Why I’m Leaving Mainstream Media

Hi dear friend! A quick final note for the year – a podcast around why I’m taking my art off of Facebook and Instagram…

And a reminder that TONIGHT at midnight, the specialissimo offer for 2 paintings for the price of 1 ENDS… Let me know if you love a particular piece/s, and I’ll make a listing up specially for you on Etsy…

In the meantime;

my full art catalogue is here (some artworks have been reserved, check first)

my Etsy shop is here

you may also organise a payment plan with me on Patreon

and/ or make a donation to all that I’m doing on Patreon or Ko-fi (the former is a monthly direct debit to my life and work, and entry into my inner circle, the latter is one-off payments for the cost of a coffee (which I translate into ‘a moment of creative alignment’))

LOADS of beautiful wishes for the beginning of this new year, new cycle, new creative  possibility… I so look forward to being in touch through the new/ newly formatted platforms, in this new year!

***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 colour, depth, meaning, and inspiration on creative freedom, the good life, the whole woman… and to support an artist creating what they’re meant to create – Patreon is my inner circle, where I share most with my special folks.
  4. My art school website is here, my art is on Etsy.
  5. Social media: Instagram, Facebook – the art school, my artist page
    PLEASE NOTE – I am leaving mainstream social media in the next days – more news soon via Patreon and Ko-fi!
  6. My arthouse is up for sale – the listing is here and I’m also working with the lovely British Owned Property Abroad

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

 

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 

HIDDEN TREASURES AROUND ROME TERMINI

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As there are a ton of stranieri descending on Guardia Sanframondi with the sun warming up the worn marble steps and streets, and as many of them will be arriving via Rome, I wanted to share this:

Over the past month or two, I had several whole days between B&Bs and my treno regionale for Telese Terme, in which I spent exploring and then revelling in all the delicious sites, tastes, sounds and atmosphere of this zone:hidden treasures behind the tourist tat!

Here are my 7 Insider Tips to occupy

a few hours by Termini:

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1.Caffé Paranà is under the large arches as you exit Termini station to your left, from the top of the building (where the shopping arcade is, and away from the tracks). Warning – it’s expensive! It’ll cost at least 3 euros for a cappuccino – but it’s a wonderful piece of history, and worth splashing out on, for the atmosphere.

Head round the corner from that bar, and westwards along the Via Gioberti, beyond the tourist tat.

Follow as the Via curves to the left (south) after a couple of blocks.

Here you find the lovely Piazza Di Santa Maria Maggiore, which is a beautiful place to stop for a breather. Ogle at the Basilica for a moment: it’s delizioso.

Take the street exiting south-west of the Piazza, called Via Merulana…

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2.The Oriental Museum …at 248 Via Merulana you’ll find this glorious, somewhat inconspicuous collection of incredible artefacts – note: best visited mornings! – photos are encouraged even, and it is often very quiet. It really is my favourite place to wander for an hour or three, letting my eyes be immersed in sacred imagery and my mind and energy to soak up the profound atmosphere..

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 3.Just down the same street is the glorious Panella restaurant, bakery and delicatessen – oh my word – you have never seen such a delicious establishment – they have seasonal foods, bread art in the windows, the most magnificently crafted cakes, and utterly divine flower displays by the outdoor seating. I was in heaven there, with my arancino and fave beans dish, after a month with a sore tummy in Africa! It is the HEIGHT of Italian culinary perfection, and it is a must for any foodie.

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Head out of Panella to the south-east, and follow the pedestrian Largo Leopardi, which will take you to the Via Leopardi where, if you head back towards Termini, to the east, you’ll find a lovely park on your right:

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4.These are the Giardini Nicola Calipari – on a warm day, this is the most beautiful of parks, where you can sit on the daisy-dotted lawns and enjoy a picnic. A real haven, if you get city overwhelm, as I do! It’s frequented by a biodiverse group of Romans and stranieri, and is a real haven among the chaos.

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5.International Food Market – Along this street you’ll find the covered Nuovo Mercato Esquilino (Via Principe Amedeo) – great for stocking up on spices and unusual veggies which you won’t find out here in the Italian hinterland!

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6.Himalaya’s Kashmir (Ristorante Indiano) is a lovely restaurant at 325, Via Principe Amedeo, just opposite the market, and down the street to the south. It does a delicious aromatic meal (my favourite being the prawn korma), are sweet people, and do a rapid takeway service. Grab a bag and go and picnic in the park (see tip number 4).

From the market, circle back up to Termini to the north-east:

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7.Vyta Bar – it’s the last bar on the right in Termini, just before you exit the station to the top-east (right, as you come away from the tracks). It is fab; dark and cosy, great service, affordable, and with lovely pastries, biscuits, sandwiches and salads – and a great glass of spumanti. You can use wifi there, too: my favourite spot is on the high seats in the back, where you can settle in for a while, and watch all the interesting folks passing through.

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There are also a VERITABLE TON of sights and sounds, tastes and smells, all within walking distance of Rome’s central station – these are just my starter 7, which will make sure you get fed, coffee-ed, spumanti-ed, and relaxed, all within a few blocks of Termini!

PS If you want THE INSIDER view of Guardia Sanframondi, look up my Insider’s Guide to the town. AND if you want to pick my brain even more about Guardia, there are still a couple of places on the $10 patron package on Patreon, to do precisely that!

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Tante belle cose, Clare xx

COMPETITION

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THE ARTHOUSE B&B

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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.

                                                                                                                                        Clare xx

GETTING FAMILIAR WITH THE TERRITORY

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5 tips for landing in foreign climes!

ONE: FRESH AIR/ SPACE

Be outside as much as possible, just breathing in the new air, observing what is immediately in front of you – the difference and the similarities. Don’t judge, don’t think too much, just be.

Even if you are closed in a truly urban box, appreciate that, too, and try to keep some air in your room.

If there’s no comfortable option for opening windows, then air-conditioning can be a fine alternative!

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TWO: WALKING: Make walking a daily priority; it’s grounding, refreshing and it lets you familiarise yourself with your immediate neighbourhood. You’ll see new things, and get a better understanding of where you are.

Just a once-round-the-block will reveal a ton of insight into a place.

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THREE: PACE YOURSELF – be realistic about how well you can know a place, how quickly.

Some cultures will seem more alien than others, depending on where you’ve come from: set small steps to begin with, and take quiet time to muse, reflect, talk with friends on Skype or social media.

And make sure you are nourished, appropriate to the climate and food tolerance – I came a cropper with that, last week, as I started off too adventurously, not taking into account the necessary time period for the intestinal flora to adapt! This week I’m able to digest practically everything, thankfully, but last week it felt like I was losing my ability to take in any nutriment at all.

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FOUR: TURN ANY ANXIETY AROUND: acknowledge your fears, but do not feed them.

Also, ask yourself the following; is this experience enriching me as a human being – like, am I growing from this? Am I becoming who I want to be? Or is it bringing me down? Be honest with yourself.

Often, when we look at the positive and the learning – at our self-development – it becomes more apparent that what we’re struggling with can actually be useful.

It’s also vital that you accept if you’re not even having a good time, though! All things pass, and sometimes, it’s the coming home which is the joyous thing, not the being away!

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FIVE: BE SAFE: stride out fully aware of any risks you might be taking, but consciously giving thanks that you are protected.

Find a balance between having your eyes wide open, and pushing your own boundaries/ or the limits as to what you are told is possible.

Always ask for advice from locals – and especially from other women, if you’re on your own as a woman.

There are well known psychological studies about how victim mentality can project an aura of vulnerability – not just walking in the street, but in socialising and relationship. Our fears, if we allow ourselves to navigate from just them, will provide an open door to folks who (consciously or unconsciously) feel drawn to the energy which we are losing – which is flowing out of us, through our fear projection.

Conversely, if we radiate out loving respect, harmony and joy, it is amazing how we can find the right word or gesture, in any given moment, to dissipate tensions, to make friends, and to find a peaceful solution to many, many issues.

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I hope you find this useful in your travels!

Do you have any tips for folks going out into the world?

Do share them in the comments below!

Come join me on Patreon to see all the insight and photos, from my travels in Africa this month – 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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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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I AM IN AFRICA…

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With my great capacity for full-immersion, my first day out and about in Kampala was pretty overwhelming yesterday. From the heat to the intensity of activity in every direction, the noises and the unusual light and the super-strangeness everything. It’s really like being on another planet!

DSC_0004the road to the workshop

Alongside this, being outside of my usual safe space, my haven and workspace – wow, it’s intensely un-grounding – and unnerving – at first!

DSC_0044the workshop garden

When I set out on any journey, this is almost always the first reaction; everything is unfamiliar, and I want to go home… but settling into a place is a powerful aligning force: when we carry around our inner resources and capacity to learn, there is a wonderful energetically-stimulating space in any newness, which feeds the soul, feeds the creative field.

DSC_0070view from the workshop garden

Though it can be somewhat overly-exhilarating initially, jumping in at the deep end is also a marvellously toughening, waking-up, reminder of who we are and what we love, where we want to be and how we want to express ourselves in the world. Travelling somewhere really different can remind us of what it is to be fully alive, because all of us is switched on to alertness, to awareness and presence.

DSC_0008an African sky

Things happen when we travel, which cannot happen at home, where we’re comfortable and secure: we become bigger, our boundaries are expanded and our minds have to adjust to accomodate more. It’s a most powerful way to transform the self!

DSC_0029a handmade rope on a tree

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If you’d like to see all the photos and videos I’m sharing from Africa, and to follow the life of the happy artist – go sign up for my Patreon campaign HERE

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