The Power That Rules my Fate…

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!

May The Force Be With You….Always!

a red headed woman holds a seedling sprout and contemplates destiny

what an artist does for you…

what is all the fuss about? why are artists worth so much in some circles of life and worth so little in others?

the answer is quite clear. and it’s not remotely to do with some magical mysterious talent…though it helps.

it’s about love.

really?

yeah. and this applies to us all. artists happen to be some of the first in line to feel the edge of evolution. we go out on a limb so to speak, and bring back the psychic bacon…the soul food for nourishment of all.

we are arbiters of change and flying shamans. we are cosy in our bubbles where we see the cosmic dance played out before our inner retinas.

we put our visions down, fresh from the universal soup into some kind of reason upon canvas with all manner of colours and textures.

and those of us who know how to allow ourselves to love this weird thing that we do, know how to thrive. we are juicy and full of life because we’ve invested in our spiritual connection.

an artists job is merely to remind you who you are.

you are all the paintings and beautiful sunsets throughout time.

you are the dew drop on petal and the cold glint on metal.

you are light and being beyond this physical appearance, mere density of vibration.

a painting then, is like a map. if it resonates with you then it is yours to cherish.

talk to the artist. she wants to serve you. she wants to enliven your world with the visions she incubates.

without you, her audience, there is no reason.

a hopeful looking woman leans into an invisible wind that blows her very being away as she disintegrates in waves of rippling vibrations though she looks brightly into the future model is uk artist phoebe thomasson photo art by adam white photography copyright 2015 awp and pt
photo art: adam white
model: phoebe thomasson

sat nam. (truth is my name.)

a dark and brooding face appears patterned with dull colour third eye is very active model phoebe thomasson photo art by adam white photography dorset uk 2015

Here it is again….Low Pressure: A Poem “Black Dog and The Widow”

This pain, not physical so no one can see
it’s why I wear a glum face for lunch
depression my guest today
welcome in I say
I feel I have no choice
but to let her in and have her way
the black dog
comes and throws up
over the carpet
barking at me the details
of how sad my life is
no recourse to the facts
are they the real reality anyway?
I cannot tell
the black dog is large
and taking up all my attention
I am angry but feel powerless
drained of vitality
it only took thirty minutes to arrive
destination overcast
when outside the sun beats
spring cool breeze coiling
I should feel happy
shouldn’t I?
the black dog looks up
her owner I spy in the corner
she’s dressed in black
perennial widow of the world
she’s the voice and persona
of scornful mourning
beyond reasoning
she laughs and agrees
yes your world is so sad
so sad you shall be.
 
No! I think
I run to the computer
my thoughts ordered by print
it’s logic that I need
she leaves sashaying
whistle between teeth
black dog follows
leaving a small pile of hair
on the sofa.
 
Gone, for now
she’ll be back
with black
am I prepared?

P. Thomasson
11th April 2015

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!

a face is obscured by black shards mixed media collage by uk contemporary artist phoebe thomasson

The Silent Killer; Get Down You Inner Censor….

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.

You’re in charge!

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!

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

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!

🙂