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.

 

Navigating Duality

In this video I cover the following subjects:

  • Challenging religious structure
  • Approaching duality
  • Letting go of crutches
  • Taking responsibility
  • The mind attic
  • Emotion, Psyche, Shadow
  • Wildish Self
  • Dark Goddess
  • Radical truisms
  • Evolution of our psychology
  • Labels & opposites
  • Feelings
  • Information overload
  • Love & limerence
  • Game changing relationships
  • Narcissism
  • Law of Attraction

 

acrylic painting of blue swirls of energy or frozen life forms by uk artist phoebe thomasson

The Regenerative Power of The Creative Self

Sometimes we need a concept about what we are doing to help us through when the going gets tough. Here are my thoughts on how our creative life is in fact very resilient. We need to learn trust, patience and to understand the nature of the thing.

ESSAY: The Bryophyte and The Muse

 

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.

acrylic painting by phoebe thomasson abstract blue brown winter colours

To Do List: Cultivation

Today I need to….

Cultivate Strength, one hour at a time.
Cultivate Bravery, to meet my own weaknesses.
Cultivate Determination to overcome my limitations.
Cultivate Fitness I wish, that I may lift you up.
Cultivate Perspective that this is my journey; destination unknown.
No-one else is on it with me unless I share it.

I hit a bit of a crisis today. Things went pear shaped for a minute, but I remembered that I could choose how things went by my response. I remembered that I have a choice, always. I can respond negatively or creatively.
I chose to allow myself my full gamut of feeling, as insane as it was for a minute, then throttle back and consider what was being said to me. Consider how I could change my perspective and see things in a more hopeful way.
I ended up giving myself the pep talk I was looking for externally. The thing is that it’s never as good from someone else. Our own reassurance or ‘inner sense’ is definitely tailor made for us if we can muster the space to talk intelligently to ourselves.
I also realized that I don’t need to tolerate my acting the fool, inside and out if it’s not productive. I can tell that stupid voice to shut up if I think it is being unreasonable. In short, I can control my own mind, then no-one else need do it for me.

….Cultivate trust in myself.

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!

image of a mans face with slightly deranged eyes title fragile brain pen and ink sketch with words by uk contemporary artist phoebe thomasson

It may be Hellish, but at least I’m here!

Recovery isn’t all about getting better. It’s also about adjusting, changing, accepting and releasing. We can need multiple processes to happen before we start to feel better in the way we desire to.

Just to give you an idea how this applies in the real world here is an insight into my current little drama.

Somehow, due to numerous factors I’ve manage to put my back out good and proper. I’ve been to the chiropractor and there is a loosening in process. I think in terms of blocked energy because after years of practical healing and recovery from multiple things, I now know it counts, and is real. Think life force/prana/chi or whatever vibes with you.

OK. So I identified my little psychological process that has been activated into my awareness. Here it is and goes something like this.

  • long term illness means you are cut off from previous modes of functioning.
  • we adjust our world accordingly and create our own alternatives.
  • life becomes a reflection of our ‘own little world’.
  • we recover! yay!
  • we come up against the need to ‘re-enter’ the rest of the world or the ‘real’ version of it.
  • we resist because we quite like it here.
  • we know this world and have lost the ability to be anything else so why not just stay?
  • we create something else to distract us from the growth process.
  • more pain!
  • yay! pain works a treat…it’s a different part of the body which is quite a change, I think I can continue to be dysfunctional after all!
  • Wait a minute! did I just say that?
  • Goddam it…I’m going to beat this things too!
  • And so we strive….

Onward we go and heal the next malady. But did we stop to consider why we create all this hassle? Here’s one perspective, for when you are into having a philosophical musing…

I believe illness teaches us more about compassion, resilience, tenacity, honesty, strength, weakness, reaching out, friends, loved ones, family, challenges, love, life and humanity than being a super-I-never-get-sick kind of guy ever will.

My dad was one of those and within a year he was dead with Cancer.

I’m ok with my bad back thanks…at least I’m alive.

 

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