Warming the Stone Artist
'The Soul Food Cafe promotes the art of writing and the creative arts as a therapeutic tool. Within the non judgemental and supportive environment of Soul Food individual well-being and creativity flourish'
When you look for the person inside do you see a living, vibrant being or has your creative side been calcified and turned to stone by the 'White Witch'. In the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe it is Aslan who miraculously revives the statues and infuses them with life. At Soul Food it is art and writing that has this impact.
The Creative Grail Journey
Before seeking the creative grail with le Enchanteur (Heather Blakey's alter ego) it is recommended that you work through the A to Z of Alchemy in the Lemurian Abbey.
Early in 2005 Heather created a virtual monastery at Soul Food using blogger. In an interview with Chris Dunmire she talked about how she envisioned the Lemurian Abbey as a place full of fine art and craft, a monastery that would be filled with tiny, Spartan cells where votaries of the muse could come, retreat behind walls and observe time differently. She believed that in this Monastery, time would not be measured with clocks and believed that monastic writers would be free to wander through the cloisters and walled gardens in a meditative state, capturing metaphors in their writing nets.
The Lemurian Abbey became a wonderful sanctuary for people eager to practice the Soul Food Way
Lift Your Spirits
The Soul Food Community present over a hundred ways to lift your spirit and make your internal artist feel a million dollars
Isle of Ancestors
The Isle of Ancestors is one of the most sacred places on the Soul Food Silk Road and writers and artists who travel here gain self knowledge that is freeing.
Riversleigh Manor is a rambling old cyber mansion on the Soul Food Silk Road, with private quarters for artists and writers from around the globe. This house was once the house of Lord and Lady someone or other and was later acquired by the Abbess and belongs to the Lemurian Abbey. Paths lead through the Golden Seed Grove to the, Gyspy Camp the The Hermitage and the Lemurian Abbey. Riversleigh Manor is the base home of those who have decided to come ad find the Magic Faraway Tree, which is said to be within the Enchanted Golden Seed Grove.
Ways To Nourish Writers' Spirit
Peeling The Onion
The House of the Muse
The Soul Food Cafe is a quirky cyber retreat for writers. It is a compound of connecting corridors and is multi- leveled. There are sections that are undergoing extension and old parts that are being redecorated. There are windows looking out upon the secret garden and the old Hayloft studio where artists and writers alike have claimed space. This cafe is a hive of activity. It is full of the sound of voices, new voices, old voices, all chatting and laughing, sharing hints over coffee or a nourishing meal. The Soul Food Cafe fosters creativity and encourages the writer to rest, relax and bask in anticipatory pleasure. It is the perfect place to spread your writing wings and work with a muse.
The Soul Food Way
The Soul Food Cafe is propelled by a myth. The
Princess and the Muse became the myth Heather Blakey lived by and
The Soul Food Cafe is the place she retreats to in order to be with her
Muse. Within the safety of The Soul Food Cafe Heather
Blakey has renewed her creativity, reinvented and named herself. These
days she wears her creativity on her sleeve!
Mental darkness of the kind the Princess experiences creeps upon individuals gradually and unobtrusively. Many would be artists have been subject to a slow process of pasteurisation and calcification with rationalists systematically purifying the irrational, the primitive and the unwanted raw emotions.
The good news is that individuals who work within the Soul Food community come to understand that the creative flame is eternal and learn that when they engage in a cycle of renewal they are able to reinvent themselves and discover new aspects of their creativity.
In an article entitled Zen and the Art of Team Blogging you can learn how individuals have been transformed at Soul Food.
This directory is here to guide you to material on the site which will help warm the internal artist.
Words of Warmed Artists
The tables at Soul Food are filled with patrons who know that to perfect their craft they must come to the page on a daily basis. Soul Food provides a wholesome range of innovative prompts that fire imagination and ensure a stream of swiftly flowing words.
Soul Food can be addictive--exhausting--may cause utter confusion and a feelings of bewilderment. Soul Food is huge and constantly expanding! You can never catch up so please don't try. I also belong to FlyLady.com who tells everyone, "You're not behind, I don't want you to catch up, just jump in where we are now."
It's a great philosophy for Soul Food and all of life; wherever you are, you're bound to be in the middle of your continuing story! Riversleigh is a wonderful place to relax and get your bearings. Have you noticed what a beautiful room you've been given? Does it have a balcony, or perhaps a fireplace, maybe it has a secret entrance.
Many of us have more than one room at Soul Food, depending on where our adventures take us. I have a couple so perfectly pictured that when you can't find me, you'll know I've retreated there to rest and catch my second wind. Soul Food is sometimes full of frenetic activity, but it's also a place where you can choose to leave the real world (and this one) behind to seek out your own serenity through meditation, guided imagery, a box of chocolate or a soothing herbal bath (yep, we even have a blog for that!)
So, take your vitamins and put on your running shoes if
you wish, but remember, you're here to grow in talent and spirit, to be
acknowledged and applauded for your efforts, to encourage new friends
and to enjoy the many worlds of the Soul Food Cafe so do it your way and
have fun! Welcome!
The aptly named Soul Food Cafe is my colourful haven in
a relentless life of monotone daily grind. Heather Blakey and her Musers
have given me the courage to write, to dream and to re-evaluate myself
in kinder and more creative terms. Heather's website is my number one
choice for writer resources, and it's forums provide a gentle place in
which to test writer's fledgling wings.
"The Soul Food Cafť one of the most beautiful web sites Iíve seen. Being there, in the site, is something like being under water, looking up at the sunís rays reflecting off the blue liquid." Tony Anthony
The purpose of this site is to promote writing and creative
pursuits as a daily practice. We at the Author's Quill can not say enough
about this wonderful site and highly recommend that you pay it a visit
and experience the magical world contained within for yourself.
Welcome to this 'field of dreams.' You'll will find that whenever you visit there'll be artists; picture takers, poets, painters, and story tellers, ready to stimulate the muse. Vi Jones
HOW did I NOT find this site BEFORE? Not only is it about
journaling, Muses, and creativity, but it's practical, well-written, and
has stuff on VISUAL JOURNALS!! There is, literally, enough stuff here
to keep you busy until your favorite pen has gone the way of the Dodo.
A MUST SEE site of 2003, in our not-so-humble-royal opinion.
It is a terrible thing. It can inflict bouts of frustration on school students and professional writers alike.
But English teacher, Heather Blakey has found a way to make writing more stimulating for students. Mrs Blakey unlocks the creative juices in her students by using visual aids.
"It provides students with a reason to learn. I sprinkle a bit of magic into the learning process," Mrs Blakey says.
"For example, I'll bring in a box of shoes cut out from magazines and each student uses it as a visual trigger to stop writer's block."
"We get the mannequins and we decorate them and arm them to help with the study of text."
Mrs Blakey has been a teacher for more than 30 years and is in the perfect position to know how students work. Her website not only helps unlock creativity in students but anybody who is having trouble finding their muse.
A number of primary schools have invited Mrs
Blakey to teach her methods to students.
The greatest tragedy in Life
The Temple of Solace
Living with my husband's advanced cancer for many years has proved challenging. Advanced cancer is a term to desribe a metastic cancer and is a cancer which is unlikely to be cured. One of the painful realities, when cancer will not go away, is that family and friends sometimes withdraw. For years I have converted the stress of 'living with cancer' to creative energy and the Soul Food Cafe is a product of that creative energy. More recently The Temple of Solace was borne out of a deep sense of loss over hurtful abandonment at a time of deep grief.
Recently a close friend here at Soul Food shared saying "I think the whole of Soul Food is a wonderful creative resource where people can browse or contribute as they wish, where there is no pressure to produce, just to enjoy. It is well known that writing and art heal the soul and I'm sure, given the right stimuli, people respond in it in a way that they never can to conventional medicine. This is why art therapy is so helpful. The fact that Soul Food exists online means that is accessible to everyone who has a computer or access to a computer. If they choose to join our community they will be sure of a warm welcome. We can all attest to the reality of the closeness contained in this virtual community, a community which does become real when you start interacting with kindred spirits and exchange private mails, phone calls, snail mail, etc. I think SFC rocks! I am biased of course"
Soul Food and the Temple of Solace are not just for those who are feeling isolated because of circumstances such as that which I have experienced. It is quite simply a refuge, a safe place to retreat. Vistors to the temple may be searching for some kind words as a result of a loss of a job, a way of life, an empty nest, the loss of a teddy bear, the death of a pet, the loss of property, loss of a way of life, a lost muse, a sense of abandonment: about almost anything. Personally, I have found that kind words can reduce me to tears, simply because I am not as accustomed to kind words and kind actions as I am at steeling myself, putting up my armour to protect myself from the pain of what feels like rejection.
When you arrive at the temple, choose a rug from the pile Monika Roleff has provided, wrap it around yourself, rock and keen or wail if that is what you feel like doing.
There is only one catch to all of this. If you choose to unburden and seek some comfort be ready to comfort and listen to others. No one is expected to find any solutions or offer any quick fixes. They are simply expected to hear and feel empathy and then go out into the real world and treat people with kindness.
For a long time gratitude journals have been popular and these are excellent. What we would like to see in the temple is a book of kindness where folk record and share some of the simple things they have done to comfort and support another over a sustained period. You see, folk are usually quite good at the time of a cataclysmic happening but they are not always so good at marathon running, at being there for an extended period. It often simply gets too hard.
What also needs to be recorded is what we feel would have been enough. It is enough when people spend a little bit of time with me and nod knowingly.
I am hoping that people will ask to become members of the temple, that they will produce ideas, essays about the subject, icons that comfort, alters, references, meditations, helpful hints, spirit lifter suggestions and so on.
Lets start a chain reaction to break the silence Gandhi spoke of.
Simply begin commenting at the Temple.