~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

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

Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

The Warrior Woman template as a life coaching & community development tool

Posted by carolom on January 7, 2017

As a life coach and  empowerment artist working in the areas of domestic violence and cultural diversity I recognise that creativity, art, story, song, dance and music are the tools and activities that affirm women’s strengths and interconnectedness regardless of our cultural background.

Engaging with art in a communal setting creates a place where we can celebrate our connections and share the richness of the stories and experiences that define our cultural and individual uniqueness.

I am very appreciative to the women who attended a  Women’s ART of Change  Empowerment & Life Coaching Camp and allowed us to photograph some of the sessions. By doing so we can share the powerful message that sharing and creating together is the answer to crossing the cultural and language barriers that can prevent women from coming together.

When women from CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) settings engage with this form of  life coaching tools they are able to express their unique culture as expressed through the templates that are the equivalent of the hand outs and power point presentations in most  training environments.

Art and creative expression is a unifying medium across all cultures and a powerful medium for sharing our stories and expressing our vision for the future.

We had a Warrior Woman’s Empowerment Workshop on camp. From black and white templates, the Warrior Woman is created…

The Warrior Woman…
Her head~dress represents developing the power of the mind to overcome obstacles and adversity. Cultivating thought patterns and mental focus for creating the life we envisage for our selves and our children.

Her large heart symbolises the importance of remaining compassionate and connected to others whilst not being overwhelmed by the d.v cycle of promises and repetitive abuse. This is especially significant when recovering from domestic violence as safe personal boundaries are core to keeping the family safe.

Her wings remind us that our mental well being and health requires  balance in our emotions, mind, physical and social health.

Introducing the Warrior Women theme for the day:

Phoenix Woman was created as a way to express changes that came about through trials and difficulties.

Stories of the past and stories of the children’s future are shared as we create the warrior woman.

Two communities came together on the 2nd day of the camp.

Patty created her Warrior Woman’s Headress using spirals of wool…

Sisters…We are all the same within regardless of the skin we are in..

Posted in Aboriginal, Art, Australia, CALD Women, Change, Community, Creativity, Imagination, Life Coaching, Lifes Stories, Love, Peace, Social Artistry, The Art of Change, Transformation, Warrior Women, Wisdom | Leave a Comment »

Ode to the Rescuer

Posted by carolom on September 15, 2016

*Updated
This poem is dedicated to the many women, especially those who I meet in domestic violence shelters, who really do believe:

If I just keep on loving him, he will change & we will have the relationship that I know is possible…

DSC_0070

We hear the words “I thought he would change” so often inside of the walls of domestic violence shelters that I created the following dramatisation for our Talking circle so that the group of women who have sometimes had 2 or 3 relationships with violent men, could begin to unravel what keeps them there and how to recognise the pattern.

The following piece is not relevant for all women who leave domestic violence, but for those women who sit in support groups and say “I believed him when he said he would change” and “He is a really nice guy, he just had a rotten childhood”, this piece is for you.
And for Janet who was killed in domestic violence by a man who then killed himself, leaving four beautiful children behind.

Ode to the Rescuer:

There was something very appealing about his pain, it matched her pattern perfectly
and her pattern goes like this:

Give me a damaged man with potential and I will embrace him as my life mission
My personal quest!

I will claim myself to be his Rescuer and through my eyes he will see how sorely he has been denied Love

And with the love of this Good Woman, he will heal!

He will heal
He will heal
He will heal

With the peace of mind that I alone have brought to him, delivered to him on a sincere heart that pulses with conviction, his heart shall finally, after many troubled years finally beat with contentment in symbiotic rhythm with my own

Ahh..this future memory brings tears to my eyes and reminds me to be patient and the reward will come.
Of this truth I have created, I am sure.
He will change
He will change
He will change
I shall interpret his moodiness as poetic brooding,
his sarcasm as merely the shadow of his enormous artistic sensitivities and
his broken promises as the unfortunate repercussions of a busy, preoccupied man.
I shall deny myself my heart’s desires,
less they place too much of a burden on his already busy mind.
I shall desperately seduce him into security with words thinly veiled
with the false reassurance that I want nothing of him
After all he is the broken one
Not me!
I will prove to him that I am the one single woman
on this Earth who can heal his troubled Soul.
Because I believe in him like no other has in the past
or could possibly at any time in the future
As the rescue program gets under way I will slowly begin to allow
the duality of the situation to come to the fore
Actually I won’t have a choice!
Having ensnared him with my rescuers net
or having fallen into his
I shall wrestle with the duality of being drawn to his charismatic withdrawals
whilst also experiencing an awakening awareness
that he is indeed mirroring my own need to heal and rescue the wounded heart.
There is something painfully seductive about that wounded heart after all it’s in all of the fairytales and rom-com’s isn’t it?
Love that Beast fair Beauty for he will come good in the end!
In order to ignore the needs of my own hopeful
desperate
optimistic
aching
wounded heart
I will plunge into my rescuing role with paradox and passion
for I am drawn to the angst of tortured feelings
which I have misconstrued as Romance and Love
as haplessly as he is drawn to his broody silences
and the acidic observations he casts out to bait me every now and then.
And quite regularly at times.
And yes. He has hit me in the past but the degree to which he is so truly deeply sorry overwhlems me with compassion for him.
Every time.
Every single time.
Except the last three times when I only felt fear and loathing,
But I got over that!
Didn’t I?
Didn’t I?

or Did !?

Words that forge our bond like who else would put up with you or me and
we were meant for one another, we are as bad as each other
will be the hypnotic sound track of the saga of our co-dependence

He will be my co-star as my life unfolds according to the stories I believe
Stories that I have created, many that have piggy backed onto the romantic tales of how the good girl transforms the bad boy with exquisite mastery and tears.
Fictional stories that I will defend as
Love!

Alas it is a tired old script with no surprises in the Story whatsoever!

but it will take me a long time to understand that
to reinterpret and rewrite the lead roles
because most of this is new to me!

And I am a stranger to myself.

Indeed aren’t we all until we remember who we really are?

Therefore I will need quite some time to realise any of this
as this predictable Olde Story unfolds on a roller coaster of
drama and desire
yearning and conflict

Those old scenarios and inevitable cycles replaying themselves in the guise of Love.

Love?

No this is just unlearnt lessons in re-enactment!
I will come to realise this one day
though I do not know that yet of course!

Although my heart does skip a beat when he looks at me in that certain seductive kind of way
Surely that must be Love?

Though you may well think I am making a banquet from a few crumbs of moments of hard earned intimacy
You are wrong of course!
Wrong
Wrong
Wrong

I know this banquet will be rich in the fruits of my desires so long as I am patient.
I will be Patient
will be Patient
will be Patient

My mantras give my life meaning and hope
They really do
Really really they do.

In the meantime I will deny that the toxins of this relationship are causing me great harm.
Souring my naiveté.
Poisoning the sweetness of my illusions whilst I continue to defend his lack of friendliness and warmth as justified

The increasing violence as a sign
that his love for me is so much he can barely handle the intensity!
I understand that and why he is violent
on account of the awful things he went through as a child.
The unresolved issues with his difficult father
The conflict with his troubled mother

There was just so much trouble that went into creating his troubled life
that I share

I am perhaps the only one who really knows that
and understands him and LOVES him
The only one

The lonely one

BUT

Love will conquer all. I think I am sure of that!

There is only one fixed rule in all of this apparent uncertainty
And this the rule I made and now obey:
I must Love him no matter how hard he is to Love.

I will Love him unconditionally
will Love him unconditionally
will Love him unconditionally

This one rule will make it all wonderful one day because

He will open up
He will open up
He will open up

Ultimately of course I will deny myself the right to move forward, to reach my fullest potential because I will be anchored defiantly to our co-dependence and staunchly courageously

desperately

refer to it as
Love!

This is what I know Love to be.

The End

I dedicate this to my lifelong friend Janet 1959 -2001 who was killed by her husband who then killed himself.

Your life mattered Janet, your stories are important to be told. I miss you dearly my friend.

Carol Omer
Certified Life Coach
Author of The Big Girls Little Coloring Book

Posted in Change, Chaos, Childhood, Co-dependence, Denial, Domestic Violence, Drama, Fear, Journeys, Letting go, Lifes Stories, Love, Men and Women, Poetry, Relationships, Sisterhood, Transformation, Unrequited Love, Wisdom, Women | 9 Comments »

She is no longer in my Bed ~ She lives on in my Heart and Head…

Posted by carolom on February 26, 2011

** Poetry inspired by Imagery**

For a few minutes each day, in the summer time, the sunlight reflects from the bonnet of the car and casts a huge imprint of the lace curtains on to the bedroom wall.

The frangipani tree is sometimes silhouetted as well and the other day I walked past the window and my own shadow loomed before me.

It was a stark contrast to the multi coloured pillow case and purple lamp underneath it.

Seeing the image made me ponder about rooms and   invisible memories  and how blessed I am to be in a peaceful relationship with a peaceful man.

From my younger years I remembered how we  can be so impacted after a relationship ends, that it seems that even though he /she has gone, their presence is tangible and the memories of the lost~beloved casts shadows over our tomorrow.

The  imprint of the Love we have lost is represented  by a shadow that is only visible to the broken heart. In the photos  the rhythmic folds of the lace curtains have been transformed into bar-like lines~ symbolic of how imprisoned we can become  to the Love whose time has come and gone and the bitter sweet impact of having loved so passionately for it to then become a story of our past, never in the present again….

So I decided to write a poem. It is a fictional poem but a fact of life for so many who fall asleep nursing a broken heart and wake up to the lonliness of Love lost.

My poem honours the men who weep in silence because they were taught long ago not to show their feelings so they fall asleep at night with it all bottled up inside…

She is no longer in my Bed

For four passion filled years she lived by my side

holding  me tight

through many a night

Together we laughed and played and fought

She used to call me her Improbable Mr Right

Then one day with out warning

(I never saw the storm clouds forming)

She said I’ve met someone who is more Mr Right

than you

Within 24 hours she was gone from our

now broken home

which was  just a hollow  empty shell

 

and of course I was broken & homeless  too….

 

For long dark hours

in the grave where love sours

I yearned for her presence to

come back to me

Even when I began to date once again

despite my heartache & pain

Her presence hovered in and around

within every living cell of  me.

 

I fall asleep with

the emptiness of her

in my arms

Fire  & passion now gone from my life

along with her charms

 

I  miss her  outrageous opinions and views

She was my best friend and my Muse

but now another man calls her

My Beloved Wife

 

 

Posted in Love, Poetry | 1 Comment »

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….

***

When Women Dream and Create Together

***

***

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 »

A Beautiful Puppy Joins our Family…

Posted by carolom on August 28, 2010

His name is Frederick- Freddy – and at 8 weeks old, he is already a very big boy! Mum and Dad have allocated the next couple of years to Puppy-life….

Here is his close up shot….

He is a very big boy for 8 weeks old…BIG feet, not a lap dog for long!

Sam, who is 10, is not very happy he has a new little brother and has not been his usual jolly self the last few days….

Louise and Freddy both have wild woolly hair…

Gemma hugged Freddy and was over come with emotion….

Dad thinks Freddy is rather gorgeous…. many after noon walks ahead with Sam down by the creek…..

Freddy melts Mums heart……

Posted in Beloved Pets, Family, Fun, Joy, Love | 3 Comments »

” ~ 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 »

My Niece Louise reminds me…

Posted by carolom on August 14, 2008

…that youth is passion and that anything is possible……

Louise reminds me of what a wonderful Mother my sister is and what a great man she chose in her husband Wayne… and how the arrival of Louise and her twin brother Ben moved our family to a whole new place of insight and love that is such a long way from the post-war life of our parents era…

…and what a wonderful ‘Nan’ and ‘Grandad’ our parents have become…

Posted in Family, Love, Magic, Women, Writing | 1 Comment »

I would tell you a secret but….

Posted by carolom on July 25, 2008

….Purrly says that would be letting the Cat out of the basket!

Posted in Cats, Fun, Love, Purrl | Leave a Comment »

Lighting the Fire in a room without walls…

Posted by carolom on July 16, 2008

Lit the fire for the first time this winter and we sat outside under a windy, wintery sky breathing in the heat and enjoying the warmth of good company and one of my very favourite Elements of all…

Posted in Adelaide, Fire, Friendships, Garden, Gratitude, Lifes Stories, Love, Nature, Oneness | Leave a Comment »

The Winter of content…

Posted by carolom on June 22, 2008

It was raining yesterday afternoon and after the months of drought and over 10 days where the temperature reached 100oF a few months ago, the winter rains and green-sheen everywhere are very welcome in this desert state.

I was sitting under the back verandah with the two semi-homeless garden cats, Gabrielle- [Gabi] and her daughter Shima. You can see how gorgeous they are:

The garden was humming with rain drops and birds and leaves blowing down from the Cedar Trees
late autumn fall:

…and I remembered back to when I first moved in here and all I could see was a barren, dry patch of soil…

…..and how this piece of Mother Earths blank canvas taught me more about process, time, holding a vision, weeding and seeding, than I could ever have imagined when I first moved here during a trials-and-tribulations winter of discontent….

In our ‘outcomes’ driven, western society I learnt that the answers we are seeking about sustainable change and growth are to be found in Mother Nature’s process of Time, cycles and seasons….

……and how wonderful it is to create a room with out walls and a fireplace whose only chimney is the sky….

Adelaide in South Australia is traditionally named ‘Tandanya’ , home of the Red Kangaroo.

Living and growing and learning and sharing on traditional Aboriginal Land, Kaurna Country has its own special strand of environmental magic and possibility….As my good buddy Nungala reminds me:

“It can happen so much better and so much faster if you acknowledge the Ancestors and remember the Dreaming”…..

Posted in Animals, Anthropomorphism, Cats, Change, Creativity, Dreaming, Garden, Gratitude, Humor, Imagination, Journeys, Kaurna, Lifes Stories, Love, Magic, Nature, Oneness, Peace, Power of Focus, Prosperity, Relationships, Social Artistry, Spirituality, Stories, Wealth, Wisdom | 1 Comment »