Saturday, October 10, 2015

Loving what is… and random beauty

(This is a shoot I designed with Carolyn Tran photographing and Claire Pettibone's dresses)

Thank you Byron Katie for the title…

My life… what an amazing journey!
This last year and a half has been quite a ride.  Lots of ups and downs.  The downs I have found have been tremendous openings to learn more about me.  How to be…  me… just… me.
Sounds so simple doesn't' it!  You would think that is what I would do best.  Wrong!  I have found that it is very easy to be who I think I SHOULD be, not who I REALLY am in that moment.

(a bouquet from the above shoot)

There is strength and peace in just being me, in allowing "what is" to be real… to be the REALITY of that moment.… and… being OK with that.   That "what is" includes me in whatever state I am in, in that moment.  Being OK with the messy, needy, crying, scared me.   I have told myself a story of what being a strong, evolved and conscious women looks like.  It means always being the patient, loving no-matter-what woman.  The Divine essence of Woman.  She would look in my eyes like a compassionate, loving, kind presence.  One that does not get lost in Ego, judgement or feels hurt or takes anything personal.  I have forgotten about all those beautiful and Divine Goddesses shown in a rage, broken hearted and anything but calm and at peace.  

(This is a shoot I designed with Carolyn Tran photographing and Claire Pettibone's dresses)

I am learning that She is all things.  The Divine Feminine has been speaking to me in the last couple of years.  Calling me to investigate Her.  To find Her in me.  I am leaning that She is and always has been…  Me.  Me in all my glorious and many moods.  I am leaning to allow whatever is happening to just happen.  To not imprint what I think should be on what is.  Sounds so basic but I have found it to be quite a practice.  I am slowly abandoning all my previous ideas of what…  everything…  is or should be.  I am starting to evaluate each situation, person, belief, emotion right then and see how it feels to me in the moment.  I am leaning to understand what "no judgement" looks like compared to what discerning what is OK or not for me looks like.  Not making one thing or person bad or wrong, just maybe not for me, in that moment.  Not quite there yet, however to even be aware of this subtlety seems like a beautiful improvement in my life.

(a beautiful wedding with a Spanish flare)

To try and always come from Love.  That sounds so beautiful and peaceful.  However, to give that grace to me has been a challenge.  To love me even when I don't really feel very lovable.  To be OK with the Me in the moment.  Now that is truly Love!  One aspect of that means allowing my emotions to come out in a safe way.  To be nonjudgmental about whatever emotion is running through me.  To not always take action on whatever my mind is telling me to do.  To be gentle and kind with myself.  To know that being mad, sad, glad, scared or ashamed is being human.  It is just the weather and will pass.  I am learning not to get too hooked by the feelings.  I still get hooked but the hook is not set too deep these days.

I think Spirit has sent me situations so I can learn this.  A few years ago I passionately and from my soul asked for more connection with Spirit, for more connection with me, my path, my purpose in this life, to find happiness.  Deep lasting peace and happiness.  I knew there must be more to life that what I was experiencing…  I just didn't know how to get there.   I am learning…  Peace and happiness seem now to be choices, Spirit has never been that far from me, I have just been opening up and hearing and feeling more.   I have noticed that in those beautiful moments of peace, or the completion of a situation or project, I experience a moment of calm, of content.  In that moment I feel my mind whirling… looking for the next situation to worry or immerse myself in.  I see my mind is making my reality.  I am leaning to have a talk with myself.  To assure that all is well right in that very moment.  Breath into the calm that is right now.  To not get too hooked by the next situation.  There will always be one.  Choose peace, and even in a moment where I am all worked up by something, to just let that emotion be.  The more I try to judge my experience and my feelings the bigger and out of whack they get.  Just. Be.

I am also not owning everyone else's experience so much these days.  This allows me to be more with me, to allow… me.  If I am mad, so be it.  Is it my "mad" or someone else's?  Am I taking on someone else's anger or sadness?  Assuring my child that if I get mad or sad or am experiencing another's sadness or anger doesn't mean I will be abandoned.  No one can truly abandon me.  I will always have myself. I am the one constant in my life.  Easy to say, challenging to get my child to believe this.   Definitely better though.

(a bouquet with paper flowers I made for a recent wedding)

One of the beautiful things I have been doing for myself is painting a lot. 

 It is a beautiful meditation where I am able to suspend my active mind.   To exist in the moment.

To push thick color around on the canvass, actual 3-dimensional color is glorious!  I connect with Spirit and then paint what I am being called to.  

The images that are coming out are amazing and oh so fun!  I have been feeling powerfully called to explore different creative mediums and go deeper inside of me.  This is absolute pure joy!!!!   

To reflect these changes I have been in the process of changing my web page to represent myself as more of an artist, not just with a focus on events.  I can design your event, paint your totem or create your ceremony for you. I love this change.  It feels like a beautiful doorway to deeper aspects of myself and the second half of my life!

Hopefully it will be up and live next week.  Here is a link that will work in a week or so…  My old name Tricia Fountaine will always work, both now and later, connecting to the new web site. 

I am also pursuing setting up an art showing, finally getting this collection out into the world.

Another fun thing that I am doing is creating a deck of divination cards based on the paintings and the animals represented.  I absolutely can't wait for these.  I am having a blast designing them!  Layers and layers of imagery, symbols, and….  color!!!  Soooo fun!

Life is good my friends.  Even when there is heartbreak and challenges.  I am learning it is the journey and how I am choosing to be in the moment.  I am also soooo happy to be embracing more of my gifts, being an ARTIST!  I found a quote that really speaks to me…

I like to think that through my creations I am helping others to restore their own soul as well.  Or at least connect with themselves and Spirit.  

Huge Blessings to all of you!
Tricia Saroya


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"I'm not dead yet" and the magical gypsy wagon faerie party….

Hello Blog land,
"I'm not dead yet"  to quote a favorite line out of Monty Python.  Life is so full, I have just been living and not blogging.  My intention is to start up again, I miss my connection with all of you (that is if you are still there).  I love that I can share so many more pictures and thoughts here than on Face Book.  I love the artistic presentation of my blog so much more than FB too!  And I am definitely all about artistic presentation!
Many events, both weddings and regular life, have happened since I last checked in.   Pretty much all good, even the challenging ones too…  Life is funny that way.  There is good in all things, even if we don't see it right away.
One of my favorite developments is…  (drum roll please)  I am so proud to say that I am now officially a regular contributor to Faerie Magazine.  I have loved that magazine since I first saw it many years ago and now I am so very honored and thrilled to truly be a part of it! Some of my favorite people are involved with it.  Carolyn Turgeon is the editor and chief.  I didn't realize that she is the same Carolyn Turgeon who has written several books that I love, two of which are Godmother and Fairest of Them All.  Kim Cross, the founder and publisher is the one I had the pleasure of working with when they published my Faerie Wedding.  She kind of launched the Faerie aspect of me…  Thank you Kim!  I also had a pleasant surprise when I discovered that the art director was none other than one of my favorite blogs from the past, Medieval Muse's own Lisa Gill.  She is a major cat lover like me so we know she must be a wonderful person!!!  Now if you also count all the contributors…  it is a whose who of the fantasy realm.  You've no idea how amazing it felt to be in the same magazine as Charles Vess and Brian and Wendy Froud!  Super heady stuff I tell ya!!!  I feel like I have found a beautiful home and I am so happy!    The faeries have indeed been good to me.  Through their love and guidance my artistic creative life has been so rewarding and full!
One of the most fun things I have done lately is finally tackle the old Gypsy Wagon I've had for ages.

 I received it in a trade somewhere around 8 years ago but the work required to bring it up to scratch was more than I could deal with, that is until a couple of months ago.  My sweetie Vince and I decided to tackle it so I could have a lovely place to call my own.  He had his man cave but I didn't have my own sacred space.  He has not only the carpentry skills to pull it off but an artist's soul AND eye.  I am a very lucky lady!  Now I have this amazing retreat place that is both nurturing and inspiring.  It is truly my sacred space and here I sit in my beautiful wagon writing this post right now.  You will see it as part of an article I wrote for Faerie Magazine on Children's imaginative parties.  Vince and I had a blast hosting a Faerie-Gypsy costume tea party with four young girls at the wagon.  Vince shot it and now you will get to see the results in the magazine in Autumn.  I believe it comes out in September.  I have posted a few shots that I know didn't make it in the magazine so I won't be giving too much away.  It was an explosion of COLOR and oh so much fun!!!!!!
Here are a few eye candy pictures to feed your imagination and heart…

Notice what she is reading?…  major, gratuitous plug!

The lovely ladies… top to bottom…
Lokelani, Sage, Alexandra

All dressed in their finery…

Kyla's mom is an amazing clothing and hat designer.  The hats the girls are wearing as well as the purple hat below and the flower in Sage's hair are from her.   Her beautiful creations are called Garden of Gaia and she can be found in a few boutiques in Santa Barbara.  

Here is the inside looking towards the back…  That bench seat I practically live on!

Looking towards the front on the right…

Looking towards to front on the left…


Here are a couple of before shots so you can see how far we came!

I can tell you that I ADORE this wagon!  It is my haven and precious sacred space!  I am so very grateful!

I have also been painting a lot lately.  Vince very kindly, yet still mortifying to me, talked to an art dealer about showing my work and much to my surprise, he said absolutely they were gallery material.  He had several suggestions about how to find the right gallery and location so we are slowly 
pursuing that.

I am quite stunned to think that I might actually be able to sell my work for what is a considerable sum of money!  To actually be able to be a professional painter just boggles my mind!!!

Here are some pieces I am working on…

Many of these are quite large…  up to 4' high and 3' wide.  

Many of these are based on some of Vince's photography.  He is an amazing wildlife photographer who then takes his shots and manipulates the colors in Photoshop.  The first time I saw one of his pics I knew I had to paint it.  Look what he has started!!!

The following ones are based on his photos…

Many of these are not quite finished yet.  I LOVE painting these…  I get lost and hours go by.  It really is a meditation for me!  

  Though I think I need to push my boundaries a bit and try a little more color, they seem a little flat : )  

There is so much to report…  almost a years worth of activity!  Wow!  Has it really been that long!  Life moves way too fast!  But, I am having fun, and that is what it is all about for me!

I will try to post more regularly now.  Tomorrow, Faerie Magazine's online newsletter is posting a ridiculously flattering piece on me and the articles I've written.  I am kind of blushing at the moment with a huge grin on my face!  I will post a link here as soon as it is posted.  

Golly…  soooo much goodness.

I hope you are all well and thriving!

Be back soon, I promise!

Like,  real faerie promises…

Enchanted Faerie Blessing to you!

Tricia Saroya 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gratitude and Amazement!!!!!

Hello my blog friends…
Life is sure an amazing ride isn't it?  

(image from Pinterest)

Sometimes if I am conscious enough to pay attention and even actually get out of the way I am stunned into awe over the beauty of it.  I see from time to time some kind of higher power's intention for my life.  I am so grateful for those moments.  They confirm my belief in this higher power who seems to be guiding me, keeping me on some sort of a path of purpose even when I unwittingly try to derail it.  I have been especially aware of this guidance over the last 3 or so years.  

(image from Pinterest)

As many of you know I went through an unexpected divorce almost 3 years ago.  Pain and sorrow had totally taken me, I truly though my life was ending... and in a way it did.  My old life, one that was not quite allowing me to be fully in this world, in my gifts, living, being and loving to the highest was ending.  Something more true and meaningful for me was about to begin, but I sure didn't know it at the time. All I knew was a pain so great I though I would totally be consumed in the intensity of it.  

(image from Pinterest)

At critical points Spirit would send me the most unlikely people who would step in and make pathways for me.  The owner of the ranch I live on figured out how both my ex-husband and I could now live in two houses, in effect paying double rent on the single income I was making.  As I stood by and watched I was astonished at how things would just line up.   This beautiful home magically open up for me, which was everything, I could have asked for.  The ranch workers showed up and loaded up all my worldly belongings on the flat bed trailer and moved it for me.    Everything just kept working out, somehow things were being handled so that I could totally disintegrate.   My new house was a miraculous sanctuary, truly a cocoon for me to hibernate in, to slowly heal in and begin to figure out who I was.  As I did this I examined everything I though I knew about myself.  I looked into new ways of being, discovered old desires and interests and after a time started living again.  Really living...  from my heart not my mind or sense of what I "should" be doing.  

(image from Pinterest)

As I posted before I discovered drumming in an African drum group, which eventually had me in a parade playing my Djembe.  

(thats me in the center with my fellow parade drummers)

I got physical again and started enjoying the miracle that was my strong body.  I took time to enjoy life, not filling every waking moment with activity.  Walks on the beach, time with my friends, workshops in subjects that interested me...  I started to enjoy my life.  

(I started painting again…)

I felt whole and alive again, a true miracle!  Now 3 years later I look at a life… my life…  one that I am so intensely grateful for.  It is very real and so much more me that I could have believed!  I have a Man in my life that shares my interests on a deep level.  

Here we are being silly for a Steampunk wedding that I design with his help

We seem to understand each other and even when the going gets rough we have the tools to get through it.  This is new for me.  I am beginning to believe that we can probably get through anything as we are able to talk in a real way, neither one getting defensive, speaking as much as we are able from what is happening inside us.  We speak and own our feelings without pointing any fingers.  It is a relief to be able to speak what is true for me without hitting a wall of defensiveness.  I used to do the same thing so I am not saying it was all my ex’s fault, these are tools we didn’t have.  We just didn’t communicate well.  Now that seems to be behind me.  I have so much love in my heart for my ex and the life we shared together.  I know I learned a lot.  I wish him the very best and I hope he is able to learn these tools and then find love again.

My Man has also given me the gift of music, bringing this beautiful magic into my life, a magic that I didn’t even know I was missing.  I could never have believed it but I am now singing…  (WOW!) And playing percussion. 
Here we are at a gig with me on the cajon.  That is the back of my Man with such beautiful long hair…

I honesty thought my voice was horrible and that I was unable to carry a tune, I had been told that at a very young age so I have gone through my life believing this.  Now I am astonished that I actually CAN sing.  I am not an Emmy Lou Harris by a long shot but folks don’t run screaming from the room when I open my mouth.  I can get onstage with my man and sing some harmony.  

(Here we are at a gig at the paradise store.  That is me on the left singing with my girlfriends and our men backing us up on instruments.   Believe it or not we actually started out singing acapela in three part harmony with me starting us off !!!!  My knees were knocking BIG TIME!)

(My singing group of gals, Anita on the left plays guitar and ukulele phenomenally well too.  And she has the voice of an angel.  Thats Nancy on the right, you may recognize her as Aunt Louise, a better friend I could never hope to have!  I love them soooo much!!!)

What’s even more fun is I have been playing the Cajon with him at gigs.  Whadayaknow…  me onstage playing!  Truly a miracle I would never have believed possible.   Most Fridays will find us on our porch with close friends making music.  What a gift!

(Thats us on the porch!)

In addition to all the other changes I have been going through lately I also came to a rather large decision…  to change my name.  Originally when my ex-husband and I divorced I chose to keep his last name.  There were so many reasons for this not the least of which was I had a substantial business built up around it.  I think I was also clinging to a life I was not ready to let go of yet.   So, here I was finally happy to be on my own, celebrating a new me, yet with an old name.  A name that was not me, it belonged to someone else.  However it felt so daunting to change it and what would I change it to?  I no longer felt a connection to my family name, it felt like going in reverse to take my maiden name back, and I didn’t want a made up name.  Then one day it hit me …  I would use my middle name, Saroya!  Years ago I had a most wonderful and magical store where I sold Native American art and jewelry.  I called it Saroya Southwest.  

(some of the goodies from my store)

It was one of the happiest times in my life, going on buying trips to the reservations, camping and traveling by myself, bringing back beautiful unique art pieces.  

(more goodies from my store)

It was so powerfully me, just me!  The name Saroya I have always loved, even when I was a kid and no one could say it and I couldn’t even write it.  It was this beautiful exotic name that belonged to me!  I saw myself on camels out in the Sahara with treasures found along the silk road…

(image from Pinterest)

Aladdin’s cave with treasure boxes spilling forth baubles and jewels, incense and flowing caftans…  sigh*  

(image from Pinterest)

(my own collection of Indian Saris)

My version of paradise. 

(image from Pinterest)

I am sure being raised on a Date ranch helped this vision along nicely.  I was now realizing that this is and has always been the real me.  This name represented this beautiful woman inside of me, the woman I was finally letting out, the creative magical artist, the businesswoman, and the woman that loved all things exotic…  it is more me than I had ever realized!   

(Me and my Boho Man!!!)

So I officially changed my old name of Patricia (my Mom’s name) Saroyan Fountaine to Tricia (just me!) Saroya…  yippee!!!!  Bring on the jewels and incense!!!

(image from Pinterest)

So as my life this last year or so has been unfolding in such unexpected and magical ways, I started feeling the need to mark it somehow.  To mark time in a ceremonial way.  I wanted to honor what had been, what is now and what I am calling in.  To ritually and ceremonially officially begin this extraordinary new life.  I understand that life and time is an ebb and flow with no one particular day that is the start or ending.  However I had been feeling for a while that I wanted to go through kind of a rite of passage.  My man had gone out on a vision quest early in our relationship and it peaked my interest.  It seemed a bit scary (I mean really ….  No tea or food for how many days?!!!!!), yet real and as old as time.  I eventually met a wonderful couple that led people, individuals and groups, on quests.  

(Maria and her husband Cliff)

The woman, Maria Bucarro would be the one who would lead me with her partner and mine holding down a base camp while I was out on the mountain.  She is a powerful and deeply loving woman who I had had the pleasure of meeting a few months ago.  Her husband is involved in the Man Kind Project along with my man.  She has a lovely web presence with such compelling writing and beautiful insights; I would encourage you to peruse her wealth of inspiration and guidance. I felt she and her husband were a gift from Spirit answering this need deep inside of me, so I signed up and began the prep work.  She had me do lots of emotional work, looking within, creating time lines of my life, and doing lots of writing.  We would get together and talk, do ceremonial work and really cement what it was I needed from this quest.  It was beautiful and I began to understand that the quest had already started and would culminate with my time on the mountain.  This was exactly what I wanted and needed.  I learned a great deal about myself through this process.
So after much work I was ready to start the fast on the mountain part of the quest.  We all went up to the foothills of the Sierras and created a base camp where they would be for the next several days and where I would launch from.  My camp was not too far from them, but out of sight and hearing (except when I was drumming they could hear that).  

(a feather that Maria gifted me that was in the medicine circle the whole time I was on my quest, photo is from my incredibly gifted Man)

For a couple of days leading up to when I left camp on my own we did more work, both ceremonial and emotional and then at dawn on the first day of my quest I packed up my backpack and off I went. 

(The view from the top of the mountain.  My Man went up after the quest and took some pictures)

I have thought long and hard as to what to tell you about it.  It was a deeply moving and personal experience and one I am not sure how much I want to share with the world.   I can tell you that each day I meditated, journeyed in a Shamanic way, wrote, drew and also just… was.  The lack of food for 4 days and 4 nights was challenging.  During the first two days my body was cleansing out tons of toxins and generally going through withdrawals. It was also when the craving for food was strongest.  After that I think my body figured out that I was not going to feed it no mater what signals it sent me so thankfully it just stopped sending them.  Once past those initial two days the hunger stopped being my dominant thought, and I could get on to other emotional work.  Our camp was somewhere around 10,000 feet so I was also experiencing a very strong heart beat and general feeling of lack of oxygen.  

(The view from the top of the mountain looking down on my camp.  My Man was a bit sneaky and climbed above me to take some photos without me knowing)

I found it hard to sleep due to my heart rate and would wake up like a snorer does, snuffling and gasping.  Those were the physical experiences, which was part of the “decent” and the deprivation that would help me get to the visions.  The emotional was…  well, all over the map.  I was not bothered about being in nature alone.  I love nature and have always found it nurturing and safe.  I was not worried and in fact felt very supported, loved and safe.  I relish alone time and now I had several days of it!!!  Yippee!  However with that said the focus was so internal that not having any distractions of books or music made the time seem particularly long, all I had were my own thoughts as company.  I had nothing to do but go within.  Four days of that is a lot.  

(The view from one side of my camp enjoying sunset, again these were taken after my quest was over)

I think I felt all the emotions with the exception of fear.  I was tired, exhilarated, sad, happy, depressed, inspired, angry, shameful, defeated, and triumphant.  Sometimes I would cycle through all those feelings in the course of a couple of hours.  By the last day I was kind of empty, just quiet, peaceful and grateful.  In between all the processing I drummed and rattled a lot, and just sat and enjoyed the views.  As I said I was somewhere around 10,000 feet on a ridge line so I could see in all directions for hundreds of miles. 

(another beautiful sunset)

Here is what I am most happy to share with you from the many deeply personal experiences I had…  Be happy!
That was THE message I came away with.  Just… be happy, go have fun.  Life is to be cherished, enjoyed, loved and appreciated!  The more love, fun and happiness I can experience, the more in line I am with Spirit and my true nature. 

I must say that as I was getting that message I did wonder what in the name of  %*#!   was I doing starving at the top of a mountain when all I was supposed to do was have fun!!!!  Oh well… the things I seem to have to put myself through to feel connected and loved…
Even now I still sometimes forget and get caught up in the concerns of my life.  I try to remember how I felt on the mountain.  I wrote quite a bit on the quest so I am able to reread my journal transporting me back to the feelings.  That helps a great deal.
The integration after the quest is actually the hardest part.  It is easy to feel spiritual on a mountaintop.  Back home with the pressing issues of life and making a living makes it’s a bit more difficult.  I try to take walks and have quite time where I can connect again.  Writing this blog helps too.

After the quest, I hiked back down to base camp on wobbly legs and joined my friends.  I had THE most wonderful miso soup and some avocado to start the process of eating again.   

(Thats me at the end of the quest, trying to come off the mountain with an absurdly heavy pack on.  It was COLD up there, so I had a tent and 2 sleeping bags, and I still was cold.  Glad I didn't have to do it the traditional way, naked with no creature comforts at all…)

We sat in circle and I shared a bit.  I was and am still keeping some of it close to my chest.  I don’t want to loose the power and energy of it by talking about it too much.   Eventually we broke base camp and hiked back to our cars.  

(me, at the bottom of the mountain after a little Miso soup.)

It was a huge surprise to discover that a bear had virtually destroyed our friend’s car trying to get in.  Our car, which also had some food in it, had only a bear paw print on the back window.  I truly felt like I had been in the protection of Bear and Spirit.  The paw print was their blessing.   My man and I took a slow and beautiful drive through the mountains into the tiny wonderful town of Kernville and found a lovely small hotel where we “camped” for a few days and recovered.  We ate, slept and wandered about.  It was some of the loveliest times of my life!

So dear reader, thank you for hanging in on a rather long blog post.
I have been in a thoughtful mood for quite a while now and that with the name change and the vision quest stirred in me a desire to blather on.  I wish you much joy, happiness and sparkly MAGIC in your life!

(image from Pinterest)

Delight in the beauty that is out there.  I hope that is able to over ride any negativity you may encounter.  Know that I am happily eating away, reading, playing music and enjoying life.
In deep gratitude of my many blessings,
Tricia SAROYA!!!!!!  Yippeeeeee