March 17th-19th 2023 was the 13th annual Art of the Belly festival at the Carousel hotel in Ocean City Maryland.
This was my first belly dance festival/conference. There were workshop intensives for participants from top belly dancers in the nation.
There were amazing vendors, selling beautiful costumes, jewelry, and other amazing things. I sold prints of my art and did intuitive henna! It was such a beautiful weekend.
Healing Power of Belly Dancing
I was able to attend a few performances and it was such a heart opening experience. To see women dancing freely, alone or together, was so empowering! I learned about a new book called Grandmother’s Secrets: The Ancient Rituals and Healing Power of Belly Dancing. I am excited about reading this amazing book to look deeper into the healing power of this dance.
Thank you Crystal for inviting me to the festival and for sharing your space with me. I am blessed to know you! <3 Check out Crystals online shop for amazing garments and treasures!
This weekend was so magickal, and affirming in so many ways. I have been doing Intuitive Henna for about 6 years now, and every time I do a reading for the design I am in AWE of the universe.
Intuitive Henna is the creation of a design, based off of each individuals unique energy. I spend time meditating with the persons energy to create the design, which is a sigil for their unique energy vibration in that moment.
The readings were amazing, everyone was spot on. Doing henna is such a joy for me, and I can no do it without the other people. It’s an interaction between two energies that bring the designs to life.
Aside from the amazing designs, I also met and connected with so many amazing people. I am so excited for the connections and what the future holds.
Here are a few amazing vendors from the Midsummer expo:
Deb Davis-Koval was my neighbor at the event. She sells teas made from Chicory root. The different herbs she adds for each tea blend came from dreams she had, tapping into her intuition to create a healthy and delicious tea! I was so excited to give her a reading.
Nutri-Chic teas are a delicious blend of ground chicory root with various teas, and beneficial herbs and spices. Chicory root, the main ingredient in Nutri-Chic, has amazing health benefits to support your body and healthy lifestyle!
This weekend was the York Art Fair hosted by Gymnastics of York! It was Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 6pm. There were many different artists, vendors, music, open gym time for kids, food, and great people!
I had the pleasure of doing henna, and selling my artwork. Saturday my friend EliArtSparkle came with me and sold out of her real mushroom resin jewelry.
On Sunday Element and her friend Lauren came and sold stress balls and slime that they made together! It was so awesome seeing them figure out the details of running a business together.
York Art Fair Vendors
There were so many amazing people at the fair. I met a few artists that I am excited to make art with in the near future! I also added a few new things to my collection of wonders.
I also met a few other amazing humans throughout the weekend!! Lakesha is an abstract visionary artists in the Hanover area! You can feel the energy in her work. I am excited to paint with her in the future!
I am so excited about building amazing things in community!
In March I attended the National Art Education Association convention in Boston. I visited and fell in love with two new museums, the Isabella Gardner Museum and MFA. I learned the importance of networking and sharing who I am with others and found my place with the Caucus on the Spiritual in Art Education.
The spring was busy with my student teacher from Towson, who accepted a job this year! We also had our schools annual Arts in Action event!
Summer came and my intuitive henna took off. Sharing my gifts with many, some even had their designs become a permanent part of their lives.
I painted “en plein air,” at Cromwell Valley park with BCPS teachers. It was such an awesome experience, and I am so looking forward to it again this coming summer.
I also attended an AVID one day intensive training, where I learned a lot about different ways to teach students, that I have been using this year! I am excited to say that I was asked to attend the week long training this summer 2020.
Working for St. Paul’s summer camp this year was a new experience… all camps combined, in a new location. It was a wonderful summer with amazing coworkers and campers! Visiting Irvine Nature Center and the Senator Theater were some of my highlights!
Then August came… with a bang. Breaking my wrist 2 weeks before school started for the new year. This was by far one of the most testing time for me. Testing my faith and trust that I have the power within to heal and come back stronger than before. Testing my sense of self…. am I my right hand? As an artist I began asking myself, does my identity come from my hands? Can I create even if my hands don’ work the same as they always have? This was a powerful time for a deep dive within.
I healed faster than the doctors have seen from a 30 year old. The whole process from break to out of cast took 6 weeks, and the doctor was so surprised at the amount of healing that occurred. My mobility was about 90% back to normal! I attribute my healing to my mindset, words and movement. I constantly used healing words over broken words. I visualized my wrist healing and strengthening. I stretched and stretched, and slowly got back into yoga, and stretched and stretched.
My 12th year of teaching began and I became an adjunct professor at Notre Dame of Maryland University, teaching Methods in Secondary Art Education. This was a huge milestone for me and my own self awareness. I love sharing my passion for teaching and art, especially with other passionate teachers. It was such a blessing to teach this course.
The workload for 2019 was intense, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So much growth. Like a seedling, breaking through the concrete. Learning when to rest and when to reach. Realizing the activeness of balance. Balance in work, life, love, relationships, creating and resting. The balance of self care and self growth.
2019 was an abundant, and it was beautiful to watch the balance unfold.
Thank you to everyone who shared in this past year with me. I am forever grateful for you. <3 Excited and open to receiving all that this new year has in store.
The growth in this moment is so real, so intense…. like fire… leaving you raw.
Balance requires constant motion, directing energy while letting it go.
Friday was the day that encompassed all emotions, and began with self-doubt and anxiety. It continued with having handle the consequences for choosing to not take the best steps in a situation 3 months prior. Feelings of inferiority started creeping in… from my perceived inability to be a responsible adult. Disappointed in myself, for forgetting… for hiding from it like it would just go away.
So many parallels between my spiritual journey, as above, and my 3D experience, so below.
Hiding from the fact that sometimes I am SO hard on myself. I work to figure things out until I can fully understand them… but that’s when the universe steps in and says…you think you know, but you have no idea. The issue was my immediate reaction was to feel bad about myself, and to feel disappointment in myself for not doing things how I knew they were to be done. And when I think I feel good about myself, and I have figured out how to be most effective at being me…. the universe throws me a new challenge that shows me, I still have a lot of learning to do and a lot more practice balancing all that is my existence.
I was asked to hold a moon ceremony for about 100 women at The Fox Run 2019 on Friday night at 7pm by the amazing Tifani Truelove. The most interesting thing about all of this, is that I had felt like I needed more time to prepare for Friday night’s moon ceremony. I felt nervous and was experiencing a flux in confidence, even though I know this was aligned with who I am. I was trying to overcompensate for my lack of self confidence. Wednesday and Thursday I was mentally exhausted and anxious as to how I would be prepared for such a big, first time experience.
With so much going on in my life, and so much to do… how will I be ready!? I wanted to take off of work on Friday, but I couldn’t do that because there was a lot to do, and I had already taken off on Tuesday for a professional development experience in Philadelphia. I knew I needed to spend time taking care of myself before this weekend began, but there was no time!
Friday morning I was forced to take care of myself… I handled my business and was able to get things straightened out, thanks to some amazing ladies. By 2pm I was able to breath a little easier, which allowed me to reflect on the physical and emotional feelings that came from that whole experience.
I realized the image I was holding onto of myself, by repeating negative thoughts about how I felt bad for making a mistake. This helped me to break down why I felt that way and where it could’ve generated.
Processing my mental, physical and emotional responses, and reflecting on how they are aligned with my highest good. That is healing.
I realized I grew up not feeling like I was doing enough, or always worried I would disappoint someone with my actions. I was replaying old programming from my childhood, of being afraid to make mistakes.
However, as always, I was reminded the universe is on my side…and by 4pm I was home and preparing myself to be open to receiving and giving during the event I was attending that weekend. I was able to get on the road and to the event with perfect timing, arriving an hour earlier than my scheduled ceremony… which is what I had planned the whole week. Realizing that all of my anxiety was a reaction to a lack of confidence in myself.
Now I find myself to be confident, enough…. but this is the deep stuff… the things we ignore because we can put a smile on, and know the universe has our back. Pushing these things away because we know we are love and light, does not help us one bit. It actually takes more light away from us. The most important thing we can do for ourselves is face these deep heavy spaces with brave love.
The Fox Run 2019 is a women’s weekend away in the woods that focuses on community, and living fiercely as wild women. There was dancing, singing, tattooing, photos, workshops, healing and love.
I arrived at 6pm, to find beautiful women… sharing their joys with one another. Empowering one another to be their best, and shine their light bring. Amazing women, organizing a gathering of community, for celebrating and healing.
Friday started balancing out…
The ceremony that was to be at 7pm, was now pushed back to 11pm… which was fantastic, but at the same time there was a little bit of disappointment. I was excited to do the ceremony early and then be apart of the party afterwards… so when I realized it was going to be after the party I started noticing my thoughts.
Part of me was happy, that I had more time to make sure I was centered and aligned for the ceremony. There was a glimpse of disappointment that I didn’t get to join in on the party earlier. Part of me wanted to go take a nap, and rest before the ceremony; especially after the day I had.
So I laid in my tent, closing my eyes and resting with intention to hold space. Then I heard the laughter, and the howling…. I knew then that holding space doesn’t mean I have to seperate myself from the party. What better way to hold space then be surrounded by that which you are holding it for. There is no better gift than to see the joy and freedom a woman feels when she expresses herself fully. I enjoyed the amazing lineup that the ladies at The Fox Run had scheduled, and was blessed to experience each part.
And then it was time… to gather by the fire, and offer up our intentions and prayers. Prayers for healing, letting go, moving forward, and remembering we are wild women.
The ceremony was powerful…
It was wonderful seeing so many women come together in prayer, to support one another and remember we are all connected. Women started sharing their stories, one by one… speaking them into the tobacco, then throwing them into the fire, releasing them to the universe and being open to receiving the gifts that are available for each of us. At that moment I was in perfect harmony with the universe. I knew everything was in perfect order… and I once again realized the power of letting go and trusting.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to lead these amazing women in this opening ceremony, and to be able to share who I am and see myself in the beautiful mirrors of my community.
… and that was only FRIDAY!
On Saturday my dear friend Eli from EliArtSparkle joined the adventure. We set up a vending tent to do henna and sell Eli’s handmade mushroom jewelry! Saturday started off slowly… but we made many new friends!
One of my favorite parts of Saturday was The Bridge is the Key, Guided Sound & Writing Meditation with Krystle Sights.
Krystle led such a beautiful meditation that was profound and eye opening for each of us in that tent. Krystle’s voice and use of the singing bowl and tuning forks really opened my energy to receive. The message for me was to nurture my inner child by using my imagination, and including my daughter in the things I do, in order to help her navigate this world. She is also helping me to remember how to navigate myself in this world.
So many times my parents have said that my daughter reminds them of me…I remember what I felt like when I was little… I realized she is teaching me to remember to nurture my inner child, while I get to teacher her ways to help her remember who she is, and to always feel confident in her power.
Saturday night dancing was a blast… free, fierce and fabulous women dancing to the beat, and burning a giant wolf that was made for the event. This wolf was well crafted, and it was powerful seeing 4 women carrying it to the fire. When they needed help, there were no hesitations… women jumped right up to assist in the placement of this effigy.
As the wolf burned, a passage was read from the book, Women who run with wolves…
“What does this wildish intuition do for women? Like the wolf, intuition has claws that pry things open and pin things down, it has eyes that can through the shields of persona, it has ears that hear beyond the range of mundane human hearing. With these formidable psychic tools a woman takes on a shrewd and even precognitive animal consciousness, one that deepens her femininity and sharpens her ability to move confidently in the outer world.”
and we all howled, releasing once more the expectations we’ve grown into.
This weekend I also did a few henna designs, and would’ve loved to have done more! Though everything is in perfect timing. <3 and I am so grateful <3
This weekend was profound, and definitely one that has changed my life. It has shown me that I am meant to lead… I am meant to share… I am meant to bring beautiful people into sacred space, so they might be able to dig deeper into their being and find healing from within themselves.
On my way home, as I reflected on the events a HUGE bald eagle flew over me. I immediately pulled over and offered tobacco to say thank you, I am open to receiving the messages you have for me.
I am ready to explode with life from within my being… to live boldly, bravely, and fully in my power every moment.
This weekend I was asked to do henna for a little girl’s 9th birthday party.
I always love doing henna parties, especially for kids. They are so inquisitive, and excited to learn about henna! When I tell them it comes from a plant they are amazed, and start asking even more questions. It is so refreshing for me to share my passion for henna with the youth, to see their excitement light up the room. The only thing that make it better is when their parents see the henna and immediately want one of their own.
I had such a blast this weekend, and I am so grateful I am able to serve and inspire those around me through my art. <3
If you’re interested in scheduling a henna party, for a birthday or even a ladies night, click here !
You must be logged in to post a comment.