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