painting with ink on a brand new canvas

Putting Fresh Ink on the Canvas

It’s a whole new world. I’ve relaunched for 2015 my status as a professional artist. There is much work in many areas to do before I hit the sweet spot, but armed with my new-found business acumen and determination, creative inspiration and an amazing team behind me I think this time things will rock and roll.

I’ve invested heavily this season in new equipment and stuff that is going to help me along; it is no mean feat being a full-time mummy and an artist and I’ve been perilously close to the edge of burnout (again) recently, which is scary with my history (ME/CFS). But this time (as opposed to 2003) I have so many blessings on my side. Okay, I am having to work harder than usual to break through the blocks to progress which includes becoming a bit of a boring fart so that I  can focus. Going to bed early is something of an acquired taste for me but essential to overall performance.

So why was I up at 5.30 this morning? Pure excitement. Not only do I have a spanking new Word Press platform to play with (and work out how the hell to pull it all together) I have a new laptop on the way. The new beast is for rendering videos that chart my studio progress in 2015 which I will post on You Tube as soon as we configure the new system and put everything together.

Have a stonking Solstice season with everything in it you are hoping for, and I hope you will join me again soon!

🙂

acrylic painting of a purple outcropping on a turquoise sea with a sun rising illuminating the sky with rainbow colours by phoebe thomasson uk artist

The Beach…My Medicine

I went to the beach on my own for the first time in years yesterday, and it was gorgeous! Not for any particular reason; it was very windy, but it was just what the doctor ordered for me and my inner artist.

I put my jacket down on the pebbles and was happy enough not to be bothered by them digging into my ankles as I sat crossed legged and wrote in my free-writing journal. I snacked on carob and dried bitter cherries and let the wind blow all my worries away.

It was nice not to have to worry for a minute about pollen up my nose, the washing up and who’s turn is it to be with Ewan. Even the most loving mummy’s and daddy’s need time to themselves to reconnect with nature; inner and outer, and this was long overdue for me, but well worth the wait.

I then walked barefoot on the sand left by the outgoing tide and resolved to bring my little family back here and knew that it would now happen, like it was supposed to, just because I’d taken the time to connect with myself first.

Well that time is here; the sun is out and we’re going to brave it together.

It’s taken a long while to feel ready to go out as a team, my energy levels have been so low but now I’m finding the missing pieces it’s getting easier to sustain good energy. I now realize that the sea is an important part of my healing; I was born near the sea and have spent a good part of my life in the water so it’s fitting that I’m going back to my roots.

Simple isn’t it!?

a doodle with scribbles and outlines of my boys feet with cartoon character colourful collaboration by phoebe thomasson and ewan

Beneath my feet…The Changing Landscape of No Shoes!

I’m loving my new birthday shoes …and here’s a few reasons why you should love yours more too.

One of the most surprising discoveries I’ve made is that going barefoot more often is helping me to regulate my overall body temperature which tends to be up and down as I battle with hormones and fatigue. Because the feet are in contact with the coldest air at ground level, it not only makes me put more clothes on my body when it’s cold but there is a quicker and more efficient feedback system so they are sensing the cold before it reaches my body.

They make me feel grounded and in contact with the earth, even when I’m on a lino floor with concrete beneath it I can feel the hot pipes that run below the kitchen floor and the cold of the stone tiles in the bathroom, the warm wooden stairs and the different carpet pile around the house. I can step on a coconut mat and appreciate the spiky foot rub that I get, and the other day I walked down the road in the rain, barefoot, just to see if I could. Don’t laugh! It’s that rough tarmac with tiny stones that got stuck to my feet and I may as well have walked on hot coals!

Shows how tender my feet are, but they are improving. As for the British weather in November, I am becoming more hardy to it as a result of my intentional non shoe and sock wearing, wherever possible. Of course when I am freezing and I want to warm up fast I put my slipper socks on or even just thin ones do the job now, where before I was always wearing thick layers on my feet as I thought I should, and I was always swinging from cold to hot, a lot! So, in a nut shell, this barefoot thing is now so comfortable and comforting to me that I hardly think about it. Its great! The other day I went out in full winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves and sandals! It was strangely exhilarating. Ok my toes were numb for a bit but one walk through a shop doorway with all that heat spewing out and they were toasty and flowing with energy! Wow!
The other great thing is I’ve started running again. But that’s another post waiting to happen.
Gonna take my birthday shoes off to bed.
Tee Hee. See what I did there?

Break in the line…

Ever had one of those weeks when you just feel like you’ve fallen off your own tracks?

Of course you have. That’s precisely why I’ve not been in cyber-space long enough to record my thoughts or even been near a computer to be honest. Now I understand that all good bloggers should be in there every day giving their thought stream to the thirsty world but to be honest I’ve been going through weaning purgatory and some things have just had to take a back seat. Early nights, like 10pm, have been the only way through as I mourn the loss of my milky, womanly, nurturing boobs and the pleasure/pain nipple bond with my LO who is now walking. Sob sob, hooray hooray! It’s been a mixed up time.

I stupidly went into the local M&S to search for a new bra to fit my now back to normal boobs. No change there then, what a waste of time! Not even enough fat to fill an A cup…it’s a sorry sight, but others, I know, envy my miniscule bra top boobs and I’m just going to forget the whole thing and go back to eating as much as I can to keep the weight on; see I told you it wasn’t all bad! didn’t I?

LO is striding confidently across the living room now and making ear piercing shrill remarks, obviously delighted at this new vista on life and showing off his foot sure prowess. A little gathering on Saturday for his birthday was interesting and exhausting and I’m still working on the tomato stains on the carpet…bless them!

Well a year ago I was totally bed bound after a traumatic operation to remove the placenta which didn’t want to budge and some stitching to a torn perinium. I was in a post birth bubble/drug induced haze but even then, the wonder at our little mewling bundle was profound and blotted out anything other than the bare necessities. If only I could reach that place of heightened attention to what really matters without all the pushing, panting and having to give birth? That was surely one of the most liberating and naturally minimalistic experiences of my life. There really are some fantastic lessons in there.

Hope you have a nice week.

a purple feather glows with power amidst a smoky blue background the representation of freedom original painting by uk artist phoebe thomasson

Light as a feather…well nearly…

Yay! I’ve got about eight or nine carrier bags all taped up (important tip for de-clutterers) by the door and ready to go to the charity shop tomorrow. It was tough but the moon was obviously in the right place because it was possible.

Many days I just go into a needy daze of attachment and can’t bring myself to get rid of anything. My nan (who lives with us now) commented on my endeavours saying I wouldn’t have anything left. I couldn’t explain how wrong she was. Not only have I got a tonne more clothing I’ve actually got some space too! ha!

Even my friend has got on the letting go path but she ruined it somewhat by offering me her dresser…oh now I’ve got to consider it and the possibilities of where it could go. I’ve still not sorted out the furniture collecting, obviously. But it’s all a jolly good start and I’ve got some new updated stuff coming from eBay this week to replace all the worn out stuff I inherited years ago.

Well I didn’t say I was going to achieve this overnight and anyway, minimalism isn’t about living with tatty stuff! Justify, justify. I’ll get over it one day.

Shopping Junkie

Over and under

x

a pink moon and pink bamboo on a lake original acrylic painting by uk artist phoebe thomasson

How to not be angry with Stuff

Well

Before we start, and I want to be quick, this is not a prescriptive. I plain don’t know how not to be angry. It’s really a question that I intend to answer myself.

Ok so meditation does help but if I don’t do it then I don’t get the calm buzz. Thing is, I’ve been getting angry about lots of things and they all seem pretty stupid like messy kitchen, living room, landing, garden…hmm; seems to me that I really am allergic to mess, chaos and clutter. Good job I’m learning to be a minimalist isn’t it? I’ve got miles to go and I just can’t seem to stop buying clothes. I’m truly addicted to eBay. What’s wrong with me?

I despair at myself at times, and when I run out of despair for myself I can find plenty of others to despair at. It’s a hideous mindset; I really hate it. I don’t want to be hung up on external things forever like they really matter because surely they don’t matter that much because they don’t really exist. It’s all just a load of old space and emptiness.

Did I mention I’ve been studying Buddhism, and the Buddhists really get this. I mean, they can explain emptiness like no other explanation on earth. It’s really something! ha. Nothing is not nothing.

So why does it all have such an effect on me? Stuff. You know! It’s still quite a mystery to me why I get so wound up about it. It’s like I become hooked on cleaning, and it’s satisfying for a while, while it’s clean. BUT then it becomes messy again and I just go berserk after a while because I just can’t keep up with it all. AND it becomes messy FAR quicker than it gets sorted out! Why is this? Decay and Chaos are predispositions for life it seems. We’re all destined to have our cellular structures, so neatly put together at the start, gradually pulled apart and mashed into chaos pulp no sooner than we hit 30 and then it’s …oh, this is sounding so negative. I’m sorry. Gracious me, what a tangled web this stuff creates in me.

I need a remedy. A new mindset….hmmm.

ILOVECHAOS AND CHAOS LOVESME…

NO rhyme nor reason. Just changin’ with the season.

Letting flow. Letting go, go, go…(to bed)

I’ve got to let this stuff be easy, breezy, japaneezy.

I’ll try it tomorrow. NOTHING is going to disturb my equanimity and lest I become hoisted by my own petard (what IS that?~I love it) I shall let you know how I got on.

Knight Knight

Serenity Incarnate

x

The Weaning Process Of Life

Anyone who has ever been a devoted breastfeeding mum will probably relate to this easily but I think this may be relevent to many more such scenarios so bear this one out if you will.

Weaning     This is not a straightforward process. What in life is? If it’s a process at all it usually involves many convoluted twists and turns, backs and fills and sometimes the odd devil’s Switchback.

Like any process I am finding the only way to keep my head above the choppy waters of chaos is to really live in the moment and in my feeling body, not my thinking head.

I am learning (finally) that the head, or the thinking self at least, wherever that’s really located, is great when it comes to following prescriptive routes to a destination; turn left at the corner shop and go straight on till you come to a white office building etc.

However, when it comes to matters of timing, especially with a little one who has no mood filter, control management or desire modulator, it’s a whole new ball game.

Just like the ones you used to play throwing the ball against the wall, you never quite knew the angle it would ping next when it hits a different brick or paving slab.

Every throw is different, every catch unique and if you remember it took a lot of mindful attention in order to keep catching and throwing the ball in some sort of rhythm without losing momentum.

Becoming Minimalist

The same goes for my process toward minimalism.

There is no way I’m going to get there in a straight line. Forget it! This is a deeply intuitive process that has no complete end goal in sight. Only an ideal.

How does that work? Well, by now I have done a few years work on defining my wants, my needs and my desires and now I’m onto the dirty work of actually letting stuff go, culling the excess and purging that which no longer suits, all of which is correct and tickety boo.

But oh is it a long drawn out affair for me.  The clothing pile has once again appeared on the landing floor and I’ve actually arranged a car boot with my friend who is accompanying me in the purging process. I’m only doing it if it’s not raining (we both agree on this) and if I can’t get out of bed that early then, well, back to the charity shops.

I have a nasty habit of putting stuff out to be ‘donated’ and not doing it immediately (it’s Sunday, or half past four…whatever) and the clothes suddenly look oh so attractive and I find a use for them for the first time in 15 years! Yes I really do keep things forever. Entirely sentimental.

How are these things similar?

Well, inasmuch that they are both highly intuitive processes that involve a definite outcome (baby not on boob and clutter not in-house) but will take their time and winding ways to get there.  The processes both involve quite high degrees of emotional growth and resilience to avoid pitfalls and unwanted consequences of not following through (thirty year old having ‘bitty’ and living in paper mountain!).

Both processes, however, do have their natural progressions that would be hard to miss and thankfully nature will lend a big hand if I can simply trust the path that is opening before me as I step into the latest abyss.

Sometimes it’s as if, like Michael Jackson in his Billy Jean video, the way lights up beneath us, but only when we step on it!

I think there’s another song in there somewhere.

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