Hello Friends,

This news is mostly about the Day Retreat I convened with Donna Longobardi in the beautiful Gilmore Valley, and being published on The Culturium.

We were blessed with sunshine and easy companionship held by the beauty of the valley, garden and homestead. Drawn from my experiences since 2011, we practiced 17 ways to be calm, creative and centred during challenging times, including easy, soothing meditative art methods.

On May 27, my latest article was published on the internationally respected contemplative art blog, The Culturium. About how art can create a designated space and time for contemplation, you can read it HERE. Eighteen months since my last article was published on this platform, I’m definitely not a prolific writer! However, I do take months to draw on the wisdom of others, let ideas percolate and become coherent. I would love to hear your thoughts.

The last 18 months have been fabulous with three pilgrimages and two Brave Thinking Retreats along with the rigour of an ongoing health protocol and learning to think bravely! The transformational work of Mary Morrissey founded on the teachings of the Transcendentalists (Emerson & Thoreau especially), ‘brave thinking’ means to think from a vision rather than conditions and circumstances. A process of training one’s mind to be a powerful tool to live as one would love to live, requires discipline and practice. I was delighted to hear Dr Ian Gawler speak recently about discipline with regard to meditation: Discipline is personal kindness. If you’re not doing that, what are you doing?! I’m grateful to Mary for her teachings, and to Ian for inspiring me to write.

Yesterday, I heard of someone ‘madly rushing.’ Is that you?  I’m guessing it’s not since you’ve read this far! We know life is too short for mind-induced distress and poverty of joy. There are long moments to savour in the sun (hopefully!) on a winter’s morning; there are friends to meet, dreams to dream, passions to follow and paintings to paint, enjoy and share. Feel free to remind me!

As I returned to my paints today, there was ease, grace and gratitude. This is the kind of practice I nurture and love to see unfolding for my students so they not only make paintings they love, their love is returned to them. Their dedicated attention becomes fulfilling creative expression  and that feels great for student and guide.

Warmest wishes on this chilly day!

Suzanne