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KOTA: Knowing Ourselves Thru Art

~an ezine of creative ideas, news, and support~

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Honoring and Discovering...

a creative prompt & remembrance
from Kara L.C. Jones

Just learned from Sherene today that Paul Rebillot died on February 11th.

Paul's work of The Hero's Journey and The Call to Adventure are as fundamental to my own work as is the influences of Joseph Campbell's work. I was a second generation student to Paul's work, never having the opportunity to work with him in person. Rather my teacher was Sherene who had studied with Paul in person. She and her husband Rick were so profoundly affected by working with Paul that they've made a documentary about him. Sherene has a deep love and respect for Paul, and she instilled that deep respect for him in my own heart, too. Not to mention the love and respect I have for Sherene herself. I am very sad to learn of Paul's death - especially moved by his death coming on the 11th of the month considering that the 11th of this month is the 11th birth/death day of my own son, Dakota. I just feel the angelic realms are at work somehow.

So today's creative prompt is going to be directly from Paul's amazing work, in honor and profound love and thanks to him for all he gave to this world -- for all of his heART-work that will live on for generations to come.

Discovering Your Hero
based on Paul Rebillot's I AM exercise in the book The Call To Adventure.

Get a piece of paper, oversized if possible. Draw a line about a third of the way down the page. Set it aside.

Now, I want you to think about your very favorite animal. Really visualize this animal. What does it look like? If you were to touch it, what would it feel like? What does it sound like? How does it move? How does it interact in the world? Get up out of your chair and begin moving around the room like that animal, make its noises, really embody it for a few moments.

Then come back to your piece of paper.
Below the line, write a few words or phrases that embody your favorite animal. Roar, bouncy, furry, leaps up high. You get the idea. Only write below the line. Then set the paper aside again.

Now, think about the person who was most important to you when you were a child. Really invoke them in your mind. See how they look, hear their voice. See how they move around and interact with others. Get up out of your chair and begin moving around the room as if you were that person. Really embody them. Try to stand how they stood. Walk how they walked. What would they have been wearing? Dress up in something similar as you walk around the room.

Come back to your paper.
Below the line, write words and phrases that describe this person. Always smiling, great hugger, calm, loved to sing. You get the idea. Only write below the line. Set the paper aside again.

Now, think about your favorite movie star or music star. See them clearly. How did they sound? What qualities about them most intrigued you? How did they dress? What character did they play that you liked most? If a musician, see how they move on stage. How do they appear to move through the world. And then get up and begin to embody them. Stand like they would. Walk like they would. Pretend to introduce yourself as that star to another person. Feel the qualities you admire about them coming through your body.

Come back to your paper.
Below the line, write the words and phrases of this person. Suave, kind, very confident in their body, quirky. You get the idea.

When you are done, look at the empty space of the page above the line you drew.

I want you to fill that entire space with huge letters that spell out:

I AM...

Now sit with this page and really consider how *you are* all of these best qualities of these various beings. Really try them all on for size. Say out loud one by one, "I Am..." (fill in quality here), and see how they fit. After you try all of them on for size, choose the five that feel the most like a right-fit. Circle those.

Take your paper to a mirror.
Look yourself in the eye, in the mirror and say out loud, "I Am..." (fill in quality here). Do this for each one you circled. Do it at least twice with each quality.

If you have someone else you trust and can do this with, sit down together. Have them hold a safe and sacred space with you as you look them in the eye and repeat, "I Am..." (fill in quality here).

This is the power of discovering your Hero Self!!

When grief comes, it knocks us off balance with the strength of trauma and shock. The grief shadow, gremlin, demon has a LOT of energy to it. Think about how those early days of grief had such impact that you were knocked out of the normal pace of life. Think about how the fire of grief reacted with the chemistry of your previous life and changed everything. Your relationships changed. Your work may have changed. Your financial situation may have been affected. It takes a LOT of energy to have our lives changed from top to bottom!

But here's the key: When we channel that grief energy THROUGH the strengths of our Hero Self, the possibility for transformation comes. When we begin to channel the fire of grief through the "I AM..." strengths, we have the possibility to transcend loss. We have the chance to begin integrating all that grief has brought. We begin learning to live life again, fully in the face of death, loss, mortality. We begin to face our own mortality, learning to not take life for granted, and living every moment as fully as possible.

This happens only through the partnership of Shadow's energy and Hero's strength. If we deny one or the other, we are not having a fully embodied experience. We are not able to bring the whole of ourselves to the table.

By doing the work of Shadow and Hero together, we begin to give ourselves permission to transcend grief and begin living a more authentic life.

You try this "I Am..." experiment this week. You can just do it as I've written above or you can go one step further and make art inspired from the experience. Try making self portraits. One portrait of the grief self before you did the "I Am..." exercise. Another portrait of your self before grief even came into your life. And a third portrait exploring the version of you that is channeling grief's energy THROUGH your Hero Self just made conscious in this "I Am..." exercise. Look at the progression of the three pieces. See how your story is changing and evolving.

Try it out this week. Just see what happens. Feel free to share your experiments over on the MotherHenna.blogspot.com or Kotapress.blogspot.com or over at the MISS Creation Station forum!

Take a Home Workshop

The chaos of grief can be disorienting. Even when others try to be helpful, we may feel implicitly or explicitly pressured to grieve in a certain way. But these experiences are unique to each of us. In our "Finding Our Way" home workshop, you'll discover lots of creative tools for experimenting as you learn to live again in the face of loss. For full information, click here...


Treat Yourself to a Reading

Only offered through our Mother Henna Etsy shop! Madame Zelda does card readings using the 1,000 Faces of Mother Henna deck of cards created by heARTist Kara LC Jones. Madame does a Reiki meditation as she considers your questions or issues. Then she picks three cards from the deck and reads them for you. You get a PDF file with scanned images of your three cards plus the write up of Madame's reading. To schedule your reading today, click here...


You Have Permission

*This Creative Coaching Group has been totally reformatted!!* Please click over and read about new format, lower registration fee per participant, and new, additional goodies you get when you attend!

Spots are still open for the You Have Permission session. We'll be working small group, meeting on the phone, so you can join from anywhere. We'll also host a private blog available 24/7, and all participants will have access to download all session materials to use locally any time. Join as we practice the art of Permission! Click here for full information...


Woodmont Ave

A new poetry collection from Kara L.C. Jones is now available via Lulu. The Woodmont Ave book is a collection of short, visually oriented poetry, musing on life at Woodmont Ave in the 1920s, 1940s, and 1980s. Click here for full information...

PLUS 10% off your purchase of the book Woodmont Ave!

Thru March 31st, Lulu is offering my readers 10% off your purchase of the title Woodmont Ave! Use the code IDES when you check out, and you'll get 10% off your purchase. Click here for full information about the Woodmont Ave book...

And if by chance we happen to sell more copies of Woodmont Ave in the month of March than any other author sells of their book on Lulu, we win the Lulu prize for big exposure on the book!

So many thanks to each of you now for your March purchase of the Woodmont Ave book!!


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Blessing to Each of You!

Reiki to you:


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