Using food to avoid sensitivity.
I've been aware of this for a very long time now, but its getting to the stage where I am fed up of it, which is good. I use food to deal with my reactions to what I feel in the world, in my day, all around me, what I can't stop feeling. Our 6th sense, our intuition.
My thing recently has been vegan ice cream, which really is dampening my body to all I feel. The opposite of eating this is simply honouring how sensitive I am, and all I feel.
So why do I do it? When I feel rubbish after it, and know it's not the best way to deal with my reactions? That going for a walk, taking a breath, go to the gym, even taking ten minutes for myself to lie down would be much more supportive.
Because I react to things, not big massive reactions, but more subtle stuff, like feeling jealousy from others, other peoples stuff, maybe tension at work, family things, just what's going on for people, kids stuff, the education system, rude car drivers, people given up-ness, overwhelm, someone being nice to me when I know they don't like me or bitch about me behind my back etc and instead of simply feeling it, taking a split second pause to read everything that's going on and how I need to respond - I react - and in trying to deal with my reactions I east ice cream and other stuff, then it's a bit of a circle from there, feel more crap, more exhausted etc. Plus the biggest thing that exhausts me is my reactions. And when I am exhausted I react more. There is far better cycles to be in.
The thing is I can deal with anything when I am open to my sensitivity and feel. The thing that gets me is the reacting.
But what I am learning and working on just now is not reacting, with no perfection, but I do know there's a way I can live, whereby I don't react say 80-90% of the time.
It's a work in progress and it won't disappear over night, but for me it's about creating a body free of reactions and taking on other peoples stuff (basically I'm poisoning my body when I do this), and having a body clear to respond, either by simply observing, not needing to say or do anything or at times offering a verbal sharing. But in this my body is clear of everything that's going on, and that's what i am offering to others, plus I'm not coming home and reaching for the ice cream the minute I get through the door.
It's a win win for everyone, and I can already feel how much more joyful and light I am.
We all need time to reset.
We all need to time to reset if truth be told. Sometimes we know that and plan it in advance at other times our body stops us.
I've had the blessing today to be going in for some minor surgery, which has allowed me a day to stop, rest, and reset.
I shouldn't have let it get that far, but hey I'm not perfect, pretty damn near it :-) though I can make mistakes sometimes too, but in all honesty it's been a blessing today to have this space.
This morning I got to speak to an amazing health and well being practitioner, who helped me to see, what I already know, I like to play dumb sometimes I pretend I don't know - simply to avoid the responsibility, power and the simplicity of what I do know - exhausting I know. And I wonder why I am exhausted, it's even tiring writing that itself.
But it was beautiful to simply have the space to share, feel, and claim myself.
There was space this morning to rest, to come back to bed, not to sleep, to write which is a great process in itself, but also to allow my body to lie and be still, you know that deep rest, that isn't an oh my god I'm exhausted and fall into bed, but a deep deep settlement, I could literally feel my body re-setting on the inside. A bit like when you press the button on your broadband hub to reset it, it needs time to go off, reset itself, things start to flicker and re-connect. And that's what is happening in my body today.
And for me that is what today is all about - resetting.
And we can all do this no matter how we feel, what is happening or happened in our lives, we can all heal, from everything.
The learning moving forwards for me now, is to not react to what I am so sensitive to feeling all around me, to not fight the simplicity of what I am aware of, what I can feel going on for other people, things happening in work, home, places we walk into, you know our 6th sense our intuition, I am simply to honour that and how easy I feel things, feel them, give myself space to stop and read what's going on for people, myself, before I respond, be that needing to do, say something or simply read and observe, bringing a body free of reaction. And gosh how less exhausted I'll be then.
Without perfection, of course I won't nail it 100% but at least 70 -90 % of the time is doable, I know theres a place I can be and a way I can live that I won't react most of the time, for me my reactions are very subtle, and if I do, there will be more supportive things in place rather than reaching for sugar or other things to try numb, dull what I feel, like going for a walk, or taking a bit of time for myself to stop, breath, talk with my partner, or even write down what I have seen and observed during the day, then looking at the bigger picture, leaving me free to come home to my family, and allowing me more space in my body and day,
Taking time too reset is something we all need now and again.
Is testing really that bad for our kids?
Over the past few years there's been a lot of debate and discussion around tests at schools, but in reality are hey really such a bad thing and do our kids actually need them as our kids behaviours get more and more wayward, with children not being able to sit still, focus and learn.
There is actually nothing wrong with testing our kids, at any age, be it age 5 or 15 years of age. Tests are and can be supportive, they help teachers to gauge where your child is at, and where they might need extra support or focus.
Now I have seen tests been carried out in schools many a time, the kids aren't bothered by them, they do what needs to be done, answer questions and hey presto the test is done.
The problems I feel, for example when we hear about kids in tears etc, actually comes in when we as adults, parents react and impose. We may reacting to the tests, sympathise with our kids, or put pressure on them to do well, be better than others, foster competition, make a huge big deal out of the test etc - ultimately we are creating anxiety in our children, getting them worried about tests. I say that with no judgement of any parent, or the parents of parents as this is how we may have been brought up and parented before.
There is also the system that we need to look at, and if you want to hate anything, it's best to hate the system rather than the tests, education department or teachers etc.
In many instances, we need to hate a system that allows such and such .... and in this case hating a system that actually puts pressure on schools, head teachers etc for their main focus first and foremost to be about attainment and grades well before the well being and relationship with the kids. It is not a teachers or a schools fault, no sympathy here, just the simple understanding they are doing their job and carrying out what they are asked to do.
And in all honesty out kids way hard behaviours are getting worse, there is lack of focus, disrespectful behaviour, given up-ness, not wanting to work hard, lack of responsibility, wanting everything there and then without putting in the work, not being able to keep bums on seat, distracted all the time, thinking its okay to speak to people like crap, ruling eyes, etc not to mention chair throwing hitting people, only doing work when they feel like it, and that's the tip of the iceberg, that's primary schools and then speaking to high school teachers who say kids can't just sit and learn anymore, the can't sit still, focus, they loose them really quick.
Seeing and hearing all of this, we actually need to keep testing from a young age with our kids, it helps them, supports the, supports teachers to do their jobs, to support our children to learn and grow. So maybe rather than scraping tests for young children, we allow them and bring our focus back to responsibly parenting our kids.
Teachers are here to teach
Whilst I may not be popular in writing this blog, the truth needs to be shared. I know it's on the lips of many people.
I have worked in education in many forms from lecturing, secondary, primary, a private business, health and well-being with people of every age from nursery upwards for over 20 years.
What I have seen and I am sure many if not all will agree kids behaviours are getting more wayward, like off the richter scale. Now I am not here to judge, simply share observations of what I see, have seen for many years, and hear from other people, even yesterday speaking with a doctor, they shared that's what they are hearing in their practice all the time just now, kids behaviours are getting worse and worse.
Now this may go down like a lead balloon for some,
teachers are here to teach not parent children
Unfortunately this is not the case in the education system today, teachers aren't able to teach as much as they used to be simply because their space is more often than not filled up with dealing with bad behaviour, which os often consistent. This isn't the teachers fault. In no judgement to parents, simply many children are not being parented or taught respect, decency and responsibility at home. I simply mean the most basic respect for other people.
Whilst some may say oh it's just how kids are these days, its not, it shouldn't be the norm it's how we are allowing our children to be brought up, parenting is a responsibility, I'm not saying it's easy, but we have a responsibility in brining up our children to have a level of decency and respect that they are not going into schools, rolling their eyes at teachers, other kids, answering back, being rude, not wanting to clean up after themselves, not listening etc - all this so called low level behaviour stuff. And it's definitely not the teachers job to parent them, We can blame the teacher and pass the buck on to them, Our kids need discipline and boundaries, and that starts at home. Not to be pandered too, given everything they want, or see the blame being passed onto someone else.
Often people say oh just ignore the low level stuff, that will go away, but it's the ignoring of this low level stuff that builds into the other behaviours like hitting, punching teachers and kids, throwing chairs, swearing, walking out of class, it's the so called low level stuff, that we need to nip in the bud, that's what allows the other bad behaviours to grow.
We wonder why teachers are exhausted, overwhelmed, given up and many are leaving education all together, I'm not saying it's okay, but it's understandable, when you see what goes on in schools and classrooms. To be honest I think a lot of people would be shocked.
Rejection, how do you deal with it?
Let's face the art world is rife with rejection.
But how do you deal with it? Withdraw, give up, think we are useless, get cynical, angry, frustrated, and stop making art? Or do you not even put yourself or your work out there for fear of rejection, what other people will say?
I have felt and done both. I have exhibited work, sold work, but after working in the art world for a long time, I gave up, I hated what I saw, so instead of going deeper with myself, finding out more about who I am, putting myself out there, making art because I loved it, was good at it and it's one of the ways I love expressing myself. I withdrew, gave up and hated the art world.
Don't get me wrong I still hate the system we call art, not the people, the system that allows abuse, corruption, judgement, critique, like they are really really critical, elitism, shunning of good work and great people, the emotions, drama, competition, snobbery, the bulls*** chat, disregard, bitchiness, back stabbing and the falseness, like the art world is really really false, One minute you can be flavour of the month with everyone fawning over you and the next big thing comes along and people are like 'hello who are you?' The art world is very very empty.
But at the same time I love people who put themselves out there, and make art because that's how they love to express themselves, the genuine people. Not the 'art world'. If you have a look around your local community, you town, country, there is some really beautiful work out there made by some very lovely and humble people, that the art world would probably laugh at and snub, because it doesn't fit the picture created of what 'good art' is.
Anyway that's a slight digression, I have so much to share on art, but, back to, is there another way to deal with rejection?
The answer is yes.
It doesn't happen over night.
Along with letting go of horrible fear of rejection, let's be honest, it's one of our greatest hurts, for woman it goes for our lack of self worth - is letting go of expectations and need. The need for people to like your work, ( and that stems back to our education system - and younger - being taught we get recognition for what we do not loved for who we are ) for if there is a need there, it's not a true piece of art, it's based on everyone else, only being 'good' if other people like it, not you expressing yourself from a deeper place, with and ease and flow from your body when you make it. In that knowing I made it, so obviously it's amazing, it might not be every ones cup of tea, and that's cool. The truth is we all aren't going to like everything, that's not how we are, some of us love pink, other love blue, whilst some might like black, and that is a metaopher for everything in life, from the food we eat, the jobs we do, the music we listen to, cars we drive etc.
But when you look at a piece of work and love it, knowing you've made it form your heart you could say, then thats' a great place to be in. Rejection isn't personal, that's what we have to learn, it's not you they are reacting, maybe a gallery simply doesn't like your work, maybe it doesn't fit in with the type of art they sell, the genre they are going for, maybe someone is jealous of you, your work, for putting yourself out there and expressing your self, the choices you are making. Imagine just making work because you felt o and putting in out there because you felt to, with no outcome, need or expectation in mind, that would be so freeing,
Don't get me wrong it's tough, I hate feeling rejection in any part of my life, you know that feeling when you can tell someone doesn't want to be around you, or maybe you have experienced it in a relationship. But its about stepping back, brining understanding, looking at the bigger picture. where is the person at, in terms of art, what type of gallery is it, what work do they sell, does your work fit what they are trying to project? And even what is going on for yourself, does it bring up negative thoughts for you? Can you turn them into a positive? Are there other galleries, could you join a local artists group that exhibit? What about opening an online store, somewhere like on Etsy?
Letting go of the fear of rejection is a process, one that can only be overcome if you put yourself out there with no need, expectation or outcome, bring understanding and learn to not take things personally.
No one gets anywhere if we hide away.
Who say's you are good at art?
So I was thinking about this today, really how can you mark a person who works as an artist or who is at art school training, studying art?
Yes you could say well they would be marked on skills, technical ability, but sadly to say this e days are long gone, where you trained under a Master for several years and built up amazing skills. ( I am sure there are still many who are very skilled technically)
But the reality is from my experience art school stopped teaching skills a long time ago. When I first went to art school about 25 years ago, it was an amazing place, people had great studio spaces, there were different departments with very skilled tutors in each, who taught the finer technical skills of drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and all the even finer details in each. I studied fine art so I can't comment on the design side. But it was amazing, there was a real buzz about the place, tutors were around and seen daily, and skills were taught. Sadly when I returned about 11 years later, the art school had been enveloped bu the University system, it was all about getting as many bums on seats and more money. Studio spaces were tiny, departments cut, hardly any tutors about and no skills taught like there used to be, suffice to say I found solace in the guys running the work shop who taught me lots and spent most of my time there.
But this blog isn't about how skills aren't being taught anymore, that's for another day, what I was thinking about more was how can you grade a student on their art, who say's their work is worth a 1st class honours, a 2:1 or even a fail. I don't think you can mark art, it should simply be a pass to a fail ( it's different at school level as there is specific criteria but not at college / Uni). I recall there were students who worked their butts off, totally committed, dedicated, passionate about what they did and made, in there at 6am some days and working till late, and there were other, no judgement who had totally given up, never in, you'd be lucky if you saw them once a month.
Yet degree show time comes around and the student that's never in, pulls a few full days with help from someone else, and they walk out with say a 2:1 the same as a person who's been committed, passionate and dedicated for four years - as let's be clear here they're work is very good, now to me that doesn't seem fair, well the art system isn't, unfortunately it's all about if your face fits, it you play the game, especially if you want to make it big. That's how the world is, we have to learn to hate the systems that allow things like this, the judgement, bullying, corruption, glamour, the striving and using force for fame,
People who work in the arts have to go through a lot of rejection, judgement, critic, not just at art school, from art galleries etc too, does your work fit in with what they like, what they sell, the other artists the represent, it's all a bit of charade if you ask me, but unfortunately it is what it is.
If you stay true to your heart and paint, make art, you might not be as successful as others you see, but you know where your art comes from and that you're not selling out or selling your Soul, not that you can do that, you can ignore it for a very long time, but hey as much as you try it's not going away, and that's a good thing if you ask me, but at least if you are successful you know it's true success.
But yeah, let's get rid of grades at art school and make it a simple pass or fail.
Why make art?
Because it's fun, light a great way of creating space, connecting to and expressing yourself.
That is the simple answer.
(And for people like Leonardo Da Vinci he shared some great messages through the layers of his work, that probably would have got him killed if he said them out loud at that time in the world.)
But his honestly guys, what have we done to the art world, what have we allowed to rule and own it? it has become one of the most polluted, arrogant, elite, corrupt, controlling, supremacy systems, it almost makes me think of the King and Queen of France that lived in the Louvre and got their heads cut off by the public, that's; the kind of cold supremacy energy in art, and a real arrogance to, a snobbery a looking down our noses at others. Or on the other side there is the airy fairy fluffiness, a role, being cool, a character you have to play.
Honestly there is so much bulls**t in the art world, it's sad to see, if you don't fit in a certain look or way, then your out, who says, men in fat suits, or some elitist, or a guy that doesn't have an ounce of love or var for people in his body, could easily be a woman too, just people that like to look good, to talk about it at dinner parties and show of to others in the same boat, sad to say it just shows how empty people are, At the same time, the nonsense people come away with, no judgement here as I was there at one point as well, about what their work means, all this emotional, heavy, meaning of life stuff, putting their issues into their work, their misery, anger, whatever, man what are people getting when they hand that ion their walls. And no it doesn't mean that, its simply a red dot on a wall. Sorry well I'm not at all I am not one that buys into all the arty, pretentious bulls**t. I switch off even at the slightest whiff of it. Same as in many systems I know.
But the reason I write this is there are so many people who are put off making art, from kids up to adults, because they are told or believe they are not good enough, so what who cares whether someone likes your work or doesn't. But they have been robbed of that joy, And I for one won't stand for that., i love joy, I am joy as I'm sure you all well know. I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't like my stuff, but I love it, and I know where it comes from a deeper place in me, with an ease, a flow, a joy, a true wonderment, just like making art as a little girl.
To find your expression, be it art, music, writing, mathematics, management whatever your thing is and allow yourself to express it allows so much space in your body and day, as I've said before its about not holding back and letting your natural amazing qualities out. Now that open up so much space in your day, way much better than checking out on TV or scrolling endlessly through social media, and yes it can be harder to say no, I'm going to connect to myself and express, but believe me it is so much worth it. And beats any crap on TV or the next meme you see. or who had what for their tea.
Let's keep art simple, and I don't mean you can't paint the most amazing layer detailed picture, I simply mean simple it doesn't need heaviness, stories, issues or drama, you know that catharsis crap we like to do, man we can deal and help our stuff easily, lets not dump it on other people or in our pictures, forget about need too, think of a child, keep it light, keep it true for all to appreciate.
Keep art simple, fun and light.
Does expressing yourself stop you eating more?
What I hear you say, how can expressing yourself stop me eating more ice cream, chocolate, food? How can that be, whatever, yeah right.
But it's true, Ive realised over the past few days, when I'm choosing to express myself, for me that's through art, other it may be writing, music, singing, gardening etc, whatever is your thing. I have found that I don't eat as much.
Because I feel more full.
I feel more full of myself, I'm letting what is inside me out, and not hiding from the world, not judging myself, and not trying to fill myself up with anything else because I feel empty inside.
Have you ever done that, held back something that is there naturally to express, it feels crap! It makes you feel crap.
All I ever wanted to do from being a little girl was make art, so of course it part of my natural expression, and to stop that, battle it up, put a cork in it, not do it, hold back in any way shape or form is going to make me feel uneasy, agitated, not myself, empty, looking outside for things to 'full-fill' me. But I'll never find it there. It's when I choose to express myself, and there is such joy in that, and me making art, that I feel more vibrant, full of energy, full of myself, and I don't need at much food, or look for things as a reward, comfort or reward etc. Because I am elating what is naturally inside of me out, what I love, my amazing qualities, me, and there is nothing more filling than that!