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Soul Talk – The Artful Life Inspiring Women Podcast – Episode 1, Ronna Detrick

On this beautiful day of the Autumn Equinox, I am thrilled to share the very first episode of my new podcast, Soul Talk. Every two weeks I’ll be sharing my deep, soulful conversations with exceptional, creative women. We’ll talk about living well, nurturing our spirits, caring for ourselves abundantly, and growing deeper in our wisdom.

In Episode One, I talk to speaker, writer, and sacred conversationalist Ronna Detrick. We talk about retelling sacred stories, claiming midlife power, re-inventing Eve, befriending our desire, and self-care at its most profound.

ronna detrick

About me, Ronna Detrick, M.Div.

You might think that because I have a Master of Divinity degree, work with clients as a “spiritual director,” and am the former wife of a pastor that I have answers about god, an unshakeable faith, and am a devout church-attendee. You’d be mistaken.

I talk about faith because I doubt. I talk about the sacred and the divine because I hope. And I create safe and beautiful spaces for these kind of conversations (and then some) because I believe that women are hungry for ways to craft and experience a life that is whole, holy even; “spiritual” in a way that oozes authenticity, integrity, strength, and passion.

I am privileged to have rich, winsome, strong conversations about life, about relationships, about work, about you – and about the ways in which every single one of these things is sacred. Listening to your stories and offering you new ones; looking for (and even expecting) signs and symbols to show up, to guide, to encourage; wondering together about a way of believing, hoping, and seeing/experiencing your life in deeply spiritual-and-sacred, whole-and-holy ways.”

Please enjoy my conversation with Ronna:

For more information on Ronna, you can visit her website and blog, or find her on Facebook,  or Twitter. To hear more of her wise voice, you can watch the video of her TEDtalk, Redeeming Eve, Reimagining Everything.

Wishing you a happy and blessed Autumn Equinox!

About Bronwyn: Bronwyn Simons’ vision is of a world where we are all able to live daily lives of deep connection, purpose, and joy. She’s an artist, writer, teacher, and retreat leader whose work has touched and transformed hundreds of women’s lives for the better. Her next big adventure is the Artful Living in Mexico retreat at gorgeous Hacienda Mosaico in November 2014. The Artful Life Blog provides a daily touchstone for women seeking to live more soul-satisfying lives.

 

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Renee - Great first podcast! Looking forward to your next one!

Bronwyn - Thank you Renee!

Have you set your intentions for September?

goals collage vision board plannerIt’s that time again – time to create your monthly vision board and goals.

This ritual has become a valued moment of self-reflection for me each month, and the collages, which I create directly in my planner, become touchstones for how I want to feel throughout the month. I check in with the image almost every day, and it helps me to stay focused on my most important goals, and to keep my mood positive and my actions aligned with my greater vision for my life. If you’d like to learn more about my process and how to make a goals collage yourself, read this post. If you’d like to see my monthly goals collages over the years, go here.

Well, it has taken me awhile to sink into the month of September. Truth be told, I just decided to extend the month of August by ten days or so this year, enjoying the sunshine, relaxing with friends, and deferring the jump-back-in-to-work that I usually welcome in the Fall.

Over the last two months I’ve been expanding again into the fullness of my life and activities, after a year of slowing way down to take care of my health. About this time last year, I was peeling away layers of activity, responsibilities I’d carried for years began to fall away and I was left with the bare bones of my life. I needed the time to rest and heal, but the letting go was very difficult. A sabbatical sounds like a wonderful idea, but when you actually shed most of the activities and responsibilities that define you, you are left with a lot of questions. At least I was. The questions were about my worth and value, my true desires and passions, my contributions, my energy, my needs. It was a slow and difficult winter – most days I had only a few hours of vitality, and I had to choose very carefully how to spend my precious energy.

I regained my vitality through the Spring, but I didn’t lose the sense of care and discrimination when choosing where to invest my energy. And this, of course, was the great gift of my illness. Now I am feeling “back to normal,” but it will never be the same normal of too many yes’s (but not enough yes,) too much overdoing and doing only what I thought would please others, never the same normal of bolstering my sense of worth with a long series of check marks on a to do list, of always running to keep up (with what?) and losing myself in the running.

I can feel this shift in the way I approach my monthly goals. Yes, of course, I still have a long to-do list, the truth is, I love my lists, I love what I do, and I even love being busy, if it’s with the things that truly feed my spirit and kindle my pleasure. The lists aren’t quite as long, because maybe I’ve learned a thing or two about what’s possible for me. I’m leaving a little more space between things. But the biggest shift is this: when I sit down to plan the coming month, the list of how I want to be and to feel and to experience comes first. The to do’s emerge from there. The collage is the first step of this process; it allows my wise self to have a say, it exposes quiet and powerful desires that my frontal lobes had nothing to do with. So the final list sometimes looks a little strange, like what flowed from my pen after creating my September collage above:

  • lighting the inner fire
  • reclaiming priestess power
  • astrology!
  • new art-making beginnings
  • clean and organized studio

This is my being, feeling, and doing list for September, from the ethereal to the practical. Would you like to try this? It’s good to experiment with turning the planning process upside down sometimes. Start with the vision board, and instead of pulling images that represent the things you want, simply pull images that appeal to you – especially if you don’t know why they appeal to you. Let the images speak to you in the language of symbols, as dreams do. Once you pull together your images, ask what they are about. Make a short list of what the images tell you (like mine above.) It won’t look like a regular to-do list, but you can pull a regular to-do list out of it, and that list will be, really, what your wise self wants you to do.

Don’t scrap your regular to-do list. Find ways for the two lists to intermingle.

Wishing you a happy and blessed September!

About Bronwyn: Bronwyn Simons’ vision is of a world where we are all able to live daily lives of deep connection, purpose, and joy. She’s an artist, writer, teacher, and retreat leader whose work has touched and transformed hundreds of women’s lives for the better. Her next big adventure is the Artful Living in Mexico retreat at gorgeous Hacienda Mosaico in November 2014. The Artful Life Blog provides a daily touchstone for women seeking to live more soul-satisfying lives.

 

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Renee - Great post. I love the idea of pulling images that speak to you, even if you don’t know why and then asking what they are about and making your to-do list from there. I do have a “material” vision board of things I would like to have, but the intuitive vision board sounds more heart-centered. Thank you!

Bronwyn - You are so welcome, Renee! Come back and let me know how it went if you make one this month. xo

Pisces Full Moon – Healing Waters

pisces full moonIt’s Full Moon again! Full Moons bring fruition and revelation. What seeds did you sow at the last New Moon? How have they taken root? Now is the time to look at those New Moon intentions and decide what to do next. Time to consider what needs to be released. Time to slow down a little and consider the places in your life that are full, ripe, and abundant – celebrate the fullness and practice gratitude. At the same time, consider the things that have reached their peak or natural ripeness, and need to be transformed or released or diminished. Want less of something in your life? Say so now, and watch it dwindle as the moon wanes.

This Pisces Super Moon is overflowing with emotion. Where have you been feeling this overflow in your life? Have there been tears? Are the powerful images of your dreams leaking into your daytime consciousness? Is your compassionate heart opening to others in service? Are poems, paintings, and songs flowing from your fingers, or are you dancing the night away? For me, it’s been a little bit of all of this.

This moon feels like a powerful time to access our innate healing powers.Our Sun is in Virgo right now; Virgo is bright, practical, grounded, organized, smart, compassionate, and oriented towards health and service. Think of this energy balanced with our Pisces Moon, Pisces being dark, watery, unconscious, the art-source, karma and the hidden divine realms, and healing and service in the spirit realm. What a juxtaposition! Think of the inner power we can access by calling on all of these qualities at the same time.

Last night I went out at moonrise to see the bright Pisces Supermoon rise over the ocean. The sky appeared to be clear, but actually there was a thick blue overcast ringing the horizon, so the moon appeared as a bright watercolour smudge in the Eastern sky above the neighboring islands, while in the West the sun turned the horizon a luscious orangey pink. Later in the night as the bright moon rose above the treeline on my land, she was surrounded by a watery halo, blurring her edges in the inky black starless sky. This morning I awoke to a few wispy pink clouds in a crisp blue sky, and the bright slanting light of the Virgo Sun getting underneath everything, chasing away the shadows and revealing crisp, clear outlines everywhere.

This contrast of dark watery mystery and crisp revealing light is exactly the energetic contrast we are feeling emotionally right now too.  Where do you need healing? Sometimes the most difficult part of the process is the uncovering of the wound, but we have a profound opportunity now for this uncovering, the initiation of a healing time. My sense is that many of us will be dealing with wounds long covered. Time to open up those dusty chambers again. You are not alone. Love and tenderness from unexpected sources will buoy you up through this process.If you feel like sharing, the comments are open.

Full Moon Blessings and Love,

About Bronwyn: Bronwyn Simons’ vision is of a world where we are all able to live daily lives of deep connection, purpose, and joy. She’s an artist, writer, teacher, and retreat leader whose work has touched and transformed hundreds of women’s lives for the better. Her next big adventure is the Artful Living in Mexico retreat at gorgeous Hacienda Mosaico in November 2014. The Artful Life Blog provides a daily touchstone for women seeking to live more soul-satisfying lives.

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New Moon in Virgo – How To Be a Priestess

new-moon-in-virgo

{Each month, nature in her wisdom and beauty offers us an opportunity, a clean slate, a shining outward and visible sign of the grace we are always given to move beyond our own shadow and start again. In the night sky, the dark Moon begins to clear the Earth’s shadow and reveals a tiny sliver of the freshest silver. The New Moon.}

Usually for our Moon Circle posts, I like to do a bit of research on the upcoming Moon and her aspects, and then offer you a bit about the energies, what to expect, how you can benefit, what life areas you might want to set your New Moon intentions in, etc.

Something about this Moon feels so special and pristine, I wanted to just respond to it intuitively, and leave my intellectual explorations of the energies for later. My Seventh Key to an Artful Life is Harmonize with natural cycles. And it’s wonderful to do this by studying astrology and learning from others’ interpretations of the energies. But the core meaning of this Key is about finding and trusting your own personal, unique, intimate, and direct relationship with the greater natural rhythms and cycles in which we are nested.

The simplest way to celebrate the New or Full Moon is by honouring the day with your awareness. Go outside and look at the Moon. Watch her rise or set with the sunset. Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day, honour your feelings, and set aside some time for simple reflection. Light a candle and speak to your Wise Self in your journal. Feel your way through and discover what this Moon’s message is for you. Then it becomes even more useful and revealing to look at others’ interpretations – but treat your own responses as sovereign, and as most right and true for you. Because they always are.

In this way we become priestesses to ourselves.

snake-priestess My New Moon day was gentle and spacious. In the early morning I walked on the beach with a long-time friend. Our dogs ran alongside. The beach was deserted and the ocean was pristine. She picked up a perfect moon shell (they always come to her) and I found a perfect pink heart stone (they always come to me.) We both talked about our longing to return to dance, and about how our experience of dance as prayer sometimes makes it difficult to take just any dance class, even when we really want to move and flow in company with others. We talked about being fifty, what our bodies are doing, how we are coming into our power. We talked about things we’ve left behind, and about how much better we love ourselves than we did ten years ago, and twenty. We made plans to work and dance and teach together soon. (That’s us, above, in the black leotards with spirals, being snakes in a snake priestess dance years ago. I want to dance earth dances and priestess dances again, in new ways.)

For me this Moon is a Priestess Moon. You are your own greatest source of wisdom. You are your own most direct connection to Spirit. Ultimately, you are your own greatest authority, you can be your own oracle, conduct your own rituals, you can perform your own mysteries and ecstasies.

My New Moon wish for you today is that you stand tall in your sovereign power and move out into your life from your deepest wisdom.

Love,

About Bronwyn: Bronwyn Simons’ vision is of a world where we are all able to live daily lives of deep connection, purpose, and joy. She’s an artist, writer, teacher, and retreat leader whose work has touched and transformed hundreds of women’s lives for the better. Her next big adventure is the Artful Living in Mexico retreat at gorgeous Hacienda Mosaico in November 2014. The Artful Life Blog provides a daily touchstone for women seeking to live more soul-satisfying lives.

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Full Moon in Aquarius – Resolving Tensions

aquarius-full-moon

It’s Full Moon again! Full Moons bring fruition and revelation. What seeds did you sow at the last New Moon? How have they taken root? Now is the time to look at those New Moon intentions and decide what to do next. Time to consider what needs to be released. Time to slow down a little and consider the places in your life that are full, ripe, and abundant – celebrate the fullness and practice gratitude. At the same time, consider the things that have reached their peak or natural ripeness, and need to be transformed or released or diminished. Want less of something in your life? Say so now, and watch it dwindle as the moon wanes.

One way or another, I think we all will feel the tensions of this big Aquarian Super Moon. (A Super Moon is a Full Moon that looks extra big and bright, because it is actually closer to the Earth than it is at other times of the year. We have several Super Moons this year!) There’s a lot of tension in the aspects of this moon, which you may be feeling as plain old stress, or anxiety, or as physical restlessness, an urge to change, an urge to roam, an urge to create, a desire to let go. How is this feeling manifesting in your life?

Anxiety is unpleasant, but tension is creative. The key to this Moon is to use the tension creatively. Use the tension to support single-minded focus on something you want to create. Use it to move your body and grow physically stronger. Use it to break an old pattern or habit that needs to go, use it to change limiting structures.

Over lunch yesterday with girlfriends, we had a wonderfully rich conversation about dreams. A friend and I had both shared a disturbing dream the night before. We had both dreamed of a predatory man trying to force his way into our home. I think this is a common dream for women. We talked about possible meanings and uses of this dream – was it a reflection of past trauma, a call to integrate our shadow qualities, a natural response to trying to be our feminine selves in a hostile, patriarchal environment, or something else?

What resonated for me was the idea of the tension and fear that is created internally when we push away and demonize parts of ourselves – our “shadow” qualities. In my dream, one of the strongest sensations was the intense physical push-pull on the door that was happening between me and the shadow figure. Right there is the symbolic embodiment of the tension of this Moon. I think of the Buddhist story of the sage Milarepa, who spent years in a cave, meditating, but all the while struggling with his demons. He lived in a state of constant tension, trying to keep the demons out of his meditation cave. And one day he gave up. And one by one, he invited the demons into his cave for tea. And one by one the demons dispersed. (And ultimately there was one who never went away, and yes, life is like that.) So I try to work with this idea a lot, of inviting my demons in for tea. Serving them a nice cup and asking them how they are. Looking at their hair and outfits and trying to get to know them better.

But this is hard. Even as a thought experiment, it’s pretty terrifying for me to imagine inviting this figure from my dream in for tea. This brings up all kinds of fears. But this is the kind of deep self-care that this Moon is calling us to. Is it possible that you can deal with the tension that is depleting you by simply releasing your end of the push-pull battle? Just let go. What happens to the dynamic when you do this? Can you do it as a thought experiment?

I’m so interested to hear how these energies are showing up in your life. Join the Moon Circle by leaving a note in the the comments.

Full Moon Blessings and Love,

About Bronwyn: Bronwyn Simons’ vision is of a world where we are all able to live daily lives of deep connection, purpose, and joy. She’s an artist, writer, teacher, and retreat leader whose work has touched and transformed hundreds of women’s lives for the better. Her next big adventure is the Artful Living in Mexico retreat at gorgeous Hacienda Mosaico in November 2014. The Artful Life Blog provides a daily touchstone for women seeking to live more soul-satisfying lives.

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