Painting Postcards and Deep Dive Conversations

Last week felt like going home.  I had missed the 2018 Mindcamp as there were too many things going on in our lives.  Even with this year's move to Okotoks, I felt that I needed to be at YMCA Geneva Park for this annual gathering of like-minded souls who work and play in the creativity field.


Mind U is a set of intensive sessions that happen over four days of Mindcamp.  This was my third Mind U offering.  I had a wonderful group of people originally from several different countries: Canada, USA, France, Russia and South Africa.

In the first few days, we explored a happy memory through swirl painting.  The final few days included guided meditations back to several points in their lives:  earliest memories, favourite toy, greatest adventure, etc.  The results were very abstract and full of stories (and emotion).

Some participants ended up recalling some darker memories and emotions, as those were the things that needed to come up for them.  It took me several days to unwind from the emotional reverberations of the final few sessions.  I'm sure it was the same for more than a few participants.  In fact, I know it was the same.  I'm honoured that they braved the journey and came out the other end stronger.

My thanks to Rick, Susannah, Bert, Lynne, Julia, Branwen, Shirley, Marcel, Charlotte, Lindsay, Izzy, Grover and Iryna for sharing their stories and their hearts.


One of the best parts of Mindcamp (for me) is the daily Kaleidoscope gathering.  Formed organically at the opening plenary, this collection of creatives shared reflections about their day, outstanding (and not) sessions they attended, and how they were feeling about the experience.  My thanks to Chris, Julia, Rodrigo, Mike, Natalia, Tony, Bert (missing from the photo) and Anne Marie for enriching my Mindcamp experience.


Anthony and I had attended one of the first sessions of Mindcamp together, and found ourselves chatting in the hall long after it was finished.  That chat continued out in the hub until almost midnight.  Time ceased to exist as he shared marvellous stories of his work in hospitals, playing music for the sick and dying.  His amazing intuitiveness and heart, combined with his love of music, has impacted scores of children and adults during very challenging times.  While we had exchanged a few words at other Mindcamps, the conversations we had this year solidified a connection that felt very profound to me.

I enjoyed so many great visits, which makes it hard to name all of them.  However, I must say what a joy it was to visit with Ella, one of the youngest Mindcampers.  Her insightful questions and intelligence beyond her years blew me away.  On the other end of the age spectrum, it was equally inspiring reconnecting with William.  And Bert gets the award for the best hug ever!


I went to Mindcamp 2019 with the intention to accept whatever gifts it had to give.  Unlike the previous few times, I didn't go with the intention of doing a bunch of paintings between sessions.  That said, I ended up doing two pieces.  The first was "The Tree of Life", which was intended to be a swirl painting example for my Mind U participants.  I am happy to say it is off to North Carolina with Susannah.

The gifts were many, including rich conversations, excellent sessions, and a reconnection to a community of people who are fundamental in my life.

On Saturday night, I decided to use three leftover canvases to do another swirl painting based on the Fibonacci spiral.  I set up on a table near the hub and invited the Mindcamp community to help.  Many did.


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