Aug 302014

Claire Uhlick


It’s hard to believe that my trip to Gabriola Island is only a few short weeks away! I’m very excited to have focused studio time and a chance to break free from my day-to-day routines. I’m also looking forward to immersing myself in the vibrant island community.

I was originally selected as one of the participating artists for The Haven’s Fall 2013 Artist in Residence program. Only shortly before the trip, my mother passed away from multiple myeloma cancer. It was a devastating time for me and for my family. I am so grateful to Rachel Davey at The Haven and to the Gabriola Arts Council for being so understanding – acknowledging that at that time, I needed to be with my family, and for being flexible by allowing me the chance to complete the residency at a later date. Now, almost exactly a year later, I am eager to take advantage of this opportunity for time and space, to reflect and create.

I’m coming to The Haven with an open mind and lots of ideas. I have goals (daily and weekly) prepared to challenge myself throughout my three-week stay; but I am also open to the ways in which this opportunity might inspire some new work. My paintings come from a very honest personal place; I believe my life experience and the environment around me greatly influence my work.

I am thrilled to be coming to The Haven, and anticipating a productive time in such an inspiring place!

I will keep updates on my website throughout my trip. So keep checking in!


 Posted by at 10:44 pm
Jun 292014

At The Haven, on the evening before Ben Wong’s celebration of life, we showed a DVD of a talk that Ben and Jock McKeen gave at the Satir Institute of Manitoba in the 1990s, called the Pleasure and Price of Remaining Unaware.

So many people enjoyed watching the talk that we asked Jock for permission to make this available online. He very generously agreed (and Graemme Brown helped to fix some sound issues).

So, here it is! (It’s also available on You Tube)

 Posted by at 2:44 pm
May 132014

busyLaurie Anderson and Kim Hudson are leading The Power of Balance at The Haven, June 6–8.

How often do you find yourself saying how busy you are in one way or another?  I caught myself trying to impress my daughter with my busy schedule one day. I had to stop and laugh as she gave me one of those eyeball rolls.  I think she was right.Busy-ness is all about direction.  Without a strong underpinning of meaning, being busy isn’t that impressive.  There I was, telling my daughter that our relationship wasn’t a priority on my schedule, and it didn’t even reflect how I was truly feel. Not even a little bit.

There comes a point where being busy becomes a goal unto itself and you’re not even enjoying that cup of coffee.

There is a growing movement to explore this issue. A group of students write an interesting blog on taking the opportunity while in University to learn how to not drive yourself crazy with busy-ness.

Balanced Leadership recognizes that fear and love needs to be in balance.  Working hard, trying to stay ahead of the pack, striving to be vital and valuable as measured by how busy you are, are all manifestations of the fear-based world.  Sometimes they are a good thing.  It shows an ability to take on challenges and to dig down and accomplish your goals when required.  The problem arises when you can’t shut it off.  Pushing back against what you fear requires a judicious use of power: not too much, not too little, just right.  We call it the Goldilocks principle.

Once you have mastered this delivery of pressure, you need to also master the ability to step off the merry-go-round and recognize that you don’t have to be pushing back all the time.  Sometimes you can pull in what you love.  Smell the roses, feel appreciation, laugh more.

Pushing and pulling work as the perfect pair, like a saw in action.  Before you get busy doing, you need to get a handle on what you love and enjoy being.  Before you get busy, take a moment to find what is really important to you so you know you are moving in a good direction.  And, no matter how far you are down the wrong path – turn back!! (Great line, but not mine – it is a Tibetan proverb I was told).

To pull in what you love there needs to be play-time.  This is one of the best ways to get in touch with what is meaningful to you.  Or free time, with moments of stillness.  Understanding what is meaningful to you requires a different environment than the fast paced, get-it-done atmosphere of many workplaces.  Busy is even the root of the word business and it is all about pushing back against what you don’t want.  We need to rethink the good use of our time in the workplace and at home and build in time to pull in what we do want.  If you catch yourself feeling you are “not allowed” to goof off, stop for a minute and question that.  Maybe you need to be reminded of why you are doing what you are doing and some playful time is exactly what you need.

Balanced Leadership gives you the tools to move easily from the fear-based world of pushing back to the love based-world of pulling in – and vice versa.  It gives you the insight to know what is driving you in any given moment and from there you can make some choices.  Our next 3-day workshop, The Power of Balance,  will be at the Haven June 6,7,8.

 Posted by at 11:25 am
May 072014

Rachel Davey writes: We have just completed a ‘decluttering’ of the fireplace area in the lodge, with the intention of highlighting the beautiful mantel that was created and donated by Paul Arnold. When I contacted Paul and sent him the photo, this was his reply:

“Thank you Rachel for your thoughtful email and attached photo. I believe the work I did on my own personal growth at The Haven played a role in saving my life from a grim diagnosis of prostate cancer that I had at that time in Phase I and, as well, redefined me in a manner that could not have ever happened elsewhere without Phase II and the other programs I experienced at The Haven. My life context was completely changed and to this day, 14 or so years later from my first experience with The Haven, I continue to receive and practice the benefits of my time spent with all of you wonderful people.


“Making that mantel was a real labour of love to give something back to The Haven and to all of you that create what it offers to us. My wish, as well, is that it will also bring warmth and comfort to all who sit near it or pass by it as they embrace the ‘gifts’ that the work of The Haven gives to them.

“What is really special for me around the mantel, was that I looked over many beaches in my small boat around Gabriola to find the right tree and there it was waiting for me to find it on my own “doorstep”, lying on the beach of my own property. It had rolled back and forth being beaten by waves, rocks and sand over time, but looked exactly what I wanted. It called to me to expose its inner beauty … very much like what The Haven has done for me and continues to for so many people … thanks to Ben (bless his soul), Jock and every one of you that has created the beauty of The Haven for humanity.

“Big hugs and love to all of you, and if I am on the Island I will always visit you caring people.”


 Posted by at 4:44 pm
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