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.

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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

ILLNESS AS GIFT, ART AS HEALING

view from the Arthouse balcony

Welcome to The Art Of Life podcast…

September’s talk is something of an epic ramble – I explain why, inside – on illness as a bringer of gifts, health and wholeness, and intuitive art as an inimitable force for both navigating illness and transforming it.

61,02 mins

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I talk about how, if you don’t have symptoms, there’s probably something wrong! About why it’s so empowering to view ourselves as whole first, and see our symptoms as a natural expression of something that needs to emerge from inside of us – either from our past, or from what is happening around us right now. This immense subject takes several twists and turns, and ends up with some insight into how and why art can support our healing into our most full and fulfilled self.

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I’ll be releasing new paintings in the middle of the month, again… Stay tuned – some are old ones which are now being re-released.

And the School of Real Art (The SORA) will be releasing THE INTUITIVE ARTIST 101 course – as soon as my health permits.

You can hear more about my healing fund over on my Period Of Illness page, and see below for all other links to my work.

As ever, thank you so much for your support and your interest in my work: it means a great deal to me,

Tantissime belle cose, 

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***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. Infinite 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 hear/ see/ read/ get much 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

creative inspiration podcast number one

This is the first of these podcasts around how we unblock our immense creative potentials as human beings. It’s on FEELING, which seems like a potent place to begin:

Quite unwittingly, our collective consciousness has been pulled into a strangely atrophied and polarised version of ‘feeling’. We’re consistently expected either to numb ourselves to atrocities and/ or to be moved to emotional extremes by theatrical re-enactments of human ‘experience’.

Being consciously sentient, and moving deeper always into that sentience, is such a key role for the creative: without this profound engagement in sensory experience, we really can only be talking about surface matters.

Young Man Creating Him Self painting

Without ‘full-immersion’, we have a shallow interaction with reality: which is to say that if we become more feeling, we start to understand the huge capacity that we have for cultivating harmony and love, for growing energy and making opportunity where there was nothing. We plant seeds everywhere, because we feel their potential, and we know  with every fibre of our being that it’s simply good.

Woman Of The Moons - Fruit Of The Everymoment painting

There is immense potential in what we become – that more-than-the-sum-of-the-parts – when we feel and know and sense as we were born to.

Let me know your response in the comments below – I’d love to hear how feeling is part of your artistic practise and lifestyle.

 

 

As ever, it’s a joy to be in touch with you – loads of really happy creative wishes, and speak to you next month, if I don’t see you on one of the links below…

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***THE HAPPY ENDING **

      1. I now make monthly public posts via my newsletter and this blog. If you’d like to be notified of this, subscribe to this blog, and join my newsletter.
      2. Join me on Patreon if you’d like to hear/ see/ read much more: that’s my inner circle, where I share the most with my very special folks.
      3. Please let me know you’ve seen this post by clicking on the heart symbol and/ or commenting below – and please share it if you know someone who’d be inspired! ❤
      4. My website is here, my art is on Etsy, The Real School of Art is here, my books on Lulu and Blurb, and art holidays on VAWAA.
      5. Social media links: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page, the Insider’s Guide To Guardia book page, Twitter – clareartista

30 years’ dedicated art path

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Hi – this is a podcast about the 30 years I’ve been dedicated to art as a means of transformation.

A reminder that you can also read the Bella Caledonia essay I refer to – and the comments underneath it.

Very good wishes to you,

***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. I now only make occasional public posts. If you’d like to be in touch more often; join my newsletter HERE or join me on PATREON – I really look forward to having you in my inner circle!
  2. Please let me know you’ve seen this post by clicking on the heart symbol and/ or commenting below – and share it if you know someone who’d be interested ❤
  3. My website is here, my art is on Etsy, The Real School of Art is here, my books on Lulu and Blurb, and art holidays on VAWAA.
  4. Social media links: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page, the Insider’s Guide To Guardia book page, Twitter – clareartista

rare podcast!

Hi – here is an occasional podcast – if you are interested in what I am doing, join me via one of the links below – I look very much forward to having you in my inner circle.

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***THE HAPPY ENDING ***

  1. I now only make rare public posts. If you’d like to be in touch more often; join my newsletter HERE or join me on PATREON
  2. Please let me know you’ve seen this post by clicking on the heart symbol and/ or commenting below – and share it if you know someone who’d be interested ❤
  3. My website is here, my art is on Etsy, The Real School of Art is here, my books on Lulu, art holidays on VAWAA.
  4. Social media links: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page, the Insider’s Guide To Guardia book page.

6 reasons why you SHOULD STEP INTO THE VOID

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♥ BLOG RECLAIMED FROM SEPT 2017 ♥

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 – and was sure about what side of the road to drive on.

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.

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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.

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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:

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ONE: 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 – is one of the greatest hidden secrets of our time: we’re lured into this compelling 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.

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TWO: 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.

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THREE: 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.

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FOUR: 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.

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FIVE: 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.

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SIX: 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 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…

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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-hone this self into the best we can be.

I wanted to remind myself, and folks who are inspired by what I do: none of my happy creative life – with my own house, in magical medieval Italy – happened by accident, nor was any of it handed to me on a plate; I didn’t stride over here in confidence like many people assume – or saw fictionalised on TV…

I arrived overwhelmed and terrified: nothing flowed well when I got here, and A LOT about the country and culture rubbed me horribly the wrong way. There was a dark night of the soul where I really thought for a while that I had fucked up phenomenally: that I’d thrown it all away and had nothing and had seriously sabotaged my future…

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It feels important to say: 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.

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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

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Join my newsletter and support me on Patreon if you’d like to keep up-to-date with all my creative outpourings – and if you’re ready to step into your immense creative potential: go and see my online art school.

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

 

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.

photo by Anna Wirazska

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! 

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.

                                                                                                                                        Clare xx

AFRICA WEEK ONE!

DSC_0026It’s ridiculously hot, I’ve been sick, it’s an incredible experience!

Here’s my week one vlog from Kampala in Uganda:

For all the photos and updates, including special vlogs and insight which I only share with my beautiful patrons, go see:

www.patreon.com/clareartista

And in the meantime; here are some snapshots:

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