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134 Main Street East
Stewiacke, NS, B0N 2J0


I have 'connected the dots' between awareness, movement, intuition and creativity to enhance the daily lives of people in my community. 

Our Expressive Practice as Mindful Self-Exploration

Wellbeing Blog

Musings and interesting info on wellbeing.

Our Expressive Practice as Mindful Self-Exploration

Terry Stanislow


Whenever we set aside dedicated time and space to express ourselves, from the source of our own creativity, in any form - that act provides an opportunity for introspecting, meditating, pondering, processing, concluding, wondering . . .   Whatever you call it – the time we take to pause, leave the outside world 'out there', and focus for awhile on an idea or theme or concept that we desire to express, we get to know ourselves and how we relate to the world around us – a little more each time.  In this case,  making a picture, even a very simple collage or journal page, not only provides that opportunity while we are engaged in it, but also – every time we view or experience our creation, we are placed back in the frame of exploration that manifested it in the first place, invoking the insights and emotions all over again.  It's kind of like looking at a photo from the past, except – we didn't snap the image or idea in a split second.  It evolved mindfully and with purpose, exploration, research and introspection.

This picture was not meant for a gallery, but just as a personal, process piece.  It's an exploration done for myself that I am sharing to illustrate this concept.  In this case, my eye caught the quote "You and the Sun – this tricky relationship can work", and I thought – yes, I DO have a tricky relationship with the sun, don’t I?  What is THAT about?  Why don't I stop right now and do a collage of this?!   I LOVE a sunny day, but I do not like to be IN the bright, hot sun.  I never have.  I used to go to the beach with friends, and while they were laying about in their bathing suits, baking away the afternoon, I was sitting under the shade of an umbrella, with my big hat, sunglasses, ankle-length skirt or dress, sleeves – reading a book or just enjoying my reveries.  I love to be in my bright, sunny studio because – the light beams through my opaque blinds except on one end – that is never in direct sun – where I can look out of the wide windows onto the paddock and horses.  It's the best of both worlds.   I guess I'm like a Boston Fern – I need lots of indirect light!  In summer, I do my indoor work during the day and start my outdoor chores around the barn in the evening.

Then, I thought – my favorite time of day is sunset.  I just adore it.  I think I would adore the sunrise as well, but I'm never up in the wee hours, so – sunset it is!  I began to ponder what it is that I so love about that glorious time of day.  The QUIET.  The world becomes so peaceful when the 'people' noises like lawnmowers, music and traffic settle down.  Later, the calls of peepers and night birds will be a different sort of aural experience – calming and beguiling.  The colours and the sky.  The light is wonderful at sunset – soft and kind and flattering to everything.  The sky is different every evening, often blazing with a mix of oranges, reds and yellows that only nature can render.  The air becomes cooler and fresh as the damp begins to creep in – no longer kept at bay by the suns's rays.  Sunset is when I do my spontaneous meditations and sometimes I often do a little Qigong or sun salutations at that time, while I listen to the horses munching their evening meal.  I believe - most people say 'welcome' to the morning sun with theirs, but I say 'good night' – thanks and see you tomorrow! 

I thought about all of that while I had fun scanning and clipping bits for this piece, and I spent the next few hours thinking about my relationship with the sun.  It's crucial of course, being the original source of all life, warmth, light and more.  But, I can't go 'all in'.  I'll go out there when it's necessary, wearing my hat, making as much shade as I can for my face and eyes - so sensitive to the bright light - but I will really treasure my sunsets and – dare I say it – overcast days!  Every time I see this picture, I'll think about that again – the way I felt when making it and whether I have gained any new insights since.  THAT's what I'm talkin' about!