Tag Archives: trust the process

Trusting the Process in Summerland

At the studio.
Hello emptiness. At the studio.

For about eight years, every work day in my life, every moment on my own, has been framed by the needs of my children and family.

This summer the boundaries of this framework are wider than every before. While the beaches are filling up with roasting people, our parallel insight stages of our creative processes have  given rise to a new rhythm. One day with the kids, one day at the studio, one day with the whole family. Rinse and repeat.

And I am so grateful for the unyielding restrictions that have surrounded me until now. All this space is pretty terrifying. The need to fill it up with distractions is palpable.

Until I remember,

I don’t need to do anything.

It’s okay to walk from tea cup to tea kettle.

Pour tea.

Sit down.


Listen to silence. Wiggle my toes. Eat a pistachio nut.

Feel my skin.


Surrender to art. Marker drawing 29x cm. By Marie D. Tiger.
Surrender to art. Marker drawing 29,7 x 21,0 cm. By Marie D. Tiger.

The impulse that leads me to the next step in the body of work before me always comes. The emptiness is like cold water that I dive into, head first and the initial shock jars me to my bones. No matter.

Trust the process.

What helps you trust the process today?

Edited to add John Cleese’s brilliant speech about creativity, here. Giggles.

The drawing Surrender to Art can be bought as prints and as cards and posters.


Red Thread, Superlon and Making It, Piece by Piece


… but you can definitely become more and more immersed in the now moment.

Starting with a big vision, then working toward it in small steps, impulse by impulse

For some reason, filling in the contours of this giraffe today, I was reminded by my final presentation in art school. My “thesis” [hah!] was a big sculpture of a tiger. It was made of pieces of superlon, torn from mattresses we got to play with as children, or use for pyjama parties when we were a bit older. The pieces were sown together with red thread and I worked on the sculpture all year.


Although I had a vision, the artwork itself grew, piece by piece.

Having your work seen by collegues and mentors

At the presentation, one of the teachers looked me straight in the eye, one artist to another and said:

“Ah well, I can’t imagine anyone but an artist getting up in the morning and saying – Today I think I’m going to make a giant tiger out of superlon. Welcome to the art world, colleague.”

Which part of your vision can you work on today, piece by piece?


What If It’s Not Emptiness, But Openness?

Never getting out, in the thought book by Marie D. Tiger.
Never getting out, in the thought book by Marie D. Tiger.


Is there ever a scarier phase of the creative process, when everything starts feeling empty?The self-trust required to continue with what you have chosen may feel like complete folly.

I’ve been working with groups of clients lately where the yearning for creative expression, whatever the desired manifestation, runs strong. The voice inside, that which wants to express, come out,  is strong and real. But it is still in the early stages of its development and would need much nurturing to grow strong enough to lean on. Fear of the Unknown – what happens then if the creative dream is taken care of, grown strong – is humongous.

[Re-]Connect with your creativity cards.
[Re-]Connect with your creativity cards.
Emptiness, the sense that nothing inspires, allures, feels like anything anymore is often the first sign of a yearning grown strong enough to force change. Actually, it is not emptiness at all. The vacuous feeling is openness.

It is the space required for a budding leaf to burst open. It is the deep breath before the thrust of a baby landing in the hands of the midwife. It is the sky that allows the sun to shine, birds to fly and moon to appear.

Something  inside of you is opening so wide, that its boundaries are blurred and there is nothing left to define or hang on to.

What do you need, to allow staying open in this moment?


The World is a Generous Place

Trust and verify, by Marie D. Tiger, in the 2013 thought book.
Trust and verify, by Marie D. Tiger, in the 2013 thought book.


Man oh man, this learning by doing! This morning, starting out my walk, I heard myself say to my friend on the phone: “When my vacation starts, I’ll enjoy it.” A few minutes later, the flowing blood in my veins and the singing endorphins in my ears were starting to work their magic. I started thinking about how I still, at first, start most projects with doubt. It is a learned behavior. The survival instinct inside of me says that doubting is realistic.

Doubting is not realistic. It creates hesitation, tentativeness and insecurity. You move forward, you move back, swirl around, question yourself. What is realistic, is trusting the world to be the generous place it is. And then verifying your ideas through wordly means. In business, this is done by figures. In music, it is learning the notes. In painting, you check your supplies and techniques and so on.

The generosity in our world is real.

Trees share their beauty, no cost. Your skin takes in a million of sensations each minute and its capacity for pleasure and enjoyment is endless. Your nose brings you scents and smells. Your outer eyes take in color, form, light, and what not. Your inner eyes are stimulated by your imagination. Your ears hear bird song, crickets, a beloved voice, music!  The air you breathe is free. You can taste everything from cheese to raspberries. The only thing that can limit your experience is your receptivness to all the beauty that surrounds you right now.

Stop delaying the receiving.

Instead of thinking: I will enjoy my vacation once I’m in that sunny warm place, enjoy the pale Finnish sun seeping through misty branches [check!]. Instead of awaiting your one true love, let love flow through you to yourself, your friends, your pets, your neighbors and the bus driver, taking you to work. Open up the channels through which you give and receive and set no conditions on life, or the circumstances in which you can receive what you need.

Start now. With what you have, who you are, where you are.

P.S. Next week, I celebrate NO WORDS week. So there will be no words on the blog, just drawings. 🙂

Learning About Happy Money from a Rosebush


Made in 2011, Marie D. Tiger.
Made in 2011, Marie D. Tiger.


Yesterday I delivered the first piece of art work from my art show to a client, always a joyous event. It went to a good home. Today I’m taking down the exhibition. What a world of feeling that has been involved in these four weeks; appreciation, joy, gratitude, disappointment, anger, emptiness, depression, finality, confusion, unknown, having no words, surprise, exhaustion, opening, exuberance, bliss – just to name a few.

If I were to just look at figures, I would be seriously stuck in discouragement right now. But as I look at this Happy Money Tree that I drew some years ago, I realize that happy money is what our family is living on right now. The income goes directly into paying bills, paying for cucumbers, bread, Oltermanni cheese, cashwew nuts and rent. There isn’t a lot of surplus and profit is definitely something I’m working on, still. But each painting I sell, each workshop I lead, each coaching client I talk to, is a blessing. This is the work.

I’ve been taking many long walks and running a lot, in order to let these intensified feelings move and not get jammed up inside. The other day I was spending time, just watching a rosebush.

It had leaves that had curled up around themselves, so a sliver of the underside of the leaf was visible on both sides. Those small areas were the gentlest lavender, enhanced by the green in between. The stem was a bright pink and the lower leaves of the bush a shining luminous orangeypink.

Does the rosebush cry when a leaf falls? Does it mourn when a rose becomes a rose hip? Did this rosebush compare itself to the yellow one on the other side of the path? Do any of them worry about the winter? Does the rosebush worry about where nourishment is going to come from, about whether the sun is going to shine tomorrow?

I’m learning from the rose bush, about being in the present, letting art be born where I and the world meet, trusting the process in all respects.

How can you strengthen your trust in the process of life today?