To All Users:
If you installed the The New Years Resolution application sometime between December 2011 and January 2012, you may have noticed that you now seem to be running a NYR Regret application instead.
You will know this if you are receiving endless Failure messages which are clogging up The Good Life operating system and draining the energy from your Creativity Programmes. It is also being suggested that the Failure messages are causing the Relationships and MoneyMaking apps to freeze. Programmers are investigating the possibility that this is due to the application having an adverse affect on the Self-Esteem Upgrade . This is a highly addictive application that comes with the New Years Resolutions package as a bonus Add On.
The fix is fortunately fairly simply and easy to apply: Simply type in the code http:five things that I accomplished ALREADY in 2012.HTML. When prompted, type in a list of 5 actions, thought patterns, or anything else you have done ALREADY since the year began, that will serve you well in the year to come. The NYR REGRET app will uninstall automatically. Remember to reboot.
Good luck. Tech Support.
C'mon, don't tell me you haven't made AT LEAST five changes to improve something in your life ALREADY? Did you buy a 2012 diary? That's ONE! ; )
It's only FEBRUARY...
Please write! I want to read them and celebrate with you!
When Nicola Holgate, an old art school friend, asked me to put aside my slumping for a while,(see previous post) and give of what I do best - make art - I rediscovered my inner juju and a whole lot of other good stuff.
It's For FREE. For a good cause. And I said, YES!
The Journey of Hope, Botswana, is a non-profit organisation raising awareness of breast cancer and the journey of hope it offers. They had tasked her with designing new T-Shirts for their rally's and being swamped with free work on the back-burner, she naturally thought of me...
It's a funny thing, I just LOVE seeing my prints on fabric. So of course I said: Yeah! I'll do it! : )
I have more ideas brewing in my mind, though...and then it occured to me!
Anybody -artist or designer or just good at putting stuff together out there want to join in? Nici would be delighted to hear from you and see whatya got! The more diverse and interesting this turns out to be, the better.
Journey Of Hope CONTACT details below.
Then an Angel came via Twitter and led me to Subvert Magazine where I found this spirit lifter of an interview with Seth Godin on Failing Gloriously. Check it out here.
Then read this for REALLY PRACTICAL ways to get my 'slump' undone...and zappo! I too can join the Rich and Famous Artists club ; )
Up NEXT: FINALLY!!! A video of my work process on a painting/design. Just so you can see how much is hand drawn and how much is computer design.
If you want to see your designs on a T-SHIRT and support a worthy cause:
Yes, I’m going through one right now. That’s why I have nothing else to do, but write about it. Oh! The irony...
First things first: You think thoughts and those thoughts make you feel stuff and that stuff isn’t always TRUE!
Second: You CANNOT try and un-think yourself out of your painful thinking.
Nu-uh! Don’t argue...It’s true. Would you use paint to wash paint off your hands?
Now that we have that out of the way;
The fact is, you still have to start somewhere. You still have to think that thought, right there. That one, silly! About not using paint to wash paint off your hands, and how true that is, and how you therefor have to find a way to stop thinking. Got it?
Ok so, your thoughts whilst suffering a slump, sound more or less something along the lines of:
I haven’t made ANY sales/money
I haven’t got ANY real friends/love/happiness
I’m not really good at ANYTHING
I don’t even do ANY exercise
I NEVER follow through on ANY of my goals/intentions/resolutions
It’s basically too LATE for me to/ or I'm NEVER going to, succeed at ANYthing
Health Warning: If your present thinking does not include any of the above, or similar, please abort reading at the risk of becoming intensely Bored or God Forbid ... Pitiful!!
I know about this. I have also felt fabulous, successful and haaaappppyyyy and taken two milli-seconds out of my BLISS to glance in the direction of helpful articles for those-in-need-of-upliftment. And felt my face contorting into various caricature versions of Sad Slumpy People, and (horror!) giggling....
I’m not feeling this today.
So, humble Slumpy Bunch, let us huddle together and look at that list above. Does ANY of it sound like The TRUTH?
Purely rhetorical, please don't all shout at once.
Now, I always manage to get out of a slump fairly speedily. I concluded that I am obviously Bi-Polar and left it at that. Kidding. I decided, rather, that it might be a good idea to find out how I do this, in order to better understand the beast and Un-Slump even better next time. Until eventually, I'll be altogether RID of slump-type behaviour – for GOOD!
I have been observing my thoughts. I discovered that the mere fact that I was now in ‘Observer Mode’ made the painful thoughts a lot less sharp and prickly. I wasn’t HOLDING onto them and whacking myself with them over and over and over again. Till I bled.
My fave mentor of the moment, Michael Neill, has so many pithy things to say on this topic...and... I can’t think of one.
Back to us: Taking that list, thought by thought, I noticed that I eventually get sick and tired of beating myself to death and start adding “AT LEAST” to all of them.
One by one then: (rally round and hold hands, Slumpy's....)
I haven’t made ANY sales/money. (Ouch!) Well....AT LEAST I sold 3 of my new collection to one of the best art collectors in town... a month ago...That’s not Nothing.
I haven’t got ANY real friends/love/happiness. (Sob. )Well.....AT LEAST the one's I have love me enough to comment on my blog and call me now and then to make me laugh.
I’m not really good at ANYTHING. (Mercy!). Well....AT LEAST I’m good at getting out of a slump even though I think I’m no good.
I don’t even do ANY exercise. (Wobble.) Well....AT LEAST I do about 4 yoga stretches every now and then. And inversions! When my legs start cramping from sitting at the computer for hours....sniff!
I NEVER follow through on ANY of my goals/intentions/resolutions. (Aaaargh!) Well....AT LEAST I have done 50% of them AT LEAST 50% of the time : S
It’s basically TOO LATE for me to succeed at ANYthing. (Oh! My GOD that hurts.) Well....AT LEAST I am successful at Being Me; loving others, forgiving, saying sorry when it’s Really Hard To, lifting others when they are down, cheering with heartfelt joy when other people succeed, 'getting on with it' and eventually smiling my crooked tooth smile, even though I really, really don’t like my front teeth.
But, don’t be fooled, Slump-o-liscious Darlings, this is still, T-H-I-N-K-I-N-G. And it is a slippery snake - is thought. Just when you think it’s going one way, you find it has gone the other. And you weren’t even AWARE of it going there! Notice that you tend to say everything in extreme language in your thoughts: NEVER. ANYTHING. EVER.
Not healthy. And NOT TRUE. And sometimes we notice that there are actually a whole posse of AT LEAST'S we could attach, but that would require us to be a bit more Tigger about it and we are just Being Eeyore right now...
This is where I mentally switch on my internal ‘words of wisdom’. I take time to sit in quiet and focus on stilling the mind. OK, I grab onto my spiritual prayer like a drowning woman.
In time... or no time (yikes! that's another whole conversation!) I find peace. No more eternal BABBLING. Just a few minutes of this STILLNESS, brings me back to neutral. Back to Peace. Back to Hope and the Bright Side of the street.
If something like meditation/prayer is not your thang, our other Gateway to Peace is in NATURE. Move your limbs and breathe deeply when you are there. Look around and say Thank You. Thank You. Thank You, and again Thank You. Till you know what it means.
Yes. Yawn. Well, this is NOT one of those drippy blog posts about how luvverly Valentine style love is. It's also not one of those"Aaargh! V-day is so over-rated, commercialized. Yadda, yadda. "
I happen to have one of those men in my life (yes, and he's my husband) who actually DOES Valentine me. How ironic, for a woman who has seriously NEVER paid any attention to the day. It's like that cat thing. Choosing to snuggle into the lap of the very one who doesn't really care too much for cats...
In fact, he kinda always remembers to 'Valentine' me and often forgets my BIRTHDAY. Thank God! or he'd be in sh£$!t street. And I don't mean dollars and pounds and stuff.
What does he do? He tells me I'm gorgeous at least every second day. He kisses me when he sees me and kisses me when he leaves me. Nice, warm loving kisses : ) He makes me stuff. He listens... He does other stuff too, but that's our business ; )
He has also been known to give me a gift for absolutely no apparent reason, on any given day. No reason, seriously, other than that he loves me and thought about me. Now THAT is what keeps the fire burning...ya with me?
If anything, the Valentine phenomena, should be a reminder to us in loving relationship with one another, that we CAN celebrate the freedom to give to each other without expectation. Well, to try, at least. There is something remarkably delicious and exciting about getting a gift for no apparent reason on an otherwise arb day. And I don't mean ON Valentine's Day. I reckon that date should just be a reminder to do an arb gift-giving at some point, or two, or three, in the year : ). A reminder to surprise and delight one another with no agenda attached - other than to create feelings of LOVE and APPRECIATION between you.
Anyway, that's it. That's what I had to say about that. So, in the spirit of arb gift-giving - here is an ULTRA sweet inspiration catalyst, for those of you that wanna do Just That:
It's a VIY (Valentine It Yourself )Heart box from my esty shop. Designed by little ol' me. It's open-ended. In a good way - for loving things to go into. A digital download for a mere $1,50!! For South Africans: that's 7 odd bucks, skattie.
Just print. Cut out and assemble in two nano-seconds. Find something delightful to put into it. Some ideas for the less imaginative amongst us: beaut lingerie, hectically expensive chocolate, the best French perfume your money can buy, drop-dead gorgeous flowers, a super dooper new time-piece...Yawn....Sooooo OBVIOUS!
BUT WAIT! How about this INSTEAD: Instead of beaut lingerie....OK, beaut lingerie cannot be beat.
Instead of gorgeous flowers: tissue-paper-wrapped bulbs, of soon-to-be exquisite Tulips,
Instead of hectically expensive chocolates: home-made raw chocolate thingamy's,
Instead of the best French smelly stuff you can throw hard earned cash at - a bevvy of mini French Perfumes with ribbons around their pretty little necks,
Instead of a super dooper new wallet-whacking time-piece: a piece of your time, a personally made TOKEN for a massage by YOU, or a WHATEVER (fill in the blank) by YOU .... You get the piccie, right?
ENJOY! Joy! joi de vivre...peace, hearts and harmony!
oh-oh! I said it wasn't going to be drippy...*sigh* You got me, Val baby! It's my husband's fault!
Isn’t it interesting how often we tend to find validation in all the right places? Most conspicuously, when we have just made a fresh discovery or a paradigm-shifting decision? It’s as if the Universe is in tune to what is just at the dawn of our consciousness.
It happens with the simplest things, like seeing the car you just bought on every street, by the dozen, for the first time ever! To deciding you need to digitally detox your mind and hearing every on-line interviewee, FB status, girlfriend and magazine journalist saying the same thing! (?)
So, that’s just what has been happening to me : )
To be fair, I had signed up for a year long coaching course by one of my favourite Raw Food coaches in the UK, which came with a forum invitation to share our daily journey. But, that was the beginning of a love/hate affair with digital surfing. My days were streaming past in an endless sea of digital downloads. Interviews, articles, courses, e-books, Face Book, linkedin,etsy blog,twitter, emails and news sites. I was becoming more and more exhausted, as if I was training for a marathon, yet I had not been more inert in my life! I sat for literally hours on-line, in the name of research, learning, networking and ‘getting somewhere’...
One morning I woke up feeling as if I had been drugged for weeks. A little thought trickled into my mind, that perhaps, I should stay off the laptop for an hour or so. Then it became: Maybe the morning? Then: Maybe I could manage the whole day...?Hey, I know, I thought out loud, I'll do a digital detox!
I wandered around lost in my own worlds: the kitchen, my studio and my family life were foreign places that seemed to stare in a disturbingly alien way at me. I honestly felt like the things in those rooms were vaguely surprised at my presence - as if I didn’t quite fit in.
I buckled after 2 pm. Thinking I could ‘chill’ by just hopping onto FB and off again in 5 minutes, I found this status staring me in the face: The Joy Of Quiet from the good old New York Times, of all places.
I took the plunge. I mean, who better to convince me than one of the most innovative and quirky design geniuses, Philippe Starck?
They actually have internet rescue camps in South Korea?? and China?
My problem was exactly what the man said. I had, in a couple of months, sunk to zero creativity and below zero inspiration. I was bordering on depression.
Here I am living surrounded by nature, with everything I need to inspire me and all the tools to create with, at my fingertips, yet I was escaping into a cyber playground, looking, hopefully, for what I knew I could not find there.
What I was doing, really, truly, was just escaping from getting down to ME. The end result was feeling like I had lost precious time for my creative soul and had instead created a cyber -self with a two dimensional personality and no real LIFE.
Let’s be honest, how real is your life if you are spending most of your sunlight hours staring at a flickering screen??
I initially wanted to cancel my FB account – which I have done before, for about 8 months, but decided it would say more about my self-discipline if I could simply NOT click onto it – even though it was there, on my tab bar.
I have been on my digital detox for quite some time now. It's not a detour - I will not be returning.
I must say, that the increase in productivity is AWESOME. I am enjoying the 'flavours of peace' to borrow the words of the warm-honey-voiced, Michael Neill. Time has S-L-O-W-E-D down! I'm enjoying my SELF!
I clearly have a very low tolerance for distractions that have no bearing on my immediate goals. I just don't seem to be able to operate at full creative speed when I have other people's stuff going on in my head. I can't switch it off. I even struggle to meditate if I've seen too many movies.
So, here you are; on-line, you say. Well, I have limits in place now. My blog is something I DO, it’s my passion for writing and I can do it sitting watching the kids swim...like right now : ) I write my articles in Word and copy them to my blog. They have a beginning and an end. It’s not an unlimited trek into the wilderness of words and images with no real aim or goal other than to distract myself from my own neglected garden of imagination.
I take approximately 5 minutes to check mails and reply to those that move me. I’m rather ruthless with those that don’t. I also check up on my website and then that’s it. Done.
I came upon the ideas for my Natural History Collection during a digital detox...a coaching program sprang into life in my head and I lost some weight!. (suddenly discovered that I had regained my awesome ability to ‘boogy on down’ in the sitting room)
I would love to know if you have been feeling the nudge in this direction too? And, I wonder, how does one do it if your job requires you to be on-line most of the day?
How do you cope with that information overload?