closely at the matters around you.

As well as looking at the little things, there is something in your life at the moment which requires further investigation. When Echidna is threatened they did deep into the ground. It’s time to dig a little deeper. This might be through research, conversation, chasing up leads or simply meditating or spending time ruminating on an issue until ‘it’ comes to you. Echidna energy is valuable for helping us to scrutinise ideas that – up until now have not been fully formed.

Echidna gives you the tools and power to not only look beneath the surface but tunnel deeply into your problems and thoughts and find nourishment from what you find there.

Echidna comes into our lives to show us what an asset being stubborn can be! Dig your claws in, brace your spines against your threshold, and protect yourself, your family, your ideas and your creations. When you let echidna teach you nourishing stubbornness, you also access stability. Echidna teaches you to remain grounded at all times, even when you are sailing through the lands of your creative imagination, coming up with new ideas and plans to make your life happier and healthier.

Posted in Apothecary for the Creative Spirit, Art and Healing, Artistic Almshouse, Artistic Midwife, Aussie Birds and Animal Wisdom, Echidna, Expressive Arts, Nature Fix, Purveyor of Creative Stimuli, Resilience, Self Compassion, Wild Play

Don’t Be Like Me

Over 52 weeks I will be learning all about how to live and work creatively. My teachers are Aussie birds and animals. It is week six and the creative force has produced the Echidna to build on the lessons that Australian birds, animals and habitat have been initiating.

Echidna has come urging me NOT to be like him. He raises his spikes when someone gets too close and I have been guilty, not only of keeping people at arm’s length but of raising my spikes when faced with criticism. I have a well-established armoury to defend myself! Echidna says ‘get back or I will spike you’; ‘get out of my space’! He is so encased in his comfort zone that he won’t let anyone in. When we don’t walk outside those self-imposed boundaries we don’t grow.

Rather than rolling into a tight ball when the critic tells me that what I am doing is self-indulgent I am checking out how it feels to be self-indulgent and self-compassionate! I am also opening the barrier to my property a little! I posted on FB suggesting that cooks or families might like some fresh fruit from my trees! Some lovely people have responded, each offering other fruit in return. Given what the price of figs has been it will be a treat to receive some freshly grown ones.

As I engage in Still-hunting, suddenly this area seems even more interesting, almost indulgent! Yesterday I found my way to a historic cemetery and sat under large oak trees contemplating Mt Franklin, which lay within the frame of my view. A brown rabbit ran by but I chose not to try to follow it. Instead, because Echidna has been urging me to step well outside the boundaries I have unconsciously set for myself, I indulged in quiet time in the shade and contemplated going inside one of these trees. I made a note, in the small travel journal that had lain unused, of other places I might explore.

Read about Zen and the Art of Team Blogging, a testimony to what can be achieved when we break down the barriers and work collaboratively.