The Trecena of Batz: 13 Days of Creative Expression & Insight

140808122043-01-selfie-monkey-0808-exlarge-169The Mayan solar day 1 B’atz’ is tomorrow, Tuesday, June 14.

{For an explanation of how the Mayan calendar works, read the full post here.}

From then until June 26, we are moving through the trecena ruled by B’atz’: the thread of life. Its animal totem is the monkey. These days are superb for expressing our creativity with lighthearted glee.

Dance. Sing. Paint. Write. Above all, play.

According to The Serpent and the Jaguar by Birgitte Rasine, on B’atz’ days, the Maya “express their intention to freely receive all that they have requested from the universe, and to be able to unravel or resolve any matter of issue, especially family problems.” These days are “extremely auspicious for all artistic works and endeavors; in fact, it is a powerful day to begin any project.”

Another aspect of B’atz’ has to do with looking at the cycles, habits and repeating patterns in our lives.

The thread of life refers to time. Ancient Mayan artifacts depicted the Goddess Ixchel weaving the cosmos on her backstrap loom. In fact, the elements of the loom, weaving procedures, designs and the weaver herself are all part of the Maya vision of birthing and the Cosmos.

By paying attention to the patterns in our lives, we can eventually get to the root of things and uproot unwanted or harmful habit-patterns. This, in turn, creates space for our natural creativity to flow and flourish.

This trecena is also a great time to let go of inferiority and superiority. No need to compare—just be you.

Here’s to embodying the delight, creativity and curiosity of the monkey and exploring the multitude of patterns we’ve woven into the colorful tapestry of our lives.

Writing Down the Chakras

Writing is an art, a gift, a practice.

I practice and teach writing as taught by Natalie Goldberg in her numerous and fabulous books, primarily the classic, Writing Down the Bones.

Her few, simple rules for writing include: keep your hand moving, don’t reread (until after the writing session), don’t edit, let go of control, don’t worry about correctness (spelling, punctuation, complete sentences, or even making sense). Let your heart-mind stream its consciousness onto the page. She encourages writing by hand, with a pen or pencil, in a notebook. Especially in our day and age of so much screen time, so much sitting the fluorescent glow of computers, writing longhand is a wonderfully prehistoric thing to do.

Writing practice, like any practice, is ideally done daily or as frequently as possible. Writing is a skill that improves with practice. Everyone can write; anyone with intention can be a writer. We cannot only write when we are inspired. Writing practice is the foundation of our mindfulness practice and our published works, as well.

Here are some suggested sentence starters to use during your writing practice, categorized by chakra…

The root of the solution: Muladhara ChakraRoot / 1st chakra

I am ___________.
I come from ____________.
My roots are __________.
I feel safe and secure when ____________.
I feel unsafe and insecure when __________.
I connect with Earth by _______________.
I need _____________.

second_chakraSacrum / 2nd chakra

I want ___________.
I feel ___________.
I desire ___________.
I sense ____________.
I move ___________.
I flow with ___________.
I connect with water by __________.

third_chakra_imageSolar Plexus / 3rd chakra

I will ___________.
I do ___________.
I’ll go ___________.
I am now _____________.
My passion is ___________.
My purpose is ___________.
With my effort, I ___________.
I connect with fire by ____________.
I manifest __________.
I create ___________.
I destroy ___________.

fourth_chakra_imageHeart / 4th chakra

I love ___________.
I give ___________.
I freely share ____________.
My heart is ___________.
I care about _____________.
I cultivate compassion by _________________.
I am devoted to _________________.
I adore ________________.
When I was a child, I loved _______________.
I am grateful for ___________.
I appreciate ________________.
May all beings ______________.

fith_chakra_imageThroat / 5th chakra

I listen ___________.
I hear ___________.
I speak ___________.
I say ____________.
I express _________________.
I communicate ________________.
I write ________________.
I convey ______________.
My voice is ___________.

sixth_chakra_imageThird eye / 6th chakra

I wonder ______________.
I see ___________.
I visualize ___________.
I look within and ___________.
I feel intuitively that ___________.
I imagine __________.
I close my eyes and __________________.
I open my eyes and _________________.
I envision ________________.

seventh_chakra_imageCrown / 7th chakra

I connect with ___________.
I believe ___________.
My spirit ___________.
My soul ___________.
I have faith in ___________.
I trust ___________.
I am inter-being with ___________________.
I am interconnected with _________________.
God is _______________.
The universe is _____________.
Life is _________________.



40 Creative Ways to Express Yourself

Everything is an expression, an expression of creation and destruction. Expression exists in everything– wind, fire, waves and flowers. Expression is everywhere – in a smile, a kiss, in every wrinkle. Expression is some-thing, however practical or impractical, made beautiful. Expression is an everyday art. Expression is the result of intentional action – something you do that shares who you are. Expression is evidence of your essence. Expression is essential to your wellbeing. Expression without expectation is easy:

  1. paint
  2. draw
  3. write poetry
  4. journal
  5. write letters
  6. invent stories
  7. write a play or movie
  8. sculpt
  9. play music
  10. record music
  11. dance
  12. yoga
  13. play sports
  14. exercise
  15. travel
  16. speak
  17. converse
  18. teach
  19. act
  20. study languages
  21. cook
  22. garden
  23. build
  24. origami
  25. collage
  26. carpentry
  27. blow glass
  28. do metal work
  29. make jewelry
  30. decorate
  31. landscape
  32. sew
  33. knit
  34. crochet
  35. quilt
  36. weave
  37. throw parties
  38. bake
  39. take photographs
  40. sketch

How do you/can you express your unique and wonderful self through creative outlets?

Expression through Music with Vespers

What inspired you to learn music? How did you learn? Can you describe your learning experience?

I would say the motivation was from within.  I was so young when I started, it was just something I was compelled to do.  I never looked at someone else and made a conscious decision, it was just a spark within me that my parents (thankfully!) saw fit to nourish. 

Vespers Shadow SaxWhy the {sax, piano, electronic music, etc.} specifically? What does the instrument allow that perhaps other instruments, words or other mediums do not?

I really dig the sax because of the versatility of it. It can stand on its own, it can be soulful, it can be nasty, it can be funky, it can be pretty. I can also cut really well as a solo instrument, which is useful for playing over my electronic music.

What are you working on now? Why is it important for you to share your music/knowledge with others?   

As we speak I’m currently on Salt Spring Island working on a new EP that’ll be released on The Funk Hunters’ Westwood Recordings in a few months.  For me, sharing music has always been something that’s come naturally.  I get really excited about learning new things, and I find that excitement is enriched through sharing what I’ve learned and jamming out with like minded people on a musical path.  My online academies, and are manifestations of that.  I created as a conduit where I could teach my community through one on one lessons, online courses, live group webinars etc.  Warp Academy came later when I wanted to partner up with other minds in the industry.  Now Warp Academy is host to several thousand students and a community of over 10 trainers who are all experts in their fields.  We have courses on everything from DJing to music theory to sound design to mixing and mastering.  A student can come to us, learn all the essential subjects to produce electronic music, and do it all at their own pace from a computer with an internet connection in less than a year at a fraction of the cost of a year at college.  That was our vision.  

Tell us something about your process of creating music (from composing to mixing or performing…). What are some things you have learned about yourself and/or the creative process along the way?

My creative process starts with building source sounds.  Patches in synthesizers, drum kits, recordings or organic sounds etc.  I like having fresh, unique sounds to work with for every song.  In the process of creating these sounds, I usually get inspired or hear something that eventually becomes the beginnings of the tune.  After that, it’s just putting regular work into it until it’s done.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Here is a video in which I interview Kenny Werner who discusses how spirituality affects his creative process:

And, here is a free pack of my tunes!

Much Love!