Overwhelm is a form of Panic

I wrote the following blogpost at the beginning of the year, and then felt it was too personal to share. Now I am coming up to the third week of Mermaid Circus and I think that this post could be helpful for my Mermaid Troupe. Safety in numbers, right! ;)…



There are some changes going on in my artistic depths. I can feel things churning and burning. Ideas are on the boil, inspiration is stirring. There are some BIG PROJECTS coming into focus on the horizon. I need to make decisions…. choices….and I have a herd of butterflies in my stomach.


What body part leads you? And as this blog is followed mostly by womenfolk, I expect modest answers! Hands up who thinks they are lead by their Gut?

My heart is SO willing to be inspired and way to excitable to be leading me around. My Brain is kept busy just by stopping me from bumping into things. My Mind comes up with notions and ideas but I definitely process, expand and ruminate on them in my stomach. I can feeeeeel it. And it’s the Gut that makes the final decision.

* please note this is my personal opinion only and may not stand up to medical scrutiny… 😉

I think I get overwhelmed when my excitable Heart and expanding Mind collude and pump an excess amount of inspiration and awesome ideas down to the Gut for processing. Usually,  it’s fantastic feeling to be so alive and inspired.

But my Gut likes to ponder and have space and work things out. It prefers to ruminate and noodle…  it can switch up a gear and operate in a temporary, high functioning, manic state, doing 50 things at once, hardly sleeping and flying along 3 feet off the ground. It feels like I’m fully aware, alert and firing on all cylinders!

Change is on the horizon

But that’s not a sustainable state to exist in. So either I ‘get on top of things’ and wind down naturally, or I crash and burn in an epic tantrum/get sick or go into a State of Emergency and get Overwhelmed!

Overwhelm is a form of panic. Ugh.

I’m a nightmare to be around when I’m in that state. I spin. I have no traction. I can’t make decisions. I’m a bundle of nervous energy in which very little gets done. It feels horrible. It’s a fear response to having no control. And it’s all an illusion.

So I’m conducting an experiment in this strange time… I’m going to try and avoid overwhelm. I have dedicated a Journal to moments like these. It’s called “Wasup”. And it really helps me dissipate the anxiety that’s built up as a side- effect from all the ideas that are brewing.

My Wasup Journal is acting as receptionist and bookkeeper to my hard-working Gut. It catalogues the excessive stuff my mind and heart come up with and the to-do lists my brain so loves… A heading per page, so that each idea feels important and as if its being considered and listened too. ( Yes, I am people-managing my ideas). And then related maps, drawings, brainwaves, lists, action plans, dates, meetings etc have room on the page too.

And if my experiment continues to work, I’m going to aim for an overwhelm free year.

So wish me luck! And if you want to join me on my quest for peace, by all means, please do!


So has my experiment worked so far? Yes! It bloody well has! I have managed to keep overwhelm


Because I know, you are going to ask, he Journal I am using is the rather delicious Stillman & Burn Gamma Series 100 lb / 150 gsm Hardbound ( click the image to see more). It has a creamy / ivory paper with a vellum surface and a distinctive tooth. 62 sheets (124 pages) of paper.
Gamma Series

Life is too short for crappy paper!

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Welcome to my blog Davenpeeps!

If we haven’t met yet, I’m Jane Davenport! I’m a professional artist, art workshop teacher, 5x bestselling author, art supply creator and self-diagnosed art supply addict!

I’m a creativity expert who has guided tens of thousands of women back to their art, defying their self imposed creative gravity and making art with joy and confidence. I share my mixed media art and drawing techniques with everyday artists who feel their creativity calling them to play with colour, texture and their art supplies. I hope my blog can help you embrace the mess, let go of perfectionitis and experience the joy of creativity.


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