Tag Archives: choice

What Happened after I Committed to Art?


I hope this year will be filled with unexpected blessings, illuminating insights and lots of beautiful ordinary moments for you. <3

In the midst of the kid’s holidays I wanted to come tell you about the amazing developments that have taken place, after making room for Empty Space and then makingĀ  the decision to commit to art.

Traditionally the three weeks around Christmas and New Year have for me been times of intense introspection, pierced with birth family drama and old patterns jumping up. Often I have felt helpless before my own life, before what I have created in my reality. While it has lead me to further delve into my inner landscape and into what it is that I would like to create in my life, it has been intense.

This year, it’s been vivid. But in a completely different way.

Choosing to throw caution and doubt in the wind, has opened up inner doors to art, rapid fire. I found James Elkins’ book, What Painting Is. He is an art historian multipotentialite, who understands art making on a visceral level. When he talks about painting being “life’s blood: a substance so utterly entrancing, infuriating, and ravishingly beautiful that it makes it worthwhile to go back into the studio every morning, year after year, for an entire lifetime.” he is describing the room that my soul dwells in.

Every day. Since I made the Decision to just make art. Has been so filled with life, crystal clear moments, enjoyment that words feel trite as I try to describe it. When I prod, jab, scratch, gouge and slash the canvas with my brush, my blood cells sing, my muscles flow with endorphins and I feel like I am at the center of my universe, doing exactly what I was made for.

Now, there is a new ingredient here. See, one thing that kept me from pursuing art, for real, was that I suspected I wasn’t very good. For a long time I thought it was just my perfectionism, but now I realise it was the wish to do better, to have the skill to express what is growing out of me. What I appreciate most is that now I’m open to learning that. The mixing of grays, a balanced palette, a liveliness of brushstrokes, a moving feeling body painting its unseen onto the canvas. A new gear is on and the books, people and ideas I need are flowing into my life. It is as if a dam has broken. As if art was waiting outside of the door, just waiting to bust in.

I’m happy. The ecstasy that so used to freak out my parents is back, the passion that makes me feel like an embodied song of Pavarotti inside is here again. And it has a place to go. My studio is just the right fit for all of this that can be so difficult to cram into everyday life; the bliss, the excruciating sensitivity to stimuli, the intensity that can ignite fire, the ocean of feeling.

This is short, but I wanted to tell you.

In the case that someone who has an impossible, irrational, crazy dream is reading this. What’s good about dreams is that they are really tenacious and when you dare to choose them, just that choice changes everything.


Boredom and Creativity

Boredom Is a Choice,  29.7 x 21.0 cm watercolor, by Marie D. Tiger.
Boredom Is a Choice, 29.7 x 21.0 cm watercolor, by Marie D. Tiger.

I’veĀ  been thinking a lot about boredom now in Summerland, being at home with the kids, aged five and seven (or almost six and almost eight, to be more correct.)

Every weekday morning, it’s the same question:

– MOM, can we watch TV?!?!?!?

Every weekday morning, it’s the same answer.

– Nope.


– Grumble grumble grumble. I’m sooooo bored. There’s nooooothing to do. Mooooooommmmm. Moooooommmm.

By the way, the Engineer is so much more ruthless and so much better at standing this whining. But I’m doing my empath homework and getting better at it. Because, fast-forward about forty-five minutes and the living room is filled with laughter, instructions, crashing, running feet.

They’re playing!

The sweetest music in the world. Born from the fertile soil of technology deprivation, boredom and the choice to create something new.

In what way is boredom serving you today?

You can buy different sizes of prints and cards of this watercolor.

A Tale of Self-Pity and Compassion

I woke up at four a.m.

Fifth morning in a row.

My little daughter had a fever.


This meant no day care for her, no working for me and a dilemma of how to get firstborn to and from school.

My husband sent me the following picture from his trip to Cape Verde, where he is, alone.

Cape Verde, detail, by Engineer.
Cape Verde, detail, by Engineer.

My to do list is two pages, written with font 10.

Do I manage to convey the enormity of my pity party this morning, at all?

The icky, slimy bug of self-pity started hissing in my ear. Thought by thought, my energy faded away. Powerlessness started seeping into my muscles. My ability to receive any nourishment from interactions with my kids or with my friends and family started receding, until I could feel the slippery frosting of self-pity, coating me from head to toe.

Now, rationally I know self-pity is an attempt to defend myself against overwhelm, expectations and demands. On an emotional level, it’s another story.

The thing is, while self-pity may feel like relief, or like self-love – it’s anything but. It shifts the locus of power on the outside of ourselves, puts us in the back seat of our lives.

Of course, the row of set backs continued. My friends couldn’t help with getting firstborn to school, the taxi driver was rude, there was less money on my account than I remembered, my website crashed… It wasn’t until I had sent my website provider an e-mail to ask for help, and they responded they couldn’t and I just had to google the answer, that I remembered Veronica Torres’ tool: “How ridiculous does it have to get?”.


What else would have to happen, until I took responsibility for my own thoughts and feelings.

Ah, well. I asked myself what would take me closer to self-compassion and loving myself in the moment. After a shower, a glass of water and a loving discussion with my daughter, I came back to the computer and easily updated the theme of my website. Now she’s sleeping and I’m feeling happy for the frolicking Engineer again.

I drew this picture to remind myself that there is a better way than self-pity. What would take you one step closer to self-love and self-compassion today?

Self-pity is not your friend, by Marie D. Tiger 2014.
Self-pity is not your friend, by Marie D. Tiger 2014.





Creativity Rant

You form your life, thoughtbook 2013, by MDT.
You form your life, thoughtbook 2013, by MDT.

I was talking to someone earlier this year and that discussion awoke strong feelings. The discussion was about whether brokenness or inner shit can keep us from being creative. Here is a rant I subsequently wrote in the middle of the night:
Creativity is the power to make things happen in a way that is both unique and useful.

There are people who think we should learn all the rules before we can be creative and think outside the box. I always thought that was such bullshit. We already have an inbuilt system to create, by being unique in our core. Why not instead just listen to yourself as well as you’re able to do right now, follow your impulses and create from where you are with what you have now? Start somewhere! Start now.

The amount of inner shit
that I was harboring, when we started going out with the Engineer on the sky blue Bandit motorcycle he had bought, was definitely epic. But here we are, ridiculously traditional, married with children. The shitload of fear I harbored when I filled in the business form to officially start my business, Crealife, somewhere in 2005 was big enough to fill the Baltic Sea.

The shit. Does. Not. Matter. It’s our willingness to face it, talk to it, shine our light into it, that matters. It’s the courage to say, I’m here, I will create this today. Tomorrow it will be better. That matters.

I don’t buy the thought that there is a whole lot of inner or outer crap between ourselves and creativity. I don’t believe that we need to be completely and utterly healed before we can create. It takes one insight and one insight only – realizing you are creative. That is where it all starts. Creating is difficult for everyone, except when it isn’t. Everyone feels fear, fights resistance, encounters bubbles of feelings that aren’t comfy, faces the unknown.

It takes saying: I’m creative. And after that you can, I can, we can, they can create from whatever is true right now. It won’t be perfect. But what growing thing is ever perfect?

The present is our point of power. That is where creativity happens. [that’s also where healing happens, by the way] It’s where everything happens.

I don’t believe our past, diagnosis, or any kind of inner shit, any kind of outer authority can keep us separated from our ability to create. It’s not possible. But we are free to believe that they can. We are free to believe there is not a creative cell in our bodies, we are free to limit ourselves in any way we choose to.

Or, we can accept the situation we are in right now and create from there. Creating builds momentum & movement and opens new doors.

Each choice we make, each choice we do not make, creates our lives. Every word we say, every breath we take brings something to the world that wasn’t there before. We can’t not create. If you’re here on the planet, you are creating.

The power is yours. How are you going to use it?

Safe Space

My safe space, in the thought book, by MDT.
My safe space, in the thought book, by MDT.


I watched the last episodes of Flashpoint, season 5 yesterday, while I was filling in this drawing. The name of it came to me while I was in my Sunday morning writing & heavy metal mini-retreat. I had drawn this a year ago, while leading a creativity liberation workshop. Now I realized what it was that I had drawn.

A while ago, I attended a workshop where we talked about self-love. At the beginning, the leaders discussed appropriate ways to share painful emotions and how to stay in our own center. They said that we can all choose to be in a safe space, simply by choosing to be there. Although I felt doubt, I chose to be in my safe space. And I was.

After the workshop, this has been one of my favorite things to keep aware of. To choose to be in my safe space and cultivate the safety inside.

When you choose your safe space, what kind of colors, sounds and feelings [or something completely different] does it contain?

Pick Yourself, Again, Again and Again


Pick yourself, thought book 2013, by MDT.
Pick yourself, thought book 2013, by MDT.


I’m probably not the only one at this stage of the year, who is juggling around a million different tasks and hearing the growl of inner gremlins. So I painted this to remind us all that we need to pick ourselves. No matter if what we do is big or small, every step counts. Don’t wait for the Gatekeeper to find you. Pick yourself.

Fallen Angel

The bravest person I know is
the one who kept the doors to imagination
Letting me play with real oats and scratchy hay
for the play horses.
In the living room.
Driving dad crazy.

She stood up
defended the right to imagine, play, create
time and time again.
Read the stories that kept
the inner forests from petrifying
into rational mind memories.
Ignited our sense of language.

She came with me and sis, in wordlessness,
to the Elven Ball, wrote notes of love
that welcomed me home
in the night.
Baked cookies at six am,
so we could all wake up to the scent of them.

Now lost, pain ridden, confused for sure
she goes through violence, booze and homelessness
in her quest for freedom.
She chooses and stands behind those choices
revels in the experiences;
of her world, quite outside any kind
of support from official line consciousness.

I cry in the Heart of Helsinki
after our Christmas phone call.
Because still you are opening new doors for me. Mother.
Acceptance of your right to choose
what you want.
No matter what I think.
I don’t know what’s best for you.
I just. Love. You.
And that is plenty.


No More Hiding


This is my reality! I affirm my right to be here and joyous
exuberant creation.
This is MINE!
No cowering behind old beliefs, musty old fears
I’ve seen you through and through
I. Know. Where. You Live.
There is no hiding here.
You know that.

There is no hiding in this universe of ours.

We can kick and scream, pout and throw dishes.
But we are known, down to every nose hair and
bit of navel fluff.
There are no secrets, there are no divisions
though we love playing hide and seek.

We have to pick ourselves. Choose.
To move between
acceptance and change,
paralysis and movement,
frustration and flow.

Over and over.
Truth. Is not absolute, nor is it relative.
It is built, changed, developed, expanded,
felt into, danced through, resonated with
Until it rings through everyday life like a Clarion Call.

The Music of Your Voice

From the ‘H’ in her Hello,
and the lilt in how she says her new surname,
I hear the booze.
I knew it was a mistake
to call and yet did.
I feel all the crap of the
past bob to the surface.

After that it gets worse.
Every word, each nuance of her voice
is a hook, an axe, an
designed to wound and maim.

I grew up in a musical system
of torture.
My voice is an instrument.
I know every which way it can wound.
I can build up an
elaborate system of vocal abuse,
without ever raising my voice.

Then there is the other side,
with all the shades in between.
A voice that can be used for torture
can be used as an conduit of love
and express it in a million of ways.

I got a gift from my mother
I know pain.
I know love.
I know which one I choose.

Dream Matrix

Plans once made, often loved,
do not mean obligation or duty.
Dreams, dreamed well,
do not tie us to a promise of a future.
So many other selves,
spreading around ahead of me,
behind me.

I trust them to tackle dreams I have dreamed and
left behind
and many more, I do not even remember.
A dream unrealized,
does not mean failure.
Dreams have their own order
and dreaming in itself makes us more than we were.