Creativity. It’s not easy being me….

2020-2022 (so far) have been some of the strangest times I’ve known. Some people have struggled and they have become the worst version of themselves. Others have embraced, adapted and flourished. My deepest sympathies go out if you have lost loved ones or even lost yourself.

I rediscovered a part of me and have been lavishing in it ever since.

Imagination is more important than knowledge” Albert Einstein.

Some of you may argue ofcourse.

Interesting read to think about. The link between creativity and mood disorders? The tortured genius. A myth, or the deal with the gifted that drives them. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/64852/scientists-tortured-artist-real-thing

Some of us are more suited academically, some are a bit of both. Some soar into genius. But are the gifted also cursed? Some have good memories for studying facts and are able to articulate a spin cycle in a washing machine, full of ‘already said’ drivel. Then get a reward of a piece of paper that says they have studied a subject well. Then do what with that knowledge? Save the bees, create more happiness, discover the cure? Go and do a job they hate? If you love your job, what do you do? What did you do to get it and get happy in it? What led you down a path of change for the better?

I’ve made peace with the fact that – whilst I do enjoy an interesting (to me) documentary and learn things. Education, learning, courses are no longer for me. I’ve only ever done them for day job career advancement. I have a very short attention span with these things and can often fall unconscious. It feels like a hamster wheel. Saying that… I’ve most likely lost out of some really good things being this way too! I now embrace learning and experiencing opportunities that enhance vibrations and visualizations.

With the creative spectrum. Some swing on an extreme pirate ship pendulum, into realms few understand. Some sit on the edge of a volcanic lava lake of madness. Some cannot cope with their gifts and ‘normality’ brings them isolation, boredom, despair. It’s also worth looking at how open your crown chakras is.

Whilst some enjoy pottering through life watching soaps and scandals. Its not for me. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to only have that as a satisfaction for recreation/pleasure/leisure and enjoy it… Then I shiver at the thought. I find long bouts in front of the TV makes be feel I’m wasting my life. So I just don’t do it.. unless poorly or exhausted having a movie night. My drive is my pressure and my self pressure is my drive. That is not a bad thing. It also helps me relax.

Creatives strive to imagine and produce their best work. Leaving legacies. Some are never satisfied, whilst surrounded by praise. Their talent often undiscovered. If not social media or marketing savvy and shy, it’s easy to be weirded out. When the internet arrived, opportunities came a knocking. It also created overkill. A tidal wave of everything. Too much.

So few shine bright enough to stand out. Self belief, stamina and perseverance is the choice between paving the road for success, sustainability and satisfaction. Or giving up. It just takes one person to like one thing you do.. or one door to open into Narnia! the world is vast.

Words, reputation, ideas and good things get shared. Put a bunch of great musicians in a room, let them jam and you get something raw, improvised and pretty darn wild. 😉 That’s me on drums BTW. – Stinking Rita.

Anatomy of a Tree – Oils on canvas Claudine West

Art covers our walls, some of it will stay, some will be sold, some is commissioned, some is gifted. I love making it. Others love viewing and collecting it. Which is fabulous.

I struggle, sometimes with bouts of melancholy. I mostly put it down to day job stresses. When I’ve worked in mundane jobs, or in my NHS Career. ‘My crack at a responsible job.’ I suffer the same troubles. Maybe I am just not meant to do that? The universe is telling me to just do the things that makes me happy. Art and music. But sensible chatty head makes me pay my way. Relying on benefits is not for me.

My mission 2022 onwards is making enough money from my creativity, taking the leap of faith to survive. As one gets older, one seeks more comforts. I am also super sensitive and in tune with vibes. If you put me around negative folk, I go on that one way rollercoaster, riding that sponge to Hell!

I have to constantly practice ‘self shielding’ and protecting myself can be draining when caught off guard, yet set routines can help prevent suffering when joy vacuums pop up unexpectedly. Put me in a field of flowers with blue skies with laughter… Put me amongst positive people. We attract the seekers of healing. Its just who we are.

Yesterday I nearly resigned, I’d seriously had enough. I am tired. Work is affecting me in very negative ways, its creating arguments at home. My moods are shit. But last night I slept, exhausted. I slept really, really well for the first time in ages! I feel full of vitality today. A supportive colleague today said that laughter at work helped. All I want to do is scream and cry. My job is far from the worst of them. I will also add that the current government should be ashamed!

I seek peace and comfort. I’ve not had a proper break for months. Many others are far worse off than myself. So I’m grateful. But it still doesn’t stop me feeling low, helpless, loyal to the NHS but living in despair. Whilst some are able to work from home. I’m a few steps away from the front line. But my pity party continues… big respect and thanks to my colleagues/ team who are working / multi tasking, going far above and beyond their job remit. Short staffed but a big family who are supporting me in dark moments.

Massive gratitude to Richard and Norma at the weekend for their hospitality. I’ve never needed a gong bath so much!

I’ve been eating so much veg, (especially avocado’s) to feel good inside and to combat my winter dark mood. Toilets and Ange my wifey are not thanking me though! That’s on top of vitamin D 365 days a year and a few other supplements. Going for weekend walks in the wilderness is healing.

I believe in enjoying my journey with creativity. I’m humble at praise. I pity the person that ‘just wants fame and huge monetary reward.’ The art and pleasure is in ‘making’ the art. Fame hunger is an empty egotistical want in my opinion. But if life was fair and just, non of us would have anything to bicker and bitch about. Imagine the concept – when there is just happiness….

My own happiness: I am confident that I create things that satisfy me. So if others like it.. Then that my friends.. is even better. In a world full of imitations and 12 music notes to choose from. Where is there to go? There is a cosmic piano that we play that takes us to multiple dimensions in our spirit and imagination. What a ride!

Whilst it is very easy for me to crawl into bed in an evening during January after a demoralizing, challenging and soul destroying day working in the NHS during the ‘Omicron’ surge. I want to break free…my solution and survival tactics? Well….

Alas there is a way that is getting me through. Like I’ve said. Whilst I’ve had many moments ready to throw the towel in through extra workload piled on, frustrations, burnout covering staff sickness, wanting to escape it. Do I hope my feelings change? Or is it the reason to leave? As the suffering upon my physical and mental health is not good. For one that likes to focus on projects uninterrupted. I chose the wrong job! I always chose the wrong day job…

For myself. I love creating stuff. Whether that be art, sculpture or music. I’m not one to recreate a photograph. I interpret. I create abstract. with music, I create melody, rhythm, calm. Both generate good feelings whether on the eyes, fingers or ears. You can very much benefit from vibrations without listening. Sound Therapy/ Gong Baths. – If I would have found them 20 years ago. I don’t think I would have done a lot of the self destructive things I’ve done to myself.

I’d never class myself as ‘normal.’ I just have a different thought process. An odd child. I tried to eat bumble bees. (I have no memory of this) Shyness has ruled, social uncomfortableness.. some days I’m ok. Some I cant bear to be around people. My mind chatters like you would not believe. But creating and not surprisingly meditation shuts it up. This works for me.

I have always been creative. A gift or learned? From crayons to paints, from keyboards to guitars, drums and many other instruments… I only know I enjoy it and find it easy to do. That doesn’t mean I haven’t practiced it and dedicated my life. I have. Things flow easy like a stream. I often think I’m a conduit. A human that channels ‘things.’ I don’t have to think too much. I simply set an intention. I’m well practiced at this, like anything, it didn’t just happen over night. Decades of commitment. Rewarded with a body of work, enjoyment and experience. The end result of ‘going with the flow’ is very lovely. Like my abstract art and improvised musical performances, this blog will be rife with grammatical errors. Perfection is not for me.

Imagination and my Tribe: I’ve always had vivid dreams. The tiniest element of ‘normal or not.’ Reality can warp into something truly freaky, occasionally very nice. What I put in – is what I get out on my sleepy time movies, experiences.

Dimensions, dreams of flying, spirit guides… Often have I connected with someone, I’ve been intrigued. I don’t mean sexually like a predator—oh nooooo!!!… but intrigued at what makes them shine.. to me anyway. Whilst walking down a crowded street, wanting to get out of there as soon as possible.. The masses look grey to me. But put me at a concert at Hyde Park in London or a festival/gigs with true music lovers and the masses look vibrant. Maybe bonding with the energies with like – minded music lovers? = My Tribe.

If I’m actively engaging with people. It means I’m interested, collaborating. If I’m not. They have either fallen of my radar and I’m not being rude… or being rude – I have no interest. That sounds really terrible… But it’s the truth. I drift…..

I’m not sure if there is a ‘Claud forever’ gang. I have drifted through short lived friendships, acquaintances, a couple of intriguing harmless obsessions/crushes. One night stands and a few relationships. (Not including my life relationship with Ange, who is my world) In my experience, some have taught me valuable lessons and then it was time to move on. I’ve never departed from my musical instruments. Whilst did put my art to bed from time to time.

What I do know is that I’m most alive when creating. “Everything has beauty. but not everyone sees it.” Confucius

With art, I don’t use words. With composition, I don’t use words. Mixing colours, tones, melodies to create beautiful things is marvelous.

View some of my art creations:

My personal ethos: Creating colourful oil paintings and music brings me the kind of satisfaction.. when you feel really, really well, healthy. When you get the double flake in a Mr Whippy ice cream. When you lay on grass on a perfect day, staring up into the big blue beautiful skies. Making out images in the clouds. The touch, or words that gives one butterflies. When you see and feel something so wonderful. It shakes your very soul.

Satisfaction…When you get to the summit of the mountain, or the top of a hill, small or large and it HURTS! Or just make it through the day alive.

With my art and music; I feel I have contributed. I have paid it forward. That I am giving pleasure to the people. Not all the people, as one cannot expect all to enjoy ones offerings. But that gives me satisfaction. It gives me purpose.  After I’ve departed. There will be a body of works left. I’m certainly not taking them into the next plane/ spirit level.

 I’ve got to say. Music life is a good life. I enjoy it immensely. Whilst in some ways I regret not pursuing it more vigorously when younger, one is never too old to vigorously pursue ones loves. I was too busy/stupid in some ways escaping the world – getting drunk and stoned, but productive song writing and recording music in home studios. Maybe I held myself back?  Or maybe all of that led to this and the now.  

Goddess 2 release 2.2.22

Then there is blissful silence. It gives me space to breathe and really focus. I do not have music blaring constantly. I like to focus, when I focus. Distractions when I’m focusing and being pestered brings out the worst in me. I’m short tempered, moody, snappy and overreact. I do this to loved ones and not to strangers. I should not do this at all. Why the rush to create so much..? Time will tell. It’s a conviction, an urge, a volcano. I cannot resist the impulse. I cannot ignore it. It wont let me. It a burning desire. An addiction that’s detox is misery and feeling worthless and frustrated. It’s not easy being me.

Creativity awakens my Kundalini

In my mind – I cannot fathom getting any pleasure (and I know many people do) out of doing a puzzles or a jigsaw that creates a picture. I would just paint a picture if I needed to pass the time. I find passing the time, I’m wasting time. Or being taught how to paint like Bob Ross. It is copying. Same as covers bands who get the claps and praise. They are a copy. Nothing kudos or new about it. Creating a ‘one off’ is so much better for keeps. Now this is not being arrogant and cocky or superior. It’s just the way I think, Its my opinion in my head. I drive my own frustrations basically…Yes I piss myself off.

When not doing the above. We travel, explore…I immensely enjoy the journey, sometimes am a little sad at the arrival destination. My relaxation is exploring the destination, its culture, its sights, food, offerings. Memory banking. The return home is never good. Even though our little house is our home, we love our pets and miss them. The city where we live is not our destiny. We are constantly drawn elsewhere. My soul drives me on an endless road looking.. searching for that perfect spot where I can rest.

When tired after a challenging day in winter. I’ll get in bed in an evening with the cats and indulge in YouTube. I am currently addicted to Mav, Cecilia Blomdahl, Eamon & Bec, Sailing La Vagabonde, Kinging -It, The exPAWers, Elsa Rhae & Barron, Jonna Jinton, Girl in the Woods, Earthfiles, The Endless Adventure, Eva Zu Beck, Bush Radical, Max & Occy, My Self Reliance, Casey Neistat, Adventures with Clange 😉 (I thank Lockdown for finding them and more) I did begin watching Secrets of the Whales on Disney channel. Had to turn it off once they showed seals being ripped apart… Yes its nature… but it upsets me.  If I watch a horror film (rarely now – going back to the dream thing!) no amount of gore bothers me. But a real living thing suffering, scared… Nope, nope, nope. Yet I still eat meat. Not a lot of it.

 Evening viewing could range from UFO’s, aliens, the cosmos, spiritual journeys, werewolf sightings, Big foot. Last night I watched on YouTube  Meet the Mennonites: Inside the Ultra-Conservative Community – ENDEVR documentary’ I took from this their contentment, but they knew only what they had experienced, mostly the simple life of education, building, religion, family set tasks and expectations  and survival without societies expectations or pressures. But in some ways missing out on games, travel to see beautiful new places, try new foods. Well it is not for them.

I also watched ‘Poverty in the World’s Richest Country: Meet the USA’s Poorest People – AMERICAN Poverty Documentary’ From YouTube Java Discover – Free Global Documentaries & Clips. It brought a lump to my throat and tears. In this age. People should not have to live in cars, in streets, in tents getting leftover display pizza for food. This doc was only a snapshot following a few people’s lives. For whatever reason people end up like that, whether it was due to circumstance changes. I counted my blessings last night. After a terrible Monday at work. Which followed on from a challenging 8 months, with more and more pressure and expectation without resource

This is where the balance and the joy come in. Creativity drives me, its compulsive; it makes me happy, satisfied. I’ve learned how to pick up a brush and pallet knife and slap paint on a canvas. I pick up an instrument and make notes, combine them, layer instruments, like paint and try to make something colourful. I create vibrations that travel forever. What a beautiful gift to give. When my bones turn to dust.. creatives continue…

My Art Claudine West Art

My Music = Earth Tree Healing

Earth Tree Healing music

  • Claudine

Coping in the darkness

Lately I’ve had times of waking in the early hours. Staring into my minds pit of darkness and despair. Anxiety in the pit of ones stomach. Worry of all kinds. Exploring the void in well-being created by a pandemic. I hate to use the word ‘wobble.’ But there you go.

In a lot of ways, I’m completely safe. I’m currently working from home. Bar one day a week working on site. Staying away from people, masks, social distancing, PPE. With some underlying health conditions. Is the rebellion worth the risk? For me personally – no. Along with that comes guilt, as I currently am not working on the front line at the hospital due to a very high risk assessment. Much respect goes to all the heroes. From carers to retail staff. To all the people cooking meals for people in need, animal rescuers and charities. To the good folk you would never even consider doing good.

Mask wearing really is unpleasant – for long periods of time and with physical work. It leaves me with a dry tickley throat, like I’ve inhaled fibres. But even if it offers me even a tiny bit of extra protection when near people from COVID juice – I’ll suck it up. I’ve not seen evidence that anxiety and non mask wearing stops virus spread. The evidence with masks is well….Space suits next? For all the science, opinion, conspiracy theories, truths, lies, long term study and digestion of the coronavirus pandemic. We are in stasis in the UK currently. Our freedoms, lifestyles are on hold. Fear is being fed causing long term addictions, self destruction and mental health issues.

Through medication and medical breakthroughs, living healthier, evolution, improved healthcare. Humans are able to extend their lives, living longer. With older bodies, immune systems. When is the tipping point reached in nature? What man made/discovered horrors do we bear witness to? Life is fragile. We were never designed to live forever. We will all die of something or multiple somethings. But when the heart finally stops beating. The cycle of life does not comfort lost loved ones. ‘No one here gets out alive.’

I’m a spiritual being. I take comfort that the body dying is not the end. But I fear suffering. Am empathic, which at times affects me a lot. In someways I’ve become far to sensitive in this world. That is my belief and my experiences. I live with a psychic Tarot Reader. Yet I do not dwell on my death date… just a fear of losing the physical presence of the ones I love.

Bar catching anything from the odd takeaway, home delivery. Our risk is minimal. But the odd sniffle, under the weather has still happened. Why I ask? All precautions thoroughly adhered to. I have not missed shops. I love our outdoors farm shop, and a good trott around a garden centre. Our days of supermarket shopping are well and truly over. There is a minority of dirty, personal space invaders, rude and vile individuals, who frequent these places. Who drag their feral crotch fruit goblins about causing mayhem.. best avoided. Home delivery, alongside small farm shops/local business/fresh food purchases is the Clange way of living now.

Paranoia and worry keeps a knocking…sets in again. What if I die? What if I can’t breathe? Worries about family and friends, Ange. The future. Financial survival. Holidays.

I’ve had some stinking and stonking nasty winter viruses in the past. Nothing as bad that bed rest and antibiotics haven’t cured.

I’m not going to focus on the destruction, gaslighting, manipulation, speculation done by the media in every format, including social media arguments. – as I just stick to watching nice animal stories or YouTube travel or foodie vlogs. I have also been enjoying some excellent middle earth, Nephilim/Alien/Bigfoot documentaries.

The wrongs and rights of actions by Governments. Well…..

All I have control over is how we weather this storm.

I miss our adventures. We are adventuring with Clange with home cooking. Ange is enjoying doing live cook offs. https://m.facebook.com/weareclange/

And a new YouTube channel Adventures With Clange https://youtube.com/channel/UCPQcD0P6MHFET1ksQ0XT2fA

My personal remedy. Exercise on the cross trainer, walking around the lakes. (Luckily across the road from us …#local) Cutting out snacking and sticking to healthier meals from Gousto- a Godsend has been online shopping and these delivered meals. With hardly any alcohol consumption. The body feels pretty ok atm.

With a stone in weight lost since my binge eating marathon during lockdown 1. I’m feeling a bit better in myself. Gradual and a permanent lifestyle change works for me.

Use of sad lamp, switching news off. Recording lots more music in home studio (which got me through 2020)

New album blog here >

Gods Album By Earth Tree Healing | Claudine West Music

Whilst dealing with other people’s negativity. I said at the start of this that people will be judged on their actions and behaviours. Some have truly let themselves down.

I certainly haven’t missed being in the company of these sorts.

Others have embraced a bad situation and been inspiring… the light in the dark.

In some ways lockdown has been blissful. I miss my family and friends. The last time I saw my parents, was at the end of their driveway on Xmas day. Just to collect presents. There have been no physical hugs with them since March 2020. Phone calls and ‘face time’ virtual catch ups are our only option. Ange misses her family in Portsmouth. We wait for better days and #Clange travels.

Our cat Tipsy died last November. A heartbreaking experience. A gradual deterioration of appetite and diagnosis of intestinal growth. They couldn’t operate, as her blood pressure dropped when our vet attempted surgery. We spent the last few weeks with her, in bits, comforting her. We got to stroke her in masks, at the vets door, on a trolley when they put her to sleep. She (her ashes) is now home, in her mango wood box. (A lovely bereavement card sent and signed from the staff- thank you) We miss her so much. She was the most loving cat with character, that would hold our hands with her paws. Lockdown 1 afforded me unknown extra time with her whilst working home. For that I’m truly grateful. Time is precious. Our pets are our babies. (Not that I ever wanted children, or see them as a replacement)

Tipsy & Rambo

I’ve spent too much time gaming playing Days Gone during the darkness and futility of January. Killing Zombie hoards has led to nightmares and rage. Ange is very supportive and tolerant (until she loses hers) of my shit fits.

With the end now in sight to my level 4 CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply) qualification. It’s time now to knuckle down with study. This in turn has made me realise that I never, ever want to study again.

I have the mind of a creative. Not the memory of an academic. Stick to what brings you happiness and not stress Claud! (Completely grateful to my workplace though) but a struggle whilst working full time in the NHS during a pandemic!

And, most importantly to me..whilst balancing my composer work. (I’ve been truly honest, whilst fully appreciative with my tutor at college- she gets it)

So next steps for me my medication is meditation and Reiki. I’ve neglected it lately.

Take care out there

⁃ Claudine