Response To Touch

koru hand painted rocks

I was putting healing cream on my niece’s excema this morning and she just sat there, fluttered her butterfly eyelashes and was enjoying the touch and attention to her skin.
koru hand painted rocks
Today I picked up my Mum from the resthome and she loved to have kisses on her face, me touching her soft skin with my two hands, she responded with a smile and glow in her eyes. Just beautiful.

All it takes is time, attention and love to give a child, touch can be the most special gift one can give to a child.

All it takes is time, attention and love to give… when we grow up and have given all the love, we then require love and care in return to replenish that love. It can be the most warming and life giving thing for an adult, to feel loved and to be touched with love.

It’s been a beautiful day today with whānau! We are all together – have prepared kai for the hangi tomorrow (well actually today as it is 1am in the morning!) but it has been such a special day. Pō mārie.

Arohanui,
Jo x

Honour

I spoke to my Mum and Dad today. Mum in Rotorua and Dad in Te Puke. I’ve realised now that I am older, how important my mātua are to me. As a rangatahi, a young person, selfish and tied up in my own world, I took my parents for granted. Actually I took life for granted. Life was all about me. My sisters will say that as the youngest I was spoilt but of course, I don’t agree! But I will say, Mum and Dad were at times soft!
koru hand painted rock
We had a colourful upbringing and although at times it may not have been ideal, I am grateful for my experiences as a child that have instilled in me a resilience to bounce back from anything and an ability to be resourceful and solve problems.
Today I honour my mātua. I am grateful that they are still alive today and everyday I am thankful for that.
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – I’ve used black paint again on this rock. I don’t use black much, in fact this is only the second time I’ve used it on a rock!

Heal

There are a lot of videos on the internet showing the devastation of the disaster in Japan, footage that you would not see on mainstream television. I can’t bring myself to watch it right now. The comments are painting a picture for me and it scares me to even take a look! A lot of healing to take place in the world, a lot of internal healing also.
koru hand painted rocks
I did see in the news that there was a 60 year old man rescued 15km out to sea. That is hope for me. That all is not doom and gloom and there still is life to preserve and hold on to. And every bit of hope there is, we need to hold on to. I celebrate with this man his life, and I also am sad that he will probably never see his wife again who was swept out to sea. And this is one of many many stories, I am sure will emerge. And the reality of many people not seeing their loved ones alive, ever again.
It’s a hot day today in Gisborne, it’s like summer has returned. Such a luxury. I thought about taking my new surfboard out in the sea and then my thoughts were of the people in Japan, the water and ocean that connects us, the loss of life out there…I just couldn’t bring myself to go there…wanting to respect the huge loss of life – it has really affected me.
A time to heal land, a time to heal people.

Self responsibility to heal.
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – another soothing rock to paint, it is a pastel yellow colour called moonbean. The spiral is healing…

Sustain

This rock is full of a whole lot of stuff!
So many thoughts going around in my head at the moment. Many things happening in the world, planetary shifts, change, and plenty of internal shifts as well.
Today, I’ve been listening to stories I’ve captured on video about sustainability. It’s a funny word thats been thrown around quite a bit and used in many ways. In fact, its seen to be “cool” if you have some kind of “sustainability” attached to what you do. Many people I have talked to all have different views although one common thought is emerging and that is we need to look after our planet in order to sustain our existence on this earth. Because if we are not looking after our planet, then how can we expect our planet to look after us?
koru hand painted rocks
And our relationship with the earth is non- negotiable.
I watched in total disbelief as the tsunami in Japan totally engulfed everything in its way, this black mass moving across the land…the strength and power of the water was mind boggling and I imagine if you were in its pathway, theres a good chance you would not survive. The images and footage that have emerged are disturbing…
I think about my life, the relationships I have, my family and friends, the work that I do, the struggles, the triumphs, everything in my life that I am dealing with right now and then I see this and it puts everything into perspective for me.

What if we all ceased to exist on this earth? What if we were here today, gone tomorrow? In light of recent events, that is a very real possibility and that reality is increasing by the day. I imagine there are many around the world who are also questioning their lives and their existence…
I decided yesterday to create an evacuation plan. We’ve started stocking up on water and other things which will continue over the coming weeks. I never thought I would say it or even be doing it but the feeling to do this is so strong…
I feel even more passionate about my work than ever before. The stories I tell, the art I create, the messages I share are now more important than ever.
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – I have no anger at Papatuanuku for what has happened. I am sad for the loss of life and I am sad that it has come to this. But I also understand that this is mother nature’s way of healing herself, letting go of unnecessary things that no longer serve this planet, just as we humans go through a process of letting go to heal ourselves…

Samadhi

I was reading a post yesterday from Ray – a Vipassana meditation friend who had just come off a course serving for 11 days. And he was asking what had gone on in the world while he was on the course. It’s a bit like that when you have no contact with the outside world! I remember coming out of one course in 2001 to front page news that a plane had flown into the World Trade centre! Not great news to come out to but grateful for a balanced and equanimous mind at the time!
But seeing Ray’s post immediately took me back to my first Vipassana meditation course in 1999 and how that experience changed my life forever.
koru hand painted rocks
Not being able to talk for 10 days didn’t bother me. I could handle that, actually I welcomed the silence, peace and tranquility of the meditation centre. The challenge was more about the journey within that I was about to embark on. And how would I cope sitting from 4.30am until 9pm at night – just meditating – and doing this for 10 days! How would I cope??
But I survived, and my life is so much more richer because of it!! And I am a sucker for punishment so I went back for a few more courses over the next six years, just to make sure that the pain (physical and emotional!) was real and perhaps there was a possibility that it would no longer be there? No such luck! But it had become less!
Samadhi is a word that I remember well from my first course and if I could have right focus and right concentration of mind then this would help me get through each moment. And I find that I am still reaping the benefits in my life today. I am not perfect of course and at times I lose focus and get distracted, but less than I used to. And I have so much more awareness now, especially of self.
Arohanui,
Jo x

The Space In Between

I love this rock I’ve painted today. It’s one of my favorite rocks so far. It was very soothing to paint.
The weather is changing. It’s been raining for most of the day and I’ve been in a different space. An in between space where I’m neither her nor there, just in between. It’s kind of an odd feeling…a transitional space perhaps, reflective, just being…and there is probably some tired in there too! I woke this morning with a million and one ideas floating around in my mind which is great but now I’m tired!
koru hand painted rock
I feel the need to declutter again and let go of a few external and internal things and perhaps then I will see a clearer pathway and will venture out into another space. But for now, am embracing this space in between…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – I took this photo on my laptop. I quite liked the idea of having the rock and the paint and the metallic surface coming together. The dark grey colour in the middle is the natural colour of the rock, the other greyish colour is called delta grey and the creamy colour is called manuka honey.