PRINT PRODUCTS now being added to jaytaylor.store!
FLEXING THOSE ADULT 'UNSCHOOLING' MUSCLES!
I am doing SO MANY THINGS "all by myself" at the moment! One of these is building this new website, and the latest learning curve involved in that process is finding out how to integrate Printful's print-on-demand service into my online store. It's quite the challenge, for sure, but as you'll be able to see if you hit the 'Print Products' link above, I am getting there!
All of this 'standing on my own two feet' is putting into practise many of the 'unschooling' principles I've been advocating for many years, but from the perspective of an Unschooling individual, rather than an unschooling facilitator-parent.
LEARNER-DIRECTED, IN-CONTEXT EDUCATION
Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to learn a new skill when it's something you're either passionate about or NEED to learn for real-life, practical purposes (in my case, in this instance, for example - getting my work out there where people can see it, and becoming financially independent). Learning IN CONTEXT is a powerful experience, and as an adult, it's one that can undo years of erroneous self-limiting beliefs.
I know I am far from the only one who struggles with learning by rote, or without any meaning or purpose in the context of my life. I include actual curiosity and genuine interest in the category or 'meaning and purpose', by the way. A good example is that although they had zero practical application for me as a child, I was always fascinated by - and therefore good at absorbing information about - things like history, poetry and biology; whereas advanced mathematics, physics and the like had me plunging into brain-freeze and the accompanying cycle of external pressure/criticism and resulting chronic self-doubt associated with 'not being good at' those things.
WHAT MOTIVATES US? WHY I CHOSE SANDY...
Here's a little tip I've picked up over the years when teaching oneself new skills which are likely to be less-than intuitive and really quite challenging. Include self-motivating elements which lift one's spirits whilst pushing through the frustrating bits. I knew ahead of time that whilst learning how to create products and add them to my new webshop I was likely to encounter some tech-related frustrations. So I have chosen to work with an image which reminds me of some of the qualities that will serve me well as I dive into the project: in this case, courage, perseverance and determination. I chose the face of my beloved Sandy the Shih Tzu, who taught me so much about these qualities, and whose dear, sweet, funny little face is also just a huge boost each and every time I see it. I literally cannot look at him without smiling! What better way to encourage myself onwards as I 'learn the ropes' of Printful? Seeing Sandy appearing on the products I want to share with the world is truly inspiring as I move forward through all that 'user-error' stuff!
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU...?
I'd love to hear about what motivates YOU when you need that push to go the extra mile. Let me know in the comments below - and give me a shout if there are particular print products you'd like to see Sandy (or any of my other work) made available on...
"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life." - Richard Bach, Illusions of a Reluctant Messiah.
This photo of me and Sandy cuddling was taken in 2012, shortly before the fungating tumour that took his life began to develop on his back. Sandy and I were true family, although we were not even members of the same SPECIES, never mind 'blood family'. We both knew it from the instant we set eyes upon each other. And we lived that familial bond every minute, from that first moment of recognition to the moment he died peacefully in the sunshine, wrapped in my loving embrace.
Our joy in each other's lives, our respect and love for each other, was one of the most real experiences either of us had ever had. The bond was unbreakable. We readily forgave each other everything and each of us accepted the other unconditionally, literally warts and all. The transformation in this little fellow from being truly loved, respected and enjoyed was astounding. We 'lit each other up' and I will carry that light in my heart until the day I die.
Although there is undoubtedly a bond of blood, never allow it to blind you to the family you are related to in heart, soul and spirit, which truly is everybody and everything. And in the moments you meet CLOSE family again - when that unmistakable chemistry and recognition hits - open your heart to that with everything that you are. it's the most powerful experience any being can have - the sharing of a common bond, unbound by space, time, species or any other illusory boundary. Be open. Share yourself. Celebrate that connection. It is as pure and beautiful as it gets here on earth.
#love #life #friendship #truth #widsom#richardbach #quote #quotes #meme#shihtzu #dogs #shih #tzu #bemoredog #family
"The woo-woo is scientific" - Bruce Lipton
Synchronicity 1: The Raven's Gift
Whilst I've been going through the mill lately, sweet Raven has had my back every step of the way. Totally unfazed by my 'emotional vomiting', 'oversharing' and occasional deep dives into the abyss, Raven has been sending me lovely things to keep my spirits up and get the message across that 'I am enough', 'Everything is OK' and so forth. One of those 'things' has been a steady little stream of #memes, #thoughts and #inspirational #art from various sources. The image you see here is one such candle in the dark - a piece of art with motivational text from The Latest Kate, whose work I was not previously familiar with...
I went to her delightful feed on Instagram and was so impressed that I decided right away to #repost one of her artworks, something I am very judicious about - as creative in your own right, after all, your Insta followers came to see your content, not somebody else's content, am I right?
As I scrolled through, watching for resonance, this piece jumped right out at me. You also can see what I wrote when reposting it on my Instagram below:
@jaytaylorart #shoutout #repost from @thelatestkate, whose work was shared with me by the light of my life @raven_grymm. Kate's Instagram feed is full of beautiful and inspiring art and wisdom, much of which speaks to those who are facing inner and outer darkness and transmuting turning on the light as best we can.
If you head on over there, I'd love to hear which of Kate's Creations speaks to you most right now. I am particularly feeling this one, for reasons that will be obvious to those of you who know me a little bit. It's not just about the image and words on Kate's artwork, though - I also love the quote she chose to accompany it: wise words indeed from Maya Angelou:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
For me, this is a reminder that when you interact with other beings, no matter what their age, culture, language or species, they will FEEL you above all else...What feelings will you be remembered by? Are you aware of the feelings you are transmitting? What feelings are you going to remember them by?
What's your interpretation? Let me know in the comments below 💖
Synchronicity 2: Spirit Animals
As I mulled the reasons for my strong sense of connection to this particular post from Kate, which were multifaceted and abundantly obvious to me, I knew I wanted to reach out and share the photo below right after it, mostly to give some context to the people who started following me after it was originally posted a couple of years ago. Doing so also gave me a platform to express some of the strong feelings and insights that were flooding through me after sitting with Kate's beautiful imagery and the emotions it evoked. Here it is, with the words that accompanied it:
Some context regarding my last post, for those of you who DON"T know me a little bit yet...Mister Bird and Sunny... Two of my best friends in the world and two of my greatest teachers. I must be part elephant, because leaving their graves - and those of Milo, Millie, Apricot, Dot and Robert - behind was a source of great pain when I had to leave our former home... But although their bones are lost to me, our love for each other most certainly is not. Although I cannot do so in my physical body, I visit them often whilst sitting in silence, reaching through space and time to sit beside their burial place or hang out with them in the sunshine. They will live in my heart and my memories until I join them in the earth...and until then, I will do my best to embody the qualities they taught me and the lessons we learned together... In a very real way, they are now my #spiritanimals, many of whom surround me with their loving guidance and companionship. Do you have a spirit animal? Can you feel your animal companions around you? I would love to hear your stories about them if you would like to share them here ❤
PS I wanted to post the raw, unedited version of this image but I cannot find it this morning. So the 'glamorous' version will have to do. No makeup but a ton of filters, haha 😗🐓😆
Synchronicity 3: Saint Cuthbert
So the same day that I posted the two images and text above, I was reminded (by Raven again!) of how helpful it is to me to sing. We'd been talking about 'scream therapy' and I said that I can't do it - each to their own, but I just can't go out there and inflict my pain upon an unsuspecting natural population. I have tried, but no. Instead, I felt that I should sing - something that brings me great joy and healing. I really felt like singing 'Amazing Grace' all of a sudden! But the acoustics in our new little house are awful... SO I thought I'd combine a walk with a visit to the local church, where the acoustics were bound to be better. Off I pottered, in I went - and as I began singing, this is what I saw. Remind you of anything?! 😁 Obviously, this went straight up on my Instagram feed as soon as I got home!
I don't know what the odds are on me happening upon this today whilst looking for somewhere with great acoustics in which to sing Amazing Grace (don't ask!), but I'm willing to bet that they are pretty darned low. I mean, seriously - following on from my last two posts?! Life is about as subtle as a sledgehammer between the eyes or a passionate kiss from a new lover's lips sometimes!
Saint Cuthbert's Church with Saint Cuthbert himself, looking perfectly beatific and handsome as can be 😊 Stained glass Protector of animals and birds, silently gazing down at me with similar compassion as I sang my little non-religious heart out, in perfect synchronicity with the flow of my life these past several hours.
Life - don't you love it?! What synchronicities have popped up in your life today? Let me know in the comments, if you'd like to share...
Thank you for reading this far, if you have! And please feel free to answer any or all of the questions I asked on the original Insta posts, or share anything else that comes to mind. With love,
Time and space are illusory.
All things are connected, inexorably,
And yet absolutely discreet.
Everything is fabulously bizarre
And yet utterly mundane -
Surreal and real simultaneously.
Madness is genius.
Hate is love.
Birth is death.
Below is above.
Everything is EVERYTHING,
As is nothing.
Nothing is everything! Yes!
We are links in a never-ending chain,
Rusting and beautiful,
Holding ourselves caught,
Yearning for release.
A living work of Kintsukori,
Broken, oh yes, but NEVER BOWED.
I sing songs of wholeness, defiant, out loud.
I reassemble this vessel once more
With the unrefined gold of authentic expression
And pure, relentless wonder.
The universe watches
And all that remains
Are the choices we make,
The actions we take
And the love that we give
Jay Taylor, 11th February 2019
#poetry #photography #life #death #birth#rebirth
Another day of stripping wallpaper...Two more job rejections... (is it possible that life is trying to tell me something?)...But in the midst of the chaos that is my existence at present, here's another #doodle for Life! In the absence of a place in which I can paint anything other than walls, stairs and floors in my new home, I am doodling every day. You can take the #art supplies and studio space away from this #artist, but never, ever the #creative urge. As long as I have a pen and paper, I can and will still be arting - I literally can't resist, especially during phone calls or listening to music, inspirational videos or audiobooks. Is anyone else out there a serial doodler? I'm sure I can't be alone in this. I'd love to see some of your 'telephone call art'...! 😘
#doodling #pen #ink #drawing #creative
As you can probably tell from the backdrop to this photo, my life is currently all a bit upside down and topsy turvy! I recently moved from my 15-acre sanctuary in the Peak District National Park to a 'normal' council house with a little garden, which is presently a total dump. I am still finding my feet (and living on plastic decorators' sheeting!), spending unanticipated time - and money! - working to get the place shipshape. Making it habitable is certainly developing and flexing my DIY muscles. Amongst many other projects needed to create an enjoyable space to live and work in, THAT RED WALLPAPER HAS TO GO!!!!!!! As yet, I've nowhere to paint paint, so instead I am doodling daily, when not building this website, networking, searching for jobs or stripping walls and floors.
As you can see, I have already made friends with the neighbours, some of whom have been so welcoming that they seem to think my home is also theirs! "Cats without Borders", I call them! This is sweet little Miss Molly, who is endlessly fascinated by the boxes and the climbing surfaces they provide. She also likes to sprinkle newly painted areas with cat hair, tread my bedding, and meow outside my window at 3a.m. in a quite persuasive effort to induct me into her informal 'cat sharing' scheme. The last couple of mornings, she's actually figured out how to force her way in through the slightly-open window - she has developed a special knack for busting it further open with her head! So clever! Timid, flighty, super-standoffish Rufus she ain't, haha!
Stream of consciousness ramblings, artings, happenings and brain droppings