When things get overwhelming, I take to colour. I think this is the reason I love Autumn so much. The myriad of colours; crimson, pumpkin, golden and umber. See what I did there? I elevated my vocabulary as sometimes I can be lazy and just use the obvious.
Anyhow. Back to the colour fields. Playing with colour fills my pot. Shifts my energy. And makes me happy. A simple task but well worth the effort.
Lately, I’ve started new journals. Square journals. Altered books. Notebooks. Any blank page I can fill with colour I will. I share some of the results here to inspire you to play. To let go and just lose yourself in the process. Forget the result. Forget perfection. And surrender to the joy of play.
I have arrived.
I am home.
— Thich Nhat Hahn
Work in Progress
In 2015, when the shit hit the fan, I had to change. My whole life was in tatters and I had to find a way to live again. But live on my own terms. Live true to my soul.
For decades I’d been on the production trail. Do do do. Produce produce produce. Because I’d eventually I’d get to the promised land. I’d be successful, famous and accepted.
What I know now from having to start over is that there is no end point. There’s only the journey. I’m in a constant state of becoming. Becoming a better version of myself. But I will never be complete or perfect because that state just doesn’t exist. It’s a fallacy we’re fed to keep us keeping on. The desire or promise keeps us working with our heads down, selling out our souls for very little rewards. We think we are living the life we want to live but really, we’re living the life ‘they’ want us to live. The system, that is.
Now, I’m happy with less. Happy to work small. Happy with little ripples I create because I know in my heart that this is the authentic me at work. I know now, what I do, I do from the heart. I do in service to others with no expectations or need for anything in return. Living my life on my terms is my reward. And that’s enough. I’m enough just being me.
1. Re-entry into my everyday after being away is harsh.
2. The sun glows low.
3. We walk the shore alone and smell the waves.
4. My everyday life is full of kinks.
5. The terns dance within the foam.
6. Strong black coffee steams.
7. Luther Vandross ‘Searching’ on the radio.
8. Emails plying up as is the washing.
9. Box set bingeing late into the night.
10. Not ready to start it all again tomorrow.
When my days are lived at a pace.
When my time is filled with noise.
When my eyes are lit up by a screen.
I feel a creeping dread up my spine.
Red ants invade my hairline
and I feel as if there is no escape.
I’m uncomfortable in my skin,
taking only shallow breaths.
Heavy and awkward, never feeling rest or calm,
I forget who I am.
When I withdraw to slow down.
When I turn off external sounds.
When my ears become accustomed
to the voice deep within my being,
I can feel my soul and she speaks
from heart of love.
I know it’s not all about me …
I took my mother-in-law to her radiotherapy session this morning. Her last one. Yes!!! She got to ring the bell afterward; the sound telling the world that she has completed her treatment.
We do not know as yet if all was successful. But we accept this moment with joy. She has undergone her treatment with courage and grace. And I’ve told her as such.
So when I say I know it’s not all about me … I’ve come home and I’m just so tired. I am exhausted and have just come to bed to rest. To switch off and recharge.
And there is a part of me that wants to beat myself up for being such a wuss, for feeling so tired. I know there is a sense of shame because I feel I have no right to feel this way. I haven’t just undergone cancer treatment. I haven’t been fighting cancer like my mother-in-law for the past year or so.
I’m trying to quieten this critical voice and just let things be; to acknowledging my tiredness which is an accumulation of a number of things. To stop beating myself up if I reach for the next chocolate or chuck of crusty bread instead of that green smoothie or handful of nuts and seeds.
I’m practicing letting it all be and surrendering to how things are, how I feel. How exhausted I am. And it’s hard. It means stripping away a lifetime of beliefs and behaviours that include holding up everything for everyone. That’s the way I should be, the way I’m expected to be by myself and others.
I cried today in the hospital when I saw that frail old woman almost skip into that treatment room. She couldn’t get it over with quick enough. I cried for what she’s been going through. For her family, for us, for our lives, for our fears and for our love.
I cried in surrender as I couldn’t carry on any more with everything packaged up so tight inside, a practice I’m so expert at as a means of just getting on with things.
I realise that the world will keep on spinning if I decide to take a rest now. Life does go on with or without me. With or without you.
This is starting to sound like a Jerry Springer moment, but really take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
I’m learning this and practicing this.
Trying to silence those voices of shame, guilt and selfishness. It’s not. It’s self-care. It’s self-compassion. It’s self-love.
#hygge #alchemy #authenticsheshe #compassion #practice #belovedbodypeace #cancertreatment #family #love #shame #surrender #voice #letitbe #letitgo