I’m training for Art Battle yet again! Today I switched it up a bit and did some faces instead of hearts. I’ve done hearts on all my battle paintings, and I need a change! These are both 20-minute paintings, 16″ x 20″, called “Love me”, and available to purchase either apart or as a set. Contact me to purchase!
I long to be shown affection, and showing it to others does not come naturally to me. Maybe that’s not strictly true; I don’t have to remind myself to hug my children, but I also wonder if I do it enough. When it comes to my family of origin, though – my parents and my brothers – I do need to make a conscious effort to show affection.
I am happy to have found, and become a part of, several communities of people who are aware of the effect of physical contact and hugging, and make an effort to embrace for long enough to the get the oxytocin flowing.
Sometimes, when I do get the affection I’ve been craving, it can feel like too much after awhile. The swinging of the pendulum, from one extreme to another, is a regular occurrence for me: lonely and craving hugs, to smothered and desiring space.
Fully receive: Without putting up walls, by opening my senses, by opening my heart, by allowing the gift of another to touch me, by allowing the words of another to be true.
Fully give: Without an agenda, without expecting any reply or gratitude, by opening my heart, and by pouring my essence into the gift.
I find both of these to be very challenging. Allowing the gift of another to touch me, well, this threatens my lack of self-worth, and up go the walls. Giving to another without any expectation of gratitude feels like pretending.
Can I really be so open to let in the loving words of others?
Can I really be so egoless as to not desire gratitude?
Do I need to be these things?
Almost exactly 8 years ago, I was hospitalized for several days because of a high fever and a full-body rash that the doctors suspected to be an allergic reaction, but after much testing, they could only suggest that it was all due to a viral infection. It wasn’t either of these things, and my body knows it.
The rash began shortly after completing a weekend Core Connexion dance workshop, during which I danced out the story of “not needing help from anyone” (even metaphorically, through dance, I was unwilling to receive help). The idea that I can, or need to, do everything on my own, is strongly linked to my perfectionism, and it’s a story that’s been with me a long time. The hospital stay forced me to receive help, to be fed, looked after and cared for, and to allow others to look after my three very young children, too.
Since then, I have had more awareness in recognizing my limitations, I’ve had more courage to ask for help, and I have even been able to enjoy receiving help from others.
Seed, stalk, flower.
The path of growth.
I am all of these things, at all times, in different areas of my life.
Right now, I am a seed in learning how to play guitar. I have just been planted, and haven’t even sent any roots out yet.
I am a stalk in my business. I am learning what works, and what doesn’t, trying new things, and moving upwards. There is still much potential for growth.
I am a flower in my parenting. I have learned so much along this path, and while I am by no means done, I am at a point of blossoming, with the ability to reach my full potential in any moment, and to soak up the energy of my children, the way a flower opens to the sun.
I love how this lined up! Today’s theme is making new friends, and tonight I attended the first Calgary post-Great Life Redesign gathering. I knew most of the faces of the women there, but tonight I really had the opportunity to witness their greatness, to be present in their vulnerability, and to hear their voices. I felt seen, I felt celebrated, and I made new friends.
My motto this year is:
HONOUR MY BODY
I’ve been doing fairly well with the first two, but as for honouring my body – not so much. I reached a new low two nights ago when I ate 3 Twinkies and a bag of Doritos for my second dinner (the first was a salad, so maybe they cancel each other out?). It’s taking awhile for me to learn how to take care of myself when I am living the life of a single lady.
My word of the year is VALUE, and I’ve noticed, too often lately, how low my feeling of self-worth is at times. Intellectually, I know I am worth a whole lot more than I allow myself to feel, but having reached the Twinkie low, I have decided it’s time to value my body more, starting with eating well. I purchased many vegetables today, with some dip to make sure I will enjoy eating them. I even cooked kale and spinach for dinner, and stopped myself from bringing home sweet treats, except for chocolate, because that doesn’t count. Two other ways I would like to take care of me: earlier bedtime (11pm), and not eating after dinner.