Monday, February 28, 2011

Retirement and Visioning®

by Chris Shirtcliff , Certified Creative Journal Expressive Arts Consultant & Certified Visioning® Coach
Phone (413) 323-6653, Belcherton, MA

I made this collage while contemplating stepping down from my executive hospital administrator role. Many life changes would be necessary to make this possible. There were three components. The bottom of the collage for each section had current images that evolved to the top images of where I wanted to be.

First of all I needed to launch my adult daughter who was just graduating from art college. The most fascinating part to me was the picture of a young woman holding her hands up triumphantly at the water’s edge. I thought this had to do with the fact that she lived a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. Instead, it materialized as a triumphant moment on the Pacific shore as she celebrated having ridden her bike cross country. She was part of a support team for a man in an electric wheelchair on a ventilator rolling across America to raise money and awareness while seeking the Guinness World record for this feat. It took them four months. She is now working in her field, taking a lot more responsibility and nearly financially independent.

The second component was my health. I do eat a more balanced diet, find time for play to de-stress, and don’t get sick as often. I had eye surgery to improve my vision. Weight loss and being more active still need attention. Curiously, my husband has really taken charge of his own health, hitting the gym almost everyday. His health, of course, increases our ability to be active. Friends who see me lately say that I look ten years younger. So I have probably made more progress than I realize in this arena.

The third component was all about actually changing jobs. I began exploring options shortly after completing the collage. A year later I had worked out an arrangement with my employer of 33 years. I stepped down as the hospital president, had a three month paid leave, and then returned to work part-time. I work three days a week as a Professional and Organizational Development consultant focusing on educational collaboration for the same health system. I am also formalizing my Creative Journal Expressive Arts and Visioning® Coach consulting business and offer monthly workshops. We are still adjusting to the lower salary, but refinanced our home for some added financial security. During my leave I took a weekend voice workshop and have recently begun Spanish lessons.

I found it amusing that the phrase “Run Away Right Away” underwent some change in transport. Letters fell off making it “Run Away Right”. I thought this represented my very well planned transition. When the plan was in motion, another word fell off. Then it said “Run Away”. About that time, I did!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Living A Creative Prosperous Life

by Guest Blogger Dorothy Segovia

Dorothy is graduated from the Creative Journal Expressive Arts program in 2004 obtained her Visioning ® certification in 2007. She teaches workshops at the California Conservation Corp. Her public workshops focus on Voice Dialogue, dream work and movement. She is currently producing her musical Fire! and completing a music CD.
She can be contacted at (805) 259-5727 or

I was excited to attend Lucia’s October 2010 Visioning® workshop because it was time for a new vision. Typically, my focus phrases have to do with how I want to feel, more than a specific manifestation.

My focus phrase was I am Living A Creative, Prosperous Life of Love & Joy.

I spent time working with the collage journaling with the images and doing movement. Putting my body in the position of ‘being’ an image and allowing my self to move around the room reveals spaces where energy is blocked. Breathing into the movement or gently holding the position opens me to a new level of awareness. It’s a very subtle, yet valuable part of my collage work.

My favorite image is the Creative Self in the center of the collage. Asking the 4 basic creative journaling questions yielded the following insights:

“I am Download Dorothy. I am grateful to see you realizing that I live on the breath because the breath is in & out, out & in until death. You can’t lose me or use me up. Be happy.”

Because I’m used to a constant flow of new ideas, I tend to get bogged down. It’s easy for me to start things but sometimes hard for me to finish. I like the fact that in the above right of the collage are products of my creativity. This has helped me focus on what projects need to be completed.
The most surprising manifestation so far was the Money Covered Apple on the left. This manifested about a month after the workshop. I was helping a friend move and decided to be responsible for her electronics: a DVD player and laptop. When we got to her new place I asked her where she wanted me to put the items. She looked at the laptop and said she had upgraded to a new computer and did I want to keep it?

Of course I said yes. An Apple ibook with a program called Garage Band was just what I needed. Now I can do the preliminary recordings of the last song for my CD.

Creative journaling gave me the Apple instructions:

Reach out and pluck the fruit that is yours for the allowing.