inner wild therapy

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Category: Creativity (page 2 of 5)

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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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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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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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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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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