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!

Stupid

When we are judged as stupid
It is because we are feared,
hated or reviled and thereby
found to be threatening.

Perhaps for our ebullience (yes, and)
I think probably for our
ability to be happy and carefree (too).
Most definitely for out
child-like demeanour
our innocent joy
our creative boldness.

What seems like such a beautiful thing
can be tarnished by the very one’s
who purport to love us.

So don’t fear the label
Embrace it, as any judgement
As a rite of passage;
We know, we have touched someone
deeper than they themselves can go
for that reason
Have compassion
for the haters
The mud slinger’s
and the name callers
The labellers and
The righteous Judges
for they are far
from home.

P. Thomasson
30th March 2016

This poem was sparked by the question “But I feel so good; so why do I think I’m stupid?”
Upon analysis, feeling good always brings with it, this judgement of being stupid. But who gave it me? That was the deeper more intriguing question.

I still feel stupid, but I won’t take it so personally.

 

Hitting The Wall

Tonight I hit the wall.

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:

  1. I can’t do this
  2. I am not able to be this ‘artist’ thing
  3. I’m not flowing tonight
  4. I’m in my head
  5. I can’t do this
  6. 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 never used to do that.

I have grown. I am happy with that.

Finding my Super Elegant Loving Force (S.E.L.F)

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?

Ducky_Birds_acrylic_on_canvas_painting_PT_Art
Are we floating of sinking in our own waters?

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….

acrylic on board abstract painting of black and white bubbles on a green background by contemporary artist phoebe thomasson

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.

The word and deed results come later.

I must be patient…and diligent.

It will come.

turquoise and yellow ochre textured paint with hand print and bird motifs
The Birds and Bees; acrylic on canvas
Heavenly_Bodies_acrylic
Heavenly Bodies; acrylic on canvas
bare tree stands against clear blue winter sky majestic and strong
Naked Tree; acrylic on canvas
a frond unfurls amidst a neon pink background surrounded by an aura of gold acrylic painting by phoebe thomasson
Pitcher Plant; mixed media on canvas
a purple and blue feather on a misty blue background
Shaman’s Feather; oil on canvas (sold)
link to the art shop and gallery of phoebe thomasson artist
Find more of me and my artwork here. Sign up for my newsletter…it will arrive eventually…
photo of a nude woman with wings by a rock photo art by adam white model phoebe thomasson

The Shame & Redemption Barrier; Post Meltdown Review & Self Analysis, or “I am OK with being vulnerable”

I feel like I’ve been a caged animal, hemmed in by too much love and mismatched desire.

I have fully understood for the need to create sufficient space for myself to digest and percolate on the issues of the day.

I had gone from nothing to everything in a very short space of time.

  • Why am I so impatient?
  • I must work on being more patient!
  • Affirmation: I am infinite patience!
  • Patience creates space
  • Space is desirable

It helps when I feel that things are not drastic.

During drastic periods I get very paranoid and urgent.

I want to offload and dump information at other’s feet. I do it in such a way they have little choice but to come along for the ride.

  • I think I am an energy bully.
  • I am a recovering bully.
  • I forgive the bullies!

I was bullied at school and it is time to do some cleansing work on the earlier periods of my life.

It is time for me to reconnect with my innocence again.

This is shrouded from view at the most stressful moments and that shield prevents positive movement.

a man sits by the window with a mask of his face in his hands photo artistry by adam white
Letting go of the old face to reveal a new found peace

The moment I am able to let down my shields, more and more quickly I see the swift return of my soft vulnerable side.

By now I have been through enough (don’t stop till you get enough!!) and am more resillient to shame than ever before and this is a really good thing!

Next Week:

I know I am avoiding hard work. Why is this?

Find out in the next instalment whether I pull off my next project with ease or not at all!
a blue hand exuding rays of golden and rainbow light by artist phoebe thomasson

Difficult Things Make Great Stories

I’m not sure what the story is yet. It’s all been somewhat of a blur.

Things have been shifted by my new sense of urgency to do some deep healing work. I’ve been lucky enough to do some EFT (emotional freedom technique) with a friend that took me into some deep past.

I’ve been doing more yin yoga and stretching my body. This helps to bring shit up from the depths of the meridians for assessment and release.

I have been doing some classical yoga techniques, like trying to write my life story and chakra visualisations.

I’ve been doing loads of candid communication with my partner.

This kind of stuff isn’t for the faint hearted.

I was up till past five this morning sorting out the near dissolution of my primary relationship. Finding a way through the morass of created doubt and fear, as I blindly push my way to freedom.

It’s a rocky journey. We all need help and support. Why did it take me so long to ask for it.

I am accepting more than ever about myself…it’s a work in progress; always is.

photo of a strip of light on foliage by phoebe thomasson

What Does Being in Balance Mean?

It might be easier to start with what it doesn’t mean…

  1. It doesn’t mean being ‘perfect’; either our generic idea of what perfect ‘is’ and ‘does’ or what our culture may laud as the present ‘perfection’.
  2. It is not about being a model, physically or otherwise.
  3. It does not mean unchanging or static, unresponsive, dogmatic, programmed or reactive.

So from this we can more easily see that it does mean…

  1. Being the best of what we, personally, are capable of being at any given moment with respect to our personal attributes, circumstances, conditions and predilections.
  2. Fulfilling our own criteria for ‘goodness’ and ‘decency’ that may not depend on any external source of approval or expectation.
  3. Constant and consistent adjustment to each new moment’s challenge, each event or situation.
  4. Being flexible and intelligent as we may have to compensate as we create new patterns moving forward.

Key words:

FLEXIBLE, DYNAMIC, INTEGRAL, NATURAL, ELASTIC, DANCING, RESPONSIVE, RECEPTIVE, FREE, SPONTANEOUS, CREATIVE, CYCLIC…

Perhaps this is why we so look up to the artists in our culture. They actively practice living and being these attributes. That is what being an artist is about. That’s not to say that artist’s are perfect (remember!) but they do demonstrate how to be, for maximum joy and fulfilment on planet earth. The artist spends her time mimicking and maintaining the rhythms of growth and renewal as set out for us by the natural world.

NATURE! There is our muse. Keep an eye on the seasons and get a feel for the cyclic patterns. This is our blueprint for balance.

Minimalism & Meditation

From my series “Art & Healing”. Today I talk about how meditation can serve us both creatively and personally in every dimension of our lives.

Watch time: 5.26

a blue hand exuding rays of golden and rainbow light by artist phoebe thomasson

Transitions Into Joy

How could I have lived this morning differently?

I could have given Ewan my undivided attention this morning instead of rushing into doing the washing up. I could have sat and centred myself before running headlong into working on anything other than my state of being. I could have left the brown envelope unopened until I had done my morning ritual. I could have let Dru have his morning smoke before I told him the bad news. I could have seen things differently instead of crumpling into helplessness and despair. I could have been patient with myself for feeling upset about it all.

I feel I need to get a morning routine that is more helpful to me. I want to enter the day in a conscious state of peace and joy not barreling around trying to catch up and missing so much.
I don’t want Ewan to feel left out and like he has to protest by weeing on the carpet. I don’t want to be angry with him any more.

Why despite a great night with friends do I feel so negative? It’s almost a default setting and I guess I need to spend plenty of time resetting my habitual mind.

I have a ‘poor me’ nature that is entirely outmoded in this new way of being. I need to get back my natural bliss. It has been hidden for so many years, so I need patience with myself.

Seeing as how I find difficulties where there need be none, it behoves me to pre-plan for these inevitable downers. What do I do when I feel confused, disappointed, dissatisfied or dissociated? What strategies can I put in place to help myself out of the darkness?

Time and again I must remind myself that I AM strong, I AM resilient, I AM tough.

I need to break through this layer of false weakness and find the real substance I know is there. I can bring my vibration to a high place if I practice and practice like I mean it. Remembering to do this must also become second nature.

Raise it up!
Don’t drop it!
We are riding waves
Of vibration
Simply put
It’s the only real issue
That matters!