As some of you are aware, I've been learning about and working with the Afro-Caribbean mother goddess, Yemaya, this past month. She is a water deity, often depicted as a mermaid or wearing voluminous skirts representing the 7 seas. She is Water. She is called the Mother of all Life. She is a Mother that fiercely loves all of her children; she's responsive, giving, protective and does not withhold discipline.
Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT piss her off.
I think it's fitting that she is a black goddess and that she came to me at this time.
This past week our country has been deeply affected and afflicted by turmoil that appears to keep escalating out of control. I don't know about any of you, but I get waves of tiredness/weariness during the day that force me to lie down or head for the yard to get my body close to the ground. I find myself crying or experiencing inertia.
The element of Water represents the emotional realm. We carry it in our physical and our ether bodies; we need it to flow clean and clear in both in order to live our healthiest most fruitful lives. Water bathes us, cleanses us, purifies us and it can also overwhelm us, knock us off our feet and drown us.
The main thing Yemaya taught me the past few weeks was to honor and bless water every day, several times a day---not just the water that I drink, but the water of my body, all the fluids, including that which is released and the tears. To bless the water in the land, the rain that falls, the water in the plants and trees, the rocks, the people and animals of our planet, the food we eat. Water is in everything and it is a real, living element. It is life. It connects us. We are one and what affects one, affects all.
I Bless the Water in You!
I will be starting meditations at Essence of Health Wellness in Salmon Creek starting October 11th, from 11AM to approximately 12:30PM. Meditation days and times are listed on the Essence of Health calendar and you can pre-register/make payment here : https://www.essenceofhealthmt.com/meditation.html
No previous experience necessary; Newbies and experienced meditators welcome!
Essence of Health is located at
1404 NE 134th St #170, Vancouver, WA 98685
The Write Direction!
Maybe you've noticed, maybe you haven't, but it has been a while since I sent out a newsletter. Perhaps it's because there have been quite a few changes going on with me and therefore, Vivid Expressions. I'm sure there's some holiday crazy and pure laziness mixed in as well, but I'm going with changes for now.
In December, after three years at Providence Academy, the Vivid Expressions Studio closed its doors. Between the ever-present noise and dirt from months-long construction, it was impossible to remain. I needed to leave for other reasons; the unpleasant situation just made the decision easier to make.
This doesn't mean that Vivid Expressions has evaporated into thin air, it is simply evolving into something more, as am I. I am changing how I do business this year as well as taking classes and training in a variety of areas. Most importantly, I am practicing what I have been preaching to others for decades now, and that is to follow your heart's desire, no matter how difficult it might be and no matter if no one else in the world understands why in the world you would choose something so seemingly outrageous---or trivial!
2018 will see me spending more time writing and taking classes than in offering workshops. Workshops will be offered from time to time and held in locations in Vancouver and Battle Ground. I will also be holding guided meditations and journeys at Essence of Health in Salmon Creek. I plan to develop a wise woman circle and I still offer one on one mentoring and expressive arts for those that need private sessions. And yes, I will be planning more on-line classes and collaborations. My Facebook page, Vivid Expressions, @vividexpressionsstudio will also have a name change to Dodie Weiss - Vivid Expressions. Same Facebook address.
My novel, Running Home, has been cleaned up, restructured (no thanks to Createspace, haha) and is back up on Amazon for sale. Easier to read, I promise. Kindle to follow soon.
For those of you that enjoyed the foibles of Sam and Amanda, stay tuned. More misadventures to come!
As our world appears to careen toward more chaos to ultimate self-destruction, with humanity becoming more robotic and robots becoming more human, it is so important to remember how much we need each other. How important it is to leave the house, leave the media behind and communicate in person with each other. How important it is to lift each other up, assist where we can and perhaps just listen to each other.
Express your creativity! Make art without it having to be ART!
Remember your Oneness with all things on the planet, for we all come from the Earth and to Her we shall return. May you be Blessed and have Good Fortune this year, 2018!
I know many of you are counting the days until Halloween. Some of you are dreaming about cozy fires and anything that has pumpkin in it. I hear you; fall and winter are my favorite seasons of the year.
It's a paradoxical time---a slowing down and speeding up. Slowing down from the family vacations and all the hot weather, BBQs and get-togethers. The colder weather always brings out a need in me to go within and get re-aligned and balanced. At the same time, life seems to speed up in the fall with new school routines and the start of the holiday rush and craziness.
Did you just get triggered by the mention of the holiday season? Deep breath. It's still summer. It's still 125 degrees outside and the rainy season hasn't started yet.
Feeling better? Perhaps a few more deep breaths....
You know, no matter what the season, it's always the right time for self-care. Self-care isn't just about taking care of how you eat or exercise or whether you floss. Self-care involves letting your soul breathe freely. Allowing time to express yourself through your very own unique artistry and creativity. The latest studies are now saying that expressing yourself through an art form has the same health benefits as meditation. Vivid Expressions offers BOTH!
I'm excited to be offering three Creativity Boot Camps this fall. Exact dates and times have yet to be determined, so I would like to have people sign up or contact me so I can see the interest level.
The Artist's Way For Everyday
Beginning the week of September 17th I will be facilitating The Artist's Way for Everyday...a 13-week expressive arts extravaganza based on Julia Cameron's transformational Artist's Way books. If interested, please click on the link below or the picture to sign up to keep updated on information for this life-changing course.
The Creator Within
For eight weeks beginning the week of October 15th, I will be facilitating The Creator Within, a course for those who wish to delve deeply into and explore the spiritual aspect of their creativity. We will be using a variety of art forms and meditations in this class. Please click below for more information and to sign up.
The first week of October will begin a 4-week course for those who are simply interested in exercising their creative muscles in various art forms. Each week will involve a different project, from collage to mask-making. No previous experience is necessary; the expressive arts is about the journey, the process rather than the finished product. Click below for more information and to sign up.
Creative Dreams Workshop
Sunday, September 24, 2017 1pm-3pm
These workshops attempt to explore everything there is to know about dreams and dreamtime. We share our dreams and interpretations and tools to help recall dreams. Guided journeys and meditations as well as art projects help clarify what our subconscious minds are telling us. Please click below for more information and to register
Vivid Expressions will not be offering classes or workshops during July and August of 2017. That does not mean, however, that we are not here to serve your artistic and transformational needs. One on one or small group sessions are available by appointment. These are 90 minute sessions and may be scheduled between 10am and 4pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or between 5pm and 7pm Tuesdays or Thursday evenings. For more information and to register go to
Creativity Boot Camps and Artist Way classes coming in the Fall of 2017. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming workshops and sign-ups.
I think we all hide aspects of ourselves from time to time and for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's to keep the peace amongst a diverse group of friends or family. Or maybe it isn't the best time to tell your thrilled co-worker who won a blue ribbon for her scones that you won the 2016 Culinary Professional of the Year award. Sometimes it's just expedient (or kind) to stay silent.
But what about the type of hiding that seems advisable but really isn't. The kind of hiding that is actually unkind and potentially harmful...personally?
I know what I'm talking about because I can be pretty creative when it comes to expressing everything but who I really am. After all, it's scary to open up to those I love or those I admire and let them hear what I truly believe and feel. To let them see what I've created or who I've become while they weren't looking. I'd rather hide behind a smile or a laugh than face their mockery, their dismissal.
But I've come to find that hiding is more uncomfortable than the fear of rejection. While it may seem smart not to rock the boat, playing it safe just never seems to get me anywhere satisfying or anyplace I'd really like to be.
Are you feeling it too? Are you feeling the desire to break free of the self-imposed limitations and just Be you, with all your quirks, weaknesses and overall marvelousness?
Yeah, I thought so. Me too.
To honor coming out of hiding and breaking free, I have some workshop offerings for the month of June. I would love to have you join me. Check out the links below or call 360-356-4118 for more information.
Your Hidden Dragon
June 10, 2017 1pm - 3:30pm and June 17th 1pm - 3:30pm
Whether you believe dragons exist in some quantum physics-type reality or are simply a myth, the energy created by Dragon through imagination is very real and very potent. Dragon energy works with the subconscious mind to disclose the guidance and nurture most needed.
It is said that we each have a guardian dragon. If you are curious to meet yours, join me for the Hidden Dragon workshop on one of the two dates listed above. There will be a guided journey to introduce you to your dragon after which we will make masks depicting either your dragon or what your dragon revealed to or about you. Register at:
Three Questions Collage
June 11TH, 2017 1PM - 3PM & June 30TH 2017 7PM - 9PM
The Three Questions collage art form employs the principle of synchronicity in that it can tell you exactly what you need to know for your growth in this moment. Creation without pre-planning can help you become aware of patterns or behaviors that hold you back. Spontaneous art invites actions that you might not have been able to conceive of in your everyday mind. For more information:
June 25TH, 2017 1PM - 3PM
In these on-going workshops, we attempt to explore everything there is to know about dreams and dreamtime. We share our dreams and interpretations and tools to help recall dreams.
Guided journeys and meditations as well as art projects help clarify what our subconscious minds are telling us. Register at:
None of the class dates working for you? Perhaps you are empathically sensitive and don't enjoy being around too many people. Call to set up private class time for any of the workshops listed on the Vivid Expressions web site. You can do a one on one with me or bring a friend. You pay the same tuition as you would for a group workshop. For information go to:
I love Spring! Everything is so fresh and the colors so vibrant. The Lilac bush I planted two summers ago actually bloomed for the first time. Short-lived though they be, Lilacs are my favorite flower and breathing in their heavenly fragrance can always lift me out of a funk.
Well, maybe not always.
The past five months or so have been really challenging, really funky, for me and many of my friends. And I don't mean "funk" in the good sense of the word, as in unconventional, fashionable, arty or having a good dance rhythm. I mean "funk" in the sense of having a bad, musty smell. Yeah, the past few months have been pretty stinky for a lot of us.
But now Spring is here and the energy has changed and birds are singing and flowers are blooming and it's time to move forward and---I don't know about you, but I feel weary. Like the Lilacs pictured above, I may be blossoming but the snows of winter haven't quite melted. Maybe you feel it too?
Time to shake off the cold, wet stink and connect with Nature once more!
Secret, Sacred Garden May 21, 11am to 4pm
The Secret, Sacred Garden Series of workshops facilitated by myself and Jodi Smith-Howells, are designed to bring participants back to the basics of Nature, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Being out in Nature, expressing the self through an artistic creation and learning which herbs and plants can assist in nurturing our physical bodies is part of the process used in this workshop.
This next workshop will be held in a lovely garden, filled with May flowers and sweet hummingbirds, designed to help you de-stress, ground and receive some much-needed self-care.
During this workshop we will:
Connect with Nature and meet your Nature Guardian(s)
Partake of a delicious, herbal vegetarian/vegan lunch
Make hummingbird feeders
Learn how to use herbs, such as dandelion, to revitalize
Fee is $65 and includes handouts, art supplies and vegan lunch
Registration must be in by May 17, 2017. If you must cancel, a partial refund will be given up to 48 hours before class on the 21st.
Once you have registered, you will be given directions to the "secret garden" location for the workshop in Vancouver, WA
Register at www.vividexpressions.net/secretsacredgarden
For more information please call Dodie at 360-356-4118
Creative Dreams May 16th 7pm - 9pm
Dreaming and dreams are one of the body's most amazing ways of regenerating us both physically and psychically.
Dreams offer us answers to pressing problems, in our personal lives as well as globally. Dreams can be literal, hypnogogic, prophetic, clairvoyant, telepathic or involve astral travel. They can advise us, warn us, comfort us, terrify us and thrill us. We need to dream to stay healthy!
In these workshops we will attempt to explore everything there is to know about dreams and dreamtime. We will share our dreams and interpretations and tools to help recall dreams. Guided journeys and meditations as well as art projects will help clarify what our subconscious minds are telling us.
If you are fascinated by dreams and what can be learned from them, join us for one of the three Sunday workshops being given this March. Tuition is $35 per workshop and includes all handouts and art supplies.
Register at http://www.vividexpressions.net/creative-dreams.html
Creativity, createshmivity! Too much politics, too much negativity and too much RAIN! How is a person supposed to feel creative when all they want to do is curl up in a ball and binge watch Netflix?
I think by now we all know how powerful expressing ourselves through an artistic medium can be for our health as well as our happiness and equilibrium. But, well, you know---the news!
When thinking about what to write in this blog, I contemplated what I really wanted to say that would be uplifting and encouraging. Quite honestly, the only thing I can think of to write is this:
Get your butt to the Vivid Expressions Studio this April!!!
Do some art, share your dreams or make a powerful prayer stick. For those of you that have been talking for years about the book you want to write but haven't dotted an i or crossed a t since you were 17, well now is the time to jump start the author within by spending a few hours actually writing.
No excuses. This is a safe environment to get in touch with your creative self. Your authentic self. It's a safe haven to come out and play and experience a little joy amidst all the rain.
April 9th, 2017 1pm-4pmThis month's workshop will focus on dreams for healing and dream guides.
Jump Start Your Writing
April 13th & April 27th 7pm-9pm
Feeling stuck and/or uninspired? Come out for one of these two workshop dates and spark your writer's imagination with a variety of fun exercises in a safe, non-critical environment.
April 15th & April 23rd, 2017 1pm-5pm
Since antiquity, people all over the world have been using prayer sticks to hold and send their prayers and to call forth the Divine. This is an extremely meditative, soothing and powerful process.
When I experience challenging times, as I am experiencing right now, I find that everything in my life is affected. Not only are my closest relationships affected, but I have more upset stomachs, headaches and body aches. I have a harder time focusing and often don't feel like expressing my creativity. If I'm not careful, my dreams become more intense and I tend to experience nightmares.
I know that making art or music or doing some dance or movement or writing can help keep me grounded and less anxious. I know and have experienced over and over again the healing power of the Arts.
But sometimes I just don't feel creative---or not very. As days go by without making something, even a cake, I can start to become downright depressed.
Well, believe it or not, dreams and dreaming can help.
Yes, dream recall helps boost creativity! Recent studies found that people who kept a daily dream journal improved their performance on tests measuring key components of creativity.
So if you too are feeling anxious or down or just feel the need to express or create something but feel stuck, I will be offering two workshops at the Vivid Expressions studio during the month of March to help get those creative juices flowing.
Jump Start Your Creativity: Imagination is the first in the "Jump Start" series that will include future workshops in creative writing and intuitive painting. We will be doing a variety of really fun, lively exercises and creative play to dust the cobwebs off the brain.
Creative Dreams Workshop is the other offering next month. This will be the first in a series over the next 6 months where together we will explore Dreamtime and the Dream World. We will share our dreams and our interpretations. We will also explore what the different types of dreams are and different ways to use this powerful tool in our own lives as well as for the communities we live in.
These workshops start in March, so stayed tuned for more info to come in the days ahead!