Amanda Jolley

Reflection on pattern and abstraction of the subconscious

Experimental burn

After a break, I’ve re-entered the studio with curiosity. I have so much experimentation to do and so little time. For those who are familiar with my work and practice, you know that much of it comes from attuning to my subconscious and letting my body speak. My hands take the reins before the mind jumps in to correct them. I tune out messages of “should” and simply do. In this meditative state while painting, messages from my subconscious surface. Lately a lot of ‘fuck you’s’ and ‘No’s’ have been surfacing and I find myself wrestling with all the -isms that have shaped my life. My fascination with burning these things away takes the forefront.

The culture of the small town of my formative years was one of internalizing a lot of -isms without understanding what the lies were and how deeply they affected my behavior and choices. Not all of it was blatant, the racism, the homophobia, the misogyny, the ableism, the exclusionary nature of othering. Or maybe it was blatant and I didn’t recognize it because it’s all I knew. 

There were a lot of wonderful things about my formative years too. But those are not the things that my subconscious is bringing to my awareness right now. Instead it’s taking me through a healing process of the suffering and a cleansing process of extraction. 

I recently listened to an interview of Carson Tueller on the We Can Do Hard Things podcast (Episode 117, July 28, 2022). In the life giving conversation which I highly recommend a listen, Glennon Doyle said “It’s not the disability that causes the suffering, it’s the ableism. It’s not the queerness that causes suffering, it’s the homophobia. It’s not the blackness, the brownness, it’s the racism…” 

As a neurodivergent person, I would add that it’s not the neurotype that causes the suffering, it’s the othering. 

And then Carson capped the interview with this wonderful gift,

“…consider that you, your capital S self, will never tell you that you’re broken, it will never tell you something is wrong with your body, whether that’s its shape, or size, or color, or anything about it, function. That is never coming from the self. So the next right thing that I could offer, would be to listen for that voice that is the self. And I think that there are a lot of ways to do that. I think therapy can be really helpful, I think coaching can be really helpful. I think journaling, writing. But I want to convince everybody listening that there is a you that is present and always speaking. And there’s no greater task or more important task in this life, than to know how to find that and hear it, and then live consistently with it.”


Such a deeply healing message at a time when our whole nation is can no longer avoid the -isms. My own process has been one of not only healing from the effects these lies have had on my own existence, but extracting them as I notice them embedded within me and affecting my own behavior towards others.

#disabilitypride #neurodivergent #actuallyautistic #WeCanDoHardThingsPodcast #amandajolley #SubconsciousMessages #exctraction #healing #fire #plaster #encaustic  

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