What a summer. Talk about breaking wide open. If you remember, it was the fire that started me on this journey to authenticity...to living wholeheartedly. The universe seems to always challenge my commitment to these things and this time was no different. Stephen's drowning has challenged me in ways I never want to experience again, but I surely will because I will lose others that I love deeply. The universe also brings me the people I need to help me on my journey-I have been blessed with a tribe of women who are giving me exactly what I need right now.
My biggest lessons this summer have been about self-love, self acceptance, and self compassion. Self love isn't about getting a pedi every week or treating yourself to ice cream (ok, maybe it is a little bit). It is about a deep understanding of yourself, recognizing your beauty and being compassionate with all the parts of yourself. For me, it was the realization that I am not flawed or damaged...I just am. I make mistakes, I do dumb stuff, I am not always nice, I have a belly and lopsided boobs and I am still pretty cool and worthy of love. Being able to accept that I am not ok right now has been huge for me...six months ago I would have still tried to be superwoman through my grief...not happening now. I am actively engaged in self care and being very tender with myself as I heal.
Dirty Footprints Studio . In this class, we paint BIG..poster size. I have never done that before and I love it. But here is the kicker...in learning to paint FEARLES I have learned to let go of the gremlins that talk crap to me. The ones who tell me I am not good enough, not worthy, fat, ugly, a bitch, not really an artist....you know the gremlins I am talking about. Posting my paintings on FB, flickr, etc, isn't about me wanting everyone to see my work, it's about squashing the gremlins. I don't really care if anyone likes my artwork.....I don't always like it either. It isn't about what I create.....it's about THAT I create. Putting my art out there is telling the gremlins to "bite me". Being able to release the perfectionist gremlin and the attachment to the outcome of the art piece has only fortified my self love and acceptance. I no longer allow the gremlins to speak to me in such unkind ways or decide if I am worthy. I don't have to do or be anything to be loveable...I just am. Who knew?
The class has also allowed me to practice being present. I am famous for having my energy 10 miles ahead of me, already thinking about the next 16 projects I want to do..six that I will start and one that I might actually follow through on. When I paint on these big pieces of paper, I stay fully present in what I am doing. I want to experience the process of it-how the paint feels, the colors, the emotions, the texture of the paper and the brush in my hand. I don't worry about how it looks or if the technique is correct. I am trying to use the same process for LIFE. I don't want to miss a minute of the good stuff worrying about whether I got it right or not. I have also been able to focus on what really makes my heart sing and use that as my compass for what/who I want to give my energy to. Yep all that from a painting class (if you haven't guessed its about way more than the paint-AWESOME class).
So, these paintings are from this weeks assignment. Self portrait and a blind self portrait... I actually identify more with the blind self portrait. I love her because she is imperfect, a little sideways, and a little silly...just like me.