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Redefining Intentions

(Close up of turning ginkgo leaves)

I am still riding a high from Wednesday's Intention Mandala Workshop. We had an amazing group of eight women from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. Many had lived extensive periods of time in even more distant locations all across the country. They represented different parts of the world, different stages of life, different life stories, and different intentions.

When I got home, actually for a good part of the drive home, I was thinking about one particular circle. Amy is a regular to these workshops and I am always so happy to see her smiling face! She brings great energy, honesty, and spark to the group. This time, her circle was not a symmetrical. It was a bold story laid out in front of us - a narrative told through beautiful nature objects. As soon as I saw at it, I could see it was a path and she explained all the symbolic parts along the way. An evolving story, it spoke of where she had been, where she was, and where she is intending to be in the near future. The details were different from my life, but I could so relate to the emotions she shared. At home, I started talking about all of the beautiful mandalas. I was so excited. Then all of the sudden, like an epiphany, I said, "Her experience is my experience! And her experience is my experience!"

I will never underestimate the differences in our lives, both obvious and unseen. "Her experience" is not actually my experience. Hers is hers. Mine is mine. I think of all the possible gene combinations that humans can have. Then I imagine those different starting points embracing life influenced by an incredible number experiences, all with an amazing number of intricate details and subtleties. It is staggering. Yet, when we hear each other's stories, somehow we can relate. There are shared emotions. We can empathize because we have felt them. We can give input and support because we know them. It is both humbling and powerful.

For one of my Intention Mandalas, I started with the slightly irritated and impatient longing to feel more grounded. It didn't take me long to find the objects that would help me explore this feeling. I started with a little half burned beach brick that felt like a great symbol for me. When I placed it on a little pile of scrub pine needles, I could feel myself melt. I instantly felt calm. I felt supported. I felt grounded. The little rock did not need to search or strive. It simply needed to find the right place and rest. It just needed support to feel grounded.

At this workshop, nature and new friends helped me see my intention differently. I didn't need to work at feeling grounded. It came from the outside. It was a gift. In the presence of these women, at the right place, I found another dimension of grounding. As one participant said in her comments, "Growth comes from introspection. Nature takes us there gently." (Thanks Jennifer!)

To those women who attended, again, thank you! Thank you for daring to open up. Thank you for so generously sharing your input. Our lives are all better for it!


Other Eco-Art Wellness Workshops

Next up at Blithewold Mansion and Arboretum, "Water is a Verb" Mandala Workshop, followed by "Family Stores", "Re-centering", and "Rock Stories". All of my workshops are subject driven, so take a look at the descriptions and see if one speaks to you. Read and register here!

Interested in hosting your own? I can bring the workshop to your group in Massachusetts or Rhode Island. Just shoot me an email and we can discuss! Email:


Art on the Avenue has been rescheduled!

Due to Hurricane Ian, Art of the Avenue in Alexandria Virginia has been rescheduled for November 12. I plan to be there! It will be a great time to shop for the holidays.


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