Oi! Who nicked my flow?

show to do list


March was a very busy month.

I didn’t feel 100% fit (oh, did I  mention that in my previous post?) (grin). Both my son and daughter’s birthdays, Mother’s day, three trips to London, mum coming to visit in person, soap making class, Easter celebrations here for 10 people etc. OK, so Easter was really in April but I’m trying to maximise the sympathy vote here.

It might not seem a lot to you but, for me, that’s a lot of dates when I needed to be somewhere and do something. And somewhere amongst all that busyness I decided I would take my paintings to the Holistic and Mystic Show in Hove.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Tony had come over for a  bit of Attic Art and, as we both kept faffing about, we decided to go shopping instead – as one does! So we jumped in the car, drove to Seawhites and bought yet more art goodies for the stash.

On the way home we stopped at a pub for lunch where I proceeded to tell Tony about the research I’d been doing about craft fairs and how I was considering doing the Holistic and Mystic Show in Hove as I thought that might be a good place to sell my inspirational paintings and he said that he and Steve had been considering doing it too to promote their 3 Principles work and a plan was born.

Fast forward a week or so and we were fully signed up and the money was paid.

However, after the initial . . .

“Gosh, fancy that. You and I having the same idea completely independently”.
“Let’s do it”.
“It’ll be fun”.
“Let’s use it as an experiment just to see what happens”.
“I’m going to paint 100 pictures”.
“It’ll be a laugh”.

I somehow ended up with a massive “to do” list, only part of which is shown above, and it isn’t such a jolly jape anymore.

I find myself waking up in the night thinking about it. Stressing over how I am going to display the pictures, what the size of the table will be, what signs I should make, how much to charge, should I offer discounts and a hundred other things.

I spent a very fraught day with my partner John, sourcing materials to make a stand upon which to hang the paintings. I was snappy and irritable and it wasn’t fun at all. And all the while I just wanted to be able to relax around it. To go back to living gracefully with the unknown and let things unfold.

It’s amazing how having a deadline and something concrete out there I need to do things for has knocked my equilibrium for six.

It looks like my discomfort is caused by the show but of course it isn’t. It’s my thoughts about it that are causing the stress.

Saying there are there things I need to do to prepare isn’t strictly true. Although it certainly looks like it is. If I did nothing the world would be unlikely to end.

If I go with only the paintings I’ve done thus far it wouldn’t, in reality be a big deal, but I keep thinking that it would.

It I don’t get a stand ready then I’d just have to lay the pictures on the table but I’m thinking that would be bad.

Even trying to switch my thinking to trusting that it will all turn out OK doesn’t work too well since I have a idea of what “OK” looks like and as soon as I think that idea isn’t going to happen I’m back into feeling stressed.

I’d love to end this post with a nice turnaround however, truth is, even knowing all this, I’m still falling into patterns of thinking that lead to stress. But hey, ho!  At least I’m not adding to the stress by judging myself for having stressful thoughts.

As Tommy Roe would say:

Dizzy, my head is spinning. Like a whirlpool it never ends . . .

But it will end of course. Grace and peace and well-being are our natural state and I have learned that no matter what I do, at some point my thinking will slow and there will be space and I will see things differently. Marvellous!

Until then . . . gotta go. I got paintings to paint!

And in case you still haven’t worked out who “nicked my flow” it was Gillian, in the attic, with her thinking!


4 comments to “Oi! Who nicked my flow?”

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  1. Tony - 08 Apr, 2013 Reply

    Oh my goodness, the power of thought – it inspires, excites & then ‘nicks the flow’!
    Reading this I’m started to feel partly responsible for your flow loss & then realised that was only my thoughts – ha, ha – I’m off the hook.
    Thank god for the marvel of grace, peace & well-being – love that, thanks for sharing.

  2. Melissa - 09 Apr, 2013 Reply


    This is brilliant, lovely description of where you’re at and that you know it’s your thinking, and it feels a bit ick and that’s ok too!

    I’ve just spent 3 days with Michael in London and your post fits right into the ongoing conversation I’m having with myself and others on this.



  3. Carrie Viscome Skinner - 20 Apr, 2013 Reply

    Hi Gillian,
    Oh this post hit so close to my heart! I have been doing these kinds of shows for years now and although it gets a bit easier as time goes on it is still a whole ton of work. And I too tend to stress myself out about these things. If you haven’t done the show yet when you read this be sure to put out a sign up sheet to collect email addresses. This is a great way to add to your list of contacts so even if you don’t sell anything you still come out feeling like it wasn’t a total waste of your time (been there). Good luck with the show and do more meditating to get your mind off it. Sometimes that works.
    Love your blog and will be signing up.
    Heard about you on Google+

    • Gillian - 24 Apr, 2013 Reply

      Thanks for your words of encouragement Carrie. They were a lovely pick me up the night before the show when I read them.

      Good point about the sign up list. I quickly made a handwritten one on the day.

      Financially it wasn’t a success. In fact I didn’t even sell one painting! But I thoroughly enjoyed the day and learned heaps over the weeks leading up to it. I’m planning on writing a blog post about it so stayed tuned for that!

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