Why I’m finding feminine psychology fascinating

I first became interested in feminine psychology while on retreat with The Champernowne Trust, I was flicking through a book called Outside In, Inside Out on Feminist Psychology while in the basement art studio and stumbled on a word that opened up my curiosity and would start a series of art works. The word was autonomous:

‘To be Autonomous, to have a sense of self, to feel nurtured, to feel less insatiable, does not mean one does not have needs; what it does mean is that the basis of the needs has shifted, and that opens up the possibility that they can actually be met’.

Little did I know it then but I was undergoing my own Feminist Therapy, focusing on empowerment and breaking the stereotypes and moulds of tradition that can block personal development and growth.

As I learn more I’m finding it really fascinating, from a female perspective, a lot of lessons and experiences come from other females and western societies pattern of thinking. When you make small, significant shifts to your patterns in thinking, a whole world opens up!

Through what I read, I unraveled, cut out book excerpts and painted around them, totally to 4 pieces of wisdom about/for women.

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To experience feeling love and being loveable – this separates old thinking as a need to be in love. Instead to feel the love from others, around, within.

I am worthy of good things and worthy of living my own life, stating that I already am enough, to look within for approval, not from others.

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It healed some old wounds in feeling controlled as ‘above all it is about being loved by another woman and helped by her to grow and become separate’.

Though I am independent, I have had many times in life where I have felt carried by another, or waited for them to carry me. The ‘grow and become separate’ came a lot later and is a key point I will continue to work on and my future children too.

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To set true boundaries and have the confidence to apply them and work towards an understanding with others.

If you attempt to do all the changing inside your head it becomes a very internal experience. Transforming an experience comes from using all our senses and we can control it in reality.

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When we experience being listened to, we become less needy, less anxious and less critical.

When we build on a women’s sense of self, she can be herself – all of herself, wherever she is. This is especially important as I’ve done and witnessed women become less of themselves, alter themselves and not live in their fullness. Being out whole self and living that is of utmost importance. Why should we change for others? Let’s show up as our whole selves.

‘She no longer becomes the person she feels others want her to be. She no longer compulsively adapts her personality to fit the needs of others in order to feel accepted. She reflects instead her own sense of being alright and secure within herself and meets situations and relationships with this new substantive feeling.’

When a women’s dependancy needs change, that is the game changer. Through life experience whether it be from parents, school, friends, children, we may find ourselves with a dependance, a need for someone or something. Or we may feel others dependancy needs transferred onto us.

When you detach your needs and say ‘I do not need ____ in the same way’ you discover your sense of self doesn’t come through them or it, you have a self already.

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Self portrait 2 My spiritual name

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About Self Portrait 2 My Spiritual Name:

From the beginning stages I had felt this to become a self portrait and bit by bit I developed into something I liked. This is one of those times I can say – painting 10 minutes a day really paid off.

My first self portrait that I did in 2012, was expressive and showed what I felt and had in that year it may not of been any ‘good’ but it was my expression of my life. This too is expressive but in another way, I didn’t want to focus on what I have, possessions, dreams and ideas.

I chose colour, lightness and to signify a new chapter by including my spiritual name – Ajeet (overcomer of obstacles) Amrita (opening of the heart to golden grace) Kaur (princess/lioness).

The hair is made up of a combination of acrylic and tempera paint, I don’t have any dark brown acrylic so I used what I had. Applied vigorously has made cracks appear. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I wanted a way to show the grey hairs I have and this accidentally fits that!

I am very out of practise in blending facial tones, even for folk art, so that is something I will continue to learn and develop.

Self Portrait 1on canvas 2012

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About Self Portrait 1 on canvas (2012)

This portrait was produced in 2012 and describes my feelings from 2012-2015, my worries and visions fit into my stomach area, looking back now this is an area all about emotions hence the phrase ’emotional eating’.

The outfit in the painting was the actual I was wearing, the paint marks show that painting really felt like my identity and way through all the woes of life back then.

The sun and the tree just appeared painting one day, the seed is the most important part as the seed symbolised ideas, hope and birthing my creative self.

The expression on my face in the painting is one of strength but also fragility.

In 2016 I followed up with Self Portrait 2.