Mandala c.davidson

It has been a long winter (and still continues) even though it is the middle of March in Nova Scotia. I felt compelled to create this mandala to conjure up my own internal spring.  Pema enlightens us, “Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear, and think forms the mandala of our life…we don’t get to choose what or who shows up in it…everything that shows up in your mandala is a vehicle for your awakening…”

I am practicing, standing in the center of my own shifting mandala… choosing (most of the time) to be present . I wonder what will happen today? And can I bravely stay open and present  in the center of my life?

What has happened or is happening in the center of your mandala today?

Pema Chödrön- Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change {above quote: p. 110}


Guide Me Home

Guide Me Home January 2014 blog

‘Tis the Season of resolutions, new intentions and renewed commitments… the challenge is in keeping to the new or not so new goal, intention, resolution (you can substitute any word that speaks to you in this sentence). I for one do not have much luck with resolutions, so I do not make them. Instead, I work with embodied commitments to navigate daily life. Through my presence-based coaching training I learned the value of embodying and integrating my commitment with mind, body and soul. For me this means that when I speak my specific commitment it “lands” soundly within my body and it just feels right to me in every way – mind, body and soul. My commitment {sharing what I know, so that others can discover what they know, for the sake of living a more expansive life} informs and guides all facets of my life: my art, my coaching and yoga practice, my health and well-being and most importantly my relationships.

In her most recent book, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, Pema Chödrön gives us a simple instruction for connecting with our true nature right on the spot… breathe, be fully present…feel your heart (by actually placing your left hand over your heart)… and engage the next moment without an agenda.

She provides another valuable observation, reminding us that “our identity, which seems so reliable, so substantial, is in fact very fluid, very dynamic. There are unlimited possibilities to what we might think, what we might feel, and how we might experience reality. We have what it takes to free ourselves from the suffering of a fixed identity… the good news is that you can use your direct experience  – who you seem to be at this very moment – as the doorway to your true nature. By fully touching this relative moment of time – the sound you’re hearing, the smell you’re smelling, the pain or comfort you’re feeling right now – by being fully present to your experience, you contact the unlimited opens of your being.” 

Meditation, art and yoga continue to guide me home to the doorway of my true nature.

In the dynamic fluidity of your life what practice (s) do you use to guide you home?



My Wish

Do What You Love 2









May you do what you love (at least some of the time).

May you have peace & joy in your heart (as much as possible).

May you practice gentle-kindness for yourself

(so you have the capacity to extend gentle-kindness to others).

May you hold yourself with a sense of lightness & playfulness

(let us be easier on ourselves).

May you remember that often the simplest way creates creative flow.  

May you allow yourself to be perfectly imperfect

(for all of those reforming perfectionists- including me).

May you love and be loved.

May you have the courage to share your gifts

(with your family, your friends, your community, the world).

May you mindfully choose the path that enlarges you…

Wishing you health, warmth, love & joy this holiday season. Namaste. Coleen


Be Like the River

Letting go of the Shore (Medium)I am re-reading Pema Chödrön’s – Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears… to quote Pema, “Nothing is static or permanent. And that includes you and me. We have a very solid view of ourselves, and also very fixed views about others. Yet if we look closely, we can see that we are as unfixed and changing as a river… the river isn’t the same even for a fraction of a second… our thoughts, emotions, molecules are continually changing.”

How can you be like the river?   

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Living Our Gifts – Dharma in Action

Living Our Gifts - Small

I invite you to join Michelle Murton, John Coleman and me for a unique afternoon of yoga, art and sound with the focus on you living your gifts to your full expression. Michelle and John will be playing the most divine music live, while you engage in yoga, mantra and art. Join us for an afternoon of playfulness, creativity and community. Contact the Fall River Yoga Centre to register. Check out our cool video created by John to give you a better idea of our intentions and the afternoon. Namaste. Coleen 



To register contact

The Fall River Yoga Centre is located 1397 Fall River Road in Fall River, Nova Scotia.

Phone: 902-576-9642

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A Word is a Bird

A Word is a Bird  finalWords are more than semantics – through our words, we are creating our world one word at a time. We can choose to align our words with our actions and live in creative choice. Years ago I was sitting in a community meeting.  An important decision was at hand.  Some of the words being spoken into the circle  were unkind and out of alignment with the intention of the group.  As one of the younger members of the group (at that time) I spoke up about the importance of the words we speak. I was harshly admonished by an elderly gentleman who in a raised voice said to me, “Words are only words, they do not matter.”

Our words do matter  – each word we let fly out from us has the ability to alter our world and those around us. A wave of words impacting those we cannot see. Let us be mindful of how our words vibrate away and back toward us.

The following quote speaks beautifully to the power of our words… “Speak sparingly. A word is a bird. Once let out, you can’t whistle it back. Measure your words…Think two or three times before speaking. Let people know that you really mean what you say when you speak. People often say, “I don’t know, do you know what I mean?” Such talking creates confusion. If you think well before you utter a word, then you can convey so much with fewer words. With less energy, you perform a better job.” The Living Gita: Sri Swami Satchidananda

How do you measure the words that fly from you?


The Silent Sound of the Sea


For me, the sound of the of the sea silences out all other distractions. Recently while on a vacation to Acadia National Park in Maine, I was surprised at the crowds of people seeking “solitude” by the sea. The photos give the illusion of aloneness and the reality is anything but. I live in a relatively isolated part of the Atlantic Coast, so it took me awhile to acclimatize to the crowds seeking their own place of silence by the sea. The sea speaks to me, my innate need for silence, for space and to be at one with the rhythm of nature. Time stands still in the present moment of each new wave.

The pull of the sea, the rhythm of the waves, both calming and reassuring echoing back to me, the sound of my heart, a sense of spaciousness and change in each moment.

Where is your place of silence?

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Connecting at the Berwick Yoga Festival

Berwick Yoga Festival 2013
On the final evaluation form for the festival there was a question -
 "Can you offer one word that encompasses your thoughts about your time here?"
My word was "connection"... 
Connection to:
nature, under the protective canopy of the graceful and ancient hemlocks
old friends
new friends
deeply soulful music with Surya Chandra
my voice, singing out loud and clear with Kirtan Soul Revival
my heart center through meditation
art with Holly Carr and her fearless story
yoga vigorous and light
more wonderful yoga with Jenny
deeply felt and shared stories
and so it is, until next year

PS: the cabins on the site are a delight – it is like stepping into the “shire”- every cabin is as unique as the yogi’s and yogini’s inside.

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A More Expansive Narrative

The Landscape Within

I believe that if you can trace and color – inside or outside the lines – you can create your own stories, your own art and nurture your creative soul. Each of us longs to live a more purposeful and creative life. What stands in the way? Old habits, conditioned tendencies, self-doubt… and a myriad list of other items. My question (quest) is – how to meet, embrace and expand into a larger self-narrative beyond these “limiting beliefs” … beyond the lines that we consciously or unconsciously draw around ourselves.

Each moment of everyday I (and perhaps you) stand on the threshold of choice between the pull toward future creative commitment and the safety of well-known habits. What to do? I take a breath, and bravely step across the threshold into a more expansive narrative. I allow my breath and imagination to fan my creative flame. A larger more expansive view opens through my meditation and visual meaning making™ practice. The images that arise, provide me with information and new insights along the path as I stretch and unfold toward a more expansive and soulful narrative.

My purpose is to make this connection visible, to nurture my deep soul through visual meaning making™.  To share my story through images and perhaps inspire you. Each of us has access to this deep richness of resources within us.

In what ways are you stepping into your own expansive narrative?



“Catch the deep drift, the myth, and the narrative that lie beneath. Allow the images to rise. Trust them. Listen closely to them. Honor them. Remember them. Enshrine them…Your art is a bridge between your inner discoveries and the world around you.” Thomas Moore

“The landscape just is the mind and the mind is that landscape.” Roshi Joan Halifax

Currently on the reading list:

Dakini Power: Twelve Extraordinary Women Shaping the Transmission of Tibetan Buddhism in the West by Michaela Hass

Creating on Purpose: The Spiritual Technology of Manifesting Through the Chakras by Anodea Judith and Lion Goodman

Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore


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Lighting Creative Fire through Art & Yoga at the Living Yoga Unconference

Yoga Living Unconference

On Sunday May 12, I had the joyful experience of facilitating a workshop entitled: Lighting Your Creative Fire through Art & Yoga. In the spirit of joyfulness and playfulness and in a safe and sacred atmosphere a group of lovely people allowed their breath and imagination to fan their creative flame.  My belief is that if you can trace and color –inside or outside the lines – you can create your own stories, your own art and nurture your creative soul. To quote, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, “The craft of stories, the craft of questions, the craft of the hands…all these are the making of something, and that something is soul – anytime we feed the soul, it guarantees increase.”

We began with a simple grounding and centering meditation, followed by a gentle yoga practice inspired by the following quote from Chogyam Trungpa,   “Openness is like the wind, if you open your doors and windows, it is bound to come in.”

We then moved to working with paper using the archetypal house symbol as a template already drawn on the page and oil pastel, and the play began. Simple instructions,” the symbol of the house shape – will speak to each person uniquely- there is no right way, no wrong way, allow your individual expression to flow forth – be playful, have fun!” At the end of the creating time, I invited each person to write the name of their house on the back of their paper. As we sat in sharing circle – flowing with creative energy, each person spoke the name of their house, followed by a collective Sat Nam.

Inspiring images all, as you can see in the photograph.

Where does my love live?

It lives in me

It lives in you

Where does my love land?

It lands in me

It lands in you

I am home

© Coleen Davidson

Gratitude to Sherry Smith, my dearest of friends and a most gifted Yogini for her assistance and support during the workshop.

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