Friday, December 19, 2014

A time to help ...

Dear friends, family, colleagues and fellow artists and potters….

On the night of December 16th my dear friend, and master potter, Andre Lacroix, lost his studio in Rawdon to a fire. There is of course an immense relief and very much gratitude that no one was hurt. However .. the studio didn’t fare so well. This studio was the creative home to many of us and was a place of inspiration, creativity, comfort and care, and friendship. It was also Andre’s livelihood. He gave classes during the week and on weekends, he gave summer camp intensives, had interns from Art Schools, and just provided the artistic community in Quebec with a real important place to explore and grow as artists. He was also one of the very few places in Quebec with a wood-fire kiln. I can’t begin to tell you how deeply this loss is felt by many of us. That being said - it surely is a devastating blow to Andre… who now needs to rebuild from scratch. Everything was lost in the fire - all equipment, all the precious recipes for glazes, all the wheels, all that remains is one charred wall - and as I write I believe the news will only get worse when we find out the damage to the wood-fire kiln.   

Dear friends - in this age of crowd-sourcing, and project funding .. I ask you to please find it in your heart to help support Andre and give him the hope and financial backing he needs to rebuild the atelier. He has so much creative work left to do! I am including links to his Facebook page pictures… I want you to get a sense of what he offered - what he can offer the world in terms of art and creativity - and that needs to be supported! 

Here is the Facebook page where you can see the energy and love that we all had for this space… 

It’s all gone now…

Here is what’s left

Here is the link to help and donate…. please do so as soon as you can.

Please - redistribute as much as possible.

Thank you.

With a heavy heart…


Monday, July 7, 2014

The question of Intent

Intent... intent can be understood as the motive, not necessarily conscious, behind our behaviour and communication. Often times in challenging relationships there appears to be a tendency towards ascribing intent which may not necessarily exist. 

A common enough complaint in relationship is that our loved one is ignoring us. It is sometimes easier to believe that than to come to an understanding that we were never thought of in the first place. In order for the intent of ignoring me to be there, my partner needs to be thinking of me, and dismissing me to some extent.  In order for me to be ignored, someone has to be doing the ignoring... that's a conscious act. Rather than consider you and your needs, I am going to go ahead and do what I want for myself - that's ignoring. That's different from being so absorbed in my own stuff (suffering?) that I don't think of you at all.

Some partners tend more than others to take initiative, whether romantically or sexually. Often times, the person who takes less initiative gets labeled with "not caring". "Not caring" becomes the "intent" behind the less active stance (less initiative). Its entirely possible that two people come together who have different "appetites" - and I often see couples come in to my office, complaining of this. S/he does/doesn't want it as much/little as I do. This can be challenging but the really unnecessary part tends to be one person "ascribing intent" to the other's behaviour. S/he does this because s/he doesn't love me, doesn't care how I feel, or is ignoring me. The truth of it tends to be that we are just different, that it doesn't occur to me to want it more, or I just don't want it more, and it really hasn't got much to do with you at all.

Examples can also be found in relationships with adult children. I have heard many a parent ascribe intent to children who have chosen different paths than what the parent wished for. In their upset with this, I have heard parents say “they do this to hurt/disrespect me”. I haven’t met a whole lot of 20 somethings that walk around with the wish to hurt or disrespect their parents as a motivating factor for their behaviour and choices. Quite the opposite is true.

Finally, I’ve worked with many who have come from families where either parent had significant mental health issues. When these clients first appear in my office, the storyline is often “my parent(s) did this to me”.  Many of us had bad things happen to us in our childhood as a direct result of parental mental illness. However, the part of the story that needs to change is believing there was intent toward you. And again, the notion of not even making it onto the conscious radar in a parents mind is exquisitely painful too. Yet there is something incredibly liberating in understanding that there was no conscious, malicious act borne against you. That was not the intent. Often times when a parent rages, it is against themselves, and an expression of their being consumed with their own pain. Of course how that affects us is important to know and understand and deal with, but it’s still also important to know that their rage and suffering was not about you.

It's worth contemplating what a person's intent might be when we walk away from an exchange feeling something.  Often we make assumptions about intent that are not necessarily correct and behave, ourselves, in accordance with those incorrect assumptions. Can you see how we easily lose our focus, centre, and authenticity in such a state? If you're not sure what is driving your partner’s/kid's behaviour, ask. If you're not sure why you're not being called, romantically perused, or included, ask. You may not like the answer but at least you will have the truth. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Life Hack for all of us

Have a listen