There comes a point in every artists life when we take an honest look at our work and decide it's time to step it up a notch. To be more brave, to share more of the deeper journey, to create more work with meaning, to sing a song that echoes the natural beating of our heart and recognizes also the beating of the One Heart, that echoes in all of us.
This time can come often, like small waves lapping our steady shore, and sometimes a larger wave comes and alters the landscape of sand, rocks and weeds leaving only the deepest earth beneath us. It may come from the shaking of our foundations in life; through love, loss, health, or circumstance. How ever it arrives - it will, and then we decide how well we listen to what is asking to happen.
This past year rocked me to my core. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what my life would look like ahead of me; the relationship I had dedicated my life to - as a partner, a future wife and step mother, dissolved in an instant. A moment that changed everything for me - EVERYTHING. I won't share the personal details of what happened but I will say that it was not my choice, and it was completely unexpected. I was in shock as well as grieving the end of a relationship with someone I thought I knew well, as well as loosing two kids from my life that I loved very much. I found myself barely able to lift myself off of the floor for weeks. Eating was difficult, breathing was difficult, sleeping was sporadic at best. I did not know how I would survive this kind of pain. I also faced mayor logistical challenges like moving my home, business and studio...I didn't know how I would manage to do any of it, let alone lift a spoon to my mouth.
But I did. In thanks largely to my amazing family, especially my sister, who hosted a ghost of me for the first and hardest two weeks of this, and my mom, and all my siblings and my dear AMAZING friends. They put food in front of me, held me,and fiercely reminded me of the strength of my ability to sit with this pain, my capacity to walk through it, and the deeper truth that exists all the time. They did not placate me with cliches and saved words like 'it's going to be ok' for the right times. There were daily love notes, and long phone calls and food brought and boxes packed, pedicures given, sad and happy tears shed, as well as many more acts of endless love.
And as my heart was broken - it was also open - and I was able to receive so much love around me. I had a beautiful experience once while lying in a hammock and feeling it's support of my body and at the same time also feeling the energetic support of all the people who were loving me - like a web - holding me up. I knew without a doubt that that energetic web as as real as anything I could touch.
There were also moments of clarity, of peace and a deep inner knowing that all was well. Even if they were fleeting, they were there. Thank goodness.
Someone told me once that we cannot help what arises in us... I agree, though I believe that it does not end there.... When something arises in us or shows up in our life, then we get to choose how we will walk through it. This is how we can create the least amount of suffering for ourselves and for those around us. We are not helpless in the face of our circumstances and even our own feelings. We choose how we will lay our next footsteps.
And by this I don't mean a kind of always-being-happy new age idea. I mean choosing to feel what arises - to sit with ones self and others with love. And to know when to stay and when to move forward. I know that hard days will still come but I will be present for them... Which will give me a greater capacity to be present with joy.
Now it is just over 6 months later. At the moment I am on Gili Air, a small Island off of Bali. I am here alone. I am here to reclaim my vitality, through nourishment, beauty, and reverence.
It is slowly working. Yesterday was the half way point of my trip and I feel life slowly seeping in through my toes as they dig into the warm sand.
As I begin to recognize myself in the mirror again I can once again see who I was , and also catch glimpses of who it is I want to be.
I am in the eve of my 39th year - 40 looms close and, no doubt, this rattles me as well. I do not have many things I dreamed of - I, in fact, I don't have many things that most of this human race would prescribe to me for a fulfilled life. At the moment I have no husband, no children, and I do not own a house.
....And so this wave of change has landed upon my shore and I, sometimes reluctantly, recognize the gift of this freedom I've been offered.
I could turn to the blinking neon sign that tells me I'm a failure, or I can smash that thing to bits, and turn and face the beauty of endless possibilities.
This is where the choice comes in. This is where I call upon my fiercest self and KNOW that I must turn to who I have gown into and all I have to be grateful for. I live in an abundance of love and support, I have all the food I need to eat, I live by the support of my own creative endeavors, and I am on vacation!.....So much goodness! And I am PRIVILEGED to be born where and as I am with opportunity and choice. All of these are gifts worth celebrating.
Will I mourn what I don't have? Yes, for a while. And sometimes again.
And then I will begin to build onto the foundation of my past, on what I've learned and experienced, of how I've loved fully and given of my heart, knowing that in this life... That might just be enough.
How do I want to best celebrate what I've been given? I know so far, that I don't have all the answers to this yet, (what a relief) but I am not afraid to try. I am not afraid to look at where magic has shown up and to follow that further down the path - even when it leads somewhere deep into the unknown dark woods.
Soon a new chapter of my life will be written.
I hope to write something beautiful, as a prayer in thanks for all I've been given.
I hope to write it and draw it, paint it, create something beautiful, fold it into flower origami flower shapes, to build a house of these, to put it in a floating lantern and send it all up to the heavens.