If you look up the definition of ‘mandala,’ you will see that it represents the search for ‘completeness’ and ‘self-unity’. Though I love these concepts, I am realizing in my life, that the search for that, or rather the experience of them is NEVER a perfect evolution, a perfect circle. There is a constant ebb and flow and one step forward and two steps back. I feel like it’s much more accurate to demonstrate our lifelong journey of learning and growth in a form that is a bit more organic. This is something I am in the process of creating, and I’m not sure if I should fill the page, or leave it as it is. I will add the final photo when I decide. I would like to do more of them!
Here is another one of the tiny pieces I’ve played with. Ah there are so many fun creations I am in the middle of. I will share more when they are finished!
Everyone has stress in their lives, no matter who they are. Some stress can be helpful buzzy excited stress that keeps us moving from appointment to experience to family to growth. But lately I’ve had the kind of stress that is unfortunately thick anxiety. It’s like a heavy cloud of nerves rumbling and shaking over my head, in between my shoulder blades, around my fingers. It’s been swirling around my eyes and filled my head with jitters and sheer exhaustion. This has been so so so stressful.
What is the line between helpful stress and horrible anxiety?
I know everyone gets stressed. I know LIFE can be stressful no matter what is going on. But what I am in the process of figuring out is HOW I can show up, be present, feel the fear, and then allow myself to let it go so I can FUNCTION like a human.
How do other people do it?
I mean I meditate.
I breathe deeply.
I take walks.
But lately this anxiety has surpassed all of that.
I’ve been remembering that I am in charge of my thoughts. I don’t NEED to be a victim to the chatter in my brain. Who says it’s the truth? Who says I need to listen to it. I guess that’s the helpful part of doing this writing. I have the opportunity to pour it out instead of letting it scald my insides.
I think if I look inside the anxiety, it’s not just the shell of ‘stress’ that is causing me to feel this way. Inside at the core, is shame. It’s this dread that maybe I’m not enough, not capable, not worthy. That something inside isn’t quite right.
It’s funny, LOGICALLY I know that none of that is true, I really do. I know that I am moving in the right direction, I know I am here for many reasons, I know I am enough. So is it just the human condition that we question those things? Are these deep rooted fears that ALL humans have? Are they old childhood fears that just poke their head up every now and then? I don’t know, but it’s so fascinating.
What I do know is that the concept of SHAME isn’t felt with just me. I know I am not alone with it. But is it a societal experience? Or from our families? It’s like, just because things aren’t going super smooth or maybe our bodies aren’t doing exactly what we would want, why do we have SHAME around it? Why do we feel oh no what is WRONG with me?
I must be:
In reality we ALL have stuff to work on, work through, work around. All of us. And I know that. I know I’m not the only one.
This is really helpful to write through. Remembering that we are all on this journey together and no matter what it is, we do experience similar feelings of stress, isolation, loneliness, sadness, exhaustion, shame.
We are far more alike than different.
I think if I remember that, if I sit in that, the shame starts to diminish and the stress feels like it’s lessening.
I can take more walks, I can allow space for meditation and writing and be EASIER with myself. I can do that.
I am doing the best I can. My body deserves ease. I can live my life with more ease and trust.
What are ways that you ease anxiety?
I am loving these gesturally exciting abstract paintings. They are full of movement and sexuality and bodies dancing together. Ahhhh!
I’d love to see one up close.
Check her out:
There is nothing cooler than a really amazing installation artist. I would love to walk inside one of Jason’s creations.
He’s known for his structural wall and ceiling installations. Wowwww! He uses a lot of materials that pay homage to his Japanese heritage.
Check him out:
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Ahhjjajse4vnsedrlflsfv! The question I have dreaded for years seems to creep it’s sneaky little head again into my existence.
I have hated this question since the beginning.
I guess I have just never been sure how to answer it. I mean, when I was working at a large recruiting firm and making great money, I hated the question. I knew that what I WAS DOING TO BRING IN A PAYCHECK, had nothing to do with WHO I AM AS A HUMAN. In fact, I hated my job. I cried almost everyday. I wanted nothing more than to be making art. But when I was asked this ‘what do you do,’ question, I gave a brief, quick, emotionless answer. I didn’t mention that my SOUL is an artist and always has been. I never talked about how I DO yoga, and I DO spirituality and I feel pain in other people’s bodies. I would immediately sum up the job I went to for 8 hours a day into a nice little packet, since I assumed that is what the question called for.
But I didn’t feel seen.
I didn’t feel that suddenly this person GOT me as a human or that we were able to maybe CONNECT on a deeper level. It just became a canned response to rattle off if someone in a half listening haze were to ask it.
Fast forward years later and I was working at a company where I liked my coworkers and occasionally got to use my gifts. I talked to people and got to help them and I laughed and for the most part felt like myself. But then again that sneaky little weird question would come up outside of work. ‘So,… what do YOU do?’ I felt awkward telling my memorized reply of being a project manager for a software company. It wasn’t interesting enough to have anyone WANT to ask a question about it.
In fact, I felt like a liar.
I WASN’T A PROJECT MANAGER. I am an empathetic woman that is really good at talking to people. I am full of light and joy. I am eternally an artist. (My art journal sat on my lap so I could draw during calls.) I am able to laugh at myself and people feel comfortable talking about their own mistakes. I am a teacher, and enjoyed showing and sharing. And the whole time I wanted to be making art. Just making making making….
Uhhhhh I could never say all that! ahahha
Fast forward again…. My hubby wants me to fully show up exactly as I want to.
So I am making art.
I am working on a website. I am learning how to push through even when I am struggling or don’t understand something. I am an artist, and finally get to be one everyday.
Nowadays when people ask this super surface sad question, I tell people I am an artist. Because I am. It doesn’t matter how much I’ve sold or not. I have never cared about that anyway.
The way I see things is as an artist.
The way I feel things straight to my core is an artist.
An artist may draw or paint or write or create anything, or just notice the tiny little details of life.
Even this is confusing for people.
They don’t know what to make out of this answer because they can’t put me in a box.
I can feel their brain bursting with, ‘WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? DOES SHE SELL? HOW MUCH? HOW OFTEN? WHO KNOWS HER? How many followers on Instagram does she have? What is happening here? SO DOES SHE NOT WORK???’
I guess those are all valid questions for someone that only measures success by money. But if you were to feel that money is just as small percentage of the abundance that surrounds us, you probably wouldn’t get hung up on my answer. By me stating that I am an artist, I am sharing far more with you than just a job description. I am sharing how my soul was made. I am sharing everything I have judged and feared and wished was different about myself.
I am sharing my very essence.
It’s funny how writing all that out is actually teaching me in the moment how I really feel.
But then my stepdaughter asked me the other day, “So what DO YOU DO? I mean like, WHAT IS YOUR JOBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB?” And for some reason my confidence all went away. It’s probably because her mother is a hardcore intellectual, and works 80+ hours a week at a job she hates. So I guess there was a feeling that I was going to get judged. But I was super uncomfortable with the question!
I sort of mumbled something about art and websites and then changed the subject. I felt so out of my body.
Days later I realize that she wasn’t trying to be rude, she was just curious. And if ANYONE is going to lead her to follow her truth, it’ll be me.
It will be.
If anyone is going to show her that she can DO AND BE AND HAVE anything she wants, it’ll be me.
But! I need to OWN my journey before I can properly explain it to her. If I am looking for approval from her, or needing her to get it, or agree, or have what I say be enough, then I am not helping. I need to OWN all of me and then speak from the truth of that.
Ahhhhh…. writing this has been so validating. I love not knowing what is going to come out until I sit down at the computer.
Why do most of us spend so much of our time and energy not feeling like we are enough?
What if we are EXACTLY enough in every way? All these years of wishing I was different, I am just going to start embracing who I am so I can help my daughter do the same.
Wow…. can’t believe October is already beginning. Life is moving so quickly.
I have committed to finishing things I start, and handling all of the elements for my art business. I know I have complained a lot about some of these tasks, but… I am doing them!
I am feeling capable!
I am seeing myself transform and it is FROM ME!
So here is something I learned a week ago that is really really helping me. When there is a task that I am not excited to do, I can trick myself into getting way more done anyway. I set my timer for a short amount of time. It can be 30 minutes, or 20 or even 5. Lez be honest, sometimes 30 minutes seems way too long. But the cool thing is I am getting these incredible moments of being hyper FOCUSED on what I want to work on. It’s amazing how much I can get accomplished in such a short period of time.
Does anyone out there also struggle with focus? I’d love to hear your tricks to getting things done.
Anyway, I’m really proud of myself and am loving feeling like I can do anything I focus on. Yessss!
In a time of so much opposition I created this piece to represent the constant connection that we all still have. I think the opposition was there all along, just uprooted with the election of a certain president. But below that, below the unrest and the anger and the outrage, we do connect at the core. We are human. We love. We cry. We feel. We can come together.