The Princess Diaries by Joy Fahey (4)
How Lucky We Are!
Friday has come around very quickly, it’s been quite a learning curve over the last few days, as well as the excitement and mind expanding experiences!
If I was to give myself a mark out of 10 so far I’d probably say 7 ½. This is something I always ask my coaching clients when I have my Life Coaching hat on, which is two days a week. I always ask for a ‘Self’ rating and ‘Take Outs’ as it really helps to get to know where you are and what you need to do to improve or increase your knowledge of what you’re doing.
To do it on myself is quite revealing. What can I do better today that would increase my 7 ½ to 10? Now there’s a question! I think mainly it’s not to have unrealistic expectations and therefore not set myself up for disappointment. In other words just to stay in the moment and take it all as it comes. I feel so privileged and grateful to have this opportunity, to help someone, especially a Princess, increase their skills and understanding of art. I mean how great is that!
So before I set off today I spent a bit of time just meditating on allowing myself to feel confident about what I have to offer this very different and really quite inspiring woman!
I wasn’t going to feel disturbed by her sometimes unusual behaviour, feel rejected or undermined by her disappearing acts. I would stay relaxed and easy in myself and decided to take my own sketch book so I could be drawing in the times she had a ciggy break!
I arrived in good spirits and feeling much more confident; the butler gave me a warm smile when he opened the front door and took me through to the terrace.
The Princess was already waiting for me having a coffee and looking at her tablet. She asked me to join her and have a drink with her. (You see stranger things happen when you least expect them!) Anyway she wanted to show me some of the paintings she liked, and there were masses!
We talked about surrealism and looked at some of Salvador Dali’s pictures; she was fascinated by them and him. She loved the fact they are so bizarre, the distorted figures and shapes, what he must have been thinking when he painted them. I made her laugh by saying perhaps he was high! Which he most likely was!
I felt she liked them because they have no rules, they express what was going on in his head and his dreams and he leaves it open for you to make of it what you will. This concept cuts right into the heart of what she has been taught to believe. The freedom theme starts coming to the surface as do the inherent restrictions of her position not only as a Princess but also as a Saudi woman.
We would have some more in depths conversations about Islam but today we talked about women’s rights in Saudi Arabia and how they are limited in comparison to many of its neighbours, well actually most of the rest of the world. She told me that ‘All women, regardless of age, or if they are a Princess or not, are required to have a male guardian’.
Despite the fact she was obviously very proud of her country she was frustrated that Saudi is the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving and she was actively trying to get this law changed.
That alone is very difficult to grasp, I mean can you imagine not being allowed to drive? Actually it’s not a law as such but a decree from the King and she laughed when she relayed a funny story of where women were allowed to drive
Apparently a special driving park has been built in Jeddah, like a big bumper car circuit especially for women where they are allowed to go and drive in freedom!
OMG it’s difficult to even contemplate such a thing! Either the fact that they’re not allowed to drive or them racing around in bumper cars! The mind boggles!
But for now I was beginning to understand and gain some insight into her great need for wanting to paint, to have some freedom to express herself in a way she wasn’t allowed to express herself in her everyday life.
I’d want to do more than just to paint! I was finding it challenging enough to even imagine what it must be like to live under such restrictions.
What a fascinating afternoon, this conversation gave me a renewed sense of gratitude for my own freedom and real compassion for this dear lady.
Going back to her painting, which was just about finished, it had taken on a very different perspective after our conversation.
I think it’s beautiful, the colour combinations, and if you look closely you can see horses looking over the mountain. The path leading upwards to the clouds, it’s fascinating and intriguing and to me very symbolic.
As I left there was a lot of hussle and bussle going on as the Princess other son, his wife and her grandson were coming to stay. The Princess was very excited and I was looking forward to meeting them on Monday.
I was also looking forward to finishing my own painting over the weekend and reflecting on the weeks events.
I think my main ‘take out’ is to really appriciate my freedom and never take it fo granted
Let’s see what next week has instore!
Joy Fahey ‘Where Art and Life Meet’
Written and published by: Joy Fahey
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