Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Skill To Be Learned.

In all my art musing recently I find myself pondering the waxing and waning of inspiration. Sometimes I don't even know I'm lacking in inspiration until I sit down with my sketchbook and discover a blank page with no room to draw.  What's the remedy for this? 

I am an avid reader and have a personal library that would blow your mind.  So, every now and again when I find myself stuck for inspiration I reach for a book. The book I found myself reaching for today was one called "Simple Path to Relaxation" by Anthea Courtenay.  It's a little square book that is loaded with relaxation techniques and motivations, not to mention some little jewels of wisdom on the inner self.

Anthea talks about relaxation as a skill to be learned.  It's easy to think that relaxation is just...well..relaxation!  What's so hard about that?  But try doing it when you have a million things spinning around in your head, and a thousands things on your to do list. I've recognized quite clearly that my very best art and exploration comes when I'm completely relaxed, and the blocks occur when I am stressed. So my logic tells me to destress and engage in purposeful relaxation and my art will flow.  Easier said than done!!

One of the things that really caught my attention in this book was a discussion about Type A vs. Type B personalities, and how easy it is to learn the art of relaxation. If you're an extreme Type A personality then you probably won't be reading this blog, and certainly won't be reading Anthea's book, and as Anthea suggests, if you're a complete Type B personality then you won't feel the need to.

Most Type A 's have at least six of these traits: excessive competitiveness--must win at everything; aggressiveness; impatience (has difficulty in listening, hates standing in line); easily roused to anger; easily irritated even over small matters; constantly trying to meet self-imposed deadlines; lives life at top speed (eats, drinks, and drives fast); time urgency, driving themselves and others to achieve more and more; insecurity, lacking self-esteem; unrealistically high expectations of themselves; difficulty in giving and receiving love; fascination with numbers; lacking in imagery, speech lacks metaphors and similes; smoker; frequent swearing; desire to dominate situations; frequent sighing; inability to sit still and do nothing; criticism of others, creating guilt and sense of failure if demands cannot be met.

Most Type B people have at least six of the following traits: no sense of time urgency, ability to take the long view; enjoyment of contemplation; lacking in free-floating hostility; no wish to control others or situations; knowing what to disregard; ability to overlook other people's shortcomings; ability to give and receive love; good self-esteem; unhurried in speech, movement, and eating; a humble outlook; ability to listen, patience with others; understanding and compassion.

To be honest, it's pretty easy to see parts of both types in most people and we probably all fancy ourselves as more of a Type B personality.  But I know plenty of Type A's who would probably not seem themselves as such. I guess it doesn't matter, what matters is how we see ourselves and how open we are to learning ways to improve our disposition and therefore our happiness. 

Thanks for checking in. xx


  1. Gorgeous flower! It really stands out .. you did an excellent job.
    I was a Type A who was warned to change.. and am now mostly B with flashes of the type A "get a move on!" but funnily enough, only to myself! :lol:

  2. Wow, that's some list! I should have been a Gemini instead of a Libra, because I'm apparently a split personality--nodding along with the Type A list right down to "fascination with numbers" where it all breaks down and becomes completely foreign. Then I read Type B, and I'm saying no, no, no, right down to "unhurried in speech" and from there on is right on. Your drawing is beautiful. I always enjoy both your art and your insights, and I like the way you scan close-up bits to share--wish more people would do that, I like to see the nuts and bolts.

  3. LOVE that Zinnia! Great blog with really good reminders for a type B with occasional type A moments. Inner healing, including relaxation, takes practice. It doesn't just happen over time. Thank you, for reminding me to practice relaxation. I needed that. :)

  4. Hate to admit it, but I've got a lot of Type A characteristics. I think I will need to work on that! Beautiful art, as always! Hope all is well with you and yours.

  5. Your Red Daisy is exquisite! I have to say I was majorly type a until about a decade ago...when I started to learn to relax. My hubby is definitely type b and after 33 years, he's finally, thankfully, rubbing off on me.

  6. Great post today. I agree, relaxation needs to be practiced just like anything else. Sometimes I forget to breathe and then all of a sudden I need to take a big breath of air... it's so crazy at times. Love your journal page and that flower is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing this today.
    Hugs adn blessings

  7. A beautiful flower and a thought-provoking post. Thanks for sharing both.

  8. I so enjoy your paintings. They are lovely and uplifting :)

  9. Frequent sighing is a trait of a type A? Uh oh, I’m in big trouble! Deep breaths, take deep breaths! LOL Gorgeous flower BTW!

  10. That flower is amazing! I thought at first that it was actually 3 dimensional; it looks to be growing out from the page. and the color is beautiful.
    I used to be quite a bit more type A than I am now. Maturity, and a health change have caused me to slow down. Sometimes my mind still races though and I have a hard time to focus.
    I try to practice meditation and yoga.

  11. Gorgeous flower.

    I am definitely a type A. There is no patience in my world which made it really difficult to be a teacher but I had to teach myself to hold my tongue and wait. I am still working on that.


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