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.

Lemuria

discover a sanctuary, tucked in the corner of an ancient land, where you can write in a safe, non judgemental environment....take me there
Lemurian Landscapes
Lemurian Collections

Riversleigh Manor

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.

101 Ways To Nourish Writers' Spirit
Many creative artists have a very fragile sense of self. Criticism and discouragement, prescriptive and restrictive teaching styles, combined with the myth that you have to have natural talent to write, all combine to threaten a writers' sense of self. Sample innovative exercises that promote self awareness and stimulate creativity

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Creative Sleuthing
I have always had a passion to learn more about my genetic pool. My maternal great grandfather and grandfather were writer's. Could there be clues in their history to guide me?
more

Peeling The Onion

Raise self awareness and discover your inner guide by joining the kitchen hands at Soul Food to peel the onions. Kitchen duty here is like entering a hospes. It is a very safe place to express feelings and emotions that society would prefer us to hemetically seal behind our masks.
...take me there

The House of the Muse

The House of the Muse was designed as a temple to the Muse. It is modelled on the original Mouseion that was built in Alexandria by Ptolemy. If you want to become a votary of the muse and learn about the creative inventiveness of Calliope and her sisters this is possibly the most authorative source on the web.
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Resuscitating Imagination
Learn about the power of the creative arts to resuscitate imagination and heal.

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Artist Studio

The Artist Studio, in the old hay loft above the stables at Soul Food, comprises of craftsmen and women, skilled artisans and writers committed to the creative process. The Artist Studio is where they can showcase their work and share their insights into the nature of creativity..

Take me there

The BookDepository 

 

 

 

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
Renewal and Reinvention

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!

The Princess in The Princess and the Muse experiences a depression which is familiar to many artists. Artists and writers who are made to feel worthless because they do not earn enough money, whom are forced to relinquish their creativity or create in stolen time, suffer similarly. Artists and writers who are made to feel worthless because they do not earn enough money, must seek out cheap housing or apartments for rent and whom are forced to relinquish their creativity or create in stolen time, suffer similarly.

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.

Warning notice

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!
Barbara Banta

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.
Nicole Cody

"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.
Author's Quill

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.
IN(ner) QUESTION

WRITERS' block.....

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.

from The Leader Newspaper: 2002

more accolades

The greatest tragedy in Life
is NOT the brutality of Evil people,
but the Silence of the good ones”

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.