Saturday, May 14, 2011


When working on my tarot paintings I felt like I had a pre-determined To Do list. Whether it was taping off canvases, researching other designs or original symbolism, painting the background, foreground or animals, I was always, always, always busy with something. Each week my life revolved around sleeping, eating, working and painting. I blogged and tweeted about it, gave out business cards, did tarot readings and generally was stuck in.

When the project was finished I cried, not because I was going to miss it or because it was finally done, but because I'd spent so long with it as a constant that it was this immensely emotional thing that I'd accomplished. The series had been a form of therapy for me, begun shortly after my life had taken a serious drop-kicking. My future lay before me as a blank space where, before, there had been an entire (albeit dismal) life supposedly planned out.

Initially all that blank space was terrifying. Then I realised that it was a grand opportunity. As I rediscovered who I was and everything I loved about myself, I began to learn some very important lessons. The first lesson was that no one, no matter what, should ever come before my own sense of self and happiness. I need to be the most important person in my own life and love myself best before I could possibly offer the same to anyone else. Part of that was doing things which gave me a sense of purpose and fed my passion for creativity.

My tarot project was the initial step towards living my own dreams, rather than helping other people achieve theirs to the detriment of my own.

Now that the project is done and I have a very strong sense of purpose in my life I have begun to feel a sort of aimlessness. I have a lot of energy that once went into painting for several hours each week. I'm putting a lot of it into editing my writing, preparing for my August Apricot Gallery show and occasionally dancing in public, but none of that takes up the same intense commitment of my time as the painting did.

So I've spent the last few weeks looking at my life stretching out before me and wondering exactly where it's going to go. I have learned so much about myself through the duration of working on those paintings. For example, I know I actually quite like an indeterminate future. Whereas before I felt the need to plot out every single aspect of my life with a sort of written in stone precision, I now love the sense of adventure which comes from not having my mind made up about anything in particular.

But then, there are always going to be certain constants. Whether I am published or not, whether my paintings sell or not, I will always be a writer and an artist. I also have a wonderful little fur-child in my life and to a certain extent my future must take her into consideration in all things. On top of that my family has expanded to include a talented photographer/chef/gardener and her two little fur-children.

I also know I am naturally a little nomadic. I will always have a strong sense of home and where my roots are but I need to explore and wander. I learn best by doing and the greatest discoveries come from seeing different places, meeting new people and trying new things. No matter how comforting a space or stable a job, my own natural spirit will always tell me when enough is enough and I need to move on, to try something different, learn something new and explore somewhere else.

So essentially I need a source of income which I can take on the road. I need a job which can evolve as I do, change as my life does and fit around my circumstances as they come to be on that fabulous blank canvas which is the potential of anyone's life.

One of my dearest friends has recently completed a Spiritual Counselling course and she and I often discuss the topics of her classes and the assignments she's had. For months now we have discussed these things and every time I've been acutely aware of how much it interests me. I've also always been aware of how often friends or family tell me I inspire them. I do this because I truly do have the knack for seeing the potential in another human being, sometimes to my own detriment, but also because I believe in genuine appreciation. When I see someone's strength or passion for something I see no reason why it shouldn't be encouraged. We are all pure potential at the same time as we are often our own worst enemy. As someone intimately acquainted with anxiety and depression, I fully understand how easy it is to talk ourselves out of accomplishing very great things. At the same time, I appreciate that anything I've accomplished in my life has been attributed to being able to see the reflection of myself in those I love. I know I've accomplished a great many things but I doubt I'd have been able to do it if not for the encouragement and belief from outside members...and at times the attitude of 'Stop whinging and do it already'.

I am a firm believer that we can all use an outside perspective and as such I have decided I would quite like to try my hand at Life Coaching. Not because I think I have life figured out. Far from it. I believe that the older I get the more I realise the less I know. I just know that I do so love helping someone see the potential that they know is there but just can't quite access. I would love to offer the same encouragement, compassion and at times, Zen-like butt kicking which I've received from the likes of my psychologist, mother or best friend.

We all need to make a living and if that living involves using a talent or skill then all the better. I'm quite excited for this decision and am looking forward to seeing which colours it takes on the palette and how it might turn out on that blank canvas.

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