Category Archives: Growth

Trust

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“Trust”, 8″ x 10″, $250

How do I keep moving forward in the uncertainty of this world?
I need to trust.

How can I know that everything will work out exactly as it is supposed to work out?
I need to trust.

How can I see that what I am doing is the right thing?
I need to trust.

How can I hear my own truth when the voices of others are so loud?
I need to trust.

How can I feel what is deep inside me, and allow it to enter the world?
I need to trust.

I trust that the universe will support me.
I trust that all that I need will be provided.
I trust in me.

I need to trust.

Communication and Vulnerability

Yesterday I experienced two very different forms of communication:

1. Two people talking to each other, one was angry (but not at the other), and both were speaking at the same time, over each other, each trying to have their stories heard. I felt myself becoming over-stimulated, and backing away. I wanted to leave, because I could see how neither person was hearing the other, and this made me sad and overwhelmed.

2. I delivered a painting to an acquaintance of mine, and we began to talk. The more we talked, the more openly we each shared, and at one point, I realized just how well this man was listening to me. He asked thoughtful questions, and listened with intent. I felt seen, I felt heard, I felt safe. This allowed me to be vulnerable, and to share some things with him that, before yesterday, I didn’t think I would have. He also allowed himself to be vulnerable and share with me.

Vulnerability is one of my core values, and I surround myself with people who have the ability to be vulnerable, to share their deepest truths. This helps me to grow, to be seen, and to connect with others.

Watch Brene Brown’s TED talk on the Power of Vulnerability here.

Sewing on my Shadow

SelfLove365: Day 195

During a healing session with Roxanne, she asked me to go into the well in my heart. This visualization was very clear for me: the well was deep, dark, damp, and scary. I entered it from a vast library, and as I went down into the well, with Roxanne at my side, I was scared, but she encouraged me to go to the bottom (I didn’t think there was a bottom, but she assured me there was one). Once I was there, I found a book on the ground: “Peter Pan”. This seemed odd to me, at first, until I remembered that I used to listen to the soundtrack often, when I was a child. I opened it, and turned to two parts in the story. One was the scene where Wendy and her brothers are first leaping from the window, into the sky. The other was the image of Wendy sewing Peter’s shadow to him. Both of these had meaning for me, which Roxanne explained, but I already knew the meanings intuitively, too. The image of sewing on the shadow was particularly important to me – I can claim my shadow side, and know that it also helps others create a clearer view of themselves, and in this way, it is a gift.

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Gratitude Tuesday :: Tree Hugging

I’ve never hugged a tree in my life. Until yesterday.

As I was leaving the gym, I felt drawn to Griffith Woods, a beautiful forest-y spot with trails located, a short drive from my home. I walked a few minutes into the woods, and discovered this tree.

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You know, thinking about hugging a tree, and actually hugging a tree are completely different things, as I discovered. I felt my heart open – it seemed as though I could feel the life force of the tree, or all that came before it that made up the tree. It felt like a connection to the Source, to the Universe, and my tears flowed in gratitude. I know it sounds hokey in writing, but it was a beautiful experience. I love that tree.

Tree hugger. From my project #selflove365

Tree hugger. #selflove365

The Hole.

There is a hole inside me.
It wanted to be filled, and I have tried to fill it.
I’ve tried filling it with other people’s words, other people’s actions.
I’ve tried filling it with my own affirmations, my own actions.
Nothing worked.
It’s still there.

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Day 98: The hole. #selflove365

I always thought the hole needed filling.

It doesn’t.

Excerpt from “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo, April 8, p. 116, Red Wheel/Weiser, 2000.
“In keeping the center of the I empty,
the miracle of life can enter and heal.

It’s not by chance that the dark center of the human eye, the pupil, is actually an empty hole through which the world becomes known to us. Likewise, in a spiritual sense, the I is the empty center through which we see everything. It’s revealing that such a threshold is called a pupil, for it is only when we are emptied of all noise and dreams of ego that we become truly teachable.”

Even with the hole, I am whole.

Self Love 365

After taking on the 365 Project last year (one self portrait a day for a year), I wanted to continue with some kind of daily project. I really loved the rhythm created by having something to do each day, the creativity involved in making each photograph unique, and the collection amassed (and sense of satisfaction at having completed it) at the end of the project.

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I considered doing some kind of gratitude project, like Lori Portka’s “A Hundred Thank-Yous”, where she created 100 paintings for people she treasured in her life. At some point, I will do a similar project, but what occurred to me is that I need to love myself before I can really love and give to others in such a big way.

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This is a question that has been on my mind for a long time: Do I love myself? Sometimes it feels like the answer is no. The voices in my head are so nasty sometimes, so critical, that it hardly feels like love. On the other hand, I go out to dance once or twice a week, I am doing the thing I love the most (painting), I go to the gym every other day, and I eat relatively well (but lets not get into food now, because food is my go-to source of love when I am down). Those things all sound like I take care of myself, that I am doing things that show love for myself, right?

This is where the critical voices come in, saying, “You aren’t doing it right”, “You still aren’t good enough”, “If you loved yourself, you would just know it”, “If you loved yourself, you wouldn’t need to do this project”.

Bullshit.

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And so, Selflove365 was born. I am drawing something I love (or like) about myself in a 1″ x 1″ square per day, every day of this year. The first 15 days were pretty easy, but then it felt like I could hit a wall soon, and run out of things I like. So far, I haven’t, and if that happens, surely I can still find something, even if it’s my fingernail. I sit at my desk and allow it to come to me, rather than planning ahead, the same way that I paint.

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I’m curious about how or if I will change by the end of the year. Two of my friends have joined me in this project, one of whom is sharing her squares (as I do) on Facebook. Will you join me? I also post my squares everyday on Instagram. Tag your photos with #selflove365 so we can encourage and support each other!

Prints! and parenting… and procrastination.

It’s been over year since I had the idea of making printed reproductions of my paintings. It took me months to research the place to do get it done, another few months to get it done, and another few months to actually tell you about it.

My “To Do” list is so long, that very little actually gets done. After painting (which takes most of my time), there is not much time in my day left for the other things I would like to do. I can accept this. I am a mother of three children, so my time is split between household responsibilities, and my artistic career. I am not willing to put in the night hours, working after my children are in bed – that would make me insane (after making me tired, cranky, and probably sick). My evenings are usually filled with dancing or class meetings, or spending time with my hubby. Sometimes I wonder if I just don’t take myself seriously enough, but mostly, I feel like I have a good balance. So, when I am wondering why I am not in galleries yet, or why I am not selling more paintings yet, or why there isn’t a greater demand for my work yet, I remind myself that I get what I put into this process, and this is as much as I am willing to put in right now.

Rarely do I remember to look back to pre-2009, but I should. I can remind myself of how far I have come. Before 2009, I knew I wanted to be an artist. No wait, I knew I was an artist, but I was so good at procrastinating, and kept putting off creating. There was something really scary about starting on the path of becoming an artist. Scarier than a blank canvas, scarier than the blank page – this was a blank path, and I was so scared to take that first step.

I’m so glad I did.

(just do it)

My prints are available in my Etsy shop. I still have one more to list – it might take me another few weeks to do that (ha!).

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