Monday, July 13, 2009

Fifth Chakra:

This chakra lies in the throat.
'It is a bridge chakra, allowing us to receive nurturance, and permitting us to express what we deeply know and feel. Hence the fifth chakra is the center both of receiving and of the articulation of our creative energy. It is also called the communication chakra.'

I did this card back in May, and was happy with it. I felt it expressed me as a communicator (which is my job, teaching all day, talking and communicating) and also loving to talk non stop whenever and wherever I could .

Before I posted it, two problems hit me at the same time. I had to have two bottom front teeth removed due to gum disease (which my father suffered from too), and mythroat/voice started to give me problems along with severe heartburn.

To cut a looong story short, after 3 months of having a denture fitted (using a temporary one that was painful and inadequate), and also having extensive tests and an endoscopy/gastroscopy for my heartburn and voice.......

I now have my new denture, which needs readjusting every week, but fits comfortably now, and the endoscopy revealed no major underlying illnesses, just this severe heartburn (which could also be burning my voice)...also my voice (which is a muscle), that is weakening after 40 years of teaching.

This all 'threw' me for months. I found myself becoming depressed at the realisation that I was getting (and feeling) a lot older, no matter how 'young' I feel in my head; that my physical being was in fact 'turning on me', and that I had to start to look ahead ---to what???

Suddenly, everything became an issue...what's it all about?' I wondered and still do. What were all those years and years of working and striving and tecahing been all about? What has my marriage/s been all about? Why did I have kids? What have I achieved? Suddenly I fell into a large, dark pit and remained there for a long time.

Here's the really scary part....I had no one to talk to about it, no one to really HEAR ME.
At the end of the day, I have been listening to everyone, and giving and giving and giving, and now I get to the Autumn of my life, and no one is listening to me!

Or is it possible that I have worn so many masks for so many years that no one would believe me if I actually told them the truth?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Week Six: Companion Suit (Chakra Allies)

This was an extremely difficult task for me, mainly because I had never heard of 'animal chakras' before, and am unable to meditate (although I have tried it a few times in my years, but not recently).
I researched the 7 chakras in the body, finding them extremely interesting and believably possible.
Because I don't meditate, I decided to let the pictures 'talk' to me yet again, all the time thinking which animal would represent the chakras in my body.
Here are the few I did and it took me nearly two weeks to complete them.

1st Chakra: elephant
The first chakra, located at the base of the spinal columnd, is related to material things, ie shelter and food.. our sense of security in the world and our survival and self esteem.
My root chakra feels like it should be the mighty elephant. He keeps his balance both physically and mentally and I like to think I do too most of the time.
When this chakra is weakened, one experiences back ache, hemorroids and knee problems (which is what happens to me).

4th Chakra: dog This chakra is located in the area of the physical heart. Love from this chakra is unconditional and closer to compassion. Love is the central power point and true motivator of your mind, body and spirit. It is the mediator between the body and the spirit.
There is only one animal I associate this with and that's the dog. He gives himself totally to us humans with unconditional love and compassion.
I did two other collage cards this week, but have no idea where they fit in, or whether they even fit in anywhere....

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Week Six: Chakra Allies

Before I leave week five behind, I had to do one more card that was nagging at my innards... One more person that influenced me (badly) and has to be mentioned, my first husband and father of my eldest son.

The first one:
I kept adding layers, but it still wasn't 'dark' enough...
This man influenced me so negatively: he punched me, he dominated me, he mistreated me, and he threw me into full-blown anorexia , and bulimia later in life, which was to last for over 30 years.

The second one:
Still not right....

The third one:
I HATE HIM for the way he still hurts my eldest son, to this very day!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Week Five: Allowing Intuition

Ideas and images, memories and strong emotions have continued to flow through my mind and body this past week.
I liked the title (allowing intuition).
I sat down to do a tribute to two very important people in my life... and here they are.

Auntie Essie

I was very surprised upon 'completing' this one. I thought I would be doing much much more on it, that it would be packed with images....
But, NO, this is it.
Essie was my spinster aunt (mother's sister), who I used to visit in my school holidays. She decided to marry a much older man for 'company', regretted it, and died 6 months the age of 50.
I adored her, she was everything to me, and I was only 16 when she left me. That was 45 years ago (nearly as long as she was alive), and I still miss her now, so much... it actually feels painful.
The 'red' blob on the whole left side sort of shocked me...what was that all about? Why so big and prominent?
I can only think of her blood and mine so strongly entertwined...with my broken heart (bottom left) also enmeshed in it.
We were two parts of the same being, one the right foot, one the left foot....and my best memories were of us sitting together giggling in the bath.
My bed was right beside hers and we used to fall asleep holding hands.
That, to me, meant true love. She loved me unconditionally and with everything inside her very soul. I miss you so much Auntie Essie.


This card surprised me in its intensity, as I thought it would be simple and easy to do, but it turned out to be very difficult (the hardest one of all my cards so far), with (possibly) too many images.

It means a lot to me and I won't analyse it. Maybe one day if Steven sees it, he may want to tell me how he interprets it. I love you totally and unconditionally, and I always will.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Week Four: A New Chapter

After my last post I felt so drained, and quite empty. The fact that I had dredged up so much of my past (some things I had never spoken about, and definitely never 'shown' so publicly),left me feeling very 'low' as well.
Nothing else came out of me, although I did prepare my space and set everything in front of me a couple of times, and told myself I was feeling 'ready'...nothing happened.

I looked again at my list I had made of the Committee Suit, and saw there were still many parts of 'me' I hadn't explored. and also some duplicates I had written in my list too... what was that all about I wandered?
Still I 'let it go' and 'freed' myself for the past week, turning my attention to other things.

But as soon as Carla's new post went up on Sunday, I felt all fired up and energetic once more. Somehow, a new chapter is what I needed. So, let the collaging begin...
These questions need to be answered in order to start on this new phase of my journey.

1.) List 15 people who are very important in your life. They can be alive or dead. Oh no, I don't have 15....
Let me see...
Auntie Essie
Silla and Cinny
2.)Name 3 ancestors whose energy or personality you share, or ones you would want to call to assist you in life's struggles.
Ohmigod, I don't know 3...
Auntie Essie
3.) Name 3 teachers who imprinted your life in a valuable way:
Haven't got three:
Mrs Van Zyl
Mrs Purchase
4.) Of the great human beings of history, whom would you like to consult about your life?
Nelson Mandela
Queen Victoria
5.)Who would you call if you wanted to talk in the middle of the night?
6.) Who would you want around to comfort you when you were ill or sad?
Ill= Neil, Steve, Mark
Sad= Steven
7.) Who would you want around when you want to play and celebrate?
Neil, Mark, Steve.
8.)Name five people you would want with you if you were marooned on an island for a year.
Neil, Steven. Mark, Carla and Maggie
9.)Who inspire or encourages your deepest hopes or dreams?
Myself and Steven
10.) Whose challenges push you to your edge and therefore help you to grow?
My own and Steven's
11.) Are there animal beings whose energy is precious to you?
Yes, Winston and Snuffles.
This list definitely alarms me... Why? Am I too reliant on Steven (my eldest son) for my mental wellbeing?
At last I was able to do one new card:

My Animal Beings:

This card shows my bulldogs I had when I was younger and my Shih Tsu I have now, all very loving animals who gave and give me 'unconditional' love (The only ones in this whole world who do!)

It is very important to me right at this moment in my life, no matter how busy I am with all sorts of other projects, to continue and keep on pushing myself to do this challenge I have set myself.

So, I may do it much slower than the first chapter, but I will not give up.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Week Three: Letting Go

I certainly have been 'letting go' with my collage and they seem to be 'growing' and changing. When I look at my first one I did barely a week ago, I see quite a few differences.
Here are a few more...

City Girl:

I love big cities, and have lived in quite a few of them. I have lived in or visited Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lome, Bangkok, Dahran, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Cairo, Brisbane, Athens, Sydney and Hong Kong. I love the buzz, the thrills, the excitement, the noise, the hustle and bustle, but I do like to come home to my quiet street and my quiet house.

Mother: I have been a mother for nearly 38 years of my life. I have now watched my son and DIL struggling to get used to parenthood in the last 3 months and realise just how hard it was at the beginning. I love my sons dearly, but sometimes wonder what my life would've been like without them.

Eating Disorder Sufferer:
I have suffered from anorexia and/or bulimia for well over twenty years of my life. I consider myself 'recovering', but I still have bad days /periods. It is very important to me to confront it as much as possible....

Split Personality:
I am definitely two separate people;

happy and sad

controlling and controlled

generous and selfish

loving and hating

friendly and unfriendly

fearful and outspoken

loving and cool

The last two were really quite difficult to do, post and write is only a few years since I admitted having an eating problem, so I feel really proud of myself for managing this.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

More Committees

I was in very upset and contrary mood yesterday, after my 'dentist' experience (
I felt restless and out of sorts all day long.
Eventually by about 9pm I was able to settle down to do some collaging, and immediately began to feel calmer
Here is what I produced:

When I am in control I do feel control, not only of the instant moment but of everything around me. Losing control is very scary for me.

Extreme moodiness has definitely waned as I've got older, but this is still part of me inside. I actually have to try very hard to deal with it.

Wearing Masks:

I wear a lot of masks in my life, appearing calm on the outside when I am often a ball of nerves on the inside. Sometimes I even begin to believe in my own masks!

After these I felt drained, but ready to do some more....

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Committee Suit Cont.

Been at home today beavering away at my cards.

They all just 'happened' naturally, but it did take hours to sift through photos, find them, cut out those bits that 'shout' at me, then arrange them (didn't have to rearrange them, once and that's it!).Then stick and look at and scan and that's it.

So, here they are:

My Source card (possibly).

This one was easy, it was one image and said all I needed it to say.

Abused Child:
I realised after my first card that possibly 'less is more'.
This one didn't need a lot on it anyway, it just evolved.I was abused by my mother as a child and growing up, both physically and mentally, and it has affected everything I do and see and say.

Broken heart:
My heart has been broken many many times in my life, and this, too, just evolved. I knew I wanted it to be brown and dark.

Rebel: I was always a rebel, I just didn't feel as though I fitted into my skin most of the time as I as growing up. Because of my mother's severity, I rebelled every way I could. I was seen as being different and wierd and that was okay....But I didn't want this card to be dark and foreboding, as being a rebel gave me a lot of fun and joy.

The most important thing for me is NOT to compare my cards to other people's collage and find them 'wanting' in any way.

I do this at my art lesson, as the other woman is much more arty than I am but in a very staid rigid way, whereas I am prepared to try new things and am much more free with my stuff.

Likewise with these cards, I have looked at lots of collage books and other's work, and my cards seem so 'flat', but they are 'me' and for now that's fine. I am not doing them to please others, but for ME.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Time to begin, I more procastinating, which I definitely don't do. On the contrary I want to fly into about 6 Neter cards at once, and have to hold myself back and take it easy, one step at a time.

I decided to start with one of my positive inner parts...generosity. I am incredibly generous (to a fault) which has a flip side (for another card and another day).

I became totally absorbed in what I was doing, first looking through all the bits and pieces I had been tearing out of books, magazines, newspapers the past few weeks, then cutting them up (with no real direction) then putting them all on the table in front of me.

My main focus had to be on hands. Don't know why I decided on hands, but -like the book says, these ideas aren't actually conscious ones; certain images 'talk' to you.
I ended up with dozens of images of hands, took the card and started, without any definite path.

What an incredible experience; very liberating, very fascinating and very strange. The card literally 'made' itself.

I know I love telling a good story and even exaggerating, but this is exactly what has just happened to me. Even the one word and the one foot came out of my mind and had to be done.

I am now putting everything away and not going to even try to analyse what I have just done and why!

Mind-blowing....I am sure I will be doing a few more this coming week.

Week two: Committee Suit

Okay, so I read Carla's week 2 (very informative) prompt/ challenge and knew I had to do more in depth reading of the Collage book as I didn't have a clue what she was talking about.

A few hours later:
Aha, that feels better, now I understand more what a Neter is and what a Committe Suit is.

Straight away I find I am interested and intrigued.
There are loadsa little 'mes' inside me. I am going to list some of them, looking at the list in the book, then following on with some of my own. Here goes:

Abused child
Carer for sickly brother
Bossy Boots
Hurt heart
Empty Soul
Wearer of masks
Inability to say 'No'
Unable to fight for my rights
People -pleaser
Fear Authority
Over critical of myself

My goodness, these alone could keep me busy for a whole year.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Week One: Gather

I cannot resist a challenge.
When Carla invited me to join her soulcollage group this year, using the book: SoulCollage: An Intuitive Collage Process for Individuals and Groups, fear struck me in the centre of my Collage? eeeeeek...I have never done this before, and collage is (I feel) one of my weaknesses.
At first, it seemed like just a fun new challenge for me and I love a challenge, something new to get my 'teeth into', to throw myself into body and 'soul' I do with my blog.
Then the book arrived and I suddenly thought 'Hang on a second, you don't actually know what you are doing here!' Did I really want to even attempt this huge commitment, as I now saw it?
I guess the answer was 'yes' because here I am. My intentions now are to:
a.) have fun
b.) maybe learn some new things about myself
c.) learn and practise a new process in art
d.) grow

After a lot of pondering, even worrying, hesitation and dithering, I decided to jump in feet first.
Life has often thrown me many curved balls before, and this looks like it could be a great learning one for me.
I invite any of you who are interested in this to join me, you don't need to be experienced at all, not even artistic, just eager.

This is the space/table I work on in the spare bedroom.On the wall in front of me is some of my own art with lots of the art I have received from my bloggy friends which inspire me and fill me with happiness every day. It is light and airy, has a view of the back garden and the huge sky outside, which looks like this today.

I started a week or more ago, looking, sifting, sorting, finding, tearing, snipping and became completely engrossed in this simple process. Now I drive everyone mad, begging, asking, for and taking newspapers and magazines wherever I find them.
While gathering images, I discovered a few things. Firstly, and mainly, I am mostly attracted to bright images...but then I realised that I am was also looking for more subtle, paler and undertsated images...hence the two sides of my personality. The most important thing I realised at this stage is that certain emages 'talk' to me and that's gotta be a good sign.I now have quite a big plastic container filled with pictures and images of all sorts. I decided to put them into plastic folders in sizes, so that I could just take out a folder at a time to look through, whenever I need it (my attempt at being organised).

Here are a few images randomly thrown together...and viola, here is my header!

Thanks Carla, I am quite excited now. This may be just what I need to get me out of my Winter funk! I have invited lots of my bloggy friends to join us on this new adventure, so I hope some of them respond.


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What in heaven's name is strange about a grandmother dancing nude? I'll bet lots of grandmothers do it. Sally Rand