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6th Grade Early Entry

Today we had 6th grade early entry for new students to our school. Since I teach art, we have two groups of students… A day and B day students. Today we met with the A day students for 15 mins on google meets for a team building activity!

Usually in normal circumstances, I would have students come in and paint their hands and stamp them on a canvas for our class mural.

We talk about making our mark, and expressing ourselves as artists. I ask them to think of a symbol or design that would represent who they are. We discussed collaboration and how we come together to make a masterpiece. Each one of us an important part of the whole.

Since we aren’t in school… I wanted to create this same experience in the virtual world. One tool I learned about this week in our professional development meetings, was Jamboard!

Jamboard is a google app that allows people to collaborate in order to create. There are different tools, such as marker, pen, paintbrush, and highlighter. Sticky notes are great for adding text.

So students got to work on their digital class mural, making their mark and expressing themselves in the digital world.

It was so amazing watching the mural to unfold! Seeing the students mark making in the moment and how everyone was working on their own ideas and at the same time we were all working together!

This was a great team building activity, and I we had a final piece of art after 15 mins!

I am looking forward to doing this with the rest of my students.

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Sacred Retreat

I know many people who are entrepreneurs, and small business owners. The world is different from the point of view of owning and operating your own business, whether it’s making art to sell at craft fairs and events, or doing reiki in a room you rent at a wellness center.

As practitioners, makers, and vendors we have in essence two jobs. One is to practice and create the thing we are passionate about. The other is to manage and structure the flow of that passion into a sustainable living.

The REVIVE, REFILL, REFRESH retreat was planned with a vision, hosting a space for people to come and find their center. To come and revive, refill and refresh their soul. What we received was far more powerful then we could’ve ever imagined.

There were 8 participants, and 8 vendors. Each vendor presented a 30-45 min workshop about something they were passionate about.

Auria Faith lead us in an active listening activity where we were partnered up and then given a sheet of questions to ask the other person. The trick was we could only listen to their responses. We were not to talk back or have a conversation about the answers.

She also led us in a guided meditation using essential oils to envision our passions as a seed growing and expanding out into the universe. The choice of oils were Lavender, Wild Orange, and Manuka. Most everyone went for the meditative qualities of Manuka.

Merlin Peters discussed Tensor Rings and how he was lead to being creating them. Marlin discusses how the length of the copper wire is important to how the ring works. Tensor rings transmute negative ions into positive flows. It clears out energy from EMF’s as well.

Joanna Baker lead us in a guided meditation to our shadow selves to see and accept ourselves as we truly are, from all points of view. This was a very peaceful meditation for me, as I felt my shadows were simply there as way showers for the path.

Johanna Geister talked about our energy bodies, discussing the different energy lines and points of our body. She also led us in a grounding visualization where we all went barefoot to the grass to connect with the earth and envision our energy flowing through us as we breathed. It was such a beautiful experience with a little mist coming from the clouds rolling over. She also taught restorative yoga which was a perfect ending to the day.

Brenda Solonoski from Burns Valley Herbals and Retreat gave everyone a tour of her gardens, and identified plants that most people would find in their environments.

She also led a bundle, and tea or steam blend making workshop where people created their own smudge bundles from freshly picked herbs.

Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman from Therapeutic Thymes shared with the group ways to take their business to the next level through target marketing. Therapeutic Thymes is a holistic and nature magazine based out of York.

Jill Reed from Green Healing Room shared her journey to practicing stone readings and was available for readings for everyone. She read EVERYONE at the retreat, each reading was spot on and exactly what each person needed to hear. After her readings she gave each person a stone that was called for them. I received two rough cut jades. These stones have really been powerful for me lately. Holding them while I meditate. Jill has a gift to translating messages she’s open to receiving for each person she reads.

I shared how creativity is spirituality, using the flower of life and sacred geometry to tie everything together. Everyone explored creating the flower of life as we discussed how the meditative process opens up your mind to seeing new perspectives. I also was blessed to share intuitive henna with a few people <3

Each of us has a passion and a desire to share that passion with others. Most of our time is spent working on our goals to keep our fire burning, as well as learning ways to share what we know with others. When we do events and vend at places, a lot of energy goes into preparing our gifts, as well as our hearts and minds for the many people we will interact with throughout the event.

Rarely do we have time to commune with one another. Let alone share and learn from one another. We each have so many gifts we offer the world, but we are also the people who miss receiving those gifts. We give so much of our time to goals, that we rarely have time to be open to receiving.

This retreat was a time for vendors to come together and share and receive from one another. This retreat showed us how important this was for each of us. We need to remember we too deserve to receive our gifts. It gave us time to listen, and process what we learned. To sit and communicate our own experiences and thoughts. To be there for eachother, witnessing each others light and standing in our own.

When we heal ourselves, we help others on their journey by sharing what we’ve learned. Supporting one another by holding space for self expression and authenticity is vital, we are all connected.

I am forever grateful for those who participated in the Revive, Refill and Refresh Retreat in August. Miigwetch to all my relations.

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Highpoint Scenic Vista

Highpoint Scenic vista is a beautiful little hike up to the top of a hill where you can see the Susquehanna River so beautifully.

It also has other connections to a great mystery, that Michael Wann talks about. This place has always felt magickal and full of energy. A place I can go to find my center.

Enjoy the morning sunrise meditation video.

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Growth Mindset & Creativity

A growth mindset is when people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

A fixed mindset in this scenario is convincing yourself that you can’t make them happy or that things won’t go well for you at all. A growth mindset example for this is having the confidence that you’ll make it through. Sure, it’s possible that you will make mistakes, but it’s an opportunity for you to learn.

As an educator.. I see many new initiatives and programs coming in that are changing how things are done. I have had the opportunity of being under the leadership of both types of people. Those who only follow the system, and those who take risks to try new things for the benefit of developing a growth mindset in our students. The difference between the two is that one group has not developed a growth mindset.  

Most people have not developed a sense of self around creativity, which does not allow them to be able to stand confident in the role as a leader and educator of a new reality where creativity is the answer.  

When there is a new initiative for restorative practices, arts integration or mindfulness… the teachers that have not developed a growth mindset are usually the first to give pushback. The thoughts of having too much to do already, make them feel like they wouldn’t ever be able to handle anything else. That’s because they will have to first LEARN something new for themselves. But in reality, if you begin with a growth mindset, then the other things fall into place exactly how they need to.

KNOWLEDGE of SELF is key for both students AND EDUCATORS! We all are first humans… we all are first on a journey of self awareness. True education comes first from the awareness of self. Once on that journey we become aware that we ARE CREATORS!

Having a growth mindset allows us to begin the journey standing in our power, knowing the universe works with us to receive what is ours by divine right. Even though tough times and challenges… we are constantly growing. Just like an artist painting a picture, we paint and edit and continue to paint some more until the painting becomes a picture into our mindset.

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Creativity is Spirituality

Art and creativity are VITAL to life.

Most adults I speak to do not see themselves as creative at all. So before we can “change the system”: we have to first realize how creativity is key to a growth mindset which is vital to true learning. This can only be done if we are actively seeking knowledge of self.

Our imagination is what we use to create our realities. So therefore creativity is spirituality. A creative person is connected to their soul and has unique ways of showcasing their spiritual connection through art and imagination. Spiritual intelligence is an all-encompassing form of intelligence.

Creativity and the use of our imaginations is the first step to everything we do, even our spirituality. When we are praying or meditating, we are using our ‘imagination” to envision our higher selves, our spirit guides, or our prayers coming into fruition. The mind’s eye sets the stage for what we draw to us in the astral realm. Our thoughts and visions of the world come from our perception which is molded and created by our choices and experiences.

Spirituality is an ongoing journey and learning experience from the inside out. Where as creativity is the ability to take that learning and apply it to our reality.

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Summer art camp experience during COVID19

This summer I took an art camp job, in person at The New Century School in Fells Point MD.

The New Century School is a small multi-lingual charter school in Baltimore City. Art camp runs from now until August 21st, 2020.

Two weeks down, and we’ve been having a wonderful time creating!

With 12 students a week, we have navigated this COVID paradigm with unconditional understanding and grace amidst of the unknown. Working for this school has shown me there are a lot of differences between public county schools and charter schools in the city.

The first week of camp the theme was Mythical, Magical Creatures.

We made dragons, unicorns, imaginary worlds, fairies, mermaids and more!

The second week of camp the theme was Birds, Bugs, and Butterflies!

We zentangled birds and butterflies, made styrofoam stamps of bugs, build birds from model magic and pipe cleaners!

The students are having a wonderful time, even with having to wear masks all day, and having to stay at their own table 6 feet from other students. It has been a little challenging to get the kids to remember to keep their mask up or not to get to close to other students. But overall the experience has been fun.

Everything is better with ART!

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The Rising of the Phoenix

Summer Solstice 2020 at Burns Valley Herbals and Retreat was an amazing growing experience.

Bringing up the story of the Phoenix. A powerful fire ceremony, balance through the water, and rising above the ashes.

The weekend started off with lots of rain, which canceled the awesome set The Wild Hymns were going to play! Instead they sat with us and Megan played a little guitar while we listened to the pouring rain.

Around 8pm my children came to me to tell me our tent had flooded and everything was soaked! I became so frustrated… and disappointed. It was a tough moment for me. And on top of that, when we went to get into the car… the door was locked with the keys inside! The universe was really testing me. The rain finally stopped around 8:30 pm, everyone tired, wet and ready for bed.

Saturday morning I woke up early to pray and meditate, to help ground and center my energy for the rest of the weekend, and was greeted by the fog, so peaceful and serene. The message was to breathe and let go. Let go of expectations, fears, worry and doubt.

Everyone woke up a little groggy, but ready to get into the heart of the summer solstice energy. Our schedule was adjusted a bit to accommodate time to clean up campsites. Breakfast was delicious and morning yoga was perfectly lead by Brenda. Our day was off to a more balanced start.

Brenda lead a garden tour, and tea making workshop while others spent time on their creative expressions for the altar. The time was so peaceful.

I was able to fix up the altar area and light the Solstice candle just before it started to rain again. Grateful that this time we were all prepared, we danced and made music to celebrate.

Our fire ceremony was to be held out by the pond, however with the rain we improvised and rearranged the tables under the pavillion to have our ceremony there.

It was divine.

After the ceremony the rain departed and the sky opened up to a beautiful night, where we saw shooting stars and celebrated with jumping the fire, a drum circle and fireworks.

Sunday started with Laughter Yoga, lead by Tammy and Jack Bray.
The perfect ending to such a divine weekend.

At the end of the event on Sunday I went back to the altar to clean up and to my wonder, the Solstice candle was still lit! Even after all the rain!

I am so blessed to know so many beautiful and magickal people. So many kind souls to travel through this life learning from and growing with.

I am forever grateful for my dear sister, Brenda Solonoski. Without her love, support, and partnership this event would not have happened.

Check out the video of our event and look out for the next retreat …

REVIVE, REFILL & REFRESH
August 14th-16th 2020

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Share your Small Business Journey

As a small business owner, I have had to learn the in’s and out’s of this new digital age. From websites, advertising, SEO, and marketing… it has been a huge learning curve.

I am at a place now where I feel confident in my knowledge base around marketing and networking on the world wide web, and I want to share what I’ve learned with others.

Isn’t that what being in business for ourselves is all about, networking… sharing and growing together.

If you are a small business owner, please take a few minutes to complete my short questionnaire! The information provided will help me with developing a project to assist new small business owners on their journey!

Let’s learn and grow together.

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Watercolor Exploration

Usually I am the teacher, but sometimes my daughter Element wants to teach as well! She made the beautiful painting featured in this blog, and showed me how she did it!

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Earth Meditation

The earth is the Goddess, in all her feminine and receptive energy. Her direction is North. The Pentacle and a bowl of salt are her tools. Her colors are green, yellow, brown, black, and her season: is Winter.  The Zodiac Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn are earth signs.

Earth energy is grounding, bringing us back to the present moment when all else might be up in chaos.

The Earth is the foundation of our lives, as it is both our home and our source of sustenance. The Earth Element is ever-present and highly versatile, manifesting as both soil and seed, and witnessed in the eternal rhythms of growth, harvest, decay, and regeneration.

Earth is represented by the diverse topographical features found all over the planet, including forests, fields, caves, rocks, valleys, and gardens. This “classical” Element is associated with abundance, prosperity, and strength.

It is presented as the duality of existence.