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A Toolbox of Words

A toolbox of words

An idea that you might like to try, a gentle way to introduce some poetry into your creative journal.

Pick up any book and let it fall open. Allow your eyes to jump and skip around over the page until they stop on a word. Write that word down, or maybe even rip it, or cut it out if that is possible. Keep going, look for more words. After a few minutes swap to a different book or a magazine until you have a handful of words.

Perhaps some of the words just make you smile. Some of them feel good on your tongue, some make you curious and others might be strange or unfamiliar, inspiring you want to find out what they mean. It’s all good.

Now put the words somewhere safe, maybe into a box, so that you know where they are when you need them. You now have a unique resource that you can play with and add to any time you feel like it.

Try making some one line ‘poems’ by stringing some of your words together.

Maybe put a few of those lines together to make a longer poem. Playing with words is a bit like playing with paint, a bit of this and a dab of that just to see what happens when they mix together.

The results might surprise you.

I pulled some words out of the box above and played with them:

“The desert nomad dreams of overdue weather and the hidden pleasures to be found in savouring a bowl of steaming broth.” 

Your poem might feel finished and ready to be written into your journal, however you may want to play some more. Perhaps the words inspire you to write a longer poem or a story. Maybe they causes a prickle of memory for you and you find yourself painting in swirling colours …

So many possibilities from just a few words that caught your eye.

(The idea of a box of words comes from the book ‘Inner Excavation:  Explore yourself through photography, Poetry and Mixed Media, by Liz Lamoreux 2010).

Written by Pam Wakefield

I’m not perfect, but I am showing up.

It’s not about being perfect, it’s about showing up.

Whatever that means for you in each moment. Maybe you can’t show up for that event or that commitment right now, but can you still show up for yourself?

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Maybe you can’t show up for another right now, but can you still stay with yourself, not desert yourself when you most need it?

You don’t need to do it perfectly, you don’t need to have the right words, or the right moves or the right lines. Can you stay with yourself in the heat of it, and companion your heart through the ups and downs?

Lately I have had the privilege of continuing with my arts based research and am using the creative process to explore exploring ‘the edges’.

I am exploring the connection between safety and growth and how we can find what we need in order to feel safe enough to grow.

To explore the edges.

To push our comfort zones.

To dance at the edge.

Finding ways to transform and expand and redefine who we are, our story of who we are in the world.

To begin to break open who we thought we were and become more of who we are in the world.

I have witnessed a spoken word night tonight, Speak up with Fleassy Malay.

I have witnessed many incredible performances, with the aim just to be real, to be vulnerable, to show up. It was not about being perfect, but just being willing to be seen in that edge, that growing, that celebrating of the humanness within us. It was incredibly inspiring to witness. I walk away feeling blessed to be surrounded by people with such courage to take those steps to the edge and be willing to embrace the unknown, even when it feels terrifying.

I am exploring my edge too- I am doing Elemental Voices, a six week singing journey with Clare Sentience, a dear friend and an incredible singer and medicine woman.

The journey I have taken with expression and my voice has been a rocky one, much more preferring to write or draw or paint, this is my comfort zone. And because one of my highest values is growth and truth, I have been drawn to exploring this, two years ago with Fleassy’s Speak up Course, and then again now with Clare’s Elemental Voices course.

It is not a natural position for me to be up on stage expressing using words, or sound.

I know that being more comfortable in my own skin, in front of others, just letting myself be seen and witnessed, and HEARD is something that will only strengthen me as a person, as a facilitator and as a therapist.

I am committed to my growth, even when it is scary.


So, I would like to share with you a recording of my spoken word piece that I performed for the Speak Up Course in 2013, something that I recorded while practicing and haven’t listened to since.

I found it tonight after attending the current courses performance, and I have such compassion for that Amanda that was so terrified of being witnessed and seen, that she wrote a piece about how terrified she was to be witnessed and seen, and the GIFTS that come from taking the steps to so the things that terrify us.

It is with great courage that I include the link here to this audio recording, if you too would like to witness my expression.

Keep showing up for yourself.

In whatever way is right for YOU.

There is no one way to grow, the only task is to let go of “should” and just be okay to show all of your humanness, and in doing so, connect deeply to yourself and those lucky enough to witness you in your truth.


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Solitude is something I forget the importance of until I have little of it. I am used to spending lots of time on my own, pondering, thinking, daydreaming, planning, figuring things out. In the silent spaces my mind is busy. I have spent time in close quarters with my family these past few days, in a lovely little town in St Helens, on the East coast of Tasmania. It is a town of about 3,000 people in the low season.

Close by is the Bay of Fires a beautiful beach with picturesque white sand and clear clean sea. I came here often when I was a child, to visit my grandmother. I have snap shots memories of the beach, walking down the Main Street, the antique shops and weekend market. I see pictures in my mind of the short walk to the peer where the fisherman catch crays. The town is quiet but the RSL is very busy on the weekend. The weekly meat raffle, the pub meals, and the pokey machines, bright and flashing and enticing for the locals and tourists. My beautiful Nana passed away a few months ago, and yesterday we scattered her ashes in Beauty Bay, St Helens. I found boxes of creative bits and pieces in her cupboards at her house, and am reminded that my nana also knew the power of creativity. She would spend hours making flower ribbons and delicate decorations even years after she spent her days as a young woman as the head of the gift wrapping department in Myer department stores.

Of course I brought my pens and paints and pencils with me to Tassie. I received a new note book for Christmas to begin creating as the year transitions.

I sat on the beach today at the Bay of fires, and became present to the sounds and sights around me and sensations within me. I sat there with gratitude for the silence, allowing me to be with the sound of the ocean. Solitude is only acknowledged when there is a comparison. If there was no connection to others, then solitude may feel more like loneliness. Because there is connection and closeness, the solitude is a welcomed polarity. The balance of the two helps me to centre myself. I feel if I spent long periods with others I want time after to be still, silent and not speak or socialise. There are some people I feel I can still be in the same space with and have space. I am also wondering if the more I create space within myself the less it will matter what happens outside.

This is what I wrote while sitting on the beach.

“Let the crashing waves heal me, from the liquid insides of this human body. The smell of salt, the feel of the fine white sand. The wind and waves mixed together with the distant sounds of kids laughter. Over and over and over again the waves crash. A mix of immense power and slow gentle bubbling froth. I am challenged to the core by the sensitivity I feel, sometimes it comes out of me as a crashing wave, and I can’t contain it. It is balanced by the soothing repetition of the contrasting gentle and powerful waves, the combination of stillness and movement.”

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Value Conflict, when two values clash

2153729When there is conflict, there is a natural response that emerges generally, and according to our patterns and habits and what we are used to, we will generally go into a flight or fight response. If you remain in your centre and remind yourself that you are okay, and you do not need to fight or run, then you can face into the conflict and still remain grounded.

Although that is not always the way things turn out. When conflict comes up, I am learning about the importance of digging a little deeper and identifying what you value. What is important to you in relation to this conflict? It can often be a conflict in your values, internally, or the values of you and another person. Once you know what the values are that are clashing, at least you can find a way to be with the discomfort of the conflict, have an understanding of it and then maybe even find some acceptance for this difference in values. For me, I realised there was a deep conflict in two very strong values.


These two values are strong in me, and like the last post about balance, there is often a fight between the two, and often achievement wins. I value achievement because this for me means contributing my gifts to the world, expressing myself in the world and following my heart, dreams and purpose. This takes hard work, and is enjoyable also.

The other value is self care. I have in the past experienced burn out, due to lack of self care, of putting other people and other things first and this has meant that I do not enjoy the things in my life that usually I love. I find myself exhausted and unmotivated for the things I value. So when I am focussed too much on achievement and not enough on self care, I am not productive and I don’t enjoy anything. I noticed yesterday, when i took the day off to walk in the sunshine and wander and make art and play guitar and take a hot bath, I felt very inspired, full of ideas and inspiration and energy to put into my work and my life and my workshops and my study.

So this was another message, a reminder that self care is not selfish, that it means I have so much energy to give and so that I can experience the world and people around me fully.

What do you do for self care?
When was the last time you took the time to fully experience those things that really care for and honour you?
What can you do this week for your own self care, to nurture your creative and inspired self?

Share your thoughts below.

Creative Endeavours

Creativity is like its own form of medicine. Art has heart. Art of the soul. Art therapy isn’t about others, it’s about self expression. It’s a gift to the world. It’s not about others but it gives so much to others. It has the power and potential to give permission to others to create and express. It can be so powerful as to help someone realize they are not alone, that others feel like them too, that they are not abnormal and crazy! Art has the ability to heal, to allow vulnerability and to release shame and judgement. Art invokes any shame and judgement that you hold onto, and brings it to the forefront to be cleared, released and healed. There is no right or wrong with art. If you fully connect with where you are at, even if it is resistance to art making, this is the doorway through the blockages. It takes courage to make art. It takes bravery and vulnerability and a willingness to face what is unconscious, what is yet to be revealed. It is unknown and can hold both excitement and fear. It is full of possibility, transformation and connection to something greater than our worrying mind. It holds the possibility for welcoming you highest potential, your highest self, and a space to listen to the wisdom that exists in this space.

So take your time, go at your own pace, be your own creative coach, your own cheer squad. Make creativity a part of your life, in your own way. And acknowledge the ways you are already creative. From writing, to cooking, to the way you dress, the way you laugh, the way you smile, the way you walk, and the way you think! Acknowledge that it takes courage to fully expressive your creative self in the world. And I wonder what you deny yourself, when you shut it down. You deserve to shine, in your own unique way, at your own pace, with whatever is present for you right now.

You are exactly where you need to be.

Creativity awakens the soul, it invites the curiosity of a child, and embraces all that is present right here right now.

Amanda Scott

A soft place to land…

“Inside yourself, is a garden. Inside yourself, is a home. Inside yourself, is a soft place to land. When we tend to this place, clean it, and make it a home, then there is unconditional comfort within. This internal place is ever present, in an ever changing outer world.” – Amanda Scott

Where is your soft place to land? Lately my world has felt like a million floating bubbles, elusive, delicate and fragile, with so many different things on the go at once. I spent the weekend studying, which I love, and yet I had neglected tending my inner comfort, my inner place to land. So this, I have listened to, I have heard. I have realized, again, that life is a tender balance. Balance is not something that you arrive at, and then stay in. Balance is a constant awareness, a constant adjusting and a constant fine tuning. With practice and tuning in with your needs, the out-of-balance cycle tends to be less extreme, and more subtle.

So I have a question for you.
Where are you now in relation to balance?
What ever comes up from this question, allow it to be here. Allow it to surface. Give it full permission. Uncomfortable feelings are flag’s, messages and hints for what may need to be attended to within yourself.

“In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount.”
Haruki Murakami


Morning Inspiration

Waking up watching the sunrise through the trees, reminded me of the simple things in life. It reminded me of the things I want to do that ground me and center me…. These things make space for inspiration, creativity and motivation…



A wishing Crane

Creative Journaling #30
Create your own idea for this one!
I started with a small square piece of paper. On this paper, I wrote a wish, dream, what I wanted more for myself in my life, what I wanted to focus on.
I then folded this page into a paper crane! It now sits with me on my desk at work. Inside, I know what is there, and yet no one else does (unless they open it). There is no reason for anyone to open as it is such a delightful yellow crane, and no one would think there was something so special within it! This serves as a reminder to me every time I see yellow in the corner of my eye.


A Journey to Authenticity

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”
Brené Brown

Sharing and connection, sharing your story with someone is one of the most powerful ways to break free from your own bounds, to break free from the cage that you sometimes create around you. I am forever learning about how powerful this can be, from experience to experience. I find that the more I share where I am at, the more I am reminded that we are all in this together. I did an activity to explore the other night using sandtray therapy. For those of you who don’t know, sand tray therapy uses a tray with sand in it that becomes the landscape, the world that you create within. From this place you choose figurines and symbols to place in the tray, that you can move around, and interact with one another. If you have not tried this process, I recommend it, as a way to explore your innermost feelings, beliefs and themes in your life and gain clarity. In the process of exploring the tray that I created, I discovered that the theme was around moving from a journey of being hidden to being seen. When I came across the quote by Brene Brown above, it reminded me of the power of the process of sharing the journey you are on right now with one another. The interested part of the process was that there were similarities between my sand tray theme and that of my companion. The main point of shift, of awareness, of opening and expanding for me was remembering that even though it is scary and hard to be vulnerable when I am resisting it (in my self doubt), I have learnt time and time again of the rewards of sharing my authenticity with the world. There are endless rewards for me in sharing, and equally there are rewards for those I connect and share with. In this sharing, something changes, something happens. I am not sure exactly how to explain it, but I think it is that when someone is being authentic and real, it is like everything else falls away, there is no time, no judgement, no planning of tasks in my brain, and no distractions. There is just two (or more) souls connecting, fully present in the moment. It is like when something is so real and so connected, you can feel it in your whole being.

My learning in this moment is that no matter what is happening in my life, I am okay. And the way through the difficult times for my is to express. This might be through art, through movement, through talking, through music, whatever it is, I know that it moves me, it frees me, it allows me to be present and be real and not fight or hide or control. The pain comes in the resistance, in the fight. When you surrender to whatever it is you are feeling, and fully accept this, there is almost an audible sigh of relief. You don’t have to play any games or pretend. You can just be real, and the people that you are courageous enough to trust and invite into this sacred space are gifted with the permission to also be real, to drop away any pretences, any games or any pretending. It is a chance to be free, and be real, and be alive!

Creative Journaling #28


Five things I love about me.
Starting this image and thinking of five things I love about me can be challenging at times, and over the years it is something I have become better at. There was a time when I would not have been able to find 5 things.

I feel that sometimes the way I was brought up and the environment I live in has an unsaid rule that stops you from being able to truly love yourself. That by thinking and feeling that you are great, awesome and loveable makes you conceited and up yourself. Now I understand that one of the most important things about living a meaningful life is being able to develop a healthy self esteem.

Healthy, well what does that really mean? For me it means being able to see my value in the world, so that I can feel good about myself and who I am, regardless of what I do or achieve in the world. That me being worthy, is unconditional, no matter what circumstances I find myself in. I feel like this is necessary in a world that judges, and assesses your skills for employment, for relationships, for accomplishing things and being awarded certificates. These things assess your skills, but not who you really are. When you are able to separate this from who you are, and still have an unwavering knowing that you, at your essence are worthy of love, and hold qualities that surpass your circumstances, puts you in a position of being more resilient to what life throws at you.

So… how do you develop this? Because as a child, did we not all have this?
Before we were moulded into something else?
I don’t think there is an easy answer to this, and as much as we it can help to have your essence and being reflected back to you from those around you that love you, when it comes down to YOU on your own, where does this come from?

For me, I have developed this through others, through allowing myself to be seen, be vulnerable and be real with those around me. Not only the parts I deem “good” but all of it, the struggles, the judgements, the doubt, and the fear.

This allows me to be seen fully, and in my experience of this, I have become more connected, more loved, and more loving towards others. It has freed me up, I am not spending time and energy on hiding parts of me, which only develops more shame and disconnection.

When you continually show up, to those around you that you trust, you develop more self esteem, more trust in yourself and your own ability to be true to yourself. When you value yourself and your own experience, make yourself a priority in your life, and make your wellbeing a priority, you are telling yourself (through ACTION) that you are important, that you have your own back.

And then, over time, you can hear the question “what are five things that you love about yourself?” the struggle is not finding five things, but it choosing which five things to express…