If you have been following along here for the past 6 months, you might not need to read this. However, I have had more and more questions about this Book of Hours business. I have had trouble explaining it. You know when you are so close to something that you can describe the feeling of being there in it or the details like subtle textures and nuances – almost like an intimate relationship that is so private and special that you can’t really figure out what words to use that will do this amazing connection justice?
My friend Angela, a participant in the first intro course, and her husband, wrote a fantastic description of the course. I am so humbled by it but it explains everything that I have wanted to convey:
Rozanne Dioso-Lopez is the creator and facilitator of the Book of Hours Workshop—A Perspective Shifting Experience in Authentic Self-Care. The Book of Hours Workshop is for you if you want to re-learn how to trust yourself again, trust your intuition and courageously listen to your heart so that it can lead you to a joy-filled life. The Book of Hours Workshop is successful at creating the platform to re-write your life story by bringing forth who you are today—remembering Carl Jung’s words: “I am not what happened to me, I am who I choose to become.” In the group environment, Rozanne seamlessly and powerfully integrates the wisdom of the participants, her own strengths and narrative therapy that deepens participants’ humanity. Rozanne leads through vulnerability and openness guiding participants on a dignifying and inspiring journey that she, herself, takes everyday.
In this post, I am going to address some questions about what this is and why this may be the perfect workshop for you.
- What is a Book of Hours?
The original Book of Hours, made popular in the Middle Ages. It was a portable sized book of favourite prayers and psalms illuminated in a more simple fashion than the expensive, ornate versions that were illuminated by hand by the monks. They were frequently made for the lay person or woman who then passed it down from generation to generation. They often contained handwritten notes and annotations in the margins, hand-drawn portraits, and other personal reflections. Sometimes they were the only book in the house and would be used to teach the children to read. The hours were prayers that were recited at certain hours of the day. I have reinterpreted this to be a book that reflects the hours of my life.
2. How is this different than an art journalling workshop?
There are similarities but also big differences. An art journal is a general idea of mixed media arts in a journal. There are often, but not always, words mixed into the piece. It’s a less structured and more individual way of creating a journal. There could be themes or not. There is both a visual and a written aspect of creating A Book of Hours but there is a definite method and process associated with the creation of it. An art journal focuses on techniques and the output is guided by artistic inspiration. A Book of Hours focuses on the journey into self and visual output is guided by inspiration found in wisdom from others.
3. Is the Book of Hours just a personal collection of quotes?
Yes and so much more. There have been many times in my life when I have read a quote, a prayer, a poem, or a literary passage that I needed to hear or read at that particular moment in time to carry me through or to provide some source of strength and inspiration. Instead of relying on divine chance and serendipity, I have found a way to cultivate a practice so that I may draw upon the exact wisdom that I need on any particular day. The book is a beautiful by-product of the core of the workshop which is a meditative self-care practice.
4. What are the benefits of keeping a Book of Hours as opposed to only journalling?
If you journal, that’s fantastic. I journal daily as a way to reflect on everything that is going on in mind – a stream of consciousness type of writing. However, I don’t know about you but I would never share my journal with anyone. It is super private. I have always wanted to document where I am right now so that I may be able to share it with my children or that they can refer to and look back and see who their mother was while I was raising them. This is something that they love looking through and will hopefully give them a glimpse into how I viewed life while raising them.
Journalling is also difficult to the newcomer. A blank page can be daunting, not knowing where to begin. The Book of Hours is a way to ease into journalling for those who haven’t really adopted it as a practice. You can use the words of others to help you find your own. It’s a way to remember that we aren’t alone. And like Mark Twain said,
The kernel, the soul — let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances — is plagiarism. For substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily used by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them anywhere except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral calibre and his temperament, and which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing.
If you can’t find the words to express yourself, chances are someone else has done it already so why not use those as guides to jumpstart your journey into self.
5. What is this journey into self? Why is it important?
Living an unexamined life leads to a life full of confusion and doubt. You can live unconsciously and unaware for only so long. It eventually catches up to you. When you become so disconnected with who you really are, you end up living through painful cycles of hurt and regret. Not only do your external relationships suffer, the most important relationship disintegrates – the relationship with yourself. At the end of the day, you are left with YOU. There are many ways to undertake this journey into self. This is one way that has worked for me that I just had to share with the world. The Book of Hours became a gateway for me to learn how to listen to myself, rediscover my intuition, and practice meditation in a very practical and easy way.
6. Why do I need to take a workshop? Can’t I just follow along on your blog and learn from your posts?
One of the things that happens in a workshop that doesn’t happen here is the power of a collective consciousness. Being in a group with people who have the same concerns, vulnerabilities, challenges, hopes, and questions adds immensely to the discussion. Hearing my story in person, I am told, is also a huge benefit to the workshop. I have now done over 100 Book of Hours entries in my journal and have figured out a lot along the way. Miracles and massive changes have affected my life in profound ways which I have shared here but there is something about hearing this narrative as a story. I tell a story and then teach you how to tell your story and after the last workshop, I have learned more through teaching than I could have ever imagined.
7. I am not artistic. Is this just for the artistically inclined?
I believe we are all artists. Somewhere along the line, we lost that trust and faith in our ability to create – especially the ability to create our own life. We do spend some time in the workshop experimenting and playing with the media that I use and also explore the kit that comes with the class. It is a beautiful kit, carefully assembled and created by Rowena from Paper Plus Cloth. You really can’t go wrong when you use stunning, high-quality materials. And if artistic endeavours are an edge for you or if you feel creatively blocked, then this is the perfect time to embrace and to surrender to the process.
8. What are the dates for upcoming workshops?
The next intro workshop is on Wednesday, October 21 form 7:00- 9:00 pm. (More details here.) There are still some spots left. There will be a follow-up, technique and discussion-based class on November 18 which will only be open to those who have taken the intro class.
9. What benefits can I expect to receive from taking the workshop?
You will leave the workshop with a written how-to guide to start your journey, pages of inspirational words from people far wiser than me, a clear practice, sample pages, a first entry completed, and the support from a community of like-minded people. The community on the private Facebook Group has been one of the most amazing and unexpected positive effects of the workshop. This group is very active and it has been a source of inspiration for myself.
I am a homeschooling mother of five that has been able to develop and sustain a solid practice of self-care without devoting too much time in my day to it. It has made me a better mother, teacher, wife, daughter, and friend and along the way, I have discovered other parts of me that this process has uncovered – a writer, an artist, a mentor, an explorer, a facilitator, a guide. Maybe this can unlock parts of yourself that will change your life.
Here are some testimonials from the first intro workshop held this past September:
“I liked everything about the workshop. The location was perfect for creative endeavours, Rozanne’s enthusiasm for the project was infectious, the time to create an entry allowed us a chance to give it a try with some help/backup if we needed it, and the tools included were lovely. Opening the box was like opening a precious gift.” – Lynn W.
“An amazing way to care for myself. I find journaling overwhelming and this allows me to find the space for myself in a more accessible, positive and maybe even deeper way.” – Angela S.
“I had been looking for a way to rediscover my creativity, and also wanting to create a meditation practice. The Book of Hours is both all rolled into one. I love it!” – Amy
“Thank you for sharing this practice…it has become a part of the day I look forward to. Actually it’s also my 7yr old daughter’s favourite part of they day as well since she has also started her own Book of Hours. It has encouraged me to take 40mins to meditate, reflect and be creative everyday. Thank you for combining the 3 elements that will help me live a more joy-filled life.” -Princess P-V.
Please comment here if you have questions or you can email me: