From Blocked Artist To Creative Bad Ass
I sat on the floor cross-legged with my 23 year-old gypsy mom.
She was introducing me to a Ouija board for the first time and after the proper and polite preface of “Hello Ouija, Would you like to play?” we were off cruising hand in hand across a wooden board filled with numbers, letters, and symbols.
With my little hands resting gently on the heart shaped piece, my mom explained;
“If you want to know it’s real Taiha, ask a question in your Mind and it will give you the answer.”
Of course the most pressing question I had as a 5 year old was if Santa was real or not.
And so I asked, using the voice inside my head. “Is Santa Real?”
The Board made no hesitation on it’s journey toward the word “No” and after arriving my Mom of course replied, “So what’d you ask?”
I told her of course, and the response on her face, told me that she had an immediate decision to make that would in effect shift the course of my life.
She exhaled and said;
“Yes hunny. That’s true.”
My spiritual journey had officially begun.
I’ve always been a Creative.
And since I loved sewing and making clothes growing up, going to college for fashion design made the most sense. I enrolled at Blanche Macdonald, took out a $17000 student loan and moved to the only place I could afford. A sketchy basement in Strathcona. Keep in mind this was 10 years ago, before it was trendy.
This was not a cute heritage private suit with garden view, but more like a basement storage cellar with concrete floors and bars on the windows. My mom had helped me find the place, and assured me it was cool, like the basement of that 70’s show.
My morning routine was walking down Hastings in the colorful mosaic that is East Van among addiction and prostitution where I’d catch the bus to Blanche and then learn about selling myself as a product and how to design clothing patterns for mass production.
My life was in Juxtaposition. And the 2 opposing views that some how enhanced one another to greater depth made me incredibly depressed.
I started relieving my loneliness with fashion magazines, but quickly learned that subliminal advertising was targeting my mental landscape.
This pissed me off.
See I was quite versed in dream interpretation by then and knew how the subconscious mind worked with symbols, archetypes, and image imprints.
These subliminal messages were like encrypted code in between the glossy pages of Prada and Gucci that I some how knew how to read.
Great. I was paying a small fortune to learn that I was being programmed by the same industry I was investing in.
I cried constantly, every single night in that ‘That 70’s show basement apartment’ that I was so desperately trying to convince myself that it was…But everyday that passed it felt more like a cold concrete elevator I was trapped in stuck battling out my own inner chaos.
My question now was, “Am I real?”
It took me a decade to learn that this is what’s called an existential crisis.
I wondered if this was ‘The Brave New World’ Huxley was talking about and if Depression was just a symptom of the New World Order…
I started questioning everything and quickly became fascinated by the connection between my mood and the environment I was in.
Feeling stuck in a toxic relationship with someone I knew didn’t love me. Taking on debt to do something I quickly realized was not my dream at all. And living in that sketchy Strathcona basement cellar.
In short, I was drowning in a cesspool of Bad Vibes.
And then there was the fire.
This was a year later at which point I was living in a quaint little garden suite basement in a better part of town that I absolutely loved. It was March and I was working the lunch shift at a Gastown pub about to serve a plate full of nachos when my phone rang.
“Hello” I answered when an older women’s voice said rather calmly, “Taiha, your house is on fire.”
I grabbed my green Zara cargo coat and ran to the historic cobble stone street where I waved anxiously for a cab. 10 minutes later I arrived to a flooded street of neighbors, firemen and spectators all staring at the busted out widow of my front room and blackened remains that was my home.
Spiritual Journey meet Minimalism.
Though I’d lost almost everything, I’d never been happier.
I moved into a freshly remodeled suit in Mount Pleasant. I had a small minimal wardrobe from my favorite store. A mattress on the floor. And a brand new white drafting table from Ikea. That’s it.
Life was simple all of a sudden with less stuff.
They say that “When the Student is Ready, The Teacher will appear.”
A month after the fire my teacher appeared on the floor of a used Commercial Drive bookstore.
The title read, “The Artists Way.” Creativity As A Spiritual Practice.
See I’d been experiencing the “Post Art School Phenomenon” like many creative graduates do.
And the author of this book claimed to have the cure with a writing practice called morning pages. Walking home along Broadway I read Julia Cameron’s confident introduction like it was biblical text about to change my life.
The next morning I woke up eager to write my 3 pages. With freshly brewed coffee and the new Black Keys album playing on the ghetto blaster behind me.
I wrote on the top right side of the page, April 28th 2008.
No form. Just flow. 3 pages morning after morning that even I did not have permission to read afterwards. Instead I stuck the loose-leaf pages in a large manila envelope and hid them under my bed.
It didn’t matter what they said. It was a practice of releasing all the morning crap from my mind so that I could get on with my day un plagued by the burden of reoccurring thoughts.
I was a born again creative baptized by the written word. And it was in this daily ritual that I was granted permission to both release my past and explore the vision I had for my future.
3 months in, and I had already coached myself out of that toxic relationship so something was working. See, the thing about these pages was that I could only keep writing the same bullshit story morning after morning until I got sick of it and actually made a change.
The other thing about these pages was that synchronicity seemed to seep into everything I did. Meaningful coincidences kept showing up and the more I followed them the better I felt.
The new ritual had me thirsty for a switch in scenery, so when I was fired from The End Café I got the message. It was time to move on.
I felt called to Toronto and left Vancouver on a 3-day greyhound ride with a suitcase full of notebooks, my dream dictionary and a new pack of Tarot cards I’d commit to studying.
I was a writer now. And completely open to the experiences that life had waiting for me.
The practice deepened, day by day tapping into this energetic force that seemed to be guiding my journey. I started referring to it as ‘The Universe.’ And learned that I could, through my writing, ask for things that I wanted.
I would ask in the morning before heading off to work, “Universe I really need a dresser to put my clothes in.” Of course moving cross-country with only a suitcase I had no furniture.
Sure enough, later that day sitting in perfect alignment with my walk home, would be a cute vintage dresser with a sign that said FREE.
The frequency of these events accelerated, and it was clear that I had discovered this esoteric formula for conversing with the elusive Universe. But as the connection grew, the term ‘Universe’ felt distant and impersonal.
I started experimenting with the word God and quickly found how uncomfortable this made people.
Friends would ask me in a low whisper as to not let anyone hear, “You believe in God?”
My answer was simple. I didn’t need to believe in God. I experienced God every day though my writing.
Besides it made perfect sense to me, That we were obviously created here on this earth by some profound spark of creative energy. And as a product of our creator we should in effect possess that quality too.
Creatives often talk about being in The Flow.
This is a state of feeling lost and found simultaneously in a certain mode of self expression where space and time evaporate. Creativity runs through the body on a mad dash toward some externalized form of our inner vision we can’t yet articulate.
Sounds a lot like Faith doesn’t it?
After 8 years of practicing morning pages this is what I know to be true:
A committed spiritual practice is the energetic bridge to consistent creativity.
Creativity does not come from US at all, but rather we are a channel for the Great Creator to manifest through us.
This should come as a relief as it lessens the pressure BUT requires us to get out of our own way. And to receive the clearest signal, it is imperative that we remove the static by clearing out the clutter from our lives.
Whether this be the toxic relationships we find ourselves in, the mountain of clothes in our closet we never wear, or the shitty job we want to quit.
Bob Marley said “Free YOURSELF From Mental Slavery.”
Translation — Freedom is a state of mind. And in a day in age where spiritual alignment and holy creativity are under attack by every mode of mass media entertainment attempting to distract us, we need to be careful about what we let enter our inner landscape.
I am Taiha Perron and I help Creative Millennials break up with bad vibes for good using simple spiritual practices that calm inner chaos and release energetic clutter;
Because I believe, that there is a Greatness within each of us and that it is our spiritual obligation to bring our unique vision to life. Not for ourselves, but for the rest of the world who need to witness them, now more then ever.