Author Meet and Greet

June 22, 2014 MEET AND GREET ~ WINE AND CHEESE RECEPTION 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

 

 Laura Deal

The author of Marbles: New and Collected Poems and The Newcomer’s Guide to the Invisible Realm, Laura Deal invites her readers to enter the realm of dreams and imagination, where your dream symbols speak to you in metaphor and the world provides signs and symbols to guide you. www.firstchurchofmetaphor.org

 Rachel Weaver

Rachel Weaver’s novel, Point of Direction is the story of a young couple who decide to lease a lighthouse in remote Alaska. The secrets they hide from each other and the intensity of the landscape combine to challenge these two in this tale that Oprah Magazine called a ‘striking and vivid debut novel.’www.rachelweaver.net

 Donna Remmert

Head Over Heels invites you to rendezvous the 1950s through the eyes of a dreamy-eyed yet determined college co-ed. Listening to her plans for her future in a world where women had limited choices will have you laughing and crying at the same time. Donna is also the author of two other memoirs-The Littlest Big Kid and The Jitterbug Girlwww.donnaremmert.com

 Patti Ashley

Living in the Shadow of the Too-Good Mother Archetype takes the reader on a journey into the heart and soul of mothering. It reveals the truth about being a good enough mother. Dr. Patti Ashley helps parents of all ages of children (even adult children) feel more authentic, mindful and whole. www.pattiashley.com

MEET AND GREET ~ WINE AND CHEESE RECEPTION

Please join us for a wine and cheese social. Meet with four authors and share some friendly book talk. Bring friends if you like. RSVPs appreciated, though not required.

Date: Sunday, June 22nd

Place: North Boulder–Please email Laura at: info at firstchurchofmetaphor dot org for more information.

Time: 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Yarn Basket Class coming June 28!

Laura K Deal baskets

All of the colors you see here…and some you don’t…will be available for you to choose from!

Introduction to Yarn Baskets

Offered by Laura K. Deal

 

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In this class, you’ll learn the basics of yarn baskets by creating a business-card basket similar to the one above in size and shape. The color’s up to you!

Make your own colorful, supple, and durable business card basket and enjoy the company of other creators!

Choose from a wide variety of colors. All materials provided.

Saturday, June 28, 2014,  1-5 p.m.

Boulder, Colorado 

 $30 or sign up with a friend and pay $25 each  – Class size is limited for personal instruction. Exact number depends on level of experience of students.

Sign up by emailing Laura: info (at) firstchurchofmetaphor (dot) org to arrange payment to hold your place in class. I hope to see you there!

Mother’s Day 2014

By Laura K. Deal

 

On this cold, wet, snowy Mother’s Day,
my daughters study for their final exams,
taking their education seriously,
with the background awareness
that not everyone on the planet
shares this privilege. I hold them
in gratitude and pride, for the ways they’ve
blossomed because of, and despite,
my quirks and foibles as a human mom.

Next to this joy in my heart, the grievous shadow
of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls stolen
from their school to be kept and sold into slavery,
their mothers shocked and grieving.
Sweet innocence, taken by the devil,
girls targeted because of their desire
to learn, to grow their own power in the world
through thought and education.

Heartbroken mothers, terrified daughters,
and all I can do is add my voice
to the demand that someone save them.
My outrage is necessary, but never enough.
What else can I do from my side of the world?

I carry those girls and their families
in my praising, grieving heart as I
venture out into wet spring snow
to shake the first few inches
from the tarps covering the spring garden,
the ones my husband and I draped
over tomato cages and secured with clothespins,
to protect the tender buds and slender stalks
of my iris and peonies, because
the weight of Gaia’s weeping could easily break them,
and the freeze might nip their potential beauty
in the bud.

Artisan Sale

I’ll be offering copies of The Newcomer’s Guide to the Invisible Realm as well as my yarn baskets! I’ll be there in person on Sunday afternoon, and I hope to see you there!

 

Artisan fair flier 2014

Shadowed windows open

 By Karen Perrell Campbell

 

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Shadowed windows open
Am I the guide or the guided
Learning which path to take
Opening the door to understanding?

Am I the guide or the guided
Listening to the innocent
Opening the door to understanding
Parting the curtains to the distant mist?

Listening to the innocent
The lessons from the unexpected
Parting the curtains to the distant mist
Shadowed windows open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~


Karen Perrell Campbell, founder of Seeds for Change Consultations LLC shares her passion for using creativity, dream work and contemplation as a spiritual practice is a variety of ways.  She is a Certified Spiritual Director, Holistic Life Coach and retreat leader as well as a trained SoulCollageR facilitator.  Karen is on staff at the Haden Institute’s Spiritual Direction  Certification program and works with the Center for Faith & the Arts in Salisbury, NC.

 

Just One Lemon

By Johanne LaRocque

Meyer's LemonStarted it all
I went to Google
For a curious look
And found
over 100 ways
To use this fruit.
I didn’t have time for that!
So I backed up a slice
Right down the middle
And started with half
I discovered
One teaspoon of juice
And a tablespoon of rind
Does not leave much
But the meat behind
An interesting combo
Apples and lemons
Forming muffins
I wasn’t quite sure till
The under 25 throng
Walked through the door
And alas on the plate
There were no more!
So I took what was left
Of my sad looking fruit
Lots of juice
And only some rind
I turned those into
lemon Madelines!
But wait!  I wasn’t quite done
I squeezed a bit more
And one last lonely drop
Came dribbling out
Hitting the curve of my spoon
With a plop!

With a giddy tip of that spoon
I slipped straight
into a frothy pantoum

Adding a peach is desirable
To offset the puckering lemon
Push the button marked high
And dance to the beat of the blender

To offset the puckering lemon
Fold in the freshly whipped cream
And dance to the beat of the blender
…don’t mind the noise

just fold in that freshly whipped cream
to soften the ice as it crushes
don’t mind the noise
the magic comes from what’s next!

To soften the ice as it crushes
It’s up to your wizard discretion!
The magic comes from what’s next
The secret’s in the age of the rum

It’s up to your wizard’s discretion
Push the button marked high
The secret’s in the age of the rum..oh my!
And adding a peach is desirable!

It started with just one lemon!

~~~~~~~~~~

Jo LaRocque has been a writer/photographer who after living in the SF Bay Area for over 25 years, now makes Monterey County her home.  She is also an MIPD certified dream worker,  involved in the No. California dream community.

~~~~~~~~~

Note from Laura–Jo wrote the pantoum part of this poem in my poetry workshop at the 2013 Waking the Dreamer Within Festival. Clever chef that she is, she folded it nicely into a prompt from another class, which focused on a lemon. Utterly delicious!

Write from the Art

Please join us for a writing and art workshop designed to help you tap into your own creative expression. Debra will show you how to create a one-of-a-kind, hand-sewn personal journal, and Laura will offer writing prompts to help you wrap words around your thoughts. If you think, “I’m not an artist,” or “I’m not a writer,” don’t let that stop you! If you can put words on paper, you can create a work of art that will please you for years to come.

Journal example 1When: Saturday, March 8, 2014, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where:  109 Fairfield Lane, Louisville, Colorado

Cost: $85

What’s provided: Art materials, paper and pens, tea, and an afternoon snack.

What you should bring: Sack lunch. Optional–bring 3 Prisma colored pencils that will show on black paper and go well together (that means, you should like how they look together). If you can’t get to Michael’s or Guiry’s to buy pencils, Debra will have some for you to use during the workshop, but you may want to have them after the workshop to finish coloring your journal cover.

Journal example 4To register, or if you have questions, contact Laura at laurakdeal at gmail dot com or 720-891-3469, or Debra at dbondo at comcast dot net or 303-489-7111. Advance payment required to ensure your place in the class.

Class size limited to 10

Debra Bond is a local artist who has lived in Colorado since 1970.  She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Denver and has also studied at CU and Naropa University.  She studied calligraphy and book arts at Naropa and has studied privately with a well-known calligrapher and book artist. Debra has developed her own line of greeting cards which can be seen at several Colorado locations. She has enjoyed teaching both adults and children journal making, calligraphy and other forms of art for several years. You can see samples of her cards and journals at www.IndigoBlueArts.com.

Laura K. Deal is a writer, teacher, and dream reader. She’s taught writing classes for ten years, with an emphasis on tapping into creativity and the motto, “The rules are set in play dough.” She’s the author of The Newcomer’s Guide to the Invisible Realm: A Journey through Dreams, Metaphor, and Imagination, and two of her poems will soon appear in the inaugural issue of Collective Magazine, a journal of dream-inspired art.  She’s certified as a Dream Work Facilitator through the Marin Institute for Projective Dream Work. You can find her and her poetry at www.FirstChurchofMetaphor.org, www.LauraDeal.com, and www.TheWildWriters.com.

 We’re looking forward to a fun and creative day with you!

Original Sin

The creation-centered tradition, while it does not begin its spirituality with original sin but with original blessing, does indeed have an understanding of original sin or the sin behind sin. From Meister Eckhart to Mary Daly, the sin behind all sin is seen as dualism. Separation. Subject/object relationships. Fractures and fissures in our relationships. Take any sin: war, burglary, rape, thievery. Every such action is treating another an an object outside oneself. This is dualism. this is behind all sin.

Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, p. 49.

NaNoWriMo #6

Until a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t sure I’d do NaNoWriMo this year. After the release of The Newcomer’s Guide to the Invisible Realm, I had no energy for or interest in working on my novel-in-progress. I found my way to a few poems, some random writings in my salons, and a slew of journal entries, but the shine had gone off of book-length projects.

This is why I love NaNoWriMo. It took a lot to pull me out of that slump. The dream work that happened at Dream Camp was part of it, but to really get the juices flowing, I needed to come up with an idea for NaNoWriMo. I chose the genre, young adult romance, for two reasons. First, I recently critiqued a YA romance by Lisa Brown Roberts and was reminded of just how much fun the genre could be (though Lisa’s a master at comedy, which I’m not). The second reason was that I’d tried my hand at this genre in a previous NaNoWriMo and the story turned out pretty well, so I have some confidence I’ll be able to do it again.

But that’s not a lot to go on…a genre. Because I’m a pantser (writing by the seat of my pants) rather than a plotter (having the book’s structure figured out ahead of time), I don’t need a lot to start writing a novel, but I do need more than that. A character, a first line…I’ve started books knowing only that. But with a genre like YA romance I know some of the structure already–the push and pull of romantic relationships, the misunderstandings, and the overall theme of “figuring out who I really am in relationships” that generally underlies YA literature.

To get a little further, I started toying with an idea that emerged from a conversation at my college reunion, and pretty soon I had the weird quirk for one of my main characters. After that, the ideas started flowing. Soon, the magic took hold and I knew I’d found the story…but had to wait to start writing.

Yes, I could have started writing sooner, but much of the fun of NaNoWriMo is playing while everyone else is playing. There’s a synergy to seeing who else on Facebook or Twitter is giving it a go, and how it’s going. And there’s nothing wrong with increasing the desire to start by delaying the gratification of diving in. I’ve written elsewhere about reasons why I do NaNoWriMo (here, for example) but this year, it feels like I’m falling in love with writing all over again. That has to be a good thing.

And then on Halloween, I received a card from John McDonald to cheer me on into NaNoWriMo. The image captured exactly the space I’ve been in, and will be in for the next month. Thanks, John! I’ll try to get back to earth in December.  Here’s the image, by Quint Buchholz:

One night in November

Illustration by Quint Buchholz

Interview with Andrew Austin

I’m delighted to share this interview I did with Andrew Austin, developer of the technique he calls Metaphors of Movement. By helping people fully imagine the metaphors they use to describe their lives, he helps them find ways to move out of the confining structures of their own thoughts. Based in the U.K., he offers workshops all over the world.

How did you arrive at the realization that metaphorical thinking shapes our behaviors?

I’d love to say that I came to this realisation myself, but far too many people did the ground work before me.  The main includes on my work in metaphors were Charles Faulkner and George Lakoff.  I’ve never met Lakoff but am familiar with his work through his books and videos.  I know Faulkner personally and learned the most from him passively by osmosis, he’s a very clever man.

What I set about doing was finding out how the metaphors my therapy clients used influenced and shaped their behaviour. This wasn’t easy to begin with because most metaphorical communication appears to occur outside of normal awareness. When I first started a common response was for the client to dismiss what they just said.

For example, someone might say, “I feel very trapped” and when I asked more about what they meant by trapped they would dismiss that communication with something like, “Oh nothing, it’s just a figure of speech.”  I was amazed at how commonly this dismissal occurred.  The client would then go onto to use many more idioms related to being “trapped” such as, “I am not going anywhere,” “I feel so stuck”, “My life is at complete standstill” and so on. Again, whenever I challenged or asked more about these idioms, then the client would dismiss them.

I saw a pattern here and so started listing all the different behavioural responses that people offered when their idioms and metaphors were questioned. With that list, I could start to see all the possible variables for responses and begin to predict certain behaviours that would occur with each of them.

In the early days, there were a lot of very frustrating sessions, for both me and my clients. Several clients left the sessions early in quite an agitated state and I would feel exhausted.

But then something strange occurred.  These clients who left the sessions agitated started to contact me after the sessions.  Not necessarily straight away, but the vast majority got in touch, and the was a recurring theme to what they said.

Essentially they would tell me that the session was really difficult for them and that it touched a lot of emotions and issues that they’d never normally think about and that they had been thinking about these things ever since. They weren’t happy when they left the session, but were unable to deny that they were changing in their thinking and behaviours as a result of the metaphor work.

This led me to making a poor assumption which was that there was a relationship between how upset people got in the metaphor sessions and the results that they reported back.  It certainly seemed to be true, but as we know, correlation is not necessarily causation.

At this time I was receiving a lot of input and guidance from Steve and Connirae Andreas who were also exploring some of my ideas with people. They were getting excellent results as well, but weren’t upsetting people in the process. This meant I had to re-evaluate what I was doing, as clearly there was something that was happening in the emotionally charged sessions that were not happening in the otherwise normal sessions.

So this was the beginning of exploring not so much the metaphors but the behaviours that occur around the metaphors and so i started examining the behavioural variables that I was observing and testing out different responses to these.

What started out as a small and simple idea has turned into something much, much bigger resembling a forensic model of linguistics and psychopathology.

 

In the Consciously Projective style of dream reading that I do, we offer our insights in the first person to remain aware that are accessing our own understanding and associations. This enables the “reader” to do her or his own work on the imagined version of another person’s dream. Do practitioners of Metaphors of Movement experience those “aha” moments of self-recognition when working with other people’s metaphors?

I think it sounds a bit weird to say, “this changed my life” but the reality it has changed everything for me, both personally and how I work professionally. I get those aha moments almost daily, and hear things in how people say that I’d never heard before.  It’s a phenomena that I call “shouting at the deaf” – people communicate so clearly, but it is so hard to listen to what they are actually saying.  Most of the time we are making an inference on what people say or are simply hearing something else.  Words can have so many simultaneous meanings at the same time, so how do we know if we are “hearing” what the speaker is actually meaning?

For example, a man goes to the doctor and says, “I’m in the black pit of despair”, the chances are a response will take the form of an evaluation, for example the doctor will ask, “Any suicidal thoughts” and so on. He will take the man’s blood pressure and pulse and do all the usual medical evaluations.  The chances are high that the man will leave with a prescription for an anti-depressant and a referral to a counsellor so that he can talk about how he feels.

The metaphor the man uses is ignored and instead of listening, an inference is offered.  “He says he is in a black pit of despair, that must mean he is depressed.” People are so busy getting what a person means that they don’t listen to what they say.  So when the man also says things like, “he feels alone”, “very low” “very down”, “in the dark” and so on, all idioms that develop the pit of despair metaphor, these are just seen as further confirmation of the diagnosis of depression.

The information from the patient is taken out of its original context and manipulated and reframed into a new paradigm of medical metaphors. His verbal communication is manipulated to fit the needs of the medical practitioner.

Once I realised this, I was horrified at how I did the same.  I took the clients’ metaphors and reshaped them to fit my own, and I hear this happen so often in normal conversations as well.

Hearing other people’s metaphor structure opens up a whole new world of possible versions of reality, and I and fellow MoMers have a lot of fun exploring these.

This led me to re-evaluating my own training in story telling (“metaphor”), hypnotherapy and NLP where such behaviours are endemic. Such reframing is a category in NLP where people are taught to do exactly this behaviour in the belief that it is helpful. For example, “You are not stuck in the pit of despair, you are just taking a rest and some time out from the world.”  Awful, awful, awful.

With all this in the background, when working with people I hear strategies and behaviours and ideas that I’d never normally hear.  As a result the learning opportunities for me are extraordinary.  I think there are a very great many commonly recurring themes – archetypal behaviours, emotions and thoughts, things that are common to most people.

I have heard it said by different people that when working with other people you are also working with yourself, I have certainly found this to be true.

I think the main thing that occurs for MoM trainees is that they not only start to listen to other people, but they also listen to themselves. For some people this can be quite a new experience; they have spent so much time previously talking to themselves, but never actually hearing what they say!

 

Is recognition of the metaphor that is shaping behavior sufficient to create changes in that behavior, or is further coaching usually needed?

This is where I deviated significantly from the other major model of metaphor work, “Clean Language.”  Clean Language explores and develops awareness of the metaphor to bring about a different awareness and kinaesthetic state.  The main work of Metaphors of Movement is to bring about congruence between the structure of the problem and behavioural strategy by which to deal with the problem.

For example, for the man “in the pit of despair” there isn’t much value in using a strategy that say, involves hopi ear candles and medication.  The man will inevitably feel better by taking the medication, but he is still in the pit, but with less despair. There is an incongruence between the problem and the solution.

Another example might be the man who is on the edge and is frightened that he will go over the edge. The way he deals with this is to listen to relaxation CD rather than take a step back and maybe change the direction he is going.

So the awareness of the metaphor is only really a tool to examine the behaviours a person has in their lives.  For so many people the problematic behaviours they display are actually the attempted solution to their problems.

For example, an angry person gets angry to get people to take them seriously, a drinker drinks to relax, an anorexic starves to feel in control and so on. Often the remedies that the person adopts to try and ameliorate some of the suffering that occurs only serve to maintain the problem.

One of the things that the trainees soon realise on the workshops is how there is no “one technique” cure or intervention because the subject is so vast.  The introductory training is 4 days, I’d like to make it longer, but logistical needs keeps it to 4 days.

Essentially what I want to do with both trainees and clients is to give them enough input that they can continue the explorations themselves.  I give them a structure to follow and ask them to write up their explorations and send them over to me so that I can advise further if needed.

Sessions are usually around about 2 hours long and I mostly see people once or twice, with some weeks in between the sessions to allow for full exploration of the material from the first session.