n o s. 15 & 16

No. 15

“I’m scared that my temper will one day hurt someone I love.”

DG:  You have been courageous in carrying this injury for so long – the broken heart that I sense is so often behind rage.  Now, right here and now, there is healing available to you.  Just in acknowledgment you have shined a bright light on the thing that lurks in your dark parts waiting patiently to spring when given opportunity.  In your greater community you can find others who are learning strategies to manage the physicality of rage.  Find them.  I am no trained professional, but because I have personal experience with terrifying rage, I can offer you this:  Make a commitment to a 15 minute meditation every day for 90 days.  When you begin, make certain you are alone and have some water and and tissues near by.  Open yourself with deep breaths then begin to reflect on times when you felt let down – did not get what you needed.  If you feel rage – just sit with it.  Let it be what it is.  Acknowledge it and call on your courage to stay with it until it is finished.  This is a way we comfort children who are lost in a tantrum.  We sit with them and let it be until something cracks and they can come back.  Be a child in the moment knowing full well that you already have everything you need to comfort yourself when you come back. When the rage shifts it often comes in tears.  Let them wash over you until you are finished.  Thank your rage for the ways it has helped you survive then give it permission to go.  Tell it you don’t need its services any longer.

At the end of 90 days, treat yourself to something very special and begin again.

Token:  Here is a stone for your pocket.  This stone is imbued with the peace and quiet of Smoke Farm.  Let it serve as a reminder that you are loved.

 

No. 16

“Creativity and follow through.  Blockage, frustration and doubt.”

DG:

How encouraging it is for me to know that I am not alone in these feelings.  We are connected, as is everyone, through our fears.  Unfortunately, we do not value wholeness. We seek exemption from insecurity and pain instead of honoring the connective opportunity these provide.  We do not want to burden or be burdened by messy pain, but when we courageously give ourselves to vulnerability and true service, we connect deeply.  Funny humans.  I offer that you take yourself on a 15 minute walk every day for 90 days, no matter the weather.  While on these walks, collect a stone.  Store these stones in clear, glass jar in a place where you will see light shine through the glass.  Let the weight and number of the stones ground you and remind you of your commitment to self nurturing.  At the end of 90 days, select the most interesting of the stones and write a poem about it.  Return the the other 89, one walk at a time, to the earth as blessings.

Token:  Here is your first stone.

n o s. 10 & 12

No. 10

“It is so so hard to remember to stop and listen to my heart.”

DG:  Indeed!  Self-care generally is difficult for a lot of us.  To create a new dialog (habit), I recommend you commit to a 15 minute brisk walk every single day, no matter the weather, for 90 days.  Alone.  On these walks, pick up something that makes you smile.  When you arrive home, place your items on a tray that you keep in a place where you can see it but no one will disturb the contents.  After 90 days, examine your treasures.  Select your favorite and write a simple poem about it.  Send the poem to someone your heart longs for.

Token:  Here is a stone from Smoke Farm.*

(*Had you gotten this prescription at Smoke Farm, you would have received this token also.  If you would like directions on how to get this token, please email me at info@wylyastley.com for directions.)

No. 12

“brain in the way of my heart”

DG:  So typical.  Our heart holds our truth – our truth makes us feel vulnerable.  Our head often wants to protect us from feeling things it labels confusing or uncomfortable.  Occasionally our hearts are so loud that our brains have no choice but to follow. I suggest you take your heart on a date.  Just the two of you.  Take your heart to a really good newsstand – one with tons of magazines and newspapers – and scan for anything that tickles your interest.  Anything – no judgment allowed.  Buy every single item and take them with you as you continue your date.  Pick up your favorite take-out and head home (or have your favorite snacks and warm drink available (no alcohol) there).  Get in your most comfortable clothes, play your favorite music and flip through all the things you bought.  Make notes about what you like.  Tear things out.  Tear things up.  Do you want to try that?  Do you want to go there?  Spend some real time doing this.  Once finished, take your pile of notes, tear outs and what-have-yous.  Clean up your food and any mess.  Take a shower then meditate for a minimum of 5 minutes.  When you are finished and relaxed, select the item that most excites you then go to your calendar and make another date to do, see, taste, make and/or experience that thing.  Don’t schedule a companion to do this with you yet.  Your heart is directing you toward something it wants to do.  Honor it with sincerity and time.  Do these dates monthly for 6 months and you may find that your brain will begin to insist on hearing your heart because it will feel so good.

Token:  Here is a pen with which to take notes.*

(*Had you gotten this prescription at Smoke Farm, you would have received this token also.  If you would like directions on how to get this token, please email me at info@wylyastley.com for directions.)

n o s. 2 & 9

No. 2
“I have lost all of my self esteem.  I used to believe in myself, but not anymore.”

DG:  In my experience, self esteem is gained by doing esteemable actions.  That could look like living in your integrity and with great compassion for yourself – especially and particularly when you feel most unlovable.  Please commit to a 15 minute brisk walk every single day, no matter the weather, for 90 days.  On these walks, pick up a stone and put it in your pocket.  When you arrive home, make a mark on it.  Use a Sharpie or some other permanent way of marking.  Collect them in a jar that you keep by your mirror.  At the end of 90 days, continue your walks except put a stone in a place that calls to you.  On that 90th (180th) day of walks, deliver your last stone to someone who is suffering.

Token:  Here is your first stone.*

No. 9
“Feeling unsure about an upcoming major career change. Afraid I won’t be able to be good at something new.”

DG:  Think back to a time when you were brand new at something and completely failed and/or felt embarrassed or ashamed.  Have it?   First, take comfort in knowing that this question could be asked to absolutely anyone, aged 5 or older, and they would have such a memory.  That pain and fear connect us.  Please hold that memory – that pain – and then take the hand of the you you were then.  Invite that you indoors into your most favorite sitting place.  Is that you very young?  Offer your lap.  If not, offer him/her a cup of something delicious and get one for your current you, too.  Are you warm and comfortable?  Now what will you say to your earlier you to comfort him/her?  I bet it’s kind and encouraging.  Compassionate.  Listen to your own words.

On a day not too long from today, take yourself, by yourself, to one of your most favorite place.  Take with you a small spade or spoon and a clear jar with a lid.  When you arrive  at this special place, say out loud, “I am new again.  I feel afraid, but I am courageous.  Thank you fear for trying to protect me, but I got this.”  Plunge your space into the earth then place its contents in the jar.  Put the lid on the jar and carry it home.  Once home, put the jar by the place you sleep.  Let the soil of your special place help ground you.

Token:  Here is a vial of Smoke Farm.  Carry this magical place with you and allow it to comfort and ground you.*

*Had you received this prescription at the farm, you would have also received this token.  If you wish to have this token, please send me an email at info@wylyastley.com for instructions on how to get it.   Thank you.

 

n o s. 1 & 1

Dear Participants (and Anyone Else Who Cares to Read Them),

Following are “prescriptions” to ailments/burdens that were left with me in my ad hoc apothecary at Smoke Farm on September 6 – 7, 2014.  My ambition in offering these prescriptions was (and remains) to connect with people who were willing to become vulnerable with a complete stranger – to be witnessed and figuratively held by someone who cares deeply.

Please know that I am not a trained counselor or healer.  I am an artist.  I created a space and circumstances that I hoped would elicit an exchange of trust and connection between strangers thus creating a significant relationship, an “us”, if only for a moment.  I found that a majority of participants were willing to be incredibly forthcoming in sharing pain.  In my own experiences and in the feedback I have received so far, it appears that this experiment was successful. Connections were made. IMG_6436

I was not able to fill all the prescriptions I received during “office hours”, therefore, I brought the project online. While I did not write prescriptions in numerical order at the festival, I will do so here until they are all filled.  You may note that many numbers are missing and that there is a pair of identical numbers (1).  The missing numbers represent prescriptions that were picked up during the festival.  In the prescriptions offered at the Farm, I gave a token “remedy” to be used in the prescription.  I am happy to offer tokens to anyone who wants them. Please contact me at info@wylyastley.com for instructions on how to receive one.

Thank you participants.  It is a joy to connect.

Love,  Wyly
(aka Dr. Good – “DG)

No. 1
“My heart is being smothered by my head. I need to be able to reach it.”

DG: Your heart is a magic, sacred place. It holds the truth. Your head wants to protect your heart. It despises pain and all things it doesn’t understand. Fear often masquerades as Protection. See the truth. Courageously take the reins from the fear. Take this [a] feather to the [a] river, hold it in your right hand and recite, “Fear – thank you for your energy. Your services are no longer required.” Release the feather (fear) into the river.

No. 1
“I am feeling left behind. Friends are marrying and moving away.”

DG: Now is a wonderful time to reconnect with yourself – to relearn what you enjoy and want to learn. Think back to a time when you experienced great joy when you were alone. What were you doing? Seeing? Tasting? Schedule a date with just you and try that thing again. Also, schedule a daily 15 minute walk with yourself. Do this for 90 days no matter the weather. While on your walk select and pocket a special rock you find along the way. Collect these rocks in a jar that you keep next to where you sleep. Let the weight of the stones help ground you and remind you of your commitment to befriending yourself.

b u r d e n s

 

Last weekend I built an apothecary in a cedar grove.  IMG_6433I dressed myself in silk and wool, covered my eyes with a mask of branches that limited my vision downward and played the role of a shaman named Dr. Good.  “Patients” participated in the process by writing downaches and pains of the heart or mind – spiritual burdens.  Once they finished writing, they removed and pocketed IMG_6429a numbered portion of the chit and deposited their identically numbered burden in a jar.  They had instructions to return in a few hours to receive a “prescription” and remedy for their heartache.  Many people visited me in the grove as the installation was part of the LoFi Festival at Smoke Farm in Arlington, WA. When I started this project last spring, I had no way of knowing how much more connected I would feel to the grove and to so many people who began as, and remain, strangers.  I am altered.

In my typical habitat I teach young children, volunteer quite a bit and generally look for opportunities to be helpful.  These are my ways of connecting.  As a jumping off point for this work, I wondered if I could be useful, if I could deeply connect,  by making an offering of time, tokens and undivided attention (if only for a few moments) anonymously with strangers.

I found that I felt profoundly connected to people in the space and to the space itself.  Though I could not see outward, I could see light, my writing and feet.  I could see that people stood in the space quietly with me even after they had given me their burdens. I could hear everything.  I heard how people quickly become silent in the space.  I heard slow shifting and breathing.  I heard people collecting their prescriptions.  I strongly sensed that we were mingling our vulnerabilities and each longing for connectivity while trusting this remarkable place to keep us safe and allow this exchange – this connection.

I was and remain overcome by the candor expressed in the burdens.  I hoped participants would bring me heavy woes, I specifically asked for them, but I felt surprised nonetheless by the outpouring.  IMG_6430I was also overwhelmed by the sheer number of burdens and the time a considered prescription and remedy required.  I originally thought I would make short replies, attach a remedy and quickly move to the next burden.  Not the case.  In fact, I was able to answer and return less than 50 prescriptions during the time I had at the festival.  I actually quit taking burdens for a while with hopes of catching up but it was quickly apparent that I would not be able to.  Someone offered the good solution of taking the burdens home and making prescriptions available on my blog.  It was an excellent solution as the anonymity (on my side) stays fully intact and that, I believe, was an essential element to the success of this project.

IMG_6436And so, for the next couple days, I will post the remaining burdens and prescriptions.  If you were at the festival and hoped for the token remedy to accompany  your prescription, please feel free to contact me at info@wylyastley.com for instructions.

Thank you for visiting and for participating.  It was magical.

Love,

-Wyly (aka Dr. Good)

 

 

it’s all about light

I am pleased to be included in a group show this month at the Corridor Gallery in the Tashiro Kaplan building. The theme of this show is “It’s All About Light.”   Corridor PostcardFor this work I used humble, natural materials and processes – nothing precious. Except time. What does the world care about a single bee, a broken man, one beetle or a family of poor migrant Okies? In our country we value bravado and audacity. We like out loud Winners. We are busy trying to be The One instead of seeing and honoring the bright light in EveryOne.

IMG_4960

The restoration of Lemminkainen

This work, each stitch and bead, is a quiet acknowledgment of these beings and an expression of love for them.

I’d love to see you at the opening this First Thursday from 5 – 8 PM.

Best,    Wyly

c h a n g e s

I am very excited to say that I am shifting my blog into a website and it will be launched any day now.  I’d love it if you came to visit me at wylyastley.com.

Thank you!

-Wyly