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Embody Your Sensuality & Experience the Pleasure of Now | #TakeMeHomeThursday // Art

“The feminine does not save itself for some glorious moment in the future, nor grieve over some lost moment in the past. It holds nothing back. Now is all there ever is.” – Marion Woodman

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“Sensual Enlightenment” by Cat De Pillar. Click to View Print Options

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his piece is the result of a beautiful collaboration with the woman behind earthbodymama, a blog focused on guiding women to wholeness, sensuality, and liberated sexuality.

When I set out to illustrate the new post for Jillian, all I knew was the general theme: sensual enlightenment, sacred sexuality, and reclaiming our sensuality as women.

I spent many days thinking about this theme and how to best bring it to life. Even though I had quickly arrived at a very specific idea for this piece, nothing actually turned out as I had planned  *You can listen to me complaining talk about this in part two of my series Behind the Art:Embracing The Ugly Stage

Originally, I had intended on keeping my illustration very graphic with only little splotches of colour. However, this goddess did not want to be drawn in black and white. Every time I thought about this piece [I wanted to draw it in black and white and some hot pink], it came to me in bursts of colour and texture.

The sensible artist that I am, I stopped struggling against this vision of the piece pretty quickly, and was even inspired to mix medias in a way that I had never done before.

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This Is Why Curiosity Killed The Cat And Doing What You Love Feels Hard

“I’m not trying to turn you into me. I’m trying to turn you into you.” – Shifu, Kung Fu Panda 3

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As I write this, I feel scared. In fact, I have spent my entire day [days even] NOT writing this – or anything else for that matter – because I always fear that I will not be able to provide you with enough value.

But let me start from the beginning:

I have been spending a lot of time recently thinking about all the people online who I admire; what I love about them, and what it is that draws me to their work. One thing I kept coming back to was how authentic they are, and how they just do their own thing. Unapologetically.

Even though they invest a lot of time, effort and vulnerability into their work, it seems effortless and full of genuine personality.

Every weak I crave to spend time with any version of them I have access to. I read their words, watch their videos, and listen to their voices. They are there for me in the morning as I get dressed, when I peel the potatoes, and when the universe knows I need a pick-me up.

But it’s not because their content is so radical, or every post delivers an epic paradigm-shift in a “my life will never be the same” kind of way, but because it is wonderful in a “being close to you makes me feel so good inside and happy,” kind of way.

What I think is YOU GET ME AND I AM SO HAPPY I FOUND YOU! Oftentimes, that is enough; it’s all I want. Sprinkle in some valuable anecdotes, insights, quotes, artwork and “aha” moments, and I’m happy in my nappy.

Do you ever have that feeling with people [online] and their work? Do you ever get that excited feeling of love that spreads in your stomach and as a smile across your face, when their images pop up or their new video is out?

They can be little rays of sunshine warming your face on a rainy day.

Going over these thoughts, however, I uncomfortably became aware of my emotions of jealousy towards these people. [I am very grateful that this jealousy was not infused with toxicity and malice, but with yearning and sadness.]

Why can’t I do the same? Why does creating, sharing, enjoying “the things I love” – feel so hard? When did I lose my joy; when did it stop being fun? When did I start fearing the blank page and replacing my creative endeavours with online browsing? When did writing and making up stories turn into consuming other people’s work and resenting them for doing it? When did I lose trust in my own abilities and that what I do is good enough; that what I love is good enough?

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The One Thing Every Creative Needs To Do To Feel Happy

Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you? – Elizabeth Gilbert

Take Creative Action

 

If you are anything like me, you have this deep and compulsive urge within you that haunts every moment of your life. *no, I am not referring to your urge to squish the cheese in the supermarket display, you sicko!

The urge I am referring to is surprisingly simple in its demands, and only ever says one thing:

You. Must. Create.

I can’t remember the first time I realised I was cursed – sorry – blessed with this innate need, but I know that I have been resisting it for just as long.

This is quite a boring thing to do, as all I am merely repeating the age old cycle of creative denial, which usually consists of three highly complex steps:

  1. Urge to live the best fucking creative and amazing life you possibly can
  2. Feeling too scared to do it and pursuing something else instead, while constantly beating yourself up about it
  3. Repeat

With the fear come the excuses, and you put following your calling off for another day or two, until another year has passed. It’s easier. It feels safe.

It is comfortable in the same way as Chinese Water Torture is comfortable. You think you’re fine at first, but drop by drop it will drive you insane.

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Are You The Cheap Date You Wouldn’t Want Anyone To Meet? [ + Free Visualisation]

 

 

“The changes that matter most are more often changes in perception than changes in the world outside us.” – Paul McKenna

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Untitled-1hen Mr. Big brings Carrie Bradshaw to a grimy Chinese restaurant fortheir “post-coital dinner,” she bumps into old friend Mike Singer who is visibly embarrassed to meet her there.

After he fails to introduce Carrie to his date and tries to get rid of her, she knows something is off.

A few days later he tells her that even though his date is intelligent, caring and great in bed; she is not the kind of woman he would date openly [or consider beautiful].

In fact, even though she makes him feel more like himself than any other woman ever has, he is embarrassed to admit to even spending time with her.

She is his invisible woman.

The cheap date you take out to questionable bars outside of your usual hunting grounds; where you avoid eye contact with others as you walk to your place across sticky floors and hope that no one you know suddenly shows up.

The kind of date-arrangement that thrives on small talk and impersonal sex but withers away when it is confronted with too much authenticity and vulnerability.

Watching this episode of Sex and the City got me thinking:

How many of us do this – not to others – but to ourselves?

How many times do we treat ourselves like the cheap date, as we wait for a better version of ourselves to materialise?

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Bring Love & Prosperity Into Your Home With This Christmas Ritual [Art Vlog]

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“We lack rituals in this modern world.” – Elizabeth McGovern

Ihave spent most of my life in pursuit of the ever elusive and almost fetishised character trait that is self-discipline. *which for some reason reminds me of this

Over the years I have tried many different ways of going about this. One way was to date people with a high level of self-discipline and secretly hope that some of their organised ways would rub off onto me, like one of those non-permanent sticker tattoos. (Spoiler: It didn’t work out. Neither did the relationships.)

It took me until late this year to understand what my personal problem was:

I had no rituals. *gasp

Now I know that just the word will already have your eyes flickering to another open tab in your browser-bar, as your finger nervously paws at the mouse, but often in life, it is the simple and obvious things that make the biggest difference.

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Play The Silence: Embrace The Discomfort Of Being Alone With Yourself

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre

Sometimes facing yourself can be the hardest and most rewarding thing you can do.

Facing yourself can be the hardest and most rewarding thing you can do.

I once listened to an interview with a Japanese conductor about his experiences with European orchestras. After a very interesting discussion, the conductor pointed out one integral difference between European and Japanese orchestras that intrigued me:

With a smile in his voice he said that, in Europe, most musicians don’t play the silence.

  • In one orchestra, when a particular segment has been played, the instruments are lowered and the musicians’ muscles slightly relax, as they await their next performance; eyes continuously darting across music sheets, while they listen to the other instruments playing.
  • In the other, the bow stays on the violin, even though there is no sound. The lips of the clarinet player are still touched to the mouthpiece. The cello player stands with tense arms apart, swaying, as he continues to follow the notes in his head that are not his to play.

Even when no sound can be heard, they stand and interact with each other as if they were actively playing a song that only they can hear; masterfully honing the active sound of silence.

On a philosophical note,  just as in the first example, we often forget to play the silence in our lives. Instead, we scramble to find something –anything—to fill it.

As we prepare dinner, we look for a background sound. When a task becomes too hard, we have an almost instant kneejerk response that has us turn to something trivial and easy. Whenever we are caught with a moment of stillness, we look for a book to read, a series to watch, a person to talk to, a technological device to distract us – because we resist the silence. (Am I the only one who starts reading the ingredients list on products on the toilet?)

We resist being alone – with ourselves.

“Silence-Schminenz, what lousy and woo-woo ‘advice’” you might be thinking now, and I know that I have read similar advice, over and over again, thinking: Yeah, yeah I KNOW!

Without ever actually acting upon it.

We do this because we are looking for the answer we want to hear, not the one we need. An answer that will fit the level of discomfort we are willing to undergo in order to have what we want.

And if you are anything like me, you know the level is not particularly high.

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” ― Wayne W. Dyer

Nevertheless, after years of reading the same advice – rolling my eyes and ignoring it – I have started bringing little moments of active silence and awareness into my life. Moments in which I remember those “simple and woo-woo” words and truly enjoy trying them out.

By going on a walk without music or a destination in mind. By chopping the potatoes without rushing to ‘click’ on the next episode of my series. By relaxing into the couch and enjoying the sensation of cosyness as my partner leaves the room, before hasting to open up that wonderbox of distraction I call my mobile phone.

More and more, I am filled with the desire to slow down and notice where I am and what I am doing; to do only one thing at a time while truly experiencing it.

I want to stay still long enough to actually know how and who I am. What am I thinking and feeling right now? Like a bad date, I often forget to ask.

The next time you get caught without a distraction, don’t go looking for one. Enjoy it. Play the silence.

Stand the discomfort of being alone in a room – with yourself.

And see what happens.

Take care,

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