Hi! My name is Denise Blackburn and I’m an Artist, and Teacher of Presence. I run frequent abstract painting workshops and have a degree in fine art (painting) . I also have qualifications in Polarity Therapy (energy balancing using the 5-element system), Emotional Freedom Technique (eft) and Infinity Healing. For years, I thought that the whole purpose of life was to go on a path towards spiritual awakening, culminating in this awakening happening after a number of years of work on myself. I looked on it as a kind of ‘ladder of perfection’!!! After searching for a long time, doing various workshops to transform myself and become ‘clear’, I gave up the search. After giving up this search, I discovered nonduality. All of a sudden, I knew this was the truth. The ‘teachers’ were relaxed and extremely down to earth and spoke from the heart and were not even attached to what they taught!!!! They didn’t mind whether you believed them or not because they point to the truth which everyone on the earth already is and therefore can discover for themselves. Also, because I have experience as a body therapist, I could feel the truth of what was said through the body.
As the truth permeated through me, I realised that everyone on the earth knows this truth of who we are, but because it’s so ‘close’ and familiar, it’s overlooked by most people. I laughed out loud when I discovered this, because most of us constantly struggle to find happiness but this happiness and peace is who we are! It was under my nose all the time, through all experiences in life.
My work now is to help you become aware that you are perfection incarnate. You don’t need anything added to you or taken away from you in any way. The simple realisation of this helps the body-mind to relax and be ‘in the now’. It’s not even a case of ‘accepting yourself. Accepting is a ‘doing’ and there’s no ‘doing’ involved. Just a simple noticing that you are this. The mind tries to protect us by constantly commenting on our lives. This doesn’t need to happen. This simple seeing lets the mind come to rest and relax ‘here’.
When I run Art workshops, people want to escape the judgement of the mind and to just have creative freedom.
‘The Fragrance of Freedom’ :
‘Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence. If you want to create you have to get rid of all conditionings; otherwise your creativity will be nothing but copying, it will be just a carbon copy. You can be creative only if you are an individual, you cannot create as a part of the mob psychology. The mob psychology is uncreative; it lives a dragging life, it knows no dance, no song, no joy; it is mechanical.’ – OSHO.
The above statement by Osho is great but when he says ”you have to get rid of all conditionings” I would say that instead of getting rid of them, it’s more effective to just bypass them and be like a child and have fun!
In my workshops, I encourage people to ‘unhook’ from the mind and drop into the heart. This help us become more ‘earthed’ and relaxed as we don’t keep asking questions of an already overworked mind.
THESE ARE MY TOP TIPS TO OPENING UP TO MORE OF YOUR CREATIVE EXPRESSION:
- ENGAGE ALL OF YOUR SENSES: smell: create different smells in your environment, eg use a diffuser with essential oils – you can use relaxing oils for times you want to contemplate and open to your next ideas, or stimulating, in order to get-up-and go with excitement! Interesting and comforting or stimulating cooking smells (eg baking or coffee or curry) can also do this. Taste: Make interesting combinations of tastes which inspire you and make yourself something you’ve never tasted before. Hearing: play music or make music and follow the sound. Sight and touch: Fill your home with beautiful colours, interesting things that inspire you and lots of different tactile fabics. Scout charity shops for inexpensive things which are interesting to look at and place them around the house.
.MAKE A PERMANENT ARTS AND CRAFTS TABLE: It doesn’t matter how small a space you have, if you have a permanent set of creative materials around, you are more likely to use them but only if they are also placed in an area where you will notice them! Maybe have a small table or tray in your living room, with paper, paints, pencils, pens. It’s a bit like being a kid again and having a little art table! Ideally, the ‘table’ needs to be somewhere you spend time every day and if you keep some of your creations around it, the practice of noticing them as you walk past will inspire you to do more.
- Stay ‘grounded’!!! Mother earth is infinitely creative . Walk barefoot in the grass (weather permitting), spend time in nature eg – walking in your local park or sitting on a bench eating your sandwiches, instead of staying in the office over lunch. In summer months, eat outside and study what’s around you and take it in. Absorb it through your senses. Touch a tree, feel the bark, smell it.
- Don’t restrict yourself to one type of pursuit in the form of creativity. Cooking, weaving, felting, sewing, painting, drawing, dancing, music are all mediums by which we create something. Anything artistic is alchemical – ie,’ the transformation of the individual at the same time as the formation of an object’. This ‘object’ can even be a dance or piece of music. Whilst looking for inspiration try to surprise yourself by, maybe, once a week try using a medium or practicing a pursuit that you’ve never tried before.
- Be aware of the cycles of nature as they are also connected to the cycles within ourselves. There are times to ‘go within’ and times to be more outwardly and extrovert. Allow both. This awareness and connection to everything will help to expand your creativity and also help you to stay grounded in the present.
I hold various types of workshop
….and all the workshops and individual sessions focus on residing in the heartspace (ie, the present moment) Most of these are held on a Sunday afternoon in Dorking – either 2 or 3 hour workshops. For dates, please visit my blog – overleaf.
ABSTRACT PAINTING SESSIONS
“I AM IN THE HEART OF THE WORLD, AND THE WORLD IS IN MY HEART” – Denise
WHAT DOES A TRANSORMATIVE ART SESSSION INVOLVE? I have discovered through my healing work, meditation and self awareness that if we paint whilst keeping away from a narrative, (and that means that by default we bypass the mind), creativity can flow freely and you become part of what Osho calls ‘The greatest rebellion in existence’!!!!! Therefore, we concentrate on abstract painting, where there is no narrative and so the mind relaxes. I will, at the same time, hold a space (this means that I am completely present) for you.
MONTHLY ART WORKSHOPS:
As well as the 1-1 Art sessions, I also hold regular monthly workshops with 4 or 5 people, – 1 on Friday, 11 am-2pm and one on the Sunday, 12-4pm. Dates overleaf on my blog.
In these workshops, we unhook from the mind and drop into the body. I get people to do lots of quick paintings and make a mess in the first hour. We then do either a collage, or a large painting, taking ideas from what we’ve done earlier. We use cheap paper and paint and recycled materials, in order to divert from becoming attached to a ‘precious’ outcome. These workshops are for people who want to do some experimentation in the company of like-minded and supportive people.
“GRACE RESIDES IN THE SPACE OF ‘NOT KNOWING’…..ALLOW YOUR MIND TO SINK INTO YOUR HEART AND OPEN TO WHAT LIES IN YOUR HEART’S GREATER KNOWING”. – SUSANNE MARIE.
‘we can rise in a world which needs us now – embodied and in full.’ – Nicola Amadora.
POLARITY THERAPY and INFINITY HEALING
I offer POLARITY THERAPY and INFINITY HEALING 1-1 sessions. The Polarity therapy sessions are between 45 minutes and 1 hour and I charge £45 for the first session and £40 thereafter.
WHAT IS POLARITY THERAPY?
Polarity Therapy is a body-based alternative therapy based on the ‘Ayurvedic medicine’ idea of the body, mind and spirit being a balance of all five ‘elements’, ie, Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. At the beginning of the session I will ask you a number of questions to ascertain which element needs working on in you and I will do a sequence of lightly touching different points on the body to balance and align these elements for you. This therapy also includes cranial-sacral therapy and chakra balancing and nervous system treatments. An example of what can happen after a session is that sometimes a person can become clear about making a decision in life, or just feel more relaxed in their body, or get better sleep and calming of the mind.
Infinity healing sessions are between 15 minutes and half hour and I charge £20. I have a free sample on you tube entitled ‘Infinity healing golden heart attunement’: This is below: