Monthly Archives: November 2017

Healing through Creative Expression

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 4 Comments

A few weeks ago, I was asked to be part of a panel discussion for artist Rick Bartow’s exhibit The Things You Know but Cannot Explain. During his lifetime, Mr. Bartow often referred to his art as “affordable therapy.” During the panel discussion, I was asked to comment on the role of creativity as a mechanism for healing. I found the question to be an interesting one, as I myself have used art as part of my therapeutic healing process on more than one occasion. For example, after finalizing my divorce, moving, breaking my heel for a second time in a year and turning 40 – all in less than a month’s time – I found myself picking up a canvas and a paintbrush for the first time in over two decades. I painted my divorce – literally. I painted my pain, my sadness, my sense of loss, my sense of hopelessness. I painted with a vengeance – not because I had any aspirations of being a great painter, but because the more I painted, the more I noticed the colors that I was using started to brighten. I felt more hopeful, less defeated. With each stroke of the brush, it’s as though a little part of me moved forward, moved on.
I painted consistently for about six months after my divorce. Then life happened, and other things took priority. Since then, I have painted off and on.

But this past year, I have found myself drawn more and more to the paints. I’ve come to think of painting as a tool – not just for healing, but for processing – akin to my love of journaling for the same reason – and as an important part of my self-care.

Sometimes I have no idea what I’m going to paint when I sit down at the kitchen table. Quite often, I have more than one painting going at one time. As I wait for the paint to dry on one canvas, I’m starting another. Or as I’m waiting for inspiration to hit, I’ve moved on to another canvas with a different inspiration, knowing in time I will come back to the first. Or not. That’s the beauty of painting for me – there’s always a do over button (thank you gesso!) and there’s no real deadline.

There’s no stress, no rush, no “I must get this done” feeling about it. Sometimes I finish painting in a few days; sometimes it takes me months. I find it very soothing and peaceful, almost like a moving meditation.

But here’s the truth: I don’t consider myself a painter or even an artist. Why? Because I’ve never had formal lessons outside of grade school, and I wouldn’t call a mandatory grade school art class a formal lesson. I was actually talking with my artist/art teacher friend Tahirih about this a few weeks ago. First, she assured me that yes, I am an artist and I could tell my inner critic to keep her opinions to herself (you can see why I love Tahirih so much!). She said she read somewhere that our opinions about our talent and even our skill set as an artist can get “frozen in time” when we first receive criticism about our artwork. Neither one of us has actually looked at the research to back that up, but it makes sense to me. I don’t feel like my art has progressed since early junior high when: a) art classes got replaced by science classes, and b) I was told I wasn’t good enough to be in the school art show.

Yet, this conversation was the fuel I needed to make some changes. You see, the more I paint, the more I wish I knew more about painting – about how to get the image I see in my mind onto the canvas and have it look like how it looks in my mind. Thus, I’ve wanted to take art classes since I started painting again a few years ago, but I’ve never been able to work them into my schedule. So during that same conversation when Tahirih and I were talking about my art getting “frozen” in early junior high, I asked her if she would be willing to take her art classes online so I could fit them around my schedule and develop a more consistent practice around my painting. She agreed to do it – to teach art in an online class format. (I think I might’ve done a happy dance in her living room when she told me that!)

I spent my weekend buying painting supplies and am looking forward to diving into my first lesson. If you also want to learn more about painting and painting technique, check out Art Party Online.

In the meantime, keep working on whatever process you use for healing. I’d love to here where creativity fits into your healing and self-care in the comments below.

It’s as Simple as 1-2-3!

By | Everyday Goddesses, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

by guest blogger

Lauri Mackey

 

Right now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “nothing is as simple as 1, 2, 3…this girl is crazy!” I feel ya.  We are complicated, emotional, fascinating women who could probably all use more simplicity in our lives, right?  I just want to take a moment and acknowledge where you are in your journey and explain that the “concept” of this being as “Simple as 1, 2, 3” is just that…simple.  The execution of the plan however, can take energy, be as messy as a kitten in a yarn ball, but with a beautiful promise of freedom, peace and joy when it’s done.  Let’s begin.

Here is my formula for success:

It’s As Simple as 1, 2, 3!

  • 1 – Knowledge
  • 2 – Commitment/Action
  • 3 – Peace/Freedom/Joy

Let’s break each step down to bite-size chunks, shall we?

  • 1 – Knowledge
    • Knowledge is not enough. Through my experiences in life I have learned that knowledge is not enough.  You can get that college education and sit on your ass and do nothing about it later.  You can know without a shadow of a doubt that you need to be the bigger person and be the first to apologize to right a relationship that’s gone wrong and do nothing about it.  You know it’s the right thing to walk back into Target when you discover you accidentally had something in your cart you didn’t pay for, but you’re tired and just want to go home…Target is making millions…this little thing won’t be missed.
    • Knowledge is an important first step, you need to pass those college courses, you need to make that first step of healing in a relationship, you need to know right from wrong to walk your butt back into Target – Ignorance is bliss, but it is still ignorance. I would rather be informed and then make a conscious choice.
    • Here’s a real life example of what I’m talking about. Something I struggle with in my own life.  I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach who has been trained and done loads of research about what I should feed my body physically for fuel.  After all of that research, I decided to CHOOSE to become vegan giving up on meat, dairy, eggs, fish…basically anything that came from an animal.  That was 5 1/2 years ago.  Last November I gave up all processed sugar and will celebrate my 1-year anniversary on November 27th, 2017!  However, I know that other processed foods are not good for me like french fries from my favorite fast food vegan restaurant or the chips from Chipotle or Sharky’s that I adore covered in salt and a touch of lime.  I’ve suffered from food addiction and food obsession and even scale obsession.  My knowledge of what is good for me is not enough to overcome.  It takes commitment and action which is the next step in my Simple Formula
  • 2 – Commitment/Action
    • Commitment is an exclusionary process – Justin Livingston
      • Think about it. When you commit to a scheduled item like a doctor’s appointment or to spend time on ANYTHING, you are doing it as the exclusion of something else.  And that’s ok!  But it takes commitment and a conscious choice.
    • In speaking about commitment it is important to mention motivation. Motivation happens AFTER Action. Action is needed to create motivation.  If you take an action, motivation will follow and the key then is to create momentum to keep that cycle of action and motivation going.
    • In contrast to this…Addiction surrenders your freedom to choose. When I make a conscious choice to fuel my body with something that doesn’t give it power and makes me feel fulfilled, I have given up future freedom.  I can either choose to give up something now that I know will not serve me, or I give in, eat what I want and give up the future freedom of living in a right-sized body and fitting into my favorite jeans.  I mean, I love my yoga pants and would wear them daily by choice, but sometimes I want those sexy jeans and my cute red boots!
  • 3 – Peace/Freedom/Joy
    • If you have the blessed opportunity to blend knowledge and then take action with your commitments, I promise you these last three things: Peace, Freedom, and Joy. 
      • Peace that can only be found through deep personal satisfaction that you are doing your best.
      • Freedom from addiction and poor behaviors.
      • Joy from your accomplishments.

Then your job is to share your knowledge and the flow of Your Simple as 1, 2, 3 with the world because you want others to find that peace, freedom, and joy that you’ve found.  I’m sending you self-love, action that will take you to your motivation, and the joy that will surely follow.

You can reach out to me by subscribing to my weekly email on my website at laurislemonadestand.com, on Facebook @LaurisLemonadeStand, or Twitter @LauriMackey.  Thanx for reading and hope to connect with you soon!

Beginning the Descent into Darkness

By | Goddess Wisdom, Walk the Path, Wisdom Blog | 3 Comments

Last week was Halloween, the halfway point between Fall and Winter in the Northern Hemisphere (Spring and Summer in the Southern Hemisphere). Many of my clients, regardless of their location in the World (Northern or Southern hemisphere), have reported feeling a little “off” lately – like something is just not quite right. A lot of my clients, me included, are revisiting old issues they thought they had healed. Things like not enoughness; people pleasing; feeling flawed, broken, or not worthy; and even downright self-loathing are coming back with a vengeance.

Breathe. You are not alone.

You are not flawed. You are not broken. You are 100% worthy of your own love and everything your heart desires. These shadowy feelings emerging right now? I think they have everything to do with the seasonal transition we just went through and the fact that we only have 2 months left in 2017.

This is an interesting time of year, if you think about it. You might be looking back on the goals or intentions you set in January and realizing that you are “running out time.” You might be looking at the two months you have left in 2017 and thinking, “there’s not enough time.” On top of that anxiety-provoking undercurrent, we are facing the holiday season in a few short weeks, and that alone can be very stressful.

With the Winter Solstice less than two months away in the Northern hemisphere, the days are getting shorter. The increasing darkness outside seems to feel mirrored at some level on the inside. But this is not a time to be feared. This is a time to look at what Universe is mirroring for you. What’s coming up for you right now? Fear? Depression? Anxiety? About what? These are all little clues, if you will, to the “big picture” issues you need to face. Who am I? What do I really and truly want? What is my Purpose in Life? Is this a scary time? It can be. But, if you don’t ask the questions, you will never discover the answers.

I had a dream last week. In the dream, I was trying on all different kinds of clothes trying to get ready to go somewhere. But nothing fit and nothing worked and nothing seemed like the right choice. When I woke at 4:00 AM after having had that dream, I asked myself, “Okay, if nothing fits anymore, then what’s the next step?” It became obvious that there was no next step. It was about me figuring out what I really valued and wanted in life and then from there, I can answer those “big picture” questions. It’s about taking a journey back to me.

If you are feeling the same call – to journey back to yourself, I want you to know three things:

  • You are not alone. (You might have sensed a recurring theme with that one!) 🙂
  • Take all the time you need and give yourself more breathing room than you think you need. This is a journey. It takes as long as it takes.
  • On the surface, it may look like nothing has changed, and that’s okay. – In that dream I had, while I was panicked and repeatedly changing clothes looking for the “right fit,” life was going on around me. I think the message is this: Maybe you don’t have to make a choice right now. Maybe you can just put a few things on standby mode while you figure out what you want. You don’t have to figure it all out right this instant. You know, take the pressure off a little. Give yourself permission to take all the time you need.

“You have permission to be gentle with yourself. You have permission to allow yourself Grace. It (whatever “it” is) may not be available to you today. That’s okay. You’re (still) okay. This is simply one moment in time. This moment does not define you. Allow grace.” – Casey Daly

How can you give yourself more permission to just be with what is right now? How can you allow yourself more grace?