Art Shaman; In The Woods

We can get lost in the woods
just like we get lost in ourselves
in our thoughts of future
in our regrets of past
in our longings
in our desires
and the dysfunctions of life.

But if we stop
just long enough
to listen to the silence
we may hear the guiding spirit
the still small voice
gathering us
into it’s arms
waiting patiently in the moment
now.

P.T.
3rd Oct 2016

 

Yesterday was hard. Lots felt wrong. My friend Adam, didn’t feel like taking photos. We were all tired and slightly grumpy after another late Saturday of jamming excellent music. It was a glorious day; not to be missed and by four o’clock, I had rallied myself to capture the moment anyway, trusting that the spirit of kind positivity would bring us through.

We found a small camp in the woods and I set to painting my face with memories of my gigging days floating through. We got the last remaining rays of sunshine and I posed and made shapes in the shards of setting sunlight in the glade by the path. It somehow worked out, and then there is the uncanny sense, at least after the ‘event’ that everything went according to plan; as if you had one! The spontaneous plans are always the best!

It always amazes me how healing creative experiences can be. Once you have processed the shame and embarrassment of scaring passers by with your blacked out face, the thrill of the moment becomes more playful. ‘F**k It’ is our profane mantra in these moments. I’m not being bad. Just playful, irreverent, goodly dangerous to the status quo of holding and fear. The fear in our culture is all the more easy to see and feel when you are driving along looking like a coal miner back from work…. surreal!

Never mind the bollocks. The little shoot went well. I always have to overcome my fear of looking stupid or weird and I think it paid off in the end. I love the results and it illustrates the nature spirit of the woods as part of my Art Shaman theme of the present moment.
Enjoy.
It’s all temporary anyway.

Creative Surgery 101: Accepting & Learning About Our Creative Block

When blocked…

…carry on! But not at what you are blocked at!

….. do something different, get into a better feeling but allow the sense of being blocked to tell you, teach you, reach you… don’t fight it… it may be that you are knackered and need to slow down and listen to your body; take a break, make a video, do a course, download a new book or ten, go for a walk every day for a month?

Do something or do nothing, whatever you do, do it consciously. Oh today I feel like quitting all my jobs. Well, do it, mentally first. Try it out first on paper; what does it feel like? what are you actually trying to achieve that is eluding you?

Talk about it! Talk to whoever loves you enough to listen. Say that you really appreciate their time and say you don’t need solutions; only to be heard. Your block wants to be heard!

On your own? No bother; talk to the cosmic forces, the page, your higher self, the angels or ascended masters; it makes no difference. Your block wants to be heard. It needs to hear itself! It needs fluffed up and separated out of it’s knot.

De-knot. Loosen up. Tease it out. Talk to the page, a video camera, a voice recorder a mirror… whatever you can lay your hands on, use it to find out what your block wants to say!

The blocked state has as much to teach us about ourselves as our states of flow. Be kind to yourself when you are in it and respect the process, gently moving in a zig zag pattern out and away, we shift our focus until we can see the bigger picture.

It’s tactical. This is the art of the gentle war.

Peace will come again… never fear.

x

Help I’m Broken! Where’s My Band Aid?

I’m in creative surgery with myself right now…let me explain;
It’s been a tough week with one thing and another, you know how it is….you are on a high getting things done, enjoying company, organizing stuff, moving furniture, and mountains….y’know, the normal spring day when you feel like you could eat the hind leg off a donkey because it’s spring and you can’t get enough of anything….yeah, that kind of day. Well….
And then you come tumbling down of your mountain high…after you’ve just moved the damn thing, and your all torn up at the bottom, ripped to shreds by the fall and exhausted by the climb.
Also, there’s a boulder on your head the size of Colorado and you have only one finger left and you are pointing it at your nearest loved one because obviously they are the source of all your agony. Right?
You know the kind of day I mean?
It takes a while to manifest this kind of day. Weeks of preparation and a slow erosion of the carefully crafted diet, the creeping sleep deprivation and the feeding of the over-excitement devil with sugar laden commercial chocolate and stupid food like bread….yum.
No! BAD! very bad….oh and the beating…you gotta get a good beating or two….
Sigh.
Back to the painting then. And the walking. And the Primal diet and the early nights, and the expressing your feelings as they come up instead of putting them all into a bottle and chucking them overboard.
I’ll start with the early night I think.
We all got to start somewhere!

On Paying Attention…The Secret Sauce to ShapeShifting into What You Want To Be…

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.

For more on mindful approaches to life visit here

To see my art go to ptartworks.com

 

a woman sits surrounded by words with buddha next to her

Word Soup

It appears an unfortunate fact that the more I fly free in my ways, and embrace my powers of intellect and conversation, that the effect produced within you is one of insecurity and an appearance of being squashed. Hence the ability to relax and enjoy company whilst feeling thus threatened is marred and overshadowed by ones habitual response in blaming the other for being not desirable In ones behaviour. In you I perceive a disapproval that is brought forth by your struggles to stay connected to a flowing river of words that spew forth from my mouth, which has upon me the effect to feel further in the wrong way of things and defensive of my position as free woman enjoying my respect given freely by friends, but not by you, although you would argue otherwise because though the effects of my [not at you] focus are to feel like a [dis-empowerment], you are at once stuck in your own conundrum whether and how to extract yourself from said feeling of diminished comfort and confidence into a blame that would be inappropriate given the very nature of blame which is to shut down the other with a label of wrongness attached. I know you do not seek to fetter me but there must be some compensation for you in a night’s accommodation of friends whom you must also enjoy the company of so it comes to that which I can only say that I shamelessly dominated the said conversation [the night] and you being of more altruistic nature let me take centre stage with little regard for your own well-being. In this I can only fault you for your lack of confidence against my domination and say that without your countering me I will most willingly hold court without recourse to your opinion in any matter should you choose to allow me without interruption or battle for place. Or feel confident in my love for you which you plainly do not, in the absence of affection which you cannot.

Or I could just shut the fuck up and listen to YOU!

photograph of roots by phoebe thomasson mixed media artist

Chopping & Changing: a skill…

Phew. That’s the phone OFF for a bit. I’ve noticed that I’ve recently become ‘entrained’ to Twitter. I’ve willingly allowed the process to occur because I need to know how it all works so I can market myself and my art, but really, it’s good sometimes to turn it all off!

Do you find it hard to disconnect? What else are you connected to besides the Internet?

Funny thing is, I discovered a wee while back that I do actually have a penchant for self-marketing. Guess it’s because I’ve always been a poser and have a love of communication. Seems that when you hone it all with a mission plan, your set. The rest of it is perseverance. Yes. That’s the bit I never understood before.

My message of the day is: you can change…and will! It’s inevitable; all you need to think about, if you care to is where the f**k you want to change to?

Hope that is short and sweet enough for your stupidly busy day…I know mine has been; but it’s been great!

Tara…

Phoebe