Amethyst Retreat Center hosted a Community Weekend event with the focus on the Gift-Giving economy structure. There were many creative and talented people there sharing their gifts; reiki, massage, art, readings, astrology, herbalism, nutrition, wellness, music, and more.
We are all connected.
The gift I shared was of self-awareness through creative expression. I asked attendees to consider the following questions:
How can we use art to remind us of our connectedness?
What happens when we remember we are all connected?
How do you connect with yourself, and others?
When someone was ready to respond, we presented them with a community mural that had been sketched out and painted the night before. The mural is our visual representation of the importance of our connection. Each mark adds to the whole of the image, and is vital in representing the energy of the space!
I have to give a shout out to my two awesome helpers, Rachel and Elijah! Both of them were there from the beginning helping to fill in spaces and make sure it was ready to be painted on the next day. Thank you!!
So, the design has a lot of elements to it! First I wanted to honor the Susquehannock Indigenous people, who inhabited the land before we were blessed with it.
In the Susquehanna River there are petroglyphs from the Indigenous people on rocks all throughout! A few of these petroglyphs were incorporated into the design…. human, thunderbird, water, and Manitou (the Great Mystery or Creator.)
The center of the mural is a totem of the Amethyst crystals, a rising thunderbird, and the spiral sun of the Amethyst logo. In the center of the thunderbirds chest is a handprint that symbolizes all those who are not seen and recognizes their being.
A sunrise over the Susquehanna river covers the garage doors.
The left of the mural is a flower of life surrounded by concentric circles in colors of the rainbow.
Each attendee left their mark on the mural in response to their remembering that we are all connected. The marks created by each person added to the creation of the mural, like we each add something to the play of life.
I am beyond thrilled with the outcome and in awe of life because of each and every beautiful soul that shared themselves for this project.
Thank you Karen for believing in the vision and hosting such a beautiful community gathering.
There were so many other amazing things happening while I was painting away. Music by artists Natalie Lain, Grace Mahar, Daniel Flatley, Don Kovacs. Bhante Soma and Nancy Romano, Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple PA led us in a meditation with singing bowls. Tai Chi with Breanna. Yoga and Sound with Phyllis Vara. There was a Plant Walk with Calyx Liddick, Director, Herbalist, Teacher at Appalachia School of Vitalist Herbalism & Ecology, and a demo – Installing Solar Panels on a Tiny House with Bob Newmyer.
A Gift Economy talk where we gathered to hear the stories of transformation and the wisdom shared by individuals who are answering the call and are cultivating their gifts into services that inspire, heal, and nourish others. Karen Kovacs facilitates a group discussion with Erin Shrader, Calyx Liddick, Jennifer Rabenstein, Nicole Sharkey, and myself.
On Saturday and Sunday morning there was breakfast made by Lisa and a community potluck on Saturday night.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make this weekend happen, and to everyone who attended! Together we create beautiful things, especially when we remember we are all connected.