Photo Credit: Roger Kirby

Dreaming of Destruction….again!

Just before my last waking this morning, I had a series of dreams. They were very strong in their imaginary.

See what you make of them and I’ll tell you what they mean to me at the end.

Dream#1: Nothing Left to Eat…

We are a small tribe/community living in a glade type valley and we are foraging for food and living our lives.

There are mini dramas going on, just as in any culture but something ominous was looming. It becomes clear that we were running out of food and that before long we would have to find more or we were all going to starve to death.

A group of us took off to search whilst the elders stayed behind and took their chances, unafraid for their survival unlike ourselves. We were hungry!

We came up a leafy hill and everything stopped. The massive strip of ground before us was as bare as could be.

Tilled soil was all that stood there as far as the eye could see up to the brow of the massive hill. My guts went weird as a ferocious sound hit us. Although we knew we should run now, we were transfixed.

Dogs came running over the hill towards us. They didn’t look like the type of dog to be fierce, they were golden retrievers! However their appearance did nothing to allay the reality that they were protecting their site and we were clearly trespassing!

That’s the end as far as I can remember.

Dream#2: Trouble in The Air…

We were driving to my friend’s house up the Weymouth Avenue and just at the top by the traffic lights we spied a sight that we had never seen for real in this area. A twister!

We debated  for a minute how serious it was. It was soon clear that it was very serious indeed and headed right for us.

My first instinct to carry on in the direction I was going, which may have actually taken us beyond the path of the wind tunnels, was immediately over-ridden by a strange mix of ‘I have to get home!’ and deep panic.

Home meant doing a U-turn in the road and I was aware of traffic all around…and home was where it was headed. Where should we turn, and how fast could we run without contributing to the general panic?

Time for the general synopsis…

Dreams are multidimensional and usually contain at least two levels of understanding, one cultural (global) and two, personal.

On a personal level both dreams seem to say to me that I’ve hit my nemesis.

In some sense I am up against the ‘survivalist’ dream. The ability to sustain myself is somehow under threat, either for real or metaphorically.

This could have always been the case, and something I am now discovering (new territory) or something that is coming upon me as new realizations dawn (threatening circumstances). On both counts the message is quite clear.

ACT! Now is not the time for contemplation…for me this is clearly a call to clear and concise decision-making.

Trust your first instinct! If that is to run, just choose the right direction. If that is to stand your ground (more appropriate with dogs than tornadoes!) then do that!

The worst thing I can do now is vacillate in self-doubt! Making the wrong decision is the fear but making no decision is fatal!

Global Interpretation…

(Remember this is my own!) OK. So we are at some ‘event horizon’ and all we see before us is barren land and…the dogs of war? We know not what is beyond the horizon and all we can sense is despair at our uncertain future.

Let me give you the alternative ending…

(Penned in my waking hours!)

A New Perspective

Immediately we all sink to our knees, drop our gaze to the ground and stretch out our arms. The dogs pick up on our non-resistance and almost simultaneously they become our friendly welcoming committee. They run up to us licking our face and wagging their tales.

They communicate that they’ve been waiting for us and protecting the land. They lead us over the bow of the hill where we behold a Golden City before us. We know instantaneously that before us lie the treasure of abundance.

The Golden City is replete with good food, shelter and companionship. We make plans to go and fetch the rest of the tribe to bring them to the city. The city exceeds all our expectations. It’s golden hue is a sign of its enlightened vibration.

Mankind has finally learned to live in harmony with nature. The barren field is merely ready for us to plant the seeds if our choice, and we are welcome into the city as long-lost sisters and brothers. We are home.

Now that’s much better!

Bonjour mes amis…

she holds her hands up to the sky blue patterned alien friend
“Blue Friend” mixed media on board Copyright © Phoebe Thomasson 2014

Just a little note to tell you that I am filling up my pages with my artwork if you want to come and take a look…oh, it’s all going on here!

I’ve taken up a life coaching course and now I can’t stop working because my vision has exploded…funny that; why does it take someone else to give us permission to be the person we want to be? What went wrong with school eh?…yeah, don’t all answer at once…my boy is not going to school because I want him to believe in himself when he grows up…and all the time in-between…

Anyway, I think you should probably come in…it’s time….

x:-)

Success: plant growing through the concrete by txpotato

The Failure of the Concrete is the Plant’s Success: The Benefits of Not Succeeding…

As a follow up to my post of the other day (here) I am quite keen to share my latest thoughts on failure and how useful it can be on the path to success. I would go so far as to say that failure is an essential part of success! In other words I don’t think we can succeed, fully and deeply until we have had our fair share of fails.

Why do I say this? Well apart from the fact that all the experts in the field agree with me 😉 I am also reaching my own conclusions quite independently based on my own experience, which has, funnily enough included bags of failure if I’m honest about it! I flunked art school, quit jobs, got the sack from other jobs, failed to complete numerous courses, went a few times to classes and never went back…you name it I’ve ‘failed’ at it. I even sucked at door to door sales…but to be honest it was the most horrendous experience of my life so it was good to fail at that! I’ve not even mentioned the numerous relationships that have gone by the by! Now that was much more painful but I still learnt a lot about myself.

Anyway. My point being, that as a result of trying all these things and somehow finding I lacked the requisite know-how/discipline/organization or personality traits (patience, kindness, understanding, humility et al) I am still here! I didn’t die of shame, (even though I felt it for a while) and that’s the main thing! Sometimes we cling so dearly to a thing we believe we must succeed at, (despite it not feeling good in the slightest) that we entirely miss the point of it all.

Now I’m not suggesting for a minute that we don’t apply ourselves to things or ‘work’ at them but there are things in life that just ain’t our thing. If it is our thing but we don’t yet know it, and we just need more expertise or experience, then dropping it for a while, if needs be, will only serve to show us that it is our thing after all.

If something is a good fit, it will always come back to us in one form or another. Even people we love can remain our friends despite not working on an intimate level if we are open to that…

The beautiful thing about failure is that when we get good at it, it is like an art form in its own right. It becomes a process of letting go, like falling off a log. When we need to let go, it is right to let go, but we don’t because we cling to this fear of ‘the fail’ and unwittingly we arrest our own development.

Our process depends on failure!!!

What I’m suggesting is that we allow our natural tendency to fail at things to guide us towards what we will excel at! I’m sure you know the Thomas Edison story as he tried to invent the light bulb? Well that’s all well and good but do we know how to fail with grace and good feeling…and then carry on? Notice how, unlike Edison I am not denying the ‘failure’ thing. For me it has been more useful to accept it for what it is and move on. But interestingly enough both attitudes can benefit us; I’m just giving an alternative version! Whatever you want to call it…it’s important to carry on! Just try approaching something in a new way or take a new attitude, if it’s your thing that is! I guess the light bulb really was his thing!

The Paradox Strikes…

I didn’t get it for ages. The paradoxical revelation came for me when I started acknowledging that I had failed and that I was all right with that. As I came to terms with my lack of ‘follow through’ it ceased to matter so much and as the skies of self-recrimination cleared, I could finally see that alongside the fails were a whole bunch if successes!

Self-awareness, self-knowing and understanding are some of my best assets now. I know what turns me on and what leaves me cold and I choose to flow with the river of bliss and not the trudge of duty…

By learning about myself I can now control my destiny…more so than ever. If I had doggedly stuck with the first ‘job’ that had come along I’d still be washing dishes in a potato bar….I’m glad I got the sack! I’m glad I quit! I’m glad I didn’t go back.

Now I am following a path of my choosing and learning something exciting everyday! Now that’s what I call success!

Seamless: A Revealing Journey…A Poem

photo credit CLUC

I just awoke from a dream….not seconds.ago…and this was the journey that I saw…

Like travellers we strode
Cross valley
And mountain ridge
Like gritty royal characters
The peasants we did pass
We looked up from our toil
To see the royal throng
We stopped with wonder
As we saw ourselves go by

We were transvestites on the beach
Hollering with love and confusion
Dressed in our cross referenced illusion
We looked up to see the punks
Running towards us through the sand
We were charging skins red raw from battle
Worn with tattooed sides and red blood
Running in veins so wild
As we flew towards our quarry
Till we saw the whites of their eyes
And stopped….amazed at seeing
Ourselves

We were landed gentry
Enjoying feasting off the fat of the land
I took her hand
Silken gown flowing down
Not far removed from the royalty
Of yesteryear
You were my servant when I spied you near
I looked up to see my lord’s eyes
Over serving caviare and scones did I then
Come to realize
There was something of me
Behind those wine soaked eyes

I was buccaneer in my office with my phone
Leather case now replace breeches
But my pirate nature with me
Has eternally flown
I steal your money
You’re women your rent
I saw in my whore something new
A her blouse I tore asunder
I saw the thunder in his heart
As wantonly I took my legs
Apart at the seams you took me there
There was something in that
Piratical stare
I almost choked on my red soaked
Lips when I saw my child
My former bliss
In your eyes I am your mother
Your sister
Your lover

We all came round the corner
Up the street to where Goliath’s meet and he was gin-soaked
Riding a horse of Gothic
Proportion
He was waiting
But not waiting
The witch and the warden
the characters all came to him and he nodded
Off to the egg with his weighty smile
Revealed from the door
Those eyes once more…

Sat in the space pod
Was myself; it was me from the outside!
He smiled
The circle complete
Ourselves we did meet…

Though my poetry’s bad
Such a night we all had.

P.Thomasson
2014

This poem is alluding directly to Andy Weir’s short story called ‘The Egg’

Photo Credit CLUC

Handling the new moon with grace

The new moon. The dark moon. What, if anything does this signify to you?

To me it engenders the Yin energies of our cycle and is, in essence, a time of emptying and letting go. Being more responsive and yielding are the character signatures of the Yin side of our nature. After studying my own behaviour at this time I believe I have found the key energies representative of this period.

The skill is in learning to express the positive aspects of things as there is always a choice. For that we must acknowledge our own feelings toward moon phases and anything else for that matter! This is an invitation for you to dig in and excavate your own truths. It’s aim is to stimulate self inquiry.

These are my personal findings offered in the spirit of sharing that you may uncover your unique approach…

This is a collection of intuitive guidelines designed to be used around the week of the new moon, both before and after. It will soon expand as you add your own understandings. I am very interested to hear how they work for you and what happens when you try my suggestions.

The Dark Moon Protocol
(five day period)

It would be better to go with the flow at these times and not resist the desire to try new and refreshing things but only if they are part of the natural course of the flow. Now is not the time to force anything. Gently coax things and be prepared to let things start and stop sporadically if they need to.

Now can be a great time to make dynamic changes but not by inputting more information. By sitting in contemplation we can bring forth the seeds of what has already been sown. Now is the time for gestation of new ideas. We must plant and water those seeds and warm them with our kind attention.

Now is the time for releasing output. Favor writing over reading. Sitting and writing out thoughts and lists of things that are running around our head is a good way to clear the decks for the new growth coming. It is best to follow the urge to purge at this time. It is a time of preparation. You don’t need to do the list, just make it. Don’t leave any area unaccounted for.

Releasing things on any level is a great dark moon practice. Taking old things to the charity shop, allowing emotional issues to drop and forgiving our friends are three examples. Let go of the need to fill up the mind but instead turn to the body and make sure it is getting all the nutritional support needed. Also make time for nourishment of the spirit. Now is not the time to skimp on activities that nurture and support your growth.

Engaging in gentle physical activity and being peaceful is favourable to study and work related projects. Anything that brings peace and tranquillity is reflecting the nature of the moon at this time. Stay well hydrated and eat for health and comfort. Now is not the time for fasting or regimes that favour austerity.

Music at this time should be relaxed and positive. Think Cafe Del Mar or Buddha Bar. Resist the urge to thrash around or overstimulate your energies with Rock or Metal; leave that for the Full moon!!

The Buddhist meditation on Emptiness would be a very good practice at this time as the essence of emptiness is strongly apparent.

Key Words

NURTURE, REST, REFLECT, RELEASE, FLOW, STEADY, CALM, PEACEFUL, EMPTINESS, SEED, CONTEMPLATE.

Why? Because I am a truth seeking missile

Why is by far the most pertinent, relevant and integral question.

Why?

Ha! Because without it we are unsure. Unsure that what we are doing is the right thing. Unsure of our reasons for the relentless pursuit of excellence despite the hardships. Unsure of the reason for our very existence.

Being unsure about such fundamentals is only going to lead one way. Down. So lets change the program from the ‘how’ of things and free the way for the main man.

Why oh why? We lament. But really, how long have you sat and applied this question to your current project, work or choice of careers? Probably not as long as you should.

If we ask why we will get to the heart of the matter and perhaps unearth the missing pieces that are keeping us stuck. It is probably the most enlightening question on earth….

Here is what I discovered when I asked why and went beyond the obvious…

Why do I write?

Because I am a conduit of truth and in seeking the answers I am so inspired that my discoveries must have somewhere to go…to be processed.
Because the quest is there in black and white. It can be assimilated, rediscovered, transmitted between idioms and shared.
Because it calms me, clears me out and helps to crystallize my thoughts.
Because it’s fun! Deep! Cool! Savvy! Interesting! Intelligent and Sane!
Because if I don’t I do not have any leverage. I cannot transform without releasing the flow of thoughts.
Because I would become constipated with words if I didn’t and bore the pants off all my friends…(I may do that already!).

Why do I blog?

Because it is a way for me to transmit my findings to others.
It stops me hoarding my knowledge.
Because sharing is healthy and we are right to use our freedoms.
Because freedom of speech is going to change the world to a better place.
Because it is an exercise in non-attachment.
Because it helps me overcome perfectionism.
Because it’s fun, creative, exciting, challenging, inspiring, satisfying, enriching.
Because books are much harder to write and I’m not ready for that.
Because it keeps me doing what I love.

Well I think the reasons are all there…I should just carry on. How about you. Why are you?

Photo Credit Joana Croft

Why Euphoria Is The Enemy of Joy

For years I’ve battled with depression. What I never understood and took into account was the other side of the coin. Euphoria.

Euphoria is like a fire dance. It looks good against the darkness but when the fuel runs out then you still have the darkness.

Having never been diagnosed with the label ‘Bi-Polar’ I never considered the intense ‘ups’ of my experience to be anything more than the expression of my natural ebullience for life. These energies would manifest in quite excessive behavior which merely fitted my self-image as a ‘bit of a rebel’.

I could live with that and rather liked the label as it gave me license to do crazy stuff, wear outlandish clothes, smoke and drink myself silly. Nothing wrong with that I thought! No, not much! Apart from the obvious physical damage, there was something else. What I hadn’t taken into account was the other me. The sensitive, shy, thoughtful and serious me that wanted to be taken ‘seriously’ as an artist but never really got a look in because ‘bolshy sista!’ was in command…most of the time.

The other me showed up on the back of the Black Dog (Depression) and came in all tears and insecurity. I hated her! Or at least ‘queen bitch’ hated her and called her horrid names which made her cry even more. I would sit up with insomnia night after night doing yoga, smoking cigarettes, eating or surfing on the internet because I couldn’t get any head peace, such was my torment!

Now I understand why I could never resolve the depression until now. I was attached to the ‘high’ me and that person didn’t know how to stop!

The  tormented ‘come downs’ and psychotic breakthroughs were clearly a result of my reckless drug taking and my relentless pursuit of creative and sexual highs! Ultimately, the ‘high life’ became my undoing.

Emotional Sobriety…

Today I am more sober than ever and happier than I’ve ever known. I’ve had some sense knocked into me at last, but I couldn’t hear the truth of the matter for years as I played the fool to cover over my insecurities. It was a mere front for the longing I really felt to be recognized by others. A simple desire to be loved for who I truly was, even though I couldn’t see her except through the eyes of a few staunch believers.

I am finally relieved of the mantle I set many years back when I looked to role models that were skin deep. I thought I could be a Blondie without knowing anything more than her image. I thought I could be a rebel but found out that I didn’t really have anything to rail against because I was a middle class girl who ostensibly had everything.

Why do it? Because we were too young to know the difference between the lipstick life and the rich bounty of life in the secure lane and we were never taught by security. We were taught rules and what not to do.

I don’t resent my upbringing but it does leave me asking, are kids really getting it any different today? Are they learning about what makes them tick or are they being told what not to do and left high and dry when they step out of line.

Is your rebel really an insecure creative looking to fly her own skies with the bounty of her full gusto?

Namaste

Photo Credit Ritvik

Wouldn’t it be nice if one day there were no locks on your doors?

Well, I’m not talking about your real doors of course, though this would suggest that we’ve finally reached the utopian ideal of a peaceful golden age where no one needs to lock anything and that would indeed be lovely. No. I’m talking about your creative castle doors which are far more accessible than utopia and easier to unlock than you may imagine.

In the last blog Strategies for Unlocking the Creative Castle I talked about lock one which is the #trimmings and peripherals lock which needs some fun experimentation and a moderate amount of information gathering.

I hope you got some insights into what turns your lights on and spins your taps to full-bore? If not go and read it again and have a happy week experimenting.

If you fancy doing things in no particular order I fully endorse that too. Here we go.

Lock #Two: MINDSET

I am an artist who likes to do things in completely crazy and unconventional ways
I am an artist who can work in many different mediums at any time I choose
I am a writer, I’m not being an artist with paint today but with words
I am a tired artist who has done enough writing for now and will go to bed
I am an artist sleeping in an artistic way dreaming up inspiration for tomorrow

Ok. there are a few mindsets for you. Pick one and ride with it for an hour, a day, a minute. Whatever works NOW and takes you to the next NOW.

DO NOT dawdle in grey indecision. Know that you are there and beat a hasty retreat. Where? Somewhere…clean the bath for all I care just get out of the greyness. It is not a good place for you to be. Your locks will rust with boredom and no key will be able to reach you.

Find a mindset. Experiment. Say how great you are…go on!pretend! If it works it works. Now experiment some more and find some paper and a pen…there you go….see? Easy does it….

BABY STEPS towards the door. Turn the key carefully and don’t choke on the dust when you open the tomb. You in? Good.

This room is going to get a makeover!

See what we did there? Yay!

It’s called a visualization. Sorry for the patronizing tone there but my mind is loving it and so should yours; it’s a playful child-like thing if you are creatively invested in it so it really doesn’t mind the odd patronization. Only adults fear being talked down to so you have to try to circumvent the grown up and tell it to be something important like an ‘observer’ and observe the rules of St. Fu….in other words Shut The F*** Up. No offence intended, honest guv.

Good. Now the child can play.

Enter Stage Left: Quiet peace and wonder. They all play with wooden bricks and smile as the sun streams through the window. {Laughter}

That’s the feeling. The magic when you are in your castle. From whence does it cometh?

Mind set. Mind set. Mind set.

It’s a play. It’s scenery. It’s music, mood and lighting. It’s lines delivered and audience wooed. It’s theatre. That’s the mind. That’s the scene, NOW you are the dancing queen….

Argghh! how did Abba get in?…they get in everywhere! Exactly. Do you remember the dreaminess on their faces? The Glow and The Shine? The trousers…er…they had the MIND SET!

Go play…
Go dream…
Go look at who your imagination says you can be…

That’s key #2 in a nutshell.
Right there.

🙂

Strategies for Unlocking The Creative Castle

Imagine never having a problem with starting a new piece of work ever again!
Imagine a big iron key ring with all the keys to your creative castle!

Block=B-Locked

Every lock needs a key!
From now on I invite you to use the image of ‘being locked’ instead of ‘blocked’.

No matter how far down the line you think you are in terms of artistic ‘locks’, or how long you’ve been ‘locked’ for, and no matter how expert you are at finding valid reasons why you can’t possibly be creative today, not ever, you can choose to override your own belief systems right now.

When you are caught in that space you know so well, when you are thinking you will never figure out how to make the next move, resist the urge to believe in the futility of it all!

Realize instead that there is another way; a ‘subroutine’ that you can learn that will insure, in the long run at least that you will never have to suffer long term locks again!

The methods I use will get you into your inner space where you can look dispassionately at what you have to do to create the kind of conditions that will enable you to paint, draw, write or whatever it is you do.

Don’t ask how just yet but simply create a list of conditions you imagine you need to make headway.

My own list looks something like this;

More time
More focus
More energy

Ok. That’s fine for starters but it’s really vague. What we need are specifics.

There is a vibe that goes with the creative flow that we must learn to evoke strongly enough that it starts to erode the locked energy as water does stone. This is a process to repeat over and over until you are familiar with the elements involved.

I’m going to start with a cup of tea. Not any tea but a herbal tea blend with cinnamon and ginger that has particular significance to me. What? For me this tea evokes a feeling of strength and tranquility, two of the elements I need to create.

Candles, music, certain clothes or scents will all have attributes that play a part in awakening our sense of flow. Spend some time becoming aware of your preferences in each of these areas.

Dismissing the peripherals as insignificant is to deny the nature of human creative expression. These are your keys into the castle. The castle has many rooms and you will need many keys. Don’t skimp on the atmospherics as they are what will take you into the mysterious central chambers where the meat of your creative life is stored.

Likewise, don’t wait for perfect ambience either. Enough to get your juices flowing is all that is required. I am here in the study/office/computer room which is currently too cluttered and disorganized for my liking. However, I have managed to circumvent that distracting reality by employing a few key elements that have instantly put me ‘in the mood’.

One: I have my hot three milks spicy drink on the go…
WHY? BECAUSE…it helps me feel nurtured (in case you are wondering it’s coconut milk, soya milk and goats milk and today because I’m coldy I’ve a generous helping of Cayenne Pepper, crushed Cardamon and it’s all sweetened with Coconut Sugar. Super Yum!).

Two: My laptop is set to full screen enabled by the f11 key and also within the editing suite of WordPress…
WHY? BECAUSE…then there are no immediate distractions in my face. I’m easily distracted and I KNOW THIS ABOUT MYSELF!

Three: right in front of me is a nice plant, then a wall with a wide and beautiful picture of rock strata and waves lapping…

WHY? BECAUSE…That’s enough to hold my forward gaze whilst thinking when I hit a stall. I don’t need to look left or right, oh and also I have a supportive chair, and bare feet; that’s always a good one if it’s warm enough (it’s warmer round here in January with the central heating on than it is for half of the summer in the UK!)

WHY…..????

You get the idea. So. Settings and peripherals are lock number one.

If you had noticed my use of WHY and BECAUSE that’s also a conscious decision to make these things count, they have a reason for being, they are not just random occurrences. That’s not to say they were all planned just to make this blog happen, I just know that with a few of the correct elements in place it is so much easier to create. They may initially occur out of trial and error and that’s your job for the week. Watch the nice things you do for yourself and see how they ‘make’ you feel. Take notes! They’re good for you!

Tune in for lock number two coming very soon!

🙂

Vision Quest

mountain_lake

What’s your vision?
Vision of what?
The future? a different reality?

Perhaps some of us recoil at these kind of questions and judge that they are all a bit wishy washy for today’s scientific minds. But I would argue that science itself comes from the wonder of mystery and the grace of discovery.

Without a vision of something more alluring to come, what are we? I would answer that we are probably depressed and ‘dry’ in our world, physically and otherwise.

Like a lake or a stream, life is either static or moving at any given point but there is a reflection available within each state. Our moving target may be harder to spot as it is distorted by the speed of the water, but when we sit by the lake of reflection our views can become crystal clear.

It may be that we have no focus on the future because we are so busy in the river doing our thing that we cannot contemplate any sense of visionary reality, we are simply surviving and will take what is offered. This may be fine and a larger vision of family is played out to incorporate many rivers joining their race towards the sea. But when our day is done and each has their own way to travel, have we set our sights on something larger, some vista we may have once desired and shelved through inconvenience?

The far away place you dream of is just out of place now and not in keeping with your utilitarian version of day to day reality. It feels more like a dream; completely unapproachable from this waking state of fast moving river consciousness.

Or is it? Is not the far fetched utopian ideal the very ‘vision’ we require to fuel our reason for existing in the first place? The battle for realism, no matter what is undermining the capacity for us to dream.

No dream, no vision.
No vision = blindness.

So next time you find yourself stumbling through a fast moving river version of your life, ask yourself where the nearest lake is and make time to sit by it and remind yourself of the view from the point of stillness. Go on, I know you can! You never know what you might see in those still crystal waters.

Just don’t jump in without a wet suit; these mountain lakes are freezing!