pleasure… art gifts… midwinterfest at the arthouse

Ciao, dear friend…

Welcome to my podcast – especially to new subscribers from the Womb-Centred Healing Temple summit ♥ 

This is one of the fullest podcast-newsletters I’ve ever done, so get a cuppa and settle in…

And there’s an über-special 2-for-1 painting offer this month – don’t miss that!

This month’s podcast is on pleasure; not surface pleasure, not peak pleasure, but the deepest, most fulfilling-expanding-interconnecting pleasure that is our birthright – and that, unfortunately, we are so very distracted from pursuing.

The podcast shares how vital holistic pleasure is, both to our well-being and to our fulfilment in life – and how letting-go is so essential to this fullest pleasure.

Most of us spend most of our lives avoiding letting-go: we find security in accumulating and compounding situations, rather than releasing, giving away (e.g. wealth/ belongings/ our home), truly relaxing. This intense focus on gathering things to us, to keeping our cupboards, wardrobes, bank accounts, etc, full – it gives us little room to feel or to imagine, and so we become emptier and emptier.

This is why art is such an important activity: it both brings us – through doing it – into a spaciousness, which permits all things to relax and release, and, when we spend time around art, it shows us (invites us into) that spaciousness which the artist inhabits.

The distinct release that comes from allowing the creative flow to come through us, and of not being attached to the outcome – it’s not like a peak orgasm, but like the long, slow building of the orgasmic state; an ongoing symbiotic, awoken, sentient, state-of-connectedness that comes about from our being aligned and enlivened in our life.

Art is like a microcosm of that state, as it’s ultimately all about – not stepping into, but being flow – allowing flow to come through us.

This kind of allowing, cultivated over many years, and honed and mastered, is like the big letting-go, e.g. of stepping out into the new by selling one’s home and moving into the unknown of a different landscape, culture, community, language, climate…

But ‘big letting-go’ is something that folks rarely do, because they equate leaving and letting go with losing things, rather than with the profound gaining of freedom, of movement, of energy and time and space… of newness and possibility, learning and growth, of constructive challenge and positive – stimulating – change.

We don’t do big-letting-go much, and so we lose all our power of adaptation; our ability to be challenged and made new.

This holding-on, over time, becomes the absence of deep pleasure, because by default, holding onto things is a kind of deep tension… which translates into ingrained tensions, neuroses, fears-as-the-norm.

Our reality becomes stilted, because we don’t know what it is to have that space of unknowing – the void of creation, the space between things, in which there is peace and…. the pleasure of being alive.

I’m not suggesting that we all should follow the thrill of abandoning a life and work, and throw ourselves into a vulnerable state by having an adrenaline-fueled trip to foreign climes…

But I am hoping to inspire you about what it might feel like to let go more… To give yourself spaciousness in all things – free of being occupied with stuff, tasks, pressures: to feel your way into that emptiness both within yourself and around you – and to get more art in your life!

Press play, to hear the Pleasure podcast:

My Arthouse is up for sale…

You can see the listing here – I’m adding short videos of each room, one at a time…

Because I’m beginning a new life-work phase, my paintings want to go to new homes too:

  • I’m setting my business up to make it much easier for you to buy a painting, including payment plans via Patreon
  • My art catalogue is available as an ebook – Clare Galloway art catalogue – 100 pages of depth-colour-meaning, packed with info and stories about the art, and how to buy it
  • You get the huge gift of 2 paintings for the price of 1 this December: either buy a painting (pay in full) before the end of December, or begin a painting payment plan, via the €50 per month Patreon patron reward level, and get a second painting, as my midwinterfest abundance gift, to you. The second painting should be of the same price or less than the first – and P&P is not included.

See my paintings on Etsy right now

Ask me any Qs about this below, and let me know asap if you’d love a particular painting set aside – each painting is absolutely inimitable, and there are a few being reserved already.

The wonderful Veronica Thai invited me onto her Curious Monki podcast…

We’re speaking about how we access creative power – and use it in the everyday, to live happily and super-fulfilled!

…accessing the place of surrender and flow by using art.  As Clare says, we all have a creative engine within ourselves.  When we access this energy, we charge ourselves up and suddenly become filled with bright ideas, solutions and all the beautiful things that want to be expressed.  Art is how we can be reunited with our innate primal sense of truth.

the intuitive artist 101…

The Intuitive Artist 101 is the new gateway course to The School Of Real Art – The SORA. I’m excited because the next phase of The SORA has been a long time gestating, and it is now putting up buds, forming shape…

You can watch a brief intro to The Intuitive Artist 101, above – it describes  what the course will contain.

You get access to the whole course as it unfolds, if you join me on Patreon (all levels of patron reward get access to all my creative outpourings). See The SORA website for much more info on the courses currently available.

the womb-centred healing temple…

This is the introduction interview to a longer discourse that I had with the incredible Sama Morningstar – I was honoured to be invited to speak as a womb-centred-healing creator, for this potent summit of deepest feminine wisdom, and the Womb-Centred Healing Temple.

We talk in the summit about how I have used art to access dialogue with my core, with my creative centre – how I began intuitively, but then became adept at working from my womb, from the creative fulcrum: how I healed my own life, using art as this primal tool to access the primal voice, truth, wholeness – to wake up my very cells and my deepest passion for life.

midwinterfest in guardia sanframondi…

My neighbours and I in the Via Dietro Gli Orti, alongside other local artisan folks, will be creating a beautiful, atmospheric event from the solstice through to Christmas eve…

I’ll be creating a solstice mandala installation, and setting up a shop with my art and books, and there will be all kinds of singing, food, crafts and festivities… There’s a lot going on in the medieval quarter this winterfest, and so it will be a gorgeous end of the year community-spirit-fuelled event…

Thank you from my heart (and womb) for listening, for reading, and for connecting with my work – it is always genuinely an honour to be seen, heard, connected with…

Follow me, etc via the links below – I so love to hear from you!

Much love and oodles of midwinterfest beauty and nourishment to you,

***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. Huge gratitude to you from my ♥ if you’ll click on LIKE and/ or comment below! And even more gratitude if you share this – if you know someone who’d be inspired.
  2. Subscribe below and/ or join my newsletter.
  3. Join me on Patreon if you’d like to get more insight into my life and work: colour, depth, meaning, creative freedom, the good life, the whole woman… Patreon is my inner circle, where I share most with my very special people.
  4. My art school website is here, my art is on Etsy.
  5. Social media: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page

INTEGRITY

Hi dear friends – this is a podcast on integrity – in art and in life – and other clareartista news…

Life and work has been incredibly challenging, inspiring, satisfying and awful this year – sometimes it seems like the darker things get, the brighter the colours shine in contrast – that the more wholly challenging life is, the more our potential to be fully integrated in the mystical more-than-the-sum-of-the-parts comes to the fore…

My work is taking a deep turn – I’ve had time whilst recuperating and rebuilding my health, to really reflect on all that I’ve created over the past 30+ years of my art practise – and to quietly claim my confidence in the more profound elements, or perhaps ‘the profound wholeness’, of what my work means in the world.

 

Queendom front cover

There’s a new newsletter sign-up bonus on this website – phase one of a complete transformation – just let me know if you’re already subscribed, and you’d like a copy. It’s an ebook copy of Queedom – art and words on the awakening of the sacred feminine in our time: on how important it is for everyone that women are supported to flourish in all the breadth and depths of their potential.

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It’s based on the Regna book, from my exhibition in the castle last winter (and in italiano). Transforming it into English was spurred on by having to create a special sign-up bonus for my part in an incredible summit on womb-centred healing.

***

I’ll be offline for the whole of October (on Patreon only), taking care of myself, writing up some new plans for big change in my living and working arrangements… I’m looking for the perfect home (simple, affordable, with a beautiful situation and outlook, and a garden), and am beginning to make a plan around finishing and selling the arthouse.

So much good creative vibe to you,

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***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. Huge gratitude to you from my ♥ if you’ll click on LIKE and/ or comment below! And even more gratitude if you share this – if you know someone who’d be inspired.
  2. Subscribe below and/ or join my newsletter.
  3. Join me on Patreon if you’d like to get more insight into my life and work: colour, depth, meaning, creative freedom, the good life, the whole woman… Patreon is my inner circle, where I share most with my very special people.
  4. My website is here, my art is on Etsy, e mio sito in italiano è qui.
  1. Social media: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page

THE MYTH-BUSTING SERIES…

The Real School of Art just launched its introduction lecture series: MYTH-BUSTING THE ART WORLD!

It’s now up on Teachable, and is a series of 10 (mostly around 10mins) inspiring lectures, each with a challenge to get you to start thinking about YOUR IMMENSE creative potential.

I’m excited about it because it’s also very affordable (20 euros), and it acts as a gateway into the school – I appreciate that all the creative chaos leading up to the launch of the school might have been as hard work for those watching it unfold, as it was for me to create it! But it’s coming up online now thick and fast, and it’s feeling more and more like the potent creative vessel I visioned it to be: come aboard and let’s do this!

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Tante belle cose, Clare xx

6 STRONG REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD STEP INTO THE VOID…

It’s my birthday week again! And this is always a beautiful time to reflect on all that I have, all I’ve achieved, all that is coming true of my dreams.

This year is fricking spectacular: the freedoms I sought when I stepped out of what precious little security I had had in Scotland… The freedom was this, and it is now here, as solid and mysteriously epic and wildly magical as I could’ve ever glimpsed in my visionary imaginings: my own home; the deepest and most fulfilling of loving partnerships; my time filled with art and creative living, love and beauty; my view each day as glorious and inspiring as a panorama could ever be; the liberty to express myself deeply and meaningfully in a great spectrum of ways, as the mood takes me; being rewarded for what I do and am – financially yes, but also with friendship, community, heartfelt appreciation; people being inspired by what I do and believe in; being able to contribute to the world, to the universe, in the fullest of ways that I was born to do…

It’s important for me to reflect on how I got here, and to appreciate how hard I worked for it – how hard it was to get to this: 8 yrs ago when, driving from Scotland with my cat and paintings, all the way to Guardia Sanframondi in Italy… Parking my right-hand drive car – barely remembering which side of the road I was meant to drive on each day… Not knowing even how to pronounce the word for ‘bread’, and walking around the town with that particular sense of vulnerability that comes with being a foreign woman alone in a new country…

It was easy, when I first arrived in Italy, to get drawn deep into the panic of having given up all my taken-for-granted familiarity. Despite the fact that there had been a fire under my arse chasing me to Italy, the first months were full of my dwelling on that familiar discomfort of a place where e.g. I was capable of talking on the phone to resolve a bureaucratic issue… where, even if I was cold and damp and miserable, at least I knew where to buy my vegan-organic goodies, and had friends aplenty to discuss Buddhism and ecstatic birth with.

The superficial mind perpetually seeks stability, pattern, anchoring: if it could, it’d probably put the brain in a jar and have it in a secure room, fed by wires and artificial nutriment. In some ways, we’re heading that way – kids not even allowed to learn from experience that fire burns and falling down on concrete breaks skin; no-one letting germs circulate their home any more; everything packaged and everything truly natural to all intents and purposes outlawed. At the end of the day, it gets good-comfy to be laid back on a soft, sterile sofa with the perfect-coloured cushions, in front of an ever-busy TV screen and munching on sugar and slurping down caffeine to keep us perky – to maintain our ‘interest’ in life.

And it’s nice to have the steady drip of a wage: the knowledge that every single month we will have a familiar amount of money deposited in our lap, which corresponds roughly to the amount that we’ll have to put out into the world. This rhythmic symmetry makes us feel like everything is under control, despite life distractions regularly popping up inconveniently.

What does it mean to throw all that comfort out, and to go out on a limb – to stand at the end of a diving board above a mysterious ocean, and to simply jump: to enter a new country and culture and start a new life from nothing… what happens? What would happen if we gave up all the comforts and trappings, and chose the unknown, the new, the unfamiliar? (Wouldn’t it destroy us? Or fuck our lives up?! Shouldn’t we be fighting with all our domesticated life force, to hold onto what small territory we have?!!)

But seriously: what happens when we up give up an old life and start in a completely new, unfamiliar place? I’ll tell you:

  1. First, it creates a void: a void is something we are all terrified of, and yet it is the space into which the better, the best, the life we REALLY WANT to be living can grow. The void – space to think, feel, to be present in – it’s one of the greatest hidden secrets of our time: the best of us are lured into this mythology of time poverty, and of being full to the brim, overstimulated, and ready for terror, in every moment of every day. We seek all kinds of therapy and antidote to this, from holidays in countries with better weather, to titillation of the senses (hard or soft) and over-indulgence: staying up late or pressing the boundary ever-so-gently, but never stepping outside of it. Ultimately however, we all seek peace and gentleness – we want to be more sensitive and quiet, and we want our day to be full of love and significance: to have this, we need the space, the void. There is no room, otherwise, and to cultivate this space, we have to wean ourselves out of the fear of not being filled up. We have to allow life to open up around and in front of us, rather than clawing to get back in the box we’ve made for ourselves.
  2. It makes us realise what inner resources we have – because we have to actually draw on them; use them. In a comfortable life, we rarely challenge ourselves beyond the fluffy yum-numb of our routine. It feels like fulfilment – but it really isn’t: the human soul needs to experience friction and challenge in order to grow, in the same way a tree needs natural soil and wild weather to get it to its potential.
  3. It makes us see that we can actually reinvent ourselves; change, travel, upheaval – particularly when they are consciously chosen rather than imposed on us – are the most useful of tools to get us to stretch our minds into what we might also be/ achieve/ dream of. Staying at home can be satisfying to a degree, but the longer we don’t stretch our legs or hearts or energy, the more accustomed we become to the atrophied version of our self which we’ve elected to prioritise.
  4. It makes us work hard; on ourselves, on our work, on our life and friendships… There is a profound satisfaction in having to make new connections, networks, structures to hold us; there is the deepest meaning and beauty in our having to build a new household, in having to harmonise a chaotic new reality, in having to learn a language and legal system, cultural and religious norms… And that hard work is more honed than it might be if we are living a stagnant life: it is more specific and necessary. Our compulsion fires up our engine, and gets us more streamlined.
  5. It brings us into a realm of raw creative flow. Most lives are full of complacency, and this sense of ‘this’ being ‘all that there is’ – why bother changing anything, if we already have someone to drink coffee and complain about the weather/ our partner/ our boss with? If someone is telling us where to go each day, and we still get to ‘wild out’ on payday by buying a new pair of shoes, or getting drunk and laughing excessively, why would we want to re-accept the power-that-flows-through-all-things-when-we-are-aligned-with-our-life-purpose?! Hmmmmmmn – I wonder.
  6. Possibly most importantly of all: putting ourselves into a new and challenging situation like moving to another country makes us appreciate the value of things: we see how hard it is to find a thing which before was always a bancomat and a supermarket trip away. We being see how communication is so much more than constructed word formations, and that a smile or being touched on the cheek can be profoundly moving, confirming our place in the world. We learn to enjoy what little we have, essentially, rather than seeking more-more-more without questioning whether a thing is really improving the quality of our life. Perhaps our values can even deepen, in time – especially if we’re immersed in a culture which is more rooted in family, spirituality, friendship and nature…

I wanted to make a statement here; yes, about what the positive side of a challenge like moving abroad can be, but also to remind folks that NONE OF THIS COMES ABOUT EASILY OR INSTANTLY OR BY LUCK – NOR CAN IT BE BOUGHT: it has to be earned, slowly and through hard graft, humility, concerted attention and commitment, love and optimism, and by pushing oneself always to be a better human being. We have to know ourselves, and then too, to know craft and hone this self into the best we can be.

I wanted to remind myself, and to folks who are inspired by what I do: none of this happened here by accident, nor was any of it handed to me on a plate. More importantly is that I came from a place of significant fear, grief, illness and imbalance: I didn’t stride over here in confidence like many people assume, throwing it all together in happy nonchalance… I arrived neurotic and shaking, overwhelmed and reactionary, paranoid and terrified, even: nothing flowed well when I got here, and I hated most things about the country and culture. There was a dark night of the soul where I KNEW that I had fucked up phenomenally: that I’d thrown it all away and had nothing, and that I was a mess-up and useless and had sabotaged my future…

And though things got a tad better when I acquired the house, and began settling my roots into this blessed land and my heart into the community, it didn’t get any easier. There was a good 6 + years of anguish and panic, interspersed with tiny blisses and occasional profound beauty… just enough to keep my spirits above the mire, but not always. I struggled with health and social stresses, with financial fears and the strain of trying to stabilise ideas and feelings in a completely different reality.

I want to express this, even if I am repeating myself over the years, because I know that many people don’t ever change their lives because they think that one should be strong, confident, healthy, in equilibrium, solvent, and sure of what one is doing, to move abroad, or to make a big life change. You don’t, you simply have to do it, e basta.

Happiness, freedom, fulfilment grow like plants in a well-tended garden: they don’t appear overnight; they flourish according to whether or not they are planted, and whether or not it’s in the right season and soil, and the good care and attention given to them. They live to their potential not through one big showy action, but through myriad small ones. They yield fruit according to the accumulation of all these tiny attentions and harmonies – and when they are happy and in the right place and time… the fruit is bountiful – and heavenly delicious… And their seeds go on to produce more and more and more life and growth and fruit.

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Much love and creative power to you, Clare xx

 

ART HOLIDAYS!!

The arthouse now has a series of windows open for folks who love art, and who’d like a one-on-one, individually tailored, painting-with-the-artist holiday: go and see VAWAA’s beautiful site, to hear more about it.

Your holiday will include prior consultation on how we’ll craft your art activity; we’ll hone in on your specific goals and needs.
We design the 4 day session just for you: you can focus on skills development, wild expressive work, creative catharsis, a personal project – or even work completely spontaneously.
I’ll be there throughout, and will also show you around this magical town, in which I’m protagonist of a growing international creative community!

It’ll be a highly inspiring break, guaranteed! A completely unique experience, super-nourishing to your creative spirit!

Please share this blog if you know someone who would love such a holiday!

Keep in touch with all my news, and with the Real School of Art, via PATREON and on THIS WEBSITE

Happy August creative expansion to you!


xx Clare 

THE ‘RUDENESS’ OF ARTISTS*

My online art school is up on Teachable – it’s a pretty damn huge achievement for me – though it’s only just phase one of the school (year one)!

The pace I set myself these past 6 months was a bit over-the-top: I had in my head to create a course which would have over 150 videos, and which would take both myself a year to create and the learning-artist a year to complete…
But at the beginning of this month, it was clear that, well, first of all, my schedule filled up with prizes, precious guests, my painting practise, and other important parallel activities… And there was a feeling of fullness already to the draft course, so I slowed to a halt with the making of videos and writing of worksheets…

THEN I realised that I had actually already made a year’s course! Holy guacamole / holy shit! My wonderful guests and patrons helped me see that, rather than my being 6 months behind, I am in fact  6 months ahead! Woohoo for over-enthusiastic ambitions and bloody hard work!

The getting of all these lessons and worksheets – I made 67 so far – into a digestible format for presentation to an audience…. Hmmmmf. That was challenging. It’s all there now, but I had to wrestle with multiple different platforms, contexts, structures, before my eureka moment.

So now the Real School of Art is finally being elegantly led into it’s right stable, as it were – no mean feat, for an artistic creative flow which is like a wild horse galloping along a high mountain top. (Wild horses don’t have much interest in stables, and in performing or behaving well…)

This has been an extraordinary year: the making of this school has been like a process of alchemy; the concentrating of the magic of creative flow, into a series of transformative compounds, medicinal bites to take the ‘artist’ into the real realm of art.

***

Working away like this, made me think a lot about how (real) artists have to occupy a slightly different realm from the average body: we have to step into a space where we disconnect from the humdrum of life, and yet somehow become even more deeply immersed in it.

This makes us – relatively speaking – more volatile than your average being. We slip easily into a transcendental state, or a dreamy thought process… This is the pre-creation state, and is utterly vital to a human being making anything which isn’t firmly anchored in logic and science; it’s the ‘gap between thoughts’ or the hazy fog before the picture clears.

We need to exist there, in order to transmute what we see around us into our art: if we’re awake, we’re working; we are interacting with the world in a completely impassive way, but we are also bypassing a lot of the pointless distraction – the chitterchatter – of the unfolding of the everyday.

This state of being-in-creative-flow becomes more enhanced, more developed, as we mature our practise, which is something to do with why artists, writers, creators, can appear strange, rude, distant, out-of-place… It’s nothing personal* – it’s simply to do with the letting go of line and convention, and of allowing ourselves to be swept into a concentrate ‘letting in’ of energy and inspiration, raw information and inner vision. The fact that we ever manage a ‘normal’ conversation, and a semblance of regular customs, is rather astonishing!

As ever, sign up on Patreon to get immediate access to the Real School of Art in all its glory of draft format (it’s hidden here inside a members-only section of this website) –  and/ or buy the course now on Teachable.

PS Big news coming up soon about VAWAA – Vacation WIth An Artist!!

* Genuine artist space-out should not be confused with actual rudeness from ego-based creative folks, which is usually about the theatre of them pretending to be more important than the average person 

NEW YEAR’S REVELATIONS

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Preparing for a pop-up boutique, this summer in Guardia

In the delightful process of moving back into my own space, I got re-reading some books which I love and which hadn’t been opened in several years (what with all the DIYing and guests and whatnot).

Several Paolo Coelho books have accompanied me on long soaks in the candlelit bath in the cellar this winter –  and two, The Witch Of Portobello and The Zahir, surprised me anew.

Reading them both consecutively, they seemed to talk about very similar themes, and to overlap in the thought process of the protagonists.

I love how the author uses the same metaphors and even the same words, to express his ideas. Because these ideas are keys to unlocking the pain of the world, they need said and said and said.

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the mermaid on the hill: wild woman out of her habitat, but in her power

The repeated motif which stood out most for me, was about doing new things, seeing the world in a new way, freeing up your energy, every single precious day.

Both books talk about both dancing it out, and telling your story – releasing your habits by expressing them again and again – as if, both dancing and speaking, you eventually wear out the power of the story which is binding you.

This is so important, in a world where we are literally bombarded continually by influences and demands – to be something other than our true state of (spiritual) wellbeing.

tearbaby

tear baby, painting about needing to let go of one’s story of grief

This is my totem for the year – the concept of allowing oneself to be a channel for energy and light, and the idea that we have to work daily to refresh what is being lived through us (otherwise our inner ‘garden’ becomes overgrown with ivy or even piled up with junk, and can’t bring us nourishment any more).

The Marriage

the marriage – couple in a sacred garden, sharing their story

And so that’s how I’m starting my first day back at ‘work’: rather than looking at my agenda, which I made all full and organised for a new, super-efficient new year, I dove into the projects nearest my heart, which free up the most energy and inspiration! Thank you, Paolo Coelho, for reminding me that our intuition is the engine of our life, not a pretty accessory.

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(I’m organising my sewing/ inspiration room, and planning a living room in the first cantina of my beautiful arthouse – yey!)

How is your new year? Are you feeling invigorated and ready for a new cycle? Are you committed to a happy, fulfilled life and work? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Lots of the very best wishes for your brand new year, Clare xx

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END AS YOU MEAN TO BEGIN…

There’s a heck of a lot of unnecessary tension around the New Year!

As if the excess of Christmas and the cabin fever of being stuck inside with the rest of the family weren’t challenging enough… then there’s resolutions we ‘should’ make.

Rather than being a serious attempt to improve our lives and wellbeing – a New Year’s resolution is mostly a rigid dogma set on our shoulders like a heavy sack of coal.

As with many aspects of our culture, it’s all about the guilt and then the rebellion against that guilt – keeping us in that cycle of neediness: comfort, reassurance, material objects and distractions.

What if we approached it more holistically? Rather than expecting ourselves to take one giant leap into a new lifestyle, why not look at the infinite small steps we can make towards a higher goal: we could even think of it as the presence we can have, in each and every moment:

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Loving our work; following what nourishes us; respecting each other; cooperating; sharing; being aware of our immediate effects in the world – and our long-term effets; navigating from health and happiness rather than what’s bothering us this particular moment; being true to our hearts – to what makes us joyful.

This New Year is like every blessed day we have: a day filled with immense possibility to create, make, invent, philosophise, enlighten, inspire!

Don’t let the magic of your real reality, be squashed into a naff plastic box by banal collective traditions – get on with enjoying the beauty and joy of the everyday, every day!

The shops mentioned in the video are

ETSY

for my paintings and

LULU

for books and calendars…

OPEN FOR XMAS!lowres

HAPPY SHOPPING!

Clare xx

THE PAIN BODY WE SHARE

responsibilityDETAILresponsibility (detail), 2002, Cyprus

There’s a lot of emotion being thrown around our collective consciousness this week. More than the previous week, despite the heavy fact that just as much death and terrorism was being created (and on our behalf, by our political representatives) over the previous 7 days.

There is so much wrong with the media and with commonly-held perceptions, that I won’t begin to talk about all that, but I’m writing today about something which lies deeper than this surface discourse, and which might serve in this moment to distract from the chaos.

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responsibility, 2002, Cyprus

Firstly, the collective conscious – what is that? It seems to me that there might even be equal and opposing parts of our collective thinking/ being: those of us who are completely unconscious and those who are (or are beginning to be) self-aware.

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Tear Baby, 2000, Findhorn

And then there’s the pain body (I found this phrase useful, listening to Eckhart Tolle recently): the energetic field within and around us, which is locked into a pattern of uncreation and atrophy – rather than creative vitality and expansion.

Tolle describes eloquently how this pain body becomes our actual identity – our reason for being, our means of identifying with others. We share our collective emotional disturbance, because that’s what’s considered the ‘norm’. This makes us highly susceptible to manipulation, both individually (in relationship, family, work, e.g.) and collectively (through media, economics, politics, etc.): it keeps us all in a state on non-conscious tension and anxiety. We blame our suffering on things outside of us, things we (perceive we) can’t do anything about.

(I’ve found other ways of speaking about this ‘body’, through painting intuitively over many years, channeling that deeper wisdom which comes through creative practise and meditation.)

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Running (from the Domestic Alchemy series), 2007

Having been ill recently. I had some deepening insight into the pain body, and the effects I’ve been having both inside and outside myself. I approach illness like a retreat; I know that whatever physical symptoms I have, originate from first mental/ emotional imbalance. And I know that symptoms experienced are linked to behaviours/ patterns leading up to this point, and that I’m in charge of correcting my course – whether or not I take medicine.

In order to be well and happy, we have to look first inwards, rather than seeking to destroy the symptom – which is our teacher!

Illness – or friction – as teacher is a great metaphor for our current collective state; our political and economic warring, our violent foreign policies, our perverse obsession with focussing on the negative, and our absurd falsity around being the righteous victim on the world stage, willingly gulped down daily by the masses.

couple with boundaries

Couple With Boundaries, 2000-4, Cyprus and Edinburgh

We have many choices at our current global crossroads. The knee-jerk one is trying to destroy the symptoms, even though they’ve been caused indirectly and directly by ourselves; inflicting even more death and destruction willy-nilly, starting even more people on paths of righteous vengeance, and so on.

Another is that we all begin to look deeper, be more conscious, more aware. We see behind the curtains of the world stage, and we bring light – awareness – to what is suppressed. In this way, we start to see that what we do individually has a radiating effect on our collective situation, our collective ‘pain body’. Rather than reacting out of anger and fear, rather than condoning further violence under the unconscious (and very dubious) thinking of “well, we have to do something!” or “I just want those bastards dead, those people are evil!” – we start instead to look at where do these ‘symptoms’ originate – really: where do they come from, and what are we doing to change that?

laughing at anger (2)

Laughing At Anger, 2001, Burghead

On a personal level, I’m bringing quiet conscious awareness into the part of me which is out-of-kilter, in pain. It is giving me huge insight into how unconsciously I have occupied my body and my mind in recent years… I’m certainly not the most loutish of citizens, but there have been more than a couple of occasions when I’ve chosen to ‘raise my voice’ with indignant negative emotion, rather than presenting enlightened – peaceful – insight.

As my awareness is more infused with light and love, I radiate out that light and love, rather than my own bigotry or indignancy – even though our individual acts seem so small and inconsequential, now more than ever before, we have power to share widely, whatever we are thinking, feeeling, intending. I have optimism we can collectively rise our vibration at times like this.

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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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