There was little time for stillness and reflection while swept up in the busy::sleep-less::scattered past few days. Lucky for me, I had found moments to reflect and be calm before the holidays started swinging.
My first thought was reminder pictures. Reminder pictures are a tool we use at our school to help children hold an inner picture of themselves as doing the right thing. For instance, if a child has been reminded in class to stop goofing off with his neighbor, and continues to do it, he might be given a reminder picture where he draws himself working quietly. In thinking about the holy nights, I was reminded of the things I need to cultivate within myself.
The second thought was of my home. In looking around my home, there are few things that truly speak about who I am, who this family is. Maybe someone from outside would think differently, but I feel there is an emptiness there. I believe the things you surround yourself with affect you.
The third thought I had was about art and creativity. Art has always been a compulsion for me....a way of being in the world...a way of making sense of my personal history...a way to process, organize, and express. It has been a compulsion and a drive. Ultimately, though, living the creative process has been a way for me to heal. I want to bring consciousness to that. I want to work on strengthening my voice.
I want to paint.
I fear painting. I buy canvases on sale and tease, "oh, those are for retirement. I will paint when I retire." But when I look deeper, the truth is, I am scared. I am scared of being empty. I am scared of being imperfect. I am scared I won't have something to say. I am scared that what I produce won't be good enough. I am not the most skilled artist in the world.
I am going to summon the courage to work through that fear. I am going to listen to the parts of me that say, "so what if it isn't good enough?? So what if it isn't this or that? SO WHAT?" I am going to paint through all those parts that say this and say that and find my Self, my voice. This is important work! This is healing.
So, I would like to do a series of reminder pictures. I would like to use them to strengthen the qualities I have, and help remind me that I am developing areas of weakness. However, I am not going to limit myself to just painting. I would like to allow myself to write poetry, sew, knit, draw, whatever inspires me. I will allow myself to be inspired by others instead of stifling myself with this illusion that I can somehow be original.
My list is going to come in the next few days. I think words like tolerance, nurturing, kindness, family, openness, lack of anxiety, spirituality, connectedness, organization, creativity...these are things I'd like to nurture. I'd like to think of more so I have a pool to pull from. But if I process, through art, one word a month (sort of like the holy nights but different), at the end of the year I will have "pictured" myself....and remind myself who I am, where I come from, and who I would like to be. At the very least, I will have a strong inner journey. And just maybe I will be able to surround myself and our home with these pictures.
Whew! Thanks for reading this. If you were around last year, you know from my Hero of the Sanctuary (see labels) journey that I am fond of new year's plans. Tomorrow I have an invitation I would like to extend to all of you, and you can join me and be part of a collective affirmation. Stay tuned!