Be honest now.

Earlier on my Facebook Artist Page post, I made some decisions to free up my time a little more and put quality over quantity rather than do a  million things at once – which I always end up doing – because my ambition usually outweighs my skills. Just keeping it real.

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I had to be really honest with myself, which let’s face it, I’m the eternal idealist so this raw honest discussion with myself does escape my reach at times!

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I recently watched Shareefa Energy talk about her new poem called ‘Duality’ in which she  talks about her relationship with her poetry and being true to yourself and the journey you take.

“Day in, day out we meet people, people are like ‘yeah, I’m cool, I’m okay’ and nobody really comes with an honesty about how they are feeling.”

When talking about her poetry, she goes on to say:

“It’s about allowing people to resonate with your art…just learning to be more authentic with yourself and with each other…”

“…I’m part of this so called conscious poetry scene or whatever it is, and I think a lot time people like to play it out like we’re all just light…but the reality of us as human beings, we’re very complex…I am sometimes light and I am sometimes dark”.

She’s so right!

I’m at a point in my life where I’m trying to establish a style or personal stamp of my artwork that’s true to me and how I am as a person. And it can be kinda daunting at first to really put it out on the line, especially if, like me, you’re still prone to self-criticism, and self-judgement. But then on the flip side, it’s so liberating to finally be like ‘YES, this is me love it or hate it I don’t care!’ There’s a sense of ownership and pride that you’re being real and who ever is interacting positively with you, is genuine.

I also randomly came across this point in a documentary about Eminem of all people where he was commenting on when he first released his debut album ‘Infinite’ and it flopped. He mentions after a lot of style changes and drama going on in his life and talking more about macabre subjects like drug overdoses and not trying to please everyone with what he thinks should be heard, then that’s when people started paying attention to him and taking him more seriously in the hip-hop world:

“It seemed like as soon as I stopped giving a **** about what I was saying, people started giving a ****. It was like a reverse affect, like **** you I don’t care if you like me or not – oh we like you now”.

It’s funny how these things are presenting themselves to me as a sort of signal.

I’ve always been about listening to people’s stories and point of view. And it really does give you motivation and sense of profound depth when Truth is being exposed and presented to you, especially in random ways. I hope I can share my profound truths to, but for now, I’m blogging and trying to show this in my artwork.

 

 

Shareefa Energy is a spoken word artist, poet, international woman and facilitator. She currently works with a charity organisation called Stop Watch giving workshops to the community about knowing your rights when being stopped and searched.

Her new single Duality is out now to embrace. Go to www.shareefaenergy.com or visit her FB page @shareefaenergy and Instagram page @shareefaenergy

 

 

What a year! Trials and tribulations of 2016

2016 has been an AMAZING year for me which ever way I look at it – positively, in terms of my own success and quite shocking in terms of the world around me. *insert tragic world news here. Now that I think of it, it’s as if society’s shock waves are like a trigger to do more, to act more, to create more. I actually started off this year on this blog with the aim of writing at least one post every month because I usually let blog pages die. I can officially say I DID IT!

*Brexit, USA presidential elections, Syria, Unlawful black killings, DAPL, death of Prince,etc.

 

One important thing I learnt from this year was to take risks – to not be afraid to expose myself and my art work.

 

In the end I found it paid off (sometimes even literally).

I went from just trying to keep my blog alive to creating merondubale.com; pushing my artwork on Instagram, making networks; creating business cards; selling some of my art work; collaborating with great people; not to be afraid to use the term ‘artist’; setting up a Meetup.com women’s group twice a month; travelling to two countries and more importantly taking risks to go part-time, from a regular 9-5 Monday to Friday job, to follow my passions.

I’m going to share a personal thing—I set myself up a goals sheet that I put on my bedroom wall to focus on daily and keep me in track which I haven’t shared with anyone (apart from my boyfriend who I’ll give credit for giving me this idea):

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This was my original plan but things changed a little so it looks more like this:

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Things changed AGAIN, and now looks more like this:

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And once I finish writing my post I will write a new sheet for 2017.

It’s not been easy though…

Nothing, felt worse than knowing I was in the wrong type of job. I used to have constant anxiety, and intense feelings of not being where I wanted to be – even though my former colleagues were so supportive! I just knew I had to do something about it, and with good advice, I made the decision to leave, even though I didn’t have a job lined up straight away.

When I left my job in August, I was unemployed for 2 months and really stressing about whether or not this is the right thing to do: pursue my passions as an artist and facilitator. At the time I was really low. I felt like I may have made a big mistake. But with the support of my boyfriend, friends and reading up on ‘self-help’ books and positive messages, I refocused and pushed through.

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I have always questioned and explored the essence of who I am and what my soul purpose is in life. I feel, now, more than ever, myself and others are tuning in to this core element and becoming ‘woke’ – which is an amazing thing.

Staying true to who I am is one thing I will carry on into 2017, despite my insecurities and my challenges.

 

I’ve also learnt to listen to my intuition, my gut feeling – literally and metaphorically. It’s proved my right in so many occasions when I’ve not listened to it. I know I can tell when things aren’t quite ‘right’, but I don’t know how to resolve it. I need to act. Not ignore it but act.

I’ve checked online for Chinese and western astrology forecasts, as a I do every year, and I have to say it’s been fairly accurate! I’ve checked for this year and it makes COMPLETE SENSE. This (Chinese) year is the year of the Fire Rooster, which for me basically means hustle like Beyoncé more than ever and success will keep coming.

Let’s do this!

M x

A little can go a long way

It’s been a hectic month leading up to Christmas with lots of exciting plans, projects and social visits going on – thank you God and the universe – but yesterday was a one of my highlights of that day.

I was on my way to meet my amazing friend. I was about to cross the road when a woman asks me politely “Excuse me, could you help me cross the road?” Of course I did. I assumed she was in her 70’s and had a shopping trolley/carrier with her. She took my arm and I started having a conversation about where she was from, where I was from etc. She was from Hong Kong originally and told me she had trouble walking sometimes because of her bad knee. She needed to sit down so she found a chair outside a pub. I told her to go inside where it was warmer but she didn’t want the fuss. I felt bad for leaving her there but I did have places to be and there were some men sitting near to her so I was sure they could help.

Call me a romantic or an idealist but those few minutes really touched my heart.

And credit to her for asking for help because sometimes pride can get in the way.

Her name was Lina.

Thank you Lina for that moment.

 

🙂

 

NEWS: She’s going to a new home!

My painting ‘Head in the Clouds’, 2016 has now been sold!

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And it’s actually my first painting to be sold to be honest. Which is why I’m making a big deal. I’m really grateful for the connection and vibe and also for Instagram – let’s keep it real, it opens many conversations for a lot of artists especially as well as other users.

So yes she’s going to a new home. It’s a little bittersweet. I quite liked having her around but I’m glad the home she’s going to is a good place.

Things are going well this month. 😀

Mad appreciation.

I’d like some more of that please universe.

NEWS: Cards and Collaborations!

I’m so excited to be chosen to collaborate with another artist and art director for an upcoming local gallery in Vauxhall! I can’t say too much right now as we are still in the early stages of development. But what I can say is that we will be creating greetings and postcards for the African diaspora more specifically to be sold in the galley and also with other indie and national establishments.

We’ve already had a meeting, and I can already tell, it’s going to be great- the signs, the synchronicity, it’s all there!

So watch this space!

Stay blessed,

M x

No he didn’t…

Donald Trump is now America’s President.

Shudder.

I can’t even.

Shudder.

Say President Trump out loud without a shudder or cringe. I’m not even going to elaborate because most of us decent human beings are going through the same motions and emotions right now.

But what this has made me aware of is the ongoing universal paradigm shift that has been set from the beginning of this year. If I think about all the controversial or surprising series of unfortunate events that have happened, I find that all this will lead to a revolutionary change for the better. I.e. the ongoing deaths of entertainers, the Brexit vote, the cop killings, the Syrian war and now the presidential elect Donal Trump.

There’s a storm brewing in the energies of this world. Not an apocalypse or ending, but a dramatic change that will take effect even stronger in order to bring about the next stages of human evolution. It’s scary, I admit, but there ain’t change with our sacrifice, and there isn’t sacrifice without a cause.

 

Can anyone hear impeachment on the cards? LOL

 

M x

Autumn reminders.

I’m loving the autumn colours! I get so inspired by mother nature.
The transition of life, the transition of colours….

Change can be a beautiful thing, perhaps not at the time of change but once you stand back and can reflect on it. You realise how powerful or significant it is. Change will always happen, in many ways and forms. Sometimes at the time negative, sometimes positive. It can be a struggle to go through the motions. It may feel like the world is against you. A pressure to stay afloat and on top of things to counteract the dynamics of change. Sometimes we resist change, sometimes we don’t want it in our lives. “I’m happy being comfortable!”, “I don’t want to move, it’s nice and cosy here!”.

I’m not going to lie, I have those moments too. I just want to curl up in my be and not go outside. But then when life gets stagnant and boring, what do we do? Change. Really, it’s inevitable.

If we can harness the perspective to take it as it is, and admire it for its powers, I think life will be more fulfilling and more satisfying.

Knowing that change will benefit in the future, – provided there is positive action- should be truly appreciated. We don’t grow if we don’t change!

Talk about it! (mental and spirtual health – Part 2)

It seems to me, living in London, being brought up in an African/British household and community, and having reserved, conservative parents have definitely made accessing counselling or psychotherapy really off-putting. Team that up with a society where the previously expected formula for a successful is ‘go to uni + do a masters + do an internship = job’, and it increases more symptoms of decreasing mental health!

‘Sick, twisted people go the mental hospital’, ‘Are you mental? Are you sick in the head?’ – It’s this kind of statements and utterings that are often conveyed within a lot of households. The image of the distressed, rough looking person with a straight jacket and a constant twitch that eludes danger and insanity is commonly in the minds of a lot of people where mental health is involve. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE. 

Many people are suffering the same things but are afraid that it will make them seem weak. A negative label hanging over their heads like their an outcast to society. It’s simply not true. There are many ways to deal with our stresses and issues in life. Meditation is common place. Going tot he gym. Having sex. (Okay maybe not so much as a long term solution, but it gives some endorphines to us). Praying. Art therapy, dance therapy, drama therapy, etc. Talking to someone about it….like…a friend, stranger, or going to a qualified counsellor at a local health clinic. Even creating online groups to discuss about certain topics like anxiety. It helps.

I’ve tried counselling and told one or two people about it that aren’t family, because again of the social stigma. But I’m putting it out there now. And it helps. It’s one of many ways to work on issues that we all suffer from. Having an objective point of view within a completely confident environment and a professional experienced approach makes a difference. I had about six sessions – it was a free service available at uni – but even then it made me see a little ‘out of myself’. It gave me some distance and perspective that I appreciated because I didn’t think about it that way before. Luckily it was free as well. I have to admit, many private health services cost an arm and a leg, which makes it even more inaccessible.

It’s funny that in the States it’s not a big of a deal to have a psychotherapist on hand. Or have a marriage counsellor (or at least its more accepted in society). But in the UK, it seems like a very big deal. Why? Hmm.

It seems that discussing mental health publicly or at least having a person to talk to about is a real demand – even in a world where everyone is ‘talking’ (communicating ) on social media.

Happy #WorldMentalHealthday ! Keep sharing.

On my next post in this series I will be talking about Art therapy as it is a new found appreciation of mine, and more.

Please share your experiences, stories or opinions whatever it may be. I would love to do podcasts or interviews with anyone who would like to share and contribute towards future posts in the series. You can always contact me directly on my email mm.dubale@gmail.com.

🙂

Stay blessed,

Meron x

 

Progress: Flip IT! (mental and spiritual health – part 1)

I woke up this morning with slight anxiety. Anxiety that makes itself know to me from time to time, especially when I over analyse and dwell on situations (predictably, the situation was regarding finances) – even with positive quotes filled on my social media feeds! It’s easy to take that trip from time to time. But the important thing is not to let those feelings conquer your life, your emotions and your actions.

One train of thought that has been popping up more recently is identifying You as your best friend. ‘The Casual Artist‘ made this aware to me when we had a Skype consultation. During my childhood, I have always felt that I was my own worst enemy. I even have a distinct memory of receiving a report card when I was in year 6, with the teacher stating that ‘Meron can be her own worst enemy’. Once I told the Casual Artist this, he flipped it up and asked me this question: ‘Can you say to me the total opposite of that statement?’

I first stumbled. It was really hard, and I didn’t get why. But he broke it down to me and eventually I stated that ‘Meron is her own best friend’.

I was truly amazed by this. I had never thought of seeing my self in this way at all! Bizarre.

I am my own best friend….Meron is her own best friend. Meron..is…her own…best friend. That makes total sense! It’s the complete OPPOSITE of what I’ve been making myself accustomed to. And so I say to you: FLIP IT. Any negative or niggling statements that have prevailed in your life, ask yourself what is the total opposite of that statement. Then say it back to yourself. 

As an artist, as a human being carving a fulfilling career for myself, there’s still days like this morning where I stumble. However, I’ve been really progressing with being more resilient. Showing appreciation for what I do have. I have time and some means to do what I love. To do develop my work. To create alliances as well as art and change my way of life for the better. Some ladies my age, have been forced into marriage, enslaved, don’t have access to clean water. So hey, how can I complain right? I have some privileges in some sorts and I need to exercise those, if not for myself, than for the people who can’t.

Gratitude is a great attitude.

I will be making another post on mental health and spirituality concentrating on why this is so important to discuss in our community. Especially the ‘black’ communities, where it’s still such a stigma to receive counselling or psychotherapy. So stay tuned!

Stay blessed,

Meron x