Instructions for life

On being a rebel, a stream of consciousness prose poem + a painting from my studio

Instructions for life and living in a hyperconnected world

I will participate, but not as asked.”
― Jenny Odell, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

When I was in my fiery teens, my father declared me a rebel without a cause. I’ve always been contrary. If you tell me to go up, I will go down. If you tell me not to do something, you can be sure that I will go right ahead and do it. And then proudly tell you that I did it too. That fiery rebellion of my teenage years has mellowed over the years, though – I guess that’s what they call aging.

I may not be a fiery rebel, but I am still contrary. I question most things. I tend to think deeply. Sometimes, it is annoying. It would be so much easier to just go along with what everyone else is saying. With the things the world seems to value. With what everyone else is chasing. It is so much more difficult to try and swim against the tide.

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The magic of intuitive painting

On connecting to your intuitive voice, finding your intuitive flow, and creating paintings with depth

The magic of intuitive painting and how art mimics life

On this episode of The Art With Soul podcast, I talk about intuition and grace; the intuitive painting process and maintaining the flow between painting intuitively and painting more deliberately; and how these ideas and themes feed into art and life.

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5 ways to deal with anxiety

Science-based tips + resources from my own struggles with anxiety

Let’s talk about anxiety for a minute. The debilitating fear. The constant worry. The thoughts that circle around in your head at a hundred miles a minute. The heart palpitations. The shortness of breath. The certainty that everything is going to come crashing down around you.

We’ve all suffered from anxiety at some point in our lives, but did you know that 1 in 7 Indians – or 197.3 million people – were impacted by mental disorders of varying severity in 2017, of which 44.9 million Indians suffer from anxiety disorders. And this is 2017 data, so this number is sure to have skyrocketed.

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Book review: The Passenger by Daniel Hurst

She takes the same train every day. But this is a journey she’ll never forget.

Amanda’s done it! She’s finally managed to save up enough money to hand in her resignation so she can follow her dream of becoming a writer. She just has a few more days left to serve out her notice and then she can put that daily commute from Brighton to London behind her forever.

But then, on her commute home from London to Brighton, she meets a charming stranger – who seems to know everything about her. He delivers an ultimatum. She needs to give him the code for the safe where she keeps her savings before the train reaches Brighton – or she’ll never see [her daughter] Louise again. Convinced that the threat is real, Amanda is stunned, horrified. She knows she should give him the code, but she can’t. Because she also knows there is a terrible secret in that safe which will destroy her life and Louise’s too…

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March 2021: Tarot spread for the full moon in Libra

Plus some journaling questions, an astro-tarot forecast, exploration of the the Sabian symbol, and additional resources for the Libra full moon.

Tarot spread for the March 2021 full moon in Libra

The March 2021 full moon falls in the sign of Libra. The Libra archetype is closely associated with justice and maintaining balance in social interactions and within the self. They are the true diplomats among the zodiac archetypes, and focus on fair dealings in all their relationships.

Spiritually, the Libra archetype teaches the principle of intimate balance, of the ability to remain centered and true to yourself no matter what may be going on around you. This is a skill that can be particularly helpful for those of us who turn up our noses at societal expectations as we dance to the tune of our own drum beat. Being able to remain centered is also an important skill to have if you’re surrounded by toxic people – and in these times, even toxic politics! One of the easiest ways to remain centered is through the breath, and by being able to distinguish between the things that are in your control, and those that aren’t.

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Dancing with the muse

Plus some scenes from around the studio.

Dancing with The Muse: Finding our creative genius

I spent most of the weekend in the studio – painting, writing, creating. Completely engrossed in the paintings and projects before me. Flowing between paintings and projects and journaling and enquiry.

Not every weekend is like this, though I wish it was! Not every painting session goes so beautifully. And that got me to wondering.

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Understanding depression: It’s a chemical effect

And empty platitudes like be more grateful do not help.

Can Reiki heal depression? The link between brain chemicals and depression

While scrolling through my Facebook feed last night, I came across a post asking for recommendations for therapists who deal with depression and anxiety in adults. I know, from previous experience, that depression isn’t well understood, and that it is notoriously difficult to find good, qualified therapists. So I went through the comments to see if the lady’s query had been answered and if I could share any recommendations with her.

But the comments were closed. This meant that she had either found the information she was looking for, or people had left their usual unhelpful advice on her post.

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Finding inspiration for your art

It’s all about seeding your subconscious!

Finding creativity for your art and creativity practice as an intuitive painter

On this episode of the Art with Soul podcast, I talk about where I find inspiration as an intuitive painter. Showing up to the canvas without any preconceived ideas about what I want to paint or what I want my finished piece to look like can be both terrifying and exhilarating. Tune in for a peek into my process! You’ll find a written transcript of the podcast {edited lightly for readability} and additional resources below.

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March 2021: Tarot spread for the new moon in Pisces

Plus some journaling questions, an astro-tarot forecast, exploration of the the Sabian symbol, and additional resources for the Pisces new moon.

Tarot spread for the March 2021 new moon in Pisces

The March 2021 new moon falls in the sign of Pisces. The Pisces archetype is highly intuitive and very open to the flow of creative imagination. This is the sign of creative dreamers and mystics and visionaries, which makes this new moon an excellent time to flex your intuitive and creative muscles.

Spiritually, the Pisces archetype teaches the principle of unity, of recognizing the divinity within you. One way to understand this principle is by looking at creation – the creator {God, Universe, Source, however you wish to name it} created this earth, the rivers and seas, the trees, birds, insects, animals, man. Similarly, man has the ability to create – and to create consciously. It is this ability that points to the spiritual truth of Pisces, that we are spiritual beings having a human experience {with the emphasis on our humanness in all its frailty and beauty}. It is by accepting responsibility for consciously creating – which isn’t always easy – that you connect most deeply with the creator. Needless to say, empathy and compassion are the cornerstones of the Pisces archetype.

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Book review: In A Deep Dark Wood by Tina Pritchard

What she saw in the wood would change her life forever...

In a deep dark wood by Tina Pritchard

While walking her dog Buddy in the woods behind her house, Fran stumbles upon a scene that will change the course of her life. In a somewhat secluded den around an old yew tree, she sees local teen Tyler standing on a crate, his hands tied behind his back, his mouth duct taped, and a noose around his head.  She sees the two men who have him tied up there. She sees them kick the crate and murder him.

Drawing on her years working in social services, Fran is able to keep her wits about her long enough to tell the police exactly what she saw. But the incident has left her shaken. No matter how hard she tries to get back to her normal life, Fran can’t shake off the guilt that assails her – could she have done something to save Tyler?

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