Posted in Abstract, creativity, Drawing, Drawings, Uncategorized, YouTube Channel

A little art video

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Black Ink on Acid Free Paper – Intricate Line Drawing in Circle – Artist: Selina Shapland, Completed: 6th April 2019

I’m in the middle of learning how to set up my camera and record myself doing art so I can create more skillshare courses. I’d like to create one on drawing intricate line drawings. So, today, I set up the camera and played around with recording. Then I put the videos on iMovie and created the little arty video below.

I hope you enjoy it. As always, I am learning and growing as I share more of my creative evolution with you.

I’ll be having a few days off work around Easter, so I hope to put together a skillshare course on art and one on writing too. We’ll see. It takes a lot to develop a course, but I have ideas I’d like to share with my students, so I will keep giving it a go.

I am so grateful for all of the students I have skillshare. The fact that they watch and (hopefully) learn something from my creative experiences is truly touching.

Until next time, happy creating whatever your medium of choice!

Posted in Gratitude, Minimalism, Uncategorized

In The Moment With Life

When life is busy and I have so much travel to do to get to and from work each day, it can feel utterly overwhelming. My job is busy and I also write and read and my mind swirls with anxiety too. I want to do so much and achieve what is important to me, but sometimes … it is all too much.

That’s when change needs to take place. That overwhelm is a signpost on the path of my life and I am stopping long enough to heed it.

I took action as soon as I realised I was beginning to burn out.

I changed the route I take as I walk across Brisbane City to get to my place of employment. Instead of weaving in and out of a river of people on George Street and feeling stressed, hurried and overwhelmed, I now walk straight down another, quieter street to the Botanic Gardens and take a few moments with nature.

Nature has a way of bringing me peace, healing and wisdom.

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As I have walked along the path with lush overhanging trees, I realised just how important it is to give myself the mental, emotional and physical space to be in the moment. The simple act of walking and placing one foot down in front of the other on the pavement allows me to ground and to take stock of what is truly important in my life.

I’m thinking things through. I’m changing. I’m course correcting in my life and considering the consequences of actions and outcomes.

Who do I want to be?

What do I want to do?

How do I want to bring value into the world?

How do I live my life in accordance with my highest values?

These questions have deep answers and I know I need to keep asking them. Even with my creative writing and my artwork, I know I want to go deeper and give more and create in a way that is fulfilling to me and to anyone who receives what I have to offer.

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Each morning that I walk through the Botanic Gardens, I take a moment to look at the Brisbane River and appreciate the flow of the water. I contemplate it. The flow, the speed, the tranquility.

No matter what obstructions are in the path of the river, it flows with ease, even in choppy times. This seemed like an appropriate metaphor for me to contemplate. Maybe the message of the river to me is that no matter what may be happening around me, no matter what obstacles are in my way, I can be like the water and surrender to the flow.

I’ve noticed that nature has a way of being, of quietly doing, of growing and of changing and flowing with the elements. The river flows, trees are flexible and give when the storms batter them. The earth stays steady (most of the time) under my feet and sometimes the earth shudders to wake us all up to our place in this world.

Nature teaches me that my need to grasp, control and bend life to my will doesn’t work.

On my reflections about life and nature, as I place one foot on the ground and then take another, I begin the process of surrendering to the moment which is where peace sits.

It is in those in-between spaces of noise and hurry and want and grasping that peace sits patiently waiting. Peace calls lightly on the breeze. In those moments, the in-between spaces, where life truly comes into its own, that is where peace is found.

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I am not sure if my musings make sense to anyone else. But I do know that as I walk and contemplate and breathe, I give my brain and my nervous system time to unwind. I also allow myself the space to consider what is truly important to me.

In the last couple of weeks I have given myself the gift of a moment in time. I have taken deep breaths, released stress and I have looked up and I have appreciated the blue sky, the cool air as it rushes against my cheeks and the lush green leaves that sway and wave in the invisible wind.

I have taken time to consider all the stuff in my life and especially the stuff in my mind. This simple action has made me more mindful of the moment and the precious moments of life that I have. I am suddenly grateful for all that I have and all that I experience. And I take the mental action I need to take to de-clutter.

When I say, de-clutter, I don’t just mean getting rid of things. De-cluttering applies to letting go of outdated mindsets, thought forms, ways of approaching the world. I’m going through a re-orientation in my life and it’s very interesting to experience.

It is also scary.

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Posted in Minimalism, Uncategorized

Seeking a simple life – Minimalism

manuel-meurisse-464510-unsplashOn my way to work this week, I hit the highway at 5.30am. The world around me was ink-black and cars on the highway flashed bright lights like stars in my side mirrors. I was merging into the traffic and it was hard to tell how far away the cars and trucks zooming down the road were from me.

I’m cautious, but I have to get to 80km/hr to merge effectively. So that’s what I did and that’s when this semi-trailer suddenly appeared next to me and it was so close and I was running out of merging lane.

It scared me.

I realised I wasn’t going to be able out sprint this big semi-trailer in my little four cylinder Barina. I slammed on the breaks, ‘hitting the skids’ as the cliche goes and narrowly avoided flying off the side of the road and into a ditch.

I don’t blame the driver of the semi-trailer in any way for the scare I had. I just realised how dangerous it is (at times) for me to be merging into fast moving traffic when it’s ink-black and the car lights are an unknown distance away.

Anyway, the reason I tell you this little story is that it gave me pause.

A pause.

A moment to reflect.

A moment to think about what if this, that or the other happened to me as a result of this encounter.

Am I fulfilled in life?

Am I happy?

Am I contributing enough?

This event was a catalyst, and I realised I want more in my life.

My thinking on this encounter lead me further contemplating, which lead to action which lead to YouTube where I came across minimalism. I watched a few videos and felt something deep inside shift. A door opened a crack and I peeked through and caught a glimpse of what my life could be like if I were to let go of things that were holding me tethered.

What if I let go of my out-dated beliefs? Who would I be then?

What if I paid off my debt and truly embraced financial freedom? How good would I feel about my day and what other choices would I have to follow my dreams to fruition?

What if I finally released my attachment to poverty thinking? How much more abundance would I notice on a daily basis?

What if I stopped filling all of my emotional voids with stuff and started to consume consciously? What would happen to my life when I did these things?

This contemplation lead me to realise that I am seeking a simple lifestyle. I want less busy-ness of my mind, less anxiety, less stress.

I realised I want a life where I have room for my values. I want to live in accordance with what my values are and be guided by them to make wise choices in my daily actions.

I realised I wanted to pull over on the super highway of Selina’s life and take stock of where my life was really at.

So I stopped.

I started looking around.

I started a re-set.

I started digging for my values and searching for what I think is meaningful.

So here I am, metaphorically sitting on the side of the Selina Super Highway, taking a breather and contemplating.

It’s wonderful and terribly uncomfortable at the same time. I say this because from the moment I felt the shift toward simplifying my life and lifestyle, I have had to ask deeper questions of myself. Questions that do not necessarily have easy or quick answers.

The truth is I have no answers. But I do have actions.

My first action and outward manifestation of the internal shift toward creating a simpler lifestyle for myself as been to take on a minimalism challenge for the month of May.

From the 1st to 31st May, I have committed to letting go of one thing from my life every single day. I’m on day 6 and I have let go of much more than one thing per day. I have culled stuff from any number of rooms in my house and from my desk at work and from my emails.

I have culled old emails that dated back to 2010, right up to 2016. A palpable weight lifted from my neck and shoulders on the day I hit delete on all those ‘just in case’ emails. I let go of something I didn’t even know was stressing me out.

I have also thrown out and donated things that no longer give me joy, are no longer purposeful in my life or do not add value to my life. Things like the clothes I’ve been hanging on to ‘just in case’ I lose enough weight to fit back into them.

What was I hanging on to these old clothes for?

Well, I’ve put on weight – one of the side effects of sitting down and writing more often (for me) has meant weight gain. Not a huge amount but enough that I expanded out of my clothes and felt uncomfortable in my own skin.

This lead to drawing a line in my life and treading a healthier lifestyle as I have made healthier daily choices and incorporated more exercise. But, I’m going to be honest here ( that’s a value for me – I like being honest) I don’t love being a slave to the gym any more. For years, I was a slave to the voice inside my head that flogged me to go to the gym and exercise until my head was ringing. It told me that if I didn’t go to the gym and exercise, I’d get fatter and be ugly.

Yes, I’m vain. I didn’t want to be over weight or ugly as my inner voice told me. I didn’t want to look in the mirror and see all the cellulite on my legs and back side. I didn’t care what the experts said about it being normal. I was chasing a dream of extreme fitness and I hated myself for the way I approached it.

I like exercise but I hate being a slave to it, and that’s the honest truth right there.

Despite putting on weight, I have hung on to clothes that I loved to wear when I was two sizes smaller than I currently am. And since the day I woke up and realised I’d gained wider hips and a fat roll around my middle that made it harder for me to breathe, I have dreamed about getting back into those smaller clothes.

Please don’t judge me harshly for my honesty here. I would never judge another person for their body shape but inside my mind, I had a cruel mistress who was never ever satisfied with how lean or fit I got.

Anyway, back then I went through a cycle of self-hatred, flog myself at the gym, eat lean, then binge, then get angry with myself, fall into depression, then whip shite out of myself for failing once again.

That cycle of self-loathing is a cost that I no longer want to pay. And keeping old clothes that I no longer fit into has been torturous.

It’s time to assess the true cost of the stuff in my life and I have started donating all the clothes I’d been berating myself over no longer fitting into. Letting them go has felt so freeing.

And I’m excited by the new, simpler lifestyle and style I am embracing.

I’ll let you know how this whole process of simplifying my life goes.  I don’t think I’ll ever be a minimalist but I do enjoy applying the principles of minimalism to my stuff and to what I choose to consume in my life.

It’s nice to value people, relationships, my animal companions and all the things that bring me joy.

I’m finding joy in this phase of evaluating my life.

Posted in Uncategorized

Reading Healing Tarot Cards

Today is the third day of the Brisbane Mind Body Spirit Festival and I’ve been giving mini readings with my new set of healing tarot cards. You can see them in the image above. They are extremely symbolic and filled with archetypes that get to the heart of the things that hold people back in life.

It has been fantastic because so many people have received accurate messages and gone away with a richer understanding of what is happening for them in life than they had before. I rarely understand the context of what comes through but really, the messages are not for me, they are for the person who wanted the reading in the first place.

The tarot is a tool to guide and provide further information when people are seeking but I also encourage people to listen to their own intuition and connect with their own guidance to see the lessons in life that are coming their way.

I guess that’s why I like this set of healing cards so much. They help get to the core of the unseen issues people may have been denying in themselves.

I am certainly stepping out of my comfort zone. One by doing public readings and two by charging for them. I’m also stepping out of my comfort zone by writing about it here on my blog. But I am who I am and I am living as much of an authentic life as I can. It’s no good advising others to do such things if I do not do this myself.

I’ve had a long standing love for Spirituality, psychic stuff, the paranormal and Spirit. I don’t often talk about it and it can be challenging for me to put myself out there but I am listening to my own guidance and I am trusting in Spirit to help me along the way.

Not only am I doing small tarot card readings for people, but I am also writing paranormal fiction stories that channel my love of all things paranormal into the lives of characters and let them explore the conflicts of the human condition.

Understanding archetypes, symbology and the universal conflicts/lessons on the human experience help both with tarot reading, art, creative writing and (for me) living a fulfilled and authentic life.

So a big thank you to every single person who took a chance on me at the Brisbane Mind Body Spirit Festival and got a tarot reading. You rock and special thanks to the two ladies to encouraged me to stop practicing and step into my power, surrender to Spirit and charge for my time while giving my readings.

I cannot truly express the depths of my appreciation to you and to Spirit for what I have received.

Posted in Uncategorized

Brisbane Mind Body Spirit Festival 2018

My best friend, Edward Spellman, wrote a spiritual memoir about his life (and spiritual) experiences called Uriel’s Gift. It’s a book about his spiritual experiences in life after a near death experience. That’s only the beginning and the book has many levels to it. I’ll admit, it’s not for everyone and can be challenging to some people but to others it is also a beautiful expression of a relationship with the Divine.

Regardless of the book’s content, it’s tough getting indie published books out into the world and into the hands of the people would most like reading them. It’s also a learning curve for every author. And we are learning, growing and adjusting course as we go.

So as part of being a bestie to Edward, I’m here at the Brisbane Mind Body Spirit Festival as his wing-person. We’re in day two of the three day festival and there are so many different things for people to see and participate in. It’s a very positive atmosphere.

There are so many people flowing past the desk. It’s amazing to see. Some people are interested and enthusiastic to read Uriel’s Gift and some not too keen. Who knows, maybe they are looking for something else at the festival, maybe they aren’t keen on reading, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is connecting with people and sharing and making them aware of a new reading option on the market.

I hope that each person finds what they are looking for, whether that’s a meditation, an intuitive reading or some good food for the body and soul.

Here’s a couple of photos of our time so far.

Above: Here I am with Edward on the first day of the Mind Body Spirit Festival at Brisbane.

Above: Here’s an image of Edward at the stall with copies of his book.

Above: Here’s a photo of Edward having a chat with a visitor.

We’re having a good time. It’s so busy. I’ve had to stop writing this blog several times to chat to people about Edward’s book.

I’ve also jumped out of my comfort zone and done a few free tarot readings for people. The deal’s been … they have to give me honest feedback on what rang true for them so I can gauge my ability to read symbology. It’s been quite an interesting experience.

At one point, I had a crowd of people around, all of them listening in (which was great) but also … a little distracting for me. I lost the tread of what I’d been saying but that in itself was a good lesson. I rarely ever give a tarot reading to anyone outside of my close personal friends. So this has been a day of growth and stepping out of my comfort zone on so many levels.

Whether you believe in something greater than the self doesn’t matter. I think what really matters is that people are curious about things seen and unseen in life and having the ability to be open while also questioning what rings true for them is most important.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Strangeness of Writing

I’m going through a strange…ness lately.

At the start of December 2017, I was exhausted. So tired that I couldn’t think straight and I didn’t want to write my stories for a while. So I put down my iPad and my Scrivener and my latest story, The Living Death of Toddy James, and started reading.

I read the rest of The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes and loved it.

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Then I started reading Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. It’s so beautifully written and the narration is so delicious that I find myself fascinated with the way Alice Hoffman has used the omniscient narrator to capture the Owens women’s lives on the page. The story isn’t at all like the movie with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. There are similarities and resonances between them but the two versions are stand alone stories, related and similar in genetics but not close enough to be family. They’re more like distant cousins.

So when I finally said farewell to 2017 and welcomed in 2018 (by sleeping through it – yes, I’m that much of an old nanna already) I decided it was time to get back into my creative writing. I finally started to feel that tingle in my mind and in my fingers, telling me it’s time to write again. But I didn’t want to push it, so I made myself have one more day of rest. It was new year’s day after all.

Then on Tuesday 2nd January 2018 I got on the train to go to work again. I pulled out my iPad and rewrote a part of the climax of Toddy James. It felt good to get going again and I wrote most of the way into the city.

But then this morning, I fell back into that abyss of strangeness where I couldn’t write. I sat on the train, flipped open my iPad and keyboard and … nothing. I couldn’t get a single word moving. Alarm bells rang inside my mind and all the anxieties rushed in to fill the void.

Sometimes that scares me. I’m scared because my mind races around and wonders if I’ll ever get through the labour of giving birth to this book? Will I ever deliver this book? Not that anyone is actually waiting on it, so I shouldn’t be all tied up in knots about getting it done, except to say that I committed to finishing the manuscript and I want to do what I said I would do.

My mind races a little more: Will I ever get my writing up to publication standard? Will I ever finish a story that people will enjoy reading? Why am I persisting?

So many anxious thought racing through my mind, they paralyze my fingers on the keyboard.

In the end I listened to an audiobook and chilled out. At times like these, that’s all I can do. My psychologist has taught me that these moments move through us like clouds through the sky. Clouds move with the atmosphere and are not stagnant and neither are emotions. Fears pass. Happiness passes. Difficulties pass. Everything passes because nothing is permanent.

This moment of strangeness will pass and I will move through it and I will keep writing because as my partner says, “Selina, you can’t not write. It’s in your blood.”

It’s just when the moments of nothing-ness happens fear rises up and stalks me like a beast in the darkest of nights. It breaths heavy on me, pants on the back of my neck and raises the fine hairs. All of my senses tell me that my shadow is stalking me.

I know my shadow self is watching and waiting. Lurking.

Sometimes I am afraid to face that shadow but deep down, I know that my shadow is my greatest teacher. She is the unseen and many treasures await in the depth of darkness. She challenges me to go after what I want and to stand up to my fears and move through them, move past them.

I will make it through the moments of darkness and I will step into the light where everything will work out and the words will flow again. Sometimes it’s about taking a leap of faith and taking a mini-break and accepting where I am in life.

In a strange way, I love my shadow self because she is so rich with opportunities to learn about who I am and where I am going in life.

I hope 2018 is a good year for you. I’ve got big plans this year. Plans for my writing and I am sticking with it because I love stories and I’ll keep coming back to the page. I’ll keep showing up and we’ll see where things take me. No pressure, just persistence.

Happy reading, happy writing, happy creating.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Relaxation is … a cattery, animal companions and a new chair


About a month ago I moved house and when I got set up in my new place it was finally time to put together my cat’s cattery.  I’d bought it a while ago but had no where to put it as I knew I’d be moving, so it sat in big boxes in the shed waiting for the right time to be put up.

So as soon as we got settled in our new home my partner spent about a week staining the wood and then he and my best friend put the cattery together.

The cattery is a two by three metre cage with a door, cat shelves and two swing bridges. Miss Poppy isn’t too keen on the swing bridges but she’s okay with them staying as long as she’s not expected to walk across them.

Really, this cattery is like having a another room on the house. It even looks like a mini house.
I love it.
I’m sitting in it right now as I write this blog, Miss Poppy on the tiles chilling out, and Rocket and Jack relaxing in the yard.

And now Miss Poppy has an outdoor playpen where she is safe and the wildlife are safe too.

I think relaxation is … having this precious quiet time with my animal companions. I am feeling such blissful relaxation sitting here with them. Birds are chirping and the sky is blue. The temperature is warm but not viscious hot and I have a fan going in the shade too.

To add to my level of comfort, I’ve finally got myself a great chair.

It’s big. It’s comfy. It’s green!

And I love it too.

I freely admit that when I bought the cattery it was for Poppy but I also imagined myself sitting in it, reading and writing, spending time with all my animal companions and relaxing.

And now, I’m living the dream.

Relaxation is … wonderful.

I hope wherever you are that you too are enjoying some moments of peaceful relaxation too.