It’s been an odd day. I was supposed to be resting but….
⇐ This is how it felt.
Men. Misogyny. Mistrust. PTSD.
It was a struggle to get back up after I “broke down”. I’m not quite there yet and today was a reminder.
I had a rough sleep. Nightmare. Bad stuff happens to me in the night and wakes me in a state of panic. It takes a while, still, to calm myself and get back to sleep. And then, acid reflux. Almost as bad as a nightmare because it hurts for real so much. It’s stress related.
Yesterday I was told that my disability coverage may end soon. That’s obviously a big issue for me. I have a mortgage, debt exacerbated by having to pay for my care, and the regular day to day expenses of life.Scary stuff. I am working two days a week and barely managing it. I’d have to go back at least four days to make ends meet and well, that’s not something I can think about right now.
But back to today. First, a lovely young woman courageously shared her story of depression and her mother’s bipolar disorder.Second, in a phone call I was told the Woman’s March was stupid. Obviously by someone who had never been sexually assaulted or had experience in being the recipient of mysogyny. After a third, personally troubling bit of information, I lost it. Breath couldn’t hold me together anymore. I felt the inner shaking, spinning, and fear take me over. I didn’t fight it. I cried. I allowed it to happen and to pass. Thankfully, I was at home and not at work.
After a cup of tea and some quiet time, I ran to my studio and got into the paint. I always tell my students to climb right into their books when they read, to lose themselves in story. I do that when I paint. I just paint. No plan. No agenda. Just paint and see what happens. Today it was a little bit of a thing. Red. Orange. Black. Fiery colours that come out of me when I’ve experienced panic. It was a little bit of a thing that reminded me of an email I’d received that morning. I’m on Chris Cade’s list. Today, he’d forwarded something. A little lesson in saying…fuckit…When I’d read it, I was somewhat taken aback, but how serendipitous to receive it today; on a day when I needed permission to let things go.
I’ve kept my heart open by listening with the taps open.
It’s there, peeking over the hill and through the fog. It’s shining! It’s lighting me up and the day up. It’s just another day. It’s just another beautiful day for me to enjoy here on this little blue dot.
Today I am inviting you to take a walk outside. A walk into a park, or a forest. A walk to breathe and to fill you up. Nature
always holds real beauty. Walk in wonder and awe. Walk on your own with a wide open heart. Put yourself back into nature . Turn the phone off. Instead of taking pictures, paint them into your memory; breathe them in. Exalt in the beauty that surrounds you and get clear on what really matters.
Technology has made the world seem small to me. I’ve seen places up close that I’ve never visited and I’ve felt the pain of people I don’t know. I can get caught up in it all and it overwhelms me when I do. My head can spin, full of voices of people I’ve never met. I find myself trying to make sense, to make peace for all this noise. It weakens me until I shut it off and go for a walk in nature.
My wish for us all today…tune out the noise…go for a walk in beauty, find the sunshine and let it make peace in you.
Love your body, love your work, love your food, love the energy of the money that comes your way…it has a story of journey, love the place you live in, love your home, love the love you are capable of holding in your heart, love it all. That’s appreciation of the abundance that’s come your way.
When I shine my light, it is because I am steeping in gratitude like a delicious tea. What was there, inside this little bag of me, loosens into all corners of the universe and mingles with what is there.
It is sweet, desirous, attractive.
It is the easiest way I know to move from brokenness to wholeness when practiced habitually. When broken, a little or thoroughly, it requires a conscious spoken effort; a prayer like daily repetition. Saying it, praying it, wanting it, calls the light.
Truely. Don’t stop. Be patient. Call that light until you know you are the light!
I am sorry. Mistakes teach me and move my evolution forward.
Please forgive me. I forgive me. I am forgiveness. Forgiveness releases me.
I love you. I love me; body, mind and soul. I am love. I am open to receiving and giving an abundance love.
I am so grateful. I am gratitude. I am open to receiving and giving abundance in gratitude.
I have a couple of these people in my life. They are the ones who leave me feeling off balance after I’ve spent time with them. I find my relationship with them is quite a bit like trying to dance on freshly polished ice without a blade; without tread. It’s a clumsy dance and it’s always emotionally exhausting. I am grateful to them for their beings have taught me. What doesn’t work is at least as important a lesson as what does. What doesn’t work, when I chose to learn from it, helps me to evolve.
Now, I am the first to admit that in a mix with other people, my crazy makers come across as solid, dependable people. In other words, I realize my being is part of that crazy making synergy and I’m always working on that now. I’m firming up my boundaries, noticing when they slip and repairing them. I can empathize with all sides of a matter. Its a gift and a weakness. In making sure that my boundaries honour and protect my being, I can better ensure that my gift of empathy can serve others in a right manner.
Boundaries do not ebb and flow, but neither are they thunderous. They allow others to know me. They solve the invisibility problem. They solve the Gumby problem; being flexible doesn’t mean being able to do everything, they solve the depletion problem. Boundaries are my best health provider.
I was raised to be a pleaser, a giver, a provider. I did not fully grasp that I was as important a being as every other being until recently. Loving someone had always meant being beneath them in value somehow. Their needs came first. It was difficult for me to even name what my needs were beyond the basic. I was a worker, a learner, a striver, a prover, and yet, I never quite felt worthy enough. A focus on creating my own healthy boundaries changed that.
How did I do it? With help. I can not overemphasis the need for seeking help from a trained psychologist for this work. It was the most difficult learning of my life. It required a take down of what I knew to be true before rebuilding from the foundation up. The process involved a keen search and openness beyond what I thought I was capable of. It was an act of personal evolution.
And now, now there is no going back. I matter. I have given myself value and I have found calm and peace in a deep and all encompassing inner love. If you mess with my inner peace, if you mess with the love I have for myself and everything else that exists, I say be gone, you!
My art, flows from that light within. I welcome it as often as possible because it feeds my soul. I believe that in childhood I knew the power of creative practice, that knowledge, unfortunately was over shadowed by the dreams others had for me. Unboundaried, their dreams became mine. And that’s not terrible. It enriched my life with spoken and unspoken experiences, safety nets, love that I may not have otherwise known. Those dreams provided me my opportunity to breakdown and wake up. For that I will always be grateful.
I’m preparing to resume a two day a week return to work as a classroom teacher this September. I’ve had a three year hiatus for health reasons. I wish I could say that I spent those three years travelling the world, meeting new people where they live, learning about other ways of life, swimming in aqua blue waters, and just basically exalting in life, but that isn’t the case.
I spent a lot of time resting; in stillness.
I spent a lot of time reassembling myself.
I spent a lot of time painting.
And I went to Peru. This wasn’t because of the wave of popularity the country is currently receiving. It was because of the stacks of National Geographics in my grandparent’s basement. It was because of the lama’s, and brightly
decorated ethnic dress, and shiny Incan kings, and those rounded mountain peaks that rise above clouds to graze the heavens; so much higher than anything else. Peru, was
the ultimate do it before I die trip. In truth, in the past three years I wondered if I could die, would die, and so…Peru happened. It was everything I’d imagined. I felt as if I belonged there…and that feeling lingers.
And I went to Chetwynd. My husband took a very good job there. It is a small, drab, dust-coated town. The wind howls through it. It’s colder there than I’m used to, and the snow has a completely different, pleasing quality to it there. It’s a lacking town and yet, I met some of the best kind of people there. The kind of people I’d like to hold onto tightly. We were sequestered in a dank apartment building. Not great, and yet, I found there was so much inspiration to paint. something about the place sparked me. Chetwynd taught me that there are ‘gems’ everywhere on this earth and that the gems are not necessarily what you are expecting or easy to find.
It’s an odd feeling to be preparing to pick back up where I left off, because I am not as I was three years ago. The culture that surrounds public school in British Columbia is at best, toxic right now, but there remains that seed of possibility, creativity, and autonomy that spurs me on toward trying it again. It’s the next step, if only for a little while, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the experience brings up my paintings.
For example, today I thought I’d just spend a little time working on a new background I’ve begun.I should have known better. You see, I paint/create every day. Art steadies me and feeds my soul a love of life. When I open myself to artistic creativity, creativity just keeps on coming. I don’t like to stop until quiet enters my bones, until I start to think about what I’m doing…and that’s why I’m so prolific! Art is my medicine, and the making motion is the mantra.
I am, admittedly, concerned this website will steal time from the art room. Thinking of it as an extension of my studio might help me to embrace it. Long ago, during my M.A., I wrote a mission statement that still guides me:
My hope is that you will find enough beauty in my art to own it and celebrate it, or maybe find in yourself the courage and desire to either begin or continue a ‘journey of the __ art’.