Each part of my art process is equally as important as the other and as such choosing the right frame for my art piece is essential. I have researched in detail the style of frames that I like and dislike and I have a vision of the style of work that I want to exhibit.
The collaboration with art and frame is paramount and has to uphold my standards as an artist. Only when I am truly happy with my framing decision can I start the process of putting the finishing touches to a piece.
Of course, you have to build a good relationship with your framer in order to convey your ideas and help them understand your vision.
The magic happens when I see my art piece framed and I know it just works, this is how it is supposed to be.
Packaged and professionally framed ready to display (coming soon)
I wanted to write today about something so important to me and something that is really beginning to have a positive effect on my life. I want to write about being more open and honest. Honest with myself hence honest with others. If a friend or partner said something to me that upset me I would think and say a lot. Numerous thoughts and multiple conversations. The only problem was that these conversations were in my head.
I would never say this to the person involved. What was it that stopped me? Fear! What would they say? What would they do? What would they think of me? What would happen? How would it, could it be resolved? Fear of the unknown would hold me back yet again.
A few years ago I spoke to a friend about our relationship. A huge undertaking. Fear. Anxiety. Exposed. Vulnerability. These words were how I felt. Then I started to speak. As more words came out of my mouth I felt more relaxed. I was finally connecting to my truth, my innermost feelings. I felt more free, empowered and connected.
I began to realise that the only negative in the situation is in keeping your thoughts to yourself. How the other person responds in the communication is not your problem. Speaking calmly, without judgement, with honesty and respect is enough. I felt proud that I could do that.
Honest communication can be effective in growing a relationship and bringing a deeper connection. Sometimes it can reveal what you may already know deep inside, that a relationship has grown apart. I will write about this in more detail in another post. The outcome will show you what to do next, if anything. It will bring an issue to the table.
Being honest is learning a skill. Nerves, anxiety takes over at the start. You can be defensive, your protection to a perceived threat. Your survival instincts kick in. This is normal. For some, this is an extreme reaction. For all, there is a sense of needing protection. You can not be grounded and anxious at the same time as you can not be in two contradictory states at the same time.
If you are not grounded, you are unlikely to speak with assertion and integrity. Your basic need is protection, safety. If you are not self aware, you do not have a healthy sense of self and/or you have yet to practice honesty your response is likely to be defensive and often aggressive in nature. You put on your armour ready to fight. Fire! You let out a barrage of aargh. You blast your emotions everywhere. This is not a calm, honest expression of how you feel. It is a myriad of emotions rolled into one sticky flapjack.
For me, it was sadness, frustration and anger mixed with portions of isolation. Feeling unimportant and sometimes feeling invisible. It was fear mixed with a longing to just express how I was feeling as an open conversation.
A memory comes to mind. I was in a coffee shop last year (yes I know, I love my coffee shops). I had an incident with non other than a lady and a cup of soya milk. The simplest experiences often provide the biggest learning. The gist of the conversation was that the lady was blaming me for wasting coffee when quite simply the drink was just wrong, a few times. My chest was tight, I had uncomfortable feelings throughout my body. Despite this, I was aware there was a difference.
I was not taken over by my feelings. There was a change, a shift and quite a big one. I spoke. I did not react. I was assertive. I was not defensive. I showed confidence in myself and what I knew to be right. I simply explained how I felt. I did not feel bad. I did not raise my voice. I spoke calmly. I felt amazing. I felt empowered. I felt super proud.
I was exercising the ‘power of now’.
This was another pinnacle moment in my honesty with other people. Actually, it is really an honesty with myself. I am not hiding what I am feeling. I am not hiding what I am thinking. If something needs to be said I am more able to say it. This is an ongoing road for me, a relatively new road so I am sure I will not manage it every time. This is ok. I am aware.
My writing at the moment is quite sporadic. I am looking forward to the time when I can spend more time fulfilling this side of my life. The last six months or so I have dedicated to growing my counselling practice. This has been successful as I have the pleasure to be supporting more people with their mental health. As I wrote in my last blog, I have been manifesting aspects of my life which I want to enhance. All the work and energy that I put into my business and work with clients has been paying off. I am finding it hard to write today, this sometimes happens when I have not written for a long time. I will be kind to myself and just keep writing, see where it takes me. Life anything in life, the key is to let it be and do not force it. Supporting people with their mental health can bring up many similarities in patterns of thought. One of these is how people try and push away, get rid of, run away from feelings they deem ‘negative’. We naturally do not want to ‘feel’ difficult emotions or pain and so in whatever means possible we try and separate from them. We now believe on some level that we are safe. We are not. All you are doing is delaying the inevitable. Facing the pain is never as bad as you imagine, it is the fear of the unknown which we all know can be a big fear and one which can keep us stuck.
This is a post that I started to write in December 2019. I value my writing so I have kept it as it is. It feels nice to not feel like I have to post what I deem ‘perfect’. I accept my writing as it is. I accept myself as I am.
I know. I can feel it. There is a power deep within me, a feeling that something important is just around the corner. I believe it. I have faith in myself, the universe and God. I have worked so hard to get to where I am today and I have the results to show for it. I know that if I focus and apply the same work ethic on the next chapter in my life and career, I will start living more fully in my new consciousness.
I have already written so much on my book and I am now ready to focus my time, energy and effort to reconnecting with it. I have a second book idea. This will be my way of collating all of my knowledge, skills, emotions and experience and assembling it into an easy to read, simple but effective book. I am ready to share what I know with the world. In a way, it is like counselling the world. I am working to utilize my counselling and life experience so that I can deliver this to a bigger audience.
I used to have a deep fear of connection. As I write that I am shocked. To practice what I preach I will stay with it. I used to be afraid that if I gave certain parts of myself to others and/or shared too much that I would get taken advantage of. I also feared that people would use what I say or do in a negative way, again to take something away from me. I was so protective of what I perceived to be ‘mine’ that I clung to it. I unconsciously believed that this was how I could keep that part, that knowledge, me safe. I am so in the moment now that I feel very deeply the beginning of a powerful force. I feel that I have awoken to another level of consciousness. This level no longer feels like catch up as the previous levels have. This feels different. I feel as though I am where I should be. This doesn’t feel quite right. I ponder on this for a moment until the feeling reveals itself. I feel as though I am where I am meant to be. This is big. I am taking some time to really feel this in my body. I will let it run through me, across me, all over me and penetrate me. This is not a moment to rush through. This is a moment to connect more deeply with myself, with God and with the universe. I feel a great stillness in me as I sit here typing. I will end this part here in order that I sit or probably lay down and allow myself the time to really feel, connect and love.
Hi all, I wanted to write today about the importance and effectiveness of baby steps and slowly chipping away at a job/project. I have been working on our home since we moved in over three years ago. I remember having so many creative ideas, my creative juices were not just flowing they were overflowing. I knew, or thought I knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it to be done. I also fell foul to my impatience. A heady mix of enthusiasm, passion and excitement rolled up in a large blanket of impatience. The truth is, we are all impatient at times. Some people decide they want to lose weight and are disillusioned when they don’t lose what they want to by a given time. Others decide to take on a project and wonder what is wrong with them when they don’t achieve certain results in a timely manner. We are all guilty of wanting quick results, a faster turnaround or set ourselves unrealistic goals which all inevitably fail. People like to see what they want and with this they only see the end result and how to get there in the least amount of time. This method, although may work in some areas temporarily, only serve to end in disappointment as it doesn’t have long standing sustainability.
People are lazy. I don’t mean to sound harsh but it is true. People like instant gratification. When it doesn’t happen the result is blame. We blame ourselves and judge ourselves harshly or we blame someone else for our lack of progress. The truth is, long lasting results can only be achieved with a long standing method. Sounds simple. In theory yes so why do so many people still do it. Why do we set ourselves up for a fall. Why do we think getting something quick is the best way, a good way. Do we think we are more intelligent if we do it quicker or are we trying to prove something to someone else. If we get there before others, does this mean we are better, more worthy. No. If you want to be quicker, there will always be someone before you that has already done it quicker. It follows the same lines of there will always be someone smarter, thinner, taller, than you. If you think of it in this context you will never win. In this way, there is always someone else involved and when we try and compete, be better we are basically saying that we alone are not good enough. I am not saying do not have goals or strive to be more, just use yourself as the goal and build your own scale of progress.
Despite living in the same world, we were born with unique skills and capabilities. We need to use these and learn to understand that life was not created to follow a path. You were given life. You are unique and as such you need to learn that your life is also unique. Society tells us that we go to school then college, university, get a great job, get married, have a child and all in that order. When life doesn’t go exactly this way people wonder what is wrong with them. There is nothing wrong with you. You may be just following the wrong path. Your path may not go in that order or even have those aspects within it. People like to know what they are doing and where they are going. They do not like the unknown. People fear the unknown, it creates uncomfortable feelings which people want to run from. Anything unknown will always have an element of fear this is natural. The only way to get past this is to try. Once you have done it once fear loses its power as it is no longer an unknown. Each time you do it becomes less of an unknown and more of a known. This is when you have the power. Fear is not necessarily a bad thing, we need fear to guide us and to challenge us in our thinking and doing. As scary as this may sound to some, there is no plan or rule book to life and what you have heard is from fairytales or from black and white thinking. The world is not black and white. The world is full of colour, accents, shades and tones and the only way to see the amazing variations in colour is to start looking at yourself and understanding that you have a unique path which only you know. It is up to you to start looking at what feels right to you, what fits with you and how that can fit into your life/path. There is no life path, only your path.
When you start to do this, you learn to understand the beauty in small steps. When I started decorating and designing our home I decided in my head that I would complete the whole house in a few months. As I write this now I laugh. My creativity was there, my passion and excitement however what I failed to do was to look at achievability. Was this achievable? I was passionate, would this not help? I was capable, did this not count for something? Yes, of course these all help to achieve but were my goals achievable? No, of course not. I thought I could because it is what I wanted. Pure and simple. I wanted it done quick and I thought that was enough. How funny. Quite ridiculous to write and read this. We all do it. It doesn’t make us bad people or stupid, it makes us human. What is so powerful is when you learn the beauty in seeing your own progress.
I regularly have to stop and reflect on how different our home is compared to how it was when we bought it. I sometimes get impatient and beat myself up for not yet having a finished home. This is when I have to stop and look around. Simply look at the beautiful, opulent colour on our walls. The stunning lamp that sits beautifully in an alcove next to a yellow photo frame. This is one of my favourite areas and I created it. It was bare, then I painted it. I then spent time looking for the perfect piece (perfect to me) and patiently waited until the right piece presented itself to me. I did it. It took time, there was no quick process and I was very patient at times.
I am not interested in buying for the sake of it or doing a rush buy. I am only interested in buying what is right for our home. All the pieces match my personality which is paramount to me. We live in our home, not a home. There is a huge difference. A friend came to mine Saturday and I was able to show her a few new things that we have invested in since she was last here. It gave me another chance to show the progress and for my friend to see where the house is now. They also get a chance to share in the beauty of my process. Saturday was a big day for me as it was the first day in a while that I could see the accumulation of all my/our hard work. I am including my daughter here as she does help me and spends time helping to organise her bedroom so that she knows where everything is and all her belongings have a place. She puts up with me when impatience kicks in and I get overexcited and embarrassing about storage.
It is hard to explain how it felt. It was a deep feeling, one that hit me hard in a nice way. I was in the kitchen and it just came over me. I realised how most places in the house are organised now. All the baby steps have taken form. Each drawer I tidied out, each item I found a home for and countless bags I gave to charity. The baby steps are the beauty steps. You can not always see the benefit of each small task however it is the accumulation of tiny steps that has led me here. Led me to this warm, touching feeling. This feeling of immense pride and shock. Shock that I can see what a difference there is. It feels like it has just happened but it hasn’t. The baby steps have added up and there is now a massive clearing. The overriding feeling has stayed with me, I can feel it strongly as I write. It feels light. It feels clear, ethereal. It is a beautiful feeling. The beauty of light.
Go and take your first baby step. Where will it take you?
Hi all and happy new year. I hope your Christmas time was as relaxed and peaceful as it could be. It sort of saddens me to say that this is my first piece of writing in quite a long time. I am hopeful that will change this year. Although I am partial to a great quote, I do not tend to use other people’s quotes in my writing. This quote is particularly relevant to me and one which has carried me through the last six months or so. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot”. Stephen King.
I came across this particular quote whilst researching how to write a book and how to become a good writer. It really stopped me in my tracks and shocked me, in a good way. It may sound strange that I had never really thought of the reading part. The only books I read as an adult were self development books, autobiographies, literature based on mental health. The only other things that I read were interior design magazines and still do. I can spend long periods of time immersed in a page with only images to entertain me. This for me, is where I can read the story without words and this excites me. I can see the passion, the art and the style within the confines of another’s living room. Carefully curated to show the inner workings of a stylists mind. A hot bath and numerous images of mid century furniture and I am away for hours.
Like everything else in my life,I don’t just want to be a writer I want to be a good writer. Writing itself for me is still quite new in terms of writing for others as well as myself. I want to learn how to grow in this area, grammar being one area that I need to focus on. Somehow I have forgotten a lot that I learnt in school and I would like to learn how best to set out my writing, ensuring that I keep my writing brief and relevant (I am known for going around the houses so may struggle here). I want to be myself. Raw in my writing, with a more professional edge.
My business has been going the same way this last year. I had reached the stage whereby I wanted to look at areas that I could tighten up, become more streamlined and all together be more professional. I know that my work as a counsellor in my own practice is work to a high standard however there are some areas of my business that I always try and improve upon each year. I can see from my previous year in business what I need to look at and how I can market myself in a more professional manner in order to grow personally, professionally and my client base itself. Reaching a level of maturity for my business naturally flows into other areas of my life and what I want to achieve. The last year I focused a lot more of my time on my counselling business and growing this. I put the work in and saw the results. This year I would like to invest more in myself personally, allowing myself lots of time to write. I know that in order for this to happen, knowing my personality as I do is to dedicate time to it. I need to allocate time and organise my time more effectively. I have unconsciously placed writing as less important. I want this to change. I know the benefits personally for me when I write. I am more open, my confidence increases, I am more alert and most important it allow me to share myself creatively.
I love my work, however because of this I tend to trick myself that it is not work. It is. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Being a counsellor is not something that you put a hat on for. It is someone that I am every day, a big part of my being. I am however not just a counsellor. I am multi faceted and like my art piece “Two headed beauty” (available through my website) says “why be one dimensional when you can be your true, multi dimensional self”. By neglecting this part of me, I have been neglecting myself. I am now aware and so I can change. Creativity releases me and makes me feel free and more alive. It brings me back to the now.
You can gauge when you are following a positive path when the feelings that arise within you feel ‘right’. It is that feeling which is hard to put into words. It is like a kind of magic. It just creates a feeling of peace (and many other feelings) deep inside. It is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. It just fits. I need to write more. I need to set myself a goal, a schedule that I can achieve. I want to write with progression as I have to be continuously learning and growing. I can not stagnate.
I always want to write raw and in the moment which I have. The difference today is that I have gone through the piece and edited it. I don’t know what if any difference this will make to how it is read. This is a learning curve for me and I am enjoying it. Please look out for my next piece where I will be talking more about how reading has become a big part of my life and how I hope this will enhance my writing.