Saturday, January 28, 2012


I have joined beautiful Shannon to retake her amazing e-course Inside Out. I know that's a Big Word, but it's the truth. This course changed my life in 2010.

I wasn't really anywhere, back then. I always knew I 'liked to draw', but I never did. Because I was up to my neck in muck, crap and other self-imposed restricions keeping me from living - as opposed to existing. Really. I know it sounds dramatic, but it's true. Taking this course opened me up. It was a starting point for everything I've become and accomplished since then. Which is a lot. Still sounding dramatic, I'm well aware. But it's still true.

We've just finished the first week, and I'm... speechless! I always said I wanted to take this course again, and the fact that I'm doing it, now, is synchronicity. I have three words for 2012, and the most important one is FEEL. I want to feel what I do, and what I don't. Where I'm beautiful, and where I'm really not, so much. It's a challenge. I have never really felt my way through anything. I've tried and come close, but it's alien to me, still. This is all - hard to word, and probably worth a blog post all its own if I ever get to it ;) But what's important, what I'm trying to say is...

I thought I was going to do this course to see where I'm going. To find goals, something to dream about, and then make plans. All noble causes in themselves, and who knows, I might even get to that ;) But why I'm really here, now, is to FEEL! I have kept my Art Journal from back then, of course. And I can re-read and re-visit everything I struggled with then. Where I was, what I feared, what I thought my accomplishments and strengths were - and there weren't a lot. It's heartbreaking to read! I feel the desperation that was in almost everything I wrote, apart from being a mamma, pretty much.

And what I'm left with, here and now, is gratitude. Deeply felt. Into my toes and back up again. I have done all that! I'm feeling it! Really deeply realising that - I did all that, I came all this way to be here, where I am. Realising that this is a beautiful place, no matter what's itching at any given time.

Life of course didn't necessarily get easier, but I did. I know, these days, that I'm stronger than I think. That I can find courage to take things on, even when they're scary as hell. And that's a beautiful thing to know. It's a beautiful thing to reconnect with. And an amazing thing to feel!

I can't wait to see what else surfaces. And what I'll draw about it ;) There is always that, since 2010, too ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I love advertiser mythology ;)
Of course, since this tea is in my cupboard, I've bought it; hook, line & sinker...
It's lovely tea, honestly. But I can multitask. I can throw a hissy fit while sipping!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


This is my Tree of Life. This is where my passions live! I have passions! I have known and lived what makes me happy off and on over the past two years, but only too recently found out that they make me, pretty much!

Create in the broadest sense of the word - creating a life, as creatively as possible ;) But of course even more as in, literally pouring myself onto paper - drawing life, illustrating my moodswings. Finding humour & a smile in the nitty-gritty. It sucks me right out of my stress, my fears and my anxieties! It might not last beyond the time I spend with my paper and paints, but there, in that moment, it feels manageable. That's an awesome start, I think!

And excavate - getting closer to my truths. Peeling away layers of obstacle and blah and all that stuff I've told myself about myself for way too long... Becoming Me. The Me my Inner Toddler wanted to grow up to be. Authentic, if you like the Big Words... And then - needless to add perhaps - find a drawing in it all :) These two go hand in hand! And it's a neverending story, of course. Which is a very lucky thing, because I love that tree. It's where my passions live!

But when all is said and done? Even though I know where my happy lives? This...

... is where I spend a ridiculous amount of time. Procrastination is a straight-backed chair in a cold, bare room. When you think about it. When you really get into the concept. It never makes you feel better, or rested, or happy with yourself.

So, why?! That's what I'm trying to figure out. Knowing all that I know about me, my Tree and my passions, why do I end up sitting on that uncomfortable chair a whole lot more than I can... explain?!

What makes you procrastinate? Do you know? I'd love to hear your insights! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Was I complaining that I wanted to have her mailbox just the other day, because she was receiving some awesome, artistic mail art, today I received this in mine!

Just to say thank you for the Christmas cards I sent out in comment gratitude :)
Robin, thank you, so very much!! This made my day, and quite possibly will make tomorrow as well :) Receiving arty mail from someone who makes me smile with pretty much every blog post she writes is... well... it makes me mushy... I'm going to go get it a frame, and look at it every day! That's how happy this makes me! At least!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Before anything else: happy New Year! I hope 2012 brings you all that you need, and some of what you want, too ;) I'm going with wabi-sabi here. The beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. How much easier life would possibly be if we accepted these inherent aspects of, well, everything - given time. And saw the beauty in it all. So lofty, but heartfelt a wish :)

This drawing was meant to represent a lack of self-nurture. How pouring out tea and sympathy without taking time to recharge myself was wearing the kettle thin. But I decided I didn't want to go with that description. It's a choice. Self-pity or wabi-sabi. And while I don't feel the bottom of it all quite yet - and heck, I may never ;) - I feel that it's wise to be choosing acceptance and the beauty of imperfection over... well... self-pity. Or putting the intention out there, anyway ;)

Intent, intention, yes indeed. Operative words over here. As in: I need some... Having survived the busy months of November (several birthdays) and December (Sinterklaas and the rest of it), and some marital blisters, I'm struggling to find my feet. Proverbially, of course. I didn't eat that much ;)

It feels like I know where I'm trying to go, approximately, pretty much, the general direction, anyway, but I can't get it into words, into goals, into a workable plan! Like something on the tip of your tongue; you can almost taste it, but it keeps escaping your conscious mind! Hence, canned crap. As in, I've opened a can. Or several ;) While trying to get quiet enough to hear what's buried deep, I keep getting flushed by static, white noise!

I think I've somehow, subconsciously, told myself I need a Schedule towards a Plan to move forward. A Plan and a Schedule. And now that I've swallowed and become my need for a Schedule and a Plan, I'm stalling! In every bloody way! Everything daily life throws at me becomes an Obstacle. A friend being less than kind? It consumes me for 2 (TWO!) weeks, and then I let it fizzle out! My hairdresser moved? It's an Epic Drama that keeps me from writing my morning pages, though I went there only once! Writing a shopping list? It feels like I'm trying to gather courage to write a Great American Novel (and ends in ordering pizza for dinner)! And that's just the tip of the iceberg, but I'll spare you the long version ;)

I'm letting myself, making myself feel scattered! As Patti Digh puts it so neatly, this is my pattern of investing in the story of obstacle instead of the story of yearning. It's a variation on the age-old theme of 'I can't, not before everything else is perfectly arranged!', and it's wearing me out! I'm not reading the books I ordered, with their wisdom inside. I'm not reading my favourite blogs and I'm not writing blog posts either. Well, I didn't, for weeks, and I don't know when I'll be back here again ;) I'm not meditating. I'm not drinking more water. I haven't finished picking out my word(s) for this year. I'm making a mess of things, because I'm scattered. And I'm scattered, because apparantly, I want to be scattered of sorts. Not consciously, maybe, but the proof is in the pudding nonetheless.

The one thing I have been doing is draw. I might not be able to reason myself out of this pickle, but I'm drawing a fine picture of it ;) And there is something to be said for that. Maybe that is my story of yearning for right now. Don't think about it, don't schedule, just draw the pickle. Maybe the rest will come when I'm quiet, really quiet, drawing the mess I like to think I'm in.

I'm going to be running with that one, guys! It's actually the first thing coming out of my overwhelmed January mind that makes me feel easier in my skin! Like drawing my canned crap this morning. I knew it wouldn't solve it all, but it sure was fun ;) I think I'm going to be cutting myself some slack over the next few days, see where it leaves me :)

Does the New Year make you feel giddy with possibility, or are you a little overwhelmed as well? I'd really love to hear how you're coping with the widely proclaimed pristine-ness of it all, so far!