Double Handle

IMG-0613Following along on the Dharma theme I’ve been doing my best to to stay focused and complete each task as it arises. This small errand can be far more complicated than it might seem. Especially when we know that emails make babies. So tackling the email list as your entry level task for the day can seem like sitting on a fast moving treadmill and getting hit in the face by the floor. Personal Development can be very far from graceful. The great news is that every time we fail, we learn something. So with each attempt we are creating small and substantial victories.

Double handle? What does it actually mean? Way back when in another time, another life and a totally different trajectory I used to be a Fine Art Handler among other things….true story. The process of Handling Art is an Art Form in and of itself. Imagine you had the responsibility of picking up priceless objects on an a daily basis and how that might inform the way you think about things literally. When something is sooooooo valuable? Holding, carrying, bearing become ways of being rather than merely chopping water and fetching wood. Forgotten, lost or even mishandled become mythical as the checklist pull you back constantly to this moment. The right now. There here.  It changes everything.

One false move and you can undo centuries of painstaking work. Lose something irreplaceable. If ever broken, you can’t go back and “fix” it and even if you could it has to accepted as forever changed. That’s the thing with art you you aren’t actually meant to seamlessly repair it. You have to leave the repair visible so that anyone handling it in the future can see the damage. It’s a strange idea right? That the damage no matter how severe has to be accepted and adds  value to the art work over all, and proves it’s originality. It’s really quite remarkable to be able to see an art work as an original thing, with a life of it’s own.  Then witness the number of restorers, dab hands, forgers and chancers, that have had a go at trying to preserve a treasure. The repairs tell all kinds of stories. You can microscopically examine paint and figure out exactly what it is made from. How it might have been constructed and even who or where it was made.  We get insights into whole worlds histories and even daily stories. Repairs gone wrong, disasterous work days, and work extraordinaire. As well as master craftsman’s signatures that far surpass the talents of the original artist. All this painted out for you as the story of an object.

As an Art Handler we need to learn these stories the way that a health professional might take a patients history, so that we are best able to evaluate treatment, movement and transportation. Right down to what we wrap it in, what love it might need, to survive a journey of only a few feet and well it’s individual needs. The real moral of the story is that we always do our best to only pick something up once to minimise impact. As a result incredible planning and care it taken to ensure that each piece is given the best possible care. We always have an extra pair of hands,  we always have an extra pair of eyes and we always have an expert there to guide us. We only get to pull this off once and once only. Everyday is a remarkable experience of presence, zen awareness and total focus. There can be no foreseeable mistakes. We talk about double handling as a last resort. Imagine that you only get to do everything once. It’s a lot like those exploding keys of last week.



5AB40A8A-F6B6-4C11-AC7A-CFEBF3A74ED3#Mood wasn’t this so 2015 or something like that? Where did that go? #Mood. I loved it. All these emotionally literate hipsters trying to visually capture the idea of a late afternoon sugar rush.  Yes that’s a thing, especially if your begrudgingly British like me. I recent weeks for reasons yet to be disclosed I’ve been hanging out with an Art Director friend of mine and we’ve been talking a lot about aesthetics. Me being a trained curator and her being, well, an art director that’s hardly unusual. What has been coming to me though recently on my pathway to Zen Goddess that aesthetics are important. You’d think a four year degree in Art History might have taught you that? That’s why no one should go to left-of-center art schools I suppose (winky face).

The study of The History of Modern Art and Design taught me something else entirely that revolves around the word arbitrary. As I soon discovered much of what we think is meaningless, subjective and well pointless and the only value that anything actually has is the value you give it. Quite liberating actually. If you want to find out more you might want to read up on the power of cult. Modernist Theory is so closely related to creative means of production; that if studied indepthly, it’s hard not to become nihilistic about art, life and well everything. You see how easy it is to spiral down? Thus explaining post-modernism.

Great works of art, whether it be painting, sculpture, architecture, all forms of design or indeed explorations of visual culture (lets say Instagram) have to power to uplift, motivate, inspire and in fact connect us to the divine. One walking tour of Paris confirms that. We all want to be moved, comforted,  reassured our at the very least served by the environments that we occupy.

It is also possible to deliberately evoke feeling with aesthetics, as you would with music. Que the cheesy background music over almost every motivational infomercial these days. It’s kind of boring. These perfectly curated and complied content. Show me the mess. I do like to get high on little bit of rainbow. I’ve even have a Pinterest board about it Colour Me Happy.

Given my theoretical basis for understanding aesthetics and on related issues of beauty and the fact that we live in a construct. I am firmly of the opinion that we create our own inner realities.  Spiritual development is largely related to non-attachment. That the material world is nothing but a distraction from the metaphysical quest of wholeness. Except of course we are all whole already. The thing is, this curious idea of mood, that can be summed up in dusty old railway stations, a Christmas trees or even the colour of a painted wall and how it detracts and refracts the light as is dances round the room, morning to evening, winter to summer. As celestial being affected by matter and intrinsically connected to material a world it’s hard to not let our visual reality impact our inner reality. Isn’t that after all why we have embodied ourselves in the first place. Whoa this seems to pretty advanced stuff on here today.


As Inspiration Would Have It

IMG-8092Sometimes it can be a little bit challenging for me to know what to write? How to write it? or know who I am writing it for? The best thing that I know to do is to wait. That’s right. I literally find myself having to wait for inspiration. The good news is that on my quest to help heal humans and all the earthlings we impact on I’m finding more and more that where my joy lies is exactly where the trail is leading. Our modern guru masters are always telling me so and now I am beginning to get it.

This week has been remarkable for two reasons one I watched Evan Almighty – yes who would have thunk it and two it’s always better to work in community.  Three brains or maybe in this case, souls, are better than one. So Evan Almighty reminded me that the lessons, that we have to learn are not taught to us in the way that we expect. So over the last few weeks I have learned a valuable lesson in commitment. That even though things might not be going to plan, you can’t afford to play small. What I mean by that is that if you really are going to put all your energy into something, you really might as well put all your energy into it. Not only that, I have to get incredibly clear on what it is that I am trying to achieve and also gravitate towards serving in a way that shows who I am and yet also serves me. How do I do that? Oh wait a minute, by being who I am. How easy could it be!!! Yes that easy and yet so much more complicated. It’s such a massive journey of exploration.

So two, working in community. For a lot of years you could say that I have had a some what of a professional block about art. For the most part, I think art is wonderful. However as a trained Art Historian I’ve got a complicated relationship with pretty pictures. So much so that if I had to explain this extensively it may work it’s way down to being a Master’s degree thesis – Something to work for. Anyways. In my soul I’m an art lover, purveyor of beautiful objects, so much so that if I ever had a gallery it would be called Scopophilia (the love of looking). However as many of us have learned or intrinsically know the collection of beautiful objects or even experiences has a limited capacity to create an actionable impact on the landscape of the soul. So in recent decades in art and also within art theory there has been a growing attraction of the idea of anti-aesthetic. Think Banksy and you might get close to what I mean. His messages are powerful and clear however his art cannot necessarily be defined and either beautiful or uplifting. He is passing on a more sinister world view. Hence for me the deliberate absence of a pretty picture postcard life. My spiritual quest though anti-aestheticism, asks me to dig much deeper as to where I find meaning, connection or even hope. Think Rholihlahla Nelson Mandela and his bare cell. Coincidentally, if we join the dots, we might find the connection between the vow of poverty most nuns or monks take when joining a religious order and this man’s exceptional spiritual growth and teachings

There are secrets hidden everywhere.

What I now understand is that my gift for selecting the exquisite, should no longer be put out to wast and instead be utilised for alleviating the suffering of the soul and elevating the spirits just as many a public art gallery was designed to do. It was having a conversation with two people who were rather confused by my academic and somewhat redundant position that persuaded me to re-evaluate my stance, of which I am very pleased. I still retain the right to use my random weekly photographs to illustrate this blog …..



‘Process’ is the blog element of this website. I’m an emotional creature and I do my best to adhere to my own compass, which could take me in any direction at any moment. By naming this part of the website ‘Process’ I’m trying to underline a basic principle that should go hand in hand with any endeavour in personal development. It’s early days for all of us. Including me. There is so much to figure out, it can be easy to believe that everyone has got it figured out. For me there are few straight lines and I’m working hard to create a comprehensive approach to my writing and get to the bottom of what all this life stuff is all about…and how to make the best of it.

‘Process’ is also a term that harks back to my artsy days and many an afternoon in an artist’s studio talking about art creation. ‘Process’ in this arena pulls back the layers of the creative production, and artistic exploration to build (or not) physical representation of philosophical or psychological spaces (yes, that’s a thing). So in short I’ve had lots of twisty fucking conversations in my time. True process is rarely straightforward, tangible or completed. Salvador Dali has some great artistic representations of this…just saying.

So if you’re interested in going on an unorthodox ride, stick around and you just might find yourself on a very interesting trajectory.

I want to believe that this blog-esque stream of consciousness will be spurted out in a wave of originality and creative thought that has never before been experienced. However, I have a long held belief that the only thing that makes great thinkers of any note, is that they wrote their thoughts down. If you’ve been lucky enough to be Winston Churchill it’s far easier to write a book if you can dictate from your bath to a typist, while an editor doggedly re-presents you with a highly edited version of your output.

The truth is that as a self-employed business person starting out with little income it can be a bit daunting to line up all your ideas into easily digestible well marketed little bite-sized nuggets to demonstrate your ‘superior knowledge’ to would be clients. Most coaches also seem to be pitching to would be coaches rather than offering genuine solutions to your average joe (not that anyone should be considered in any way average). That could just be my Facebook and Google algorithm though.

More than that there seems to be a bounty of promises on offer that can’t possibly be delivered in any time soon. It’s hard to imagine that psychologists were going around twenty years ago trying to hard sell on mental health when in fact celebrity psychologists just advised viewers to seek professional help. Currently for many seekers it  can be confusing to decipher what kind of professional support they might need to navigate the inner workings of their soul, in order to feel a marked improvement in their emotional wellbeing.

Life Coaching engages with universal personal improvement techniques that can be applied to multiple situations, much like a mathematical formula. That means that anybody who’s willing to, can take those principles into their everyday life.  The real trick is having the insight to see where the techniques can be applied in your own life and taking the time to do it (note to self).

As a qualified ICF coach, I have invested 2 years of my time learning and mastering multiple techniques, collected from a variety of sources; from pop psychology to metaphysics. Mostly anybody who has undergone a course in a healing profession will tell you that the most powerful part of the process has been the volume of work that they have had to do on themselves. I share the same story and I can gladly say that I emerged from my coach training a calmer more balanced person and that I regularly find a deep sense of peace in my daily life, without undertaking any deliberate spiritual path, dogma, ritual or practice. I believe that with some enquiry into your own personal processes you can achieve similar outcomes.

So if you are trying to garner if this blog-esque process, a personal development workshop/course or a private coaching session is for you,  I’ll explain a little further –

This unfolding blog-esque process is a free service. You are literally going to find out lots of shit for free. I deliberately call it shit because anything that I post here has made it to my display case for polished turds (Find out more about polished turds in upcoming posts). In other words it’s taken a lot of work to discover and present these diamond insights. I do hope that as I progress in my own journey that these writings offer some entertainment and that they serve to bolster you as you travel through your own processes.

A workshop or course will give you the time and space to get a better overview of the areas in your life that may require some additional attention. Dependent on the workshop or course offered, there is potential to create lasting insights and big shifts in perspective on our own inner dialogue or specific situations. The workshops and courses are small with no more than 10 people attending.

Private Sessions are individually crafted to address your specific needs and is put together in such a way that you are able to get maximum insight. My aim for every one of my private clients is that they get a quick resolution to any immediate challenge or dilemma that you might be facing and leave every session somewhat inwardly transformed. To get the most out of these sessions it is best to start with clear ideas of specific areas which you might need your attention.

So there it is, a break down of process, what it might mean and how I may be able to support you. As proof of process you can check out my sporadically maintained personal blog here.

We are all art in process.