Banner Image

Psychemagination

An Imaginative Exploration of the Psyche

ArtMeditation

Calm Amidst the Maelstrom: Video Art for Meditation

Video art for meditation.

We live in tumultuous times, and it’s easy to be swept into despair by the tragedy we see unfolding in our world. But we all have a calm centre within, a place of sanctuary where we can be still despite the swirling waves of emotion that rush through and around us. Our centre of awareness watches and allows what is to remain as it is, without our interference, for only then can we be aware of our own awareness and break through the barrier of the conceptual mind to find true wisdom from which we can act with surety, and with love and compassion in alignment with the nature of the universe.

As you watch this video art for meditation, rest your mind on the still figure amid the turmoil, and allow that image to awaken the stillness within you. Simply be, as you are, and allow whatever arises to simply swirl harmlessly around you. The movement, after all, is merely your thoughts and emotions, and if you leave them alone, they will pass in their own time, leaving you in your still centre of awareness. May it be so for you as it is for me. Music by Kris Newland https://krisnewland.bandcamp.com/

More video art for meditation here

"If A is success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut." - Albert Einstein

The Full Video Art Story is Ready to View Now

The full video art story of Psychemagination: Journey into the Psyche is finished and ready for you to view. You can now watch the whole narrated story from beginning to end with art video visuals and stunning original music, and I hope you will watch it because you just might find that it inspires you to take a transformative journey into your own psyche. Is that a scary thought? Maybe, but it’s a very rewarding journey, as you’ll see if you watch my story from beginning to end.

Psychemagination: Journey into the Psyche is an illustrated hero’s journey kind of video art story and a psychological and spiritual memoir written by me (Tahlia Newland) set to original music by Kris Newland. A combination of art, video, music, and transpersonal psychology in mythic story style, it tells the story of a late-diagnosed autistic woman’s dive into her psyche to reflect on her life through the lens of neurodivergence. The cast of characters include many archetypal characters, including Persephone, Queen of the Underworld from Greek mythology.

It’s a different kind of movie, one designed to be watched on your phone or tablet in 5-30 minute chapter sections.

The first three chapters are on the Psychemagination.net homepage for free, and for my Patrons, and others who have purchased the key to the whole book, (for less than the price of a cup of coffee) the full story is on The Journey into the Psyche Page. There you can watch the chapter videos one after each other from beginning to end. So do take a look, and when you’re done, even if you only watch the first two videos, please do leave a review on the Review page. https://psychemagination.net/reviews/

The stats and thankyou to my patrons

If when I’d started this video art project, someone said that I would create 10 chapters of psychological and spiritual memoir presented in three and a half hours of video, and 291 pieces of original music, I may have said, “You’re joking!” But that’s how much work Kris and I have done in just over 10 months. Work supported by my patrons.

I am eternally grateful to my patrons for their support, and I hope they’ll continue their patronage as I take these skills into new and exciting areas of creativity. If you’d like to join this beautiful group of people by becoming a patron, click here. You’ll get access to special content, a close relationship with the development of new stories, and there are a few other perks I can give you in return for your ongoing patronage.

If that’s not your thing, no worries, you can support this website and the stories I’ll be bringing to you, by buying a key to Journey into the Psyche. And I’ll be grateful to you for support and interest. It’s a simple Paypal donation you can make with your credit card.

The journey into video art isn’t over

It’s been quite a journey, but it isn’t over. Journey into the Psyche is really just the beginning of the potential of Psychemagination. I want to keep working with the intersection of transpersonal psychology, mythic story and video art, and I’m presently leaning towards working more with archetypes. There’s a bunch of possibilities around that idea floating around in the background of my mind that will eventually form into something more specific, but one thing is sure, I hope that whatever I do, it will somehow help people gain more awareness, because that’s what our world needs most right now – greater awareness.

So what’s next?

Presently angels are making a strong showing in my artwork – I’ve made a 6 min video called Angelic Visions, and you can immerse yourself in its beauty on YouTube – and I’ll follow that train of inspiration for a while to see where they take me. I love my Angel in a War Zone series.

I also really like the futuristic imagery I created for the planet Argentum, and I’m thinking that will be the setting for my next video art story, possibly called The Shimmering Veil of Argentum.

Initially, I’ll be entering a time of gathering information, reading books to inform the interests mentioned above, playing with ideas, and allowing myself to be guided by the characters I’m creating – in an active imagination dialoguing fashion. I’ll be writing blog posts on what I discover, and I’ll be sharing some of the short videos from the Thinking, Feeling, Masking and Being pages on social media to encourage people to visit the Psychemagination site while I work on whatever form the next phase of Psychemagination ends up taking.

And I hope that through viewing my story, people will gain the inspiration to take their own journey of self-discovery. That’s the motivation that drives this whole sharing business for me.

Why the later chapters of ‘Psychemagination: Journey into the Psyche’ will always require a payment to view

Though the first two chapters are free, the later chapters will always be only for those interested enough to pay the small amount I’m asking. This is because those chapters share very personal psychological and spiritual experiences. To offer them without some exchange would be to diminish their importance. Yes, I need the money to help pay for the software and to run the website, but it’s also about reciprocity, relationship and respect.

And that perhaps gives you some idea of just how much those who are my patrons on Patreon mean to me. I am so very grateful, and I will do my best to be worthy of their support.

And when you’re done watching the completed book, don’t forget to leave a review on the site’s review page.

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are Angels Real? And Does it Matter?

Are angels real? Does it matter when they’re helpful for your mental health regardless?

After my musings on the topic, I share an art video full of animated angels to inspire and delight you (don’t miss it), followed by the psychological view of how imagination plays a crucial role in mental health, impacting various aspects of our well-being. And finally, in light of the information on the role imagination plays in mental health, I look again at the question Are angels real?

So … are angels real?
The answer depends entirely on what you mean by ‘real’.
Clearly, they don’t walk among us as flesh and blood, but they are real in our imagination as clearly depicted in our art and stories. The imagination is a powerful tool, not only for the creative arts but also for mental health and spiritual inspiration.

Some believe angels are literally messengers from a very real God. Others see them as personal spiritual guides. For others they represent their higher consciousness and visualising them provides a method for communicating with that wisdom aspect of self. Others think they are mere fantasies with no ability to bring anything to the human psyche, but filling our mind with joyful imaginings, though we know they aren’t real, still have the ability to raise joy within us.

In folk law and various spiritual traditions Angels play the role of divine warriors fighting against evil forces, or they may be guides or guardians associated with love, healing, transformation and spiritual awakening.

You do not have to believe that angels are real in order to gain a positive effect from their presence in your imagination. If you need a guide, imagine a guiding angel to guide you. If you need a warrior to help you fight your inner demons or give you strength to handle adverse situations in your life, imagine a personal champion with all the attributes you wish them to have and set them loose in your imagination to fight your battles and emerge victorious. If you need love and solace, imagine an angel of love and compassion wrapping their wings around you and rocking you to sleep. As children know, imaginary friends can offer very real comfort and bring us inner strength when we need it most.

The video below, entitled simply ‘Angels’, aims to fill your mind with some inspiring imagery and music. It lasts just over 6 minutes with music by Kris Newland, and I hope it will inspire you to dream of your own angels. If you have nightmares, for instance, you could call up an angel in your imagination to help you chase them away.

Imagination plays a crucial role in mental health

Imagination’s role in mental health may not appear to have much relationship to the question of Are angels real? but the information that follows shows why that question doesn’t really matter. What matters, as in what I say in the video, is that we can use angels – and any other imagined spirit, friend, god, goddess or anything else in the same way, as a tool to assist us with our mental health.

  1. Emotional Intelligence and Resilience:
    • Imagination is not merely a whimsical escape; it serves as the cornerstone of mental health development. For instance, in children, imaginative play fosters emotional intelligence. Through pretend scenarios, kids learn to recognize and express emotions, understand others’ feelings, and develop empathy1.
    • Moreover, imaginative play encourages resilience. Children face challenges and conflicts in their imaginary worlds, allowing them to practice coping strategies and adaptability. This resilience carries over to real-life situations, helping them navigate adversity more effectively.
    • There is no reason to believe that what is true for children in this respect isn’t also true for adults.
  2. Problem-Solving and Creativity:
    • Imagination fuels problem-solving skills. When we imagine alternative scenarios or solutions, we engage our cognitive abilities. Creative thinking often emerges from this process, leading to innovative problem-solving approaches. So if we imagine an angel (or any other imagined entity) as a problem-solving helper, isn’t it logical that we will be more likely to come up with creative solutions to our problems?
    • In therapy, mental health professionals use guided therapeutic imagery to address various concerns. For example, patients dealing with grief, depression, stress, anxiety, substance use issues, relationship problems, family dynamics, and PTSD can benefit from harnessing their imagination2. Guided imagery helps individuals explore their emotions, visualize positive outcomes, and manage difficult feelings. In this kind of instance, the therapist doesn’t need to suggest that whatever is in the client’s imagination is ‘real’, because the point of the exercise is the therapeutic benefit of the imaginings, not the reality of them. So one might use angels in such a situation if it appealed to the client, but the question of ‘are angels real?’ would be irrelevant.
  3. Daydreaming and Intelligence:

Imagination contributes significantly to mental health by enhancing emotional intelligence, promoting resilience, aiding problem-solving, and facilitating creative expression. Mental health professionals recognize its power and utilize guided imagery techniques to support patients on their healing journey4.3142

A prayer of Angels

I send these angels to wake up those who commit atrocities: torture, murder, terrorist attacks, crimes against humanity. The blinding light of the power of their compassion and purity of soul, unfettered by delusion, is too bright for the perpetrators of such crimes. It brings them to their knees, and they cower before the angels in fear.

But these angels will not take life with their swords of wisdom. They battle ignorance, greed, jealousy, hatred, and prejudice until those who cause suffering understand the gravity of their crimes, are consumed by regret, change their ways, and make restitution for their crimes. May it be so.

So … Are angels real?

Given the second point in number3 above, it’s undoubtably safer to believe that angels don’t have any reality apart from one’s imagination, so we’ll always take responsibility for whatever we imagine the angels might say to us. I don’t want to encourage people with a tendency towards delusion (and don’t we all have that capacity?) to believe that some external entity is telling them to go shoot up a shopping centre. On the other hand, don’t let questions of their reality stop you from calling an angel into your imagination.

What do you think? Are angels real?’

Tell me in the comments.

"He that never changes his opinions, never corrects his mistakes, and will never be wiser on the morrow than he is today." - Tryon Edwards

Navigating Social Interactions for Adults with ADHD and Autism: Practical Tips


Navigating social interactions for adults with ADHD and autism (ASD) can be uniquely challenging. While autism is a neurobiological ‘wiring’ that affects social skill development, individuals with ADHD often understand social norms but struggle to adhere to them consistently[1]. These neurodivergent profiles can lead to communication differences and behavioural challenges that impact day-to-day interactions[1].

people with ADHD and autism in a social setting

As someone with both ADHD and autism, the exploration of practical tips for enhancing social interactions has been a big part of my life. In this article I delve into understanding these conditions in social contexts, look at the common challenges faced and strategic approaches to navigate social settings effectively. Highlighting the role of self-awareness and self-care, I share strategies for improving social skills and fostering supportive relationships. Though our challenges don’t go away, with understanding and practice, adults with ADHD and autism can thrive in their social lives, in both personal and professional relationships[1].

Understanding ADHD and Autism in Social Contexts

Living with ADHD and autism, I’ve experienced firsthand the complexities these conditions introduce, particularly in social environments. Autism is fundamentally a neurobiological difference to the norm (neurotypical) where expected social skills development is markedly different.

People like me might struggle with basic social interactions due to challenges such as making appropriate eye contact, limited facial expressions, and difficulties in understanding social cues [1]. These symptoms can manifest early in life, sometimes as early as six months, profoundly affecting social engagement throughout childhood and into adulthood [1].

ADHD introduces another layer of complexity in social contexts. While autistic individuals might find it hard to grasp social norms intuitively, those with ADHD usually understand these norms but fail to consistently apply them due to distractibility, impulsivity, and off-task behaviour [1]. This can result in missing subtle social cues, which are often critical in smooth social interactions. Moreover, ADHD can lead to communication challenges like being overly talkative, straying off-topic, or interrupting others, which complicates social interactions further [1].

Social skills training for those with both ADHD and autism, therefore, needs to address both the intuitive deficits in understanding social scenarios typical of autism and the executive functioning challenges seen in ADHD.

Challenges in Social Interactions for Adults with ADHD and Autism

  1. Communication and Perception Difficulties
  2. Adults with autism often face challenges with language pragmatics, such as initiating or following conversations and interpreting non-verbal cues [1]. This includes difficulties in reading facial expressions, understanding tone and humour, and managing non-literal language like sarcasm or idioms [7].

    I often literally have no idea what people are trying to say or if they are serious or not. 
  3. For those with ADHD, maintaining focus during conversations can be tough, especially if you’re also gifted and your brain is moving so fast that you already can see where the conversation is going and so you’re way ahead, already forming your response for when the person gets to finish their point. We may miss crucial social cues or appear disinterested because of inattention or distractibility [13]. This often leads to misunderstandings or perceived lack of empathy. 
  4. Social Engagement and Behavioural Challenges
  5. People with autism might exhibit less motivation for social interactions, which can manifest as difficulty in starting or maintaining conversations. They may also struggle with making and maintaining eye contact or talking about topics outside of their specific interests [7].

    I don’t have much motivation for social interaction, and though I can make eye contact, it’s only because I’ve learned to, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. And I find the usual kind of chit chat engaged in in social situations to be pretty uninteresting. Making occasional eye contact isn’t too hard for me, so I do do it. But people who know I’m autistic don’t expect it, and aren’t offended if I don’t do it, so I can drop that one when with them.
  6. Adults with ADHD might experience impulsivity and hyperactivity, which can negatively impact social interactions. Common in people with ADHD (me included) is rapid and excessive speech, difficulty ‘reading between the lines,’ and difficulty in adapting behaviour to different social contexts. This can lead to social awkwardness at best and misunderstandings at worst [12].
  7. Developing and Maintaining Relationships
  8. The ability to form and sustain friendships is often hampered in adults with ASD due to challenges like seeming blunt or uninterested, difficulty expressing feelings, and adhering to specific routines that may lead to anxiety if changed [10].
  9. Similarly, adults with ADHD face hurdles in relationship maintenance due to poor listening skills, frequent interruptions during conversations, and mood regulation problems [11]. These issues can make social interactions draining and lead to a cycle of social rejection and isolation [12].

This has been my personal experience and it’s lead to a life characterised by social rejection. This was distressing as a child and young adult, and I eventually dealt with it by withdrawing from or minimising social situations. I’m fine with that because I have a partner with whom I can be myself, and I am very happy with my own company, but until you find at least one good relationship, it can be quite distressing. The important thing to know is that none of these characteristic makes someone with ADHD or autism a bad person. It took me a long time to realise that. I’m just different. And put me in a room of other neurodivergent people and I have no problem at all.

Common Social Challenges for Adults with ADHD and Autism

Impulsivity and Hyperactivity Challenges

I tried for decades to moderate the following tendencies. I knew I had to in order to effectively engage socially. I tried very hard, and I can manage to put a lid on them for short periods of time, but it’s still a struggle. I now know the ongoing struggle is not because I’m an awful person, but because of the way my brain is wired.

  1. Interrupting Conversations: Individuals with ADHD often interrupt or finish others’ sentences, which can disrupt the natural flow of dialogue and lead to misunderstandings [13].

    I do this because I know where their sentence is going, they seem to take so long to get there, and I’m excited for the next part of the conversation to get going. I have to constantly reign in the urge to do so and often catch myself only after I’ve interrupted. In which case, I apologise, and that seems to smooth things over. 
  2. Excessive Talking: Talking excessively and acting without thinking are common traits in ADHD, impacting the ability to engage in balanced social exchanges [13].

    If I get excited about the topic of conversation, I want to share everything I know about it – see the Imagining chapter of Psychemagination for how that played out in my life – because all of it is interesting to me, so I figure it will also be interesting to others.
    However, I’ve learned that mostly it’s not that interesting to others – unless they are also neurodivergent – so I’m always either cutting myself off from saying more or asking if I’m oversharing or apologising for doing so. There doesn’t seem to be any way around this. My tendency to overshare doesn’t grow less with time. It’s just how it is if I’m interacting with neurotypical people, and it takes a lot of energy, so I have learned how to leave.

    ‘Okay, everyone, I have to go now. Bye,’ I’ll say in small gatherings. And in large ones – which I avoid anyway – I just slip away.
  3. Intrusive Behaviour: Joining activities unasked or at inappropriate times and intruding on personal space are behaviours noted in individuals with ADHD, making social boundaries difficult to navigate [13].

    I still don’t know when this kind of thing is appropriate or not; even if I ask myself first and think it through, I can get it wrong, so I don’t join in unless asked … and no one does that overtly because somehow people are supposed to know that they’re included without being told.

    If it’s someone I know well, I might ask (quietly) if it’s okay if I join.

Inattention and Its Social Impacts

  1. Poor Listening Skills: Not actively listening or becoming distracted mid-conversation are significant challenges for those with ADHD, often leading to the breakdown of communication in social settings [13].

    I have learned active listening, and I practice it quite affectively. The practice of actively listening gives me something on which to focus during social interactions so it works quite well. It does take a lot of focus, however and that can be tiring. Hence, I keep social engagements short. 
  2. Forgetting Social Commitments: Experiencing time blindness and forgetting to return phone calls or attend social events can strain relationships and social reliability [13].

    I still forget things even though they’re written on my calendar! A physical calendar works better that a digital one if it’s where I can easily see it and refer to it daily. The very act of writing it down helps. 

    As for returning calls: I make an effort to do so immediately. That way I don’t forget and I don’t have to write it on a list to do later. 
  3. Task Incompletion: Leaving tasks unfinished or carelessly done not only affects personal productivity but also how individuals with ADHD are perceived in professional and social circles [13].

    This isn’t an issue for me personally, because one of my autistic traits is that I must finish whatever I’m doing. The downside of this is that I may carry on working on something in order to finish it before I can start on making the family dinner or something else that impacts others. My family understands, however.

Autism-Specific Social Challenges

  1. Early Social Interaction Issues: Signs of autism like poor eye contact and limited facial expressions can appear as early as six months, affecting a child’s ability to engage in social play and respond to social cues [1].

    As you’ll see if your read the Growing chapter or watch the video, I never played well with others and never had many friends.
  2. Communication Delays: Challenges such as delays in language development (my language skills were advanced, so this wasn’t an issue for me), difficulty in processing information (I had no problem with written information, only with information given in conversation), and struggling to understand non-verbal communication cues are prevalent in autism, complicating social interactions from an early age [1].

    Non-verbal cues are something I’ve learned to read, but I still miss or misinterpret some. The kind of language skills that still challenge me are an aversion to chit chat and trying to work out what people are actually trying to say when they aren’t direct. I have no problems with written material, however. Every autistic person is different. 
  3. Behavioural Manifestations: Repetitive physical motions and rigid thinking patterns are behaviour challenges in autism that can make social interactions unpredictable and stressful for the individual and their peers [1].

    Engaging in repetitive physical motions is known as ‘stimming’ and it’s an important role in emotional regulation for autistic people, so it’s important that we do allow ourselves to stim. People really just have to learn to accept this one. I found a relatively socially acceptable stim in moving my hands constantly – mostly finger flicking – and I also allow myself to rock from side to side (back and forward freaks people out, but most manage to handle side to side). Social situations are stressful, so trying not to stim is really counterproductive as it takes away something that eases that stress. 

Navigating Social Interactions for Adults with ADHD and Autism

Navigating social settings effectively is a challenge for us people who have ADHD and/or autism, no matter how long we’ve been practicing and how well-developed our skills – at least that’s my experience – but here are some practical steps and strategies you can try:

Join Supportive Communities

  1. Search for Support Groups: Engage with local or online support groups where you can develop social skills alongside others who face similar challenges [15].
  2. Participate in Like-Minded Groups: Whether it’s a hobby club or a professional network, joining groups with similar interests can provide a comfortable environment to practice social skills [15].
  3. Explore Learning Social Skills in a Group Setting: Learning new skills in a group setting not only diversifies your abilities but also increases interactions with new people, fostering both personal and professional growth [15].

Utilize Professional Help

  1. Find a Counselling Service where a professional can help you build the essential social skills needed for creating meaningful relationships [15]. If cost is a preventative factor, I’m sure there are plenty of books on the topic of improving social skills. 
  2. Consult Healthcare Professionals: If social anxiety limits your interactions, discussing this with a GP or a counsellor can provide strategies to manage these feelings effectively [16].

Finding and Nurturing Supportive Relationships

Everyone wants some kind of close relationship, and people with autism and ADHD are no different to anyone else in that regard, it’s just a little harder for us to find the people who will accept us as we are. I’ve found the following things helpful as guides for nurturing relationships be they new or old.

Emphasize Communication and Understanding

  1. Prioritize Open Communication: Using “I-statements” to express feelings and concerns helps in facilitating open and honest dialogue. Listening actively to your partner’s thoughts and working collaboratively to find solutions can significantly enhance mutual understanding [20].
  2. Recognize and Value Each Other’s Strengths: Focusing on each other’s abilities rather than limitations fosters a positive atmosphere. Sharing tasks based on individual strengths can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling relationship [20].
  3. Be Patient and Compassionate: Patiently educating people so they understand that the traits that come with ADHD and autism are conditions and not choices is crucial to developing a deep relationship. Patience and empathy goes a long way in strengthening relationships [20].

Establish Boundaries and Self-Care

  1. Set Clear Boundaries: Establishing and respecting personal boundaries is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship. Clear communication about limits and expectations helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures that both partners feel respected [20].

    For instance, those with autism and ADHD need alone time, and so our friends and partners need to know they can’t expect us to always be available for them.
  2. Self-Care is Crucial: Maintaining your own mental and emotional health is vital. Engaging in personal hobbies, maintaining friendships, and seeking professional counselling when needed are all important aspects of self-care that can improve overall relationship quality with yourself and others [20].

The Role of Self-Awareness and Self-Care

Living with ADHD and autism, I’ve come to understand the pivotal role of self-awareness in managing everyday interactions and personal well-being. Self-awareness helps us recognize our own emotions, behaviours, and the social cues we encounter, which is especially crucial given the varied spectrum of awareness in autism [22][2]. For instance, while some individuals with autism may have a keen sense of self-awareness, others might find this more challenging, affected by factors like cognitive development and the age at which they were diagnosed [2].

Moreover, self-care emerges as a fundamental practice that supports our physical, emotional, and mental health, playing a significant role in managing symptoms of ADHD and autism [22]. Developing regular self-care routines not only fosters greater independence and resilience but also directly impacts our ability to engage socially and professionally. For those of us with ADHD, cultivating self-compassion is particularly beneficial, as studies have shown that adults with ADHD who practice self-compassion tend to experience better mental health outcomes compared to those who do not [23].

Final words

I hope you have found this combination of AI-assisted research along with my personal experience helpful. If I were asked to give any essential advice for a young person with ADHD and or autism, I would say ‘Don’t try to fit in with others, because you never will, so trying will just lead to disappointment and a potential loss of your sense of who you are. You’ll always be different to neurotypical people, and that’s okay. That’s just how you are. Embrace your difference and others will be more able to do so as well. Social skills are just a set of skills you learn, like riding a bike; they’re to help you engage effectively in social situations, that’s all; they’re not about changing who you are or trying to make yourself likable.’

And now, please do take a look at my audio-visual webbook Psychemagination: Journey into the Psyche, a self-reflective memoir of a late-diagnosed autistic woman.


I created the artwork by using the Midjourney AI art generator.

References

[1] – https://www.additudemag.com/autism-and-adhd/
[2] – https://www.abtaba.com/blog/autistic-people-know-theyre-autistic
[3] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6311999/
[4] – https://www.kennedykrieger.org/stories/interactive-autism-network-ian/challenging-behaviors
[5] – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/nurturing-connections-maintaining-friendships-relationships-pq4ue
[6] – https://literarytitan.com/2024/01/21/nurturing-neurodivergence-the-late-identified-adults-guide-to-building-healthy-relationships-with-self-and-others/
[7] – https://thespectrum.org.au/autism-strategy/social-interaction/
[8] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9913618/
[9] – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-023-04499-z
[10] – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/autism-and-adhd-together-in-adults
[11] – https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-make-friends-when-you-have-adhd-20402
[12] – https://chadd.org/for-adults/relationships-social-skills/
[13] – https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adhd-social-skills
[14] – https://medium.com/the-orange-journal/the-unique-struggles-of-having-both-autism-and-adhd-83c7f3d25a54
[15] – https://chicagocounselingandtherapy.com/building-meaningful-relationships-nurturing-social-connections-for-autistic-adults/
[16] – https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/topics/family-life-and-relationships/making-friends/autistic-adults
[17] – https://www.autismspeaks.org/social-skills-and-autism
[18] – https://positivepsychology.com/social-skills-training/
[19] – https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01612840.2023.2234477
[20] – https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/dating-someone-with-adhd
[21] – https://add.org/six-secrets-to-a-happy-adhd-relationship/
[22] – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-way-adhd/202202/adhd-and-self-awareness
[23] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9790285/

"I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me." - Woody Allen

New Release: Psychemagination’s Thinking Chapter

The Thinking page/chapter in Psychemagination: Journey into the Psyche is ready for reading/viewing now. In this chapter we look at how the effects of undiagnosed autism and ADHD in a life can affect self-image, and we use imagery rescripting techniques to loosen the grip of childhood trauma. This page will resonate deeply with anyone dealing with trauma, especially that related to childhood bullying.

To gain access to the Thinking page click here.
Or get access to all pages by becoming a Keyholder.

Click here for free access to the Growing and Reflecting pages.
Click here for access to the Imagining page.

Read on for a summary of content and news on the release of further pages.

An overview of the content of the pages of Psychemagination

The Descent and Path pages are the mythic hero’s journey into the Underworld.
The Growing page is about my childhood – the challenges I faced and the strategies I adopted to survive in a world that I found profoundly overwhelming.
The Imagining page is about a lifetime as a highly creative person and the challenges that brings.
The Thinking and Feeling pages are primarily about healing trauma through imagery rescripting.
The Masking page is about autistic unmasking, leading to a surprising revelation.
The Being page is metaphysical and esoteric in nature, and the Returning page is a kind of summary.

News: Full project nearly finished

I’ve actually finished writing Psychemagination, and Keyholders can read the full story now. Others will have to wait until the videos have their final music. The Feeling, Masking and Being pages don’t have their final music yet as Kris is still writing it, but the story and imagery are there for Keyholders to read right now. And I’ll slowly release the pages to the public as Kris finishes his part of the process. 

The final page, Returning, is finished as is. I don’t plan to make videos out of the images, as I think they say more as single images to illustrate each point.  And I want people to really look at and appreciate each image. Those images, in the style of the one below, are the kind of work I’m generating now, and (after countless generations and image blending and back referencing to previous generations) I feel that I have found my style with them.  (Interestingly they are quite close to how I used to paint.)

It’s been fascinating to look back over my life through the lens of neurodivergence and come to accept what was obvious to the psychologist I’ve been seeing over the past year of writing this story. I am indeed neurodivergent. And discovering this has given me permission to ‘be myself’ in its deepest sense.

Part of that is a greater confidence in following and sharing my artistic vision, so more projects are on the way – I just have to decide which one to do next – after I finish the videos for the Being page. 

"Having nothing, nothing can he lose." - William Shakespeare

Look Deeply at the Flowers.

Contemplative thoughts.
The art, inspired by the feeling, provided a focus for contemplation from which the words arose.

Flowers are offerings to the world, as am I and my art. Should anyone appreciate their blooming is of no consequence – they offer regardless – but those who appreciate an offering receive the love that propelled it into being. Look deeply at the flowers.

A joyful spirit and positive mind is a light in the darkness, a beacon of hope and inspiration. This is our natural, unadorned state when we release our fear and grasping. Then our world shines, bathed in our light and nurtured by our creativity.

Self-reflection, introspection, the inner journey, no matter what we call the seeking for Self, at the end we must always return to the beginning, the place from which we set out, the present moment, now. For there is no other place to be.

Whatever we focus on internally affects how we interpret what we see externally. Whatever we focus on externally is what fills our mind internally.

Be careful with what you fill your mind. Those thoughts have power if you dwell on them. Violent books, movies, and games colour your mind with violence. Fill your mind with wise words and thoughtful stories, however, and you will become wise.

Running away from, ignoring, suppressing or indulging in our emotions doesn’t help. Simply feeling is the way – simply feeling what is to be felt without reacting to the feeling, without stirring it up by thinking about its cause; simply feel the feeling until it naturally fades in its own time.

Love comes in many forms, but no matter who the love is between, it is still love, something in which to rejoice in a world filled with too much hate.

"The key to transforming our hearts and minds is to have an understanding of how our thoughts and emotions work." - Dalai Lama

All is Stillness

This poem emerged from my meditation one morning, and I decided to make a short movie of it.

Do you like it?

"The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be." - Shakti Gawain

How Intentional Daydreaming and Mindfulness Can Work Together

The core information in this article on daydreaming and mindfulness is a summary of an article on the benefits of intentional daydreaming from the Australian Insititute of Professional Councillors. Included with this information are my own reflections on what this research raises in relationship to my own meditation/mindfulness practice and use of intentional daydreaming.

What is intentional daydreaming?

Intentional daydreaming is a type of mind-wandering that is voluntary, goal-directed, and positive. It involves using our imagination to explore different scenarios, possibilities, and solutions, as well as to reflect on our personal values, goals, and aspirations. Intentional daydreaming can be contrasted with unintentional daydreaming, which is involuntary, distracting, and often negative. Unintentional daydreaming can impair our attention, memory, and performance, while intentional daydreaming can enhance them.

How does intentional daydreaming benefit us?

According to the article, intentional daydreaming can have various benefits for our cognitive, emotional, and social well-being. Some of these benefits are:

  • Creativity: Intentional daydreaming can stimulate our creative thinking and problem-solving abilities, as it allows us to generate novel and original ideas, and to find connections and associations among diverse concepts.
  • Focus: Intentional daydreaming can improve our focus and concentration, as it helps us to filter out irrelevant information, and to switch between different tasks and perspectives more efficiently.
  • Memory: Intentional daydreaming can enhance our memory and learning, as it helps us to consolidate and integrate new information, and to retrieve and recall relevant information more easily.
  • Mood: Intentional daydreaming can boost our mood and happiness, as it helps us to cope with stress and negative emotions, and to experience positive emotions such as joy, gratitude, and hope.
  • Self-awareness: Intentional daydreaming can increase our self-awareness and self-regulation, as it helps us to understand ourselves better, and to align our actions with our values and goals.
  • Empathy: Intentional daydreaming can foster our empathy and compassion, as it helps us to imagine and understand the perspectives and feelings of others, and to respond to them more appropriately and kindly.

How does intentional daydreaming relate to mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of awareness and attention that is present, non-judgmental, and curious. It involves observing and accepting our thoughts, emotions, sensations, and experiences as they are, without trying to change or avoid them. Mindfulness can be cultivated through various practices, such as meditation, breathing, yoga, and mindful eating.

Intentional daydreaming and mindfulness may seem to be opposite states of mind, as the former involves engaging with our imagination, while the latter involves disengaging from it. However, the article suggests that they can be complementary and synergistic, as they both can enhance our well-being and performance in different ways. Some of the possible connections between intentional daydreaming and mindfulness are:

  • Balance: Intentional daydreaming and mindfulness can help us to achieve a balance between exploration and exploitation, or between divergent and convergent thinking. Exploration and divergent thinking involve generating and expanding on multiple ideas and options, while exploitation and convergent thinking involve selecting and refining on the best idea or option. Intentional daydreaming can facilitate exploration and divergent thinking, while mindfulness can facilitate exploitation and convergent thinking.
  • Integration: Intentional daydreaming and mindfulness can help us to integrate different aspects of our self, such as our past, present, and future selves, and our personal, social, and professional selves. Intentional daydreaming can help us to envision and plan for our future selves, and to connect with our personal and social selves, while mindfulness can help us to appreciate and accept our present selves, and to align with our professional and ethical selves.
  • Flexibility: Intentional daydreaming and mindfulness can help us to develop cognitive and emotional flexibility, which is the ability to adapt and cope with changing and challenging situations. Intentional daydreaming can help us to generate alternative and creative solutions, and to regulate our emotions more effectively, while mindfulness can help us to reduce our cognitive biases and emotional reactivity, and to increase our openness and curiosity.

How this relates to imaginative meditation practices

The summary part of this article was generated for me by the Bing chatbot to save me time in getting the core information to you, but what this all raises for me is how this relates to imaginative meditation practices and people with ADHD. The latter is an area that I will have to investigate for myself before I comment on it, and I hope someone will do some research on it at some point.

As far as imaginative meditation goes (for example the visualisation practices of Tibetan Buddhism/ Vajrayana and my own non-religious imaginative meditation derived from that tradition), that kind of meditation practice is undoubtably a kind of intentional daydreaming. And it’s clear from this research that regardless of how you interpret the practices metaphysically, the very act of doing this ritualised kind of daydreaming is good for your mental health. I mean, let’s face it, I start my day by visualising a beautiful loving being and filling myself with their light. That’s got to be a dopamine hit, right? It certainly sets me off in a positive mindset.

I expect that any kind of fantastically affirming imagery – as seen on my Meditations page – used as the focus of one’s meditation is in a similar category in that it’s very relaxing and inspirational for the mind.

As these pages indicate, I’ve done a great deal of intentional daydreaming during my life, starting at a very young age where it was an escape from ordinary (boring) reality and also served as a way to keep my sense of self strong in an environment where many of my characteristics were actively suppressed. So I find this kind of research very affirming.

Conclusion

Intentional daydreaming is a valuable and beneficial mental activity that can enhance our cognitive, emotional, and social well-being. It can also complement and synergize with mindfulness, as they both can help us to achieve balance, integration, and flexibility in our lives. Therefore, we should not dismiss or suppress our daydreams, but rather embrace and cultivate them intentionally and positively.

Do you engage in intentional daydreaming? What kind of effect does it have on you?


References

  • Davis, J. (2017). The science of the daydreaming paradox for innovation. Psychology Today. Retrieved on 16 Jan, 2019, from: Website
  • Gholipour, B. (2016). The right kind of daydreaming. Huffington Post. Retrieved on 15 January, 2019, from: Website
  • Nauert, R. (2018). What happens when daydreaming is intentional? Psych Central. Retrieved on 15 January, 2019, from: Website
  • Pillay, S. (2017). The unlikely benefits of distraction. Duke Corporate Education. Retrieved on 15 January, 2019, from: Website
"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however." - Richard Bach

YAY! I’ve Joined the Ranks of Award-winning Artists

I can now say that I have joined the ranks of award-winning artists. Yes, really. (Other than the art competition I came second in in my last year at primary school!) I usually don’t enter competitions. I hate the whole idea of them. Apparently, that’s not unusual for neurodivergent folk, but I entered the NFT Design awards because it was free and easy to do so, and I figured this image had what it took to win. It did. If you look at the link above on the 7th of Feb 2024, you’ll see that I won with the image below. (After that date you’ll see the new NFT of the day, and the award-winning artists for previous days are listed below that.)

But here’s the artwork. I created it for the Feeling page here, which will be coming out in about a month. Then you’ll be able to see it in context. Do you like it?

It expresses the loneliness I felt when, as an adult, I remembered screaming in terror as a baby and no one came to comfort me.

If you’re into collecting art, you can buy it at any of these places. It’s less than $5, so no big deal, but it would mean a lot to me if someone bought it, and it’s the animated version.

Rarible: https://rarible.com/token/polygon/0xbff1b9e93a468d047f89925d80863c2a30415805:10

Uncut: https://nature-spirits.uncut.network/nft/34361064766

Opensea: https://opensea.io/assets/matic/0xbff1b9e93a468d047f89925d80863c2a30415805/10

"If you lose today, win tomorrow. In this never-ending spirit of challenge is the heart of a victor." - Daisaku Ikeda

New NFTs and How Collecting NFT Art Can be Easy, Fun & Free

Why I Made my First NFT

Ever thought of collecting NFT art? Most people probably haven’t. You’ve probably heard of NFTs though – digital assets that can be verified and traded on a blockchain – but you probably think, ‘Oh that’s not for me.’ Maybe the whole system of Web 3 transactions is too mysterious, or complicated or you just don’t want to buy art.

That was what I thought too, until I started making digital art, made this website and found how costly it was for this semi-retired person to keep it running. Then I needed to look into ways that I might be able to offset the costs.

First, I put some of it on merchandise in my Redbubble store, then I investigated NFTs and thought it was all too complex to bother – until someone contacted me and said they were collecting NFT art and wanted to buy one from me. So I learned how to create one, but I wasn’t surprised when the sale never eventuated – it really was too good to be true!

Minting the art into an NFT was the easy part. To do anything in the NFT space you need a digital wallet, and though getting one is easy, getting money into it wasn’t (at least for me) and neither was working out how the whole thing works with different block chains and signing agreements and so on.

If the hard part puts you off, don’t leave; keep reading, because you no longer have to worry about all that. Collecting NFT art isn’t in the too-hard basket anymore.

I didn’t manage to find buyers for my experimental NFT, so I was going to give up on the whole idea, but then I stumbled on something called the Uncut Network that has made it all oh so easy and fun. It’s a place to showcase, discover and collect digital art. You don’t need cryptocurrency to collect NFTs there, and they create a wallet for you and give you some of their currency for free (it’s like a point-earning gaming system). Getting started is as easy as signing up for a social media platform – which is what it is, only with creating and collecting NFT art as the focus – and of course, it’s free.

Think Pinterest but you get to actually own the artwork you collect (and you can also resell it) and it’s beautifully displayed in your own gallery. And I’ve been really enjoying it. I never thought I would collect NFTs, but Uncut is a supportive community, and I like supporting others – especially with free currency!

This Week’s NFTs

Here’s the still images for the animated NFTs still available this week. Click the image to see the animation on Rarible or click on the caption link to see them on the Uncut Network where they’re really nicely displayed. My favourite is the middle one.

The Uncut Network: A New Way to Showcase, Discover and Collect Digital Art

The Uncut Network is a web-based platform that lets you create, explore and collect digital art in a simple and intuitive way. Their ‘system’ connects you with like-minded creators and collectors, and rewards you for your passion by dishing out points (currency you can use to ‘buy’ the art) for being involved. As an artist I’ve found the time I’ve spent there quite affirming, though I haven’t sold anything yet. Mostly I’m giving art away to build a community of people who like my art.

As an artist, you can upload your digital art to Uncut Network and turn it into an NFT with a few clicks. You can choose to sell your NFTs on the platform, or keep them for yourself. You can also create collections of your NFTs, or join existing collections created by other artists. You can showcase your art to the Uncut Network community, and gain recognition and feedback for your work.

As a collector, you can browse and discover thousands of digital artworks on Uncut Network, from various genres and styles. You can buy NFTs from your favourite artists, or bid on them in auctions. You can also create your own collections of NFTs, or join existing ones. You can follow your favourite artists and collections, and get notified of new releases and updates. You can also interact with other collectors and share your thoughts and opinions on the art you love.

These three are also still available on Rarible.

What makes Uncut Network different?

Uncut Network is not just another NFT platform. It is a platform that is designed to make collecting NFT art easy and fun. Here are some of the features that make Uncut Network stand out:

  • On-chain protection: Uncut Network ensures the integrity and uniqueness of your NFTs by storing them on the blockchain. Your NFTs are yours alone, and you can access them anytime, anywhere. You can also verify the authenticity and provenance of any NFT on the platform, and be confident that you are getting the real deal.
  • No intermediaries: Uncut Network eliminates the need for third-party platforms or services to create, sell or buy NFTs. You can do everything on Uncut Network, without paying any fees or commissions. You can also use your preferred cryptocurrency (or $) to pay or receive payments, and enjoy fast and secure transactions.
  • User-friendly interface: Uncut Network has a simple and intuitive interface that makes NFT collecting a breeze. You can easily navigate the platform, find what you are looking for, and manage your NFTs and collections. You can also customize your profile, and showcase your personality and style.
  • Community-driven: Uncut Network is a platform that is built by and for the NFT community. You can connect with other artists and collectors, and join a vibrant and supportive network of NFT enthusiasts. You can also participate in events and contests, and win prizes and rewards. You can also give feedback and suggestions, and help shape the future of Uncut Network.

How to join Uncut Network

If you’d like to try your hand at collecting NFT art, visit the Uncut Network website, click on “Get Started” and follow the prompts. Make sure to check out my profile page – scroll down to find my collections on the right-hand side.


"When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps." - Confucius