podcast!

Hi, dear folks!

Here is a podcast! It’s part of a podcast series from the Real School of Art: our relationship – particularly as women – as mystical creative women – with money. (podcast solo in inglese – su le donne, i soldi, e la creatività) 

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Other news this week/ Altre notizie questa settimana:

Join my newsletter HERE if you want to know about the offers coming up on my art – and my arthouse! Iscriviti alla mia newsletter QUI se vuoi sapere quali sono le offerte in arrivo sulla mia arte – ed il mio arthouse!

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Because there is an Etsy sale and massive discounts for previous clients and patrons this winterfest, NOW is the time to buy my art! Perché c’è un saldo su Etsy e sconti enormi per patrocini e clienti precedenti questo inverno, ORA è il momento di comprare la mia arte!

You can see new paintings on ETSY right now, and as ever, join me on PATREON if you want to see them before they are released to the public – e.g. my landscape paintings often sell before they are published. Puoi vedere nuovi dipinti su ETSY adesso e, come sempre, unisciti a me su PATREON se vuoi vederli prima che vengano pubblicati al pubblico – ad es. i miei dipinti di paesaggi spesso vengono venduti prima di essere pubblicati.

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The Real School of Art has SPECIAL PRICES for you signing up this winter, and there’s the free intro course too, to give you a taster of the school. Just ask if you have any Qs about the RSOA – I am here to help! The Real School of Art ha PREZZI SPECIALI per chi iscrivi a quest’inverno, e c’è anche il corso introduttivo gratuito, per darti un assaggio della scuola. Basta chiedere se hai qualche Q sull’RSOA – posso aiutarti con traduzione se parli solo un po’ d’inglese.

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Loads of good wishes, and speak to you soon,

Un sacco di auguri e parliamoci presto,

Clare xx

PS If you love all that I share  – please consider making a donation, to support my creative process, thank you! PS Se ami tutto che sto condividendo – per favore pensare di fare un donazione, per dare sostengo al mio processo creativo, grazie!

donation towards clareartista’s creative evolution

With your invaluable support, I am able to sustain the hard work behind-the-scenes: writing, painting, thinking, exploring, experimenting Con il tuo prezioso sostegno, sono in grado di sostenere il duro lavoro dietro le quinte: scrivendo, dipingendo, pensando, esplorando, sperimentando

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THE SCHOOL!

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Here is a COMPLETELY FREE course – an intro to the Real School of Art – your go-to-place for all things related to creative transformation…!

I finally got my fabulous online art school up onto the Teachable platform: it’s neat, organised, and will make sense to more-logical brains (than my own).

It was a battle to get my vision into compatible format!!

It feels amazing to have this gateway between me and the world: a means of my channeling all this integrated wisdom about artistic expansion – living the happiest of artist lives … and hopefully setting lots of folks into a great creative adventure…

Here’s how it works so far:

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this is the FREE INTRO COURSE

THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU IF: You just want to have a nosy – and get a feel for the school. There’s some art chat around what art and creativity really are, and why they’re so vital in the world today.

There’s also some insight into the school’s approach and energy – and some free art lessons!

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The MYTH-BUSTING SERIES!

THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU IF: You’re keen on art and have a dream about creating something significant, but it all seems so mysterious, snobby and remote – out of reach to you. YOU WISH SOMEONE WOULD PULL AWAY THE VEILS AND GIVE YOU A FRESH, ACCESSIBLE POINT OF VIEW OF IT ALL!

This is a series of short art chats and exercises for you to follow: it takes us through the most prevailing of the lies about art, which stop humans from being magically creative!

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This is course 1- on making space inside & out for your art

THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU IF: You love creating or have always wanted to get creative, but for some intangible reason it seems to be an elusive process: time passes and the dream, project, painting just don’t get anchored. YOU WISH SOMEONE COULD GUIDE YOU INTO YOUR FIRST STEPS AS A SERIOUS ARTIST!

This lesson set goes over the essential shit which no-one tells you about in art school: how to arrange your space and time, and how to get over the initial inner turmoils which being creative brings up.

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This is your BUILDING A STRONG FOUNDATION course

THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU IF: You’re keen to begin more seriously with your art studio and practise, and you feel like it should be easy – you ‘should’ just get on and create more… but then practical stuff gets in the way, and the doubts about your ability… YOU WISH YOU COULD JUST GET ON WITH THE ART!

Haphazardly winging it won’t get you near your enormous artistic gift, nor will learning tricks or short-cuts: this is how to approach your art practise right, from the start!

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This is the LIVING IT course!

THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU IF: You’re a creator and have a practise, but it hasn’t seemed to develop beyond an extended hobby – and this frustrates you. Other banal stuff seems more urgent, and your enthusiasm peters out – blocked by lack of direction and inspiration… YOU WISH YOU KNEW HOW TO POWER UP AND SUSTAIN A PROFESSIONAL ART PRACTISE!

Your approach is everything: get this clear, get your commitment in place, and your practise will flow like it should – prolifically!

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This is the one to get you OVER ALL YOUR ART HURDLES!

You’re up and running as an early-career artist; out and about, connected, exhibiting here and there – you have some confidence but you want much, much more from your art career: it all feels a bit stale, and you want it to feel stimulating and fulfilling… YOU WISH YOU KNEW HOW TO FREE UP YOUR ENERGY AND REALLY MOVE TOWARDS YOUR LIFE AMBITION VISION AS AN ARTIST!

Everyone meets resistance, and at every stage in their life and work; this is a set of lessons to equip you for sailing over the jumps like a pro!

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This is the course which shows you how to KEEP YOUR ART ENTHUSIASM UP!

You’re starting to craft a healthy art career, and love your practise… and yet there seems to be an invisible ceiling above you that you can’t get beyond; a pervasive sense of limitation. YOU WISH YOU COULD GET OVER YOUR INSECURITIES AND GET TO GRIPS WITH THE PRACTICAL SHIT, SO AS TO MAKE A MORE MEANINGFUL CREATIVE CONTRIBUTION IN THE WORLD!

The deeper practical shit which many artists never get right! Here’s the key fodder to cultivate a proper art career – one that expands and flourishes!

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And this is the PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE PACKAGE

THIS FULL RSOA COURSE IS FOR YOU IF: You want to commit now to the full journey – the Real School of Art is a series of 67 lessons; crammed to the edges with inspiration, depth and colour. If you’re looking for a complete course to take you from first tentative sketches … to a vibrant career as the unique creative genius YOU WERE BORN TO BE – this is your course!

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 Stepping into the life of a real artist is challenging, exciting, terrifying: it might turn your world upside-down … and then you might realise that your world was topsy-turvy to begin with!
Entering a committed life as a working artist is something many dream of, but few have the guts to do: in this school I’ll be showing you in bite-sized steps, how to cultivate the courage that it requires, to really embrace YOUR ART PATH.

I am on hand as your guide and arts professional, to support you in your transformation. And in this first phase of the Real School of Art, I’ll be offering one-on-one Skype/ Zoom/ whatever sessions to my students, as an added bonus.

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Come join us!!

Clare xx

GUARDIA SANFRAMONDI: year 7

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Seven years in Guardia Sanframondi have a big significance: there’s a 7-yearly religious festival (taking place again in the summer of 2017) in which literally the whole town is involved, plus many members of the extended family, world-wide media representatives, curious foreigners.

It’s a festival which shocks those-who-are-easily-shocked at first glance: hooded participants reminiscent of sinister American racist gatherings; bloody chest-beating; the collective following church dogma and having to painfully repent their sins.

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The real event is something else entirely: a collective catharsis with a tangibility which is beautiful – executed with precision and care, love and dedication: 5,000 souls gathering to release all that has happened in the past years; to be cleansed and made new.

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‘Seven years’ also has huge significance in the human growth cycle – we literally replace every cell in our bodies with A NEW CELL, in that time period – EVERY SINGLE 7 YEARS OF OUR LIVES. Think of what that means – of what it could mean, if we were able to consciously harness that creative power… it’s mind-blowing! And it blows away the cobwebs too, from the rigid old school thinking around our limited potentials as humans.

Il mio settimo anno this year in Guardia, and I too feel the deep significance of a cycle well-lived: the energetic wheel is coming round to completion, and all the sacrifice and sweat is bringing riches of good relationship, profound nourishment, harmonious community -an upwards spiral of personal and collective significance.

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So many meaningful conversations and connections, tears and successes, new friendships and celebrations – all of them now deepening, as we enter a period of truly settling into this new dynamic. Guardia Sanframondi has been changed in myriad ways by the incoming cultural flux, and the town continues to react positively and dynamically to all that we bring in – which in turn exponentially grows the well-being of all.

The seeming ’empty canvas’ of the mostly-abandoned centro storico – in this new period of riempiendo – started as something of a melting pot; a cooking experiment, with tons of new ingredients being thrown in willy-nilly, and all mixing and contrasting together – the resulting soup not entirely edible!

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The initial buzz, and resulting chaos, brought about by the TV show in 2012, and then multiplied by the several subsequent transmissions, attracted some really beautiful folks and vibes, but it also attracted (and brought out of the woodwork) a pile of negative qualities. In particular, greed and manipulation; over-excitement about wanting to take advantage of this (presumed at the time) brief window of opportunity to make $$$s without much effort.

It’s a subtle and alchemical work to inspire and nurture and nourish a community to continue: to encourage it to be authentic and responsible, collective-minded and without negative power dynamics.

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photo by Charlotte Sørensen

I’ve been super-disappointed at the various frictions which have come up in Guardia in the years I’ve been here – all seeming so very unnecessary in a win-win-win situation like this – old houses being repopulated, the local economy being stimulated, whilst foreigners find dream homes and idyllic life-styles: what could possibly be found to stress about?! (That’s a rhetorical Q!)

I was talking with close friends this week, about how harmony in community is not something which comes by accident, nor in a static way: perhaps that is an older concept of harmony; simply the absence of chaos/ violence. I think we are in an age where we now know that there is so much more to our presence in the world, and that our authentic presence -our integrity and vision – is something which radiates out into the long-term. Either positively…. or not.

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We’re not educated to look at the far and wide consequences of our actions and thoughts, our intentions and ambitions. But we do live in an age where it is becoming increasingly obvious that everything we do/ are/ consume/ discard, goes out into the world with epic knock-on effect… And that we have both a personal and a collective responsibility to be GOOD, as we’ve never been so bound into rhythms of interconnectedness in the history of time. We’ve never been so dependent on each other for survival and continued evolution: the whole depends on the decisions and actions of the individuals now, today, more than ever.

What I’m saying, is that the tiny, every day actions and words we use, we use either to create, or not to create. But we live in a time where we cannot pretend any longer that life (or our interaction in it) is static; that our influence only goes as far as the end of our fingers and toes, and no further. We are beginning to really wake up to awareness that we can either be channels for energy… or not. But that the world needs our genius, our creative activity, our love and our authenticity and commitment, in order to continue.

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photo by Anna Wiraszka

And in order to access those aspects of ourselves, we need to be in a safe, nourishing place.

I am super-heartened by what I see transpiring in Guardia Sanframondi: it is a collection of dreams, held lovingly in the hands of those who want to support those dreams. It’s a landscape being loved anew, and the eyes and hearts of those who perhaps were taking it for granted, being opened.

It’s a brand-new, delicious cultural inter-exchange, like a fabric of glorious bright threads woven thickly or the most wonderful recipe perfectly blended and baked to bring into reality a dish never before tasted.

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At first I thought of this ‘filling up’ of Guardia’s medieval quarter as a practical necessity (quick, before the houses fall down!), and a cultural-economic stimulation exercise.

Now I see it as so so much more: as dreams being woven together to create a collective dream; as the sacred feminine and masculine being honoured and awoken; as individual healing turning into collective healing; as lives liberated – stranieri and locals alike – by shared wealth and feasts and small joys and beauty and mutual, loving respect.

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I also see our individual and collective responsibility as having to call out when manipulative, unscrupulous or aggressive behaviours are trying to take root: the long-term flourishing of any town depends on healthy power dynamics, and on those who will flag up when unhealthy frictions/ conflicts of interest arise. This in turn can lead to resistance, psychological projection, denial, threats… I’ve had more than a fare share thrown at me since coming here!

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But there’s a definite sense right now of the collective being on a more even keel – powered by fulfilment and shared purpose -and that everyone is learning to be more precise and honest in their business, because this creates the greater long-term energy for all parties: the old competitive model of win vs lose, melding into the new cooperative model of win-win-win.

 

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My own body, heart and soul have been healed by these 7 yrs. My quirky house and my quirky relationship with everyone in this town, my intuitive and spontaneous activities (often misunderstood, even by myself) slowly becoming more purposeful and productive, my business developing to a place where I really am working my life purpose and being rewarded for it… and all the time, relationships deepening and enriching beyond even my excessive, positive imagination!

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photo by Kat Tan

Guardia provided me with all the challenges and the nourishment; in equal measure, and in the correct dose – even when I didn’t want to take my medicine.

What we’ve created here together, and what we continue creating, is truly a precious and magical thing, from which an inspired sense of wholeness is radiating out and out to the world.

Bravi, tutti – and a brindisi to more of this!

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Tante belle cose, Clare xx

COMPETITION

PATREON

THE ARTHOUSE B&B

ETSY SHOP

PS The Arthouse Competition 2016 winner will be announced TOMORROW! 

RETURNING – WITH FRESH EYES!

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THIS IS WHY I CAME HOME!!

All gloriously coffeed-up and with a happy apple brioche in my tummy, my luggage stored safely at the station, and sat with my essentials, in a park of towering brick antiquities, palm trees and daisy lawns.

I’m encamped on the grass in the half shade, checking whether the sun is taking over the day yet. It’s late March: where I came from was a furnace, where I’m from originally would leave your arse frozen damp and muddy, but here, I could forgiven for getting teary-eyed about it.

It’s fricking perfect.

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Life in Italy is something folk romanticise about, obviously – films, songs, paintings, blogs – the Guardia Sanframondi Renaissance movement – and the Italian branding plays to it, like a Latin lover wooing a stupid tourista – easy.

But underneath all the marketing and all the folks getting lured in by the promise of that postcard idyll, there’s a profound possibility of CONTENTMENT here: a potential of fulfilment, nourishment, spiritual ease, social synchrony, community wealth, which cannot ever be bought, bargained for, commercialised. It can only be earned.

It is earned through one’s presence, a willingness to embrace and accept, a dedication to the moment, a belief in truly good things… and a humility that lets all the crazy wash right off your back.

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I think that it’s easy to overlook the small pleasures – to take them for granted, and not be joyous for them. It’s only in being without them, that we see their preciousness. The Italiani in Guardia are often perplexed as to why we stranieri would like to be in such a setting as this previously-abandoned medieval town, when we come from cultures which – at least to the outside – seem to offer such a pinnacle perfection of the consumer machine.

It’s hard to sum it up in a short blog, but for me, it’s this moment – the Easter Sunday bells are thundering with the force of all those centuries of religious consent – but they are so solidly, absolutely, delicious in how their sound wraps itself around this park, around me, around this moment, like a familiar blanket. The birds join in, as does the chatter from a biodiverse park clientele, of Romans, stranieri and dogs. And even the traffic seems to lap like waves, close as it is, adding not unpleasantly to the ambience.

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The air is as clean as air gets in a large European city, and the breeze touches my skin just enough to cool the parts that the sun is beginning to burn. My bare feet are tucked under lush clover and grasses, dotted thickly with proud bright daises.

The park begins to fill with Easter Sunday passeggiatori, none of them particularly heading to or from church, and none of them looking like they’re carrying the weight of Jesus’ martyrdom, on their shoulders. Punctuated by regular Vespa buzzing past, laughter and jollity flows around, from group to group.

We all consent to and support this good vibe, this rich life, this perfection, and we all want to keep it flowing benignly. Italy is not just about the absence of danger, discomfort, visible poverty or tensions (having just returned from a month in Uganda, I find this all very tangible), nor about the presence and availability of tasty treats, cultural resources, mod cons. For me, Italy – loving Italy, and living here – is about that quiet perfection which every single day is sewn together by; the rightness of the underlying paradigm, and the collective agreement to honour it – set in stone.

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Belonging to this culture is never something I thought to show off or hold up as a status symbol, but it is something that I can now sense and enjoy. Having tried and tested and failed and overcome a  stack of initiation challenges thrown at me by the place and the people, and having woven my own perceptions and contributions into the tapestry… and now having stepped right away completely from Italy, and come back to it…. I feel a sense of  – not ownership, but – that I am responsible to my place in it.

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I feel utterly joyous to return to this benevolence, this warm familiarity and nourishing ambience; it feels like it is mine now. There are so many reasons why Italy projects such a strong romantic appeal, a seductive façade. But more importantly (for me), under this glam exterior, there’s a depth of riches quite unimaginable.

 

Come join me on Patreon to see all the insight and images, a window onto my studio and creative process, more from my travels in Africa – and to Live Like A Happy Artist! This is where I share all the behind the scenes and deeper stories, just with my special people…

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You can also:

Follow me on Facebook

Browse my Etsy shop

See my books and calendars on Lulu

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Tante belle cose, Clare

THE UNIVERSE IS ALWAYS SHOWERING US WITH BLESSINGS!

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This week (my 4th in Africa) a multitude of stuff happened, which to many folks would signal ‘Oh noooo!!’ and have them running home tail-between-legs. I’ve even had a few messages from friends and family, scared and stressed for me, and assuming I should jump on the next plane back to Guardia Sanframondi.

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But to my perspective as a happy creative person, the way we view what happens around us – to us – there’s a spectrum of possibility in that… and all of it is positive.

What that means in reality, is that no matter what has been thrown at me, from aggression and projection and domineering manipulation, to being isolated and ignored, to electricity cuts and water outages, masses of biting insects, utterly debilitating heat, lack of personal safety, not being able to find the most basic food stuffs…

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All this can be a joyous learning curve.

How? How does one turn an anguishing situation into a constructive one?

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It’s so simple that it gets overlooked a lot: good old methodical correcting of our thinking.

What this means in practise is that, as big clever super-intelligent human people, we have the truly extraordinary capacity to think for our selves. We also are able to both rationalise and transform our feelings – our emotions.

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Together, these two inner resources allow us, if we really work with them with sincerity and humility, and go always deeper, and to get to this place deepest inside, where it all is good.

One of the practical tools I used, back in some of my more stressful times (and in moments like these in Africa!) is to make a great long list of at least 21 reasons for why this moment or issue is something really truly positive in your life.

At first this is an awfully clunky process, but you will be amazed what comes of it, as you convince yourself, like a self-fulfilling-prophecy, to look at the bright side.

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But slowly, slowly, you begin to open your mind, your very synapses, your heart and whole energy, to what is possible, rather than what isn’t possible.

And this opening is the key to human happiness and well-being. When things flow through us, rather than coming to a blockade, where we have a big heavy doubt in our mind or heart, or even a subtle negative thought, we can access infinitely more energy, inspiration, enthusiasm, hope, success… you get the idea.

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The very act of being negative stops this flow. And when the flow is stopped, it begins to manifest in the outside world around us: we project outwards into our work and relationships, our home and family life, the literal blocks which are going on inside of us. Our partner becomes an aggravation rather than the support we so desperately need, our job becomes a drain on our very soul, and life in general feels like it is wearing us down.

But by this time, we don’t see that we are being negative: we think we are being ‘realistic’ or that we can see reality better than others: we’ll defend this dark reality, no matter how much it is eating into our soul, to the end.

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Awareness, or sometimes another human being, or often something we come across or read, can inspire us to really look at the limiting shell we’ll living in, but we have to be willing to see it.

So really it’s a choice, like everything in life:

get busy being happy, or get busy being stuck in your own muddy rut.

Start looking at what the darkest things in your life are/ have been, and how they can be lessons and blessings.

Or you could just sit still, and complain about how life isn’t what you want it to be.

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In my experience, having come from a place of poverty, ill health, depression, grief  and severe anxiety (I could go on) and having utterly transformed that into a beautiful and empowered life, filled with colour, depth and meaning…I know that it works; that no matter how downward your spiral appears to be; how deeply rutted our habits and closedness… it can and will all be opened up so we can flourish, if we just set our minds to it.

Happiness IS the way!

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Loads of good wishes to you, and I’ll be in touch via PATREON about all that’s going on in Africa!

You can also SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER, which will be going out on Monday.

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I’VE BEEN IN BED FOR TWO WEEKS…

…AND I LOVED BEING ILL!

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My illness this past fortnight, particularly painful and incapacitating, was probably the most transformative period I’ve had in all my creative years. I’ll tell you why, though I’m slightly nervous about the confessional aspects:

Firstly, I don’t approach being sick in the conventional way. Nor do I follow a ‘complimentary’ path. I’m hardcore listening-to-illness-as-a-means-of-spiritual-transformation type. I get that this riles people on many levels, from doctors to family, who see a symptom and want to jump on it, stamp it out like it’s a spark threatening to burn down the house.

For me, the aggressive approach resonates with many stances throughout modern cultures: ultimately, it’s knee-jerk intervention, from a place of fear. Interference is the presumed norm; getting in the way of natural processes and cycles – anything which can work itself out. We like to be busy, and to be seen to be useful: we value doing, and become uncomfortable with others who allow things to just be.

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But here are 5 good reasons why I’d listen to a disease, rather than react to it:

  1. The reasons we’re ill are most often directly related to the path we’ve been on up until becoming so; they’re often many, always interconnected. We do great service to our lives, and to the lives and health of others, by looking inwards when we’re sick.
  2. Symptoms give us the space, the silence, the rest, which we need, even when our mind is jibing away about returning to work.
  3. Symptoms are the body’s means of expressing disharmony – they need to be allowed to be let out.
  4. If symptoms are halted or suppressed in any way, the underlying causes of those symptoms will be even more difficult to see.
  5. The underlying reasons will continue to be out of kilter, and will continue to develop symptoms, but are likely to create new symptoms on a deeper level, less visible to us.

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The fact it’s considered normal to want to put a lid on our symptoms, and then get right back to what they interrupted us from doing, is a kind of psychosis. Or at best, it’s certainly not healthy; it suggests that we are tied into a kind of bondage, if we can’t take the time and space to attend to the spiritual, to our underlying well-being, when we’re ill.

But it can be frightening being ill and in pain; our stability and continuity is challenged – we don’t know for sure if it might spiral downwards into something more serious – everyone around us is baying about medicine: it’s best to just take the pill than to trust one’s body, of all things.

This is where it gets a bit back-to-front for me, because doctors and friends are there telling me to follow the ‘sensible’ route, and I’m there thinking ‘how do I explain that I don’t believe in their highly suspect reality?!’ The pharmaceutical industry is based on super-wobbly mythologies, and is intertwined with the über macho psyche of our whole cultural: destroy, before you are destroyed!

This paradigm only works because we’ve been temporarily lulled into believing that we’re better to trust someone else about our mind-body-spirit than ourselves: just look at schools, churches, governments. And so that becomes true for lots of people: they don’t have any access to their own healing power, their self-knowledge, they no longer see their own symptoms not as a means of learning. Pain is seen not as a signpost, but something either to be quickly snuffed out (beit by pill, booze or other numbing factor), or fetishised – shared and compared.

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I’m here on this planet neither as a subscriber to pharmaceutical companies, nor to quell the fears of everyone who thinks we shouldn’t feel pain and have symptoms. I believe what I do, because of years of healing and listening, studying and deepening, of knowing myself, and knowing enough about how the mind-body-spirit functions (not to be arrogant, but) to trust in the power of my body to heal itself.

I’m here in this lifetime to grow spiritually, and to learn more about energy, consciousness, illumination. That’s why, coming out of a fortnight of physical overwhelm, I feel myself renewed deep inside; calm in my spirit and mind, healed emotionally, happy and free: I feel all my levels aligned, and aligned with my external life again.

I’ll be writing more about the subject of the pain body and transforming creatively, in the Live Like A Happy Artist book series.

Lots of love, Clare xx

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PS! Get a window into my studio, book excerpts, insight, sharing, and very special patron boons which no-one else gets, right here. AND watch out for news of the INSIDER’S GUIDE TO GUARDIA – coming very sooon!

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HAPPY VALENTINES’ DAY!

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WELCOME TO THE ARTHOUSE VALENTINE’S ADVENT!

Fourteen days (oops, I was thinking there were 15!) of creative re-interpretation of St Valentine’s, and the magic of this season!

DAY FOURTEEN: HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY?

Wow. I’ve been surprised about my research on the origins of the festival- my goodness, what a helter-skelter of profoundly messy interconnected stories are behind it!

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The real history of this celebration, as with many other festivals in the year, gives us insight into our veritable cultural schizophrenia. These videos give some insight (if you can ignore the religious overtones) into the way the original pagan ceremony was hijacked and re-presented as relating to a martyred saint – a familiar story, with organised religion!

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The festival in its original form even appears to relate to worship of Pan, and the celebration of a potent peak in the monthly biorhythms, which in February were earlier than other months, because of ego-maniac Roman rulers who had ‘borrowed’ days from February, in order to make longer the months they’d named after themselves!

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Fertility rights (i.e. sex!) were celebrated in the cave where the famous Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were suckled by a she-wolf. The celebrations also contained a kind of lottery, in which couples would be paired up for the year as sexual partners (which often led to marriage), as well as sacrifice of goats and dogs, representing fertility and cleansing, and the use of bloody strips of their hides to bless woman and field.

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It’s like a veritable lasagne of custom and ritual! And all this now neatly hidden behind a cartoon version of sugar-love and redness, plastic and glitter, spending and guilt.

15th Feb 2009 bark heart Glen Estate

That last aspect appears to be the sauce which holds it all together: guilt. That unnamed sense of having always done something wrong – be it the original sin the church imposes on us, something in our own childhood/ our first sexual experience, or even not having bought your girlfriend a card on this most ‘important’ of days.

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How far back do we go to reclaim a festival? Or is the question rather, how do we extricate ourselves from this entanglement with institutions who give us the illusion that they know more about our souls than we do?

heart petal on watery ground Cyprus 2002

I like to think that, if we stepped out of that shallow puddle of self-doubt, that we might spread our wings a little. And I love the idea of this festival (and others) being truly rooted deep in the earth, the season, the power of fertility and our intimate interconnection to the divine intelligence in all things.

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The rising lust of spring, as all things are ready to burst forth into seed, bud, gestation… What a blessed time indeed!

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Happy Valentine’s Day, not in the ancient sense, nor in the modern sense, but perhaps in the future sense, when we will have brought into harmony the male and female in this world, and gotten over our guilt about, whatever! Here’s to the good work ahead of us!

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Thank you so much for reading, and for following this 15 day Valentine’s advent! I’ll be elaborating on some of the subjects covered, in my upcoming book – stay tuned!

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                                                              Tante belle cose, Clare xx

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BENVENUTI AL’AVVENTO DI SAN VALENTINO!

Quattordici giorni (ops, stavo pensando sono 15!) di reinterpretazione creativa del giorno di San Valentino, e la magia di questa stagione!

GIORNO QUATTORDICI: AUGURI PER IL GIORNO DI SAN VALENTINO?

Wow. Sono stato sorpresa sulla mia ricerca sulle origini del festival- santo cielo, che montagne russe di storie interconnesse profondamente disordinati sono dietro la data!

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La vera storia di questa celebrazione, come in molti altri festival durante l’anno, ci fornisce una visione in nostro vero schizofrenia culturale. Questi video fornisce una certa comprensione, se è possibile ignorare le intonazioni religiose, nel modo in cui la cerimonia pagana originale è stato dirottata e ri-presentato come relativa ad un santo martire una storia familiare, con la religione organizzata!

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Il festival nella sua forma originale appare in fatti di relazionarsi al culto di Pan, e la celebrazione di un potente picco nei bioritmi mensili, che nel mese di febbraio sono stati anticipo rispetto agli altri mesi, a causa di governanti romani egomaniaco che aveva preso in prestito’ giorni da febbraio, in modo da rendere più mesi che avevano nominati a se stessi!

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Diritti di fertilità (cioè il sesso!) sono stati celebrati nella grotta dove il famoso Romolo e Remo, i fondatori di Roma, sono stati allattati da una lupa. Le celebrazioni contenevano anche una sorta di lotteria, in cui le coppie sarebbero stati appaiati per l’anno in qualità di partner sessuali (che spesso ha portato al matrimonio), così come sacrificio di capre e cani, che rappresentano la fertilità e la pulizia, e l’uso di strisce sanguinanti di loro pelli per benedire donna e campo.

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E ‘come un vero e proprio lasagne di abitudine e rituali! E tutto questo oggi ben nascosto dietro una versione a fumetti di zuccheroamore e arrossamento, plastica e brillantini, spesa e senso di colpa.

15th Feb 2009 bark heart Glen Estate

Tale ultimo aspetto sembra essere la salsa che tiene insieme il tutto: colpa. Quel senso innominato di aver sempre fatto qualcosa di sbagliato sia il peccato originale della chiesa ci impone, qualcosa nella nostra infanzia / la nostra prima esperienza sessuale, o perfino non aver comprato la tua ragazza una carta in questo piu importantedei giorni.

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Quanto in dietro dobbiamo andare per reclamare un festival? O è la questione invece, come possiamo liberarci da questo groviglio con le istituzioni che ci danno l’illusione che sanno più su le nostre anime rispetto a noi?

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Mi piace pensare che, se siamo usciti di quella superficiale pozzanghera di insicurezza, che potremmo diffondere le nostre ali un po’. E mi piace l’idea di questo festival (e altri) di essere veramente radicata in profondità nel terra, la stagione, il potere della fertilità e della nostra interconnessione intimo all’intelligenza divina in ogni cosa.

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La lussuria in aumento della primavera, quando tutte le cose sono pronti a esplodere in seme, germoglio, la gestazione Che tempo benedetto davvero!

Corrie shore stone and puddle heart

Buon giorno di San Valentino, non nel senso antico, né in quello senso moderno, ma forse nel senso futuro, quando avremo portato in armonia il maschio e la femmina in questo mondo, e guarito il nostro senso di colpa per qualunque cosa! Un brindisi per il buon lavoro davanti a noi!

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Sarò in espansione su questo argomento e altri che ho scritto su recentemente, nel mio libro imminente.

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