Poem of the Week 3-7-21

Posted March 7, 2021 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: Uncategorized

Poet God

God is a poet of few words,
singing, over and over
in meditation:

And, yes! let us be…  

And, yes! let us be…  

And, yes! let us be…  




Tending Dreams through Art Making

Posted February 10, 2021 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: art therapy, dreams

Here is a link to an article I wrote for the Natural Dreamwork blog and newsletter. Much healing can come from exploring our dreams and the images saturated with emotions which they bring us nightly. 

Tending Dreams through Art Making: Part Two, Perceptual and Affective Pathways

Art

Poem of the Week – January 24, 2021

Posted January 24, 2021 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: Poetry

 

In the wake of battles and inauguration at the Capital, as I looked through poems written in the past 4 years, this one spoke to me and my hope for all our healing:

Where to Begin

Yes, there is too much hate.
Near, far, so many people
fighting each other.
 
And in my heart?
 
Not just a seed, 
a full-grown weed
camouflaged 
within a righteous garden
of white flowers,
fiery flowers,
conviction, 
feels-so-good zeal,
unquestioned.
 
The inner root grows deepest,
is hardest to see,
and is unbearably painful to pull
 
with my own loving hands 
from my own frightened chest.
 

Poem of the Week – January 17

Posted January 16, 2021 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: Poetry

After a few weeks break during the holidays, 
here is a new offering.
This one was created through 
a "found poetry" technique
of cutting random words from magazines
and arranging them until they surprised me.
I often turn to this technique 
when I am troubledor grieving. 
I am always surprised how the poem
responds in a healing voice.
Carry On, Says a Voice in the Dark

Carry on,
says a voice in the dark,
if possible, all the way
to the forgotten measure
of limestone tears,
cave pearls.
 
Sometimes I hear children playing
or the call to prayer, sometimes, 
the forest coming back.
 
It is hard to imagine
how much hope, regret,
fear, hatred, hunger, 
pain and dying 
are experienced 
in this place.
 
Making the story
even more interesting:
we don’t want it to end.

Poem of the Week – December 20

Posted December 22, 2020 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: Poetry

For the week of Winter Solstice and Christmas, 
here is a morning's walking meditation 
from a few years past:

Christmas Morning
 
As if sensing this is a day for gifts,
the dog insists we walk
a way we never go,
discovering a scent hidden under
new snow dusting the sidewalk,
glittering like the path of a star,
which she tracks with her nose.
 
The tipped half-moon
is a silver ladle
pouring out sunrise
the color of honey and cider,
Wassail brewed in the sky,
departing winter storm
afire with dawn.

Poem of the Week – December 13

Posted December 13, 2020 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: Uncategorized

As we head toward Christmas, this poem spoke to me,
I wrote it after winter's meditation during my workday commute. 

Commute Home
 
The audiobook is talking about 
the disappointment of the early Christians,
waiting and waiting for the transformation
they believed would happen 
in their lifetime,
until they grew to find
eternity and salvation
inside the waiting,
as waiting changed them,
teaching them 
to love each other.
 
A livestock semi-trailer
is slowly passing me.
Pushed into each oval air-hole,
black and white fur of cows
packed in for a long journey.
From one of these holes,
a single, velvet cow ear,
flapping in the winter air.
 
I long to reach out
and touch its softness;
I feel sudden tenderness
for these animals
and their life of sacrifice.
 
I arrive home
less disappointed in marriage,
practicing the faith born
from knowing we
failed and fail and will fail
yet continue to chose
a forgiving-love, 
with which we redeem 
each other.
 

Poem of the Week – Dec. 6, 2020

Posted December 6, 2020 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: Poetry

Tags:
This week's poem is offered as
a gift for short winter days,
and the body's longing to hibernate.
May it brings you a bit of loving-kindness,
and encouragement to slow down.

While Meditating

Today, no great awakening.
I napped,
the cranky child,
the weary woman,
on a crowded flight,
my head nodding accidentally
onto your shoulder,
Beloved.
 
You let it stay there.
You let me rest. 

Poem of the Week

Posted November 29, 2020 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: Uncategorized

To encourage, enliven, and inspire 
your journey as seeker, 
I am now offering  
a "Poem of the Week", 
sharing one of my own poems.
Here is the first offering.

Prayer for Choosing to Soften
 
At best, we will need therapy 
and meditation practice
for the rest of our lives,
and some of us will soften 
and begin to heal,
and some of us will keep resisting,
afraid to be other than
alone behind walls.
 
And the world goes on
as it always has 
and always will,
warring more
wherever we resist,
and warring less
wherever we soften.
 
Sometimes we feel like fools.
We could be getting drunk
and screwing around
in opulent, burning fortresses,
instead of humbly sitting here,
becoming naked.
 
But the love we seek
needs us to live in the wound
like maggots cleansing 
an open sore of infection,
like bees finding pollen 
to make honey,
like mystics waking in the heart 
of the cosmic rose,
realizing what we called self
was a simple portal,
a crudely carpentered door,
we are quietly passing through,
beyond which
compassion is
forever opening.
 
 
 
 


Autumn Eco-Spirituality and Art Mid-Day Retreat

Posted September 7, 2020 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: art therapy, eco-spirituality

Living Your Questions through Art, Writing, and Bulb Planting Meditations

September 26, 2020

1pm -4pm (eastern time) via Zoom

hosted by Liza Hyatt, art therapist, poet, and spiritual director

RSVP: lizahyatt@gmail.com

free, no cost to attend

supplies needed: black paper, gel pens, your favorite art materials, journal, 6-12 bulbs, gardening tools

 

As part of a virtual community, we will honor the natural wisdom of autumn, with its invitation to let go and entrust our longing to incubating dark. We will engage in expressive arts and nature meditations, expressing our hopes and fears during this time of complex personal, cultural, and environmental change and transition.  We will write and make art to express the questions we cannot answer and must grow into. We will plant spring blooming bulbs along with these questions in fertile dark earth and celebrate the blessings of deeply living the questions we carry in our hearts and souls.

Autumn Eco-Spiritual Retreat- flyer2

 

On torn paper, I write the questions I must live.

Wrap them around daffodil, tulip, crocus bulbs.

Plant them in the dark….

Each year’s questions, rewordings of one question,

perennial, persistent, mistaken as failure…

That question buried deep in each life…

And growth – the only answer.

(from “Planting Bulbs:  A Ritual” in Under My Skin, Liza Hyatt, Wordtech Editions, 2012)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liminal Dancer

Posted July 11, 2020 by Liza Hyatt
Categories: embodied spirituality, liminal space, social change

Tags: , ,

Liminal Dancer

The dis-ease and trauma within which we live is planet-wide. Changes must take root and flower in every system, institution, home and individual. In such a world, how do use my gifts as spiritual guide to support social change???? If I answer this question with my mind, I fabricate heroic plans, despite having learned that heroism is inauthentic. Heroism insists on ego-driven improvements to what it sees as an inadequate and unacceptable world and self.  This compulsive pretense goes to the heart of the dis-ease we face. Instead, relating with compassion amidst ordinary life is where relational healing occurs.

Since my mind gets stuck in old ego patterns, I turn to my body’s discernment. Inspired by My Grandmother’s Handsby Resmaa Menakem, and its reminders of body-settling practices, one morning while commuting to work (for an 11-hour day among very unsettled bodies), I began humming. Without conscious choice, I found myself humming the melody of Amazing Grace.  I began to sing. Out came spontaneous new words, starting with the question, “What can I do in times like these?” and verses emerged – “we feel it in our bodies, the suffering – it starts in our bodies, the healing” …. I pulled out my phone and recorded this song. After recording, I kept singing – repeating verses, watching them evolve into a final verse (not recorded):

It starts in the body

becoming safe,

it starts in the body

healing,

it starts in the body

finding peace

in the midst of our suffering.

     I entered the eating disorder treatment clinic where I have worked as art therapist for 13 years singing these words. This is Spirit’s answer for me – I have gifts to help bodies find safety and calm. Whatever work I continue or add to my life, this settling of suffering bodies (mine included) is the moment to moment practice.

At work, bigger than normal changes had begun months before the virus. The pandemic has unraveled everything further. Every week has been a practice of surrender, of doing what is needed imperfectly, of losing my bearings and only temporarily finding them. We are all in the same state, life’s normal flux thrust into disequilibrium and chaos.  One of my biggest stresses has been the eating disorder clinic piloting a teen PHP during this pandemic, while we’ve also learned to provide telehealth to all our adult patients. Every week has involved major shifts in practice, letting go of what I did well, while struggling with new situations.  (Thich Naht Hanh’s mindfulness teachings have been so helpful during this time!!!)

Yesterday afternoon, I took 7 anxious teens outside for a mindful walk, a welcome break in PHP’s day-long therapy. We trekked around a nearby pond and watched a pair of blue herons among lotus flowers growing from pond-mud. I returned, settled in my body, to attend a Zoom staff meeting. There I found out that we will be switching to an entirely new schedule for the PHP. My future responsibilities are unclear and to be determined. Instead of solidifying ground, this fall will bring more disruption. More feelings of loss and uncertainty. More confused bearings and having to adjust.

The peace of breathing with lotus and herons evaporated. My body flew into panic, thinking, “I’ll just quit and focus entirely on private practice!” Grand schemes spun from mind – heroism, grasping at control and the illusion that safety is found in independence. Luckily, I observed my state. I returned to body settling and mindfulness and loving kindness.

I put the finishing touches on an art piece I have been collaging, titled: The Truth Is the Ground Has Always Been Shaky, Forever (from Pema Chodron).  In it, a woman is dancing on fragmented, quaking, and constantly shifting ground.  A series of shock waves is occurring. One of the dancer’s feet stands on a Covid virus. Ripples of melting glaciers, disappearing rainforests, and other terrain quake under her other foot. Her body is covered with words from Alice Walker, Thich Naht Hanh, and Felicia Murrell about hard times and furious dancing, about two arrows hitting the same place, about racism and liminal space. I painted the dancer as a dark-skinned woman, reminding me that, globally, people of color have the most difficulties to navigate, as we live our lives fighting to dismantle unjust structures and experimentally create a more compassionate society. The dancer is me and every woman. She is Mother of All affirming that we can do this dance. We can soul-journey through the turbulence that is being quickened.