What does it mean to be a Gardener of the Soul?

I am reflecting on the lives of two men who have inspired peace in the world through their art, love of nature/gardening, music, philosophy, activism, poetry and wisdom… John Lennon (also a Libran like myself 🙂 ) and Claude Monet.

During his international career as a Musician, Poet, Activist and influential Ambassador for World Peace, John Lennon has been quoted as saying;

“Peace is not something you wish for,
it is something you make, something you do,
something you are and something you give away”

“My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role,
is to try and express what we all feel.
Not to tell people how to feel.
Not as a preacher, not as a leader,
but as a reflection of us all.”

“Love is like a precious plant.
You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard
or just think it’s going to get on by itself.
You’ve got to keep on watering it.
You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”

“I’m not really a career person; I’m a gardener, basically.”

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“Monet’s Lillie’s”, Monet’s Garden, June 2015 © Juerg Dreamturtle

Every year, some 500 000 visitors come from around the world to visit Claude Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France. Over many decades, millions of people have been touched by Monet’s peaceful and tranquil impressionist paintings. People are attracted because of the essence of calm and peace Monet was able to capture in his beautiful paintings and in his garden. For many years, I had prints of Monet’s Water Lillie’s hanging in my bedroom. When I walked into my bedroom, I remember how the paintings made me feel peaceful, balanced and at ease with my surroundings.

Not all of us have the gift of music and poetry to collectively inspire people’s minds and hearts like John – in a positive and powerful way. Not all of us have the opportunity to create a beautiful garden or the ability to paint like Monet did.

However, I believe we all have the chance in this life to work on our inner selves,…to grow in love and peace by owning and transforming our shadow self (our core wounds), healing and forgiving ourselves and others.

I refer to this work as “Soul Work” – and having been a “Gardener of the Soul” for many years now, I believe this is the true work I am here to do, be and share!

I have learned that the beautiful or impressive garden we create on the “outside”, is not as important as the garden we nurture and grow on the “inside”…

The Garden of our Soul is hidden to the eye but felt with the heart…

The Soul Garden we are nurturing, sustaining, lovingly tending too and growing every day – is the most important and true work we are here for.

As we honour our true selves and continue with our Soul Work, the universe will reflect back to us our inner transformation – we can attract more loving, authentic relationships into our lives and experience a sense of deeper peace and purpose for our journey. Although, this does not mean our healing and growing ever stops or we no longer attract challenges in our lives! However, over time, we can become more of a beacon of light to inspire others towards inner peace, truth and fulfillment for themselves.

Real, lasting peace is not something we can “take” from another or a piece of art or music to temporarily “feel better”. We each have to make the commitment to work towards peace in ourselves and this can be a challenging, demanding yet truly rewarding process over many, many lifetimes of experience and growth.

Copyright © Jaymie Elder (2017/2019)

Featured Photo for this Blog Post: “Sacred Sadness Rose” from my Grandmother’s Garden – taken on Christmas day, many years ago. The photo features in my partner, Juerg Dreamturtle’s book; “Sacred Journey – A Simple Book of Soul Wisdom, Love and Healing.”

The book, “Sacred Journey” is very much about this inner work of growing towards love and peace in ourselves, in our lives and in the world. Why not order a copy of the book “Sacred Journey”  to honour this day – International World Peace Day?

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Find out more about the book “Sacred Journey” by Juerg Dreamturtle here


Photo of Water Lillie’s from Monet’s Garden:
taken by Juerg, June 2015.
Read more about Claude Monet here

Working with our Shadow in a Soul Relationship

Everybody wants a loving relationship,… but few people are really open or prepared for the ongoing commitment and challenge of shadow work i.e. to take full responsibility for our own projections, inner child wounds and personal healing.

Relationships are so important because the deeper we are connected to someone physically, emotionally and spiritually – the greater the opportunity or catalyst for healing our inner child and transforming our core family and generational wounds.

Without this awareness, we may continue to protect or react from our wounds (hurt inner child) through becoming defensive, angry and blaming others, shutting down or avoiding intimacy altogether.

If we pretend that everything is wonderful and perfect on the outside, we deny ourselves the sacred opportunity to work with the truth – the unpleasant emotions that get triggered in us. It is only through acknowledging that our shadow/wounds exist, that we can begin to grow towards being more authentic and truthful with ourselves and others.

The truth is, we need relationships to trigger the wounds we have protected and tried to bury deep within our unconscious. As children, we developed unhealthy patterns, behaviors and beliefs in order to survive our family and society’s circumstances. However, as mature adults, we have a responsibility to consciously work with our history, our family story, our inner child, so that we do not continue to pass on our unhealed past and wounds.

Our soul acts like a magnet to attract the perfect partner and circumstances for healing and transformation to occur. As we work with the opportunities a soul partner offers us to heal and grow, we can embrace our shadow with love, forgiveness and soul understanding. As we continue with this work, we open ourselves towards a deeper capacity to feel and share love.

 

The soul purpose of a relationship is to share love and help each other heal and grow.


Love Sculptor
“Love” by Sculptor Alexander Milov

 

In life, and especially in our relationships,
we often do not “like”
what is being mirrored back to us or triggered by another.

We can choose to protect or defend our wounds,
turn our backs on each other
and walk away from the challenge presented to us.

However, life experience shows –
our unconscious, childhood wounds tend to follow us
into the next relationship… and the next.

In time, we realise that wisdom, self-awareness and maturity
come from looking deep inside
the childhood wounds we carry with us.

Wounds, which require another
to bring them into our conscious awareness
so that they may be faced, transformed and healed.

When we are conscious of our inner child’s needs,
we can step away and disengage from a cycle
of outer criticism, projection and blame.

We can recognise our own shadow parts –
longing to be transformed with love, understanding,
non-judgment, compassion, patience and gentleness.

We focus our energy and time
on the inner changes, we need to make
and the most important personal work we are here for.

When both partners are open to feel and connect
with their unhealed childhood wounds that get triggered,
they have an opportunity to progress
with their inner work of healing and growing.

An intuitive guide can be very helpful to support us
in connecting with what is at the core

of our triggered emotional reactions.

He or she may also offer us beneficial tools
to support our inner child’s needs

for love, compassion and inner safety.

We can therefore approach our challenges as opportunities
to share and grow more together
towards wholeness, love and respect for each other.

With each obstacle on our path,
we have an opportunity to rise together,
reaching deeper levels of love, intimacy and healing.

A soul union is about complementing,
supporting and enhancing
our unique energies and gifts.

It’s also about being challenged –
to confront our old identity, conditioning
and past limited ways of being in the world.

A soul relationship can liberate us from our past –
supporting and encouraging us
to become all we can be.

The soul purpose of a relationship
is to share love
and help each other heal and grow.

 

The most important journey in life leads us deep inside ourselves!


If we can not be honest with ourselves, how can we be honest with another? In a nurturing and loving relationship with the Self, we acknowledge our shadow in a way that we do not criticise or judge ourselves harshly. We understand its purpose for being there – to provide the lessons and challenges so that we may grow.

In an honest, conscious relationship both partners know that we touch each other’s wounds – and therefore the relationship can offer us a powerful tool for healing, growth and transformation.

male and female lion

“Every moment, it is our sacred choice,
how open we are to forgive, heal and grow

in love, compassion and soul wisdom

– on our Sacred Journey.”

Juerg Dreamturtle

It is of course always our choice how deep we wish to go and how much we wish to face, transform and heal on our own journey.

The true gift and fulfillment of journeying with someone who is open for all of this – someone who also has a good sense of humour, sensitivity, honesty and capacity to love – is the solidity, strength and union you build overtime within yourself AND together as a couple.

Copyright © Jaymie Elder, 2019/21


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Jaymie Elder and Juerg Dreamturtle

Our work is to support people on their soul journey. I am dedicated to my own personal healing and shadow work in a relationship with Juerg Dreamturtle (we have been journeying, traveling, creating and doing this healing/shadow work together for 15 years).

We do not pretend to be perfect because we know we can always continue to heal and grow more. Juerg and I share a core belief that our inner work of healing and growing is the most important, beneficial part of our journey we can devote ourselves to in this life…not only for ourselves and our relationship, but for all people and Mother Earth.

Juerg and I are offering support for this very important personal work, which helps us to heal and grow to a deeper level of love, compassion and soul wisdom. Both Juerg and I offer personal sessions for individuals/couples. Sessions are available internationally via Skype/Telegram/Facebook Messenger.


Copyright © Jaymie Elder 2019 – Please only use this text unless written permission is received from Jaymie Elder. Photograph of Sculpture: artwork by Alexander Milov.


More reading from Rainbowtree Woman about the Soul Journey
and the path of healing and transformation: – Click here

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Email Jaymie: rainbowtreewoman@yahoo.co.nz

Do you long to experience life more from the level of your heart and soul…?

1 year ago, I was asking a question to my spirit guides about what this really means… and this was their reply to me…

Human beings naturally crave structure, security,
or a clear and straight path laid out before them.
Many search for a spiritual leader or community,
a daily routine, ‘an acceptable way’ to follow –
so life feels more safe, predictable and ‘known’…

But the heart yearns for the deeper springs of life
and the path of the soul
is uniquely your own.

It’s a pathway that you forge into the unknown
and only your heart can intuitively feel/know
what is right and true for you.

If you really choose this path,
with all your heart and being,
know that you will be challenged.

You will need courage and perseverance
to keep opening your heart
towards the unhealed shadow
– of which has been ‘hidden’ to you…

Experiences which may come to you
won’t always be easy, pleasant or beautiful…
It may sometimes feel as if you walk a lonely path
but you will always be much closer to us than you know…

Above all,…you will grow,…

There will be others…
Soul friends and spiritual companions to meet again,
Soul family to share laughter, tears,
wisdom and experiences along the way…

It will not matter,
if you only cross paths for a short moment
or never meet each other in the physical.
It’s the mutual exchange of heart energy,
which has the power to transform, heal,
inspire and illuminate lives.

Dear one,
to live your life from the level of the heart and soul
means to be open to heal your old wounds
and from limiting beliefs and conditioning,
create new, loving and joyful possibilities…

It means to recognise the importance of your inner work
and honour yourself as a sacred conduit –
here to help raise the consciousness and heart energy
on beautiful Mother Earth…

It means wherever possible,
guided by your feelings and heart
– to transform darkness, hurt and fear
into light, love, forgiveness, beauty,
appreciation and fulfillment.

This is the magic,
the spiritual alchemy,
the infinite possibility,
the realness, humility and freedom
of living – connected and true –
to your heart and soul.

Copyright © Jaymie Elder / Rainbowtree Woman 2018/2020

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“The knowledge of the heart is in no book
and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher,
but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth.”
– Carl Jung (The Red Book)

Copyright © Jaymie Elder 2020 – Please only use this text unless written permission is received from Jaymie Elder. If you wish to use only some of this text on social media – please do so respectfully by acknowledging Jaymie as the author with links to her website/blog http://www.rainbowtreewoman.com.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it, follow my blog or register to receive notifications in your email box for my future posts. Thank you!


More reading from Rainbowtree Woman about the Soul Journey
and the path of healing and transformation: – Click here

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Email Jaymie: rainbowtreewoman@yahoo.co.nz

See the value of more resting, listening, reflecting, feeling and being…

…see the value of more resting, listening,
reflecting, feeling and being…

*    *    *    *

Today, women find it challenging to create enough time and space to nurture their inner world. Often overlooked or neglected, this can eventually lead to all kinds of physical, mental and emotional problems such as chronic fatigue, depression, period pain or feeling unbalanced, overwhelmed, easily stressed and a lack of meaning and depth to one’s life.

Almost like an overused “cliché”, we hear the word “Soul” through the new age and spiritual community. However, we lack access to the authentic wisdom about how we women might bring more soul fulfillment and the sacred feminine into our everyday lives.

To be clear and without judgment (each stage of our journey has valuable lessons and this is not about feeling “pressured”), I am not suggesting we pamper ourselves in self-indulgent, self-care methods that only achieve short-term, superficial results.

Sometimes it is wonderful to feel pampered. However, while some of these popular outer methods may give us a quick and easy “lift” they often have no value or depth of meaning for the soul. And so, we make no personal, beneficial changes and we continue the cycle of our repetitive, self-harming patterns, unhealthy relationships or doing and caring too much for the needs of others.

Instead, I am referring to all the ways, which we may feed ourselves internally using methods, rituals and practices that are self-sustaining, enriching and nourishing for our inner selves, our heart, womb and soul.

For example, taking time out for ourselves to rest and be alone with the elements of nature, journal writing and connecting in with our spirit guides, expressing our creativity through music, art or dance, sacred ritual and ceremony, receiving and living in harmony with the deeper messages of the seasons and cycles of the moon, inner-child healing and shadow work,…

While this may sound like a lot of work or a life-long commitment, we can begin by simply recognising the gifts and healing benefits of what is around us and available to us today,.. right now,.. in this moment.

 

What the soul longs for
has nothing to do with the ego’s superficial,
wants, ambitions or desires.

I experience my soul longing as an ancient calling –
to come back into alignment with my authentic being,
the unconditional love of Self
and the true path of my hearts knowing.

Sometimes, it’s more about being happy
with the beauty and blessings,
which surround you, right now,
and trusting your journey of unfoldment
rather than constantly thinking you should be somewhere else
or “further ahead”, in order to be happy and fulfilled.

 

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The healing energy of Mother Earth, which is unconditional love, helps us to ground ourselves but also, do our inner work and come to a place of love and compassion for ourselves and others.

It is my belief that as we do our soul-work of inner transformation and healing, we take our ancestors with us. We are all connected; therefore, all our ancestors live, learn and love together with and through us on our soul journey.

In your alone time in nature or in meditation, try the simple exercise of asking the women in your ancestral lineage to come forward and be near you. Be receptive to who is making their energetic presence known to you. It could be your grandmother who has recently passed over… or, it could be a female ancestor whom you have never met in this lifetime.

While you may think you are sitting alone, you will soon realise that in fact you are never alone. There is more love, strength, wisdom and energy available to us than we can possibly comprehend with our human understanding or perceived-limited-reality.

 

…When we rest and nourish our soul in ways
that support our healing and authentic being,
we find we naturally are better,
more balanced, loving and giving
mothers, lovers, partners, daughters,
co-workers, sisters and friends…

 

This is why it is so important we create enough time and space to nurture our inner world – our soul.


Photography and text © Jaymie Elder April 2019

My work is supporting and mentoring women to embrace their authentic being and be true to the ancient calling of their heart and soul. I offer intuitive guidance and support through Soul Sessions, which take place internationally via Skype. Soul Sessions are a unique chance to feel, reflect and connect with the deeper part of your being – your heart and soul.

rainbowtreewomansoulsessions

Soul work needs no approval or recognition from others – bee symbolism

“Your work is not to drag the world into a new awareness, kicking and screaming.
Your work is to simply do your work, sacredly, secretly and silently
And those with “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” will respond….”
– Unknown


Recently, I have been spending time alone in the beautiful spring nature of the European Alps. Almost as soon as we arrived, I found myself drawn to the alpine wild flowers, abundant, lively bees and colourful hives around me…

 

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So what is the message of the bee? 

Above all, bee shows us devotion towards a higher purpose and the magical interconnectedness in all of life. Bee is completely devoted to work for the common good of the hive.

This can mirror the commitment we make to our own soul work – the on-going work of healing, transforming, learning and growing towards our higher purpose – Higher Self or spiritual potential.

*   *   *

“Ultimately, this devotion to our soul work
is the greatest service we offer humanity.
When we raise our vibration through healing  
and transforming our core wounds (our shadow)

– we influence the greater consciousness

of humanity and all of creation.”

*   *   *

Find that hard to believe? Over many years, I have observed that my own inner work has extended out to influence those around me in subtle ways – family, animals, partnerships, friends or strangers.

Our soul journey of healing and transformation, is unique to each one of us. As we continue on this journey, we can increasingly recognise the value of our inner work. This work does not require the approval or recognition of others! Perhaps this is the most liberating part about our soul work! …No one else in this world has lived, felt, seen and shared the same experiences as each one of us…No one else walks the same path to know and feel their own divinity – their own Higher Self or spiritual essence.


How can we integrate the wisdom of the bee into our own lives
and for our own Soul Journey?

The bee is a symbol for soul wisdom. Bee collects pollen from many flowers and turns it into nourishing honey – the gold of bees. Just so, we collect experiences from the many circumstances of our life – painful, loving, challenging and beautiful…and from these experiences we can extract spiritual gold.

This spiritual gold is a result of our willingness and courage to be honest and true to ourselves,… to feel deeply into our own wounds – our own patterns, beliefs, masks, our shadow personalities, our hurt inner children – all of which long for the light of our conscious awareness, understanding, love, forgiveness and compassion.

beedandelion

Are we devoted to our path of healing (soul work)?

In today’s busy world, it is so easy to distract ourselves from facing and owning how we are truly feeling.

Just like any form of addiction, we can use social media to instantly distract ourselves from our emotions and feelings. Spending hours online, we can get lost amongst endless information, music, videos, nice photographs, “what we want to see” in order to “feel better“. Or, we may take the anger, frustration or helplessness we feel and project huge amounts of energy into endless arguments with people whom we may never meet in person.

These emotions and patterns will always re-surface again and again until we are ready to look at and work with the truth in ourselves. We can try, but in the end we can not hide from the truth. Eventually, when we are ready, our soul calls to us, ….loud enough so that we must pay attention.

We grow in love by having the courage to truly face (not turn away) from our uncomfortable emotions i.e. anger, doubt, fear, sadness, jealousy, etc…. We grow in love by being fully present and honest with ourselves and others. It is simple to write about but not easy to practise in all of our relationships, especially with ourselves.


Let us begin today, in small ways…
those with “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” will respond….

Let us practise being devoted and humble like the bee. Let us start today, in small ways,…becoming more present with our emotions, feelings and allowing our heart to guide us in all our actions.

The more we are practising this in our everyday lives, the more we realise that it is our energy that draws people and experiences to us. Rather than judge the experiences as good or bad / right or wrong, we trust and know that somewhere, somehow…. it is for the highest good of our souls evolution.

With an open mind and heart, we can ask for our own inner guidance to come forward….we delve deeper for the hidden (shadow) learning, messages and wisdom about our own life and journey, which can be reflected back to us through another person, experience or encounter. This is the way of the spiritual alchemist – the humble yet extraordinary bee – collecting pollen (experience) and transforming it into honey (wisdom).

This does not mean we over-analyse situations, experiences and people with our mind. We are inviting the wise, intuitive, feminine or feeling part of our being to come forward and help us to understand, transform, heal and grow.

When we look outside for recognition, rewards or approval for our actions our focus is mis-directed. With humility and devotion like the bee, we know that no matter what the outcome, we must keep moving forward on our journey.

*   *   *

You cannot force someone to comprehend a message
that they are not ready to receive.
But…. never underestimate the power of planting a seed.

*   *   *

The more we are being authentically who we are, (less concerned about what others think or say about us or trying to “prove” something to others)…we are vibrating (buzzing 🙂 ) in our core essence. We are touching others with our energy, dispersing seeds of consciousness, love and truth – meanwhile, always continuing with our own soul work.

This is truly the highest we can bee. 😊

bee

Bee Prayer: Winged spirit of sweetness,
I call on you.
Teach me the ways of
Transformation and fertilisation,
The path from pollen to sweetness honey.
Teach me to taste the essence
Of each place I alight,
Carrying that essence with me
To continue creation’s cycle.
Teach me the ways of hope,
Reminding me that what seems impossible
May yet be achieved.
Flitting tears of the gods,
Draw me ever closer to the wisdom
Hidden within beauty.
Give me flight and sunlight,
Passion and productivity,
Cooperation with those around me
And sharpened strength to defend my home.
May I ever spiral out from my heart,
Searching for what I need,
And return there once again
To turn those lessons into nourishment.
Bee spirit, I call you.
Source: Animal Totem

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Jaymie Elder is a soul journey guide, artist, photographer and traveller offering intuitive Soul Sessions internationally via Skype. Jaymie is dedicated to supporting others to heal and grow towards their authentic self – and a life in harmony with their heart and soul being. Learn more about Jaymie and her work here.

Please share your feedback in the comments below…If you enjoyed this post, please share it, follow my blog or register to receive notifications in your email box for my future posts. Thank you!

Copyright © Jaymie Elder 2018 – If you wish to use only some of the text you read here on social media – please do so respectfully by acknowledging Jaymie as the author with links to her website/blog http://www.rainbowtreewoman.com. All photography in this post: Copyright © Jaymie Elder / Juerg Dreamturtle 2018

 

The Soul Purpose of our Journey


Do you wish to grow towards being your authentic self,…
or continue to be pressured to “achieve”
based on the values and expectations of other people and society?

In today’s world, there is much pressure to conform and achieve according to the standards of other people and society. Success is seen as being “driven”, “motivated”, “famous”, “looking good”, “getting ahead” and accumulating status, popularity or material possessions.

Let us ask ourselves these questions,… Are we being true to our heart? Are we sharing the true essence of who we are? Despite our self-doubts and vulnerabilities, do we find the courage to keep moving forward and into the unknown? Is the life we live a reflection of our own gifts, talents, and creative expression? Are we sincerely devoted to our path of healing and growing? Are we in alignment with a greater, higher power rather than our ego’s shallow needs, wants and desires?

Mainstream society does not encourage self-reflection and completely neglects the inner journey of discovering who we are, embodying our unique, creative potential and a sense of purpose for our life.

Continue reading “The Soul Purpose of our Journey”

Journey with my Lion – what it means to embody Lion energy.

I believe that when we are ready and open, a spirit animal will appear to us – as our teacher, friend and guardian. This spirit animal may be a life companion who remains close to us, throughout our entire life. Alternatively, different animals may appear to us as we change, embrace new experiences and grow.

The Lion represents courage to be our authentic self – to speak and act in harmony with our heart…even if it means, we stand alone in a crowd. The Lion does not expect others to lead him, nor does he search for followers. He seeks respect, rather than attention. The Lion knows he is here for his own journey of experience, learning and self-discovery. He acts in accordance with his own heart / inner truth. He assumes full accountability and self-responsibility for his own choices and actions. As a leader, the highest service Lion offers others is to live one’s truth and lead by example with integrity and compassion.

Continue reading “Journey with my Lion – what it means to embody Lion energy.”

My soul connection with Claude Monet and my Grandmother – by Jaymie Elder

UPDATE 16.07.2020: On Monday 13th July 2020, my Grandmother peacefully transitioned to her beautiful garden in spirit… Thank you to my Mum and Dad, Aunties and Uncles for everything they did to support and comfort her, over the past few months.
“Forever Gardening”…

 

Many of us feel a deep connection to Artists who have influenced and inspired humanity throughout history.

Ever since I began journeying with Juerg 12 years ago, we have practised being open to allow our intuition to guide us to places and people, which resonate with our heart and soul. During several campervan journeys in France, Juerg and I had the opportunity to connect with many of the great Impressionist Painters – in particular, Claude Monet. These connections happened spontaneously over a period of about 2 months. It felt like we were guided to many locations, which were important for his life and work.

Impressionism developed in Paris in the 1860s. Its influence spread throughout Europe and eventually the United States. The Impressionist Artists rejected the fine finish and detail to which most artists of their day aspired. Instead, they aimed to capture the momentary, sensory effect of a scene – the effects of light, the passage of time, changes in weather and other shifts in the atmosphere. To achieve these effects, many Impressionist Artists moved away from the studio to the streets and countryside, painting en plein air (outdoors).

Many consider Claude Monet to be the founding Father of Impressionism. The term Impressionism derived from a painting by Claude Monet – a view of the port of Le Havre in the mist – “Impression, Sunrise” 1872.

claude_monet_-_impression_sunrise_1872_impressionism_48x63cm_small“Impression, Sunrise” 1872, Musee Marmottan Monet

“During dawn, day, dusk, and dark and from varying viewpoints, some from the water itself and others from a hotel room looking down over the port….They asked me for a title for the catalogue, it couldn’t really be taken for a view of Le Havre, and I said: ‘Put Impression.” – Claude Monet

As from my early teens, Claude Monet’s tranquil garden and beautiful paintings have fascinated me. This was thanks to the influence and admiration of his work by my Grandmother who is a well-known artist and gardener in New Zealand – now over 90 years old.

For a long time, it has been a dream of mine to visit Claude Monet’s home and garden in Giverny, France. Two years ago, this dream became a reality.

1 (3)Monet’s Lilly Pond, Giverny, France, June 2015

While visiting Monet’s home and garden and travelling along the Normandy Coast to many of the places where he lived and painted – I felt a connection to my grandmother, far greater and more powerful than I have ever experienced in my life. (Physically, I was 19,159km away from her!)

The relationship I have with my Grandmother has enabled me to experience the depth and magic of an energetic, spiritual connection, which transcends time, distance and space.

*      *      *

Journey to the Birth Place of Impressionism – Normandy Coast


After visiting Claude Monet’s beautiful garden in Giverny, Juerg and I spent 3 weeks travelling the Normandy Coast in our campervan. Monet grew up in the major port city of Le Havre. The sea was a constant background of his whole childhood, and it is said that he spent more time roaming the beaches than in the classroom.

“It was at home I learned the little I know. Schools always appeared to me like a prison, and never could I make up my mind to stay there, not even for four hours a day, when the sunshine was inviting, the sea smooth, and when it was joy to run about the cliffs in the free air, or to paddle in the water.” – Claude Monet

During the 1880s, Monet rediscovered the Normandy coast and made repeated visits there to draw by the sea. He was attracted to the dramatic cliffs and unique rock arches.

One of my most memorable experiences on the Normandy Coast happened only thanks to an argument I had with Juerg! (everything happens for a reason!…) 😊 Feeling emotional and annoyed, I went for what turned out to be an inspiring and magical walk on my own. Within about half an hour of walking, I found myself on top of a huge cliff overlooking an historic church and a beautiful, wild ocean scene.

On my walk, I was surprised to find signposts describing details about the early years of Monet’s life spent on the Normandy Coast, as well as displaying several paintings he created of the ocean and coastal scenery. Monet created close to 100 paintings along this coastal area and often he would return numerous times to the same scene, until a painting was completed.

My tranquil walk offered a beautiful and intimate soul connection with a man both myself and my Grandmother were so inspired by. Standing alone on top of the cliff, with no one else around, I experienced a timeless and expansive sense of the feelings and emotions, which Monet had captured in so many of his paintings.

Cliff-Walk-at-Pourville-monet-1024x772“Cliff walk at Pourville.” 1882. Art Institute of Chicago.

When I finally returned to our campervan, I wanted to surprise Juerg. I suggested he follow me on the walk to experience what I had discovered in a similar, spontaneous way.

Together, we followed another path past a small herd of content goats and down towards the beach. We found more signposts displaying paintings, which Monet had created of the beautiful coastal scenery we were witnessing.

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What followed this experience, was more fluid moments of synchronicity as we “happened” to arrive in many special places, scenes, and villages where Monet had produced some of his earliest impressionist paintings.

Rapid brushwork and vibrant colours display images of sky, cliffs, sea and beach, which have become some of the most memorable and popular images in Impressionist art.

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Night-spot at Fecamp, Normandy Coast, June 2015

“Staying in Fecamp in 1881, Monet brought back 22 canvases, capturing sometimes the cliff tops, sometimes the sea. The beach is deserted, with not a human figure in sight, giving way to a scattering of rocks that disappear into the waves frothing at the shore. Painted using large, vertical brushstrokes, the cliff top is saturated with light from the sky and sea, composed of yellows, blues, and oranges. In the distance, the bolder green hue of the deep water sets off the sparkling line of the horizon.” (Information found at the site where Monet Painted -“Fecamp, Bord de Mer.”)

Later, our journey lead us to the Art Museum Le Havre, which houses major Impressionist paintings from such artists as Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pisarro and Eugene Boudin. Museum Le Havre is known as France’s best museum of Impressionist paintings after the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

1monetfecamp“Fecamp, Bord de Mer” 1881, Museum Le Havre.

The whole experience of many spontaneous, synchronistic and magical moments made me feel as if my Grandmother and Monet were there with me and guiding us on our journey. I gained a much deeper appreciation for the beauty of his work – especially the colour and light he portrayed based on the landscapes he knew so well. Monet was fascinated with the changing effects of light in nature.

“For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere, which gives subjects their true value.” – Claude Monet

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More than a Grandmother…


grandmaMy Grandmother – Joan Elder – in her Garden in New Zealand (several years ago now).

Growing up in New Zealand, I was very inspired my Grandmother’s passion for painting. My Grandmother loved to be outdoors – painting or sketching in nature. Some of her subjects included rural farm scenery with early pioneer cottages from our region. More often, she painted plants, flowers, trees, pathways and picturesque, tranquil scenes from her own garden. Sometimes, we went on painting and drawing excursions together. However, it was only after my experiences in France that I began to appreciate why my Grandmother was inspired all her life by the work of Claude Monet – both his paintings and amazing garden.

Throughout my life and especially in my early 20’s, I cherished the company of my grandmother in the sanctuary of her garden. Her beautiful garden was well known and often visited by garden enthusiasts from both New Zealand and overseas.

There were many times that I felt she was the only person in the world who would truly listen. She was not only a grandmother, but a wise friend and honest, sincere companion. My grandmother and I shared many magical times together and I remember always leaving her garden with a bunch of beautiful flowers, herbs and a lighter, brighter feeling in my heart.

Looking back, I know it was her devotion, humility and gratitude for the small things, which made her simple life connected to nature so rich, self-sustaining and rewarding.

My grandmother always told me to follow my heart and that it did not matter what anyone thought of the decisions and choices I made. She helped me to see that many people may not understand my journey, but the most important was that I was happy with my choices and true to my heart.

1 (21)Rhododedron’s, My Grandmother’s Garden

During my life away from New Zealand, I would often phone my grandmother and she would say to me, “Jaymie, I’ve just been thinking of you!”. She would also say this whenever a letter arrived in her mailbox from me. When I call her on the phone from Europe, she always says that I sound so close, like I am in her next bedroom. 🙂 Today, I may not be in contact with her as much as I would like to, but I know and feel that when I am thinking of her, she is feeling it and likewise thinking of me too.

spiderwebcolour“Web of Light – Spider Web in the Sunlight” Pyrenees, France 2014

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We are infinite, spiritual beings


We are infinite, multi-dimensional beings experiencing life though a physical earth-form. When we fully embrace our spiritual being, we know and feel we are NOT limited by time, space or our physical bodies. When we think of someone, we feel love in our heart chakra and this energy instantly reaches the soul of the person we are connecting with.

In my early twenties, I learnt about distance and energy healing through Reiki courses. However, it is only now thanks to my own experiences and journey, that I understand what this means on a much deeper level. There is so much more to our being and our world, which we do not see with our eyes and cannot grasp with our limited human understanding.

For the past 16 years, I have been on a journey to reclaim and heal the part of myself, which I call my innocent child. She is the free spirit within me that was and still is very connected to Nature. My innocent child believes, feels and sees magic and wonder – all around her. It is through her that I experience a world interconnected by a divine, creative force.

jmeMe, 9 years old “Gypsie Fortune Teller” (“Book Character Day” at my primary school)

I am grateful for the teachers in my life (my grandmother, Juerg) and many others who have helped me on this journey of reclaiming, healing, learning and growing. I have realised on my journey that sometimes a soul family member can help us the most by NOT “being there” for us, either physically or emotionally. This is because we are then forced to dig deeper within ourselves to understand the true origin of our pain and longing. It is through our inner work of healing, understanding and personal growth we can connect more deeply with our spiritual essence, our true self, and the love and wisdom in all of creation.

At some stage, we come to realise it is “thanks” to the people who “left” and “hurt” us that we have embarked on the journey to reconnect with the deepest part of ourselves – our soul, spirit being and our true, creative and divine purpose.

“It is on the strength of observation and reflection, that one finds a way. So, we must dig and delve unceasingly.” – Claude Monet

waterlillies_jaymieMonet’s Lillie pond, Giverny, France June 2015

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Claude Monet – Final years – 1916-26


In Monet’s final years, he increasingly suffered from cataracts. He was often fearful of becoming completely blind. It became harder for him to work outside, so instead he built a large studio on his property in Giverny and began to paint the vast, abstract canvases known as “The Grand Decorations”. These masterpieces are 91 meters long (almost 300 feet long). They are two meters high, which is as high as Monet could paint when he stood. Two rooms were eventually necessary to accommodate them and they took him close to 10 years to complete.

Claude-Monet-Photography-of-the-artist-Photo-Credits-Kids-EncyclopediaMonet standing next to his work “The Grand Decorations”

“Monet reversed the laws of the universe, a new way of seeing the world, the infinitely small and the infinitely large, the boundless depth and space of the earth reflected in a pond with only his brush and remembered light and colour.” (“Monet’s Garden in Giverny, inventing the landscape.”)

Monet died of lung cancer on 5 December 1926, at the age of 86. Monet’s home, garden, and waterlily pond were bequeathed by his son Michel, his only heir, to the French Academy of Fine Arts in 1966.

Through the Fondation Claude Monet, the house and gardens were opened for visits in 1980, following restoration. The house and garden, along with the Museum of Impressionism, are major attractions in Giverny, which hosts some 500 000 visitors each year during the open season of seven months.

DSCF0817Entrance to Monet’s Home, Giverny, France (June 2015)

My soul connection with my grandmother and Monet will continue to inspire me on my journey. One day, I would love to visit the massive Impressionist paintings of waterlilies, known as the Grand Decorations, in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris. Time will tell if this dream will become a reality!

The purpose of this post is not only to share my experiences of connection between Claude Monet and my Grandmother. I wish to encourage others to dream, open, be inspired and follow their own soul guidance, especially if that means reconnecting with an Artist, Writer, Actor, Musician, Philosopher (or any person who has made a positive and profound impact on humanities consciousness). Any time we feel real love or passion for an Artist, there is something important trying to be made conscious in regards to our own soul journey.

“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” – Claude Monet

apc“Matin” *troisième panneau* (“Morning” *third Panel*) Claude Monet 1920-26 Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris

(Photographs featured in this post – Copyright © Jaymie Elder and Juerg Dreamturtle 2017)


Jaymie Elder is a soul journey guide, artist, photographer and traveller offering intuitive guidance/sessions internationally via Skype. Jaymie is dedicated to supporting others to heal and grow towards their authentic self – and a life in harmony with their heart and soul being. Learn more about Jaymie and her work here.

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