Reliquaries:: treasures & thoughts

reliquaries

Reliquaries:: treasures & thoughts

RELIQUARIES ~ a personalized container  used to hold treasures, collections of found objects, and little bits of ephemera that magically find their way into our lives.  In the June workshop, the girls converted old wooden cigar boxes into works of art.  Transforming the surface into a mixed media canvas ~ the girls used individual preferences of color, shapes and textures to personalize their ‘treasure boxes’.  There was lots of time for creative expression, but also time for artistic exploration.  Playing and processing, that’s what we do!  Taking note of what we observe in the world around us.   What treasures appeal to our inner souls?  They were encouraged to really, closely observe …. and to start collecting treasures over the summer.  Finding joyful treasures in nature, curious little “finds” along our paths, mementos of trips and outings, collections of the obscure ~ ticket stubs, Chinese fortunes, notes from friends and …… the possibilities are endless.  It is exciting to simply think about the individual ‘stories’ that will be lovingly held in these boxes.  Each unique.  Each a glimpse into a time and a place within the lives of these young ladies.

There are other treasures that can be found within ourselves.  And for those we need a journal; a sacred reliquary to house our thoughts, our words, our stories.  The girls each started with a blank journal to decorate ~ using found words scavenged from magazines and transformed into a personal poem to decorate the cover.  Poetry is such a lovely way to express their inner feelings, beliefs and wishes; and when combined with the impromptu scavenging of found, miscellaneous words cut from the pages of magazines they are able to fully be in the present moment of creativity.  They were invited to add their own reflections onto the journal pages, and we shared some prompts with them ~  inner excavation through some digging into the soul, some simple lists, Me Maps and letters to self.  All guaranteed to stimulate the inner artist and author.  Each girl went home with a long list of prompts and ideas and it is our hope that they will continue to spill their thoughts onto the journal pages this summer

The lovely spring day of sunshine allowed us to venture outside for a bit.  Journals in hand we strolled through the tall trees and blossoming plants of the Presidio.  They sketched what they encountered in nature ~ leaves, pods, vine tendrils, shapes and more.  They were living in the present moment, in the ‘now’ and their own unique observations are housed within the pages of the journals.  As ”city girls” we feel blessed to have this magical forest and green lush surroundings for our workshops.

Of course, at the heart of it all ~ was mindfulness, meditation and yoga.  It was such a joy to see the girls fully engrossed in a lovely session of yoga; without striving or expectations of ‘perfect’, just simply accepting of their own bodies.  A moment of peacefulness, a chance to center and calm.  A challenging mindfulness activity was Mindful Eating ~ taking two raisins in hand, observing with all of our senses {looking, touching, smelling, listening and tasting}.  There were lots and lots of giggles which is inherent in this particular lesson plan of mindfulness for kids {after all, it is difficult to image ten minutes to eat two raisins!}, but in the end I think they all realized the difference between eating mindfully and not.  And, as we always like to remind ourselves, and the parents:    we are planting seeds, little bits of mindfulness that can be sprinkled about the daily life of these girls.  Who knows when they will embrace them.  Maybe they will even be teachers themselves, showing some of their newfound skills to parents, siblings and friends.

 

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Cultivating a place where girls can Gather and explore life through art, and incorporate the social and emotional aspects of mindfulness

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