Let’s start 2021 here…

Something has been upended, and it can’t be put back the right way. My sense is we haven’t acknowledged the underlying thing, yet now want to ” … get back on with it ” before we fix – or even name – the broken thing.
Not sure where I can plug in my experience, or what to write … so, I’m gonna start writing as true as I can & feel the uncertainty. Let’s see what emerges …

The global costs of the pandemic have included loss of life, revealing of systemic weaknesses, and a variety of leadership effectiveness. I-wish-it-was-but-it-just-isn’t only about Ben Lee’s dear, true song, We’re All in this Together (here’s a gorgeous version). Yes we are. And: not equally. The exisiting social unfairnesses have been highlighted: racism, sexism, poverty, and more …

Supermarkets and toilet paper companies have done their parts well. (Here’s a link to a deliberately ethical loo paper co with a funny name.) However:

Supermarkets – their convenience camouflages where
food actually comes from.

[Spoiler: Food actually comes from the earth.]

Also true

We aren’t going to resolve anything by hiding our goodness, imagination or creativity! We need joy and rest (they are the revolution!) in order to live well, have something worth living for. This world wide wave has highlighted the soul sustenance we gain from People Who Make Things. And, we need walks and knitting, conversations, kitchen dances and Creating Beautiful Meals that will Never Get Put Online!

The Collective Heart Project I started (too?) early in COVID times feels like it kind of went out of date or didn’t go deep enough, before we could even finish it. Thank you if you contributed, your photos are filed and safe, and I still hope to complete that little film at some stage.

I offer here thoughts, mini listicles and some books and podcasts that have kept me company and my heart uplifted …

Listening for your heart and soul – mini listicle of podcasts

  1. If you want to hear a heart-recognising, at one with nature, poetic, soul activating podcast, try this: On Being episode with the late poet, John O’Donohue.
  2. It seems worthwhile to highlight some unexpected positives (silver linings, if you will) that have accompanied the obvious huge and crisis-y upheavals. Here’s a wonderful episode of The Guilty Feminist podcast where they talk about silver linings and helping refugees (in the UK but we can do it in Australia too). Deborah the host even talks to former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (speaking of – which we weren’t – people who have left politics and are doing no end of wonderful things).
  3. If you’d like to hear Amanda Palmer and Claire Bowditch have a chat about life, making music and attending to one’s mental health as everyday activities, listen to this one. And this episode when Amanda Palmer talks with KT Tunstall, normalising women talking about creativity and life is also a heart balm.
  4. Governments? Haven’t they shown what they really think? Yikes! The Australia Institute podcast wrapped up the year. If I could ask the leaders to listen to one, this would be it. Listen to the podcast… it will be clearer than me writing patchy, second hand recollections. The Australia Institute shows that there are indeed some sensible adults in the room.

Connecting

The lockdown revelation for this introvert was that introverted life can get too isolating! Who knew? At some point – quite suddenly – I needed to prioritise connection with others, for the sake of being fully human! That has looked like: deliberately nurtured local/in-person friendships and online sisterhoods  …

It was explained to me (cos I can barely imagine) that in lockdown strongly extroverted people have palpable social needs not being met. Sorry to hear this, extroverts, it must(‘ve) be(en) so painful :/ Hang in there <3
Is the intro/extro-vert thing more a spectrum than an either/or switch? I reckon it might be situation dependant, too… What do you think?
Introverts, and extroverts, and all along the spectrum (if it is one) … we’re all human: all different, all beautiful.

Art Lessons for the first complete year! Now what?

Towards the end of 2019, I trialled just 12 Drawing and Painting lessons for adults, which were enjoyed by me and the attendees. See what some of them said here.

For 2020, I scheduled 5 blocks of 5 lessons … We made our way through the Autumn sessions via Zoom, which didn’t work quite as well for us … We accepted that was our option at the time, and it was way better than not doing art together at all!

This year, 2021, we’ll do another 5 blocks of 5 lessons on Thursdays, in fact we’ve already completed the first block. We’re trialling a few in-betweeny, stand alone lessons on public holidays :) If either of those sound good to you, now is a perfect time to book in for April lessons … some spots have opened up, ‘cos a few of our number are heading back to Uni for the year, or attending to family commitments.

Book Listicle, what I’m loving

  1. Our bodies are the first bastion of equality and fairness.. we have to do our own inner work as part of our activism work. Get hold of Your Body is not an Apology if you possibly can. I’ve mentioned it before… the author Sonya Renee Taylor is some kind of genius. It’s a dense book with much to teach…
  2. Margaret Salomon, a qualified clinical psychologist also says we need to do our own work, face our own climate fears and the reality that we could’ve already doomed ourselves, if we want the courage to do the activist work… Here’s Margaret talking with Sarah Wilson.
  3. I’m adoring The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams. Turns out she’s a South Australian local – bonus!
  4. Playing Big Tara Mohr. This book has the most definitive chapter I’ve ever read about imposter syndrome and what to do with it. The following chapter is about accessing your inner mentor. It’s gold.
  5. Regarding physical health, Emily and Amelia Nagoski address why and how to complete your Stress Response Cycle in their book Burnout. That’s been A Key Thing to know this past 6 months or so. Daily walking for the win! I know I’ve mentioned this book before … it’s important information for humaning, and clearly written.

Thank you so much for reading bold soul! I dearly appreciate your attention and support – and [I know you can’t help it >>] your blatant wondrousness!

Wishing you peace & love,
Meg x o

 

PS While I will be at Willunga Artisans and Handmade Market on March 13, I’m not doing markets every month at the moment. If you need cards in between market days … click this to go to my greeting cards page… Meanwhile here are 6 of my designs. There are 150+ by now.

PS2 Keep in the loop with my eNewsletter, if you want first looks and first dibs when new paintings are finished, join my email list!

PS3 There are a few 2021 Bold Art Calendars left – now $31…

PS4 Reminder: book for Art Lessons here!

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