Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I have an exciting mandala commission with my old family Church here in Ottawa! Above is the begining of the project. It will blossom over the next week as I work on it. What a way to heal. I hope to write more on this.
Here's the text from the Church bulletin:
This December, the parish council has endorsed an exciting Church art project. Russell Maier, a long time parishioner and professional artist, is in town for the next two months. He wishes to fulfill a dream of involving Epiphany in building a grand mosaic mandala out of photos of everyone in the Church.
Mandalas are an ancient tool for healing and restoration. Russell, back from Europe for health reasons, realizes that community is also important for healing. Over the holidays there are many others in our Church seeking healing. As we embark on this art project together we ask for your prayers for all those individuals and families in need of healing and restoration in our Church community. The project is a beautiful way for us to come together as a family and shine our love, acceptance and prayers for all those experiencing trials amongst us.
"Two years ago, I stood in the Church that I have been a part of for 15 years and marvelled at the tapestry of generations around me-a weaving of threads that I am a part of and that I have watched grow and evolve. I thought to myself, if only I could capture this artistically. My work is with mandalas-- an ancient spiritual art form that weaves shapes and symbols together into visual prayers. You see them in all religious traditions- including grand rose windows in Catholic and Protestant cathedrals. The mandalas I make are mosaics of collaboration. I invite people to contribute their piece to make the whole. The image you see on the front of the bulletin is a co-creation with hundreds of people from around the world who have sent in photos of themselves beaming peace."
With so many of us flowing through the Church over Christmas it's the perfect time to get everyone involved in making a mandala that captures our community. Over the next three Sundays leading up to Epiphany we invite you to pose after Church for your picture. Everyone is invited. Join us as a couple, as a family or alone. All we ask is that you send your love! All these photos will then be assembled into a mandala of the church community-- a reflection of the body of Christ here at Epiphany.
To make the project viable we are selling a limited edition of fine
art mandala prints. The full colour 16 x 20 prints will be 65$, 55$
before Christmas and 45$ for a second print.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Photo: A road in Italy-- Out of the Shadows towards the sun...
Ok... That's seems a crazy thing to write. Two months ago, as I agonized over having to return to Canada I had next to no gratitude for what was happening to me. Half of my body was numb, and I was being wrested away from my art, my career and my love. I was forced to abandon all and return to Canada-- to my parent’s house.
Being here has hardly been easy. I’ve been dealing with some major issues. These dark areas of my living go way back. Putting them to light with them here has involved massive amounts of stress and inner work/conflict. Talk about intense.
But truly good things seldom are easy are they?
And of course if you really want to heal and to shift from decades of encrusted life patterns, well, you need a major shake-up to do so. Only a week before my mini-stroke I actually thought I was super healthy. I was completely oblivious to the massive life force drain I was imposing on my body.
Let me emphasize that: Completely oblivious and ignorant.
This is where my gratitude begins. The stroke was my wakeup. Looking back, I can't think of any other way that I could have woken up from my arrogant oblivious ignorance to my deleterious ways of living-- regarding everything from my ways of eating, sex and money. Ways that I actually thought of as healthy all my life.
Now, with some distance, I see how crazy fortunate I was to have this trans-continental incident happen to me. It unfolded as I traveled across Italy, France and England in a web of crazy beautiful connections with people who guided me on a true road to healing and integration. That healing road led me back to Ottawa.
I've now had two months now with my Mum and Dad here in Ottawa. I am really thankful for not only their help to return, but for this time with them. I have had a chance to get to know them in a whole new way. A time to bake cookies with my mum, go for walks with my dad, to tell old stories, find out more about my family and just share how the day went. And like any healthy family dynamic it has also involved tension, arguments, and sadness. Perhaps, I am most thankful for this. As a kid, I had a bad habit of walling myself off to exchanging emotions. Being so close to my parents has compelled me to face personal shortcomings/issues that I would rather never deal with. I am thankful for this.
It’s also been a restful place to consolidate my furious learning, my health, and my dreams. I’ve been reading and researching and implementing like crazy. Not only is my energy stabilizing and my health returning, but so too is my release of the old fears and patterns. My fingers and tongue still are a bit numb, but if anything it’s a reminder to keep pressing forward laying down my new healthy patterns, and stay away from the old ones.
Wow. I am so grateful to be able to shift. These three fears of Blood, Sex and Money that I have been writing about would have easily and subconsciounsly persisted for the rest of my life. They would have cut short my life expectancy by a decade or two or three. They would have undermined everything I did. I would have passed them on unconsciously to those close to me and to my children.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
As an artist I do a lot of creating. As a male, I create in a certain way. I am good at conceiving an idea, powering ahead with a plan and just making it happen.
In my life I've had some beautiful female partners that I have artistically co-created with. However, I look back and see a disturbing pattern of imbalance. I allowed my particular energy and my ambition to overrule their feminine energy and wisdom. The art and dreams always happened, but... more in my way than our way. Alas, the moments that then manifested always contained a certain intrinsic dis-harmony.
I beleive this had to do with my excessive faith in the male way of doing things, and my lack of understanding of the way femine energy works and contributes. I don't think this is all my fault, we live in a world where the masculine energy has dominated the femine for a looong time. We... I... am just waking up.
While I was in Italy something profound happened. My sleeping eyes fluttered open for the first time.
I had been asked to orchestrate a human spiral mandala dance at a weekend Oneness Festival in Ossopo, Italy. My lover, Peggy was with me from Germany. I busied myself the first day with my characterisitc running around, planning and organizing. I was wary of involving Peggy in the busy activities. Why? Well, because in the past when I had involved my partners in creating, that dis-harmony had always resulted. Subcounsciouly I wanted to avoid it.
But, at the end of the day Peggy came up to me and said "Russell I'd really like to help you". I was touched. We had a long talk where I shared my fears and she reassured me. For the first time ever, I truly let a woman in to co-create with me.
I could feel the shift, because it wasn't easy! I had to stand back in order to let her stand beside me.
We had alot to conceive that next day-- no one there had ever organized a spiral mandala dance before! Nor, search as I might, could I find anything on the Internet. I really had no clue what I was doing, or how it would happen. But Peggy, soft spoken and reserved, had some intuitions.
"Why don't we try this Russell?" Her ideas were fantastic. In fact, they were so much better than mine, that I just had to shup up, and let her flow. Working together in the middle of the field, she figured it out as I nodded my head. Then with her having set the direction, I set to work with my energy, oratory and manifesting powers. I went about bringing together the people and equipement we needed to pull it off.
The Spiral dance was a fantabulous success. Peggy did her part. I did mine. Magically, we co-created a ceremony that profoundly symbolized the harmonious working together of male and female.
200 Italians, holding hands male/female/male/female (Peggy's idea) danced a grand spiral for the Festival's closing ceremony. In the center was a man drumming and a woman singing (Peggy's idea). The centre shape of the spirale, laid out with wood, was the ying yang symbol (Peggy's idea). All in all it was a profoundly symbolic in a way that I simply could never have planned. In then end it, with the drums and the singing and the chanting, it was a beautiful beautiful experience that moved people to joy and laughter and tears.
The moment has echoed on. Similar spirals have since happened in Berlin and Assisi. When I regain my health there will be yet more.
I beleive that my health crash is actually connected to my past dis-harmony. According to a Chinese medical practitioner, I have a significant yin energy imbalance-- hence the numbness in one side of my body. Yin, the energy that is missing, is of course the female energy. Part of my healthing includes restoring this balance, finding harmony, inside and out.
Working with Peggy was a startlingly beautiful taste of the POWER of this Supra Sexual co-creation where the man and woman are conscious of how to energetically work with each other. As My dream of Paris unfolds, I must now grasp these insights consciously. If I keep creating the way I have, its just not going to be good for me.
I have a beautiful woman awaiting me in Paris. Our hands are outstretched to the other. There are grand planetary projects waiting to be manifest. They are going to need some serious magic.
Can you say "Supra Sexual co-creation " Russell? Yeah? Ok now... How about standing back a bit, and letting the women do her magic?
"Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and
gravity, we shall harness...the energies of love. Then, for the second
time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
Pierre Theilhard de Chardin
The Spiral Movie Project
(I should also add that the idea of doing the spiral was from another woman too! (danke Marion!) I am just the man in front of the women folks!)
More from Babara Marx Hubbard on the topic.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I sit in a cafe typing on my iPhone this morning. Flipping through my old writtings I came upon a post about my iPhone dream: To let go of my Macbook, consolidate all my work online, and orchestrate all my art and projects on my iPhone.
High five Russell!
I am living this dream! Given my last post on my Paris Dream, this is quite encouraging. It is a nice reminder that despite all the challenges I am going through now, the Paris Dream is now hurtling towards me, as surely as this one has. I just have to keep, keeping on.
I am really proud of myself for abandoning my laptop. But, I knew that when I did so, it would have consequences I couldn't imagine. I was basically terminating a fundamental 20 year old life pattern that went real deep. Real deep. Sure enough, my mini-stroke occurred just after I closed the lid on my MacBook for the last time. The Crazy amount of work required to make the shift literally short circuited me.
My laptop, the Internet, and the nice glow of my screen were an easy way to distract myself from facing major issues. It was a comforting drug to flip it open and work each day with a cup of coffee. I could get so distracted and taken away so easily. The technology easily served to further the vices that festered from my three major fears that I have been writting about-- in general the disconect from my body.
Working on the laptop was a massive mind activity. As my consciousness flowed to my head my body would be forgotten. My posture would stoop and I would forget to eat. I would get in a space where my blood sugar was low and I would be wired on nervous energy. I'd give my self a boost with coffee. Not good. Then when my energy was too low, my focus would wane and all the interesting links and people to e-mail easily distracted me from essential money making activities. As I sprinted down the final lap to getting rid of the laptop, everything reached a frenetic pace, all my vices were exponentially magnified and I totally exhausted myself and crashed.
A laptop with wireless is a powerful tool. But in the end, what it does for you is inevitably a reflection of what you bring to it. A good friend recently pointed out "Russell if you are well, your work will go well." Indeed, as inside, so outside.
This is why realizing my need for healing is important I believe. It enables me to shift, to move into creating with a much healthier and integrated self. This in turn upgrades the vibe I will put out as I rise again to interact, create and love.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Ok! My latest art catalogue is now online.
This contains my work from Smithers to Slovenia. If anything strikes you, drop me a line and I can direct you to the larger photos of the paintings. I am happy to work out creative payment arrangements also. Prices are in dollars.
I haven't done this before, but many of my Simple Series paintings, although sold are still listed. My dream is to revisit this series from a studio in Paris. The paintings are a delight to repaint-- changing or adding the smallest details can shift the meaning 180%. Thus, if you would like comission one at a size that works for you, I am up for it.
I have been writing about my Dream of Paris and my Fear of Money. This would be the perfect illustration of the connection between Fears and Dreams. If I can conquer my fear of Money, then I can sell my art, and realize my Paris Dream. Yeay!
Winter 09 Maier Art Catalogue
An old 2005 painting of mine. Filled with alot of darkness and fear.
So, I have managed to write about two of my three Big Fears. The one's that have caused my dis-ease.
There's one more: Money.
We all know those new spirituality books talk about the grand abundance of energy and money out there-- we just have to ask for it, to attract it, close your eyes and send out the right vibes! There's truth to this-- but easier said than done. You see, as an artist, this is one really tough thing to do: Asking for money for doing stuff that by definition you love to do.
I paid for my university toiling away in remote forests doing hard manual labour. That made sense. It is easy to feel entitled for getting money for something that is obviously unpleasant and hard to do. To ask for money for something that is a reflection of your self, the embodiment of your passions and was a joy to produce... well, that is another matter.
It means you need to get over some old and fundamental ideas about self-worth and the meaning of money. Is money really the root of all evil? This is definitely a subconscious value that comes with growing up in Christian Canada. The consequence is that if money is bad, then it would be impure to ask money for doing pure work-- like things that you love to do! This subcouscious residual belief is a big barrier for artists. Myself included.
I am getting better at this though. Slowly. Its a matter of seeing money and art in new ways, of learning to... well... Love money. Something Christian in me wants to say that that is a sin! Yep... I think that's the Bible verse: "Love of money is the root of all evil". Indeed, this value runs deep and subconscious in me. I have only to look at my return and health. If our moments are reflections of what is inside us, then to return to Canada without any money is an existential snapshot of what is inside me.
But money is simply energy. There's nothing wrong with it! Really, my mind just needs to convince my heart. To be scared of receiving or asking for it or balancing it out in your life, well, that's not healthy or good. Like the rest of Creation, if you can love it (but like everything, not too much!) then you can integrate it into your being.
If I am honest with myself, I have never wanted to look at and account for the money that has come my way. Just like being afraid of Blood and my inner workings, if I can't look at this, then, this part of me gets shut in the dark and gets sick. To come to Love something casts this darkness away. Then rather than money being something you flee from, it becomes something that propels you.
Man... all this stuff is sooo simple and obvious sometimes I feel like a fool writing about it! :-( But, this is important for me to get out.
OK... All that said, the point of this post is to actually do something about this fear! I haven't updated my art catalogue for a year. NOW... I am posting here my updated art catalogue!
(see the next post!)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Some grapes from campsite of mine in Italy. Healthy and full of vitality-- well nourished by their roots.
Today something special happened. The Church where I grew up here in Ottawa, invited me for a special healing and annointing ceremony. There were only three people there, but special people. The minister was joined by two men from the congregation that I had known since I was a little boy. One had been my Sunday school teacher.
I said some pretty critical things about my upbringing in my last post. I had meant to qualify them by making clear I wasn't blaming, or judging my upbringing. I hope that came across. There's a distinction between blaming and becoming conscious of. You just can't blame these things. Butyou can become conscious of them-- and thus become free of their hold. We are all a product of where we came from-- our roots. I happen to have had a Sunday school Christian upbringing. This is just part of who I am.
The three of them said some special prayers for me and annointed me with oil-- oil that had been blessed by the bishop and all the Church community.
Community is important. Despite having lots of support and even community behind me on my journey through Europe, I didn't have my root community behind me-- this community of all these families and neighbours and people that I grew up with. I kinda just took off with my head down.
I feel like I am being called to do some big things. It feels really daunting right now because of my energy level and my health. Linda, the minister, commented that leadership doesn't happen alone. Its happens with people. Truly, the more intertwined with others the leadership the more potent it is.
The blessing was an important and very big step for me in this way. Acknowledging one's roots, and being nourished by those roots is... well... trees make it pretty obvious don't they?
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
That's about enough intense dig-deep fear excavation for the moment. Let's switch to Dreams! There's nothing like speaking your dream to make it happen. Or writting it publically.
I have watched in awe so many times on my journey as my dreams, one after the other would materialized around me.
There's nothing like being ill to compell you to rexamine your life. And your dreams. I've been listening to my biological heart and my soul's heart. So let me do put their words out:
My dream is to restore my body by facing my fears. I dream of integrating my body, finances, spirituality, sexuality and career into One harmonious and joyful living of my artistic calling. I dream of having the support of my family, my community, and my country behind my calling. I dream of returning to Paris to be with my love Abby, to flourish, to love, to heal, and to paint and to prepare for the coming Spring.
That is my Dream.
Friday, November 27, 2009
A photo taken on yesterday's reflective walk down by the river.
I've been getting some pretty dramatic and profound comments on my latest writing. I'd like to post one of them.
This one really touched me-- not just because it is from a good friend but because it makes a crucial connection for me. As you know, my 1mandala journey has been all about Oneness. But what is Oneness exactly? And as you also know, my journey right now is about Healing. But what is healing exactly?
My good friend Jarette points out the connection.
Hello dear friend Russell,
Sounds like you've stepped into the next phase of the process... recognition of your own healing. This is powerful man, and wonderful indeed.
I've wanted to share this next thought with you for a long time now, but I didn't feel ready. But now, after reading your words I know that I'm ready to offer this idea.
I've learned in my journey that everything without stems from everything within... and so therefore true oneness with the world stems from true oness within ourselves. Once we align the internal oneness within our own spirit, we then align the ultimate onenss with our universe.
Working from within is the greatest offer to working from without.
I'm happy to hear that you are forward in Canada and healing yourself. It's a great next step in the process. Thank you for listening to yourself and joining the gap within your own separation.
You're doing wonders for the world right now!
Thank you Jarette. That did wonders for me.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
What is it about blood? I cannot stand it. I can fearlessly bike across Europe and brave the vast unknown, but the thought of my arm being pierced by a little needle and blood coming out... yikes. I go faint. I can't breathe and I feel really silly in front of the cute nurses.
Blood is symbolic for me of everything inside. And like my other two fears of Sex and Money, I'd really rather not talk about it. But that's the problem-- because when your afraid to talk about something, to face it, to learn about it, to understand it, you cut it off from your life and comes back to bite you in the ass. You end up doing self-destructive things. Why? Because you simply don't know any better.
I am tall and slim and have always been afraid of losing weight. But being afraid of learning about my blood-filled insides, I also didn't really want to learn the best way to eat. So I just tried to eat big portions. I would always go for seconds. I have come to learn that this has put immense strain on my digestive system and severly effected my ability to absorb nutrients. My fear of losing weight has actually lead to lose weight. Shitty.
Same goes for sex. I would so rather not talk about it-- best keep that to the bedroom. Its embarrasing and private and not to be blogged about. But why not? I can now decisively say that my fear to talk about this has been just or more damaging to my health.
I had a wonderful Christian and Canadian upbringing. There's lots to be said for my great Canadian and Christian upbringing, but I am starting to realize there are also vast holes. You see, whereas other religious traditions focus on breathing (meditation), stretching the body (yoga), herbs and medicines (ayurvedic), moving energy in the body (marshall arts), physical healing (accupunture, touch), Christianity says nothing about this.
Its a black void of the unspoken. When it comes to Christianity there's no biblical chapters on this stuff, sermons on being physically healthy, or emphasis on health. Well, that's not totally true. You do hear alot about blood. Drinking blood to be exact. Gross!
Maybe there's a childhood connection to my fears and repulsion.
Monday, November 16, 2009
That's about enough intense dig-deep fear excavation for the moment. Let's switch to Dreams! There's nothing like speaking your dream to make it happen. Or writting it publically.
I have watched in awe so many times on my journey as my dreams, one after the other would materialized around me.
There's nothing like being ill to compell you to rexamine your life. And your dreams. I've been listening to my biological heart and my soul's heart. So let me do put their words out:
My dream is to restore my body by facing my fears. I dream of integrating my body, finances, spirituality, sexuality and career into One harmonious and joyful pursuit of my artistic calling. I dream of having the support of my family, my country and my community behind my calling. I dream of returning to Paris to be with my love Abby, to heal, to create and to prepare for the coming Spring.
That is my Dream.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Above: Another old painting of mine, re-discovered at my little brother's apartment. Note the four elements. I'd retitle this one: 'Integration".
"What we fear makes us ill." That's a bold statement, but I am going to run with it.
A few months ago I posted a blog of things that I feared most to write about. Now that I am ill, I re-read and nod my head. Sure enough, I can see how those things I couldn't bear to write about about-- let alone talk, research and understand-- have deeply effected my health.
But I did post that blog.
It wasn't easy, but it was a first itsy-bitsy declaration that I was ready to face the fears. I am starting to see that my body, in crashing, is actually in sync with me. Its working with me to truelly address these fears. I can't think of another moment when I would have the time and stillness to to do this.
Gabrielle recently asked me: "Do you really need to blog about everything Russell?"
Well, if I can't write about it, if I tremble at the thought of speaking it, and if it has actually made me sick, then I would say that's one Heaven of a good reason to write about it. A lot of people read this blog-- from family to friends-- that makes it collosally formidable to actually write certain revelations here. Yet, I am realizing that is an asset. So too is the momentum of personal honesty that my blog has stirred up for me. Being honest to yourself regardless of the weight of the world is powerful medicine.
So, I am going to take a deep breath and deal with this dark stuff-- head on.
There's three things I've been afraid of for too long: Blood. Money. Sex.
I've been massively afraid of blood since I was a kid and to me that represents everything on the inside of one's body-- organs, their functioning and body stuff. Then there's Sex. Or better life-force energy management-- I've never been able to even talk about issues such as masturbation, pornography, or triadic relationships, and loving more than one person at a time. Money-- I loathed accounting in school... I've been afraid of having no money and of asking for it for things I love to do.
I see now how these fears have directly made me ill. I have bankrupted all my energy assets avoiding them. These fears have prevented me from addressing personal issues of health, finance and love. I have buried my head in projects and worked really hard to avoid facing them. Boy... its easy to be hard on myself at this point. But, truelly, there's another more accurate way of looking at it.
So, let me re-phrase:
I am proud to say, I've been working really hard to gather the courage and consciousness to profoundly master and integrate my health, my finances and my life-force into my life.
This might take a few blogs.
"What we no longer fear, makes us healthy"
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Above: An old painting of mine from 2003 that I discovered yesterday at my brother's apartment.
Here I am. I write this blog not really knowing what to say.
I didn't pass through any medival towns today. No castles. No reception by monks on mountain perched monasteries. I didn't even have a flat tire.
I guess the latter is a good thing. My bike is warm and cosy at a monastery in Assisi.
Am I warm and cozy? Yeah, technically. I am quite conscious however that my healing process isn't just about repairing my body. As a Tao sage says: "Changing the surface of a body is easy, changing the food habits is difficult, changing real cause of the problem-- very difficult."
So here I am. Things are comfortable and cozy, but... intense. To really heal means facing things that go way way back. No better place than my parent's house really to do that. But my goodness, this is going to be... very difficult.
My adventures are now on the inside.
And I thought cycling into an unknown country, in the winter, without knowing the language, or having any friends, was difficult. The stuff I have to face now pales in comparison. I find the idea of writing about some of these things on my blog absolutely unimaginable.
But why? Its pure personal fear. A fear to face. Maybe writing them out, putting into blog sunshine will be healing. It would sure be interesting to read.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I read that today lying in bed. It hit home.
As many of you know, I am back in Ottawa, Canada after having what seems to be a mini-stroke in Italy. I am here to rest, recover, heal... and integrate.
I've been doing pretty good "knowing God". My blog here is a joy-filled spiritual journey of magically manifesting and connecting with people around the world. But as we all know its one thing to know spiritual concepts and ideas, its another to live them. I've been living them-- full out baby-- but on the outside. But not on the inside. Not in my body.
Aristotle urges us to know ourselves. After a reflective philosophy degree, living in the Holy land and introspective arting, I've got to know my personality pretty well. My body, alas, I haven't done such a good job getting to know. Somehow all my spiritual learning has overlooked integrating my body into the picture.
Alarmingly, I really thought I knew my body! I've done yoga everyday, never smoked, excerised all the time, thought I ate well, and am totally lean. Only a month and a half ago I stood on the side of the road in Tuscany, sweat on my brow and adrelaine in my veins after climbing a epic series of peaks on my bike... and I thought to myself that I was in the best health ever. I felt great.
But no. I am seeing that a myriad of unconscious patterns-- from dietary, to sexual, to work were all in the process of slowly wearing me down. When all the deleterious patterns finally crossed in one intense week in Italy... I basically short circuited.
Its been one long hard reality check.
Now that my eyes are being opened I can do nothing but shake my head. I see all the bad stuff I was doing in lucid clarity.
I getting better slowly. The latest tests show I am normal. But disconcerting numbness continues to jump around my body-- a sobering reminder of my fragile state. You would think that it would be easy to just lie here and rest. Alas here I am facing some of my biggest fears ever here. As the Taoist sage says: Its hard to be a human being.
I am learning the process has a name: Integrating.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
On my way through Canadian customs the officer asked: "Have you been to any other countries in your time away from Canada"
"I have actually. Let me see. The US, England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and back to England and France again."
He looked up inquisitively: "And how did you get around?"
I smiled again: "Bicycle".
He didn't know quite what to say for the moment, then hastily waved me through.
Today walking my parent's dog around the block I met the neighbour. She speaks mainly French so we chit chatted about how everybody's doing. "Are you still painting and exposing?" She asked.
I smiled. "Yeah, I've been doing quite a lot of art lately in fact." I mentioned then how I had either shows or studios or comissions in New York City, Belgium, Amsterdam, Berlin and lastly my presentation in Paris.
"In French?" She asked.
I nodded. It struck me that my French immersion teachers would have been quite proud.
Monday, October 26, 2009
There are so many people from so many places wishing me well. All I can say is all these good vibes have surely manifested themselves. I look about me with awe at the profoundly healing hands I now find myself in here in London.
Back in Paris, it just so happened that my paths crossed with Catherine, the woman who works as Neale Donald Walsh's personal healer. She was at a meeting leading up to my presentation.
Catherine had lived through a stroke herself. She recognized immediately my symptoms and knew it was serious. She helped me make sense of the subtle but terrifyingly symptoms I had been experiencing. Her colleague, Gudrun, was on her way to Paris also. Catherine had her bring that day the medecine I needed.
Catherine saw to it that I got to the hospital and the care I needed. Philippe from HT France went with me on the Eurostar to London to bring me to their clinic to rest. We stayed for the week in the most restfull apartment you could imagine right above their clinics.
Again I am in awe and deep grattitude at the profound moment and place for healing that I experiencing. Thank you everyone for your prayers/intentions for my health.
I've thus become the patient and disciple of Catherine and Gudrun these past two weeks. Catherin is a certified Chinese amedical practitioner, who, having lived through 21 operations, is profoundly empathetic. Gudrun is a dietitian and medical practitioner who has decades of experience and several books under their name. Both began an intense series of daily sessions with me to restore my dangerously unbalanced and depleted energy.
Being with two world class healers for two weeks I've been able to go a lot deeper than the symptoms-- to become aware of the life patterns that caused them, the past experiences that set me on these life patterns and... "most difficult of all" as Gudrun says... to actually Change/heal.
My ministroke basically could have and would have happened to me anywhere, no matter what I was doing. It connects to a heart condition I had when I was a baby, and more importantly not being conscious of how to live and eat and work and exercise with this predisposition. Several streams of aggravating and culminating liife patterns thus brought me to my stroke.
My choice to set out on my bike sped up something that would have caught up with me eventually. It's a little hard to see it this way, but since it has happened when I am still young, it's a little like a gift. I still have the resources and time to maneuver and amend my patterns.
And I have motivation. A collossal amount of motivation. Motivation mixed with clarity to better understand myself, to better comprehend the life force energy management I have been ignorant of, and to better, nay... to fully integrate all dimensions of my living.
Go Russell go.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
GeoTagged, [N51.49771, E0.20729]
I am discovering that the journey that I began when I left Smithers is a lot more than a geographic.
Being ill is a new experience for me. A little like cycling into a new city in a strange land. Here, the roads are bumpy, confusing.
Why is this happening to me? What's the message? What's the lesson? I've been hearing this question from others and myself.
But you know, its not what is important now.
When I stood in St. Peters square I didn't need to ponder all the roads that took me to Rome. Much better was to just be there, to touch the statues, drink from the fountain and feast my eyes. Equally, being ill I just need to be with my body. Afterall, the reason I am here is surely connected to not having listened to and been with my body. I have been out of it. Mind and body and spirit have not been integrated.
Now, is the time to shift.
Sure there's reasons. But they will come. For the moment, I will be.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
There may be clouds over my sun, the wind might be cold but by heart is still warmed. I am getting so many well wishes from all over the world. Thank you. It really means alot. I
am suddenly discovering just how many wonderful friends i have all over and how many beautiful "strangers" are out there who all send the most uplifting thoughts and words. When your down and the clouds are dark and gray, boy do you appreciate every glimmer of light.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Both practioners have been insisting how precarious and dangerous my situation is and could become. My system is really weak and it could repeat.
I would love nothing more than to rest in Paris with Abby in a week. That is what was coming together. But, this would be avoiding the issue.
I fly back to Canada ASAP for treatment and tests.
Going back to Canada-- I really cannot imagine anything I fear more or dread. I feel like I letting people down and failing in my journey. But, Russell... What is more important... You, or the Journey? Despite my journey, my project, all my friends here in Europe and even my lovers, I must love myself first.
My journey has been all about facing my fears and being true to myself. Maybe this is just another step on the path. It makes me feel terrible anyway.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Yesterday I went to the hospital here in London. That's me with my bracelet reaching for the light.
I don't like hospitals. But my condition and symptoms were too scary. Catherine, who has been caring for me, insisted I go-- she is a professional healer herself. Like a little boy, she held my hand while they did all sorts of tests on me-- blood stuff really really bothers me and I can't quite handle it. I hope Catherine can still move her hand and fingers.
Two doctors saw me. I was so impressed. They took their time and each took my condition really seriously. Each asked patiently many questions and looked me over super carefully. Their attention to detail was actually relieving.
Afterwards, they said it was good I came in, but wasnt necessary to stay. They concluded I hadn't had a stroke or even mini strokes.
I still feel really not so good. My symptoms are dimishing though. I am back with Catherine and Gudrun now. They are both healers who I met in Paris around my presentation and through the most blessed syncronicity and generosity hwere there when I crashed and open their arms to take me in.
Their holistic, homeopathic and oriental healing bacground sees much deeper into my condition than it seems a Western perspective could. The doctors were able to test and diagnose me there at that moment in great detail, but only derive a rather superficial diagnosis. Catherine and Gudrun are seeing through to the deeper root causes. Their diagnosis and healing includes remedies and wisdom on the dietary, energetic, sexual and emotional facets of Russell.
Its profound. The western way would have given me pills and pharmeceuticals. Now, with their help and guidance I am seeing myself a new. I am poised to transform old ways of my life into a much deeper and integrated understanding of myself and way to live.
You dont get this from a normal doctor.
They are continuing to treat me here at their clinics in London.
I rest. I heal.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I have been resting the last few days to stabilize my dangerously depleted energy. It's a good opportunity to reflect on my moment.
I have made it to Paris. Two days ago I presented the 1Mandala to 1000 people at the Marriot conference in the heart of the city. My beautifully wonderful lover Abby came to join and be with me for the week. What a turbulent week it has been! I am very grateful for her love and support while she was here.
It was the pinacle of an epic month of exertion to let go of my laptop, to get all my digital life and work online and on my iPhone, and to get here to Paris. Not only that, but I cycled from Florence to Assisi-- climbing mountains, camping in vineyards and cliff laid olive orchards.
But the combination of working really really hard on my laptop, living in a sedate and smoky apartment then jumping back on my bike really took it's toll.
I think I've had a mini stroke. :-(
Serious I know
Cycling alone through Tuscany it was a rather frightening experience. An almost imperceptible yet undeniable tingling persisted on one side of my body. My left hand seemed almost seemed to tremble, my face slightly numb.
On my bike through Tuscany I wondered what was going on in me!? It was really slight-- maybe it was my imagination? What in the world could I possibly do? How would I find the right person to talk to about what happened? How would I find a space for healing?
The folks here with HT France and of course Abby have been tremendously helpful. I rest a few extra days at the apartment where we stayed for the presentation.
Its so ironic. I had to work so hard in the old way-- crouched and bleary eyed in front of my laptop for hours-- to escape to the new way-- everything online, purely collaborative, and fancy free on my iPhone. Where I have arrived is exponentially a more healthy and integrated way of living. Yet, the intense amount of energy to move up a level, and alas the back-step into the old world literally short circuited me. Not eating well, seldom doing yoga, and an inordinate dose of unhealthy energy from those around me really hit me hard. I've plummetted from 105% health to 65% health in a month. Shitty. Scary.
It's as if the Pilgrim on life's way, weary after labouring hard to climb out of a dark valley, and on to a new, higher, sun-bathed plateau, lunges the last few steps to the top-- and a rusty barbed wire, lurking in the shadows cuts and wounds him deeply. He makes to the top, yet he staggers. He bleeds.
The wound is deep and the sun so bright.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
GeoTagged, [N48.86050, W2.31147]
A few days ago I presented the 1Mandala project to about 1000 people here in Paris. I've been also having a wonderful time with my lover Abby. Her prescence has been a source of joy, fun and much needed support.
Here's a snippet of the fun part:
Monday, October 5, 2009
I have made it to Paris. My beautiful lover has joined me. I am in the midst of new friends and the building momentum for Neil D Walsche's talk and my presentation. Inadvertently It is also proving a moment for healing. The road of the heart also has it's hills. They can take their toll. Yet the company of like minded souls and those you love is a profound consolation.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
A new pen and ink simple sketch.
GeoTagged, [N43.60041, W11.49885]
Cruising through Tuscany ! Fresh air, sweat, sunshine, dirt, grapes straight from the vine, water from mountain Springs, my goodness Russell what took you so long to get back to cycling? I camp again with the moon and my friends the stars tonight.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
A few weeks ago, i was standing on the edge of a cliff, looking out upon the Alps, with my lover Peggy.
A feeling hit me then and there. I knew I would paint the moment.
We had spent a magical weekend with each other sharing our hearts and dreams. The scene and the moment before us seemed to be a perfect reflection of our soul to soul dialogue.
Indeed. Here is the first pen and ink version of "Let me tell you my dream"
Saturday, September 19, 2009
A year ago, I had a dream. A dream of a mandala or yellow post it notes!
I was staying at the time with my lover Abby at her home in Holland. Abby would go off to work during the day, and I would have the house to myself to get 1Mandala stuff in order. However, this particular morning, I decided, to make dream reality! I built her a mandala of post it notes on her wall. The image of the mandala from my dream was remarkably clear. It was simple. Nothing fancy at all. Plane actually. Strange, I thought. It would have been more fun to make an extravagant patter! Abby didn't really notice though-- she was too worried about the glue I had used on her wall! But, she loved it. The mandala stayed. And of course, to begin all the mandala's notes were blank.
But, how can one not resist to write on a blank post it note? I left her a few messages, then friends started to also. In the months that followed, she opened the invitation wide open! She asked all her friends to write inspirational messages.
The blank mandala became a beautiful artistic coalescence of Abby and Russell's creativity. An of course, all of her friends. A collaborative mandalic web of good intentions evolved over the months. I have seen up close pictures of it. Its full of writting, scribbles, doodles, inspiring words, and... community. Beautiful!
Abby, however is doing something rather remarkable. She has decided to let go of her home in Holland, sell everything and follow her dream of living in Paris, learning French, dancing and living in a luxury apartment. I am overwhelming proud and happy for her. She is following her heart! Go Abby Go!
Over the last days Abby and I had the idea of photographying the take down of the mandala. She sent me the photos and I have weaved them together into a little animation.
I think we could do an even cooler one though Abby. This isn't the end of your mandala.
Its the beggining of a new one! I can't wait to see the one we're going to build on the soaring walls of your Paris loft!
--- P.S. Anyone have a loft with soaring walls for Abby for a few weeks while she settles in Paris?
Friday, September 18, 2009
I've got a lot to do these ways. Linear To Do list simply don't cut it. I think it has something to do with the linear thing.
Here in Monfalcone I am trying hard to finish up several major currents of work on my Macbook. I have several focuses that all compliment and build off each other. And, despite all these things to do in the future... I want to be fully immersed in my now!
Mandalas to the rescue!
I have developed this way of dynamically sketching my priorities over the last year. I start from a circle in the centre that says NOW. This Is to remind me that everything flows from this moment and ground me in the present.
I tend to have 4-6 major priorities-- Love, me, 1mandala, art, etc. These I sketch outwards as the main axises from the centre.
Then, I start to fill it in! I draw little boxes organically out from the centre and in each category. Over a day or two the mandala evolves with colours and shapes and words.
My intentions and the mandala beautifully blossom and unfold!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
GeoTagged, [N45.81545, W13.51453]
Yesterday I came down from the Slovenian mountain top where I have holled up the last week. I've been there getting some serious creative work done. Movies, paintings, websites and a flurry of new art.
Steve and I stopped in Trieste before heading from Slovenia back to his place. There, where we happened to park, we faced with some old art. A stupendous synagogue with a magnificient star of David rose window blossomed over the square.
You see plenty of mandalic rose windows in Cathedrals. This is the first I have seen on a synagogue.
On the 1mandala site we mention how mandalas are found in all religious traditions and are a universally human phenomenon. Indeed! Here in a beautiful example of refined Jewish spiritual art.
I gladly add this photo to my collection of cross cultural mandala examples.
Steve and I stopped in Trieste before heading from Slovenia back to his place. There, where we happened to park, was a stupendous synagogue with a magnificient star of David rose window. You see plenty of mandalic rose windows in Cathedrals. This is the first I have seen on a synagogue.
On the 1mandala site we mention how mandalas are found in all religious traditions and are a universally human phenomenon. Indeed! I will add this photo to my collection of cross cultural mandala examples.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The most amazingly beautiful thing happened this morning.
I set out early on a walk through the forest-- my intent to find a beautiful spot for my 090909 peace portrait. You see, today is the World Day of Interconnectedness and we're invitting everyone to make special portraits for today. I wanted to snap one at precisely 9:09 AM. Afterall you only get one shot at this!
I decided a little recklessly to go a way I wasn't familar with-- "always choose the unknown", that's what Osho says. As the special minute approached, I was a tad disapointed with the plain location I found myself in-- I was hoping for a spectaculaly beautiful place. But, I was going with my intuition and well.. There I was.
As I began to take my photo I felt something crawling on my arm. Taking advantage of the tall human stopped in the middle of the path, a spider had decided to start weaving it's web off my arm! I watched in amazement. With a leap it started to connect my arms as I held my camera-- exactly at 9 minutes past 9 Am on 090909 on the world day of interconnectedness!!!
Oh my! How beautifully perfect is that! So here is my 090909 peace portrait-- with a little help from a Slovenian Spider and the vast syncronistic power of the universe.
Because we are one-- even with the spiders! Little did it know that today it would be seen by hundreds of people around the world.
Take and send in your 090909 Peace Portrait today on our new system!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I've been making a lot of beautiful meals for people the last few weeks.
You know-- the type where you get not only the best ingedients, cook it up just right, but also meticulously labour over the presentation. Talking to a friend the other day it struck me that although I easily make these meals for those I love, it is disconcertingly seldom that I prepare one just for myself. Alas, cooking alone tends to lean towards quickness and convenience.
I've been working really hard the last week on the computer. Lots of 1mandala developments and of course Revamping my entire digital life to make the big leap from Macbook to iPhone. Basically, I've been way too computer connected lately! So much so that my friend Wout had to tell me I've been emailing him too much!
I am now taking a few days to chill and disconnect at a meditation centre in the mountains of Slovenia. Lots of deep breathing here.
And, today I made myself a beautiful meal. My mandalic salad is above and it's photo, as a remindr, is thenbackground on my iPhone.
Because I love Russell too!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Last night I did a little cooking for my Italian friend Stefano.
Friday, September 4, 2009
This past weekend I found myself in Ossopo Italy on top of a mountain.
There, my friends Steve and Stafano had planned and organized Italy's first festival of oneness-- il FestOne. They had been trying to convince me for a month that I should make my way back.
Boy, am I glad that I did.
I am still astonished by the beautiful and powerful moments that were manifested. I can't quite beleive we were able to do what we did.
You may have heared of my Dynamic 1Mandala Movie idea. The idea is to orchestrate and film real human mandalas around the planet in sync with the 1Mandala. I explained to Steve and Stefano how I wanted to film the first spiral mandala dance to create a tuturial for doing it in other cities around the planet. They got excited! They wanted to use the FestOne for the first vesion.
The Dynamic 1Mandala idea is pretty simple. People join hands and move around and around in the spiral. Marion back in Berlin had given me the idea, explaining that is was an ancient tradition.
Try as I might I could find NOTHING on this dance on the internet.
Yet, on the festival agenda was my name: "Russell Maier - Leading Dynamic 1Mandala - 5:30 PM"
I was slotted to speak to the entire festival and to actually lead a spiral mandala! Steve had also had me down to close the festival with a big version. I had nooooo idea what to do. I just couldn't quite conceive how the spiral would work.
I panicked a little. Then, I remember that my art is all about collaboration.
If I couldn't figure it out, maybe all of us could! I stood up infront of everybody and explained my vision and my ignorance. I explained that we needed to figure this out all together. I broke everyone in to small groups and we started experimenting.
To my amazement, the first little groups kinda got it. Then we all join hands and it actually worked! That was a magical moment. Afterwards, I pulled the participants together and asked for their ideas and feelings on the experience. All sorts of great ideas came out.
I mentioned in a previous blog that lover Peggy had come all the way down from Berlin to visit me. On Sunday, working with the ideas of everyone, Peggy and I set to work together to figure out how to do the big closing spiral mandala. I had been a little scared to work with someone I loved, yet this fear quickly melted as her energy combined with mine and a beautifully symbolic dance spontaneously developed over the course of the day.
We discovered that if you draw the dance pattern in the sand it actually makes two merging spirals. Just ike the Ying and the Yang. Peggy suggested a man and a women lay these spirals out in the beginning of the dance. She also had the idea of having a man and a woman in the centre on the tip of each spiral. Steve had the idea that they should play music. Before we knew it, we had found a male drummer and a woman with an incredible ability to rythmically sing.
The closing cermony began by forming a great big circle alternating male-female holding hands. The circle then folded into a spiral. The music began and the spiral began to move. People began to dance. A beautiful symbol of the harmonious merging of male and female energies came to life.
Above is a still frame from one of the movies taken of the closing ceremony. It wasn't just a success, it was an incredibly powerful experience. People have been euphorically sharing their joy with me on the experience. How beautiful and symbolic that Peggy and I, man and woman, with the harmonious love between us, were able to create the outline of this spiral.
They FestOne was the first coming together of Italians to celebrate Oneness and to embrace New World Consciousness. Many spoke of how special it was to have Italians from all over the very diverse country to be there.
This is the first FestOne of many to come. This was also the first of many to come in this 1Movie project.
We are working on the YouTube film this weekend. Soon to come!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I am on the precipice of a major life transition. I stand ontop of a cliff and prepare to jump. Or, more aptly, to toss my laptop off into the nether!
For the last two decades I have had a computer-- from our family's first Mac 512 to a constant succession of laptops over the last ten years. Including this one. My black MacBook that I now type on. It may as well be an appendage! I take it everywhere and crack it open for hours each day.
This means my computer life has given me all sorts of deeply entrenched life patterns-- coffee and computing in the morning, particular postures, a desperate need to check my e-mail once a day, etc. My laptop in fact determines a vast extent of my life-- from the way I spend a good percentage of my day to the way I relate and express myself to the people I love. I use the computer, but it also uses me.
I am going to let all this go.
Some of you may have read my previous post: I have an iDream. In it I offered to exchange my MacBook for an iPhone-- I had this crazy dream is to be able to orchestrate my collaborative art projects only using an iPhone. Less than two days after posting the blog my friend Stefano offered to do a MacBook/iPhone exchange. I have since been feverishly organizing my digital life to prepare for the leap off the cliff.
I am scared.
I spend so much time on my computer each day that it really isn't just about getting work done. Its kinda like a comfort drug. I get a certain pleasure from the comfort and predictability of being infront of my Macbook. Its even part of my identity, sometimes I open it up in a cafe just to make statement about me with the big apple logo.
Of course, Computers are supposed to help us get stuff done, not the reason why we do stuff. Just like painkillers are suppose to help us feel better, not the reason why we feel better.
Its an important distinction. The latter is called dependance! Dependence is seeped in unconsciousness. Computer use isn't necessarily bad-- it is bad however when you are unaware, dependent and unconscious of how a technology is dictating your life. Like me!
But no longer. I intend to face my fears, my dependence and my unconsciousness head on. No more will I be able to find solace hunched in front a screen for hours at a time.
Of course, I am not giving up on technology. The opposite. To do what I am about to do is in fact going to leverage the absolute latest technologies. I will be using my top of the line iPhone 3GS to orchestrate an incredible planetary project and work with my team around the world. I will be using the latest communication software, hardware and social media technologies.
My intention is that with the powerful communication ability of the iPhone, yet its inability to do complex design and web work, I will compell myself to step out of the centre of the 1Mandala project and make way for full out collaboration. I won't be able to type long e-mails. Instead though, I will be able to send much richer communications-- voice e-mails and videos and photos with ease. Since I won't be able to type as fast, I will need to focus on the most important communications.
My equipement load on my bike will also be drastically reduced! No more laptop bag, clunky charger, ipod, camera, and all the cables that come with each. Just a little iPhone for my pocket. In my quest to travel with less and less, this too will be a major step.
I see not only my load being lightening, but my time opening up and my opportunities to spend it! I already seen myself meditating more, learning languages faster, reading books again, working on my lucid dreaming, taking my yoga further, sending funner communications to the people I love, etc.
My friend Steve called today. My new iPhone is purchased and waiting for me to pick up tonight.
My running approach to the cliff has begun......
I took this photo cycling through Tuscany when I felt so fantastic I just had to stop an express it!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Yesterday my lover Peggy came to visit me from far away Germany. How does one visit a homeless person however? For that matter, how does a vagabond host a guest? Surely, one would think Peggy a little crazy to come all the way from Berlin without any plan, itinerary or place to stay.
Peggy's audacity and courage warms my heart.
No less than four of my Italian friends have been conspiring to help bring us together. Steve has been connecting me with all the right people to get me and Peggy to his Festone Festival. Irina saw me off from Florence. Rossela drove me to the train station and made all the right phone calls. Stefano invited Peggy and I to meet and to visit him in Verona on our way up.
And... Peggy and I have been having the most wonderfully amazing and romantic time!
Quite aptly, Verona, is the city of Love. This is where Romeo and Juliet galavanted through the cobblestone roads and sang from the balconies and gardens. This is also where, hand in hand Peggy and I walked past the ancient roman building, through the magnificent churches and over the elegant bridges.
The great thing is that Peggy really had no idea what she was getting into. She thought she was coming to a busy and modern Italian metropolis. She thought we would be staying in an urban apartment for the night, or in a tent in a cramped camp ground.
Ladies and gentlemen, I write this from the patio of Stefano's villa on Lake Gardia! Nestled between soaring cliffs, surrounded by olive orchards and vineyards, we drink our coffee with a great view of the expansive lake. After a beautiful night together, we walked barefoot this morning to forage our breakfast from the fruit trees.
I have to admit that I was a little worried where Peggy and I would stay. Yet, I had a definite feeling that given Peggy was making such a leap to follow her heart, the Universe surely had an abundance of blessings in store for her.
As I look up from my writing into her love-filled blue eyes, and she smiles. I smile.