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above - collage experiment from the other day!


I've been talking about 'knowing yourself' a lot recently; but I'm also still working out what that means myself.

I feel like I'm on a journey at the moment, at risk of sounding very cliche and a little ridiculous. This feeling comes from the inevitable post grad blues, (as well as the living with my parents & wasting my life doing a shitty job blues).

We all have moments in our lives where we're like "Right, damn it Deborah! Now is the time to sort out your life" and you spend all night researching local evening classes and googling "how to get your dream job" and "how to travel the world on a budget", only to wake up the next day to a donut & milk-straight-from-the-bottle breakfast and spend the rest of your day watching Friends in bed. We've all been there.

The pressure of all the new year new me crap always gives me a headache, as I wrote about a couple of posts ago. I want to change a lot of my t e r r i b l e habits & work on actually having a career I want. I feel a crushing a sense of time running out as I, what feels like, hurtle toward my 30th birthday (I'm not even 25 yet, but my anxiety is very forward thinking).

Anyway, practical tips is what we want. Thats why were here. I've watched many a Youtube vid on how to beat procrastination or a creative block, how to actually get up early in the morning and not feel like you're going die by midday. I want oh so badly to spend an hour meditating every morning, eat 5 portions of fruit & veg, take my vitamins, go outside... pfft.

I think the to knowing yourself, is genuinely loving yourself. "Imperfections" and all - even that you really enjoy picking your nose or your idea of a great Saturday night is a cup of Ovaltine and a good book. There are no such things as imperfections. They are just things that deviate from what society says is how we should be. So first off, realise & accept these things.

Stop making excuses - do no harm, take no shit. Live your life good & don't let any bad in. Once I became more comfortable in a group of peers that accepted me, a relationship that I felt equal in, a confidence in my own style of creativity, thats when I began to understand who I was/am. You are defined by everything that makes up your world. You control that world, don't like something? Get rid. Want something? Go get.

Physically know your body. This is a funny one. But the more I learn about my own mental health, the more I understand the importance of knowing your own body. I am currently in the battle of stopping my contraception and letting the crimson waterfall take over my life again. I want to exist & feel in my purest form. I have always had a difficult relationship with my body, intimately & outwardly. Nowadays I am much more sexually aware & satisfied and much more at peace with my physical appearance. But there are areas that are still grey. Masturbation is c o m p l e t e l y natural. If you don't want to do it, don't. If you do, do. Learn your body, sex will be better & you will learn of the power and control you have over yourself. This is a wall I'm still climbing. Lets talk about it, the difficulties, the weird feeling of touching yourself being wrong. We shouldn't be grossed out by our own bits and bobs, we should know them. Even if just to be able to notice when something changes.

Ok, what else? Knowing what you want career wise can take a veryyyyy long time, and that is absolutely ok. Your idea may change completely many times too, also ok. Learn & experiment to find out what you love and how to make into something you can live off.

Spirituality. A big one to me, nothing much to a lot of people. I won't preach, but I think everyone should explore the whole "why are we here?" thing a little. There are so many resources out there, and personally it has helped me massively overcome a lot of personal issues and mental health problems. Just give it a try. It doesn't have to be religion. Spirituality is a personal thing, deep within you.

So there we go, I can't think of anything else right now, good luck! Let's make this year a better one, ey?

Any comments & thoughts are very welcome :) 






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I wanted to draw something today that had a hand in - and recently I've been thinking about the women in my life and the struggles they have been through; I have some close friends who inspire me daily with their strength and courage. It sounds a bit cliche, and maybe it is, but they encourage me to be proud of my womanhood and the power that comes with it.

There are plenty of people (who menstruate and/or sexually identify as female) that don't have the access to health care that they deserve (for many different reasons) and this is something that desperately needs to change.

This image to me expresses female (trans inclusive) sexuality and empowerment in the incredible function of our bodies. We are dynamic machines that should only feel empowered by our bodies - WOO!


This will be available to buy on tshirts & as a print very soon :) follow my Instagram for updates! - @ Jessicalilyfineart​ xo

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"Do not stay in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate on the present moment" - Buddha

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"Trade your expectations into appreciation and your whole world will change" - Tony Robbins

LIVE WITH INTENT - & check in with myself/get to know my own mind and body better; by coming off the pill & journalling as much as I can. I want to explore my body, my mind and my spirituality this year. I want to know who I am. 

I will live with focus and intent in everything I do. There is no point wasting time on things I don't care for, I will evaluate the stimuli around me and filter out all the negative crap that doesn't positively contribute to my experience. I am able to choose, I'm so lucky to be able to choose exactly what I consume and where I place myself in this world. 

I will have a clearer purpose and create achievable short term steps so I am not feeling overwhelmed and defeated by some huge fantasy end goal. I will to accept responsibility for my future & live in the moment. 

I will be more mindful & meditate more to clear my mind and loosen this anxiety - It gets worse and worse until I snap every time and I'm tired of this. 

KEEP LEARNING - learn as much as I can every day. About myself, about the world, about everything. I want to learn Swedish, I want to learn how to play the saxophone. I want to join a roller derby. This year I will make these things happen instead of flirting with the idea for months and getting nowhere. 

Take every opportunity to learn. Be it something simple, like a new role in my job or something bigger like taking on a language or philosophical concept - just try. I want to try things, I love to learn about people and strong historical women who are forgotten about. I love to learn about the psychology of the human mind & serial killers and cult dynamics. These are the types of content I want to consume, instead of a million episodes of Friends every night (thanks Netflix, for low key ruining my life). 

CREATE MORE - My creative block comes from the anxiety of creating something bad, in addition to the feel of needing to create to post on my art Instagram account, my Facebook and to be successful and for my creativity to define me. I want to write uninhibited and draw aimlessly whilst listening to music or a podcast. 

I vow to take more photos of things I like the look of, draw for me, and to write write write. 

MOVE OUT - This year!  I knew it would be hard, I knew I'd sink into comfortability and get stagnant and lethargic with my "plans". But I am already so so bored & depressed, and I know that I will have many more opportunities in a city, be it Bristol or Cardiff. I will be able to reach my goals sooner and be happier in the process; nearer my boyfriend and my friends. 

ACTIVELY CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY - I feel like there are so many causes I am supposedly passionate about; homelessness, mental health crisis, deforestation in other countries, lack of education and health care for women across the world etc, but I'm not doing anything about it. I'm a keyboard warrior and what I need is to be active, for my own benefit as well as the obvious. This year I will attempt to push myself out of my comfort zone and actually make a difference in the world, because after all, I think that is why we're all here.


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Every day I ask myself "What is important to me today?" - and every day it allows me to focus my energy, which is especially helpful if that energy is limited.

More accurately, that app I mentioned the other day, Remente? That's what asks me the question and I think it's a genius way to entice intentional thinking/living on a low key daily basis. In the evening it asks how your day has been, and encourages you to write a mini journal of your day & log some feelings. A great way to keep track of your patterns. 

If I have any kind of new years resolution this year, it's to be more intentional. I don't want to waste time feeling unfulfilled anymore - it's boring. I don't want to be depressed anymore, I want to lose this anxiety. I'm 25 this year, so I do feel a little like I'm running out of time.

I'm doing this in steps, breaking down long term goals into bite sized daily tasks. Every day I will work toward my Next Step, even if it's just a thought. Next Step being my foreseeable goal/s - MOVE OUT - CAREER = HAPPINESS.

The small steps to lead there, for me, are -

- researching how I work toward my career,

- decluttering all my junk so moving is easier,

- working and saving money to move/study,

- move,

- applying to courses/gaining experience/volunteering etc

Realise what things are worth spending time/money on - I want/need to see more of this world. I'd hate to get older and have regrets, I'll probably still be broke then whether I'd travelled or not. I want to read more and watch less tv. I want to do one thing at a time and not overstimulate my brain anymore, especially before bed; Listen to music. Just that, on it's own. Not whilst scrolling through Instagram or even drawing or writing. Just immerse myself and my senses into one thing at a time.

EDIT - Something I picked up from RowenaTai on YouTube - You are able to control what you consume. If you feel like just watching tv and lying in bed, thats fine; but try to watch things that will make you still feel productive. Watch a documentary or listen to a podcast, a lecture or a book. It doesn't always have to be endless episodes of Friends haha! 

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When I think of "who I am" I go to art. I am an artist - but what does that really mean? That I have a degree? Of course not, you can be an artist without a qualification. Am I still and artist if I haven't made anything in months? I often think of my identity as defined by my spirituality - Buddhism.

But can I call myself a Buddhist if I haven't practiced any aspect of my faith in a little while? Am I a Buddhist if I don't know the in's and out's - if I'm still learning? I still learn about other religions and spiritualities.

How else do I define myself? I'm at a loss here.

I think of the people closest to me, where I currently work, my favourite movies and music and colours, what I wear. But these are all external, materialistic or subject to change. They aren't a definition of me. Yet, I change too, constantly - so how can I define myself at all?

My identity has been something on my mind for a while. I find it interesting how, in my society, your job title is usually your main descriptor. Name, job title, age, marital status.

But what about your humanity? Can I simply define myself as human? A soul? A soul in this universe - it doesn't matter how I earn my money, what I spend it on, where I live. The souls around me matter more, their influence on me and mine on them.

Perhaps I needn't define myself at all.


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So, my boyfriend is an absolute diamond. My christmas present this year is... drum roll please... a trip to Stockholm & an appointment with one of my favourite tattoo artists evahhhhh!! - Bob Horrors, of Black Book Tattoo. - Insta here

I got him a mushion ...

I've been interested in Swedish culture for a few years now and so this has been something on my bucket list for a while; I've been learning the language and recently reading about Lagom - an unspoken social expectation/innate secret to living well in Sweden. I'm just drawn to the country, I can't pin-point why exactly. I'm pumped to see the metro and all the amazing artwork within! I'm still overwhelmed, especially as it's in about 3 weeks time! We fly on the 18th of January and return on the 22nd.

I'm currently looking for more things to do in our 3/4 days, aside from the tattooing, so any suggestions, fire 'em my way! I'm thinking art exhibitions, eateries, lakes/parks/walks etc! I think it might snow while we're there, so muchos excited for that too!! Not too ready for the cold, as I'm already freezing my tits off and totally over winter here in England.

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This might seem like a bit of a downer to start the new year on, but I think it's a feeling that we all suffer from, especially at this time of year. There's a lot of pressure on the New Year New You rubbish, the idea that there has to be something you'd want to change, there is an expectation of dissatisfaction.

It's perfectly normal to want to change something about yourself or you personal life, of course, and it makes a lot of sense to put a plan into action at the start of a new year, as we move into spring time etc. I always feel the push to try harder this year whether it be fitness related, personal growth, career related or within my personal/family life. The feeling of needing change can come at any moment though, as can the motivation to actually do so. In todays western culture there is an increasing interest in minimalism and intentional living. I have talked about this before and it is a lifestyle community that I always strive to be a part of of - for Instagram aesthetics as much as actually improving my quality of life. This whole movement is of course geared, originally at least, toward the economic benefits of zero waste and veganism, along side the mental health benefits of decluttering and de-stressing. And I'm all for it. support local small businesses, walk instead of drive, meditate, quit social media for a day etc, it's all great stuff. But it can come with a sense of elitism and unachievable standards for the many. I want to do yoga every morning and eat avocado and read poetry before bed, but it just ain't gonna stick.

At any point in the year, you could decide to ditch Facebook, or throw away a bunch of old clothes. Or not. Just keep doin' you.

Hypocritically perhaps, I am going to start this year as I mean to go on. I have a strong feeling of dissatisfaction polluting nearly every aspect of my current life. I struggle with motivation, oh so badly. I have a lot of big ideas, I research all the hacks and ways to regain your motivation, but I still don't do the things I want to do. 

I love a good list and have recently come across an app called Remente. This app is brilliant, it enables you to create goals with flexible steps so you can complete the goal at your own pace. There is a journal section and a feeling section as well as a life balance pie chart to track how the elements of your life are lining up. They also have small "courses" that are like little Powerpoints of motivation. I would recommend giving it a go and seeing if it helps you to stick to a goal, it's free!

Currently I have one set up for decluttering my room with the intention/motivation of moving out and removing unnecessary crap from my immediate surroundings. I have a basic money saving one and one for my steps to take toward my future career.

What are your thoughts on this post Christmas blues period? Back to work, the weathers shit, you're broke etc... How do you get pumped for the New Year? 

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As we end the year, it's always nice to have a little look back.

A lot of things happened in my life this year, I graduated (!!!) I got together with the love of my life, I moved back into my parents home... Lot's of ups and lots of downs. Life.

Here are some of my favourite little things that have made this year a good'un; Maybe you'll find something new for your 2018!

Favourite book of the year I, Phoolan Devi. This woman is incredible and absolutely my idol. My interest in my Indian heritage has been peaking over the last few years as I have always been a little reserved, seeing as I have no contact with any of my Indian relatives since my Granddad died.

I decided that I'm not scared anymore, I always feel kinda like I don't have the right, or I'm too removed from the culture to show a genuine interest. But as my spirituality and learning of Buddhism has developed into a lifestyle, the link to Indian culture and spirituality is unavoidable. Reading this book has rekindled my craving for understanding of my blood.

Devi lived a horrendous life of injustice and pain and yet she continued to live a strong and meaningful existence, changing the lives of so many.

Her assassination in shrouded in suspicion, rumours of her husband being involved, highlighting how far the country still has to come in a woman's social standing. Even someone so well know and prasied across the globe can be forgotten by the system.

My brother has listened to this band for years, so they've always been on my radar, but over the last few months I just can't stop listening to them. PRIMUS. They released a new album this year, which sparked my new found love, I guess. It's called The Desaturating Seven.

The album is a story about colour eating goblins so if you're into darker music with artistic sound and creative vocals, give this one a try.

I think this might be my favourite series so far, American Horror Story's Cult, or a very close second at least to Freak Show. Evan Peters acting is incredible and his portrayal of multiple cult leader characters is so brilliant. The storyline is a bit nuts, but I think it's done really well and is very AHS even though it's quite different to their usual themes. If you like your low key horror and a beautiful man with blue hair then it's worth watching. Definitely better than Hotel anyways!

Blogging and Jessica Lily Fine Art. Getting back into this has been really good for me, as well as journalling (in hand written notebooks). This is a very good way of organising and prioritising your life, a little self help and analysis before bed. I write about all sorts, obviously publicly here and not so publicly in my books. Sharing your thoughts and art work or interests is a great way of validating yourself, as well as a way to find others and connect with similar blogs/individuals. This year I sold some drawings to a girl in San Fransisco, through my Instagram page @jessicalilyfineart, as well as multiple t shirts :) It feels great to be able to make a little money off of something your passionate about and enjoy doing.

I have learnt a lot this year, mainly about who I am and where I want to be in the near future. I am suddenly very aware of my age, of the time that has passed and how much time it will take me to reach the next goal/s. My priorities have developed and I am more understanding of my mental health. I will turn 25 next year, and while that fills me with instant anxiety, it's also exciting. I feel like the age of 25 is a milestone in many different ways. In my personal life it is a point at where I want to be comfortable with my outward appearance and aware of the the presence I give off. I have always been reserved and anxious, I want to be confident and honest. There isn't time to worry about making sure everyone likes you or proving yourself in situations where you needn't earn approval.

I have more of a plan for my life now, not that you must, but it helps me deal with the feeling of running out of time. My boyfriend is younger than me and at a very different stage in his life, which often worries me when I think of our future. But perspective is a game changer and I'm learning to ground myself and remember that there is no right way to do all this.

You don't need to have it all worked out, but if you do be ready for change. Adaptability and strength against complacency is vital.

QUOTE OF THE YEAR - TRADE YOUR EXPECTATIONS INTO APPRECIATION AND THE WORLD CHANGES INSTANTLY - Tony Robbins

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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It's been a long time since I had a 'full blown' period. Like, literally about 6 years. I have been on the contraceptive pill for that long and while at first it was great, no more periods! Sex without worrying etc; but as I have grown up and explored my body, my sexuality, my innate power as a female, I want my body to exist uninhibited by chemicals.
I want to flow with this universe and feel strength and power emulate from my physical being. It has taken me a long time to pluck up the courage to do this, which is odd in itself, because all I have to do is stop taking the pill. But I am scared of the pain, of the discomfort, of the societal expectation that my life should continue as normal on the outside, and that no-one around me should be able to know of any difference.
I'm lucky enough to have many strong liberal independent women around me, but of course there will always be situations where I feel unable to express myself honestly. I am lucky enough to have unlimited access to healthcare and sanitary products without the question of money or safety. In this privileged position, I often have to remind myself of those who are without. Even in the same country as me.

When I was in school I would have really heavy and painful periods, with brutal PMS. I can't remember ever feeling comfortable with myself at that time of the month, ever feeling comfortable and confident in my chosen form of sanitary product.
I wasn't taught to love my body, to understand it's abilities and strengths, to explore myself physically and spiritually. We have to struggle through long years of learning and failing, a lot of cramps, headaches and nausea. There is very little help, even with a supportive mother I understood that being on my period was a shameful and awkward situation and I would dread the 5 long days of feeling like shit, mentally, emotionally and physically. And still having to do PE.

I want to start using a menstrual cup, so will also talk more about my experience in that realm in the near future too. First I have to visit my doctor and talk about coming off the pill.

https://www.organicup.com/how-it-works/ 

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At risk of sounding as though I admire Manson (which I absolutely do not), I have always been very interested in his legacy. It would be idiotic to over look everything that happened on Spahn Ranch, the murders, and Manson's past, to just put it down to lunacy. We should learn from these kinds of experiences. Charles Manson is the ultimate humiliated man, and evidently there is little more dangerous in this world, than such a man.
Manson has died, aged 83. Alone, locked up, with no control of his own, or anyones, life. The way he should've died.



Unsuccessful in the music industry, as was young Manson's dream, he continued to seek fame and fortune through his own charismatic persona. The battle for the little man, the outsider who had been denied his rights, was something the eventual members of the Manson Family had already dealt with themselves. He had girls as young as 19 selling themselves to his vision, the race war he envisioned and attempted to begin. With a little charm from Charlie, some LSD and the rush of free love, he had his disciples.
There are still people today who see him as a martyr or admire him simply because of his good looks, his captivating story, his music. People who wear his face on their t shirts, they overlook his status as an orchestrator of murder.




The most intruiging element of the whole complicated story, to me at least, was Manson's influence on these young people; created, secured and continued throughout their lives in prison. Manson never killed anyone. All the murders attributed to him were carried out by the Manson Family, most famously the Tate-LaBianca murders of August 1969. Orchestrated by Charlie, yes, planned to the detail by Charlie, yes. But he wasn't even present for any of the killings (supposedly). There are some sticky areas of Manson's pre-cult criminal past that suggest his hand in two other murders, but he was never convicted of these.

Of course we understand that there has to be a mentality shared by the members of the cult, especially for something so barbaric to occur. What is the element that brings them all together and makes them susceptible to Manson's influence? There is a lot of information about the Family; podcasts, documentaries, books, interviews and movies. You Must Remember This is a fantastic podcast, with a 12 part series on the Manson Family, that I highly recommend if you are interested in learning more.

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