"Who am I... and who am I becoming?"

"Conceptualize where you are... and where you want to be."

The dragonfly is symbolic of transformation. Its first two years of life are underwater as a nymph, bogged down in the bog, and looks nothing like the beautiful being it will become. Not until it develops is it free to fly.

Before a person has a passion through which to focus energy, or a mission that provides a sense of purpose, they may find themselves feeling bored in school, working an unsatisfying job, struggling with an addiction or even locked in a cell. The problem is often not a lack of intelligence or physical ability, but simply not seeing a clear picture of their potential or believing they can attain it.

To gain a sense of direction and positive self-image, it is helpful to have a clear vision. Take time to view your inner landscape. Slow down. Be still. Gaze inward. Listen to your heart. Take stock of your values, interests, relationships, and skills both acquired and desired. What do you want to know? What do you love to do? What do you want your life to look like? How will you spread your wings and fly?

The Dragonfly Workshop is much more than an exercise that creates a beautiful art object. Participants weave meaning into their creation and bead a spell that facilitates a journey of self-exploration resulting in a powerful symbolic reminder of one’s potential life path.

To help guide the participant on this inward journey, they will answer questions uncovering clues to their destination, read messages left by other travelers offering insightful views, pick up keys leading to exciting opportunities, and write journal entries to record their findings.

Above images show students participating in a Dragonfly workshops at The ART BARN in Ventura and Chaparral High in Ojai, California.
Below show Workshops at the Roblito Community Center for Cultural Exchange, Nayarit, Mexico and Horse Cow Arts in Sacramento, CA.

Counting beads is a form of meditation used by many cultures including Catholics and Buddhists. Too often the mind is consumed by repetitive thought patterns dwelling on regrets and worries. Beading keeps the mind in the present, focused in a creative, positive direction. It is a relaxing activity, also very rewarding and empowering."I feel very relaxed and calmed down. I am having fun and really like the way my dragonfly is turning out," a student at a private school for 'at-risk' youth in Ojai, California wrote in his Dragonfly journal.

Beadwork can create a non-invasive way to spend time with someone. Working quietly you can enjoy each other's company speaking only when you feel like it. It provides space to think and keeps hands busy which otherwise may get fidgety. An individual beading alone may find it therapeutic to have a note pad handy to record thoughts as they appear for review later.

DRAGONFLY FACTS: Dragonflies are ancient insects. They were around before the dinosaurs! Ancient dragonflies may have been considerably larger than those we see today. A fossilized impression of a dragonfly wing, found in a coal mine in England, is the oldest known dragonfly specimen. This dragonfly lived 300 million years ago and had a wingspan of eight inches. The largest known dragonfly had a wingspan of 24 inches (two feet). Today, the largest dragonfly is found in South America and has a wingspan of slightly over seven inches. Other than being smaller, modern-day dragonflies do not look very different from their ancestors. Nymphs of some species may take as long as three years to mature. Adult dragonflies live only a few months.