October 21, 2019

Calling All Preschoolers! Toddler Hour at the Sanctuary Center!

Come enjoy weekly preschool adventures at the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center, with book readings, show-and-tell, singing songs, and crafts!

Wednesday Mornings, 10-11 am

Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center
35 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz


October 18, 2019

What is the correlation between Meditation and Hypnosis?

Recently I received a comment on my YouTube video, A Simple Self Hypnosis Technique: What is the correlation between meditation and Hypnosis?

That's a good question! Both are relaxing; both help reduce stress, and both tend to lead the brainwaves to go down into theta - about 3-5 cycles a second.

There are many forms of meditation, although most are familiar with the concept of following one's breath to feel calm and centered, or allowing one's thoughts to just drift by, with simple awareness, but no attachment to the thoughts themselves. 

Hypnosis also takes many forms, but in essence is a relaxed, focused state of concentration known as going into trance (or the zone). In this state, the mind is open to suggestion, can review past traumas with emotional distance for healing purposes, and reinforce any positive habits or patterns that the client wants, whether the perfect golf swing or giving a public speech. 

In many ways, hypnosis is a guided meditation that has a specific intention. Some examples: age regressions or past life regressions; meet ancestors/guides; change a habit; hypnobirthing; experience emotional freedom; receive messages from the body; pain management; reduce insomnia, etc.

The correlation between them is they are both ways to experience more calmness and peacefulness, allowing the body to get out of "fight-or-flight" and back into the parasympathetic nervous system. They are both wonderful ways to create the mind-body connection as well as more mindfulness; manage emotions rather than having emotions manage you; and for many people, a spiritual practice offering comfort, guidance, and insight.

September 24, 2019

The Artist’s Creed

The Artist’s Creed

"I believe I am worth the time it takes to create
whatever I feel called to create.

I believe that my work is worthy of its own space,
which is worthy of the name Sacred.

I believe that, when I enter this space, I have the right
to work in silence, uninterrupted, for as long as I choose.

I believe that the moment I open myself to the gifts of the Muse,
I open myself to the Source of All Creation
and become One with the Mother of Life Itself.

I believe that my work is joyful, useful, and constantly changing,
flowing through me like a river with no beginning and no end.

I believe that what it is I am called to do
will make itself known when I have made myself ready.

I believe that the time I spend creating my art
is as precious as the time I spend giving to others.

I believe that what truly matters in the making or art is
not what the final piece looks like or sounds like,
not what it is worth or not worth, but what newness gets added
to the universe in the process of the piece itself becoming.

I believe that I am not alone in my attempts to create,
and that once I begin the work, settle into the strangeness,
the words will take shape, the form find life, and the spirit take flight.

I believe that as the Muse gives to me,
so does she deserve from me:
faith, mindfulness, and enduring commitment."

 by Jan Phillips

My Artists Creed

I once heard that there is no word for “art” in Bali because they simply make everything beautiful. Every Thing – every single bed, hidden doorway, ceramic flower pot, ubiquitous chamberpot – is somehow artistic, in its own way. I’m not sure if this is true, but it certainly could be my creed – Make everything beautiful. If I can’t paint it, I’ll put a sticker on it. If it is ugly, I’ll refurbish or get rid of it. If nothing else, I’ll put glitter on it. Oh yes, I will.
I can always tell when one of my clients is doing better, because they ask, “Has this always been here?” This could refer to the art-deco murals of trees in the front room, a lampshade carefully strung with lost earrings and broken pearls, the toilet in the guest bathroom that has been painted like sea kelp using enamel paints. No longer lost in their internal landscape of depression, anxiety and gloom, they take a moment to look around, perk up, observe their surroundings, become truly aware – and hopefully inspired, if not simply mindful. The random look of joy on their faces, a pleasant reminder for me that even though I am used to all this by now – it is a moment of wonder, a feeling of curiosity if not incredulity, a feeling of infinite possibility. My own mindful moment.

And the answer? Well, some twenty years ago, after going through a divorce and deciding to cancel cable TV, I found that I spent a lot of time worrying about my child or feeling frustrated by daily chores. Creating art, creating beauty, was a way to transform, to channel my energy into what I now call prayer – out of my suffering, grief, and depression, let something lovely be born. Khalil Gibran says, “Work is love made visible.” And as a result, let me be more present – with my child, my clients, my self.

And so every room is painted – I’m talking the resplendent four seasons became my hallway, gold and silver stars grace the ceilings, meticulous stencils of ripe red roses and palest lavender wisteria are a sharp contrast to the spongy backgrounds of blackberry bushes and underwater dreams. Embellished glass kitchen cabinets sing their songs with art-deco dragonflies, purring pussy willows, and golden outlines. Bored, I moved on from the big canvasses of white walls to the more intricate details. First, transformed common garden statues into marvelous radiant beings to celebrate my cronehood, then transcribed my horrible handwriting into cryptic runes onto tarot decks, and all along (yes, of course, this is Santa Cruz)- hosted a couple dozen new tattoos to inscribe art on my body, the ultimate illuminated manuscript.

I balk when people ask if I’m an artist (let alone a writer). I certainly am a dabbler, willing to try, to experiment. I perceive art as a lifestyle – much like being a Vegan, a Surfer, or my myth of the Balinese. While I don’t spend my time thinking about tofu, the temperature of the water, or whatever story someone s making up about me – I do try to create beauty, every day, in every way. As simple as a reworded email, as complex as the center of the Dolores Rose, who springs forth every January despite the chill to infuse my being with the scent of hope.

I struggle with that voice in my head says, “It’s not art if it’s not making money”. But it is beauty, and it is pleasing, and I know it makes this tiniest, tiniest, tiniest slice of this particular corner of the world an even better place. This is something I believe in, a practice, my particular artist's creed.

Blessed Be.