~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

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

Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

” ~ As I Lay Dying ~ I Learnt How to Love ~ “…… The Poetry of Remembering…

Posted by carolom on August 18, 2010

Spending time at the bedside of someone who is dying transports our every day world to another place…a place where there are no guarantees and all of the things and all of the ‘stuff’ we have accumulated mean very little in the light of the next chapter of our infinite Journey…

I wrote this poem to honor the people I have known who made their journey back to the Spirit world from a hospital bed… and  to pay my respects for a beautiful, simple act I witnessed recently as a family member  tucked the blankets around her loved one’s well tucked in body, and patted  them down with the tenderness of a heart that was bursting  with love from a scared a place where  words could only transmit the tiniest fragment of her love…

 

As I Lay Dying…

 

For many days people came to my bedside.

I was moving between Here and Out There and would awaken

to see smiling faces  sad faces  concerned faces

standing over my bed side

Why even my old enemy from many years ago

appeared from yesterday, our passions long spent, our lessons now learnt

His  once suspicious  eyes that  mirrored my own

were gazing upon me with Love

It was a little strange but when he took my hand in his

I squeezed it lightly

I didn’t really have much reassurance to share as

every single thing took a great deal of effort

as I lay dying

Who ever would have thought all those years ago

when we fought it out in that stuffy meeting room

that we  would share such a tender moment as this…

~

 

Next  a sumptuous lover who I believed

I could not possibly live without

who I once wept, raged despaired and hoped for

Smiled down at me from her weary  wrinkled face

Her eyes exuded the very same Love we once revelled in

before jealousy soured the sweetness and poisoned

all possibilities of Love gifting us

with its fullest purest force

My jealousy, that burdensome trait I created from

who on earth knows where….

How silly it all seems now…

Jemilia, with the strange name and outrageous flirtatious ways

completely unsuited to one as insecure in Love as I!

Our Love never died. I understand that now

We  had different roads to travel.

Jealousy and the fury of insecurity seemed

a little ridiculous by the time we met again

When love kissed us with its fullest purest force

~

 

 

My friends they gathered

An  impressive array dressed in

different skins and shapes and sizes

Strong people, troubled people caring people edgy people

The whole eclectic cavalcade of those who travelled with me for awhile

they arrived like an endless stream, the audience from within

The theatre of my life

In spite of my semi conscious place

Well actually I was fully conscious at all times

but I was not always in the room

and from the vantage point of my  plumped up pillows

I realised that all of my family and all of my friends

Now all looked exactly the same

regardless of which of the skins they were in…

 

Love had softened  their eyes, made their smile tremble

some would even tuck in  my well tucked  body a little more

To let me know they cared (as if I couldn’t tell!)

and to move some of the Love that was making them feel very emotional indeed.

And I bathed in the pure sanctuary  of their uninhibited compassion

perhaps understanding Love for the very first time

Better late than never I heard the angels say…

~

 

When my time came, almost ten days into the final chapter

of my physical demise

I slipped quietly away

just as the new dawn was awakening

The nurse had stepped out of the room for just awhile

…I wanted  to leave with no fuss as we had agreed not to

resuscitate my body  under any circumstances

And that final breath, a dramatic moment indeed

the biggest noise I had made for weeks…

but oh such Joy!

My Spirit stretched like a cat who has been sleeping for a very long time

Stepping out of my body was so easy

I wondered how I had not accidentally slipped out before!

 

I was greeted with the open arms of those

who had travelled back to the Spirit world before me

There was much to catch up on, a great deal of Remembering to do

and  many new sights and delights to   see

~

 

Over the next few days I visited the grieving

as they gathered by my breathless earthly shell

and I saw how their Love had melted into tears

as people cried and told stories and remembered the times we had shared

even those stories I had once commanded  “Don’t talk about that!”…

were joyfully retold over and over

making me laugh and twirl through the air with delight

late into the dark night of their loss…

 

 

I learnt a lot about Love as I travelled through its embrace

and would share with you this one last thing

Though you may think I am gone

My Spirit travels on

and one day soon, we shall Love and laugh and dance

once again…..

 

R.I.P.  ~ Revel in Peace……

******************

 

This Love cloud floated past me … when we leave this world what we have learnt about Love will travel on with us… the rest of our ‘stuff’ stays behind….

 


Posted in Dying, Forgiveness, Letting go, Lifes Stories, Love, Poetry | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Farewell Ruby Hunter ~ Ngarrindjeri, Kukatha, Pitjantjatjara Woman

Posted by carolom on February 19, 2010

The world is a little less bright today as one of the true Stars of Australian music has passed away.

Ruby Hunter was the first Aboriginal Woman in Australia to secure a record contract with a major record company but her greatest achievement was her love, inspiration and strong role model she was for all Women, most especially Aboriginal Women. She was and will remain a strong voice for Women recovering from violence and abuse.

Ruby, like so many other Aboriginal children, was stolen from her family by the Australian government and this deep trauma lead her to a period of a life on the streets and alcohol…until she met her life partner and Soul Mate, Archie Roach as a teenager…Together they enriched the voice and culture of Australian music forever.

Here are some of the tributes on the Celebrating the Life of Ruby Hunter facebook page….

**************

“Ruby ‘got’ people, was flexible and was generous with culture and causes. She was ironic and humorous. So many little girls have been named afterher!
Ruby didn’t just survive, she transcended, created and inspired. She mothered the
whole hurting country. Her passing is a deep loss for Australia and for everyone close to her.”

“Ruby, small in size, but her voice and her presence were huge, she could fill an amphitheater with love. She gave a voice to so many who were voiceless, she sang the songs that gave hope to our spirits, and eased our pain when it seemed insurmountable. She will be missed by thousands who she graced with her music, and her spirit lives on in her children, her music & the love she shared with Archie.”

“First time I sang at the Fly By NiteClub Perth as a soloist, it was as a support act for her and Archie….she had such a warm heart….and with her beautiful heart and warmest, down-to-earth, personality, she squeezed my hand and told me, “you’ll be right bub!”….and I will never EVER forget that! My deepest condolences to the family…praying for peace, strength & comfort during this time. Saddest lost…but what a life & testimony to celebrate & remember always! LEGEND!”

“Sometimes I would be hosting a women’s group for Aboriginal Health /d.v. services and was always mindful that there were some things that were not my place to discuss, areas I couldn’t really go to because I’m not an Aboriginal woman. So I’d put on her album “Thoughts Within” …we’d listen to tracks like “Sister”…”Women’s Business” and it would be RUBY HUNTER who would bring the story and the conversations to the room.
I can not find words to express what this has meant over the years except to say move over Mary Mackillop! ”

“As a young Aboriginal Woman…she was my “AUSTRALIAN IDOL ! !”

**********

Some of Rubys music can be found on youtube.
Archie and Ruby’s music makes sure we never forget the outrageous injustices committed against Aboriginal people…and the resilience and strength that defines the Spirit of the rightful owners of this amazing country we call Australia…

Posted in Aboriginal, Archie Roach, Forgiveness, Friendships, Gratitude, Healing, Injustice, Journeys, Kukatha, Magic, Mimini, Ngarrindjeri, Pitjantatjara, Racism, Ruby Hunter, Stolen Generation, Warrior Women | 4 Comments »

EarthSong Aboriginal Healing Pathways Foundation is Incorporated…

Posted by carolom on September 27, 2008

We are very pleased to announce that EarthSong is now officially incorporated as of September 8th 2008.

Here are two of our founding members Misters John Hartley and John Williams holding our certificate of Incorporation.


If you are interested in learning more about EarthSong, who we are and what we are doing, please checkout the Facebook EarthSong Aboriginal Healing PathwaysFoundation group here:
EarthSong….Putting Action to the shared Vision for Change…

Photo update on our first working bee….

Posted in Aboriginal, Adelaide, Community, Domestic Violence, Elders, Forgiveness, Friendships, Healing, Journeys, Justice, Kaurna, Men and Women, Poverty, Power of Focus, Prosperity, Reconciliation, Staff Training, Wisdom | Leave a Comment »

The heART of the Apology …

Posted by carolom on July 5, 2008

We are having the launch of the heART of the Apology exhibition on Wednesday.

There were 11 posters created during the Apology at Elder Park here in Adelaide in the ‘heART’ Space that we established as a way to give ordinary Australians, of all colour, culture and creed a place to express their thoughts and feelings in a way that was divorced from the political footballing and rhetoric that was flooding the media in the months….and years … leading up to the Apology.

 

There was sadness and there were years and there was joy…

My buddy Katrina has worked for justice for many years and like so many other Aboriginal Women. her courage and resilience in the face of systemic racism have been out standing.

Posted in Aboriginal, Adelaide, Australia, Dreaming, Forgiveness, Friendships, Healing, Justice, Kaurna, Lifes Stories, Reconciliation, Relationships, Sorry Day Feb 2008, Stolen Generation, Stories, Transformation, Trauma, Unity | Leave a Comment »

Beauty from the deep sadness- a ‘post Sorry Day’ story….

Posted by carolom on February 29, 2008

My very dear friend was deeply affected by the Apology Day to the Stolen Generation of Aboriginal Australians as the high profile, political build up brought to the surface many things that happened to her that still have impact today.

It was not a celebratory week for her and she refused the offer to go to Canberra as part of the group representing the Stolen children who have survived.

For those outside of Australia who do not know, Australia had a rigorous, uncompromising White Australia policy in place for many years of the 20th century and Aboriginal children were taken from their Mothers and Fathers, forcibly removed, with no reason other than they were Black children. Many of the survivors of the child-removals refer to ‘when I was kidnapped’ and it is a term that is very fitting regardless that they were removed by ‘authorities’ who gave themselves the power to subjugate Aboriginal people for many years. Kidnapping of children is none the less serious or devastating because it is a ‘policy’ by the government.It is the ultimate abuse f human rights, to take a child from his /her mother and refuse any more contact.

The grief and trauma is still very current in many people’s lives today so the  Rudd Governments pledge to “Apologise” was presented as a gesture of healing and reconciliation – although it was made clear there would be no compensation or legal recourse available to the children who survived the kidnappings. Many white Australians have been compensated for far lesser injustices .

My beautiful friend is one of those survivors along with her Sisters. She is a counsellor and healer herself and knows better than anyone what it takes to survive such widespread child theft and disintegration of Family, Aboriginal Law and Culture by the European arrivals who believed the Aboriginal people to be inferior and were often referred to as ‘savages’. Removing people from their homeland also meant that land could be stolen for grazing sheep and mining. This Land Rights based on thousands of years of occupation  continues in the courts  today in Australia.

On the weekend after the Apology my friend spent a couple of days with Sal and I and I invited her to create a piece of empowerment art to honour the Mother she never knew and the Sisters who were lost to her. The Apology opened up old and deep wounds, the death of her Mother who was never reunited with her Children is a pain my friend lives with in spite of her years of healing and recovery. It runs too deep to ever be completely free of the heartache of losing ones right to grow u with the Woman who gave you birth and loved you deeply. I understood that what my friend needed was not more talking about it all but an opportunity to give shape and form to her sadness and release the anguish from her body in a physical, palpable way.

 

We created the ‘base’ beads using arir-drying clay, they had a Mother / Goddess theme you can see here:

making-nungalas-beads.jpg

We painted the base coat and then she took the beads home with her after we spent a bit of time in the market picking the black and orange ‘filler” beads:

goddess-beads.jpg

Words could not express the joy in my heart when my friend came to see me yesterday on the way back from a gathering of her colleagues who work with the Stolen Generation and she showed me her clay “Empowerment Necklace” in progress…

As I held the amazingly energised, vibrant beads in my hand I knew beyond any doubt that “creating” offers avenues and pathways that ‘counseling’ rarely travels along.. Creativity shifts the energy outside of the body bringing both release and the ‘alchemy’ of making something tangible from something unseen yet profoundly strong in the mind /body /Spirt  /emotional circuitry system.

My friends Mother, Sisters, Daughters, Aunty and Grandmothers were all there in this beautiful strand of ‘story beads’..

nungalas-beads.jpg

I love my friend…her resolve not to let the shocking events of her childhood overwhelm her never ceases to amaze me…

Here we are wearing our beads that honour the Mothers whose children were snatched from their arms because the white people in government believed they were inferior to Europeans and needing to be controlled.

Honouring the Fathers, Uncles, Brothers, Grandfathers and Sons also is another chapter of the healing journey unfolding…

Posted in Aboriginal, Community, Creativity, Forgiveness, Healing, Social Artistry, Sorry Day Feb 2008, Stolen Generation, Transformation, Wisdom, Women | 1 Comment »

An image that emerged during the Apology Week…

Posted by carolom on February 18, 2008

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Posted in Aboriginal, Australia, Community, Forgiveness, Justice, Oneness, Peace, Reconciliation, Relationships, Spirituality | Leave a Comment »

Sorry Day- This is what Katrina and Carol felt on the day…

Posted by carolom on February 14, 2008

A picture paints a thousand words and we all shared many tears and smiles and hugs on this historical, momentus day.  katrina-and-carol.jpg 

Posted in Aboriginal, Australia, Change, Community, Dreaming, Family, Forgiveness, Healing, Humor, Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri, Oneness, Reconciliation, Sisterhood, Social Artistry, Sorry, Sorry Day Feb 2008, Spirituality, Stories, Transformation, Unity, Wisdom | Leave a Comment »

“Sorry”…..and “Thankyou”…

Posted by carolom on January 31, 2008

The “Sorry” issue regarding the abuse of Human Rights in Australia against the Aboriginal nations since the invasion of traditional lands and subsequent occupation (”Colonisation”) is one of the most pressing issues in Australia today.

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As the internet flooded with debate / support / opposition and a tsunami of ill informed opinions and the quick sand of racist stereotyping I was reminded of the words of my friend Katrina Power, a Nurrunga~Ngarindjerri~Kaurna woman who said “there hasn’t been first contact yet”, referring to how the original violence and oppression meant that true “contact” did not occur. Contact in the form of mutual respect, discussion, negotiation and partnership as should be expected when one lot of people arrive uninvited into the home of another.

So I decided to have a “Thankyou” Day in amongst the hoo ha and emotional politics of the announcement that the official Sorry will occur on February 13th 2008.

I was pleased that the ABC Opinions page featured my letter in its entirety.

…………………………………..

Thank You Day

Australia Day is Invasion Day for some.

Well, I am going to declare “Thankyou Day” for my Aboriginal friends and colleagues.

• Thankyou for caring for the land for so many thousands of years and demonstrating the importance of living in harmony with nature’s laws

• Thankyou to the Elders who are the custodians of the Dreaming Stories, the ‘genesis’ of this great land that contain so much that 21st century Australia needs to know about balance, harmony and respect

• Thankyou to the Women in the centre who do the night patrol and who work tirelessly to put things right

• Thankyou to young Aboriginal Australians like Tania Major who are called from a very young age to serve community over the interests of the individual self

• Thankyou to all of the Bringing Them Home counsellors who spend their whole working life assisting the Stolen Generation to find their family and to deal with the deep grief of loss and trauma

• Thankyou to the organisers of the State Aboriginal Sports Carnival – a significant sporting event that received no mainstream media coverage in 2007, in spite of being a rich pool of emerging talent that the major leagues draw from

• Thankyou to the sisterhood shown by the members of the Aboriginal women’s group who have endured the loss of two, young members in recent times, reflecting the reality of the impact of Aboriginal people dying many years sooner than others

• Thankyou to all of the Aboriginal people I have met who demonstrate time and again resilience and tenacity in the face of systemic racism, many exiled by farming and mining interest from their home country and sacred places.

I’m very sorry that most non-Aboriginal people have had few personal connections and even fewer role models and teachers from the Aboriginal community and may never know the depth of knowledge, wisdom and spirituality that defines traditional Aboriginal ways

.…………………………

…….…and a very special Thankyou Nungala , a survivor and cultural warrior of the Stolen Generation who is there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for family and community.

Thankyou sister for not only having the strength to heal but the courage to walk with others on their journey of grief, loss and recovery.Love You….. you inspirational Mimini~Goddess extraordinaire with fantastic hair!!

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Posted in Aboriginal, Australia, Community, Family, Forgiveness, Justice, Sorry, Spirituality, Transformation | Leave a Comment »

The Power of Gratitude…

Posted by carolom on September 11, 2007

I ran a session today for a group of Women who have had many obstacles and challenges in life. Violence, abuse, racism…the list is extensive.
Our discussion was about the power of Gratitude and how activating appreciation for simply being alive can begin to move one up the emotional scale from depression and despair to love and connection…
“I’m here…i woke up this morning…and for a long time I didn’t want to be” was the reflection of one of the Women.

There is a never ending list of injustices in the world and it is those who are able to find a peaceful place within who can make a huge difference with their small circle and thus the wider one of the global community…

The rise in mental health issues reveals that many people are stuck in the never ending cycle of anguish and depression so spending time in the company of wounded goddesses who are making a difference in their life , brought to mind the “Gratitude Dance”….

Posted in Community, Energy, Forgiveness, Imagination, Lifes Stories, Love, Uncategorized, Wisdom | 2 Comments »

Oprahs ‘Workshops’…

Posted by carolom on August 27, 2007

I try not to make appointments for Mondays as that is the day I have allocated as my time to spend the day in my studio and catch up on correspondence, workshop planning and, my favourite….to watch the Oprah show.

Over Christmas I was given the Oprah Winfrey Anniversary Collection- Highlights of 20 years of her shows.
It was a bit like spending time in a three day Angel-intensive workshop!…the editors chose well and the commentary by Oprah with personal insights and why-things-were-done-this way and thier impact on her development was very enlightening.

Service, contribution, making a difference, breaking patterns, creating new ones, laughter, vision, magic..these are some of the giftings in the gift of the Collection.

For ten years I was able to use video-recordings of the Oprah show in the groups I ran for homeless mothers with children .
I have seen first hand the power of her personal vision to bring about change and a new vision to the lives of young Women who have forgotten the magic after leading lives of trauma and dispossession.

And of course Oprah has a strong team to carry the vision with her…she is certainly not where she is because she got there on her own…
T.E.A.M.

T~ogether
E~veryone
A~ctivates
M~iracles ………..Mirrorcles!

Todays Oprah show was about the power of Forgiveness…. a gay man who was beaten by a white supremicist 20 years ago ends up working at the Museum of tolerance and finds himself side by side with his attacker, who has undergone a transformation of beliefs……he not only forgave his attacker and the exceptionally brutal beating…but they have become friends…
Here is their myspace site:
End Hate Now.

There was also a Jewish woman who lost her whole family in the concentration camps. She meets with the daughter of the man who enslaved her and killed all of her family and takes a journey back to the camp where it happened…reminding everyone that we have choices and we can choose to forgive….

I don’t get to go to workshops very often and my “Wise Older Woman” Molly passed on 7 years ago, therefore much of my work is self generated without the benefit of a like-minded creative team…..

So Mondays-with-Oprah are the equivalent to an afternoon in Soul School…..

Posted in Community, Forgiveness, Journeys, Lifes Stories, Oprah Winfrey, Teachers, Wisdom | Leave a Comment »