14. Given the time pressures of my work (as an activist, a spiritual leader, NGO board director, single mother of four children, CEO, school principal, or…), how can I spend time I
don’t have, sitting in front of a painting?
1. Do I need to be in the Santa Fe area in order to participate in The ReVisioned Life mentorship?
No. You can be in any place so long as you have telephone access.
2. What’s the easiest way for an individual to begin?
The ease of the INITIAL INSIGHTS FORMAT and its cost gives you the opportunity to focus attention on a primary question with Katherine Paras’ support and to experience how The ReVisioned Life collaborative process can serve you. It is a shorter process, with no painting involved.
3. How does what you paint help me?
The short answer: the creativity of the artistic process focused on your growth empowers your own creativity. This helps you to find new ways to respond to the obstacles in your life and expand its expression.
As you learn how to work with images that illuminate your inner landscapes, you activate your visual intuition and strengthen your intuitive intelligence. Your focused attention becomes integrated within a more global, relaxed and diffuse receptivity as you explore both the details and the gestalt of paintings that make visible your invisible realities, within you and around you.
This helps you to open your vision simultaneously to the parts and the whole of your life; you expand your access to the bigger picture as you face problems triggering or triggered by unidentified or, perhaps, conflicting aspects within yourself. Independent of habitual reasoning processes, new insights can emerge and shape actions that lead you to unexpected solutions to unanswered questions or dilemmas.
4. What is intuitive intelligence?
Imagine your are facing ten file cabinets holding three thousand files and you need to find a folder that you have not seen in five years. How will you find it?
Similarly, our brains store incredible amounts of information that we absorb over many years of experience. Grounded within a phenomenal complexity of neuronal networks that scientists continue to research, most of our memory lies outside of our conscious awareness. Practices of intuition, a learnable capacity, give us greater access to these memory stores and new perceptions. Some researchers expand the notion of the brain to include the whole body, for example, the ‘brain’ of the gut, and the ‘heart brain’.
A few interesting facts about what happens when we experience intuitive insight:
a) When we have an ‘Aha!’ moment, EEG brain waves indicate that gamma activity spikes 300 milliseconds before we consciously register the new insight. According to psychologist and science journalist Dan Goleman, this gamma activity indicates that a new neuronal network has formed among “far flung brain cells” and has focused in the brain area that “interprets metaphor and ‘gets’ jokes. It understands the language of the unconscious, what Freud calls primary process: the language of poems, of art, of myth. It’s the logic of dreams, where anything goes and the impossible is possible”1 – fertile ground from which our creative, non-linear solutions to complex life issues can grow.
1 Dan Goleman, “New Insights on the Creative Brain” www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-brain-and-emotional-intelligence/201108/new-insights-and-the-creative-brain
b) To investigate the role of the ‘heart brain’ in intuition, two double-blind research studies used measures of skin conductance, electroencephalogram, and electrocardiogram. The findings revealed that activity of the heart precedes the activity of the brain when a research subject intuitively and accurately anticipates “the future appearance of a photographic image depicting emotionally arousing content”.2 In other words, the heart responds before the brain does to a future emotional stimulus, not yet actually occurring and experienced in three-dimensional reality.
2 Rollin McCraty, Ph. D., Mike Atkinson, & Raymond Trevor Bradley, Ph.D., “Electrophysiological Evidence of Intuition: Part 1. The Surprising Role of the Heart” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2004; 10(1): 133-143.
c) When a viewer looks at a gesture depicted in a painting, for example, of a wrist and hand in a specific position, the muscles of the viewer’s wrist and hand become unconsciously enervated. "Mirror’ neurons" in the brain, also called "empathy" neurons, are responsible.3 Looking at paintings can helps us ‘exercise new muscles’, literally, as well as metaphorically speaking.
3 Abigail Tucker, “How does the Brain Process Art? New Imaging Techniques are Mapping the Locations of Our Aesthetic Response”, Smithsonian Magazine, November, 2012. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-does-the-brain-process-art-80541420/
5. What might an individual’s daily practice look like during the mentorship experience?
When we talk, we can discuss a variety of options of how to shape your daily practice. Depending upon your various considerations, you may choose to dedicate, for example, an hour a day or thirty minutes or fifteen, or one minute every hour. You may choose to focus your attention on your unanswered questions using meditation, or journaling, or improvising music, or other forms of creative or spiritual practice. Going for walks in nature might be an approach useful to you in this work.
If you are doing the ONE-PAINTING, the TWO-PAINTING, or the THREE-PAINTING FORMAT, your daily practice incorporates the use of the image of your painting after you receive its photograph, sent immediately following the painting’s completion.
6. When you create a ReVisioned Life ’portrait’, aren’t you just projecting your own thoughts and feelings into the painting??
It is probably safe to say that we all have had the experience of being misperceived by another, our behavior misinterpreted, our truths denied. There have also been times, hopefully, when we have felt deeply seen, deeply witnessed by another, in clarity, with compassion, and without judgment.
Whether we are a group leader, scientist, a teacher, an activist or artist, a technological wizard, a spouse, a healer or a parent – each of us has our individual viewpoint through which we relate to the people and life around us. How big are the windows of our viewpoint? Are they open or closed? If closed, how clear is the glass? As we evolve, as individuals and groups, the glass gets clearer, the windows get bigger and opened more often, and eventually they and the walls that support them disappear. It’s a long journey requiring much inner work. We can help each other along the way.
When an artist has perception of realities that expand beyond the limits of our five senses, the artist’s creation of paintings focused on the growth of a specific person or group is an active way to deepen and share those perceptions to the benefit of another. Click here to learn about Katherine Paras’ professional experience and its contributions to your ReVisioned Life work.
7. What kind of time commitment does The ReVisioned Life process involve?
Individual adults can choose between two-week, four-week, eight-week, and twelve-week formats. The four-week, eight-week, and twelve-week formats are available to youths and children, as well as groups. You can start with one of the shorter formats and decide, in process, to extend the work into a longer format. Or you can engage the twelve-week process starting on day one.
The shape, details, and time commitment to your daily practice is tailored to your specific needs and interests.
8. When might a group seek out The ReVisioned Life mentorship?
The life of a group, like that of individuals, moves through different phases and challenges. When new perspectives are needed, or when an influx of creative energy would serve the group, or when stalled growth raises unanticipated concerns, The ReVisioned Life mentorship can be a helpful support. For example…
a) Insights gleaned from ReVisioned Life ‘portraits’ can help a group identify a new direction that is only beginning to suggest itself.
b) When personality conflicts are eroding group process, underlying core issues that are catalyzing divisive dissensions can be identified and explored within the mentorship and avenues for constructive change identified.
c) When a group faces a choice between radical change and dissolution, or any other major transition, The ReVisioned Life process can help to identify the confusion of currents moving through the group, its potentials for coalescence, or the wisdom to its release from old forms.
d) When a group or a new project is gestating and headed to birthing itself, with templates not yet fully formed, the creation of paintings focused on its emergent growth can provide insight and guidance to its idiosyncratic nature and needs.
9. How can I learn more about what my ReVisioned Life experience will involve?
The PROCESS pages for groups, and adults, include detailed descriptions of what your ReVisioned Life experience could look like. If you have questions not answered on the website, feel free to connect directly with Katherine Paras via the CONTACT page.
10. Do I get to keep the paintings?
In the INITIAL INSIGHTS FORMAT, you receive the written overview of Initial Insights. No painting is created within this format.
In the individual's ONE PAINTING FORMAT you have the option of buying the one painting, which is not included in the base price of $2800.
In the individual's TWO-PAINTING FORMAT, you have the option of buying both paintings; the purchase of one of the two paintings (your selection) is required.
In the individual's THREE-PAINTING FORMAT, you have the option of buying all three paintings; purchase of two of the three paintings (your selection) is required.
11. How much does The ReVisioned Life mentorship cost?
The cost of The ReVisioned Life mentorship for a group is determined by its size, the complexity of its organization, the configuration of its leadership, and the shape of its culture. These, and other aspects of its life, guide both the design of the mentorship format for a specific group and the focus of the paintings, and establish the cost of the ReVisioned Life process.
Click here to connect directly with Katherine Paras via the CONTACT page to explore the specific needs of your group, the ways in which the format of The ReVisioned Life can be co-designed and individualized to meet the needs of your group, and what it would cost.
It depends upon which format you choose, and which options within each format you select. The INITIAL INSIGHTS FORMAT starts at $150.
The ONE-PAINTING FORMAT starts at $2800; if you choose to buy the painting, there is an additional charge of $2000-$3800, depending upon the size of the painting, plus S&H etc..
The TWO-PAINTING FORMAT starts at $4600 plus the cost of one of the paintings, which is $2000-$3800, depending upon the size of the painting, plus S&H, etc. If you choose to buy the second painting, there is an additional charge of $2000-$3800, depending upon the size of the painting, plus S&H etc.
The THREE-PAINTING FORMAT starts at $5900 plus the cost of two paintings which is $4000-$7600 plus S&H, etc.. You have the option of buying the third painting at an additional cost of $2000-$3800 plus S&H, etc.
12. Who can benefit from this mentorship?
Groups, individual adults, youth, and children can benefit. The ReVisioned Life experience is especially useful to those who want to delve more deeply into their strengths and actively address barriers to their development.
For example, a social justice activist may be struggling with burn-out and needing to find deeper inner resources to continue his or her work. A person may need to unlock doors that are ending or unnecessarily extending his or her spiritual journey. An adult or a child who is actively facing illness and/or death can be helped to clear personal obstacles to his or her movement through such transitions. A technological wizard may be suddenly finding previously successful incantations creating an infinity of ‘broomsticks’ instead of innovative program design. She or he may need help to identify and dissolve the new and unanticipated obstacles that are interfering with previously active creative capacities. A youth may be confronting many confusions while seeking new directions for his or her life. The ReVisioned Life can give special support to a child's individuality and unique gifts.
13. How is this mentorship different from others?
The creation of both the paintings, which explore your inner landscapes and guide the mentorship, and a concluding group's report or individual's narrative summary provides numerous unique benefits. For example...
(a) The paintings give you a visual read on what may be unidentifiable or invisible dynamics sabotaging your growth and causing pain in your life.
(b) The creative process, engaged and grounded within the emerging paintings, aligns with your daily practice and can catalyze healing changes in your life in non-linear and unpredictable ways. This can help you to extract yourself from previously immobilizing impasses.
(c) Guided within the collaborative exchange of the mentorship, you develop and strengthen innate ways of knowing specific to you or your group, uniquely illuminated and supported by the ‘portraits’ of your inner landscapes.
(d) As one-of-a-kind tools, the Portaits focus the individuality of your life and the specificity of your needs. This empowers your expression of your gifts in the world. The paintings can serve as ongoing guides to your future evolution.
(e) The concluding written Report or Narrative, building upon insight and learning emerging through the evolution of the painting(s), is yet another catalyst and expression of the creative process at work within your mentorship experience. It both opens doors to new insights and anchors your ongoing use of the paintings.
14. Given the time pressures of my work [as an activist, a spiritual leader, NGO board director, single mother of four children, CEO, school principal, or…], how can I spend time I don’t have, sitting in front of a painting?
Your question identifies one of the biggest challenges we face when we actively engage within any demanding collective or group arena, be it our community, our family, or a socially, environmentally, or politically oriented group. The magnitude of the problems we face far exceeds the measure of any one person, or group. And yet we must work within our own measure. Otherwise, we become overwhelmed and simply add to the chaos we are working to rebalance.
The ReVisioned Life work can help you to expand your own measure, as you work from the inside out to uncover or clarify inner potentials that you have not yet claimed, seeds of new growth waiting to be nourished. We all have them.
All living gardens require time and attention to cultivate. Newly surfacing stones need to be removed, soil re-fertilized, overgrowth pruned. Cultivating our own inner garden teaches us how to better restore the damaged gardens around us and/or nurture their growth. Or as peace activist Thomas Merton wrote,
“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom that makes work fruitful.”
― Thomas Merton, peace activist, CONJECTURES OF A GUILTY BYSTANDER
The purpose of The ReVisioned Life is to help you to till the soil that nourishes and strengthens “the root of inner wisdom that makes work fruitful”.