Welcome To My Blog

The Art of Fine Metalwork and the Art of Empathy and Nonviolent Communication- woven together for you....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Mandala a Day?

They say it's a good idea to do a Mandala a day...it's a mirror of our psyche. with a perfectionist like me, that will be hard to do!

I know this is huge! And covering most of the page but it's closest to real size...
Can you read what it says?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Yasmin and The Work of Byron Katie

                                                  this a photo that I really like of her

Yesterday Yasmin did The Work of Byron Katie!

To any one who is not familiar with this system, I really recommend it! It's a simple process of four questions and a turnaround that question the beliefs that cause us suffering... transformative!

Isn't it great that life keeps coming up with opportunities to practice spiritual tools?

Yasmin was suddenly distressed. A memory had come up. She had gone to the Youth Movement's summer camp and after one day decided she wanted to come home. Her Dad, my ex, went to get her. I thought it was over and done with.

This happened over a month ago but suddenly, last night, she was overcome with an inexplicable sadness.
(She's 10 just to remind you...)

I tried empathizing. True, it was the end of the day...and I wasn't that focused, and all I managed to say was:" So you were really sorry you went, right? And it sounds like your Dad coming to pick you up really touched your heart, true?" She responded to all this, yet kept on saying: "I shouldn't have gone in the first place!"

To this I began to say, "So why did you" , which ,never helps...("Why?" is a question you can ask much later, after someone's feeling better...)

And suddenly, I remembered BK...and asked: Is it True? And immediately checked if she wants to try The Work. She said yes!

Just for the record, my children have almost an intimate relationship with Byron Katie, since they've been seeing her face on my computer screen for years and have always connected with her image. When she was in Israel a few years ago, I went to the event. Tom, my personal Guru and home version of Byron Katie said: Why do you need her? You don't need her! (He was seven at the time...) His sister, Yasmin, said Ima, are you going to tell her about me?

As it turned out, I did do TW with Katie on stage...about Yasmin and the struggles I was having at the time with her. It was an important experience, and really the beginning of a Journey, rather than some solution or completion to "my problems"...

Back to Yasmin. I said, let's do The Work and see what happens, OK?
(All this whilst she is getting into bed)

Me: Yasmin, is it True that you shouldn't have gone to camp?
Y: Yes!!!
Me: Are you absolutely sure, a hundred percent that it's True?
Y: Absolutely!!
Me: How do you feel when you believe that thought?
Y: I'm sad, my heart hurts, I want to cry...
Me: Now, close your eyes, take a deep breath and imagine, how would you feel, be, without that thought?
Y: Better, easier, happier... ( I swear all this is coming from her!)
Me: Now let's turn around that thought, I shouldn't have gone to camp, turns into..?
Y: I should've gone!
Me: Why is that just as true, can you see it?
Me: So, you wanted to go 'cause you were curious?
Y: Yes!
Me: Anything else? How do you feel now?
Y: Good!

We hugged. I said : It's like magic , this Work, right? Yes!!

And she sank into deep and happy sleep...in fact she's still snoring as I write these words!

Thanks Katie! And thank you to me....:-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Tale of Kindness in Cypress

Yasmin learned how to ride a bike on our holiday in Turkish Cypress.

Cypress is a strange place. Don't know why it strikes me stranger than any other divided continent, land , that, left to it's own nature, has no borders except it's natural ones. Maybe because the island is not big and as you're driving through the Greek side - suddenly you meet a border crossing, a few little buildings and some guards, you get your passport stamped and - there you are, on the Turkish side.in Turkish Cypress.

 Not much has changed, the landscape certainly hasn't , and yet...everything changes. The architecture, the general run- downish, time has stood still, kind of look you get on the Turkish side. And of course- a mosque instead of a church. A lot less signs on the road , a lot more vines growing everywhere, in the front of every house. Somehow, a lot less Westernized.

We were staying in a holiday village, still half built, but with very nice facilities on the North Western tip of the island. It looked a little strange to see these buildings jutting out like new teeth - white against the brownish, yellow with bursts of green, landscape, with the backdrop of the sea behind. For the kids and I guess for me too, it provided a safe environment to play, meet friends, and there were lots of bikes to ride.

Yasmin, ten and a half now, has been struggling with learning to ride a bike for three years now. This child rides on horses, commands them, is assertive, and yet with a bike, lost all her confidence.
One day I see Tom, her twin brother and her practicing. He's holding the bike in various ways , trying to get her moving, yelling and laughing at her. She's getting more and more frustrated, yet finally, suddenly, it happens! She's riding!

A victorious and happy Yasmin

We decide, too soon perhaps, to ride to the nearest village to the local shop. Riding down the road she gets frightened and unsure of herself and finally lands in a ditch. As luck would have it- right in front of the prettiest house and garden I saw there. The owner, a lady about my age, who was watering her garden, sees us, jumps out and says, you OK? She gives us water, and helps rinse Yasmin's face When it's clear that Yasmin can't continue I ask in sign language if she can stay with her...Yes yes of course! I saw her kind face and knew it was OK.

Off we went, Tom and I to the shop, and when we get back Yasmin is sitiing on the front terrace, with drinks, fruit from the woman's garden and looking generally pleased. Katria, our host, in the meantime had taken the thorns out of Yasmin's fingers, put soothing oil on them, and just pampered her with love. Of course as soon as we arrived , we also received the same treatment. More fruit,drinks, the woman's Mother shows up with freshly baked traditional bread with herbs and cheese, that Katria insists we take back to the village to my Mom

Plums from Katria's trees...

Walking back, at twilight, Yasmin and I reflect on how, out of a "bad" thing, came this beautiful encounter, like in the films you see, with a beautiful kind-hearted woman. I quoted Shakespeare: "Things are only good or bad because people make them so." Had Yasmin not tried bravely to ride to the village, and fell, we would never have met Katria and tasted some of this beautiful endangered culture- not to mention her organic fruit, and wouldn't have spent these sacred rare moments, walking together quietly, with our bikes, just the two of us.

A few days later, we returned with a beautiful rose plant for her garden, which she said she would name - Yasmin. Sadly, in both cases I forgot my camera at home , so I don't have an image to show you.... Yet this woman is forever in our hearts...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Good Day Sunshine?

Why are mornings so hard for me?
I wake up, way too early. 5 am, and immediately, lately, I get a little panic attack
Haven't had those for awhile. And can't get back to sleep...

It's around money, I know. It's around my ability to make money. (As if I make it) Produce. Earn. Bring in. I still have resources I am living on and supporting my kids with, but other than that...nothing's happening! ( Well I'm exaggerating here...I do have a little Renaissance for my Metalwork, yet nothing substantial)
I study. I write, I learn...how about earning?
What's worse is I don't believe in my Ability to to make it happen!
Yes I've sold work, a lot, in the past, but never really MADE it. In terms of a steady stream, of clients. And in getting paid in a way that feels good.
Afraid to ask for what I want , afraid to say it out loud! That I"m worthy!
Frustration all around.
Scared I will never live up to my "potential", that I will blow all my resources away, And go back to taking care of babies for a living. maybe that's what I do best? And who said that's not GOOD ENOUGH??
All this talent and I can't make anything from it?
Scared. plain and simple.That's the feeling.
Aaghhh! Sigh!
Lord, help!

Still, after writing all this down, on paper and then here...a sense of relief.

Suddenly , I hear the birds chirping (it's early morning) for real and from Twitter (-:
And Bob Marley's beginning to sing: " Don't worry, 'bout a ting, 'cause every little thing's , gonna be alright..."

Leaving you with this..how do your morning's start?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Art of Saying "NO"

Saying No

I can't even say no to my cleaner. for heaven's sake! I can't say simply -  you're fired! Or , NO thanks. I don't need you anymore. ( well. the truth is I DO need help with the house, I WANT help, but not HIS help)

This is so symptomatic of my whole life. Saying NO, the ability to say NO, this doesn't suit me, this isn't RIGHT, it doesn't FIT ME.

Even when I say no, finally, I'm in regret two minutes later, saying, did I do the "right" thing?

Why can't I say NO, no, no, or even I'll think about it, or let me check with myself, and get back to you? Maybe because checking with my self  doesn't have any results? I'm not going to find any new answers in my- SELF? Is it because I am SO disconnected? A sense of desperation comes over me with these words.

Aagh! Oh Brother, as Charlie Brown would say.

Say NO



and  NO! (My passive- aggressiveness coming out)

Or this trip I organized , I initiated, and then woke up one morning, before paying for it, feeling, no , this is too big for me, ...and here I am, going on Saturday with my 84 year old Mom, and she's OLD I realize suddenly, so old it makes my heart break, and two kids, for a week, wow I'm stressed.

I could go on and on, about almost every area in my life, but I guess it would just be more of the same, from start to finish.

But what influences my day. my mood most, is my love affair... I said NO. I regretted it. I said No again...I'm going back and forth. No, I won't sleep with him anymore, it'll give me perspective, I'll be able to see ,more clearly, do I even LIKE this guy? Shit, (sorry for the profanity, lack of better word) we've never even been to a movie together!

Well, almost, on Saturday, I found myself, in what is known as " by coincidence"  in the same film theater that he went to with his lady. Pure Masochism! And in a film, (fantastic btw, about a man who has a lover, following up to his decision. I won't tell you the end). That wasn't the film I was planning on seeing, but the only one there were tickets for, and I knew he'd be there.

I saw a great film...and saw how much it hurt. My friend and I thought it would be a gas , but on truth, it hurt, and a lot.

He left in the middle - how could he?So RELEVANT to his life, I guess it says everything about the man. (here I go with my totality and judgments again and again)

Saying NO, has to do with healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries which are formed and imprinted when we are babies, or rather, toddlers. How much we were allowed to say  NO in those formative years. Was our No accepted? Empathized with? Recognized as part of our healthy development? Healthy boundaries help us have healthy aggression, which means , to move forward in life, planning, executing, assertiveness... moving ahead...on...all areas where I see myself lacking.

no, no. no......NO NO NO!! It's a hurting aching no... (brings up the memory of this song, which I'm happy to find on You Tube)

I'm learning, I know I am - and I will master this art of saying no, self connected, healthy, self empathizing, self loving, no.