Darkness or light? That is the choice, always. What we choose will be dependent on our attitude, our programming, our upbringing. There is always an opportunity for healing, wherever we shine our light. Sure, we will be hounded by the Darkside until we face it head on. That is our work. That is the only mission that really counts.
This Incantation is from The Eagles Gift, by Carlos Castaneda
“I am already given to the power that rules my fate,
and I cling to nothing, so I will have nothing to defend.
I have no thoughts, so I will see.
I fear nothing, so I will remember myself.
Detached and at ease, I will dart past the Eagle
to be free.”
You may need this when you embark upon your descent into the underworld!
Making art is only one of the many tools used by a meta-morph in the process of self-transformation.
Anything is up for grabs. Dancing, writing, walking, gym, cooking, making love….whatever!
It’s the attitude we adopt when using our tool that matters.
Many of us approach our self development practices in the same way we might hammer a nail in a wall when we’re in a hurry; quickly, mindlessly and inefficiently. We then wonder why we hit our fingers, the nail bends in the wall and the plaster falls out. Been there? I have. Lots.
Here are some questions we should be asking ourselves…
Have we really prepared by choosing the right nail for the wall in question? (are you really fit enough for that particular form of exercise? do you really like writing about that subject? are you wearing the right shoes for the walk?)
Have we taken enough time to pay attention to our hammering technique? (are you feeling the nuances of the sexual plateaus or just going in for the big ‘O’?, are you overdoing the prawns? is that the right level of tension in your shoulders for a shimmy?)
If the answer is no, then we will not get the desired result! Period. Unless we are lucky. But we are not always lucky are we!
We must keep refining, keep adapting and keep asking relevant questions. This is what leads us into our own metamorphosis. This is what causes us to Shape-shift into something we want to be.
So paying attention, being aware and practicing mindfulness are the attitudes that act as the antidotes to bruised fingers and rubbery prawns. Right?
Mindful creation, mindful exercise, mindful speech, mindful thought will get us where we want to be in life. No short cuts. Just paying attention to everything we do.
Working anything mindfully then will take us where we want to go.
Mindful of what? That’s the question isn’t it!? I can answer that…
FEELINGS, THOUGHTS, ACTIONS!
Answer now. What are you feeling? What are you thinking? What are you doing?
Keep on checking in until you have a seamless stream of attention directed to your present moment. Sounds simple. It’s not. It takes practice. You can start, right now.
But be mindful of the fact…you will forget to be mindful until you make it a habit.
And that my friends is what practice is all about.
Let the feelings you are feeling right now, tell you what is next, and how to proceed.
You know the one. The impenetrable bricks and mortar one, not the flimsy version that you can dissolve with a thought. No this is almost like hitting your mortality in the face.
I had to have a crazy scribble on the paper then run off to the loo for a little cry then escape for a coffee and a chat with Sarah.
Thank god I know what it’s all about. It’s almost certainly one symptom of burn out. I’ve been moving the house around, including the studio. I’ve also been watching other artist’s at work and simultaneously getting inspired and dejected.
The comparison game is deadly for sure.
My wall tonight was composed of the following elements:
I can’t do this
I am not able to be this ‘artist’ thing
I’m not flowing tonight
I’m in my head
I can’t do this
I am crap…..
…you get the picture. Not very inspiring stuff to have in your head. I really do have a lot to learn, and that’s ok. You never stop learning art. Same as life, no different, but I do know one thing; I am learning how to know when to stop and what to do when I’m stopped.
It’s such a relief to go “You know what. There is no pressure but my own here, I can get off whenever I want to. It’s supposed to be fun!”
And that’s where I started the night. With the intent to have fun. I did. I got to talk to fellow artists, and you know what? They all understood, in their own version, what I meant, what had happened and shared a little bit more.
That’s it in a nut shell really. Being vulnerable enough to let it out, let it out and let other’s in.
I’m getting really good at wading through emotional, mental and cognitive shit. Somehow I am surviving and coming out the other side better than before I went in. It feels amazing!
Wading through shit…that’s called being human; it’s what we do…
The wading process appears to be feeding me. In a way it’s part of who I am and how I function; to get into a mess, and have to figure a way through.
The shit wading process brings out all sorts of character traits; the lover of challenges and the inventor of approaches, the researcher of ideas and the consoler of lost dreams. It’s all there.
I love it!!!….even though I hate being in it.
I must do because I keep attracting it!
Probably something like you.
The important question to ask ourselves is whether we are sinking, floating, or wading, and why?
I’ve learnt a lot recently from friends and family, books and other things…
I’ve learnt that I often get so caught up in my own head that I forget to listen and that really pisses people off.
I’ve learnt that selfishness isn’t as bad as it’s cracked up to be and in fact is grossly misunderstood as a term.
I’ve learnt that putting others first can be detrimental to your health when you are ‘sacrificing’ your own needs. I don’t like martyrs and neither should you.
I’ve learnt that it’s OK to be a pain in the ass…sometimes; as long as there is a good reason, and you are aware of it. Otherwise you are just being an ass-hole and acting from your emotional baggage.
Sometimes we’ve just got to focus on ourselves for a while, or for ever. Sometimes we have to be selfish, or ‘concerned with our own interests‘ in order to function right. If we don’t function within the bounds of our own nature, then we are unhappy humans trying to be a shape we are not.
I am now debunking all sorts of old programming that would have me trying to fit into a square hole, when obviously I’m round.
They don’t make round squares, or square circles….
So I was never really a square after all; just a repressed and terrified round thing with no inner sense of direction. That’s modern life for you.
Fuck you! modern life for making me scared….deep down, you know what I’m talking about….right?
These are lonely times, and it’s acceptable to use whatever we can at our disposal, within reason, to help us through.
Loneliness is a killer and it’s imperative to master the art of vulnerability and reach out through the walls of our partitioned lives and into one another’s hearts and minds. Trust me, it’s not as bad as you think!
Reaching out always makes me feel better immediately, even if no-one replies, it’s that act of courage that makes all the difference. If there is a loving and friendly reply, then so much the better, but it’s the reaching out that counts.
But we want to feel heard too.
I am done with guilt and shame for needing certain things, and for my weaknesses.
I am now striving to find, and live in, my zone of genius (see Gay Hendricks for more on that).
I am working on finding my S.E.L.F. (Super, Elegant, Loving, Force)
To intimately know the S.E.L.F. and to accept it…perchance to…well, love it, is hard work!!
To live as the Super Elegant Loving Force that we truly are, requires some kind of surrender, the choice to do so, and the dropping of much baggage, just because we can. It’s an art, for sure.
Some of it can only be done in thought, carefully picking our way through our faulty assumptions about life.
Cor blimey…I am buzzing so much I may fall over with exhaustion in a minute.
I’ve just been for the most amazing energy healing and have had my Chakras cleaned. You could say I’ve been to the psychic cleaners, but you might take that the wrong way.
It’s taken me a long time to go near energy work, having had some weird experiences in the past with…um….energy. It’s funny how we can have fear and resistance to our own experience of life, especially if it doesn’t fit with the ‘norm’.
And what the fuck is that? The NORM?
I think the norm is short for Norma…..Norma Normal. She’s nice enough but she’s a bit ….dull.
I’ve never been happy with dullness. Crickey, we have enough dullness in the UK with almost year round cloud cover, non existent summers and grey concrete. We seriously don’t need any more dull here thanks very much.
So I’ve finally realised that I am a being of light and love and it’s my job to shine.
I am not Normal Norma after all and I’m very fine with that.
Well I’ve royally messed myself up today! I’ve eaten a load of ‘banned’ foods in the space of 24 hours and am now in an immense amount of pain.
I’ve been following the AutoImmune Protocol (AIP) for months now with amazing results. On a well behaved day now I am totally pain free.
I had years of undiagnosed pelvic/abdominal pain that led me to various therapies and dietary protocols, but none have worked like the AIP.
I went Primal/Paleo about a year ago and it was pretty much an instantaneous transformation.
Now I know the inflammatory properties of grains, legumes, vegetable oils and STRESS…all of which I regularly indulged in thinking they were part of a healthy diet and at least something I could do nothing about.
So going Paleo was the first enlightened step for me, giving me the energy to start my healing from ME/CFS. The next part which was the home run was going AIP.
The AutoImmune Protocol is hardcore. There’s no doubt about it. On top of cutting out all the above foods I quit nuts, seeds, pasteurized dairy, cheese and eggs.
Miraculously the rest of the gut inflammation cleared up in a matter of days.
I started in earnest on the fermented foods; instead of snacking I would have glass after glass of Kefir, and after tea a glass of Kombucha.
These fermented beverages have been my saviours because they are not only very healing to the gut lining, providing much needed friendly cultures, but they are robust enough, taste wise to kill my cravings for naughty carbs.
In a nutshell, I just binged on what I know re-ignites the inflammatory response. Seeds, nuts, grain crackers, cheese…ooops!
My question remains, as I roll through one more episode…
Hello! It’s time to meet you and give you an idea from whence I come, what I am about and what I want to cover in my Art & Healing video diaries. I can’t promise any regularity but there will be more videos along the way as I can find little windows; as you may know, I’m a busy mum recovering from ME/CFS…so hang with me a minute and see how I am healing my world.
“Healing is deeply needed in the world right now, and art is an extremely powerful way to make that happen; it’s very enjoyable, and anyone can do it!”
The inner censor is the killer on the loose in our psyches.
How do we know it’s there?… Well we don’t to start with, but if you have tried to be consistently creative and failed to keep up stamina then it might be that, like me you suffer from a strict inner censor.
The censor is very much alive in the outer world at the moment. I won’t go into it because either you know what I’m talking about because you listen to the news and it’s not my focus here.
The inner censor is the real enemy and the outer manifestation is the proof that the energy is alive and kicking in our culture.
Why does the censor do what it does? Why does it kill the creative impulse?
Because it hates imperfection. Because it loathes chaos. Because it detests the uncontrollable.
Any time we have an idea that we just can’t do something about may be a symptom that the censor is in control. The gateway is very narrow if the censor is in command as it is a mean gatekeeper that only allows the acceptable through. It has a long list of what is acceptable, but an even longer one of that which isn’t.
In the creative life we need to channel the crap as well as the good stuff. This is for the creative zone where putting our thoughts on paper is a safety net for our fears. What we do with it afterwards is another matter but unless we can get it through the gates in the first place is a matter of re-education.
We need to gently take the censor to one side and give it a bribe.
If you let more through the gates, I promise, the quality and standard of my work will improve and increase in ways you never thought possible. Do me a favour mate and look the other way when I have a crappy idea. I can’t get to the good stuff hiding underneath unless you let this through.
The censor will probably consider this a feasible option. Just make sure you make it work for its living and don’t let it rule the roost.