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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Creative Soulful Woman

What does it mean to be a Creative Soulful Woman?



Creative:

Your playful child-spirit is alive and well
You get excited when you're in discovery mode
You have an openness to new ways of seeing
Flow is your optimal condition, where you lose track of time
You are unafraid to try new things
If you are afraid, you gently push past fear
You are willing to learn
You are not rigid, not pinned down, you go with the flow
Making & sharing your art makes you happy!
Expressive arts feed and nourish your Joy.

Soulful:

Your child-like heart sees the wonder in the world
You feel things deeply, intensely
You are gifted with a big heart and a way of being 
   that respects others
Intuitive, you listen to the deeper, inner call
You are highly sensitive and open to receive
You seek the light while allowing the shadows to be
    illuminated: growing in self-acceptance
You are drawn to mystery like a sunflower to the sun
You are learning to be comfortable with not knowing, uncertainty
You allow your senses to be activated in creative ways
You want to learn to practice self-nurturing
You allow time for pleasure in little things: blue sky, red cardinals, green moss, the natural beauty of the world
Music, poetry, art, dance: feed your soul


Soulfulness means coming from a place of balance and harmony – an equilibrium or alignment between what we think, fell, say and do. And taking an inner approach to prioritizing our life – work life, family life, personal life – in the pursuit of activities that nourish and enrich every aspect of our life.” – Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D., www.truenorthpartnering.com

You are a creative soulful woman!









Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Soulfulness in women has a season and a cycle

Where are you in your soul cycle?




The psyches and souls of women also have their own cycles and seasons of doing and solitude, running and staying, being involved and being removed, questing and resting, creating and incubating, being of the world and returning to the soul-place. 

 ~ Dr Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs


stay tuned on www.jenniferboire.com for new Creative Soulfulness page, classes and SoulCollage workshops in the fall


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Creative and soulful means


I think creativity expresses itself through us like water seeking its own level will flow anywhere, even upwards and backwards.

Flow is a key word. When I play with my creative materials in my Art Journal, whether with collage, pastels, crayons or felt tip pens, I lose all sense of time. I enter the zone of Flow. Time is fluid.

Soulfullness, to me, is a state of being in flow also. It has a quality of openness to my emotional state, to the colour of my mood. Listening to the blues can feel soulful, or dancing in the kitchen to Laura Nyro songs while cooking up tomatoes for spaghetti sauce. Or sitting down in the morning to center myself in meditation before jumping up to start the day.

I am musing this summer, reading and writing, and not blogging much, but a new page will appear by the end of summer, hopefully, with more thoughts on how to be Creative and Soulful.


How do we nurture the soul? By revering our own life. By treating it as supremely important. By reaching for the best within ourselves. By learning to love it all, not only the joys and the victories, but also the pain and struggles. 

www.nathanielbranden.com/passion-and-soulfulness


Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Creative soulfulness for Women



How does one begin to be creatively soulful? And why does it seem so imperative at mid-life to find our creative flow?

I use the word soul the way I've heard it used in Jungian texts and psycho-spiritual books I've read to mean the animated, inner essence of a human being that appears to feed us, and also need nurturance.

What feeds the soul? Contact with nature, according to Carl Jung. Getting our hands in the dirt and gardening, for instance. Letting our love of the night sky draw us outside to stare at the myriad little dust particles of light in the dark. Swimming at midnight on a quiet lake listening to loons. All these simple and yet magical experiences touch a part of us that is non-rational, non-business like, unconcerned with the bottom line, rent due and bills to pay. It brings us a deep feeling of satisfaction, of awe and wonder. It brings us back into a conversation or contact with our feeling 'soul'.

What else feeds the soul? Beauty in whatever form appeals to you. Beautiful colours at sunset, patterns and textiles, wallpaper and carpets can feed my daughter's designer soul. My artist soul likes to play with images and photos and make collages. My poet's soul likes to play with rhyme, metaphor and juxtapositions of neat sounding words. My musician's soul loves to sing harmonies, listen to soothing music, go to Blues concerts and lose myself in the rhythms of djembe classes.

There are so many ways to feel a connection with the soul. Seeing any human being smile touches something in my soul, but newborn babies especially so. having someone on the street stop and notice me long enough to smile and say Hello is also soul nurturing, especially in the city where we tend to walk on by, striding purposefully to our next appointment.

Creative soulfulness therefore is something I am developing as a way to offer space and sanctuary for classes and retreats, so that in your busy schedule, your over-filled days and weeks, you can pencil in a little hour or two, or maybe a whole day or weekend, to feed your need for Soul Food.

the tools I use have not changed, but I am expanding my learning this summer. So far I have taken a Creative Journaling class with le journal creatif teacher Alexandra Leroux, filling up my art journal with doodles, collages, drawings and poetry; a mandala class at the Musee des Beaux Arts de Montreal with my daughter, using compass and ruler and paint and coloured crayons to find the still center in the middle of a circle; and later this summer I'm headed to Colorado to study with the author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes in a facilitator training called Singing over the Bones. I'm very excited about that, to integrate her teachings and storytelling techniques into my creative soulfulness.

Stay tuned for a website tune-up in the late summer, and new class offerings for September 2015 as well as details on a winter retreat in Costa Rica in February with myself and yoga/chi gong/shamanistic leader Brigitte Bauhart.

Namaste, and have a great summer
Jennifer
xxx aka Musemother



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Love the Fool in You



I love this post, found on Facebook.

The Shadow side of us includes all the parts we neglect, deny, want no part of. The parts that are too much, too little, too sensitive, too loud.

I practice self-accepance by making SoulCollage cards for the Fool in me, the Whiney crybaby, the Stoic one, the out of control Bossy one, as well as for the sides of me I love and accept.

check out www.soulcollage.com for a short video explaining how easy and fun it is, or visit my website at www.jenniferboire.com under Retreats and Classes.

xxx
Musemother

Monday, May 04, 2015

FINDING C.A.L.M.: 5 TIPS FOR CREATIVE SELF-CARE at Mid-Life:

Mothering, mid-life transition and menopause – doesn’t sound like a fun mix, does it? It can be a stressful time, and you definitely need to take care of yourself, but you also have to have fun!

image found on Pinterest

Now that my kids have flown the coop, I’m rediscovering the hobbies and activities I used to love doing as a child, and exploring new ones. For instance, when I was in high school, I remember spending hours making Bristol board-sized collages . Yet I hadn’t done it in over forty years. Two years ago I discovered SoulCollage® (www.soulcollage.com), so much fun and a lot of self-discovery.  I also joined a Sweet Adelines chorus 8 years ago, and that led to singing with a barbershop quartet and lots of fun performances. I hadn’t been on a theatre stage since high school, but a recent musical theatre experience of ABBA songs made me feel happy and alive.

FIND YOUR INNER CALM through small daily creative and soulful practices at mid-life. Take classes, experiment, find out what you are passionate about – I bet you it’s something creative!


1.   Get Creative and Flow –doing any artistic or creative activity using your right brain is the #1 way to slow down and love your life: get in the FLOW. (Flow is when you lose track of time, and are totally absorbed by doing something you love). Try journaling, SoulCollage®, writing poems; tell your stories to your grandchildren, take up crocheting, gardening, floral arranging,  pottery classes, piano lessons. You’ll stay young longer.

2.   Listen to your Intuition: get in touch with your wise inner self; to cultivate this, allow more down time for getting in touch with your intuition. Journaling is a great way to do this. Or get out into the woods, take a walk, and breathe in the natural world around you. Pause and appreciate life.

3.   Love your body:  move your body every day; join a Zumba or Salsa class. Find out what foods make you calm, (greens or protein for example vs sugar and caffeine). Make friends with your emotions through a body scan and/or relaxation exercises (see link on side-bar for Musemother’s Relaxation CD). Listen to the small signals before they become bigger, i.e. don’t let minor health issues or emotional upsets get swept under the rug.

4.   Be Mindful: the best anti-stress medicine is to use your breath in Yoga, Tai-Chi, Chi Gong or Meditation for calming the parasympathetic nervous system. New neuroscience research shows that when we meditate, the areas of the brain associated with stress slow down and the parts associated with feelings of joy, peace and compassion become active. It’s another way to experience FLOW in the body… and it’s as simple as doing some alternate nostril breathing or yoga, or focusing on a centering breath technique. 

5.    Play with friends! Energize yourself. Are you a couch potato? the weather is nice, get outside, play soccer, walk in nature or go lawn bowling. Remember what you used to love doing –singing and dancing? Join a theatre club or chorus (sharing fun activities with others is a known endorphin booster).


Bonus tip: One more habit you can build in to feel better, is to change your negative self-talk and fears by working with affirmations. When you change your thoughts and words, you change your beliefs and core vibration. Here are a few samples to get you started:

Sample positive affirmations for well-being (make up your own, write them down and read out loud):

1.   I am centered, happy, and healthy.
2.   I am worthy and deserving of love.
3.   I fully embrace my personal power.
4.   Each part of my life is balanced with my need to rest and rejuvenate.
5.   I joyfully embrace my creativity.


Happy Creative Self-Care!
Musemother

CALM: Creative, Artistic, Loving, Mindful.





Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Facing the fear of Mid-life Changes

Recently I spoke on 50 Ways to Love Turning Fifty at a local library. Near the end, when I opened up the discussion among the women present, it became clear that the real subject was the fear of going crazy with pre-menopausal changes. Every woman is different, of course, but many complain of unaccounted for mood swings, a strong need to be alone, a serious lack of sleep, a libido so low it's scraping the floor. There are a host of other emotional symptoms that come along with the hormonal changes.

Often, doctors don't seem to be aware that women need a heads up – women don't only want to know if their estrogen or progesterone is high or low. They want to know that they are not going crazy. They want to know that some of this is normal, and may hit them in their 40's before they're even thinking about menopause. (Average age is 51, but peri-menopause can start 7-10 years before that).

If you have any overwhelming emotions or issues, it's definitely worth talking to a health professional, whether it's naturopath, homeopath or an open-minded doctor, to find out how to mitigate the symptoms. Sometimes the emotional rollercoaster is worse than any physical hot flashes etc. Sometimes, seeing a therapist may be called for, to help clear away any emotional ‘stuff’ you've been sweeping under the carpet for too long. 

Bottom line is this: take care of your self. Lighten your load, let your family know when you need help, rest when you can, make yourself less busy. It’s time to accept that there are major changes afoot, and you need to assimilate all this 'stuff' coming up. Get away when you can, and most importantly, talk to girlfriends who are open to talking about menopause.

There is a chapter in my book The Tao of Turning Fifty about the descent of Inanna, a wonderful ancient story about a woman being totally stripped of all her powers in the underworld, then returning with new life. It reminded me of my own menopausal journey, which in some ways was a journey into the dark caverns of frozen emotions. There definitely is a return to the surface, as you let go of the old stories and return with new understanding, new clarity and refreshed vigour. Don't lose hope!

I hope this book will be a lantern in the darkness or a guidepost to  women who are experiencing turmoil and are not sure which way is up. I can see now that some of the physical issues I was facing in my forties and fifties, the bursitis, frozen shoulder and a broken leg - were physical manifestations of my inner journey. Ways that I was 'allowed' to slow down, and receive extra love and tender care. Ailments that forced me to treat myself with kindness and compassion, instead of pushing on past my limits
.

So this is a reminder to you, if you are travelling through mid-life and experiencing any turmoil, that you are not alone. Other women have been there, are voyaging along with you. Please take good care of yourself. Don't put self-care off -- don't put yourself last on the list. Your family, husband and children deserve the best of you. 

You are worthy and deserving of taking a creative break, of rest and good nutrition, as well as healthy exercise. Get out our journal, or call up a friend, and talk to someone today about how you feel.

Namaste,
Musemother/Jenn



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