~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

Art and Creativity as Mediums for Empowerment , Connection and Change…

Archive for September, 2010

~ World Peace Day – September 21st ~

Posted by carolom on September 21, 2010

World Peace Begins at Home!

Peace, harmony, balance, generating feelings of relaxation and well being.

Being centered and relaxed  with the Mind at rest. These are the Gifts of Mandala, a Sanskrit word meaning Circle.

I created the following Mandala poster for Women living in the domestic violence shelters where I was working, after a newly arrived resident pointed out that the shelter walls were covered in anti-violence posters but all she saw was the word violence all around her and negative imagery and  it didn’t feel like a safe place to be on account of that. Shelters often have posters that are considered ‘educational’ but her observations brought into question their true value and worth.

It was a very important message she gave to the staff and I thank her for her invaluable feedback. We invited feedback from other residents and they too  made comments such as “that one that says ‘domestic violence hurts kids’ made my little boy  frightened especially   that one of the woman cowering with her kids in the background”.

We listened to what we were being told through the eyes of women  who had come to live at the shelter at a point of chaos and danger in their life and systematically removed all of the words and images that were not aligned with Peace and positivity.

We refocused on Peace to create Peace no longer using the word violence  in order to reach its opposite and the other posters and pamphlets that dealt with issues of violence and poverty were in the filing cabinet and only brought our if necessary during group conversations.

The World Peace Begins at Home poster continues to be one of the most popular of what became my  ART of Change tools and now lives in many houses on fridges and bathroom doors, each one coloured differently from the next.

It is not only Women living in domestic violence who are leading busy, chaotic lives though It is important for all of us to take some time to breathe, relax, play and create! That’s why Mandalas for colouring in are received so well by women who are living in shelters and women who are looking for some balance in their busy busy lives.

If you would like a copy of the black and white World Peace Begins at Home template, leave me a message with your email address and I will happily and freely share it with you.

*Please see note below for the Dedication of this poster.

This Mandala is freely shared in dedication  to the special memory of my friend Janet who lost her life in domestic violence in 2001.

We used to sing “Give Peace a Chance” when we were young and loving life back in the 70’s and neither of us could have known where Janets path would take her.

Travel in Peace my beloved friend….

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Posted in ART of Change, Australia, Change, Community, Creativity, Healing, Imagination, Oneness, Peace, Personal Development, Relationships, Transformation, World Peace Day | 4 Comments »

Reflecting on Oprah’s visit to Australia and When Women Dream and Create Together…

Posted by carolom on September 17, 2010

Over the years I played  a selection of Oprahs programs in-house as they were a rich, rare source of discussion and reflection and glimpses into new possibilities and self reflection during the years I ran a personal development group at a shelter for homeless young mothers.  Oprah’s personal story is one of over coming enormous obstacles and  the impact of abuse, liberation from racism and the power of aligning with the Divinity of life,  putting practical action to make the Dream come true. Many homeless Women I met over the years recognised their own potential through the Stories that Oprah brought onto the world stage…

For young Aboriginal Women at the shelter who grew up seeing only white faces on Australian television (sadly not much has changed), Oprah’s presence on national television was hugely significant.

Oprah Winfrey is surrounded by a co-creative team and it has taken many years of creativity and co-operation for her to have reached the stand alone level of influence and impact she has achieved.  I saw how impactful and life changing her motivational shows were for homeless Women throughout the 90’s – especially the Remembering Your Spirit series .  I admire her achievements enormously,  though I am not so much interested in her  programs around celebrity and make overs as I am about what people can do to create change and activate their fullest potential.

Women’s Well~Being has been the focus of my work from many years & most of the  ProsperArty Mandalas and the personal development art that I create for workshops express the Goddess aspect of being a Woman. We would sit and colour the Mandalas whilst watching the Oprah Show ~ a very relaxed way to sit and absorb information.

For me, one of the most powerful off all internal keys to creating change is Creativity…returning to the free flowing, creative state we came into this world with & have  often lost along the way….

In the Spirit of recognising a Woman of great influence, who manifests the very best of the Goddesses, Athena the Warrior who invokes change, Hestia who presides over home and heart’h, Persephone who transcended the subjugation of the underworld and Artemis who cares for young girls and sacred animals, I acknowledge Oprah Winfrey’s role that she has played in showing women that you can create and grow and bring about change in this world, irrespective of which of the skins you are in, where you have come from or what others will say can or can’t be done….

The Mandala below – which I have called “When Women Dream and Create Together” is created in the form of a Mandorla, the name of the shape created where two circles meet.  See my “About me ” page for further explanation of the Mandorla.

I was inspired to create “When Women Dream and Create Together” when it was announced that Oprah Winfrey would be coming to Australia, in a jumbo jet with John Travolta in the pilot seat and dozens of over joyed audience members! How fitting that Oprah completes her 25 years of public television with a trip to the Dreamtime Country.

Australia is Aboriginal country with a history of profound culture and wisdom that goes back thousands of years prior to European’s arriving here just a very short time ago. It is a living culture with so much to teach the world about how to live in harmony with Nature and within our Self. It is still the very early days of recovery from the devastating impact of white-settlement and I sincerely hope this important  Australian story to the world during her visit.

I chose the words at the centre of the Mandorla to reflect three things that are core to creating together : Love, Passion & Service.

Service is rent paid for room on Earth”….

In my workshops we add colour to the black and white template to create our own ProsperArty posters for relaxation and reflection.  For those who have not experienced working with the Mandala (circular) art form, I encourage you to give it a try!  Place your Vision, / thoughts / feelings into the Circle and see what Magic will unfold….

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When Women Dream and Create Together

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Together the Women are united in their Vision.

They hold up the Pyramid, symbolising the  Feminine Trinity:

~ Mother, Daughter, Divine  Spirit  ~

The Women  rise from the Heart together.

Love is the powerful, unifying force that generates their Creations.

***

Posted in ART of Change, Australia, Beauty, Change, Creativity, Dreaming, Energy, Fun, Gratitude, Imagination, Journeys, Joy, Lifes Stories, Love, Magic, Mandalas, Oneness, Oprah Australia, Oprah Winfrey, ProsperArty, Relationships, SiStars, Spirituality, Stories, The Art of Change, Transformation, Unity, Warrior Women, Wisdom, Women | 3 Comments »

Christopher Pyne demonstrates cultural ignorance and disrespect regarding the Pipe Ceremony…

Posted by carolom on September 9, 2010

As Australia settles into the early days of a very new era of politics Christopher Pyne, Opposition’s spokesman on Education and the manager of Opposition Business in the House spoke these words on national television last night on behalf of his party who failed to win office:

This talk about Kumbaya and holding hands and smoking peace pipes is really only coming from the Greens and the now aligned independents who have signed agreements with the government.”

and :

That’s the system that we are in. It is an adversarial system.

No surprises that Pyne would make comments like this, endorsing conflict based governance and trivialise an important ceremonial practice whilst completely missing the message Australians are sending both parties.

The message is we are tired of adolescent style bickering and one up manship, name calling and the political machinations of men and women who seem to have arrested development at the school yard level where adversarial gangs form and bullies threaten all manner of ill fortune if people do not succumb to their rule.

Christopher obviously has no clue about what he refers to as the ‘peace pipe’.

It is a highly regarded Ceremonial process that seeks to unite people for the betterment of all rather than divide for ‘ferocious’ debate and machinations.

Entering into the Pipe Ceremony requires maturity, wisdom, clear vision and a commitment to moving through conflict and differences with integrity and selflessness.

There is no place for ego, self invested interests or political undercurrents in the Pipe Ceremony process. It is an ancient practice that has a great deal to teach people about co-operation, humility and harmony as intrinsic to leadership and bringing about change.

The renewed outrage of the Liberals over their loss has ignited their collective wrath and they have emerged with fighting words that are filling the air waves now that Tony Abbott has retired his nice-guy, co-operative strategy. This kind of behavior would not be tolerated in a Pipe Ceremony.

The Liberal party has missed the opportunity to find the gift in the message and the opportunity for wisdom and insight and will remain stuck in the rapidly outdated era of ‘us and them’ adversarial politics whilst the country moves onto our next level of collective maturity and growth.

It’s time for politicians to grow up stop the name calling, the relentless game of nyah-nyah and “I told you so” and listen to what these election results are telling them and why the Greens are rising.

It’s about people over profits, maturity over bickering and a new level of negotiation in business which, by the way, is how business was done in this country by its wise custodians for thousands of years prior to the adversarial, divisive systems that arrived in 1788. These are still the core of customary governance in Communities that have survived the invasion onto traditional land and culture with traditional Law in tact….

Contrary to Pyne’s dismissive remark that the ‘peace pipe’ is an object of ridicule, at best a bit woo-woo and at worst ridiculous, there is a high degree of knowledge, co-operation, mutual respect and spirituality involved in the Pipe Ceremony process.

The protocols and practices are centered on values that are often absent in western politics with its aggressive dynamics, oppositional dialogue and mean spirited negotiations.

Divisions, bickering and fighting across the floor will never produce the same results as when people meet in a ceremonial circle where all people and views are respectfully heard. Those of us who have been privileged to participate in the formal Pipe Ceremony recognise the immaturity and ignorance of Christopher Pyne’s ‘peace pipe’ assertions and the limitations of his cultural knowledge based on a highly Euro-centric world view.

His words are an insult to the Elders who facilitate the Pipe Ceremonies as custodians of the ancient history and living practices of the Ceremonial Pipe.

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Photo of Christopher Pyne from The Age newspaper..

Posted in Australian Liberal Party, Christopher Pyne, Cultural Ignorance, Kumbaya, Peace pipe | Leave a Comment »

Deirdre Nehua has written a poem for the Spring…

Posted by carolom on September 5, 2010

My friend, the poet and traveller Deirdre Nehua, wrote the following poem in response to my reference that the new season of Spring is upon us.

I met Deirdre on my first trip to Aotearoa (New Zealand) and embarked on a 7 SiStars journey with her to her beloved Matariki Bay….a journey that continues to unfold….

Thank you Deirdre for allowing me to share your poem for the Mother Earth Gardeners here in my blog….

HERES A POEM FOR ALL THE ME (Mother Earth) GARDENERS …..

By Deirdre Nehua….

Do you know of the stillness that connects you to the stars
Or have the courage to fulfill all that you are
We are born within the sight of Matarikis sacred light
VIRGIN SEEDS, travelling from afar…..
We were bought here to aspire, we are keepers of the fire
For our journey it is written in the stars
And the stars they are the keepers of the secrets of the land
The beacon to awaken her desire….
So when Matariki rises our spirit recognises
soon the birthing from the mother will begin
from the blooming borne of spring, the birdsong that will bring
and the KNOWLEDGE OF THE SEED CONTAINED WITHIN
For we cannot deny we descend from earth and sky,
Nor the power of the sisters when in moon
They’re our compass and our guide as we navigate lifes tide
In the stillness in the distance hear their tune.

..
The wisdom of the land is in our language, ancient memories
recalled inside our minds
seeing visions from within, the challenge now begins
to gather up the knowledge left behind….
When we’re once again connected, and the mother not infected
By pollution , and the damage done by greed
When we learn to love the mother and to care for one another
Then the universe will meet our every need
Matariki is much more than Indigenous sacred lore
and the wise ones before us they all knew, we are all part of the whole
and the stories that they told, are from the source
of all that we hold true…….

..

So SEARCH INSIDE THE STILLNESS that connects you to the stars
and Matariki will navigate you true
Thru the happiness and pain, sacred wisdom you will gain
and find that perfect being, that is….
YOU.

**MATARIKI = The seven sisters star cluster

Posted in Community, Creativity, Matariki, Poetry, Seven Sisters, SiStars, Sisterhood, Women, Writing | 1 Comment »