Category Archives: Self-love

Snow that melts when it hits the road

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The blue, the green, the endless steps of a human life.

I have been fortunate enough to have been reintroduced to my roots lately.

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All those footprints in snow, melted ages ago.

I see the deep, harrowing loneliness and isolation of my childhood and teenage years.

I remember how I would have given all of my reflective capabilities, all of my depth for just a few moments of belonging, of being able to immerse myself in a drunken appreciation of the rowdiness I saw all around me. Instead I saw it all, as through a glass wall, the observations, sensations and emotions around me swirling into my brain. There was a clear eyed, calm voiced witness inside of me that commented on everything, including my own actions and motivations.

This experience of being, through no conscious choice of my own, shut out from the pack, outside of something that everyone else could partake in, left to my own overwhelming sensations and interior landscape, gave rise to this deep yearning to find authentic connection. To somehow explore what I saw, express it, see if I could find someone else who recognized what I was sensing.

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Pines, my best friends since childhood.

As I took a longer walk back from my children’s school this morning, I took time to stay with each footprint in the snow, a drop of water swaying this way and that on a pine branch, the particular scent of bared asphalt and snow that melts when it hits the road.

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Do you know this kind of snow? The kind with the wet slushy last crunch? Spring is on its way.

I see my isolation differently now.

The eyes of self-compassion see myself as an adolescent in a new way. I was practising my future life in a way, those difficult years. Something inside of me knew that my life, my heart path, lay elsewhere. No matter how I tried, I could not fit into that which was not of my soul. Something inside of me was stronger than my will and I just could not squeeze myself hard enough to fit into the tiny space that was offered to me.

Have you ever felt it? That no matter how you try, you just cannot make yourself convincingly fit into the roles offered to you?

My sense of being on the sidelines fills me with this deep silence, a spaciousness that can contain and give birth to new universes. This otherness in me makes it possible to stand the distance between myself and the world. It is also from this gap that connection is born; the active, compassionate, loving reaching out to you, there, on the other side of silence.

The deeper I paint myself into this exploration of self-love and self-compassion, the slower and more silent I become. It doesn’t feel like a punishment, anymore. It feels like coming home.

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Who knows what will grow out of this dirt, come spring?

So I wanted to write a bit,

today,

just a wordy wave,

to you out there,

where ever you are and

wish you a day of self-compassion with all that you live with, today.

Self-love skill #2 – Inside Out

 

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The adventure of self-love continues. Yesterday, after coming home from meeting my work counsellor and seeing an artist friend, I updated this illustration. I don’t think the problem with loving ourselves is the self-care, as much as what happens within, when we do care for ourselves and our boundaries.

Setting boundaries is scary. We only ever see the surface of the people who set their boundaries for us. But when we do it, lots of stuff happens inside.

For me, saying no is often accompanied with a sensation of nausea, guilt, endlessly questioning whether I did the right thing and if I hurt the other.

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As for the acrylic part of the project, here is the big, first acrylic painting in the Getting Lost in Landscapes of Self-Love on the right. On the left is its little sister, called “Loving Self”, from my last show.

Now, I’m going to tidy up my studio, to make room for clients and more painting. Thanks for following this winding path, as I find my way, impulse by impulse, into this new project.

How are you loving yourself today?

Self-love Skill #2; NO.

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Self-love skill number two. Saying no appropriately.

Man, how I struggle with this one. There’s saying it, of course. Hard at times, almost impossible at others.

But before you can say no, you have to be able to feel into what you really really want. Yes or no. You have to be able to say, I’ll come back to you, I’ll think about it for a while.

You need to accept, appreciate and allow your preferences.

Then, you may need to calmly say no thank you. Sometimes forcefully.

So, the practice continues. 🙂

Oh, and what do self-love skills have to do with creativity? My current experience is that the more I make art, the more productive I am, the more time I need for empty space time, bupkis days, taking care of my needs. It’s all part of the whole of creative work. Although the final act of creation may be fast and expressive, what makes that possible is sometimes a lot of time spent incubating, ruminating and in general just containing different kinds of tension.

This means I need to carve out that time by saying no. A lot. Trust the process, trust the need for this time, trust myself.

Sometimes saying no to the outside world is saying yes to your own art, whatever its expression.

What can you say no to today, as a way of practising self-love?

Implemented Self-Love, One Illustration at a Time

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Look at yourself in the mirror with a loving gaze.

Back from Scotland and my adventures into the mystery of loving self.  Things keep getting more hectic here on our planet, more turbulent. I felt an updated skill set in caring for myself would be appropriate. I’m glad I did.

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Edinburgh was a beautiful place where it was easy to breathe deeply. I came back with lots of inner space and a collection of non-verbal, not yet painted experiences.

I’ve always thought loving ourselves is a pretty abstract concept. Easy to think and talk about, harder to practice. A quick google search seems to indicate it isn’t an easy concept generally speaking.

It seems to me, loving ourselves is something to be practised, day by day. This way it does increase, helping us to keep center in this ever-changing world of ours.

So while I’m painting my huge paintings around this theme, here in my studio, I thought I would ask my inner crew to give me something more tangible, that can be shared now.

I asked my friends: What is implemented self-love? Here’s the first illustration, T. and Fant style.

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What is implemented self-love for you, today?