This last few months I’ve felt supported to really look at my shadow. To clean house. I’ve stepped things up a notch this week which is ironic because my cleaner quit last week.
When I say I’ve felt supported to look at my shadow I mean a lot of stuff has happened in the last few months and I could have chosen to look at it as opportunities coming for me or as annoying things happening to me.
I chose to see opportunities to work on my shadow because I am annoying that way.
I’m not going to go into my personal and probably very boring and privileged life but I will tell you one story because it points out a) how we can cling to stuff to our detriment, and b) how much of a dummy I can be sometimes.
I’ve been decluttering again. Where does all this crap come from? Seriously. So much crap! We’ve decided (this week) to move into a unit when our son moves out next year. I’ve finally convinced my husband that we don’t need a yard and a four bedroom house so I’ve been doing another deep cleanse. It’s getting harder now because I’ve done this so many times and now I am getting down to the real sentimental stuff.
Hubby* got into his stuff last week. It was a rainy Sunday and he unleashed his inner Minimalist on his wardrobe and what remains of his huge collection of trophies. He kept the lovely big silver cup he won in the PNG Open and a couple of other big ones and pulled 3 bags of clothes from his wardrobe and chest of drawers. Crazy stuff.
It was all looking pretty good and last week, I noticed myself scanning the house and mentally marking off the things the boy will take when he moves out. I was pretty comfortable with what remains. But then I made eye contact with The Box.
But first, I have a question. Are signs a thing?
I know I’ve written about this before and I have friends who are possibly way more normal than me who don’t think signs are a thing but I will tell you about The Box and you can decide for yourself.
As you know the “painter” part of my name is something of a relic of a bygone era. Painting was my job and raison d’etre for most of my adult life until I packed everything up a few years ago and started focussing on the “writer” part. So for years I was a painter who didn’t write and now I’m a writer who doesn’t really paint.
So I looked at The Box and knew it was time. The Box had been relegated to the far side of the deck after I discovered it was the source of the manky smell in the 4th bedroom, my would-be office. For 12 months we have been avoiding the room that had become the repository for boxes of stuff. There’s a bit of rain damage on the ceiling so we thought that was the source of the mouldy smell, but no, it was my big tub of art materials that I haven’t touched for nearly four years!
Now if that’s not a sign I don’t know what is! Hanging on, clinging to this big tub of paints and other random art supplies was literally stopping me from setting up my writing space.
I went to a clairvoyant last year who said my painting would take centre stage again next year, but no, Denise, that’s not going to happen. I am going to give those paints and bits to a friend and hopefully she will do something wonderful with them.
There’s a saying that has been falsely attributed to the Buddha and it goes something like this…
The Buddha may never have said it but it rings true. I’ve been clinging on to something I thought was for me and according the website Fake Buddha Quotes, the Buddha probably said this, “Give up what’s not yours. Giving it up will be for your welfare and happiness.”
I feel deep down in my gut that giving up clinging to the idea that I might paint again, and by paint, I mean do something commercially with my paintings, is holding me back and in the case of The Box, is literally stopping me from concentrating on my art.
(Sheesh, even as I type this, I am thinking about the NFTs I could make using the artwork of the characters I write about. Karen’s beautiful portraits in Hotel Deja Vu and Camryn’s stunning glass pieces in Alia Henry and the Ghost Writer.) Who knows what the future will bring…
This won’t stop me from boring people with my passion for art. It won’t stop me from dragging my hubby to art museums when we travel. It won’t stop me from writing arty characters and it won’t stop me from making the odd present for a friend.
I’m ready to let go of the art stuff because I know it’s not my future, it’s my past, and if I want to achieve anything like mastery in a creative arena, my best chance comes from writing.
Some pics below in my new writing space and my recently decluttered book shelf. You can see Michael’s prized trophies on there. Oh, and don’t come at me with judgement about colour blocking my books. I noticed on Insta that Australian author Sally Hepworth does it and if it’s good enough for Sally, it’s good enough for me! Plus it looks nice.
*There are people who don’t like the word hubby. If you are one of those people I just want to say if you’ve got time in your life to dislike ‘words’ then you’re doing petty well. Personally, I love all words, even moist, which I know some people have a real problem with. Some of my fave words are crepuscular, window-wiper, hedonism, pancake, and superintendent. I’m also fond of all food related words, anything used to describe music, and most of the French language except for donc and Blogueuse, the term used to describe a female blogger. The irony. You can read more of the worst French words here…
Feature image is the sweet little art gallery and cafe in Ballina. https://www.thegallerycafeballina.com/