Wednesday, July 28, 2010

being seen

i believe the thing we all want

is to be seen.

Not being seen in the "God,i know people will see this pimple/grey hair/ wrinkle/cellulite/hole in my pantyhose/ deep ugly flaw in my character" kind of way...

But in this way

" I see your magnificence"

" i see you as a perfect reflection of God"

"I see you - perfect, whole, complete."

this is the way we YEARN for.

Sometimes we try to cover this yearing up with things, we numb it with alchohol, drugs, drama...

But,I think it is what makes us turn to goo around babies - they touch on the place that is perfect possibility - maybe they help us see that moment where we were (hopefully) seen with love in it's most crystal clear form.

"Thank All That Is, there you are, you are perfect, I love you."

The yearning for this being seen can lead us into all kinds of places, damaging and repairing, kind and cruel.

But it is when we begin to see ourselves, see our shadow and our shallows and our gifts and our longings and our stumblings and our accomplishments and our pimples and we can greet all that with Love...

then we see ourselves.

then that is reflected around us...

and then our eyes truely open...

today i wish that you could glimpse your own magnificence...

i am looking for mine

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Doing it hard

there was a time in my life where i felt like doing it hard was the only worthy way

i have good protestant working class bones

My Grandad left school when he was 13 to go down the coalmines. He had to walk miles to school or share the horse with one of his 12 brothers and sisters.

I learned about working hard for good things from him.

I always made the choice that was more difficult because somehow that seemed more worthy.

If i had to work hard at something, take the more difficult path it would be more valuable.

This was true with everything, work choices, friendships,money, health... EVERYTHING.

And then one day i decided to try another way.

I was exhausted, unhappy, weighed down and harried.

I decided to go to a local osteopath who works with stored memory.

Previously when i went to see Ben, I would want to know every little detail of what he was doing. I would pour over everything, dissect it, imagine scenarios, get mad all over other words, work hard at it.

This time though, I went to Ben and said "There is old shit there and i want it gone. If i don't need to know about it i don't want to i just want it gone"

And releasing myself from the responsibility of having to do that hard work (and the mirale that is Ben Evans!) started a pattern.

I have embraced the possibility that i can take the easier choice and it will be ok.

I find myself in abundance.

I find myself, more and more living the life i want.

I see ease and grace in more of my relationships.

I see ease in my health choices - i am able to listen to my body and my intuition instead of shoulds...

I have learned that sometimes hard is not always good.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

emotion and logic

(this rock made me sway with the beauty of it - there is no logic to that but the feeling it fills my heart with beats that logic hands down....)

today i had a conversation with my husband about the seeming religion of denying emotion.

I have been hot under the collar lately about the New Zealand Government's proposal to mine schedule 4 protected conservation land.

i haven't wanted to talk about it here or on any of the social networking thingys that i frequent because it felt like airing dirty laundry.

It felt like having a government that was stupid enough and money grubbing enough to want to hack into some of the most beautiful land on the planet to extract some minerals and ore for some foreign owned company to cream the profits... well it felt like a dirty family secret.

I wanted to uphold our paradisical image in the eyes of my friends...

I am ashamed of our rightwing smarmy government - and i did NOT vote for them but they are my representatives on the local and world stage and they make me cringe.

The debate in New Zealand was feirce and there were larger protests and more submissions about this than anything else had ever stirred up.

But one of the bitter tastes left for me was how the "emotional" aspects of the issue were negated. "We can't be emotional about this" "We can't let emotion carry us away"

why the fuck not?

When you love something like it is part of your family, part of your body like many New Zealanders love this country - it is considered a weakness - a fallacy in the decision making process.

Emotion is negated

And i want to know why.

Why when New Zealand men have one of the highest rates of suicide in the western world do we think that it is ok to continue to malign the very thing that when we are staunch enough to sit with it will get us through...

Why do we need to deny something that makes us human?

Or is that it? Is them demanding that we deny ourselves emotion in resisting such a travesty the only way they have of blocking the humanity, the passion required to fight strongly?

we will all end up like Mr Logic Don't read past here if you are offended by foul language - even though i have already said fu*k sorry)

Mr Logic is a character from VIZ magazine - full of purile and imho hilarious comics...

here is an example of him at his best...

Mr Logic is in charge of the till at the local off-licence

:Armed Robber: No nonsense. Just give me all your money.

:Mr Logic: I shall commence by pointing out to you that my demeanour is not one which could be described as nonsensical. Consequently I can attest you have no cause to reprimand me on your first point. On to your second point: Bearing in mind the potentially lethal situation in which I find myself, to wit: your presence in conjunction with the presumably loaded firearm which is presently levelled at my cranium, I will comply with your request comprehensively, albeit reluctantly. Here, twenty-seven pence.

:Armed Robber: Twenty-seven pence? Fuck off. There's more than that in the till.

:Mr Logic: Indeed, undoubtedly so. However your request was for *my* money. The currency in the till belongs to a third party and is therefore not "my money". However, if you are still desirous of said money I would suggest that you re-phrase your original statement to recognise and incorporate this important distinction.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

little jane

(little jane who turned up in my BIG painting over at DirtyFootprintsStudio

My beloved friend mollie (whom you will meet here in the comment section - wise and kind and good) has helped me find a path to inner child work.

I had always found that kind of thing a bit on the far out side of woo woo.

But the more i researched it and the more i allowed that possibility in, the more i heard little whispers from my heart and the more it became clear that inside this rumpty 45 year old body is a wee girl.

she has a pretty ugly hair cut.

and the big red birthmark on her face.

and skinny legs.

and grazes on her knees.

and stubbed toes.

and she has all the fears and ideas that trip me up as i reach into this journey with creativity and reclaim my soul.

So, I have taken to talking to her.(in my head - if i start chatting out loud i know they will have good grounds to come and take me away)

and it is soothing beyond measure.

Yesterday i had to spend an extended period with my mother...

i have tried all kinds of techniques of staying whole when i am with her with varying success (but i usually end up giving her the fingers behind her back so i guess they are not very successful!)

but since i have been chatting with little jane something remarkable has happened....

i can find her when i am getting sweaty and jittery and i can ask little jane if she needs a cuddle, and i can tell her that i am on her side and it is ok.

and i get full of power. Me, the 45 year old.

i feel safe, grounded, able to cope.

little jane helps this 45 year old jane feel alive.

Who knew?

(apart from mollie of course! but i should know by now how wise she is! <3 you mollie!)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

You are a reflection of your surroundings

This thought came to me as i was zooming through the housework yesterday...

i have long identified with Zelig....

finding myself transformed by the people around me - sometimes subtely - i am more funny with some people, more thoughtful with some people, more critical with some people...

finding myself transformed by the physical environment around me - busy and baseless in the city - cerebral, and expansive and light and free by the sea...

i see my daughter also is in this mould - she feels withdrawn and left out in certain girls' company, light and fun in others'.

i wanted to come here and write about this as a reminder to myself that if i am truely open to transforming my life with creation i will open my life to people who see creativity as a valid and transformative force.

i will minimise the time spent with contracting forces - the circumstance and energy that makes me feel less than

and open myself to, gather in, soak up the expanding forces...

i choose BIG

Saturday, July 17, 2010

the starving raving artist archtype

i think i am facing up to one of my fears

that is if i open to the creative side of myself , fully, deeply

i will end up an artist -

a crazy starving artist.

There is an understanding somewhere in me that what an artist is is someone odd

so blown around by the winds of their inspiration that they are distanced from the planet,
their hair and clothes always askance,

their minds constantly whispered to by voices unseen....

as a small child i heard a voices constantly which told me things i knew others didn't hear... it made my life hard as a child, to always be elsewhere in my head...

i remember the day that i asked the voice to leave

i chose normality over those whispers and the imagination that i swam in.

With Connies BIG FEARLESS PAINTING COURSE we have been meeting Fearless women who painted BIG.

most of them scare the shit out of me

they are odd, fearless, cantankerous, difficult

but i am drawn to them like a little peice of iron filing to a magnet

despite myself i think of them over and over, Helen Frankenthaler pouring her paint so lovingly onto the canvas, Susan Rothenburg chortling over herself and the big bold beauty all around her, the haunting realness of the people that Alice Neel forced the canvas to acccept... all of them present in their process,

some of them not enjoying the work, but turning up anyway

just putting down what they see

being bold

taking the chunk out of life that they desire and making it theirs....

i want that fearlessness

but i don't want my children to be wounded (Susan Neel's son broke my heart when he said he was damaged by his mother's bohemianism)

i don't want to run off to the South of France like Joan Mitchell...

or maybe i do

maybe that is what scares me

maybe the pull to be myself (and as i sit here early early in the morning so i can get this out before the families' life demands my presence, i look like a dishevelled weirdo!) to be this creative-driven-follow-the-muse-wherever-the-hell- she-leads-me kind of woman is so strong

and maybe i have to choose....

or maybe if i choose love i can have them both

This week we did memory painting and i began by painting memory that was both painful and creative - there was a lot of visible anger on the page...

and now i have been drawn to create a memory painting which is so much more than just anger and fear.. it is the complex sustaining web of love which my grandparents gave to that odd little girl who lived in fantasy....

the beginnings of it are above ... maybe my answer is if i keep coming back to love i can have it all - the creative life and the family life, the voices in my head and the non dishevelled hair ...

maybe i can be saved by love.

Friday, July 16, 2010


this is one of my peices from BIG FEARLESS PAINTING which people found lots of stories for....

Ronna Detrick has a great site called Renegade Conversations - it is ostensibly about woman and spirituality but really about life...

today she asked "What are the stories you'd like to hear?"

As you may know, i am a story-o-phile (apologies to Tanya Batt .)

I believe in the power of the spoken and written word to send our soul the nourishment it needs, to skip through time and forge a path for us to walk when we get there, to heal, to challenge and to bring joy.

I loved how Ronna's stories have come true (how could they fail to with such a loving heart behind them?)

So i write mine here and encourage you - you band of delicious souls who come here and see into my heart - to write yours too!

Stories i would like to hear:

i am loved beyond measure.

My girls grow up to be strong, loving, generous women, surrounded by love and connection to spirit and abundance.

My work finds a place in people's hearts and changes their lives.

i am leading courses in creativity and seeing ripples of this throughout my community.

I travel extensively and with great joy.

I have true and loving friends who treasure me.

your turn

Thursday, July 15, 2010

PRACTISE (and pancakes) and listening to myself

(having to be really brave here to post this photo - this is a picture from my Suzi Blu Piety and Passion course and i hate it)

Today i was being short order cook, making pancakes for 4 girls (sleepover, school holidays)

The eldest girls were drawing on big peices of paper i gave them (yes, BIG), while the youngest were still tucked up upstairs, reading.

Girl 1 said "I am useless at drawing dogs."

and i said "How often do you practise?"

she looked at me a bit confused.

I said "Do you draw a dog everyday?"


"Well how much did you have to practise to learn to ride a bike?"


"Well it's like that with drawing. You have to practise and make mistakes and practise and learn, until you can draw dogs you like"

As i flip my 12th pancake i think about how i apply that to myself.

Do i practise and practise?

Do i learn from the mistakes i make?

Do i do it and do it and do it again until i make marks I am pleased with (not necessarily ones that look like a dog or that others will recognise as a dog, but that my heart looks at and says DOG!)

i should listen to myself a lot more often.

Monday, July 12, 2010


(victory over death by Colin McCahon)

this weekend i was all stirred up

decisions from the past which were attempts of mine to assert my right to my dreams came back to haunt me

beauty kept bombarding me

mundanity kept ankle tapping me

words flowed

visions flowed

confusion about priorities made the colours i was experiencing muddy and clarity was evading me

so i went for a walk on the beach

winter beach, early morning, thick grey sea and sky, brilliant shafts of sunlight singing through the cloud , them disappearing again reflecting the landscape inside me....

so i called my child self and i called my grandparents....

i told the scared and defensive little girl that it was ok to ask for what she wanted, it was ok to say when enough was enough, it was ok to expect kind treatment...

i asked my grandparents for their thoughts and i was met with warmth and love and acceptance, and under my feet heart shaped rock after heart shaped rock

and it came to me - all the fear i have about inviting big into my life relates back to this time where i chose travel and freedom over my (now) husband - the anguish about the pain i caused still sits inside me - (and him as evidenced by our fight)

I left a trail of devistation when i chose South Africa over him.

i have strived for acceptance and forgiveness and good personhood ever since.

Choosing a creative life felt like facing the same choice - in order to have that was i going to have to jettison the role i have now as completely as i did then?

Will i have to continue to strive to be more than what i am? - a better artist archetype (living alone in some hovel, creating masterworks effortlessly, pleasing all whose eyes fall upon my work)

Will i have to be less than what i am? - (no longer a wife and mother, no longer loved and understood)

and then it came to me - with all the heart shaped rocks and love i felt


I just am what i am - i no longer have to strive to be better or worse for anyone else.

i no longer have to sacrifice or berate or measure


i have access to all my resources just as I AM

I have what i need as I AM

it is all possible just as I AM

and my heart went back to Colin McCahon whose work so lights my heart and i honour him here and thank him for the iconography which i see now each time i get scared..

(i am -scared - Colin McCahon)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

i just got saved

The thought of opening myself to BIG changes really really scared me

what if i let the Genie out and havoc was wrought???

what if i did run away to create, leave the mundane and just bugger off?

what if i did open up to creativity and just let it all go

and then i found this

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home." Twyla Tharp

and now i am saved

My committment and Louise Nevelson

As part of BIG - Connie has asked that we make a committment to ourselves and our participation in this course.

So in front of you, my lovely friends, i make the following committment.


This committment feels right and timely and clean.

I love that i am in the space to make it.

But with it comes whispers of the snivelling smallmaking inner critic who warns me about the outcome of opening to BIG - i will (it seems according to the inner critic) now be faced with the future of running to Acupulco and living in a cat infested shack never to be allowed near my children again...

(yes my critic does have a dramatic streak, but she knows that the urge to break all kinds of boundaries holds me in small)

but i will trust myself to be BIG and wise all at once....

I know that just because i open to creative juice doesn't mean the rupture of the family unit, or life in this house, or life in this body...

i want to see that it is possible to be big and juicy and alive and still be a mother and a wife and a sane member of the community...

So i am investigating artists.

I am opening my heart to the vision and words of others - hoping to listen to the whispers and nudges of my own angels...

And i met Louise Nevelsonand Louise said this

"After a tree is ut down, it is assumed that the tree is dead. It may be the finish of that life as such. But even in that state of matter there's activity, livingness. So there is no death in that sense. There's transformation...Patterns of life change, but the life doesn't change. Life is forever life. Livingness."

i think Louise was talking about her timber... but to me she is talking also about my life... the things that have to die in order for BIG to come alive....

I have been scared, embarking on this committment to myself but i know that even if there is death in this opening of the heart and life, life is forever...