I consider myself to be a creative person. Creative activity and art gave me great pleasure as a child. I had an early encounter with art that had me hooked. As a babe in arms I was carried to the kitchen table by my mother and placed on it. She took a pen and paper and drew a cat for my amusement. My mother was no great artist and she drew the simplest of renderings. She had two circles placed one on top of the other. Two triangles for ears and dots for eyes and nose and a half circle for a mouth. Lines for whiskers, and a tail and that was it. I was amazed at that wonderful cat. I remember it so vividly to this day sixty one years later.
Often little things can inspire us. That day something was awakened inside of me. I know all children are awakened by many things. Our senses are awoken very early on in our development. This is a time of discovery of course and a time of wonder. New tastes, smells, touches and visual stimulation are all on offer on a daily basis at this time. From that first encounter with drawing I was hooked. I loved it. From that day on I would look at drawings and illustrations in books. Colour stimulated me as did design from an early age. That early encounter with drawing would be the starting point that would take me to Art College and many hours of my life spent in contemplation and learning of drawing, painting, design and art. So many hours of my life has been spent in this way. All of those hours that I have spent have been a joy to me. Some were painful, in fact very painful but as has often been said by many people, without pain there is no gain.
If my mother were alive today I don’t think she would agree that her humble efforts at drawing a cat had anything to do with taking me on my discovery of art. But it did. My mother encouraged my creativity. She always gave my sisters and me, the tools to be creative with. My mother encouraged drawing, colouring and sewing. In fact she was in favour of all creative activity.
Isn’t it strange how others can influence our behaviour and our path forward in life? Sometimes a chance conversation, a meeting with a person can make a huge difference to our life. Neither I nor my mother had notion of Art College and training when she drew the cat. What she wanted in that moment was to entertain her small child. But her efforts did much more than that. It awakened something deep inside of me. It stirred my soul.
Rules, stories and limiting beliefs
I have many clients who come to me for therapy who have beliefs of unworthiness. These beliefs often start in childhood. They are given deliberately, unconsciously or passively by individuals or society. They are all around us in the media, in the home in families, in education and in society as a whole. People are segregated one from the other on many differences. They may be social, financial, sexual, intellectual, visual, interact, or many more separating factors. We all take some of these separating factors on board to a degree. The roots of feelings of unworthiness can come from the family, school, peers, society the media and are always buried somewhere in the past experience of the individual. It will be from some form of interaction with someone or something that they will have been gained.
Even as quite a young child I understood that society had rules and a story worked out for my life path. I understood what was expected for my future and allowed for me. It is funny how we just absorb unspoken and spoken messages. I remember such sayings as know your place, respect your betters and elders. messages about our self are given to us from an early age. Each generation has their person expectations about what is on offer in life for them. I know my generation did not have it as badly as my parents and grandparents generation, after the war we all got richer and had more options open to us than our parents had in their youth. However limiting interaction was there although perhaps watered down. My mother told me stories of her childhood and how she was made to feel deliberately unworthy and stupid by her teacher at school. She was made to stand in a corner of the school room and called a dunce. my mother was not a dunce at all but that experience scared her on many levels. That was in the 1920’s. I know that today teachers take great pains to encourage their students to be people who aspire and feel worthy.
I have been watching a programme recently on T.V. It was about Victorian Britain and the harsh conditions that the Victorian poor had to endure. They did not have very many options. We all take so much for granted these days. They were kept in their place mainly by economic difference. People with money were considered better than people who were poor. The poor were often portrayed in a very negative light. They were seen as lazy and feckless and the masters of their own circumstances. The Victorian rich did not seem to grasp the fact that economic poverty was created by a lack of funds in the direction of the working classes. By keeping wages unreasonably low they kept these people in economic poverty as well as emotional poverty.
There are many ways to keep people in their place. We can do so by economic means we can do so by emotional constraints. Sometimes they are spoken other times unspoken. Language has great power. The way we use words and the words themselves have great power. Words convey information but they also convey much more. They have a vibrational power that can impact the very heart of the individual. Words are both information and vibration. Something as simple as “who do you think you are.” This sentence can be a put down of the person it is aimed at. Many of us will have had someone say that to us. I know I have and in recent years it has been said about me. Well my response to that question/statement was this: “I know I am Lynette, I am an artist, spiritual teacher, Reiki master, holistic therapist, wife mother and more importantly myself.” The sentence “who do you think you are” has a negative vibrational power, depending on how it is given to the person. If the person is not strong enough or wise enough to understand where the sentence is coming from in the person and their agenda it can be very damaging to the receiver of the sentence. That of course was the point of the sentence in the first place. It was meant to be damaging and destructive to the receiver.
I understood from a very early age that there was something very negative going on in society and some of it was directed at me. Although during my childhood I understood there were negative influences coming in my direction from society, my father gave my sisters and I a very different story of what we could and could not be. He tried to instil in us self-belief. It is not surprising how many people just don’t have it. In my work as a therapist I meet so many people who are left broken people because of limiting negative language that they received as children or young adults. Sometimes they receive it as adults at the hands of other adults such as work colleagues, parents, siblings, friends or spouses.
Great things can come from a place of self-belief. When self-belief is not nurtured or is attacked by others we shrivel and die inside. Our soul or sub-conscious mind is affected as it stores that story of limited self-belief, as our reality. Our soul/sub-conscious mind believes without question what we tell it. In that way we create our reality.
Giving someone a story about themselves to believe can create their reality if they take it on board and act it out. The same applies to oneself. We can also give ourselves a story to believe and act out. That is self-belief, if we give our self a positive story. If we give our self a negative story to act upon that is lack of self-belief.
Mantras are a great tool to help nurture self-belief. In a mantra we can give our self over and over again a positive statement that if give many times we will in time believe.
Art touched my soul
Art uses the intellectual, visual, auditory and emotional capacities of the person. The produce of art touches the soul of people. It does not matter what art it is, music, dance, theatre, drawing painting etc., it all touches us.
We touch our own soul first. We first touch our own soul in the creation of art. For in that touching we understand the soul of others. My mother stimulated my intellectual awareness, my visual and emotional awareness by drawing the cat. She also touched my soul. I knew what a cat was. The drawing gave me a paper representation that expressed the experience I had of cat. That touched my soul on some level. It still does.
My mother and I connected in the moment she drew the cat, and also beyond that time through that act. Of course my mother and I had many connections, both positive and negative, but none carried by me in the same way as the drawing of the cat.
We sometimes touch each other with simple things. Those simple things may pass without question or notice. However they can have great impact on the giver, receiver or both. The quality of our interactions with others is important as we all leave each other with something through those interactions.
Negative Careers Officer
When I was in my teens and still at school, I had to see the careers officer. My encounter with this woman was not good. She asked me what I wanted to do and I said go to art college. Her reply to that was we can’t all be doctors and dentists. She then gave me a list of very unsuitable alternatives to Art College. None of which gave me any hope of fulfilment. I am not sure why she thought I should not go to Art College as I always had talent at art and an aptitude for it. There was not a moment of encouragement from that woman. I am so pleased I did not listen to that woman for a moment. I remember coming out of that interview thinking, “rubbish.” I will not forget that awful woman till the day I die. My mother had awoken my love or art and this woman wanted to crush it.
As we can awaken talents and interests in each other so too we can quash them. For every person that awakens another’s soul there are those who would send it to sleep. Often this is done with the use of negative opinions and expressions. Fear is a big driver of this kind of behaviour.
• Fear of the other person.
• Fear of the other person developing self-power.
• Fear of the other person improving.
• Fear of being overshadowed.
• Fear if being left behind.
• Fear of being no longer equal.
• Fear of being considered less than.
• Fear of the person breaking out of their allotted place and story.
• Fear of not measuring up.
I don’t think the careers officer’s opinion of me came from a place of fear. Although I am not too sure what she was basing her opinion, I have a theory or two.
Nurturing, support and development of the human intellect, soul, spirit, and emotions take humanity forward. Crushing of those elements at best keeps people and society static. At worst it causes frustration, dissatisfaction ill health or worse. Many people who we consider geniuses came from unlikely backgrounds. Many defied society’s rules and stories for them to bring us all their personal brand of creativity, whatever that was. The human soul must be nurtured and not crushed. The human soul has a right to be free to express and be creative. All souls have a right to grow and a need to grow. All humanity benefits from positive human interaction and expression. I celebrate creative expression for it is the expression of the human soul.
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