26/02/2014

Art Therapy

Art-therapie

I don’t know why colouring-in a French book feels a little more enchanting but it does.

Maybe when you only have a vague idea of what the text says you let your conscious mind relax into a dreamy, mindful state more easily than if you’re reading and thinking.

No matter. Have a look at these beautiful art therapy books from French company, Hachette-Practique. There’s also a sweet kit of colored pencils. Trying to figure out which brand of coloured pencil to buy can be so stressful as to have you colour-in more pages to re-balance.

 

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02/03/2013

Tenderness

inapaleplace

My short story “Tenderness” was included in the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival‘s “Worth The Wait” ebook in September.

You can download the ebook for free courtesy of the short story competition sponsors, Glengoyne Whisky.

Sláinte!

* Image courtesy of Kat from In A Pale Place. Available to buy along with more of her beautiful art in her Etsy shop.

 

 

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11/05/2011

are you right? or wrong?

Years ago, I was very concerned about being “right”. Now I am not remotely concerned about being wrong, feeling wrong or people thinking I am wrong. Or being right.

I still remember the shock of listening to what John Gray said years ago about letting go of a need to be ‘right’. Have you done his clenched fists exercise? I love that. I just tried to find it online for you to no avail.

I think I saw him do it on Oprah about 15 years ago. The idea is you think about something that’s bothering you and clench your fists rigidly while repeating “I am right” – then attempt to unclench your fists. Have a go now. It’s weirdly difficult to uncurl your control-freaky, angry/frustrated-filled fingers.

Maybe it’s a hangover from school days or a spin on trying to control an unpredictable world but adults seem to have a perverted yearning to be “right”. Children don’t have it so much.

Who cares if you’re “right” or “wrong”? You’re not at school. There is no exam. You will not be punished for being ‘wrong’. Nor get a prize for being ‘right’. {And it’s only you who is defining.}

Maybe you don’t even know you have a need to be right…? Check in with your body and release any muscular tension you find, just quietly.

With your hands relaxed and not clenched in a furious fist, (you’ll notice a surprising number of people walking about with at least one fist clenched) it is so much easier to be flexible, content and be fine with being wrong {but bear in mind, I am often wrong…}.

 

Image of gorgeousness, “Creative Life” borrowed from Amanda Cherie of hellocherie – buy a print here.

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15/12/2010

Powerful healing for you, here and now

I met someone a few months ago. An extraordinary person. Her name is Jackie Stewart and she is one of those divine people who seem to have a magical connection to cosmic threads and who uses this gift to help others.

Jackie helps people like you and me heal emotionally and live our life’s purpose, harnessing potent flower and crystal essences to do so. As we think, “how can I be more fully in alignment with my true self and what I’m really here for?” Jackie helps us re-align with our soul’s purpose.

I had a flower essence consultation with Jackie recently and am so grateful for how she has facilitated deep, gentle healing with me first by listening and then by applying her knowledge of the human psyche and flower essences to create an individual combination of essences for me.

Knowing what a wonderful, wise and wild woman she is, I asked Jackie if she might write a guest post for Inner Wild Therapy. Her response – the guest post she has so kindly and beautifully written below – resonated so deeply with me that I after I read it with a lump in my throat and then re-read it with tears of relief and healing running down my face I rather selfishly held it close to me for two weeks before managing to share it with you!

I am a Child of Moss. And you are a Child of ……?

“When we were little children we played without planning, we invented, created, imagined and laughed. We followed our joy and did as we pleased. Way back before anyone told us we couldn’t or shouldn’t; before we noticed what other people thought.

What did you imagine? …… What did you create? …… What did you play?

If we cast our minds back to childhood we find lost parts of ourselves. Like Hansel and Gretel we scattered trails of crumbs for our adult selves to follow. A crumb of creativity here, a crumb of crazy invention there, a crumb of joy here, a crumb of possibility there.

Following the crumbs leads us back to more of our true selves; our unfettered authenticity.

Last summer I revisited the landscape of my childhood on the West Coast of Scotland. My grief about leaving it overwhelmed me and I howled to the trees and the sea. I grieved the loss of the land I will always love and the child I had almost forgotten.

Revisiting that landscape carried me back to a childhood of nature and creativity. The mossy woods where I made dens in upturned tree trunks, climbed trees and hid on Sunday afternoons until I knew it was too late to go to Sunday school. The hills where I unearthed adders from stones, tried to catch fish in lochans and rolled in the heather. The fields where I followed bottles down burns until they bobbed in the sea where I guddled in rock pools and called to the seals.

When I wasn’t playing outside I read books, drew pictures, invented imaginary worlds and made things. I was transfixed by the Antiques Roadshow and dreamt that my handmade boxes, doll’s clothes, perfumed envelopes and storybooks would become heirlooms for people in the future.

Every birthday and Christmas I asked for drawing paper. I drew people and flowers; they seem easier to draw, more beautiful to capture than anything else. It’s the same now: people and flowers inspire my work – together people and flowers are my work. These childhood joy-crumbs have become the passions of adulthood – the very essence of what I put out into the world.

Last year while I wandered through bog and hill my childhood felt close enough to touch and a rhyme emerged in my head.

I am a child of moss, bog and scree..I am a child of woodland and tree… I am a child of waves crashing free… I am a child that was borne of the sea.

I’d forgotten how much that wild child was still inside me wanting to play outside. I’d forgotten about the need for solitude that wild places have hewn in my soul. I come from somewhere so wild, remote and devoid of human touch that I carry that same solitude within. I’d underestimated how much I need space and silence.

I hadn’t realised why chaos, loudness, crowds and clutter are so cacophonous to me until I stood there in calm, open stillness. I saw myself with a new understanding. Space and silence are part of my very nature; without both I feel like I am suffocating. Many times I’d felt the suffocation but hadn’t quite realised why.

Remote landscapes shaped me, solitude defines me and my creativity flows from quiet spaces within. Now I live in a different landscape but my inner compass still points west. When I feel out of sorts I walk westwards, following the crumbs for glimpses of wild and the sound of silence.

If you look back into your childhood you’ll find the crumbs you scattered. Be gentle and curious but you better be quick. Leave it too long and you might not be able to see them anymore.

So close your eyes. Journey back to a time in your childhood when you were really happy. Doing something you loved. Where were you? Was anyone else with you? What was the weather like? What were you wearing? Who was your best friend? Your worst enemy? How did you feel? Call back the atmosphere of this time and allow the details to emerge in your awareness. Call these memories into your heart and find the golden thread that links the Then-You to the Now-You. Breathe deep into the reconnection and remembering.

Your inner child wants you to remember the child you were so that you can be the adult you were always meant to be. Creative. Wild. Joyful. Free.”

- written by Jackie Stewart, Flowerspirit. You might like to connect with Jackie yourself – you will find her lovely gentleness on Twitter @JSFlowerspirit and of course on her website: Flowerspirit.

Images of Puck’s Glen, Argyll, Scotland borrowed from photographer, Jason Smalley. See more of Jason’s breath-taking nature photography at www.jasonsmalley.co.uk. You can even purchase his images which exemplify his ethos of ‘connecting to nature through the craft of photography’ at Wildscape at Redbubble.

Jason and Jackie also create an artful and powerful newsletter, Essence of Wild – have a look and enjoy.

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17/11/2010

What does your desk say about you?

Desk – Music and Sound Design from Aaron Trinder Film:Motion:Music on Vimeo.

Are you nomadic, without need of a desk? Or do you like your desk to be cluttered with inspiration? Do you use piles of papers as walls of protection?

Why are you the way you are?

This lovely short film is a gentle glimpse into the fascinating psychology of the desk as used by humans.

[Much as I love paperweights - like those glass ones from the 1970's - I've never had one. What's the point of putting something on a pile of paper when you are not in a windy place? But ah, now I see in this little film it is for those of us who love little scraps of paper all willy-nilly everywhere. You will see a bird one in actual use - stopping delicate little newspaper cuttings from blowing about! And I suppose also pleasing the fancy of its owner.]

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30/09/2010

Let’s spin the bottle, why not?

So I’ve been a little neglectful of my darling online journal recently. {AND THAT’S OK! I add later} My creative spirit has needed a fix of Etsy-ness and I’ve been spending lost hours in the Etsy Treasury and convo-ing lovely people and caressing my new Inner Wild Etsy shop. [Um, my third ... fourth?]

Cycling in and out of different creative phases easily and without guilt is a bit like an adulthood game of spin the bottle. I remember being made to feel bad as a child about my love of novelty and the potentiality of the new so that I’ve spent years attempting to go against my nature; forcing myself to labor a thing beyond the time I had lost interest.

Oh the damage people can do to us when we are little; moving us away from our own truths to fit their truths of how we ‘should’ be! I have eventually shaken off this feeling of guilt and now feel good about my natural skills in the realms of the nascent and the new inspiration rather that beating myself up for a perceived lack of follow-through.

it is glorious – and incredibly productive in the most fulfilling of ways – to honor your personal creative spirit and the cycles of how it wants to manifest at any given time. Feel like gardening? Do it. Feel like cleaning? Do it. Quick change to feeling like taking a walk? Do it. Your creative instinct knows what’s best for you. And you’re being mindful in a different way in the moment – mindful of your own inner world.

It’s when we apply life’s schedule of work times and pre-planned events that we begin to feel depleted and weary – we are not flowing with our inner creative biorhythms and natural peaks and troughs.

I’ve always cycled my passions so that with the return of a particular true love came a patina of it being a new love, sandwiched and contrasted as it was by others in-between – and always now there are the unbreakable steel cords of constants: motherhood, (child and animals) and writing. This works with my desire for novelty and also lets creative activities contrast and give to one another in a limitless universe of possibilities.

So in honor of flights of surprising whimsy this blog post is a kind of a little game of spin the bottle wherein I have three more breathy topics: one for the boys and one for the girls and one unisex.

The first spin (girls): I have *decided* I am vehemently anti-fashion and opposed to the out-moded circus of commercial nonsense that is fashion editors and media people – dictating what we “should” be wearing each season in an attempt to make us feel insecure enough to BUY more clothes we don’t need to the extent so that we are ‘acceptable’.

Screw that. Wear what you like. I was thinking of devoting a whole blog post to this idea when – wouldn’t you know it! – I discover the blistering irony that I am visionary and MAINLINING global fashion trends in my Etsy shop! LOL

Damn them. It’s just too freaky. Check this out:

- A department store (House of Fraser) in the UK has “Wild Things” as a ‘womenswear autumn 2010 trend’

- The Guardian Weekend says CABLE KNITS are IT for Autumn 2010

- I thought I was very alternative using Isle of Harris Tweed yarn but blooming Laura Ashley is now yabbering on about its “Isle of Harris” knitwear range.

- And, and, AND the Paris Fashion Report – from PARIS – tells us, “After many years of high-tech and structured fashion, the inevitable consequence of our sophisticated, modern lives, we’re going back to the wild. Let’s rebound to our primal state and reconnect with our inner beast!”

Are they copying me? Or am I inadvertently the butt of a cosmic joke wherein I am channeling the world of seasonal “fashion” I loathe; mainlining global fashion trends, editors of Vogue Italia et al via the collective consciousness while I sleep? I laugh. Ha. Ha. Ha. *Nervous titter*.

But easing my sense of all-being-right with the world is the second bottle spin (unisex):

I happened upon an extraordinary psychological exploration of The Wild Wood from The Wind In The Willows (the film and its adaptations) as a metaphor for primal fears, depression and our collective unconscious fears and how we react to them as humans. This is a beautiful examination of the human psyche using archetypal themes by MovieMan0283. Please have a look. It is amazing, profound, thoughtful and I think you’ll like it very much.

If, like me, you have ever been depressed, this will remind you of how brave you were in the Wild Woods and how much you learned in there and how fearless you are compared to others who’ve never ventured in there and how much you appreciate not being in the Wild Woods now.

And if you are in the Wild Woods at the minute, this will help you remember you are surviving in a very scary place, that you not alone in there after all – and, I hope, you’ll feel supported in finding your way out, following us who have left you a path if you can see it shining thinly |(we were weak when we left it) so that with every step you take away from the dark Wild Woods you are moving into a safer place, here, outside the Wild Wood looking at it over your shoulder as it gets smaller behind you.

Third spin (for the boys): an equally insightful and exactingly useful exploration of the nature of the Inner Wild Man in relation to the movie American Beauty by Eivind Figenschau Skjellum (how great is that writer’s name!).

Man, you must read this!  I especially loved Eivind’s brilliant concluding bullet-points of magnificence that offer practical advice on how men can liberate their inner wild man to create a happier life: “Powerful ideas from American Beauty“.

So I leave you with these errant bottle spinning surprises. Enjoy spinning your bottle of creativity today.


Image “Never Let It End” borrowed from Photographer Michael Garbutt. You can see more of Michael’s stunning work and even buy prints at Elgarboart and Elgarbo shops on Etsy.com.

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01/09/2010

Constraint, Freedom + The Big Adventure of Quitting my Day Job

[I'm beside-myself with excitement and joy to bring you a guest post by Andrea from ABCcreativity.

Andrea is the coach I most admire and appreciate on the internet today.  She seems to constantly create and share a beautiful, vibrating feeling of love and abundance, creativity and spirituality. I signed up for Andrea's Creativity 101 e-course - it is spectacular (+free!) and her honey-voiced, guided meditations have reduced me to lovely, healing tears.

Andrea is an artist, a creative journaler, creativity workshop facilitator, meditator and coach. Please be good to yourself today and visit Andrea's online place of miracles-waiting-to-happen-for-you, ABCcreativity.]

“What I love about Inner Wild Therapy is that the posts here flow into that deep space beyond words. Right now, The Case for Constraint is speaking to something deep inside me.

For several years as a struggling artist, I saw day jobs as the devil and did everything I could do avoid them. I would not be constrained.

I had no idea that the very thing I rebelled so much against, the day job, was the very thing that would move me forward and onward and into fabulous new worlds and experiences i couldn’t even see from my day job-less world.

When I got that day job, seven years ago, I swore it was only temporary.

But as I settled into the routine of an employed person, my creativity began to soar. Constrained, for sure. My days weren’t free for art anymore. But when it was time for art – I was focused. I was clear. I was more productive as an artist when I had a full time job! Who would have thought?

New art supplies. Courses. Retreats. Stability. Routine. Growth. The biggest constraint, the day job, turned into my best tool for creating a life that feels right for me. It was like a little incubator. And as I grew stronger and my creative work great bigger, the incubator got smaller and I shifted into part time work.

I am coming up to the part now where it’s time to let the day job go completely. To release the constraint and fly free. And this part is so much harder than I ever would have thought. Every day I am stunned about how much there is to process in letting this part of my life go.

This is it. Freedom. No constraints.

And I know I’m ready. Or I’m getting ready anyway. I’m planning to leave my job by the end of the year. But in the meantime I am so really fully completely aware of how beneficial the constraint has been. The safety and nurturing of it. The familiarity.

And then I get to this part in The Case for Constraint.

And that means our creative power can explode like a new universe from a black hole.

Well yeah. On the other side of the constraint there is this magnificent explosion of creative delight. That alone is worth going into a constrained period, isn’t it? To go from the grey office day job to having this as my workspace:

fabulous art room

Creative explosion of delight.

But really what it’s all coming down to for me is that this can’t be separated. Constraint and freedom are partners. I’ll always have both and how comfortable can I really get with that fact?

There are ebbs and flows. There is downtime. There are reasons to contract. Just like there are reasons to expand and create and enjoy. There has to be balance. All I can really do is listen to my life, listen to my heart, do my best to do what feels right and trust what shows up – if it’s constraint or freedom or success or stillness or a big mess or a totally amazing adventure.

xoxo

andrea”

Image “i know who i am” borrowed by me from Andrea’s Art Exhibit: “let’s all live happily ever after, a celebration of life, possibility and dreams about to come true” which I just discovered is on redbubble – available for sale as Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, Laminated Prints, Mounted Prints, Canvas Prints and Framed Prints. For stories about Andrea’s series of darling & inspiring paper dolls,  creativity blog, art journaling videos, online creativity workshops and guided meditations visit ABCcreativity.

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30/06/2010

The case for constraint

Perhaps like you, I resent being thwarted or trapped by some external constraint.

I have often rushed at these immovable things like a bull at a gate, with the same results of a sore head.

However, that was until recently. I’ve discovered, through nature, how fruitful such solid outside constraints can be. Twice this year I’ve seen the kind of ripe power that can burst forth after a period of life-strangling tight confinement.

‘How strange that constraint can create a build-up of awesome energy’ I thought (completely forgetting about bondage restraints and water dams) as I watched my “winter pansies” and “Lidl strawberries” produce flowers and fruits at an accelerated rate after my negligent containment of them.

I bought fifty tiny “winter colour” seedlings ultra-cheap from a Guardian offer in the Autumn. I potted them up with zealot gardener dedication.

But I was too late getting them into the flowerbeds and between one hard frost and another, followed by inches of snow on frozen ground, too cold and hard to gouge the trowel into, they were abandoned in their tight little containers.

In the Spring I noticed they seemed to still be alive, had even managing a bud or two in their tiny cells. I planted them out randomly in the garden and in the window boxes, what the hey.

Whoo-o! Within two days they were three times their size, bursting with new leaf and bigger buds, new buds and some had even flowered! They embraced their liberation with a force they must have been building and building after surviving the dormant freeze of wintertime. They have since produced flourishes of bright, joyful flowers for several months.

Similarly, the box of strawberry seedlings a friend gave me a couple of months ago which became root-bound. I fretted mildly about where to plant them and putting straw around the plants and what about losing them to our snails and slugs who rampage with full territorial rights through our garden and was there any point really in planting them out at all?

What a thing to admit to! And yet it reminds me of the fears we sometimes have about starting any creative project – our mind throws up all kinds of possible obstacles and fears which often prevent us from doing anything at all.

What is the point of spending hours of my life on this novel if it is never published? What is the point of buying a paint set if I never have time to paint? And so on, you get the idea.

I planted the strawberries out last week and already there are bunches of hard creamy strawberries beginning to blush with pink – the bright red one of a few days ago has already been eaten by a mouse or bird.

There are so many basic and complex examples of solid, external circumstances that confine and constrain us in our lives in just the same way ice forms in the stems of pansies. A lack of funds, the death of someone, a locked door, a phone not answered, a Visa expired, love rejected, a bus that breaks down.

So often our response is to try to fight the constraint, push it away. Maybe even deny it altogether. And yet look what nature tells us about the power external constraint can give us. If we freeze, pause a little and then allow ourselves to build our energy it will be there as a huge reserve you can let burst when external circumstances change, as change they will.

I am going to be more pansy and strawberry plant like from now on when I’m forced by external circumstance and situation to be dormant, pull my feelers in, remain alert and unmoving – be patient within a prolonged pause.

I am not talking here about in-between fallow periods. I am talking about those very real, very tangible forces outside of ourselves that stop us in our tracks and which we cannot change by force or any other method.

If my pansies or strawberries had fought against their confinement they would have lost a large reserve of stored energy. Instead, by pressing a natural ‘pause’ button they have given themselves the energy reserve to, at the slightest lessening of their confinement, burst forth with a huge force of raw, flowering and fruitful power.

And so it is with us. Instead of fretting and fighting about a confinement we might have – traveling to work, a difficult relationship, a tight deadline, an enemy setting us up for a fall, a pay freeze, a drain on cash flow – so many situations come up in life that press our ‘pause’ button.

I’ve noticed that many people advocate pushing through these forced constraints and I agree it is a good idea to test the strength of it initially. But then we must pause and wait, always knowing the release may not come but quietly containing our energy so we are ready for the dam bursting, the bonds removed, the money flowing and we can enjoy the hugely magnified power we had in only in potential before the constraint.

Constraints are good. They dam our creative power. And that means our creative power can explode like a new universe from a black hole.

If you, like me, are hoping that the photographer, Kalpana Chatterjee, who captured the image above immediately pulled out a pair of wire cutters and cut that barbed wire right off, you are only showing the positive spirit of humanity that has us always turning towards life and growth. Let us imagine the divine release and how the tree sap flowed after that snipping.

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17/06/2010

Interview with a Wild Man – Jim Beattie of Primal Scream


Oh yeah. I am SO good to you baby.

Here for your curious pleasure, your whimsical attention, your inner wild liberation is Primal Scream legend, songwriter, musician and all-round wild man, Jim Beattie interviewed in a hazardous fashion by me.

If you can bear the excruciating first couple of minutes of me faffing around with the camera and sounding like a donkey’s ass while Jim demonstrates great patience you may feel wildly empowered after watching the whole thing. (I chose not to cut those minutes, or any of the other bits I could have cut. I am weird that way. I like it real, raw and slow y’know.)

Jim talks with dangerous candor about music, being in a successful punk rock band, writing songs, self-expression, music, creativity, seeing naked breasts for the first time, (at a David Bowie / Ziggy Stardust gig) individuality, Future Shock, fashion, making axes from tin cans as a child, music, karma, how he uses gardening to “lose himself”,  fear factors, the Sex Pistols, mindfulness, music, why people should read more, cooking, de-cluttering, being in the now, how to find your inner wild man, google Earth, architecture, music, making furniture instead of buying it, how we’re all voyeurs, woodworking, psychos, his wild take on life’s purpose, music, going hill-walking so he can “breathe” and yes, even religion and politics.

Meanwhile, I inappropriately disclose childhood abuse I experienced, talk and laugh too much.

Anyway, after the serious ride of being a famous punk rocker and songwriter, Jim has now chosen to be of service to young musos, artists and other creative people by actively supporting and helping them to set up in business through Glasgow-based Ico Ico.

I wanted to interview Jim not just because he is a legendary punk rocker and I was a punk but also because he is one of the kindest, funniest and hard-man grandest people I’ve met. I wanted to get some insights from him that might help other creative wild types live a bigger life.

Wanna hear some of Jim’s tunes? Check out his Primal Scream favorites:

Velocity Girl

Gentle Tuesday

both written by Jim.

For more Primal Scream check out current line-up website, some other Primal Scream website, fab unofficial Primal Scream website, Primal Scream photos, history and songs on last.fm and NME’s Primal Scream news, pics, lyrics, photos, best songs, discography, concerts, gossip and tour dates.

Footnotes:

I have interviewed hundreds of people in person, on the phone, via email. You would have NO idea of my interviewing skills watching this video interview!

Video interviewing is a whole other kind of other thing entirely! I am a video interview virgin so be gentle with me.

If you are disappointed not to see me on film – so am I! I had a great outfit on, and lipstick, but forgot to film myself. *sigh* In my next interview I might sit side by side. Oh God, just the idea of that makes me feel a little faint…

The blog I mentioned at one point when we were talking about simple bliss whose name escaped me at the time 1000 Awesome Things – amazing!

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31/05/2010

Flipping free of creative oppression

Can you relate the person in the illustration above? He has taken all his wondrous, firey wands of creativity; his gorgeous ideas and free-spirited thoughts and has dug them in around himself like the stakes of a prison. Now his wands of creative imagination and expression hem him in, smother and oppress him.

Feeling creatively oppressed is horrible. With too many burdens to carry you’re exhausted and grumpy. The feeling escalates with every un-creative task you attend to, (although admittedly you could argue all tasks are creative in some form or another).

Yet, annoyingly, it’s a natural part of the process of creativity.

Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in mundane tasks like washing the floor, doing the laundry, making meals, checking emails. I’ve been over-ambitious about how much I can achieve in one day.

I’m wrapped up like a fly in a spider’s web of grocery shopping, making someone’s birthday present, sweeping the patio, taking the dog for a walk and on and on it never-endingly goes.

I think about the world and all its concerns. My giant creativity is tied down and every tiny task or thought is like a tiny person tying down Gulliver in Gulliver’s Travels until it is trapped, rigid and helpless.

Now I don’t want to give you a shopping list of X ways to flip free of creative oppression for fear that might make you feel even more oppressed. Just thinking about a shopping list makes me feel suffocated right now.

So look, here’s just ONE simple, lovely way. Maybe two, or two and half.

First, realize you are creatively oppressed. Know that in living and being part of the real world, it’s normal and natural for things to overwhelm you. Flip this attitude to one of appreciation of the basics like having a job or a roof over your head then let it go by doing this:

Relinquish.

Allow your creative, adventurous, daring and risk-taking side a little space. How do you do that? By relinquishing stuff.

We all know that what we do on the outside mirrors what we do on the inside and vice-versa. So grab a bag and throw some stuff out.

This may seem to contradict what I said about simple tasks making us feel creatively oppressed but I’ve found that cleaning my home or tidying up seems to release at least some of the burdens that are weighing me down.

I knew a novelist who could not write a word unless his entire house was neat and tidy. (Luckily it was a small house and he has managed to write a few books.) I think maybe this has something to do with tangibly getting your house in order so your mind will be ordered too. The mindful task of cleaning and sorting also sorts out your thoughts and calms you.

Sculptors know all about removing in order to create. They talk about taking pieces away to reveal the shape within. I’m not a sculptor but I really love this idea. Minimalists and those on a de-cluttering drive get it intuitively. (Leo Babauta of ZenHabits has a beautiful, useful post “how to let go of possessions” on his Mnmlist blog which fires me up to chuck stuff out.)

My number one way to instantly relieve myself of a sense of creative oppression is to grab a bag, zealously collect things from round my home that I no longer have need for and take the bag to a charity shop.

When I do this – and I do it a lot because I often feel creatively oppressed and am cool with that – I feel instantly lighter.

The bigger the bag, the more stuff I’m removing, the lighter I feel. Oftentimes the more ‘attached’ to something I am, the more relief I feel in getting rid of it.

So here’s your one-step process to flip quickly from feeling creatively oppressed to creatively liberated: relinquish.

Yes, take one bag of stuff you no longer need and give it away. Free up your space, free up your mind, free up your creativity.

————–> If I’m being responsible I should add an important caveat. There is another effect of relinquishing physical possessions. It often precipitates relinquishing of relationships and out-moded ways of being. For example, don’t be surprised if you throw out a bag containing your first resume attempts and some old work stuff to find yourself deciding to write a resignation letter.

Relinquishing has a BIG ripple-effect. And as we know a ripple effect is one of nature’s fundamental and creative responses.

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