Getting help.

I’ve been reading this new kindle book lately called: ‘Make Your Creativity Pay: How to Earn Your Living from the Things You Love to Do’ by Pete Mosley. In one his wise pages, he mentions getting either a coach or mentor and the benefits and differences having one makes.

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I’ve never really thought about having a coach or mentor because I thought first I need to do this alone, and figure it all out by myself, to prove some sort of worthiness, I guess. But I find that I’m naturally connecting with people and actually wanting to get their advice on how to do things, and how they have done things as a step towards their right direction – whether it’s emailing artist friends I know or having a quick cup of coffee and a chat.

Recently I’ve been following illustrator and soul guidance coach Hannah Marie Dudley  through her Facebook group as I actually met her funnily enough through a meetup group for creative coaching! There’s a lot of things that I find really true and can resonate with on a deep level and we have so much in common in terms of our goals and our vibes. We both want to help people and use art to do it and both creatives. She also lives in my neck of the woods, so it’s a good start 🙂

I had a short consultation session with her yesterday I’m positive that this is going to be such a great help. She’s got the drive and experience I need to hold me accountable for things which I lack of course. We will be starting our journey now together and I’m so grateful. I feel like this is meant to be! I even started back meditating again this morning (which was one thing on my list to improve)! Yay!

Check out her Facebook group The Freedom Soul Seekers – ‘Awaken the light within’ It has great tips, thoughts, giveaways and a nice community of like minded people to chat with.

I will let you know how it goes 🙂

Peace x

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

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

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

 

 

Living that Art life

I have a very vivid memory of me sprawled out on my uncle’s living room floor, with the sun beaming in, and a colouring pencil in my hand, creating away on a piece of paper. My uncle then asks attentively, “So Meron, what do you want to be when you grow up?” I’m assuming to confirm actions of the joyous but relaxed mood I was in.

“Hmm, either an artist or a doctor”

He then asked which one I would choose if I had no choice but to pick one. I hesitated for a bit, but I confidently said artist. I was about 9 or 10 years old at the time so I was pretty aware about different occupational roles. I always remember that memory because I feel like it’s what I am meant to be. And the more I think about it, the more it resonates with me. Usually the question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ is often ignored in later adult life. But lately, I’ve been trying to listen to what my intuition tells me. I think the reason I said both options of an artist or a doctor, is because I want to help people, but I love art and have received more compliments about it then anything else I do.

And it’s so funny because I literally am drawn towards art therapy as a career change! I love psychology and eventually I want to blend the two worlds – art and psychology – together into a nice little world of my  own.

But that art life though!

I’ve only JUST started exposing my art work on social media and online. I’m so bloody defensive of my work, as predictably by my artistic nature, I’m a sensitive soul. Don’t get me wrong, sensitivity is a great thing to have but if your skin isn’t that thick, it’s painful. Luckily, my skin is growing ever more thicker, which is great but I still have some way to go. There’s so many doubts niggling at you like an itchy nose – ‘But I can’t do this!’, ‘I’m not a real artist’, ‘Who’s going to be interested in what I have to show?’, and the classic ‘I’m not good enough’.  Aye aye aye!

I am good, I am kind, I am enough.

I am good, I am kind, I am enough.

I am good, I am kind, I am enough.

(repeat until less stressed)

…That’s better.

It’s my new mantra thing. It isn’t a permanent solution but it’s a good way to centre my emotions. I know I can do this. Live a life more dedicated to practising art and using it to help others. Essentially that’s my life goal. To help others using art. I’m still not sure how exactly but I think along the art therapy route. One thing is for sure – I just to keep creating, stop the self judgement and do it for me. Not to prove anything or to show off but for me.

And in honour of this post, I’ve featured my latest painting/selfie. What do you think is going on?

“Go get a job!”

My friend and I were in central London, enjoying our ice creams. We turned to a road leading to Tottenham court road,  at which point I saw a BIG ISSUE seller already approaching a woman eating outside the restaurant. If you’re a Londoner, you almost always see a Big Issue representative outside stations, tourist attractions, public facilities. I see one at my local train station. I’ve even started conversations with one more mature lady to find out why she was there and given money. And most of the time you know why they’re there. Even if you’re not  from London, the person usually doesn’t look well groomed so you can assume their begging for money (the Big Issue foundation is a homelessness organisation giving jobs to homeless people selling Big Issue magazines on the streets, as well as other things)

“GO GET A JOB!” she screams, angrily and annoyed at this young BIG issue man trying to sell her a magazine.

He’s shocked. And so am I.

He walks off muttering to himself in amazement at how rude this woman is. “Go get a job, pfff!’

…How can she say that? That’s my first reaction. I mean she’s sitting there eating her gourmet food, telling him to go find a job. RAS CLAAAATT. REALLY???? He’s got a job selling magazines! It may not be her ideal job but it’s honest hard graft- he’s making a positive step to reclaiming his life, regardless of what happened to him, whether he became addicted to drugs, or stole or whatever would make you homeless. He’s seeking steps to help himself. And no one should knock a person down for that. NO ONE. Woman need to check herself.

Even if he was being persistent and being annoying, there’s no need to speak to a human being like that. Just keep saying no. Ignore him even if you have to. I was vexed to be honest, and I had afterthoughts of how I would have gone up to that lady and given her a piece of my mind. Told her how ugly her attitude is. How she shouldn’t be angry at him, she should be angry at the government for not doing more to support homeless, unemployed people. For not doing more to help people with mental health concerns, young people with low self esteem as well as other issues. The government has let us down with its dodgy political, social and financial infrastructure. A person can abuse the welfare system so easily, and live like a king or queen by not working and claiming benefits, but then you have people struggling for their lives not getting a penny or a pound in welfare. The system is screwed. Shouting at homeless people to get a job does not help that person. We don’t know what that person is going through, emotionally, socially, psychologically, physically. So how are you gunna just shout at this person! Serious!

I walked off before the aftermath (or maybe there wasn’t?), but I hope she can think about her actions. And I hope the seller doesn’t get too disheartened by her words, but gives him more of a desire to succeed. Life isn’t easy no matter what background you come from, so we need to help each other. So please, be mindful of other and mind the gap.

Rant over.

Road trip

 

Its’ already that month again!   How time flies!

I think as we humans grow older we are much more aware of time in relation to our lives. Whether it’s being on time for work or planning life goals, or celebrating birthdays and anniversary. And of course the media doesn’t help by trying to sell ‘Age-defying’ beauty products to remind us that time is slipping away – “No, don’t get old, stay young! Buy our product and you’ll rule the world!” Oh media…

But anyway, I digress as I really want remind myself (as the end of the month draws near) to post an entry. My goal is to write an entry at least once a month as my last blog died due to neglect. Not the first time that’s happened.

I’ve read such an inspiring book by Elizabeth Gilbert called ‘Big Magic’ which I would highly recommend buying if you want to be at one with your fears of venturing into a creative life! Awesome.

And funnily enough I’ve recently done a personality test by 16personalities which is SO creepily accurate that it I use it as my GPS.

I’ve continued awareness in my Art therapy classes which again is amazingly fascinating to me personally, and I’m making some good connections with other class peers.

….I really feel that things are mysteriously and magically coming together in a very natural, spontaneous way. As if almost a domino effect has occurred with one event or activity. Almost as if these mysterious events are really ‘signals’ towards my true route in life, and especially career. Again the GPS, the signs, hey I just realised the semantics of my writing are road trip based. Lol. In any case, I feel positive, albeit still a little nervous of my choices in life and I do feel I’m getting to where I want to be.

Until next month!