Here are responses to some Frequently Asked Questions about my series of Body Poem mini-retreats.

 

  • How to stay informed about Body Poem?

My intention is to post a mini-retreat every Friday on my blog and then to send out a brief email with links to new content.

If email isn’t your preferred method of communication consider bookmarking my main blogpost so you can check in.

  • How much time does each mini retreat require?

I want these to be easy to integrate into a busy day, so each mini-retreat only has 10-15 min worth of content.  People can spend as much or as little time as they have available.  Even simply taking a few minuets to scan over my offering could connect you to the vibration of the retreat.  The resonant mediums of sound and language affect us very quickly and can have lasting effects on how our nervous system functions throughout the day.

  • Is there anything I should do to prepare for the retreat?

That is entirely up to you.  These mini-retreats are designed to be used in the moment with little fanfare.

Some options to consider if you want to add a bit more ritual to the experience are opening a window, lighting a candle, gathering some crystals, and sitting in a comfortable position.

If you are someone who works with setting an intentional sacred space and altar building this could be a great opportunity to do what you do to center and calm yourself before beginning the retreat.

Having a journal nearby may also be useful to record any insights that may come to you.

  • How long will this content be available?

All the content will be available through the end of the creation phase, but it won't be up forever.  Sometime after I’m done I plan to take the content down.

  • Do I have larger goals for the Body Poem mini-retreats?

I am using the creation of this series of mini-retreats as a sketch book of frameworks for future workshops, retreats, books, and other content.

  • What inspired me to share the Body Poem digital retreats right now?

Like a lot of people I spent the last year in a state of suspended animation.  Due to the need to quarantine I stopped going out to sell art in Jackson Square in March 2020.  During this time I’ve kept busy with the mountain of business tasks I had built up over the years. My website is updated, my computer organized, my studio cleaned and ready.

Recently I realized that even as quarantine was lessening and society reawakening that I had built up a significant sense of stagnation from the year of social isolation. To blow out my psychic cobwebs I decided to design a sound healing and writing meditation practice that I could work with over the span of a few months.

Body Poem emerged as a fitting container for my creative healing practices. I figured others could relate and decided to use this as an opportunity to develop a content creation habit for my blog. I haven’t been making much use of my digital real estate and these quarantine times have challenged me to develop more ways for my art business to thrive that are not directly tied to standing in Jackson Square.

  • How did I develop Body Poem?

I started working on the picture-poem Body Poem in 2014 as a contemplation on the emotional qualities I want to inhabit my body and psychic field. I came to this structure after over 20 years of study and practice in art making, creative inquiry, holistic massage, energy therapy, practical herbalism, poetic ritual, goddess shamanism, and sound healing.

When I recite Body Poem as a personal practice I visualize my whole energy field bathed in a color, I bring my awareness to the area of my body indicated, and focus my conscious mind on the poetic quality of each word.  I then hold this holistic awareness for the length of a few breaths or until I feel complete.

I had painted and sold a few versions of Body Poem in recent years. For these retreats I made a digital painting using Procreate on my iPad to make an easily sharable version for the internet.

  • What’s the deal with sound healing?

I adore working my gentle sounds to manifest joy in my mind and healing for body.

We are designed to sing. Using our voice to make simple sounds calms our nerves and can positively effect our physiological and psychic well-being.

From Free Your Voice by my teacher Silvia Nakkach:

“Our voice reminds us of our deepest bonding, and it also supports our whole mind-body connection. Research shows that singing and chanting used as a healing modality stimulates healthy brain cells, lowers blood pressure, promotes deep breathing, boost the immune system, and regulates heart rhythm. We experience these effects as greater relaxation, reduced stress, enhanced concentration and focus, and elevated mood. As an added benefit, the healing power of singing also takes us behind habitual ego-boundaries to transcendent states of consciousness and uplifting experiences of wholeness.” (p. 14)

  • What is your recording process?

It’s my intention for these to be a form of “field recording” catching the sounds of an artist in the wild of her studio. I’m intentionally allowing for ambient sounds to infuse the recording with a personal intimacy.

I use a Blue Yeti Microphone for recording.

I mix my sound in GarageBand.

I make my videos in iMovie.

I use a Casiotone CT-360 on the “human voice” setting for the drone.

My tuning forks come from BioSonics.com

 

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