my favourite wild swimming place, where we escaped to this afternoon

So: there’s a time for tweaking, and there’s a time for busting through our own glass ceiling.

Sometimes fiddling around the edges is not enough, as our groove has been trodden too deep, and we’re stuck in it, with muddy clay hardening around our wheels!

Last week, still buzzing from the energetic lift of my mastermind with my wise women, I decided there needed to be an equivalent significant shift in my mind and my plans for the future (they were also in need of a polish!)

My brainstorming with Bi and Kat had got me realising that I’d been setting my medium-term goals rather too low, what with being caught up in the infinite details of house restoration, taking my business forward, inspiring community, improving my Italiano, and generally feeling behind schedule in all of these and multifarious other projects…

It had built into a huge mountain of minutiae, which I was sifting through oh-so-painfully slowly; the tasks were weighing on me, rather than feeling satisfying.

When we’re in this state, we welcome interruption and distraction, and get caught in a cycle of frustration with everything. We feel our control over our destiny ebbing away.

So it was clearly time for a big shift in intention! I began a fresh mind-map of what my bigger dream is – it has evolved (grown bigger!) so I needed to adjust my perception accordingly.


drawings from Angela Smyth’s recent show: see full film here

We have to tend to our dreams like a garden, otherwise they’ll wither and eventually die, frankly. All dreams change with time, and as we get closer to them, we have to alter our course, to be able to actually arrive there. And then renavigate towards the next dream!

My own glass ceiling, which was blocking me from really claiming my goal involved:

  1. being stuck in the mundane – not in a good way
  2. being blocked by some core fears around money – around my own worth and value
  3. thinking ‘I can only ever go this far’ – not giving myself room to dream bigger

Now, these were quite big hurdles for me, but the discomfort of noticing them was a flag, a clear indicator, that something needed tending too: all discomfort and/ or dissatisfaction is inherently a gift, because it’s a guider towards what we need to do next, in order to be happier.


photo by Kat Tan: me on the hill behind Guardia, feeling purposeful!

My mind-map helped me refresh my bigger dream, and got me thinking up some new thoughts, about more empowering options for the next year or two: one of them was to imagine how it would be if I sold the arthouse. I even put a post out on social media, asking my friends what they thought the house’d be worth.

This was a stupendous exercise for me, to both get me out of this feeling of being ‘just getting by’, and making me realise that, at any point, I can change my direction hugely: if I really wanted to, I could sell the house for a great price, buy a brilliant campervan, and go travelling around Europe for the next few years! Now, I’m unlikely to actually do it, but knowing it is an option gives me a great sense of liberation!

Note the difference between allowing yourself to imagine a thing, to know it’s a choice you potentially have: this helps our minds to open to the possibilities of our dreams.

There are always reasons we ‘cannot’ achieve any goal, just as there are always as many (or more) reasons that we CAN. It is up to us to choose which path to take. Why the heck do we focus on potential defeat, rather than potential success?!


our camp site today, by the wild swimming pool – inspiration for the painting below

A negative mantra blocks us completely, because it deters us from making the simple, do-able first steps towards any goal. Altering our negative thinking, putting a new positive mantra in its place, we can start behaving like we’re actually going to do the thing. In this way, we begin to towards them. The key to our dreams can be the tiniest of missing links in a chain of actions required. It might be a small link, but it connects one part of our story, with the next.


almost-finished painting, inspired by my favourite swimming hole, above

 My thinking what it’d be like to sell my house, allowed me to ‘escape’ – in a positive sense – it set my mental and emotional energies free, so that my whole lifestyle became once more a lovely adventure, rather than a dull load weighing heavily on my shoulders. Here’s to escapism!

I’ll be sharing more videos of exhibitions + events + quiet adventures at the arthouse, via my Patreon pages – sign up to have access to it all; just click here

tante belle cose, Clare xx

LLHA log websitepage

2 thoughts on “ESCAPE-ISM

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