Q -Do you know how Jesus makes coffee?
A - He brews it!
I seemed to be in a state of melancholy for a good deal of the course.
That was by no means the fault of the retreat but the important work of the obvious healing I was doing.
I didn’t expect my journey to be so inward but then again I was revealing my true soul - for everyone to see, so of course it would be.
I was exactly where I was meant to be, doing exactly what I was meant to be doing with exactly the right people.
I went through periods of hating my painting, I was having nightmares at night, my energy was going crazy.
When it came to painting the eyes some deep-held and outdated beliefs were rising up to the surface and they felt very uncomfortable.
I had feelings of self-doubt, of not being good enough and not doing anything right, and my creativity and inspiration seemed to be blocked.
The beauty of these beliefs revealing themselves is that they can be truly seen for what they are - limited and false.
And the beauty of being human is that we have the capacity to change these beliefs for something more positive and true.
Autumn talked us through the three deadly P’s
I seemed to be suffering all three, all at once!
We learned about glazing and how to paint hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes.
We watched as Autumn showed us demonstrations of feathers, gems, and tears - snakes, clouds, bubbles, and water.
Each demo blew my mind - just the ease and grace with which Autumn glided her brush across the canvas, bringing things to life in just a few strokes.
After dinner one night I had an amazing Hawaiian massage, given to me by the lovely Jacque.
I have experienced Hawaiian massage, earlier in the year in Mullumbimby at The Kiva Spa and its effects and the shifts that occurred after were incredible and this was no exception.
Each practitioner is different and I had never experienced anything like this massage.
So much emotion was rising to the surface and I just kept thinking in my mind
I allow myself to be held.
I step out of the shadows and into the light.
She massaged in such a rhythmic, gentle way and the use of her voice was incredibly healing.
The music she used, the ambiance of the room and the extraordinary technique made for a very memorable experience.
After the massage, I took my time to really ground with the earth.
It was dark, the moon was up and I could feel a deep and sacred bond with the Indigenous people of the land. I took a while to honor them in prayer and then went and joined the mid-week check-in circle.
It seemed I wasn't the only one who was releasing and healing - and the power of this creative retreat was evident in every person taking part.
And then the God's graced us with the most intense electrical storm I had ever witnessed - well in Australia anyway.
For me, a storm heralds a huge shift in my energy.
As each clap of thunder reverberated through my field, I felt my body being cleansed and healed, and my painting changed again.
I painted over my initial background with a very light tone and added my hair.
I was slowly starting to love myself and find peace with myself.
I actually sat in front of my painting on day 8 with tears in my eyes.
I looked at myself and I loved myself, and I could see the divine goddess staring back at me and the light of the infinite divine.
I was staring directly at my soul - and she was breathtaking.
It was a long and intense journey and so much came up for healing.
I learned it is ok to be me, unapologetically.
I learned it was ok for me to just ask myself for permission.
I learned that creativity and inspiration are available to us at any time - if we just allow ourselves to open up to the ever-present source that guides us.
I learned that we are never truly blocked or trapped - that exists only in our own mind.
I learned that my painting was no better and no worse than anyone else - it was a representation of my unique talents and gifts and they were enough.
I learned that in order to attain peace, we have to let go and have faith in the bigger plan. That everything is shifting in order for the new life to take its form.
Big changes require big shifts and with big shifts come big changes.
The cogs of the wheel are turning and the old is being dismantled to make way for the new and that it is always important to trust the process.
“How brave you are! You are diving for light. It can be so much simpler to seek light in the heavenly, in that which will be blissful, sweet, loving and kind. To look for light in that which is dark is an advanced task that only a rebellious and brave heart will attempt.”
Alana Fairchild, Sacred Rebels Journal
“I am a Divine Goddess, pure and light
I am a Divine Goddess, radiant and bright.
I am a Divine Goddess, powerful and strong,
I am a Divine Goddess, a virtuous song.
I am a Divine Goddess, knowing and wise,
I am a Divine Goddess, with calm, gentle eyes.
I am a Divine Goddess, who knows no bounds,
I am a Divine Goddess, whose love surrounds.
I am a Divine Goddess, perfectly free,
I am a Divine Goddess, authentically me.”
Many thanks to all who shared this soulful, creative and deeply healing retreat with me.
To my fellow painters, each and every one of you. For your hugs, your tears, your smiles, and laughter but most of all for your love and encouragement - you have no idea how much it meant to me.
To Yeo, Pattie and Frank for your generosity and awesome food.
To Una, Marnie and David for sharing your souls, your inspiration and your generous gifts with me.
To Lila - it was a pleasure to lose myself in your kundalini dance sessions and new moon meditations.
And finally to Autumn Skye for your generosity of spirit, your huge heart, and monumental talent.
For your words of encouragement, your great jokes and for your kind hugs and inspiration.
To be guided and supported by you on this intense and magical journey was amazing.
Thanks for being you and sharing your talent so generously.
I can’t wait to paint together again.