Transforming Stuff

Transforming Stuff

Kirsten Harris

I can transform stuff with a thought!


Oh, what a wonderful sentence!
The one I so wanted to be true when I was a ittle girl. I’d watch Bewitched and twiddle my nose and nothing would happen. I’d climb into the wardrobe and go absolutely no-where. No Narnia in the back of my bedroom cupboard. Worse luck!


How I yearned to be able to transform stuff.

Perhaps we all do?
Perhaps that’s the reason Harry Potter is so popular!?

We want to transform stuff with a thought – to be magicians!


And we can!
I learned how to transform stuff when I started having Alexander lessons age 24. The light bulb switched on in my befuddled brain in that first lesson in Edinburgh with Astrid Cox. The heavenly choirs sang, cartoon birds flew around my head. It was amazing! It was magical transformation, and I was in charge of it. My life changed for ever in that first lesson. I was being shown the way to finding my inner power, to being the magician I so longed to be!


So, I can transform stuff!
I pick up my paintbrush and make a mark on paper or canvas. It is transformed. Creatively or destructively… that’s up to me, but the transformation is…


I send a thought through my neck, my shoulder, my armpit down my long arm and out of my fingers – my arm releases, lengthens. Transformed by my magical thinking…


The transformed thinking transforms my painting. Win Win, Think Think. Body Magic! (click) 


I have choice, masses and masses or transforming choices, moment by moment, day by day..


But I am human! So what do I do?
I get stuck on the things I have no control over!
Batter my head against walls I cannot climb…
Try to push heavy rocks up hills…..


I can’t change you!
I can’t make you think or act differently…
I can’t make you speak to me…
I can’t make you see my point of view….

I can’t bring you back from the dead….


But I can change me…
Can I think differently?
Can I speak to me?
Can I see your point of view?
Can I bring me back from the dead?


This year has been hard, cancer – death in the family.
I have carried on making art, but my art has become smaller, tighter, controlled, safe.


It is time again for me to transform my stuff.
Stand up and face myself in the studio.
Let go and transform the death stuff into the stuff of life…
Not worry about what is going to happen next. Trust!
Come back to creation…
Squeeze vibrant oil colour onto my glass palette and be present to the materials that speak to me…
Let the colour tell me what to do…
Feel my way forward with oil on brush again…(my wand)
Show up and let my transformation happen…
Allow myself not to know what the painting is going to look like, where it is going to take me…
Let my life appear on canvas…


Only my fear has kept me away form my beloved oil paints.
Death got in the way.


Painting calls on us to show up, really show up and be open to the transformation that we will discover when we let go of fear, release ourselves from old stuff, bad stuff to let ourselves transform.
Making any art is an act of transformation.
It requires a certain boldness and a certain devil may care attitude to stand in our own presence, to allow vulnerability. To let our stuffiness out…
We become magicians for a short while.
We become extra-ordinary.
And people recognise it, instinctively, intuitively…
They offer you money for your work!

A thought becomes the sea… thought upon thought building up to become moving waves of energy…the energy becomes a horse… becomes breath.. a diaphragm…space…



I am processing my life as I paint, meditating in colour, feeling my way forward, listening to shades of blue, white light…


It is work and it is play. It is serious and it is fun! Thought after thought. Alexander Technique’s conscious control….
Art has presence
Spirit contained on canvas
Life transformed into colour
Thought speaking through visual image…


And yes, sometimes we get stuck.
We can’t face ourselves in this way because life has got horrible and scary.
Life has become too much…We might go wrong. Paint something ghastly…

I can’t be bothered! Can I hide in the cupboard?
Transformation? No thanks!…. I want to be safe.

Quite OK stuck in my habit, thanks awfully!


Standing in a cold studio on a bleak day in Scotland meeting my true self or watching crap TV on a squashy warm sofa? Hmmmmm….


Can I transform stuff?



At the end of this blog is a link to a free 8 day course ‘Any Body Can Paint.’
Exploring ideas around creativity and Alexander Technique….

Share Button