Chaos happens.

It feels like we're amidst uncertain times. How do we ride this wave of change? Is the Sonoma County blaze, which ravaged our cities and countryside last month, leaving so much disaster in its wake, a freak accident? Or is it the herald of big changes underfoot, as unusual climactic conditions portend things to come? How do we be with all the not knowing? How do we be with disaster?

First, my heart goes out to all those who are suffering with the loss of their homes, what they've worked hard for, and their beloved family and pets. Its unimaginable. The stories are still pouring forth, tales of bravery, and tales of terror and loss. And my gratitude goes out to all the first responders who put their lives on the line to protect other people, without you we'd have nothing left.

My family prepared to evacuate, as downtown Forestville was listed by the Sheriff's nixle alerts. While this seemed a bit far reaching, there was a lot of confusion, and with the internet going down and cell phone towers jammed, it was hard to really get a handle on how close the fire was. Many people rushed to the grocery store and gas station, many places had "Cash only" signs, as no internet means no ATM cards. It was confusing, heightened times, with an apocalyptic, surreal feel. 

Adding to the experience, my partner Travis works as a mental health counselor in Santa Rosa, and he was coming home after midnight on Sunday, he had texted me "Windy there? It is here! Hope you're alright!!! xo". In the morning, I learned about the intense energy of driving home through high winds and ash falling. Then we learned Fountaingrove burned, where he works, and he worried about whether he still had a job. Meanwhile, he continued supporting clients evacuated to houses not far from the front lines.

As I inventoried what I needed to load up the minute the winds shifted, I realized that nothing really mattered but for our lives, and the lives of our animals. Anything else was truly just a bonus, but not really needed. Ultimately we needed shelter, food, love and connection of family and friends. 

Fortunately I'd had a dream of fire for the past few years, so I had a practice run on this one. In the beginning I'd be packing box after box of stuff and loading them into my car, and diving back in for more, trying to beat time before the fire consumed my home. But after a couple years of that dream, I finally got down to grabbing my cell phone, which has a camera, and leaving. (Meaning, I eventually left even my pro camera behind.) I remembered this of course and it settled my nervous system right down - this was not new to me. I knew I'd be ok, with nothing. Since in waking life I did have the luxury of a little time, I did pack up pet supplies, my school books, laptop, and some easy art supplies, of course!

My mom, on the other hand... only needed her car keys. She's clearly got a more advanced level of relationship to her things.  

Everything is Impermanent.

Is the mantra that was uttered around my home for the week as we watched the weather and sheriff alerts like a hawk, waiting to see if the winds shifted our direction. While I initially thought 10 miles was ample distance, I then learned the firestorm that night moved 10 miles in little over 2 hours. At any point, I may have to suddenly leave my office, and rush home to throw all my animals in the car. I was likewise watching the horse stables, only 2 miles from the evacuated district, with the fire visible on the ridge. Emergency plans in place. Staying calm, I continued supporting people, remaining aware and flexible, ready to leap into action. 

 What was clear to me was how easily and quickly we can lose everything. However, I don't think the philosophical answer is about being detached. I could not be detached to all I've built, my artwork, my collection of books, heck, my wonderful closet of carefully selected clothes. Any more than being calm and centered means being detached to one's partner, family, or friendships. Just to be clear, I get attached. To all of it, and all the people in my life. This notion of "detachment" is the polar opposite of rampant materialism - and the healthier place to be might be somewhere in the middle, or rather a mixture of both. We are attached to our way of life, our house, our belongings and momentos, and yet they are impermanent. No guarantees. We're attached to people in our lives, and yet we all die. The more we love them, the more its going to hurt. Its not about stopping the hurt, as that means we don't let ourselves love them as much. Go ahead and cry your eyes out, something our culture doesn't teach us is ok. Its ok to grieve, deeply, painfully, as the release of that grief does wonders to your body and ability to heal and love fully, than years of repressing that feeling or changing your thoughts around it ever will.

I had my own experience with losing my home this last Spring. It did not burn down, but Travis and I were asked to leave due to the housing crisis in Sonoma County. This place was the first sense of home I'd had in over three decades. A place I'd wanted to buy and live at forever. After a lovely 9 years, gardening and having livestock and a horse, everything suddenly changed. Instead of burning up, we had to literally give away most the things we owned. We couldn't get a storage space big enough for an entire home, farm, and art studio. The task of moving was the hardest in my life, having never been settled for so long and built up so much, and we really did give the farm away along with most everything else that was not something we wanted to pay to keep. Its been a year since we'd been given notice, and we still grieve the loss. Life has been nowhere the same nor will it ever be. We've been hustling to keep all our animals ever since, waiting for a new place to call home to land. I feel like a Bay Area housing crisis refugee.

Everything is impermanent, and nothing is guaranteed. There's been a lot of grief and acclimation to process. I'm a Cancer rising, so home is part of how I feel settled and strong, where I retreat to for getting nourished. Instead, I find myself in a transitory situation in Sonoma County, no solid sense of home, no continuous privacy I've thrived so well on. Purgatory is what I've dubbed it, an inbetween space and time of my life. And entirely grateful we landed somewhere, parked our camping trailer and animals, and were invited to hang out for a bit.

Just Roll with It.

Meanwhile, I get to practice daily being with the unknown, and uncertainty,  and its a practice to find peace and calm inside, not a destination. I do my best to show up 100% for myself, my clients and class participants. Its one of the many takeaways from the soulcentric painting and breathwork. A practice that has been helping me for many years, to be able to stay steady in the eye of the storm. Something I love helping others to learn!

For now, I keep listening, sniffing the wind, and doing my darnedest to stay patient, allowing to unfold what and when it is true and authentic for us to take action. Recently, I was gifted a place to make art for a couple months, I can hardly wait, as my studio space is what I miss the most. Though a mixed bag, our living situation is a rare gift, as living with family has a very unique set of challenges. One of the biggest gifts has been the opportunity for deeper healing with family, which can only really happen at such a comprehensive level by living in community, tribal style. This has been a growing edge. And with it, some deeper understanding, and healing, with my ancestral lineage.

What a perfect gift for this time in my life. I certainly could not have planned that, or chosen it for myself. Sometimes the correct path through is also a little difficult. That's when good support comes in.

Sometimes Plans are Too Small.

I'm asked many times what my plans are, and all I can say is, I'm open to being guided where I can be of the highest service to humanity at this time. Whether that is here, or elsewhere. As long as I can to take my community with me wherever I go! A blessing in this day with technology.  

For those of you I know and love in Sonoma County, I'm connected here through family, my work, and the fact I'm in grad school here working towards my doctorate for the next 5 years , so regardless of where I go, I will be bi-located, and continue having my practice here in Sebastopol. I'm in a place of deep listening, instead of 'manifesting visions' that are too small, and having deep gratitude to the Universe I'm held, one step at a time. It takes a lot of trust, and my SoulCentric Painting practice helps every step of the way, to trust the energy I feel, guiding me to the next little step, even when it doesn't make sense. We're working to build our foundations in a way that is more solid than ever before in this late-bloomer's life, so stay tuned, and I'll take you with me on this wild journey.

Time for Extra Care.

The tension in Sonoma County that week was palpable, and I sure felt it in my body too, just ask my massage therapist. I felt like it'd been a year since my body was worked, and it'd only been two weeks! While I continued to support clients during the fire, thanks to the work that has allowed me to stay calm and centered in times of crisis, I've been getting extra personal care now that it's over. I can't emphasize enough for everyone touched by the fires, to receive extra support right now, on all levels - emotional, physical, and psyche/spiritual.

For those who lost their homes in the October fires, I'd like to invite you to join in my classes and workshop for free, and receive support through this difficult time, with allowing yourself to feel, to grieve, to express whatever your authentic experience might truly be. We're all grateful you are still here. 

Keep reading for the workshop coming up next weekend that is perfect for the changing times and all the emotions (or lack of) that are stirred up...

...And for the 411 on the Tuesday classes...

Scroll down for a very special Basement Art Sale, or maybe I'll change the name to Attic Art Sale, in honor of a recent dream, in which I'm attempting to bring ancestral baggage down from the attic... haha. I love this time of year, the ancestors always have so much to say!
I would love to have you come by and peruse all the art on sale 50% in an effort to clear out storage and make room for new art. A portion of the proceeds will go to helping artists who lost their studios. A fantastic artist - Peggy Millar - will be joining me.

If you wish you could come to these groups and events but can't, remember that I offer private sessions in SoulCentric Breathwork, Painting and Bodywork, in my office and online, and I'd be honored to support you. I show art work by appointment, and have several pieces hanging throughout my office building you can always take a peek. I would love to see you soon, one way or another.

Much love,

Like Painting and Breathing in Times of Change on Facebook share on Twitter Share on Tumblr Google Plus One Button 

 and Breathing Through Changing Times 
A day of healing at a time of uncertainty.

Fall is a powerful time of transitions. Give yourself the space to unwind and let go of unhealthy ways of being, patterns of your former life. Prepare to cocoon for the winter from a clearer slate. Tending our inner landscape during the dying time is just as important a phase as any during the wheel of the year. For only when we can truly see what we’ve outgrown, and release it, can we emerge anew, and transformed, in the Spring.

Join us to listen closely to yourself, using paint as a mode of expressing your own deep feeling and inner dreamscape. Inquire more deeply into your own mystical journey here on Earth. Gentle SoulCentric Breathwork
TM supports this process. No art experience of any kind is necessary. There is ample support for individual process and journey.

This is a fun and colorful practice for any artist-at-heart wanting to be more expressive, clarify intuition, be seen, surrender self-criticisms, heal the inner child, and open to deeper authentic connection with Self and others. Full permission to be wild, messy, sloppy, daring, absurd, outrageous, scary, or ridiculous, with no mind to aesthetic value. This is a judgement-free and critique-free zone!

Gentle SoulCentric BreathworkTM will help increase awareness and bring healing to our patterns that may be arising, and help us listen deeper to our bodies.

No art experience necessary. There is ample support for individual process and journey.

Love to have you with us!

Nov 11th: 10am - 5pm

Sebastopol Center for the Arts,
282 S. High St, Sebastopol

Early rate extended til Monday Nov 6 due to the fires and ensuing busy-ness delaying this announcement!

For all the details, including testimonials and works from previous participants, and Paypal sign up, click here!

Your Guide:

Mardi Storm founded SoulCentric BreathworkTM and SoulCentric PaintingTM, and is an Artist. She’s been offering healing work professionally for over 15 years, has a lifetime of experience with art, and is devoted to the path of the soul. Certified Clarity Breathwork practitioner 13 years, California certified Massage Therapist 15 years, studied intuitive process painting with Stewart Cubley and Michele Cassou, trained in clairvoyance, out of body consciousness, energy work, shamanic work, and more, offering a pathway of deep listening to the Self. She is a published and public artist, and really enjoys supporting others with healing and awakening creativity. She is currently working towards a doctorate in Psychology, in support of being licensed.  More info on healing work:


Basement Art Sale! 
December 2 & 3

Peruse all of Mardi Storm and Peggy Miller's various art pieces at the extra special price of 50% off everything! We would love to release more art into the world, let someone adorn their walls with fresh art, clear out our storage and help beautify the world at an everythings-got-to-go price so don't be shy... A portion of the proceeds will go to help artists who lost their homes in the fire.

I'll have assemblages with photographs from California, Nevada, and Hawaii, behind 150 year old windows from my Grandma's hotel at Leesville; assorted photography; small wall sculptures; oil paintings from, well, er, the basement. Stuff I've been keeping for awhile, some of it is gothic expressive art. I'll be bringing in just about everything I've got. Sneak peek:

Peggy Millar will offer her luscious paintings, what is left after her open studios at the Governor's Mansion in Fort Mason this weekend. Don't miss this rare opportunity to peruse her work at such a deep discount! What a steal! For more of her gorgeous works:

SoulCentric PaintingTM Every Week!

Interested in cultivating a practice of allowing yourself to remain flexible and adaptive with the unknown, to listen carefully to your own Self, hone in on your inner compass, and have fun doing it?

Getting in touch with our feelings, body, and intuition can help us navigate changing times with more grace, and manifest what we need from a healthier place.

Join us Tuesday afternoons for SoulCentric PaintingTM classes at Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 4-7pm. All the info here.

**For those who lost their homes in the fires this October, its on me for the month of November, no charge. I encourage you to come receive support with all you've gone through. Whether you feel too much or nothing at all, the paints will help your broken heart speak, and the emotions to move.** 

Experience feeling deeply heard and witnessed

If you'd like a little support shifting the energy or direction in your life or relationship, please reach out. I'll help you find your well of wisdom within. 

 Get clear,  joyful, calm, creative and centered into the truth of your being. We can do that through sessions in SoulCentric BreathworkTM  and SoulCentric PaintingTM. Live your soul purpose, be who you came here to be!
Let me know if I can help. For more info on my mentoring & support services, online and in Sebastopol, click here.
Rumbling Earth New Moon Sisterhood Circle: 
Every New Moon @ 6:30pm

Calling women of all ages! Join us for our delightful monthly gathering for supportive, real connection. Every group is a little different. Previous groups have included singing, breathwork, painting, pilates, drumming... its as varied as there are women! We connect with sister groups all around the world with a meditation each month, firing up worldwide connection of feminine presence and power!

Intuitive Soul Painting Classes Facebook Group
Join this group to stay in touch with other participants, share what you are working on between classes, last minute class info, and early notice of coming workshops.
Copyright © 2017 Mardi Storm, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp