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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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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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No More Capes! Giving Up The Impulse To Try & Save Everybody

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There is a beautiful and powerful scene in the movie The Incredibles, in which the superhero costume designer, Edna, refuses to create an outfit that includes a cape. In her examples, she mentions how superheroes got snagged on missiles, caught in jet turbines and express elevators, all because they were wearing capes.

You can understand why she is wholeheartedly against capes (also – they are so 15 years ago) and I want to tell you why I am too.

We might believe that there is no chance that we will get caught on a missile, or be sucked into the engines of a plane, and yes, we might be right. However, there are a lot of other things our capes can get us hung up on.

We constantly transform into superheroes in our daily lives; trying to help and fix other people. We invest everything we have; working ourselves to the bone – physically and emotionally – until there is nothing left of us.

Whenever somebody needs us, and even if we just have the feeling that somebody needs our help/advice/support, we grab our capes and hurry to the rescue.

And in the attempt to help, we start strangling ourselves.

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Basic Self-Care: Secure Your Own Needs First

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As I am writing this, I am neglecting my own advice. *which is why I would love for you to learn from my self-neglect

This post is about listening to your needs and reacting to them as a priority, and here I am writing while my body is shivering.

Give me a moment as I get myself a jumper, a hot water bottle and a cup of tea.

Ok.

Do you ever feel like you are putting yourself on hold for something or someone else? That you are completely neglecting your needs and what your body is telling you?

I often come home and go straight to my computer to “quickly check something”‘, and end up sitting there for ages with my dress half off, my tights hanging down one leg, and the strap of my bag still draped around my shoulders.

You might also find me chatting with someone online, and instead of excusing myself for a minute, I will hobble on my chair holding back my need to go to the toilet until I can’t hold it any longer [after which you will see me do the “camel walk” to the bathroom because there is no other way to make it without leakage…].

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A Four-Step Process To Help You Face Your Fears & Leave The Comfort Zone

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Facing your fears and leaving the comfort zone is hard. Sometimes, pursuing or having what you actually want in life can feel downright brain-freezing, blood-chilling, and body-shaking scary.

Even though you know you want to be the next crazy cat-lady and have more cats than any crazy cat-lady has ever hoarded before, you are afraid of expanding out of the comfort zone and making your dream a reality. The resistance you feel is so uncomfortable and overwhelming that you spend most of your time avoiding your dream. *keeping only one cat, e.g

The fear of what might lie beyond our worn out, cosy and safe comfort zone, is often what stops us in our tracks towards a better life. *and makes us refresh our Facebook, or Instagram feed

Ironically, while we are too scared to do what we want, we are also unhappy in our comfort zone. Needless to say, if we are trapped in this numbing place of non-action for too long, everything just boils down to a  huge pool of “meh.”

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