Posts in Healing
On Grief, Grace & Grit
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If you've been rocking with me for a while, you're aware that earlier this year in May, I lost my younger brother, William to suicide. (at least now I can say his name). He was 32 years old. The healing process from this tragedy has left me with a lot to learn; so many feelings to process, and a greater understanding of who I am and this ever so complex thing called Emotional Wellness. 

The driving phrase I chose for 2017 was "Cultivating Radiant Joy". In January when I chose it, I told myself I was going to study and understand joy, I was going to pursue JOY and have a JOYOUS year. Yup! Happy dance type shit! All the time! What I didn't know then but definitely know now is that truly deep sorrow and Grief gives way to joy. 

There aren’t really words to tell you how this pain has cracked my soul wide open. It's such a visceral pain; the kind you can feel in your chest -- while the rest of your mind and body feel numb. On the flip side, it creates an intensity of awareness that makes you feel a connection to everything around you. You start to discern things about people you couldn’t see before. You feel the truth about situations in your spirit. 

But this connection only comes after the hardship of feeling, you know the kind that causes you to lose interest in work, being with people, or pretty much anything involving you to feel things. The kind that makes you walk around in sweatpants and not comb your hair. It's strange how even the most connectedness driven folks can push everyone and everything away and operate in that state of isolation for weeks without even noticing. And if you're anything like me, you'll do your best to avoid feeling down because it's a source of discomfort. 

And that’s where Grace comes in. 

Grace is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot. But I wanted to dig deeper for an adequate definition. Here’s what I found:: It has been defined as “the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation.” 

I binged watched TV shows, enjoyed one glass of wine too many, too often. I didn’t hang out with friends, and I barely answered my phone. Some days the “influence to regenerate and sanctify” my own soul led me to pick up my paint brush even when I didn’t feel like painting. And on some days I found an ounce of strength and endurance, but On sooooo many days I was this close to giving up. And sometimes I just DID NOTHING. And grace was being okay with that. I’d love to know, where has GRACE shown up in your life lately? Have you endured any loss this year? How are you getting thru it? Leave me a comment below. 
 

My newest collection, "This is Grace" will be released next week. These paintings are special and are from a beautiful place in my heart. I hope you’ll connect with these pieces, and more than that - I hope that there’s at least one that speaks to you.

Embracing the Mystery of Uncertainty

This painting was completed just before my solo exhibit this Spring, but sits in my studio and is one of the first things I see daily . It emits a lot of energy, but the more I look at it, it seems to be telling a story.

I see the trees that speak of wilderness experience and growth, I see bright edges of possibility,

but I also see the figures at the bottom trying to figure something out. They seem to be on a journey, and at this most critical moment they seem to be faced with a decision. Do we keep going? And what lies on the other side? How to move forward when we can’t see what lies ahead?

How do you move forward when you can’t see what lies ahead?

The only thing I’m certain of is that uncertainty happens to all of us, at some point or another. I’m not sure that it’s an enjoyable process, or all that tolerable for most of us. Because of my faith, I’m taught to trust that even in the mystery of uncertainty, I can trust that things are working for my good, whether it feels good or not.

Every time I begin a painting, there is an element of uncertainty. I don’t know what the finished product will look like, I could hate every part of it, I could mess it all up. But I keep moving through, adding layers and layers of paint until something in my soul is satisfied.

This is a season of lunar eclipses, retrogrades and yesterday’s full moon. The tides are high. Which leads me to believe that many of us are in a season of transition. Unsettling in nature, transitions can bring about expansion and force us to break through our own internal barriers. Mindsets that hold us back. Stretch us outside our comfort zones. It’s just growth. Never easy, always necessary.

It is my prayer that no matter who you are, or where you are, that you continue to push, stretch, expand in growth and trust it’s all working for your good.