Category Archives: Video

Re-treat the Voice of the Artist

Photo Courtesy of MasterDabblers

By Glendalys Medina

Retreats can take many forms, so I ask myself what are they essentially? Aren’t they just structured moments to allow the flash of inspiration to strike? All of us need time alone for reflection. To ask ourselves such questions as ‘Who am I? What do I want? What does this mean?’ and ‘How am I going to achieve my dreams?’ We all seek our inner being, whose voice can be easily drowned out if not cultivated. To keep in touch I have learned to slow–down, to think and listen before I speak, to keep a close eye on what I let out into the universe. A mind with mental clarity and focus is a powerful tool, so it can only help to learn to control it right?

So let me ask you this, have you ever been creatively stuck, emotionally stuck, mentally stuck or any type of stuck? If you are alive then the answer to this question I assume is yes. Life is a beautiful adventure and the best adventures have great challenges. One must collect an arsenal of tools to overcome these challenges and reach the mountain of inner stillness, to become the vehicle of purposeful creation. I write this post today to share with you a tool that came to me when I was all of the above STUCK. The tool is simply silence.

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This practice was introduced to me by Jessica Kung Dreyfus and Stephane Dreyfus in late 2012 while I was a visual arts fellow at the American Academy in Rome. I was in my 4th month of an 11-month residency and I hadn’t made a thing. I was completely overwhelmed and emotionally and mentally exhausted. I had all this time and space and inspiration was on a vacation. I couldn’t hear myself and I craved solitude. So I gave it to myself and with written instructions from Jessica and Stephane I went on a silent retreat for four days in my very own studio at the Academy. I kept a schedule, gave myself some basic tools to make artwork, had meals brought to me, said no to my computer and started playing. In those four days I learned a lot about myself, I felt completely free and energized, everything calmed down and I began a completely new body of work that I am still working on today. Inspiration finally struck!

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Glendalys Medina “Alphabet Series: #6 of 26, (F)” Pencil and marker on paper. 126cm x 172cm 2013

Since then MasterDabblers has been working with Jessica Kung Dreyfus and Stephane Dreyfus to bring and share with you this transformative gift called ‘Unspoken’. ‘Unspoken’ is a silent retreat-in-box that contains everything you need to begin your retreat today.  I must tell you that this practice has been a godsend and has become a frequently used tool in my arsenal. So, if you are in need of this priceless gift today or you want to arm yourself for the next rainy day  please visit http://www.MasterDabblers.com/store.

 

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Eleven Symptoms of an Overwhelmed Artist and Two Home Remedies

by Stephanie Lindquist

Ever feel completely overwhelmed? Your eyes, your brain and your body feel fried. It’s hard to function. In fact, you’re a little afraid that you may malfunction. In case you are unsure if you are experiencing or have experienced any of the symptoms of an overwhelmed artist, check the list below.

  1. You don’t understand or for that matter hear the words coming out of anyone’s mouth.
  2. You have no clue how everything could possibly be accomplished in time.
  3. All you want to do is restart some bad habits you’ve been kicking.
  4. You feel completely lost.
  5. You want to cry for help!
  6. You’re tired and exhausted although you’ve been sleeping alright.
  7. You are NOT sleeping alright.
  8. You really really really need a vacation or maybe just an artist date.
  9. You crave silence and not just the kind where you don’t hear noise, but where you can’t even hear the thoughts running through your head at a million miles per hour.
  10. Part of you feels like giving up. (This is partially a good thing.)
  11. You feel alone.

Remedy #1

Last night I decided to randomly open the Rumi book I have for the first time. The page I flipped to was a pleasant surprise, an opportunity to release all my creative anxieties and duties and instead submit to silence “tasting the core of [my] being” rather than all the rattling noise and stress of being an overwhelmed artist.

The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems. Translations by Coleman Barks.

The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems. Translations by Coleman Barks.

Here’s the first poem of the chapter The Reedbed of Silence: Opening to Absence. Hopefully it brings you a moment of peace like it did for me.

BACK INTO THE REEDBED!
 
Time to ignore sensible advice,
to untie the knots our culture
 
ties us with. Cut to the quick!
Put cotton in both sentimental
 
ears. Go back into the reedbed.
Let cane sugar rise again in you.
 
No rules or daily duties. Those
do not bring the peace of silence.

Remedy #2

If poetry doesn’t do it for you, this is an awesome talk by Martha Beck in which she offers some practical tips on how to tap into some wordlessness of your own. Plus it is a sweet reminder that you already possess everything you need to get through whatever overwhelms you. She calls them the four technologies of magic, and she’ll show you how to activate each one starting today.

Am I missing any symptoms or home remedies? Share your symptoms and remedies here with the rest of MD?

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