October 24, 2012

Recovery Through Art Journaling

Happy and excited to share that I will be facilitating a Recovery Journaling Class with Club 12 next month! The manager, De Anna Melendez, asked me if I thought art could be used when someone is in recovery....
Art is loosely defined here. Art is so many things! One of those artistic ways to express is through writing. I think that journal writing is such an effective tool for everyone! There are all kinds of journals but a recovery journal to me is keeping track of the recovery process whether it’s healing from the death of a loved one or overcoming and addiction. Writing about the day to day or writing about specifics you have accomplished is great to include in a recovery journal. It is also a place to look inward. As hard and uncomfortable as that may be for some of us, reflection is a way to understand the world and our place in it!
Remember you can draw in your journal, add pictures or cut out of things that inspire you or remind you to be kind and gentle to yourself during your recovery. Bring your questions, hopes, dreams...anything goes!
Recovery can be a long process and keeping a journal can be a way to start anew. Watch how you transform from day to day, week by week. My journal is my friend, my escape and a place to rest. At the end of a long day I love to curl up on the couch with a big blanket and get it all out! I sleep better!
I am so excited to share the power of journaling with De Anna Melendez and Club 12. If you would like to attend please pre-register at Club 12 by November 7.

xxx Sofia

October 23, 2012

The Retreat That Almost Wasn't...

Early this month I hosted my first retreat. A group of five women came together in a beautiful house in Boerne, TX to relax and spend time together. This was the retreat that almost did not happen because there were so many things that went wrong from location issues, to yoga instructors canceling to not having enough funds to do all the wonderful things I had planned. Being a person that will not accept failure I pushed through all the obstacles but realized that they were not obstacles at all, instead beautiful gifts that came to me as learning lessons. I discovered early in the process that if I could see my way to the retreat I set out to do that I would learn things I had not even imagined. I was right.

Getting things together for this small gathering of women was a lot of work. It started with hosting weekly mixers with food and gifts. Then for the actual retreat were the sleeping arrangements, creating an environment and experience that would help them relax, coordinating the art events, dinners, yoga teacher, massage therapist and other meaningful moments were all the parts that together had me busy for many months. I had hoped for at least ten women but five proved to be really all I could handle.

The highlight of the time together was a ceremony titled “From Fire to Forgiveness” that I facilitated. It was just heart-warming to be present.... listening to each woman as they let go of a situation that deeply hurt them. I had preprinted small sheets of paper. One side read Fire... has someone or something hurt you? What have you been holding on to? It is time let that go! The idea was for them to write down and, if they liked, to share what no longer serves them....take it out of there body, mind and soul by writing it down....each on of these girls were so moved...they participated whole-heartedly and were almost aching to release the burden they had been carrying. In my imagination I never thought it would be such a wonderful experience. 

I could feel myself being present in strength for each one of them. It was so easy to stay there, be there....so strong... in love....through the tears and laughter. 
On the back of each preprinted paper was the word: " FORGIVENESS...I surrender...I let go...I let go right now!" we recited it together each time a woman threw her “fire” into the pit....My "fire" was deciding to let go of trying to be everything, for everyone, all of the time...focus more on my self and evolution as a woman and all that is included in that which I am calling my soulful metamorphosis. It could not have been any better!

I could have canceled this function because NOTHING went as planned! Absolutely nothing! But something inside of me said I needed to go through with it. One reason is because I don't like going back on my word but also because it would help me with the soulful metamorphosis I am experiencing and writing about each day. I hope to share that process soon in a new e-course I am writing. 

I also learned that I know women crave these experiences and retreats! Getting women to value their souls and the nurturing they must do for themselves is a hard thing to do. Retreats are about looking inward, reflecting and then coming away with a new perspective or new intention for how to live. Women need to do this often! Choosing to invest in self is a commitment to honoring our souls and their desires. 

I came to this place as a result of questioning my own life and my purpose. I wanted to discover more deeply my innate creative self and the yearning to let go of those things that no longer served my life. I could take a vacation and go to Paris or Rome and come back refreshed but the core of my life would not have changed. 

Retreating to myself with the sole (or soul) intention of stepping out of the everyday, reflecting on what is really important to me, discovering things about myself, delving into the challenges of my life… I can come away with a deeper knowing that I can change what I want to change about all of it! 

This is why I feel retreating is so important to women.

For the record I realized that hosting retreats is not what I want to do :) Although it was very touching, moving and a great way to connect with women...it was just very draining for a highly sensitive person like myself. I enjoyed teaching the art events and was very comfortable in that artistic space, but putting it all together…I am going to leave that to the Linda Barthua’s and Melody Ross’s of the world.


October 4, 2012

Women, Community and Art!


Women, Community, and Art: On the creative path of friendships, support and the healing power of art.

I am on a mission to create a blog series that focuses on all of us. My goal is to commit to blogging about 1 artist per week for a year… I want to begin collecting the posts to start scheduling it for the beginning of the year…

I would like to create an online yearbook of sorts. I was hoping that each of you would share your journey. What has happened to you as a result of being part of this online community of women artists? What has changed in your life? What has been awakened? What have you learned and how have YOU changed? Did you let go and let Art? How do you feel about this community? What are your wishes for other women, community and art? How have you bonded with women? Has it changed your relationships, your perspective on life? How have you illustrated this bonding, connection, love, support, friendships? What is life like on the “outside” (of this virtual world) What lies in your future? How has your art changed or evolved? What major shifts do you see happening?

With each post I would like for you to include several pictures of your art…whatever that may be….include your contact info…website, blog, etc.

You can set it up in a word document and email it to me…sofiadabalsa@gmail.com once I schedule them out I will let you know the day so you can post it on your blog. 

I believe that one single decision to commit to myself led me to this place with all of you beautiful women. Who knew it would have such a lasting impact! These nurturing friendships and unwavering support… have moved me on a soul level! This place has become a constant in my life... a solid place to rest and grow. Oh, how much your love of art and courage to put it out there has healed me in SO MANY ways!

I'll be posting this in all the groups I am a part of..... so you may see it a couple of times... so please be patient.

Love ya'll.

Thank you I appreciate you!