Sunshiny Day

25 01 2013

Fireworks

Yesterday was a huge day for ArtiPeeps and by association CreoKardia.Yesterday we debuted Lili Morgan a new emerging neon abstract artist that I found via Twitter. Just starting out, with no website, and full of ideas and ambition, and needing a space and some professional input.  Lili seemed to fit the criteria for our Visitor Peep scheme completely. So  I asked her if she would be interested and low and behold she said yes to the ‘borrowing’ of one of our site pages for a month (See here for details). I was completely thrilled. Not only does it let us do what ArtiPeeps is all about: supporting and inspiring emerging artists and writers (from all forms) it allows  us to start up and shape our mentoring scheme as well. Also this week we launched our first mass collaboration of 15 poets working together for 15 months on a reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Overall, it’s been a very significant week for us on all levels.

Atomic 10 by Lili Morgan

Atomic 10 by Lili Morgan

Since my last post here so much has happened (a month is a-long-short time). We’ve undergone, I think,  a consolidation of sorts and a grounding which feels exciting and full of dynamic tension (a good thing).

 May through to December of last year really consisted of me working full out bringing people in, building something and nurturing and creating relationships wherever I could. It felt exciting (in a different way) in a fizzying vibrant, new fresh way. The building that is happening now is part of a consolidating process and a fixing point. It feels like we’re sorting out what matters, what counts in ArtiPeeps and the texture and quality of the services we are increasingly providing. It’s a meaningful deepening process and movement forward;  full of potential.

And what ArtiPeeps does have now is a firm following of contributors and followers who are invested in what we are doing. Who want to see what we do. Who want to see what Lili Morgan is all about or who the next guest blogger will be. We now have a really firm foundation on which to build. We haven’t had that up until recently. 

Revolution Green by Lili Morgan

Revolution Green by Lili Morgan

I have a long list of all the things we are going to launch this year and next, and all I have to do is to keep this list before me and lean in;  into the impetus of it all. I know what we can do and it’s now a matter of keeping steady, securing the foundations further and holding firm to our principles. We’ve only just begun and it’s important, I think, to remain open and loose at this stage so we don’t miss a trick. 

Lili coming onto ArtiPeeps has confirmed to me that I want ArtiPeeps to be a warm, cosy organisation. Yes, we’ll be professional, yes we’ll be driven by our intention but it will always be something that comes from the heart, that doesn’t exclude, that does provide opportunities for everyone who has potential. This doesn’t mean that we wont go fully behind the writers and artists who really want to make a career out of their writing. We will progressively find outlets for them too. But I do believe at the moment that ArtiPeeps can hold it all; or that we need  to at the moment. To close things down and narrow, I think at the moment, is not a good idea. It has to be all embracing so we can see the wood for the trees. This I’m sure will change and morph as our Publishing Press  comes into existence next year publishing the poems from The transformation project. I think there will be an inevitable fine tuning but it will happen organically and gradually. The substance of our organisation is like fresh bread: soft and spongy, pliable.

The Trip - Copy

The Trip by Lili Morgan

I have also been consolidating our initiatives, making sure they are clear and visible, so anyone coming to ArtiPeeps will know what underpins us, and also towards the end of February we’ll be launching  a new logo and the site will be re-vamped. There’s lots of energy at the moment. Lots of forward movement.

Yesterday was,  and indeed  today is,   a sunshiny day because what we’re doing for Lili is all that I stand for and all that ArtiPeeps stands for. It’s a validation of all my hard work over the last months, all the collaborators’ input and it’s why I get up each day with vim and vigour and pour myself into building this organisation. Lili has trusted us enough to debut her work with us and that is an amazing privilege, and we have been able to create something that will support and develop her and which we can use to support other creatives that will follow Lili. And even more significantly this venture is being supported. That’s a gift. That’s a treat; that’s a big old sunshiny day, and I’m grateful. Grateful.

 

Thank you for your interest!





What If It All Means Something?

28 12 2012

ARTIPEEPS & CREOKARDIA CATCH-UP:

Movement 2The past month for ArtiPeeps has been one of real movement forward both in terms of our intention to collaborate and in terms of providing more opportunities for creatives. The very meaning of ArtiPeeps seems to be very near the surface at the moment. We are also steadily embodying more and more of CreoKardia’s principles into ArtiPeeps, which to me, at least, is a profound aspect of our development as we go into the new year.  Dropping the frequency of  posts on this site has freed up more time for me to concentrate on ArtiPeeps which is great. (However, I have to admit that to keep all the different areas of development in the air and simultaneously expanding them is still time consuming).

Over the last month we undertook one mini collaboration and launched a larger 15 Plus poet poetry collaboration to be undertaken in February.  See  the TRANSFORMATIONS page for details .  With all of this under way and as a direct response to the  delicate dynamic involved in  collaboration, it has become vital to lay down some guidelines for collaboration within ArtiPeeps and to make sure that everybody is treated with care and respect. It is all too clear that people collaborate for different reasons and have very different ideas about what collaboration is. For this reason and because of the  larger collaborative effort  on the horizon  I have decided to create a Collaborative Charter which will outline what is expected of everybody when in a collaboration and this will be displayed on the ArtiPeeps site. I’m going to attempt to work through the chartewr here in this post  in readiness.  

RespectIt’s very important that all our interactions with each other are respectful, that we do take time to communicate with each other and give each other the space we deserve;  to be heard and interacted with as individuals.  This feeds back directly into our roots as a conscious business; as an upright organisation that does not disregard anyone, but supports and nurtures.

We also recently facilitated  a mini-collaboration-combining the work of 3 artists and 3 poets, paired and working on one theme. It culminated in a beautiful and artistic Christmas post based loosely around ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Dickens. Here. I was completely bowled over by the quality of the work from both sides. In fact it moved me hugely because it is everything that CreoKardia stands for, and ArtiPeeps is the conduit for CreoKardia’s intent. The poetry,  paint and images combined in a way that I did not imagine could happen. These smaller collaborations work, but they have to be uniformally  collaborative for them to work for each party. So…here comes the charter, short and sweet, but a charter none the less:

ARTIPEEPS’ COLLABORATIVE  & CONTRIBUTOR CHARTER

which embodies the following:

  • CARE ArtiPeeps is founded upon care, consideration, communication, opportunity and heart. Therefore every contributor should treat the other collaborators with the respect that they would give to themselves and with the following other guiding principles in mind.
  • COMMUNICATION Once in a collaboration it is the intention of ArtiPeeps that pairings or groups should keep in regular contact with each other, to bring each side of the collaboration into the process (even if the physical act of creating is a solitary one) . This is the responsibility of the collaborators involved. This does not need to be in a heavy handed, pervasive way but could be seen as a sign of respect within the collaboration. ArtiPeeps in return will try and find vehicles through which to facilitate this dialogue wherever possible.
  • ALIGNMENT AND INTENTIONS Contributors and collaborators need to be aware of the intentions behind what ArtiPeeps does and act accordingly. Please see the CreoKardia website for full details. ArtiPeeps is not about marketing or selling, or advertising in anyway at the moment unless it completely ties in with its principles as outlined in About CreoKardia. ArtiPeeps is a vehicle of expression and not of commerce or overt connections and any advertising or ‘mentions’. Any associations that  might come up within blogs or collaborations need to be passed through ArtiPeep first. In return for this alignment ArtiPeeps will always consult with those involved before any other associations with any organisations are made.
  • OPEN LINES AND FEEDBACK As a Collaborator and or a Contributor to ArtiPeeps what you think and feel matters to us, so  feedback and open lines of communication are always welcomed on any level and please feel free to communicate with honesty. ArtiPeeps is about openness and in response for yours ArtiPeeps will do its best to respond to user need similarly and to be as transparent as possible with its intent.

That’s it at the moment! It’s small & perfectly formed but embodies huge principles and that’s what matters. 

With the larger collaborative project on the horizon it is important that the above principles are in place so everybody knows where they stand. As time goes by and things shape and shift I’m sure the charter will extend.

One exciting add-on to ArtiPeeps this year will be the development and creation of its own press Aedos (from the word humble). The press will provide a basic, ratcheted priced  publishing service for any creative that wants to use it.  It is our intention that there will be  a print service and an ebook service. It is our intention that this will grow eventually into a full blown promotional service for writers and creatives. At the moment the press is in a very early development stage in a  ‘work-in-progress’  site and we will be progressively developing this service  over the next year culminating in our first professional publication  of the TRANSFORMATIONS narrative poem.

Humility and StrengthFurthermore, as I’ve outlined on this blog intermittently,  CreoKardia’s origins are profoundly rooted in a mixture of creativity and well-being. The well-being aspect of this enterprise is not so overt in ArtiPeeps at the moment, and my thinking now is that that needs to alter a bit so that ArtiPeeps can embody and communicate more of  CreoKardia’s intention of care so it can truely support the people within it.

The path of a creative person is a hard and twisty one. Good but twisty, and to be supportive of this is vital I feel to our development as a wholehearted organisation. I also have a lot of personal experience due to my journey that could be passed on via ArtiPeeps. This would not only be a pleasure and an honour but would be a means for me to give back and pass on my experience of self-care within a creative life.  So you can now expect that our creative blogs will also be sprinkled with a smattering of ArtiPeep wisdom. 

It feels very much like ArtiPeeps’ intention and roots are grounding and rooting firmly now. There’s a lot of work ahead of us, but we now have a fabulous,  firm and ever-evolving  following that is supporting, grounding and feeding all of ArtiPeeps’ enterprises and for that we are extremely grateful. And it all does mean something!

Thanks once again for your interest in CreoKardia and ArtiPeeps. And I wish you all a happy new year! 

 

The next CreoKardia Blog will be on Friday 25th January 2013
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ARTIPEEPS NEWS:

  • ArtiPeep Blog -launching the collaborative charter- Monday 31st December 2012
  • Artist CHAD SWANSON will also be our guest blogger for January. Watch Out for his post on Monday 14th January 2013
  • And ArtiPeep will be doing her usual blogs in-between …






Something’s Got To Give

30 11 2012

As per usual with my CreoKardia blogs I set off with the intention of writing about one thing at the beginning of the week and it usually culminates in me writing about something completely different by the end. This week’s post is no different. I suppose it’s because I’m writing about what is happening about me and my conscious business as it’s happening, And in life we never stay fixed or rooted, we morph and grow and flux, adjusting to what is happening around us. This post is no different than that and I am my post.

This week, due to certain circumstances, I’ve made further clarifications as to what I believe CreoKardia and ArtiPeeps are about.  We are not about selling or marketing or promoting things that are not in alignment with our intention. We are about people and connections, not ultimately serving capitalist intent, even though, yes, somehow, I would like to grow this into some sort of business that could support me and help my family (when I could). But it is not my primary intention.

I don’t want to make deals with people- a- if I scratch your back- you’ll scratch mine-mentality. That is not what I want. I want to choose my connections carefully. This week, for certain reasons, I have had to let go of that, and I didn’t particularly like how that made me feel. Once again it’s a matter of intention. Where the other person’s/organisation’s intentions lye, and if you sense they’re out of kilter with yours, what do you do, if a deal has gone too  far, or it’s out of your hands somewhat? You have to dig deep and remember why you do things and know it will pass.

This week I have had to reassert what matters to me; to clarify and to root  myself into what really counts, and this is what has made me come to a few major decisions that affect this blog.

My intention from now on is to only link with organisations and people who ultimately have a similar credo to ArtiPeeps and CreoKardia. I want to share the same world with the people I associate with. This doesn’t mean that CreoKardia isn’t accessible to all – it is;  it just means I know which way to lean. I have recently made a connection with PYEGLOBAL  that uses creativity to work with young people. They will be doing a guest blog for ArtiPeeps. It’s a real connection that is linked by both our beliefs beliefs in the power of creativity to unlock potential. This connection excites me because it could feed, one-into-the other. It just has to be worked through and committed to.

And this is another big word. COMMITMENT. You have to be able to gauge exactly to what in particular a person/or organisation is committed. If you sense a split, or you can’t see the whole heart, then why do you maintain the connection? What is the point? What is the point of just moving forward for gain, and not for ‘good’? It doesn’t make sense to me at all. It doesn’t make sense if you’re trying to build a conscious business.

This observation and ponderance has led me towards a decision to make much more explicit within ArtiPeeps the blog, the intentions of CreoKardia. Through the weeks of December I’m going to look at the texts within the pages therein and make sure they are clear and wholehearted. Every arm of ArtiPeeps has to be attached to the same body (as it were). I’m also going to outline a charter for our contributors so we all absolutely know where we are. This all will take time. It needs to be thought through and acted upon.

With this in mind I have made a decision to turn the weekly CreoKardia posts into monthly ones. This is so I can give my full attention to ArtiPeeps: develop the projects I want to develop. Tend to the pages, tend to the people for whom it cares.  In my monthly posts I will still talk about the same issues: conscious business, heart, intention, purpose. But making the periods between my postings longer will give me and CreoKardia time to breath and evolve. ArtiPeeps has to grow and expand in order for CreoKardia’s dreams to come true. They are inextricably linked.  The new space it will give me will allow me to look after myself and my home properly, to take care of what really needs to be done.

This judgement call and decision has come out of a creeping sense of awareness that my work/rest balance is out of kilter. That it’s all very well to write blogs about how you need to watch out for that, but…well, if you don’t practice what you preach what is the point?

But personal care and growth always has to be put in a wider context. We are all part of something bigger. We should not be attached to something, some project, just because we can and it’s up for grabs. If we can we should try and attach ourselves to something more universal and broadly intelligent. Organizational Systems Expert Peter Senge, states that business is not about ‘opportunism’ but  ‘collective intelligence’ . We think too much about individuals and we need ‘collective smartness’.  He articulates this belief in the video below:

We shouldn’t all be ‘taking advantage’, as the denotation states,  of each other in business and enterprise. It should and needs to be about a consideration of the whole as a sum of its parts. If  you can see the ‘obviousness’ of marketing, the transparent- me-me-me-intent of promotion, there’s got to be something wrong there (hasn’t there?) . You must have lost sight of your real intention and got sucked into goals and outcomes and profit (haven’t you?).  Senge states that we live in a ‘web of interdependence ‘, and this we can never forget. Just as I can never forget I’m part of something collaborative.

This is what I want to do with ArtiPeeps. Not forget its weblike ways. The fact its founded on interconnections and trust. Just like the two collaborative projects we’re launching shortly. I can’t operate without the web of stakeholders and users I associate with and these are living breathing, heartfelt people with hopes and dreams and a need to create. I must never forget this. They deserve all that I can give, and all the opportunities that ArtiPeeps can provide.

Yanai Postelnik in his talk ‘Being Part of It All’  quotes Jack Cornifield in his recommendation  ‘to stand on the earth and look up at the sky as if we are above it looking down upon it’; to see its depths and vastness; to see that we are all part of that big, black sparkly vastness- not different, in essence, from anything around us. This ‘usness’ and expansiveness is key to our happiness and clear perception of who we are. We need space in which to see ourselves.

We are all part of something much bigger that is perpetually shifting and growing into something else. We have to be bigger than the sum of all our parts, and know how our behaviour is affected by others and vice versa.  We are both ‘affected and affecting’. We have to see that and take responsibility for that. Something has got to give on both sides.

So with that truly felt inside me, knowing what I have and what I wish to create. I will choose space , self and collective care; something meaningful and filled with integrity.

HEARTMIND, affecting and affected. To consider both.

*

The next CreoKardia blog will be on Friday 28th December 2012

With many thanks for your interest, and your feedback is always welcome!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

ARTIPEEPS NEWS:

  • Over on ArtiPeeps  today (30th) we’ve got the first of our monthly outings of CLASSIC FRIDAY with NISHA MOODLEY. Each month she focuses on a classic author and their work. This month’s review features Elizabeth Gaskell
  • You can also check out our Art correspondent, JAMES MACKENZIE’S latest blog on KOBOART      here
  • Watch out for ‘SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND’  on Saturday  (1st) a new trial segment giving you three bite-size pieces of inspiration to take you into your weekend
  • And next Friday 7th December we have our first blog from our new Music correspondent TANIA HALBAN. So watch out for that too!
  • There’s also some new work on our FABFICTION PAGE
  • We’re also looking for a new ‘Visitor Peep’ to ‘borrow’ one page of our blog for their own creative purposes. You can find our more by visiting VISITOR PEEP PAGE, Or contact me via the comment box or via Twitter @ArtiPeep




Communicating Across the Way

23 11 2012

‘EXPRESS YOURSELF IN AS MANY WAYS AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT FEAR.THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR.THERE IS NOBODY WHO IS GOING TO PUNISH OR REWARD YOU. EXPRESS YOUR BEING IN ITS TRUEST FORM, IN ITS NATURAL FLOW, YOU WILL BE REWARDED IMMEDIATELY, NOT TOMORROW BUT TODAY, HERE & NOW. YOU ARE PUNISHED ONLY WHEN YOU GO AGAINST YOUR NATURE. BUT THE PUNISHMENT IS A HELP. IT IS SIMPLY AN INDICATION THAT YOU HAVE MOVED AWAY FROM NATURE’ (Osho)

I am a bit of a worry-wart.

As you know, I worry about how I communicate, and how I am perceived;  not wanting to be misunderstood, or my intentions misread. When you’re creating something like ArtiPeeps and CreoKardia (the conscious business behind ArtiPeeps) which have their foundations firmly rooted in co-operation and collaboration how your communication is perceived is key to how you are accepted.  How you interact is a crucial factor in understanding and being understood. It’s how you  live in truth, with integrity and in alignment with your business’ purpose.  This past week has been a real mixture of brilliant communication, true connections and also slight misreadings caused by the medium within which we are communicating.  What happened has made me think long and hard about the nature of communication, particularly via technology, and particularly Twitter. It  is this relation I’d  like to consider here and how it affects the development of a conscious business.

What does it mean to be truly communicative?  Lots of questions: How best to do it? Am I communicating affectively? How does it vary? What works and what doesn’t? How amazing is it that you can create meaningful connections via 140 character conversations? What does this say about us? Is it a fantastic thing or a dreadful indictment of where we are? And, how does this affect us inside, where it matters?

Each day I rise before the sun and one of the  mantras I always say is ‘I do not let other people’s opinions or judgements affect my sense of self, or how I communicate’. I hold that up before me each day because I’m so easily affected by other people’s responses to me. I don’t think I’m alone in this, but ‘twittering’ can:  a. make you very conscious of how  important communicating honestly and from the heart is ; and b. how careful you have to be .

Here’s the denotation of ‘to communicate':

‘to convey knowledge, inform about, to reveal by clear signs, to cause, to pass from one another, to receive communication’.

(Merriam Webster)

To communicate affectively is all about clarity, conveyance, passing, receiving. It’s a ‘moving beast’, something that flows back and forth, and this is hard to remember when we’re all tippy tapping into our computers and iphones, winging messages from far a field. It complicates and frees you at the same time. It’s curious. And because of this you have to make sure your words are clear and well thought through because words can hurt, and you can offend and complicate and mislead. It’s never a one-way street. In’ real life’ you can pick on physical signals, you can respond to a subtle nuance communicated verbally. In ‘Twittery land’, or ‘email land’ you don’t have that, and when you are building something which is founded upon collaboration it’s vital to be aware of that and not abuse it.

And I whisper to myself all the time: I WANT TO DO THIS WELL, AND WITH INTEGRITY. INTEGRITY IN COMMUNICATION MATTERS.

Sherry Truckle, an American Social Scientist specialising in Technology,  recently  gave an interesting TED talk about communication in relation to Technology. Here it is;

In this talk she puts forward her belief that technology is ‘taking us to a place where we don’t want to go’, that we are ‘denying people our attention’ and that this causes ‘trouble in how we relate to each other’. It’s relating that matters, and the quality of the connection.

I  want all the connections within ArtiPeeps & CreoKardia to be of quality and  founded upon the heart and made from the heart. In  providing  as many  opportunities and alleyways into creativity and inspiration as possible I want to give people all the attention they deserve. To invest in- and not to drop, to provide and trust; and this relies on me paying great attention to the people with whom  I am trying to communicate. Not denying people my attention.

ArtiPeeps doesn’t want to get this wrong because people matter.  And it’s easy to take this for granted when the ‘real people aren’t there’. It’s peculiar.  It’s like in the video above where you see  the picture of Sherry Truckle’s daughter and her friends all sitting round avidly tippy-tappying into their phones, telling each other their most important thoughts but not looking at each other. Truckle’s right:  there is something profoundly worrying about this.  There’s an incongruity there, a mismatch. Don’t you need to really see into somebody’s eyes when you communicate? Isn’t that what counts? I don’t know? Or is truthful communication without connection enough? I’m unsure?

The problem with technologically based communication is that it is easy to think it is just one-sided and to forget that you are in relation to somebody else. You can pour forth your ideas, say what you like, feel, and you can’t see the immediate consequences of what you’re saying. It’s easy to put it out there with only responsibility towards yourself. Therefore you can get it wrong, be misinterpreted. Hurt people. To be fully aware of the communication as a two way street is crucial I think, and we forget that all the time. Without awareness we forget that  so we take precautions with  :-) & ;); & :)  just in case we get it wrong; To try and make sure nobody gets hurt.

But is this enough?

This all made me turn to Dharma Seed and a talk by James Baraz, ‘Embodying Passion Through Expression’, in which he quotes from a paper his son wrote on this theme:

‘To speak the truth, drop below the realms of conflict, to tip into the underlying emotion’ and to have the courage to do that, takes  a certain ‘quality of heart’ , and this quality takes enormous courage to exist within. It is why we are  so fearful of going there.

It takes a lot of courage to ‘own what your saying’ as Baraz puts it, and not worry about the effect this has on somebody else.  This is not to say that you’re dismissive of another person’s feelings, but if someone is misinterpreting you, and you see that, there is surely nothing wrong in rectifying that?  Truth and the potential for hurt are close neighbours, that’s the risk you take when you communicate from and within  a  clear intention. This is where the problems can lie- you have your intention and they have theirs, and within technological communication this is hard to see and to remember that  it can complicate and mislead.

This is the risk you take.

I’ve written this post because all the various forms of communication, and the way I have responded this week have  consolidated,  confirmed and clarified my intent once again. Everything is actually in place.  I can tell by the way I communicated. I know what I’m doing and where I want to go. I see it. All this communication conveyed it to me.  It’s made me have a bit of an epiphany actually. I do know exactly where I want ArtiPeeps to go. I do. I have to have faith in that. It’s simple.

And I know I’m repeating myself but:

CreoKardia’s primary goal is to provide Creative Collaborative Opportunities for anyone who wants to express,

Whether they are new to creating or experienced.

It’s

           Really

                              That 

                                       SIMPLE

and that’s my reassurance…..

And that’s all I have to remember when I communicate, when I tip-tap into my ipod or keyboard, and reach across to another human being across the way.

If you have any stories of communication problems, I’d be really interested to hear.

*

As always,  thank you for your interest, and any feedback is always more than welcome.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

ARTIPEEPS NEWS:

  • You’ll find a  second dose of ‘Flash Fortnightly’ with Laura Besley over on ArtiPeeps
  •  This Monday (26rd) Watch out for a second post from ArtiPeeps’ ‘English Art Correspondent’ JAMES MACKENZIE on his connection with Koboart.
  • A new recurring strands starts up next week: ‘Classic Friday’. Watch out for the first instalment on Friday 30th, Stimulating Classic Literature reviews with NISHA MOODLEY
  • Also there’s our FabFiction And Poetry Page featuring KATE GARRETT, TIFFANY COFFMAN & KARIN HEYER. Please do get in contact with me if you’d like to contribute to this page- Either via the comment box or Twitter @ArtiPeeps
  • Oh yes, and I’m pleased to say we’re going to be shortly adding some Music orientated blogs with our latest new contributor TANIA HALBAN




Why Heart Action

16 11 2012

At the beginning of this week I came to a grinding halt.  I found myself feeling incredibly INSECURE – feeling like all I’m doing is churning out things -unable to ‘really’ write,  or plan, or think about what I wanted for myself, ArtiPeeps or CreoKardia.  I was producing but it didn’t feel the same. I felt frozen and a little bit concerned (not because I couldn’t handle it because I can I’ve got my practice), but because of how it affected my production, my ability to create with integrity  and my thoughts on action and progress.  Rather than moving forward, I  just sat, staring at the huge arching Horse chestnut tree in my garden, waiting, waiting for things to shift, and wondering why I was stuck. The answer:

LACK OF ACTION , and I don’t just mean your bog-standard action I mean right action connected to something.

THERE’S A DIFFERENCE! 

So here we go. Let us consider how action is defined:

‘a process or condition of acting or moving as opposed to rest; the doing of something; exertion of power or force as when one body acts on another; agency, activity, operation’

(from thinkexist.com)

Action, defined in the above manner,  is a ‘power ‘or ‘force’. It’s a condition that propels you forward, that can make you ‘do’, it involves ‘agency’ speed, movement and not presence. I would like to suggest that this is not necessarily the healthiest way to look at the word action. It’s missing something. The heart is missing. For us to truly act from a place of congruence that can be sustained,  what we ‘do’ has to mean something, it has to feed us. It also has to be connected to something else that is beyond mere activity. You can produce (can’t you?) and put things out there, and build and promote and think and move forward in real time but in your heart you’re standing still rooted to the spot. That’s what I had been doing all week. All this stuff, all these ideas (all the churning and processing), without ‘me ‘ attached to the moment. It’s what I call ‘static-movement’. It’s there and moving but there’s no growth. It makes you feel dreadful. It removes you from right action.

The fact that this can happen (and clearly does happen) is a pain in the neck when you’re trying to grow something meaningful.  When you’ve just started something new that has to be tended to (like I have). When you’re placing and putting into action things that matter to people; when you give people opportunities; there is considerable responsibility there.  This is what I feel. You can’t be growing a business or an enterprise and not be growing (can you?). Otherwise what is the point? This is why just ‘doing’ feels so dreadful, and it’s what we all settle for a lot of the time. Dead space not connected to anything or ANYBODY. This is a very peculiar stand point from which to act when you consider how ArtiPeeps is all about connecting and providing opportunities for colloboration. How can I provide wholehearted projects if I’m not consistently feeling connected to what matters?  Upping my practice isn’t enough. There has to be some sort of internal shift so action, real, right action, the sort that matters, occurs and moves you and your business further- further into the big sparkly wonderland in front of you.

Business shouldn’t be hard edged. It should always be connected to the heart, what matters. Consciously.

‘When one body acts upon another’. Action does not occur in isolation. There is a force behind it both external (the people you’re interacting with, the obstacles with which your grappling) and the internal body or force, the bit inside that gets in the way (that we listen to because it’s attached to something that is rooted in the past or the future and blocks us feeling our purpose and position in life). We have 2 forces working on us, and if we can’t manage the relation we get into trouble and we fall out of alignment and therefore unable to touch the  feelings that make us who we are. Right here, right now-when I need it (a yes, I- know- why -I’m- doing -this- and- I’m- connected- to -it- right- now- feeling). The weight of this  dissonance and  incongruity  can just make us completely freeze inside. It stops us from reconnecting to the ‘WHY’ of  things.

Tony Robbins in a TED Talk ‘Why We Do What We Do’  is a profound believer in the notion of ‘WHY’ (knowing wholeheartedly why you do what you do)’, and he makes an interesting connection in his talk.  He says that it is EMOTION THAT CREATES ACTION. Not doing, or actually purpose, or energy or goals or objectives. It’s feeling and emotional response that acts as the force for action, not ‘bodies’ acting one on the other. The propulsion towards action, for it to really have meaning, has to come from something seemingly soft and tender within us. WITHIN. That’s how we are able to COMMIT and SUSTAIN;  and if you can’t sustain it, you then, he suggests, need to explore and dig deep to see what issues and non-now beliefs are blocking and stopping you from reaching into the emotion that will actually move you forward.  It’s a compelling notion.

Furthermore, if you become disconnected from the resonance of that emotion , that’s when you can start to lose contact with where you are right now, and you can end up, just like me, staring out into space at a Horse Chestnut tree.  In a Dharma Seed talk I was listening to yesterday  by Sharda Rogell called ‘Sustaining Presence With Love’, she makes another interesting distinction that helps us get our head around the complexities of action.

In her talk Sharda suggests that there are 2 distinct movements (in presence, in being present in action):

1. First Contact (you hear her knock heavily  on a gong and it just makes a dull thud, and stops with no resonance. Dead.)

and

2. Reverberation (you hear her gently tap on the gong in the right place and with right action, and this beautiful and sustained ringing tone comes out, moving forward and  lasting).

Sharda Rogell suggests that the connection, the contact  bit of action, is actually the easy bit – having the idea, making the connections, but the difficult part actually lies in the managing of the reverberation of the action in all its complexity in the here-and-now. Giving yourself the space to do that; allowing your self to feel and reverberate. Letting in the reverberation. If you do the gong will  sing and you can act and connect from a place that is meaningful. It’s about resonance and reverberation and giving your self enough time to sit with that:

All the fear, the trepidation of connection, the ideas of failure.

I keep a journal in which I track any cognitive issues that I have if I feel they are disrupting my well-being or the way I am responding to my life and work/future business.  The following were some of the things I noted down on the Horsechestnut Tree day:

I had a whole list  of negative expectations:

  • Fear of being rejected
  • Fear of people not wanting to contribute.
  • Insecurity about speaking my truth and being okay with pushing that through into other people’s worlds

and more profound and telling

  •  that I don’t have the right to ask people for things,

which leads us to the nub of it that I think

  • THAT IF I ASK FOR THINGS I’LL GET REJECTED

Looking at this list now its clear why my ‘First Contact’ could not turn into a reverberation.  I somehow managed to lock into the above  mesh of negativity and instead of leaning into it backed away, so much so that I became trapped, a whisper rather than a mighty gong. And you’re still, doing and producing , but it’s not the same. NOT the Same.

I had forgotten to remember (as I usually do ) that these negative thoughts aren’t real, aren’t really anything to do with what is going on now; and all I needed to do was  stop listening to them and tap right back into the ‘who I am’ -the emotion of me/you (see Tony Robbins, above);and, if you can get back to that then RIGHT ACTION can occur. Off you go!

So…the very next day (I made sure it didn’t last long) I decided to stop listening to the negative whirly-gig, and to really trust in the feelings connected to why I’m building ArtiPeeps, why I’m trying to give people opportunities, why I want to work hard and grow this all into something big and beautiful, and to ACT in accordance with that  AND LET IT REVERBERATE. JUST LET IT HAPPEN.

TO FEEL THE EMOTION THAT IS UNDERPINNING EVERYTHING I DO IN THIS  MOMENT.

Here’s what another WHY man states:

Simon Sinek

‘People don’t buy what they [inspiring leaders] do, they buy why they do it’.

It’s the why that matters, because it’s the why that leads you to connect to the emotions that drive you, and then, and then you can act.

Having worked this out and thought everything through I started up again the next day( the busy little whirring thing that I am) and  re-connected.  I went forth into the day in a state of presence and action and had a brilliant day of connections , ideas and movement. I got the FabFiction Page Up and made some really good , positive connections that I hope will move us further. The right action.

WHY HEART ACTION

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

As always, thank you for your interest. any feedback is always appreciated!

ARTIPEEPS NEWS:

  • The New FabFiction & Poetry Page has been set up. Here you’ll find new prose and poetry from new writers. at the moment we have a prose piece by KATE GARRETT and a poem by TIFFANY COFFMAN. Do check them out. We’re hoping build this progressively. If you’d like to contribute please do get in contact!
  • Alastair Cook’s Guest blog is still up, a review of his work by journalist Michael MacCleod
  • Watch out for a new post by Jamie MacKenzie, our English Art Correspondent on his connection with a gallery in Dubai. Check out his work via this link
  • We will also shortly be starting up a Classic Fiction/Review Feature…so watch out for that one too.




A Spiritual Balancing Act

9 11 2012

Over the past week I have been feeling increasingly more and more pressurised- not by anything really external; there’s nothing I really can’t handle that’s going on in the progression of my business ideas and how they are manifesting themselves, but somehow slowly an internal pressure has been building that has started to seep into my life and disrupt my work-life-balance. So much so that I actually forgot an appointment yesterday.

I have worries about what I should and should not be doing; anxieties about how I am communicating; am I communicating affectively enough or too much; and,  is what I’m doing the right thing? I’ve become a mass of question marks, and quandaries, and this is a bizarre feeling to have because my purpose is strong and becoming clearer and clearer every day.

These feelings of worry have felt  even more extraordinary and odd  when I consider that this week I have also simultaneously had several communications from people who have  really understood and  validated what I’m doing. Followers who really see what I’m about  and support it. This happened through ArtiPeeps’ first collaborative post which was a great success. The people who took part in it really understood  my intention and rested in it.  As the week has gone on this has moved me even more as I remembered that  this validation and shift of intention has been  a direct consequence of the exploration I have been attempting to share with you over the last few weeks; that is, the path towards  the simplification of CreoKardia’s purpose to: to collaborate. This is where it is at. It is what can only be our driving force, so that we can bring the best out of people through as many creative opportunities as possible.

This is all good. Oh, so good, which makes these feelings of anxiety, creative anxiety, all the more powerful, curious and irksome. It’s creating a sort of panic in me that starts off in the morning with a huge ‘to-do’ list which I think I’m never going to complete and then lo-and behold by the end of my working day it’s all done. Somewhere, however,  in all of this there’s a lack of faith: not in my abilities and skills, but in my belief that I can deliver them (even though I know I do and can). There’s a sort of dissonance there between what I’m feeling and what I’m doing, and resting in that is quite difficult.

I suppose it also could be the fact that my horizons and expectations are growing, and there’s a bigger gap  between where I am now and where I want to be. I have to get better at balancing between the two. You see I can see what ArtiPeeps can turn into. I can see what it is turning into: more and more interesting and interested creatives are coming on board. I can see what it will progressively be if I hold strong to the helm. It’s how, I suppose, I steer the ship into the water in- between that counts. Some days I think I’m doing really well and others, well, they make me think I can’t cope and that it’s all too much. Then I get a positive tweet, a supportive email, hug and it’s all alright again.

Why all the insecurity when so much is so sure?

It leaves me feeling edgy and a bit pensive. as someone said last night though, “all you need to do is step-up”. Keep going. Steadily. The trick is  to move steadily through your working day with the fears of all of this business development in the centre of you. That is what being a good business person and a creative is all about. It’s about how you show-up day in day out because life isn’t all calm waters is it (even though we often have that in our mind’s eye)?

Also the other issue is that I work from home. There is no office with people in to distract me. There’s only my study, me, and my computer keyboard. No distractions. So the work can build up and there’s nothing to take me away from it. Only I impose the breaks; only I impose when I go out. It’s all up to me. This is where the balancing needs to come in. How I make sure my work does not become my life, and that’s a difficult one when your work is creativity and your creativity is your work. There’s no clear distinction between the two, so one has to be imposed over the other I presume; and maybe this is what I haven’t been doing and what needs to be done?  That’s why the pressure has built.

It’s all about balance.

As Nigel Marsh (a business speaker)  states in his rather individual,  humorous way: it’s all about  forming a solid work-life balance:

Here in his video he states that it’s only us, only you and I who can bring about a better balance between work and ‘play’. It’s our responsibility and how we do this has to be undertaken in a balanced way itself. You have to be balanced, have a balanced approach,  to balance. He states that the best place to start is with the small things; that happiness  begins from the ground up.  So I can drastically improve my work/life ratio if I just start looking at the micro things. Small ways that bring about an equalisation.

Indeed,  Richard Branson in a recent television programme, seen relaxing in a hammock in sunnier climes, stated that without these moments of relaxation business innovation cannot really occur. Moments of pure relaxation are of particular importance and are key to a better quality of life at work. Although these moments may look from the outside like  you are doing nothing,  these  moments often through relaxation generate a space in which the biggest decisions can be made and the greatest thoughts had. Without giving yourself these pauses and gaps no balance can come and therefore, I suppose, no clear sight.

Here is an article where he outlines his approach:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224509

So I have had to to do a stock-take,  a stock check on myself. I have already in place a rock-solid meditation practice, and a  well-being practice that allows me to keep aware, but I think a small part of it has slightly slipped or could be built up more. The spiritual part. The bit that underpins my purpose and drives my intention. The big-little piece that lies behind it all and from which we can draw. It is vital  to keep in contact with that spiritual part,  for it is what we are connected to that drives us forth in business and life. To be connected to something beyond yourself….

and so today I listened to a lecture and meditation by Tara Brach about ‘Planting Yourself In The Universe’. Rooting Yourself in the now, and this re-assured me, that I can manage this scary gap between what I’m doing and my ideals.

So it’s my intention to keep in contact with this bit of me more consistently and with greater care because it’s the bit that counts, and to  allow this to feed into my business mind much more. Feeding this space and my spirit will keep me steady, wholehearted and forward looking.

Thanks so much for your continued interest, and any feedback is always welcome!

_______________________________________________________________________________________

ARTIPEEPS NEWS:

  • Our First ‘Flash Fortnightly’ went out this Wednesday with Laura Besley Your fortnightly dose of ‘Flash Fiction’. Do click on the link if you missed it!
  • Watch Out for Our Guest Blogger on Monday artist, film maker and director at Northlight  Alastair Cook , and a review of his  Summer’s Work 2012 by Michael MacCleod. See this flyer for his latest exhibition. A5 Flyer 1
  • Also watch out for our new FabFiction Page starting up shortly which will feature fabulous new prose and poetry from new writers




Does It Have To Be A Dog-Eat-Dog World?

2 11 2012

Openness isn’t the end, it’s the beginning’

(Margaret Heffernan)

This week instead of researching into my creativity workshop/lecture I’ve been concentrating on looking at what Competition there is around the sorts of services ArtiPeeps and CreoKardia will be/are starting to offer. I  dusted down  my local business directory that had been lying in a pile somewhere on a bookshelf in my study and did a trawl of the internet to see what similar businesses and individuals were a-lurking . Who was there? Who was the competition? Was there any competition?

CreoKardia’s ultimate aim is to bring creativity and well-being together, and I know that England does not have the same pre-disposition towards the blend of self-development and creativity that America has; and  where I have seen this blend operating successfully. This, I have always thought, was actually one of CreoKardia’s strengths, part of its uniqueness. So I thought that CreoKardia’s ultimate intention to combine well-being and creativity would be  fresh (particularly where I live). That was my hope.

Looking through the business landscape in my area I could see there was no direct competition, nothing exactly like mine. I live in Cambridge in the UK: lots of technology, lots of business, lots of creatives.  But nothing like mine. I could see  there were lots of micro businesses that connect creative individuals but none that actually provide opportunities and services. Nothing similar there. There were a few ‘life coaches’ and a new breed ‘creativity coaches’ who offer one-to-ones and group coaching, but there appeared to be nothing COLLABORATIVE that brought people together; all using creativity for a collective end. Not a pulling together but a separation. There were also a few ‘self-development’ courses floating about. Generic, not particular. ‘Be Happy Now’ was the name of one. (And happiness just doesn’t appear over night, it takes time and effort to get there. Typical quick fix short-course angle. Not what we are about at all). No. It all seemed perfunctory, ‘cheesy’ and not wholehearted.

Not what ArtiPeeps and CreoKardia are about at all,

and as I realised last week CreoKardia is all about:

 providing Creative Collaborative Opportunities for anyone who wants to express, whether they are new to creating or experienced

And look at the words-

providing….creative….. collaboration…opportunities…anyone…

This got me thinking as to how the notion of competition (and conflict) fits into the idea of a conscious business and to a business that is hooked into notions of purpose, openness, accessibility and collaboration. Does the notion of competition need to exist within this purpose driven world or is it that competition just needs to be looked at in a different way so that it can be embodied within a conscious business? Do we need to feel threatened by those around us who are operating in a similar way to us?

Competition is defined as follows:

‘Competition is a contest between organisms, animals, individuals and groups for territory, a niche or a location of resources or goods…It’s the opposite of co-operation.’ (Wiki)

Now lets look at those words:

Contest. ..Territory… niche.. opposite.

It’s all about possession, and distance, ‘and what is mine can’t possibly, no never, be yours’. You versus Me. You over there, I’m over here and never the twain shall meet. It’s about battle and contest; and yes,  biologically we need to have that pumping through our collective veins, but when we think in terms of us as human beings connecting to each other (whether in business or otherwise) do we need this divisiveness? Do we need difference to move us forward? Do we need something against us to move us along and help us define ourselves? Do we need to see competitors as dangerous and something which is a force that is in direct conflict with us? Do we have to be threatened by conflict?

A lot of people would say yes. I, on the other hand would like to suggest that there is another way of looking at it. It’s a matter of a shifting our perspectives a bit. Seeing competition or difference not in terms of opposition but in terms of a different way of  ‘thinking’. This is a way of looking at  conflict and creating  that Margaret Heffernan promotes. She  allows for conflict and  instead of making it a matter of a negative, a distant polarity, makes it  about ‘constructive conflict'; something that actually ultimately pulls people together. It’s about letting difference out constructively and seeing the possibility and potential that lies in passionate dialogue and debate. Without conflict or debate change cannot occur.  There is no threat.

Here’s her TED Talk:

In the above talk she outlines how conflict and difference are actually positive elements of thinking. She sees conflict as ‘a fantastic model of collaboration’.

I don’t need to see the life coaches and the creative business networks, and the online creativity and well-being sites as competition. I don’t need to  see our ‘difference’ or indeed our ‘sameness’ as a threat. They are out there. I am out there. Working. Working on what we want to give to the world. The fact that they are out there doing similar things just makes me have to think harder about the value I’m giving to what I’m producing: the content and the opportunities. They don’t have to exclude each other, but be embraced; the exchange and the difference embraced and nurtured.

It’s just a different way of looking at it; that doesn’t see difference as a threat but as an opportunity. You could even think about looking at it as follows:

that we are in this all together collaborating because we are all (relatively speaking) in the same field.

You could maybe acknowledge that  we all (maybe) have the same purpose,  the wish to:

make connections, to provide people with a service, to work towards giving people opportunities. We just do it in different ways. and why can’t we just embrace that?

Again maybe:

It’s

Just

That

Simple

*

ArtiPeeps and CreoKardia don’t need to be in competition with these other individual and group businesses. We can just respect the different ways in which we operate. One doesn’t necessarily negate the other. And yes, I’m a conscious business, and that’s great in the face of all these hard-hitting-eat’em up and spit-‘em- out companies. You need  purpose driven business to exist in order for  there to be an exchange between the two and new conversations had. Maybe a meeting half-way, or a mutual respect for difference is the answer, not competition.

Margaret Heffernan states that this way of looking at conflict (and competition which I think is closely linked) needs to be taught at ground level in schools. So we’re taught that it’s okay to be different, to have different ideas. To say ‘yes I believe in this’ and not being afraid of being battered down. I wish I had been taught this at school. It would have made it a lot easier. If this fear of conflict is inculcated into us at a young age it’s not surprising a lot of us ‘doggy paddle’ through our lives or are fear-ridden when competition lures it’s ugly head. If ‘difference’ /competition and conflict would have been shown to us at that age as healthy thinking; that thinking (and sometimes debate and yelling) actually moves us through difficulty and out the other side and that this is a good thing, maybe there would be less fear around the creative act and the collaboration that it engenders. Maybe it would make the path for the growth of a conscious business smoother; the  focus on  intention and  purpose and away from profit wouldn’t seem so alien.

The fact that the notion of a conscious business is a relatively strange idea in England doesn’t help. ‘Exactly what is a conscious business? ,  one of my committee members said to me. It’s as if this idea of ‘consciousness’ within business is an foreign concept. What can a business be without hard and fast notions of competition, conflict and profit? How can it exist without these? The re-defining of these terms goes along way, and Margaret Heffernan is helping us with that. Me being fearless with ArtiPeeps and CreoKardia can go along way with that (in my micro fashion). Finding as many different sorts of people and creatives to work with can go along way with that. Providing opportunities for other creatives to make them think-out-side-of-the box can help too.

Not being afraid to stand up for what one believes in and what your company stands for; or, in contrast, speaking out against the stream, being dissonant and different, letting your voice out , and being open about it is part of what we all must do as creatives. Being that voice, can be the driving force that moves thinking into action and then through into purpose and intention. It’s the foundation of everything and a premise for awareness and change, and it’s the beginning, an openness that is not an end.

Any feedback is welcome; and, as always, thank you for your interest!

ARTIPEEPS NEWS:

  • FLASH FORTNIGHTLY starts this coming Wednesday. Your fortnightly dose of flash fiction with Laura Besley
  • Susan O’Reilly on ‘Visitor Peep Page’ has a new set of 4 poems up
  • Our first collaborative post went out the day before yesterday: Halloween HotchPotch-  5 writers and artists coming together to one end







Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 266 other followers

%d bloggers like this: