We are not human beings having a spiritual experience;
we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
On getting re-acquainted with my own Spirituality
I am not a religious person.
I was born and raised catholic. Followed the path that my parents carved for me (baptized, First communion and all) until I reached an age where I realized that if I did believe in “something” bigger than myself, I had a really difficult time putting a “name“, a “label“, a “how to“, an “already created ritual and ceremony” that was not what my own “gut feeling”. Add in the mix some life tragedies and the fact that I was told at my young age to pray to make things better… I found myself rather at lost when things went really sideways and the “better” never happened.
The worse happened. My mother had a terrible ski accident which left her in a wheel chair, her brother succumbed to a brain tumor few years later and my parents went through a painful divorce. It was a lot to take on over such a short period of time. And my prayers never got “answered”.
Well, in those moments when I experience these feelings (betrayed / lost and alone in the world) I have a tendency to slam that door pretty hard. You know, the moment of “I am done now” kind of feeling. I didn’t want to reject everything about my Catholic experience, I just felt like dissociating myself from this “organization/congregation”. Of course, there are still stories, baseline, fundamental beliefs that I think are part of me.
Fast forward to few years later, in the end I did not totally slammed the door on my upbringing as a Catholic, I simply decided to hand pick my own system of beliefs instead of being spoon fed.
In my 20’s, I was working for a PR firm specialized in translating technical and technological works for compagnies like G.E. Let me tell you that when you translate, texts can be so subjectively interpreted. This made me realized after on that if this was true when translating technical documents “at my very small scale”, imagine what to could be and how it could be misinterpreted on a much larger scale, or at a “higher altitude”, if you will when it comes ancien texts or story telling on religious matter. Translations can sometimes be “biased” by so many things : one word in one language has sometimes several different nuances to it in another one or simply doesn’t exist and can’t be translated (for instance the color blue didn’t have a name in ancient times). For me, it’s all about giving permission.
Permission to interpret a word. Permission to interpret a way to keep the faith. Your faith.
HOW IT CHANGED EVERYTHING
This gave me freedom to think “differently” in many aspects of my life. This was a very important shift of thinking for me. I was given permission to start looking at both what I believed but most importantly at the way that I wanted to look at it.
I am all about hybrid. In my beliefs as well.
So, while I still admire the amazing architecture of many churches and cathedrals – and I do respect their sacredness – I no longer feel the need to attend church to connect.
I started crafting my “spirituality”. A true patchwork of what was inspiring me + speaking to my heart. I began creating my own altar at my house in Bagnols en Foret, where I used to live at that time. I created my own sacred rituals. Worded my own beliefs into my own songs / mantras. Lots of candles, some rocks and feathers, some crystals, pictures of loved ones, an angel minimalist statue, an handcrafted wooden Buddha, semi precious stones, some handmade pottery for my insences.
In his book “A religion of One’s own”, Thomas Moore suggests that we could all create our own religion by simply letting << a new kind of spiritual creativity, in which we no longer decide whether to believe in a given creed and follow a certain tradition blindy. […] Most important , we no longer feel the pressure to choose one tradition over another but rather are able to appreciate many routes to spiritual richness. This new religion is a blend of individual inspiration and inspiring tradition>>.
By trusting my own Spirituality and being aware of signs many things shifted and many good things happened.
I realized that my thoughts and spiritual practices were linked and were opening doors to me. I worked independly for many big events leaving me enough free time to restore my old shepherd house, met the love of my life (we have been together for 13 years now), travelled and lived abroad to the place that speaks to my heart: California.
When I moved to United States from my little stone house in Le Var, many things shifted again. I I was in my 30’s. I left my family and my friends in the South of France. I add to re-root myself but also re-grow some new wings as the lost of beloved mother seriously torn them in bits and pieces. Some serious spiritual sewing would be necessary to patch my life back together.
The universe had my back and our first little precious baby girl ( now almost 14 years old ) was born few months after my mother passed away. Lack of sleep, lack of time to myself. Very little time to “practice” my spirituality.But I felt totally supported by the magic of the place we were living at that time. Santa Barbara,California is one place that I call my “spiritual” place.
By letting go and trusting in something bigger than myself, I met the “right” people, took ‘the right’ art classes. My creativity was going on full speed. After being a Raku potter, a clay sculptor, I followed my instincts and started intuitive mixed media painting.I mean, first small ones and all of the sudden :: huge canvases. Wild strokes + nature bits + discarded objects from the beach. Inspiration was pouring. I was creating many paintings “intuitively”. It was so meditative. So divinely inspired. I did many shows / sold many of my mixed media artworks / created an inspirational group of women who I was “coaching” on how to be (more) creative. I loved iiiiid. It felt like I was finally living my life with purpose.
WHAT HAPPEN WHEN YOU FELL OFF YOUR SPIRITUAL WAGON ?
Baby number 2 came along and then, we moved again. Back to France. Gloops… France ?
I know this sounds “Magnifique” to you but for me it felt like I was moved from First class to coach. Seriously :: not a good feeling. Why ? Well, the main reason why I left my country (France) in the first place was because the energy was not aligned with my spirit.
So let me tell you that moving back felt like I was going back to square one. Result ? I stopped creating. I was miserable. As much as I tried to make the best out of it, creatively I was literally flat lining.
Couple of years later ( we ended up staying nearby Paris for 5 years), I realized that I was wasting my talents (oui, exactement, my talents and with an S )and that life was too short. Once again, my spirituality and a bit of law of attraction help me. Creating is my medicine. My way to nurture myself back to life. This is my true belief.
Next ting I know, I decided to launch my handmade brand “Un lieu sur terre“ ( it means a place on earth, en francais). All screen printed handmade mindful goodies for your home and your soul. Sold some. Got some media attention (magazines and TV shows). All good.
Moved again (no, we are no in the military : hubby’s corporate promotion).
So all on board:: 2 kids / 240 boxes ( 1/3 of it from my art studio 😉 seriously ) and a feeling of channeling Heidi: Switzerland here we come! We are now entering year 5.
Now, well in my 40’s (yep!), mum of now 3 kiddos [an old soul baby boy who’s now 2 and half years old / a wise soul teen daughter with a high sense of spirituality and fashion / an 10 years old going onto 12, with the energy of wild horses on steroids 🙂 ] simply finding time to nurture both my spirituality and my creativity is a bit of a challenge. So I started practicing what I now call “Soultripping sessions” : a bit of art making with some deep spirituality “roots” to it.
I drew strengths from my own experience and over the last couple of years I’ve been crafting an e-course called “The Sacred Soultripping Collective“, a 6 week online class with a mindful & creative approach for traveling life’s transition times : from birth to death, from weddings to divorces, from break-ups to job change or job loss, transitions are fed by life-crises. But a transition is also a place for us to connect with our uniqueness and cultivate the courage to express ourselves fully in this world in spite of our outside circumstances. THE SACRED SOULTRIPPING e-course is the result of my quest for transitioning more gracefully.
My hope for my kids is to understand that it is crucial to believe that the universe has their back. That they need to figure what they love to do, so that in the end they’ll do what they love. It’s so utterly important that they grow up with is a strong sense of believing to ” Cosmos /Spirit / God / Buddha / Universe / Energy fields”. They can have a way to connect with their own spirituality and create their “own inner religion”. It does not take much to create meaningful altars and create some rituals to stitch their dreams in the fabric of their future. My girls still believe in angels / fairies / spirits from loved ones to show them to look out for some ” good happy signs” .
We’re cosmic. We all have great cosmic capacities.
It is part of the Divine Feminine.
As a mama:: I need to pass it on.
As an artist :: I need to inspire.
Home is where my heART & spirituality are interwoven.
It’s loud and clear for me now : my art is inspired by my spirituality and vice versa. I must create to nurture myself and refill my love cup.
Back on track.
PS : In my “White Spaces” blog post : I share a lot of tips and why white spaces are essential to letting go and shine your own light.
⩔SOUL WORK FOR THE WEEK⩔
- Spiritually : connect with your soul friends / your feel good communities / cook / danse / paint / attend classes, workshops, lectures that will lift your spirit.
- Rejuvenate yourself with like minded people. Bathe yourself in beauty. Inside. Out.
- Create a sacred altar within your home :: time to reconnect with yourself, your deep desires and keep them in focus. Write your sacred words / add some meaningful nature inspired forms / a candle or more. Make sure it is in a predominant sacred place of your home (a Bagua Map is a big help) go see it and honor it everyday .
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
My baby boy just turn One year old few weeks ago.
365 days where Mother Earth rotated around the Sun .
As I reflect back on the year that went by (so quickly), I also feel the importance to welcome and release the fear his first moments being my last ones. His first time drinking out of the bottle being my last time nursing him. His first time (finally) sleeping through the night being my last time walking him endlessly on the balcony at night watching the moon reflecting on the lake.
Once I realized those moments were gone,- blame it on the changes in hormones level – I felt so sad, helpless. Mind you, I am not sad to finally sleep at night, but I feel melancholic about those moments that I may not have treasured “properly”. Those life changes need their very own rituals. They need to be seen as the stepping stones of our current evolution, seed of our growth. So I did a ritual to welcome the change and let go of the past.
Like many of you, I went through many massive life changes.
Nothing really life threatening.
Quite possibly life strengthening.
The followings life events were kept private (within the group of closest friends). But I need to release them to be recomposed in the Universe into something better. At age 44, I still carry the burden of some of them and this affects my parenting, my being in this world. Those life changes created a shell, an invisible wall to protect me to not feel pain anymore. But I now understand better that this is not the way it works.
So here we go: To my fearful inner child, I let go of this event: age 8 a battle field called divorce (not mine. My parents: me as a young child stuck between ugly battles). Followed by what I now call The lost of innocence : a tragic “simple” ski accident that changed for the worse my mum’s life when she was 33 / erased my “traditional” faith in church / turned my life inside out forever (she ended up in hospital for almost a decade with heavy symptoms and handicaps). To my brave self young adult: at age 30 my chosen expatriation (despite what was calling me to stay) from France to California (my very own first grown up choice. I will do it all over again) But still quite a challenge and massive life change. Age 31: A double-bind decision (the worse of many)- the one that what ever choice you make, you lose. My mother asked me to give her “permission” to “let go” of her own life. I can still hear myself saying that I understood and respected her choice (crying writing this). An almost simultaneous arrival and departure of a “soul” (lost my mother few weeks before getting pregnant with my first born).
In those difficult transition times you can hardly see what you truly want as you are mostly driven by fear and anxiety. You need to be re-acquainted to your authentic self. But when you don’t know how- well, you can drift for a long time.
As I said, when my mother past away, I had just moved from France to California to be with my fiance (who became my husband for now 13 years). Our first baby girl was born 10 months after my mum’s funeral. There was so many shots at that time that I could not connect : being a first time mum as I just lost mine was a vulnerable point for me for many years. As an expat and a first time mom, I was trying to connect with like-minded women. Luckily, leaving in the USA I discovered the power of women circles, friends and support groups lead me powerful books discoveries. It was a time where I started a journey to re-discover my muted artist’s voice creating intuitive and mixed media paintings, making “raku” and ceramic wares to celebrate and treasure the union of the handmade with the daily sacred. I was fighting the best I could the layers of grief, emptiness, powerless feelings. Thankfully lovingly “covered” by warm layers of love from my father, my husband and my baby girl.
At that time, I often danced between inspired, intuitive bursts of positive and über creative energy when things flowed easily the way I wanted. Or, the complete opposite when grieving felt unbearable and whenever life seemed to “get in my way”, taking all my vital energy and sending me spiraling down an endless road of semi-depression and loads of confusion. Over the years, I also came to understand that grieving is the ground for growth.
I now know that those stages in my woman’s life were ideal period of times to transform my life. In deep.
Transition times are initiation time awaited to be claimed. Time to be bold and face your fears, your dreams, your desires.
We are all at some point in our lives <<Goddesses of the Unfurling Unknown Path>> ahead.
Both welcoming the changes, still mourning the past and dreading the future.
Here’s when synchronicity happened and where Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map came in (along with other life changing books and many aha’s moments).
It was one of the catalysts for the change that I needed.
I realized that I was not a problem to be fixed.
I understood that I did not have lost access to yourself.
I witnessed that I had what I needed inside of me.
WE ARE WORTHY OF YOUR DESIRES AND IF WE COMMIT TO WANTING WHAT WE WANT AND HONORING OUR DESIRES AND PUT THEM AT THE CENTER OF OUR DAILY PLANS, WE WILL RISE UP AND WALK OUR TALK ON OUR MOST PREFERRED TRAIL.
So I wonder : what need to be healed, heard, for you? Have you been practicing rituals to celebrate your your current or past Rites of Passage?
If you are so inclined, please share your story or anything you wish on my Facebook.
My posts are currently closed to comments to avoid spammers.
Thank you for your openness and your courage to voice your truth.
I’m currently going through another layer of deep transformation as I transitioning from one status to another. I can’t say much more here and now. But it’s deep and raw. What I wrote one year ago still resonate and vibrate with every cell of my body. I can’t say enough how important it is to honor your life rites of passage.
⩔SOUL WORK FOR THE WEEK⩔
- Spiritually : connect with your soul friends / your feel good communities / cook / danse / paint / attend classes, workshops, lectures that will lift your spirit.
- Schedule time for you. Just for you. I started taking a beautiful 10 days Kundalini meditation introduction with #AnnapurnaLiving and I love it so much ! The chanting for me is my favorite part.
- Try something new. Expand your comfort zone little by little. Raw Food . Meditation. Digital Eco Art Therapy. Be open to signs.
- If you live on The French Riviera , France: Stay tuned as I am getting ready to release my first Retreats and Workshops serie as a Licensed Desire Map facilitator in this area!
Click on Templeformappingyourdesires as it is the sacred place to go to register.
* of making drift wood door handles for our new and finished guest quarter !
DIY soon to follow !
* finally sewing this baby blanket from Piawallen (bought in Sweden last year) into a long dorsal pillow for our sofa.
* finally dip-painted this old twig cage that somehow I like so much.
* harvesting seeds for cooking use (here fennel)
* enjoying and welcoming friends and family in our new guest house. Loving the artwork from one of my favorite fiber art artist :: Feed the Dog, now hanging on the wall as we come in that new space.
* feeling so grateful every time we go and collect our daily egg (so far only two of our four Marans chicken are laying eggs…)
* feeling very grateful for the time my husband put into transforming an old small building on our land into a fantastic chicken house ). Salvaging wine crates, carefully re-using every scarps of woof found on site and turning them into a eco-lodge for our chicken !
* loving those so delicious “Bulle” from my favorite place in Stockholm :: Fabrique brought especially by my hubby for his 3 girls… The cardamon one is my favorite !
Somehow I am having a hard time posting regularly on this little space of mine…
I am often pulled into two many directions at once…
I need to structure myself a bit more!
I have BIG plans !
In the meantime, here are some photos on what I am currently working on.
SPRING has its new screen !
I have been working on this one for a bit now. And finally it all came together.
The truth is that I don’t particularly like/enjoy the screen making. It is time consuming and a bit tricky. But in the end it is always such a reward when my drawing is turned into something that I can use and transform and play with !
I have a hard time to make series of things.
I honestly get bored…
I know I will have to make series of things in order to have less expensive wares in my shop (my unique piece are highly time consuming and therefore more expensive than series one). I will post soon about the how I create my storytelling fabrics. Or maybe I will make a dedicated “page” on this blog.
The tools I have use the most lately have been my ink box, my printing ink, and some thread. Then I sprinkle lots of Love & TLC.
working on piece that is now heading to Japan
Here :: same screen but with a distress look technique.
This one is printed onto vintage linen.
Part has been screen printed and
part has been embroidered.
The chair was hand stamped with my own design stamp.
Letters have been hand stamped.
Raw edges to go with the distressed look.
This piece is a wall art that will be auctioned
I will upload my store with cushions and prints that I am currently working on.
More to come soon about this big event.
And finally starting next monday :: you can also find my work on PoppyTalk new coming up market called Green Pop Hop! (Spring Market)
March 28 – April 22, 2011 – (26 Days)
Everything Eco & Spring! From eco-friendly papergoods, repurposed goods, vintage, green, etc. and everything for Easter, spring, and a little hippity hop! (from Easter decor, softies, Mother’s Day, papergoods to spring things, like “spring cleaning items”, etc). (Earth Day April 22nd and Easter Apr 24th)
You can get a direct link to it by clicking
onto the right button “POPPYTALK”
Have a lovely day/ night !
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY !
Jan & Earl did it again!
PoppyTalk Affordable Art & Home show is now open!
Beautiful selection of artists, Art & Crafts pieces.
Come and check it out !
And I am proud to be part of this market for the 3rd time around !
“Today is the first day of our newest market at Poppytalk Handmade, a curated affordable art and home show online exhibition that will run through to March 4th, 2011.
Twenty-six days of affordable art and handmade or vintage housewares from ceramics, pillows, mirrors, art, plants, furniture, storage solutions, sheepskin rugs, and more. Click here to see the 70+ artists, designers and/or shops we have handpicked just for our readers.”
Jan & Earl
I mentionned it before.
Well, the ” project ” did happen and the TV crew did come.
It will be on TV on Sunday the 31st at 11:00 am on Teva Channel in a show called “TEVA DECO“.
I was a bit nervous about several things after saying “yes” to their asking me to film our house and interview me. First of all Tv crew are known to be “invasive”. Secondly, I am NOT a good speaker. Never been, never will. But the TV Crew was so nice that those fears melted away quite rapidly. The interview part was – and still is – the dreaded part of the show. I hope it turned out okay. I was very nervous all day long, but it sure was fun to be treated just like “Pretty Woman” and having my make-up ajusted to the light every so often!
Last time I got my hair & make up done professionally it was for my wedding ten years ago! My friend Caroline was able to take some pictures. Thank you, Caroline! You made my day since most of the time I am very seldom on pictures since I am the one taking them…!