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

Moments of Reflection

Sitting in a quiet space at Changi Airport Singapore. I discovered this place hidden and when I sat, it sent me straight into reflection, piano music playing in the background, sunrising, even the planes flying in and out added to the rhythm of the moment…
koru hand painted rocks
My journey into power… has just begun, each day another step into knowing, becoming, being, understanding, listening, remembering… life’s many intricacies…
I’ve seen beauty in many things, not just in trees and ocean and nature things like these but also beauty in buildings, roads, people, airports, systems and art…my perspective once again broadened, seeing with new eyes again… constantly renewing, changing, growing…
My last flight before I touch down on Aotearoa soil…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – I’m becoming more and more comfortable with the imperfections in my paintings now. There is no power in perfectionism, in fact the complete opposite…allowing the imperfections is acceptance of self to grow…

Sunrise in Doha

I just finished painting this rock as the sun rose in Doha – and what a beautiful sunrise – three suns rising at Doha airport over parked plane tails as another plane takes off into the sunrise. How lovely!
koru hand painted rocks
A welcoming for a new day and I am so tired I’m nearly ready to go to sleep! I’m hopeful for a sleep on the plane during this next eight hour flight to Singapore although hopeful is a good word as I’m not very good at sleeping on planes – we’ll see! Tiredness might just get the better of me this time.
Looking forward to this new day where I will be flying high in the sky, embracing the realms of Ranginui and ngā atua. Still a work in progress for me, my connection to this realm, I am definitely a Papatūānuku girl, love to be grounded…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Feeling Lighter

I’m leaving Istanbul in a few hours and I must say I’m feeling a lot lighter. Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, I feel like I’ve left a few things behind for good.
koru hand painted rocks
It’s an odd feeling actually; it’s like the rain that fell last night for the first time since I’ve been here was a cleansing, a renewing, a letting go of past… and I’ve certainly felt heart connections here, especially to the people and the land. Those side streets that I was drawn to, the music playing, a story on every street…
So I have three rocks in my pockets for the journey home. This rock I painted today and the two rocks I started the journey with. My three totem rocks. And I’m leaving a few rocks behind to find their new homes in Amsterdam, Greece and here in Istanbul – sharing stories and aroha of home.
And I’m really looking forward to going home, feeling the earth beneath my feet again…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Carpets and Tea

I’ve lost count how many times people have tried to sell carpets to us – yes, these carpets are amazing, so many different kinds… but we soon realised that a lot of friendliness in the street and invites in for apple tea were all opportunities to try and sell us carpet!
koru hand painted rocks
We even had two young men, come with us on a complete tour of the blue mosque to lure us to their family carpet shop! Now I know that these people are in business but they will do well to learn a few lessons about how to market and sell their carpets. And I don’t think that having scouts out on the street to lure people in is an ethical way to work!
On the other hand, those who aren’t pushy and who standback and allow you to make your own decisions about what you want to buy, these are the ones you want to buy from. You even want to spend a bit of time in their shop and look around because you know that you don’t have someone over your shoulder telling you what to buy.
We stopped today in the Grand Bazaar and Matua Huirangi had a sit down and cup of tea with a group of men who were fascinated with him. There was no selling involved and this was wonderful because it was an enjoyable experience, a human connection and one that did not end in – carpet! It is all about connection, not selling the carpet!
And so in our connections and relationships we would do well to learn from this experience, that connection is what is important – make the connection and everything else will follow – I know this – I see this happening in my life over and over again! In fact there is no need to sell, just be who you are, connect and share…yes…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – chanting just beginning outside. I like it when that happens. It’s like a nice finish to my rock post. A special karakia to send the kohatu out into the universe.

Big Sisters

Well I was going to a workshop today only to get there and it had been cancelled! But kei te pai – I had an adventure on the way back, found a book festival and a few more side streets and things happening about the place. There is no shortage of things to do and photographic opportunities!
Anyway, rā whānau to my big sister today!! Big sisters… hmmm where do I start?
koru hand painted rocks
They can be annoying at times constantly trying to tell you how to live your life lol but on the other hand they can be comforting too.
I remember when I was little, this big sister used to come home from a night out – she must have only been in her teens (now her daughter my niece who has recently turned 16 will probably read this and take advantage of the situation – but oh well!) and she would bring us hot chips from Joe’s diner, the only place that was open where you could get food after a night out.. anyway, we would also say our prayers together lol – but it was comforting.
And then she left Aotearoa, she went out into the big wide world, a teenager still, she moved to Australia and left us her younger sister’s at home. It was devastating, no big sister to sit and watch a movie with and hear screaming while watching the movie (she still does this by the way – in her 40s now!) No big sister to look after us and watch over us!
But she had her own life and had to go out into the world… we’ve always been close, our grandmother passed away on my birthday and was buried on her birthday and so we always have that connection as well as our sisterly – virgo connection too.
Anyway, that’s my big sister story – and happy birthday sister!! This stone was given to me by Sonja and is one of the many she brought to Istanbul for me that she had gathered on her journey through Europe. It is from Croatia and feels very much like a home stone.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Side Streets

I am totally fascinated by the side streets here in Istanbul – specifically those that I walk past and experience everyday…
koru hand painted rocks
I was led down one today, this live acoustic music was playing and I sat to just listen and experience the music as it wafted out the door. There were three of us in the street, I’m not sure if the two young ladies were listening or whether they were seeking the quiet away from the busyness of the main street – but there was an eeriness in the air – I felt like this music was for me. I felt like a follower of the pied piper or something like that!
But every street has a story and each story is woven into the magic of this place that is full of contrast, colour and contradictions that somehow get thrown back into the mix to reveal a melting pot of culture, wonder and beauty… I never thought that I would say a place like this with little nature could be beautiful – but it is beautiful in it’s own special way.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Free Spirit

Catching up on sleep today. I woke at 10am Istanbul time and went on a bus tour, came back and slept for another four hours! I reckon I’ve tuned into Istanbul time now, but am heading home on Thurs – back to a different timezone, different weather…
koru hand painted rocks
I’ve really enjoyed the weather here. Even though it has been up in the 30s, it’s easy to tolerate, more humid than burning hot but not too humid. And most times there is shade to walk in.
Today I want to talk about being a free spirit. It’s so important to honour self – who you are. Sometimes we go through life trying to please others, or live up to other’s expectations and yet we really yearn for acceptance. We want people to accept us for who we are and what WE choose to do in our lives.
Being here in Istanbul, has reminded me of my freedom and I’m grateful that I have people around me who accept this. I also believe it takes a lot of courage to be a free spirit and we risk losing many things that are important to us, but we gain so much more by being free and being who we are.
Time for another moe! I am up early in the morning – heading over to the Sanbanci Center in Levent for a panel session on art and business – just up my alley! Something to take back to the students…
Arohanui,
Jo x
Good morning NZ – good night Istanbul!

Atua

He atua – he tangata
He atua – he tangata
Those words are sounding in my ears as I write this. It reflects some of the korero of today’s eco-sapiens round table forum for ISEA.
koru hand painted rocks
Atua – it is not what our European colonisers have labeled a single “god” but rather a collection, a community, aspects of the environment that guide us in our everyday lives and that perhaps hold the key to change – change needed to continue life as we know it. A system that has come about from lack of respect for our environment which in my view is also a lack of respect of self and who we are.
So it was interesting kōrero today. And in the words of Matua Huirangi Waikerepuru, “Atua – to reflect and respect what atua expect.”
The word “atua” culminates many things, not just one thing…they are the elements of natural law reflected in ngā ātua – peace, land, water, balance…
And the question was asked, how do we as humans view atua, how do we relate to atua and an answer came forth, if we see ourselves as atua in that we have the power to bring about change, with this understanding, we can make a difference and change begins with us.
I feel that this, was the most important question and we have just as much responsibility to find the answer to this question as well as answer the question ourselves through the lives we live and the actions we take in this life.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Industrious

Today I had more insight into how the Turkish people operate and have come to the conclusion that they are very industrious! They are not people that sit on their butts all day – they are definitely doers.
koru hand painted rocks
On every corner you will see someone selling something – grilled corn on the cob (which I’m yet to try), bread (you can get full on one of these!) and of course bottled water – in every space someone selling water.
And people of all ages! I saw a young boy selling lotto tickets, it looks like they start training them young… older women selling lavender pouches and men selling carpet, we had carpet sold to us twice today!
And I realized that there is a whole system involved in the selling of carpets too. And for many it is a family business.
And probably one of the most industrious projects of all that I experienced was the blue mosque, seven years of effort but oh my, such beauty. I could only marvel at the size of this wonderful creation.
So we can learn from these people about being in business perhaps or having the courage and focus to achieve what it is you want to achieve. And I must say that not everyone has been friendly and not every experience has been great, but there have been lessons to learn every day and this has been one of many.
Arohanui,
Jo x
It’s still my birthday in NZ and after 3pm today I will be having my birthday in Turkey! Such a LONG birthday! And I will be painting my birthday rock today while at the conference…I wonder what inspiration for this rock will come today…

Kainga-a-roto

I’ve been feeling a little homesick now and then. Yes I am having an amazing time but there is a part of me that longs for air, the sea… home…
koru hand painted rocks
I’m sitting in a park as I write this. It has trees and I was so excited when I came across it so I decided to sit on a park bench and write.
A pigeon stopped by just before and I was visited by one this morning too – it came right up to the window and lingered for a while, it’s beautiful feathers shimmering in the light…
Kainga a roto – the home within. I carry my home within… it is also the name of Sonja’s and Sen’s work here in Istanbul. I stopped by their work today to see home, the flowing water, ferns just to feel home again…
And the work is beautifully presented in a recycled case that represents a boat. And the story is brave, sincere, healing… It was nice to have comfort away from home, just for a moment…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – you will have noticed I am only using three colours – because I only brought three colours with me to Istanbul – so I’m making my backgrounds as colourful as possible! This is one of my paint trays that I have been using during the year – it has many stories too!

Beer and Whiskey

Such an eventful day – I don’t know where to start!

I listened to some interesting kōrero at the conference today and I painted this rock while sitting in on one of the panel sessions… very interesting ideas about perception and participation, intuition and energy… and during the keynote speaker, I wrote a whole lot down that came spilling out like lava from a mountain – so many things being stirred up in my thoughts…
koru hand painted rocks
So some of the random thoughts from today…
Time To Live (TTL)
Story and Picture
Energy and Intuition
Politics Does Not Exist Without Economy
Te Kore – Is Potentiality
But OH well…
Critique does not lend itself to leading new things
Indigenous – the way forward
patents curb innovation
woven within the digital data
the inevitable moment when we will have no time to react
The best form of work is not just to create them but to transform them in many ways…
The crisis is largely self-generated
Participation
So many things to ponder here! Can you imagine my brain right now other than being very tired!!
And why the title of this post? Beer and whiskey? Because at the first after party we had tonight (yes there were two!) they served beer and whiskey! An interesting choice of alcohol and I drink neither… so it was water for me at that party, but it was funny watching two thirds of people walk around drinking glasses of straight whiskey and the other third drinking beer!
And perhaps these thoughts are as random as this combination of alcohol but all this stuff was talked about today and more!And it made me ask SO many more questions!
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – I love this rock by the way – it was really lovely to paint! And it is on it’s way to Morocco with Rachida who is at the conference also – she is Berber and her whanau are tangata whenua of that area and her grandmother still lives traditionally in the mountains!

Uncontainable

Uncontainable – it’s part of the title of our exhibition which is opening here in Istanbul tomorrow at 6.45am. It reminds me of being uninhibited or unable to be contained or locked up, locked into a way of being or thinking…
koru hand painted rocks
I wonder if culture is like this? Seeing and meeting the diverse range of people here in Istanbul and also thinking about our own people back home, the many cultures that exist within our societies… how much of our lives are influenced by culture and how much of our lives are of our own thinking, our own truth?
Sometimes I feel tradition is not always the be all and end all and somewhere along the way we have to acknowledge who we are…what are our dreams and purpose for this life? And we should follow that.
It’s risky because we are going against what we’ve always known, what those around us have told us is the “right” way to do things… but what is it that I feel in my heart is the right thing to do and how am I honouring self in all this?
Something to ponder…
Ok, heading back down to the gallery space for an interview and to catch up with some of the other artists and there’s always an interesting person to meet down there! And I’ve just got a whole lot of work done and now its the afternoon, the day begins!
Hei āpōpō – until tomorrow!
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – the chanting just started outside…

Turkish Delight

I am in love with turkish delight. Not the turkish delight I remember as a child – actually that was horrible. I’m talking about REAL turkish delight – oh my gosh! I am going to try and bring truckloads back with me haha – it is going to be one of my most important items to bring home…
koru hand painted rocks
And with it no doubt will come the people, the stories and experiences of walking in crowded streets, feeling like you’re running a marathon, or feeling like you are the only person walking one way and the world is blowing towards you! Tooting cars every 5 secs, yelling people in the streets now and then – they really do talk loud in the streets here… and food, delicious food everywhere – so much to choose from and not expensive at all!
I wish I was here for longer to experience more of this amazing high energy place but will have to come back one day – oh yes, so many beautiful islands, spaces and places to be explored here.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Language

Merhaba – kiaora – so I’ve made it to the heart of Istanbul and am right in the thick of things – busyness everywhere! 24/7! But what did I expect right? 14 million people in one city, of course it will be busy!
koru hand painted rock
It’s Saturday the 10th here in Istanbul as I write this – Mon the 11th Sept in Aotearoa… and I think I have the timing right now – 9 hours behind home…
So where do I start? So many experiences to talk about already! But I do want to talk about language because as soon as I stepped off the airplane in Istanbul I noticed the language difference. I mean, of course the language is different but I realised how language or lack of, can change the course of conversation and take it to a whole new level.
And no matter how different the language, in my one day here, every person I have met has known the language of manaakitanga, the language of smiles, gratefulness, taking an interest…
For example, the cleaning lady at the airport who didn’t speak much english but she knew exactly what I needed after coming off the plane… and then the airport security guy who laughed at me when I asked which way was out lol – now if you went through customs here, you will know what I am talking about – you basically get your baggage and walk out, that’s right, you leave the building!
And the beautiful people I met in the street today while trying to look for the supermarket (dia). They did not speak english but between my sign language and their desire to help, I found my way!
It does not matter what words we speak because language comes in many forms and the language of caring for one another, taking an interest in another, a smile, a thank-you – that is language for me and I experienced it in just one day – so what are the other days going to bring?
Happy birthday Jules! This photo was taken on a table that Zeytin made. I am staying with Zeytin, a beautiful, funny Turkish wahine and Leonard a funny German guy – so what do you get when you have a Turk, a German and a Māori all living under the same roof haha – good conversation and laughs!
And of course the learning of language…
And Zeytin made this table and everything else that is in this house – she is an amazing builder, electrician, artist, tailor and when I came home from my first walk, she was cutting the German’s hair, so she is a hairdresser too!
Language – a way of communicating that has no boundaries… a way of using all the senses…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Plane Brain

Someone needs to invent a dictophone thing that can dictate your thoughts as you have them. That’s the wonderful thing about LONG plane rides is that you have a lot of time on your hands in a limited amounted of space…
koru hand painted rocks
So many things going through my plane brain – I call it because it is slightly not all there, lack of oxygen, lack of sleep and just not thinking right but I wanted to carry on with the journey into power theme – so many things have happened so far, unlikely but which have reiterated this journey for me…more on those things later but I want to share something directly from the book that I am reading at the moment, something that was totally in tune with what I was experiencing at the time…Enjoy the kōrero…
“Analysis paralysis is the ego’s way of keeping you rooted in your intellect rather than your spirit. But when you drop your brain, you actually give your body and soul a chance to shine.”
And just want to wish my niece Teiarere a happy 15th birthday today the 10th of Sept in Aotearoa NZ! As I sit and paint this rock in the Doha airport…and funny, we get here and walk off the plane like down the steps off the plane and then a bus comes and picks us up to take us to the transfer terminal lol Ka pai Doha!
Arohanui,
Jo : )

In My Suitcase

So I’m up at 6.30am this morning painting my rock because when I get to Singapore tonight there will be no time to paint a rock and photograph it and then upload it online!
koru hand painted rocks
So here it is! And I must say that I really enjoyed painting this early in the morning instead of in the late afternoon. And it’s an important rock for me… Last night I said that this was a journey about coming into power and I feel that, a coming into my own and making my mark on the world, in a nice kind of way… further expanding networks and connections and my connection to different lands and people.
And if you’ve just tuned in, I’m heading to Istanbul for ISEA – International Symposium of Electronic Art but in total contrast to this, I am carrying with me a mauri stone (8kg!) that will be exhibited in a space with other Aotearoa artists who will be showing their work also.
The exhibition is called Te-Kore-Rongo-Hungaora – Uncontainable – Second Nature and will open on the dawn of the 14th Sept at 6.30am in Istanbul. See more info here: http://bit.ly/oOanTB
So anyway, just before I board, I want to tell you some of the things that are in my suitcase – because of course you might be interested. Other than the usual things, I had to dump a few clothes off with Todd at the airport because the bag was too heavy and I was too stubborn to pay the excess when I was only a kg or 2 over! So I have hardly any clothes lol but who cares, my yoga mat, the 8kg mauri stone wrapped in a purple cloth that I got from Belau 7 years ago, fishing line, wax string, two flip cameras, a stills camera, laptop (essential), dark peppermint chocolate, business cards, 15 rocks to paint, paint, 4 packs of blu tack for Sonja, today’s rock and yesterday’s rock in each pocket (well, not exactly in the suitcase!), “Journey into Power” book, a few cords and power things, a bone carving, a beautiful totara piece to go around my neck that Todd made me, my greenstone, paint container, paint brushes…and probably and a few more bits and pieces…
So there you go…I’m ready to board, will talk to you all again soon perhaps when I arrive to Singapore but the next rock for tomorrow will be painted in Doha for my next transit stop of 14 hours.
Hope you all enjoy the RWC opening tonight and I hear there’s another flash mob haka happening downtown in Gisborne at the townclock, not sure when but go and check it out!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Journey Into Power

Today I began my journey to the other side of the world… as I walked out to the plane at Gisborne airport, a kahu circled up above just in front of the plane – ahhhh – he tohu tēra – kua marino te huarahi kei mua i a au…
koru hand painted rocks
So a lovely sign from one of my kaitiaki – the kahu (hawk), forever on the paths that I travel, supporting and looking after me…
Today I began my journey – I’ve decided to call it “My Journey Into Power” because this feels like another healing journey, not so much an emotional journey like the last one, but more a coming out the other side, coming into my own… a feeling of being empowered… just like the kahu spreading it’s wings and flying… and it is the name of the only book that I am taking with me on my journey – a book that is going to keep me practicing yoga while I am away.
I’m looking forward to what lies ahead, always eager to learn and embrace change and difference and the people who await me on the other side of the world. I carry this mauri stone with me (all 8kg!) a mauri of this whenua (land) to another whenua as a tohu, a symbol of the journey, the stories and the spirit of who we are and where we come from…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Whew!

What a day!
That’s all I want to say – nah just kidding : )
koru hand painted rock
But it has been one of those days – so many things to do, sending this thing to this person and that person, doing this, doing that, organising this and that, emails, marking students work, things to do downtown, packing suitcase which means putting everything in a pile for now, checking flights are all cool and I have got the right day, oh and painting, photographing and writing about rock but I’ve been doing that for 250 days straight now – māma taua mahi – easy mahi that one!

Oh and did I say I did yoga too? One of the most important parts of the day. And SO much more I achieved!
How does one fit so much into one day and remain sane?
I remember when I used to try and cram eveything into one day and would stress so much that nothing got done – but it’s amazing what drives you and how organised you can be when you want to be. I remember asking how to have more time to do things – now I know – time can be created!!
And anything is possible I believe.
So anyway, that was a big “whew!” for the day – it’s the end of the day, a later post than normal which will set the tone for the next two weeks I reckon as I embark on my journey across the seas into a different time zone and land…the journey begins tomorrow… first stop Tamaki Makaurau! Rugby World Cup begins and I’m leaving the country – fantastic!
Arohanui,
Jo x
115 days to go for the year – I remember thinking two weeks was an achievement, now I’m heading for the finish line but I reckon when I get there the next thing will have already started : )

Bee-ing

Has anyone seen the Bee Movie? Oh my gosh – this is such a COOL movie!
We watched it last night and were in fits of laughter and the animation is awesome! It’s a family movie, very well made and with an important message, actually, I think more movies with important messages need to be made like this – engaging, colourful and funny!
koru hand painted rocks
So what is it’s message? The importance of bees and the cross pollination work they do for the stability of our ecosystems and plant species which sustain the health and longevity of our planet and people!
Bees are SO important! And even though this movie was funny, after watching it, I also started to think of honey in a different way, sort of like oil – yes we have a use for it, it helps us but is it good for the bees when we have our hives collecting all THEIR honey for US?

I don’t know the answer to this question but I know that bees also need the honey as a food source…
So GO THE BEES! Next time you think about swatting a bee – think of how important that bee you just swatted WAS to your survival! And you MUST watch the movie – there are so many funny scenes like all these insects that talk to each other going back and forward on the window wipers of a car and a whole colony of bees flying a plane? You have to watch to fully appreciate what I mean – haven’t laughed so much in ages!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Going With the Flow

I had to look back through all 200 and something rocks to see if I had titled a post, “going with the flow” – and I hadn’t!
koru hand painted rock
So there you go – going with the flow has been me over the past few days, preparing myself for the long journey ahead, not wanting to stress about things that need to be done before I leave and just doing one thing at a time until it’s done!
And sometimes things haven’t gone according to plan but that’s just the way it is. I’ve been going with it, and things have turned out fine in the end.
So it’s another go with the flow day today – allowing life to unfold as it is.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Election Looming

Compassion and Love – the two things I believe that have the ability to heal.
koru hand painted rocks
Apparently the world is supposed to be ending next year and if not next year, with the way we’re carrying on, we’re certainly heading that way somewhere into the near future…

I can’t help but think at a time when we are perhaps so vulnerable, natural disasters happening so often now that even the skeptics have started to listen a little bit. So many contrasts of poverty and wealth, greed, decisions made for all the wrong reasons – I have to ask the question, how does that happen and what can be done to bring everything back into balance?”
Love and compassion for everything – I believe these two things have the ability to heal. I really do.

And I need to say to those people who lead our country right now – the party who has the most aroha and compassion for all things is going to get my vote. Fullstop.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Non – Judgmental

How often in a day do we judge?
In my quest to be non-judgmental, I learnt a cool thing to help me, and that is to ask a question when I find myself being judgmental of others and that question is,”hmmmm I wonder about that?”
koru hand painted rock
A simple question that puts whatever you are judging into a state of wonderment where you think of it as something unknown or new – something you “wonder” about and want to know more about rather than judge.

Being non-judgmental for me is about accepting another’s perspective, another’s way of living and if we can accept, we don’t have to agree, just accept, then we open ourselves up to learning opportunities and experiences that change us and the way we see the world.
I’m still learning to be non-judgmental (which is also a journey of acceptance of self) but being conscious of it allows me to change slowly but surely…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Kicking Back

Today’s kohatu is definitely “me” right now – kicking back and relaxing just for the moment…
koru hand painted rocks
It’s nice to allow myself the luxury of doing this now and then, to watch a movie, read a book or just do nothing!
There is a lot of work to do – yes – but being able to re-energise oneself is an important part of bringing balance into one’s life and I have a long journey ahead next week, so am enjoying the time…
So this is ME for now…and this photo reminds me of myself leaning against a wall, just chilling…
Arohanui,
Jo x

How Do You See?

Do you see white or do you see blue? Do you see grey or do you see brown?
Isn’t it funny when we see something, we only see what we want to see? And in choosing what we want to see, we miss out on what is in front of us, the whole picture.
koru hand painted rocks
It’s a bit like the media and their one sided views shaping their stories according to what their readers want to hear or what they want to say. Never mind about the actual story the person wants to tell.
We are addicted to drama and struggle and all those things that create “drama” in our lives. Perhaps that’s why many of us like watching “drama” on TV because it actually fulfils the drama we create in our lives.
I enjoy stories about triumphs – those stories that make me smile like the falla who won Homai te Pakipaki on Friday night. I will never forget him and his gumboots! You know he rocked up there gumboots and all and he was massive! Bet not many people would have picked that one.
Or the story about leaders in Palestine who are using non-violent protest to stop a barrier being built across their olive groves. Now I could have got caught up in the media hype and totally overlooked this story…
So how do you see your world? Is everything in your world happy and positive and loving? Or is life a struggle, waiting for the next struggle and the next?
What do you choose to see?
Arohanui,
Jo x