What Next?

It’s a great feeling to achieve something. To finish a project or an art work, to achieve a goal that you have had for a while – it is SO satisfying.
koru hand painted rocks
But do you ever feel once you have achieved something, a kind of emptiness or a what now feeling like huh, that’s over, what am I gonna do now?
It’s great to celebrate once you have achieved a goal – to take a step back and admire the work you have done. But it’s just as important to set the next goals and know where to from here. Because sometimes we can be unsure of what to do with ourselves once we have achieved something. It’s great to achieve a goal, but what happens next?
So it’s important to have goals on the go all the time! And when you do it enough, you get good at it and you’re always thinking ahead into the future, being prepared, but being forever in the present with it all – if that makes sense! Very important – staying present with it all!
Arohanui,
Jo x
A burst of energy and colour today in this rock. My intention was to just brush the paint on in a relaxed kind of way…enjoy the weekend wherever you are in the world!

Dam!

I’m painting this rock today for Brazil and the Xingu indigenous people who are fighting to protect their indigenous lands from the Belo Monte damming project that has been approved by the Brazilian president. The Belo Monte dam project will be lethal and will cause widespread flooding to indigenous lands and rainforests. It will displace thousands of people and have huge effect on the natural eco-systems of the region – all in the name of progress.
koru hand painted rocks
My heart goes out to these people and I see this as nothing different to what we experience here in Aotearoa with the NZ Govt allowing foreign companies to come and drill in our oceans, or buy our land for financial gain – all in the name of progress.
Damming our waterways is like stopping the blood that flows through our veins. It puts pressure on other areas and eventually there is no way back to fix this problem.
This affects all of us, we are connected by water, no matter where we are in the world. Water is our health and wellbeing, not just for indigenous people’s but all people’s around the world. Please help to keep the water flowing and follow the link below to take action NOW
http://amazonwatch.org/take-action/stop-the-belo-monte-monster-dam
Or go and join the Facebook cause at Amazon Watch.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Able to See Light

A different kōrero today to what I’ve been posting over the past few days! And perhaps I’ve spoken about this before, maybe, maybe not… there are so many days to go back through now!
Photography is all about light. Whenever I take a photo, I’m always looking for the light – how does it fall? In what spaces? What patterns does it make? What does it reflect and how will it make the photo feel?…
koru hand painted rocks
What kind of mood will it portray?
The ability to take a good photograph is being able to see light. I’m not sure if they teach this in school or at University, I’m self-taught but I do believe that photography is a generous 10% for technical and 90% is ability to see light, intuitive and being able to compose a photograph that speaks emotion and tells a story.
I’m not sure this can be taught and if it is, how it is taught, but perhaps if we all trusted our intuition and go with what we feel and know when taking a photograph, then maybe this will help us take better photographs.
People say to me, oh but you have a good camera and I say – I could probably take a good photo with a point and shoot camera too. In fact, there is no need to have a flash camera to take good photos, a lot of people are taking fabulous photos with their mobile phones these days and they have the capacity to produce high quality ones too! And I use my camera point and shoot anyway!
And no matter what people say – I say, break the rules! Push the boundaries of photography and try something different. And seriously, there is no need to get all technical unless you are really wanting to try some creative stuff but I use my camera on auto all the time! I don’t have time to be changing settings. I’m working on intuition and that is all in the moment.
Arohanui,
Jo x

New Direction

I woke at 4.30am this morning! Great – jet lag is well and truly here and my body clock is still on Istanbul time and my spirit is in some ways too… I keep looking for Turkish food recipes online lol
koru hand painted rocks
And I was SO grumpy today, it was like I didn’t know what to do with myself – I knew I was tired, but it took me a while to actually go to sleep but when I eventually did, ahhhh it was wonderful, sleeping in a sun filled room… and I felt a little better when I woke up.
So I’m hoping tomorrow my internal clock will have switched back to NZ time…hopefully!
Travelling to Turkey has made me rethink through some things… I have a change of direction for these coming months and heading into next year. I want to be more focused on my passions and purpose and really give my energy to those things that matter the most. Travel does this to you, it inspires new energy and I feel I’ve had my fair share of travel over the last four years… for now anyway.
Next year is going to be important in so many ways and whānau is at the top of my list. I want to spend more time at home with whānau, creating new art, nurturing self and working on a couple of projects that will be the most important projects I have ever worked on. I feel my whole life has been in preparation for this work.
Today is Day 270! Wooohooo – I have 95 more days to go… I remembering celebrating when I had reached 100 days and now I am counting down from 100!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Quiet Breathing Space

I got off the plane last night here in Gisborne; raining and cold… and then when we left the airport it was like driving into a ghost town. Seriously. There was one other car on the road and that was it. Talk about a big shock!
koru hand painted rocks
I had just come from a city of 14 million people, I lived in a lively part of Istanbul where it seemed the city never slept…and then came home to quiet, what felt like total silence.
And as I drove around today in my zombie state due to serious jetlag, there were a few people walking around the street but nothing like what I experienced in Istanbul.
It made me realise how grateful I am for the vast amount of breathing space we have here in Aotearoa. And the air, so fresh… that’s one thing I noticed when I arrived home, the air was so much more alive. And being away from home experiencing a new land, enables another perspective and appreciation for what we have in Aotearoa.
Many people see our country as an exotic place, a must see place to visit… we are not without our problems but there is something about this place we call home that is very special. And there is a spirit about this place that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world.
I miss the high energy of Istanbul, the colourful contrast of people, the culture and the food! But there is no place like home and I’m glad to be home.
Arohanui,
Jo x

All That Glitters is Gold

Written while flying from Singapore to Aotearoa – Sun 25th Sept Aotearoa time…
Flying in amongst the stars right now, a clear night, not a cloud in the sky. I saw lights below, strong lights like someone lived down there and then I realized it was a star and then a whole lot of stars appeared like sparkling gems – cool!
koru hand painted rocks
I also notice a bright bright star – could this be Venus? Or perhaps Jupiter? But no teapot so no Puanga (Rigel) but maybe early in the morning I will see Rigel, this star that signals to us in the west, the beginning of our Māori new year.
The earth is definitely round, there would be no other explanation for having stars below us – it feels special flying in the realms of ngā ātua, floating, flying, space, the space outside and the space within, connection to those stars is an extension of me, perhaps the saying “it is written in the stars” perhaps this is what it means?
A little while later…
And there appeared Tautoru – Orion’s belt – the teapot! It was like I had willed it’s appearance into the sky and to the left of Tautoru – there sat Puanga. Now normally when this is seen from the earth, you look up to the sky and Puanga is below Orion’s belt, but we are flying beside it, it’s like it is flat on it’s back – that is SO cool!
It was always a childhood game to find the teapot or a shooting star where we grew up. I remember the night sky full of stars just like tonight’s sky… and aaaahhh Puanga, it feels so great to see you!

I’m guessing the time is about 3am NZ time – perfect time, the mind is awake and alert and creativity is high. And she (yes Puanga right now is a she according to me!) has been out the window for at least an hour although time has no relevance in these moments…
And then amazingly, in a few moments it was there like how you normally see it in the sky from the earth – tautoru – puanga – the teapot – back to the usual viewing point, not so high this time – but up there again – did we change direction? It seems so close like I can reach out and touch it…
6.55am NZ time – I have to write some more because so much has happened after the change in stars – just like that and then I looked below and saw all these lights – a few of them and I realized they were boats sitting off the Western coastline of Australia and then something spectacular – lightning lit up the sky – and wow – it was a sight to see and I tried to video it but my camera would not reach that far into space but that’s ok because I have imprinted this amazing night show in my mind as a memory… and this was just before Uluru (Ayers rock) and actually, this was another amazing thing that happened…
Such an amazing journey going on outside the plane window. And the pathway that our plane took was a direct route through the landscape… but not just any landscape. We travelled over Mt Merapi in Indonesia which I did not realize until later when I looked at the route we had taken… then Uluru in Australia – powerful, the blue mountains in Sydney, so beautiful and then touching down on Aotearoa soil to Rangitoto and I’m sure a few more maunga we flew by but when I looked on the screen and saw this I thought wow – how magical is that, that we fly by these maunga – these kaitiaki in the landscape that embrace both realms of Papatūānuku our earth mother and Ranginui our sky father… that is whats so special about maunga and this was just meant to be and we greet them one by one…
And you know what? This flight was one of the smoothest flights ever – very little turbulence – and as hard as I tried to sleep, I couldn’t – but I think the atua were telling me to be by the window, and I normally prefer the aisle on these long haul trips but ended up with a window seat and how special and wonderful that was!!!
And all the while this was happening I was looking at the map of the route that the plane was taking and thought hmmm so we are traveling around over the top of the earth and this is why the universe changed all of a sudden, the perspective changed and instead of being close to Puanga it then became distant – hmmm – fascinating stuff and smooth, smooth ride!
And then… this is an “and then” story that could go on forever – flying over Sydney at sunrise – the most beautiful sunrise with a bit of moon still in the sky, it was perfect, so so perfect. Only nature could be so perfect and could produce something to perfection like that…it all felt very surreal and spiritual and just plain magical… what a beautiful journey home…
And one last thing as I finish this post, grounded at Auckland airport waiting for my flight home, a couple of birds just appeared here beside me inside the terminal – I have no idea where they came from, I was fully inside, no doors nearby – my kaitiaki for the last leg home… beautiful, just beautiful!
Arohanui,
Jo x