You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen.

I love her wild, natural hair and her confidence. Sometimes it’s nice to just be your real self, with no make up, letting your hair do what it wants, honoring your soul.

Purplerays

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“You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen.
But if you are beautiful at sixty,
it will be your soul’s own doing.”

~ Marie Stopes

~ Image by Summer Wuerthner
Text & image source: Lace, Fringes And All Things Ornate https://web.facebook.com/Lace-Fringes-And-All-Things-Ornate-1283216498363236/

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Honoring the Gift of Art

 

Healing

Let Healing Flow, by JoAnne Silvia

Wondering what to do with this blog, since I have another one that takes priority, I was thinking of dropping this one. But then the idea came to me to use this as a place to honor my visual art.

The painting above reminds me of a difficult time of my life and the gift of art as therapy. Things are so much better now. Healing flows when I return to the gifts of art, animals, and nature, my first loves.

I’m not sure what will develop here, but maybe I don’t need to worry about it. Maybe I can just let it happen. That would be different. And wonderful!

What are your healing gifts?

Finding My Wings

The Spiritual Passenger,

right on time,

read my mind

Before knowing me:

“Say for instance, you fear trying to use your artistic gifts to pursue a career.”

That’s the one.

And with that, the fear within the questions:

Can I depend on the offer to support me living that dream?

Is it possible that I can depend on someone other than myself?

Am I worth that much,

that someone would give me such a gift?

The answers came, to nourish wings

longing for flight.

I have taken the leap.

I’m flying!

bird in blue sky

 

Inspired by:

http://thespiritualpassenger.com/2015/11/11/overcoming-fear/

 

Questions To Overcome Obstacles

I’ve been posting a lot on “Anything is Possible” but realized it’s time to get back to “Loving Me, Too.”

Here’s something that’s been waiting patiently in the wings:

Susan’s post: http://www.gardenofedenblog.com/atoz-blog-challenge-o-for-obstacles/

asked these questions which I felt compelled to respond to. I’ve done so in a stream of consciousness style with just a little editing.  The  questions were great prompts for helping me take a look at my life.

What is preventing me from living a larger and more loving life?

There’s this thing called time. It goes faster and faster each year. You’d think I would have more of it now that I’m “retired,” but there is so much I want to do. Get to the question. It’s not just time, it’s fear, too. I need to look at each activity and evaluate it’s value. Some things have to be done. A related question is: What would living a larger, more loving life look like?

In what way am I not living in what remains of my life, as authentically as possible?

I seem to be outgrowing some people and activities that have been obligations for many years. I’m just starting to step back from those and stepping into more creative activities with more creative people, like my volunteer work on the Forest of Dreams mural and rock painting. I used to want to take up rock climbing. Now, I’m taking up rock painting. I want to do more of that and more work in and with nature.

In what way do I collude in oppressing my own self? Especially as we know that time is no longer infinite as we thought it was.

I have this sense of obligation, a historically over-developed sense of responsibility. My “good girl” is firmly entrenched in my personality. She has served me well in some ways, but she has held me back, too. I don’t want to be a bad girl, I just want to be more, me. I want to continue to grow spiritually and mentally in ways that don’t feel like “busy work.” I don’t want to be on a committee. I want to help children learn to read, and I want to paint more and swim more and take more walks in the woods. I want to make time for these things.  I will stop colluding in my own oppression by taking my time in responding to requests to engage in activities that don’t feel like me. I will ask myself, is this how I want to spend my time? Is this the best use of my skills and talents? God gave me the talents of drawing and painting, but I did not value them much in the past. God gave me patience. I want to use that patience with children and animals.

So, now, I need to ask myself: What am I going to do about it?

Just answering these questions over a month ago has made a difference. I’m painting more and I’m not on any committees.  Lot’s of ideas and possibilities in the works!

Here’s one of my recent paintings on a piece of scrap wood. I had called her “Umbrella Angel.” But someone pointed out the whale’s tail. So she’s my first whale’s tail angel.

Whale's Tail Angel #1

 

 

Animal Rights Photography

Sometimes I’d rather please animals than people. It’s easier and animals are so grateful. I’m reminded of this quote: “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”—Malcolm S. Forbes. http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/10/28/judge-character/

ALK3R

Animal Rights Photography: Sammantha Fisher Captures Amazing Animal Portraits

Sammantha Fisher is a superb talented self-taught photographer, traveler and lifelong animal lover currently based in Andover, New Jersey, USA.

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My First Real Panic Attack at Age 61

panic stress (2)

I needed to read Jana Greene’s post about grace and weakness.

I don’t like to feel weak. I’ve spent all these years trying to be strong and building my skills. So, why, at age 61, with all my training and experience, did i have my first real live panic attack?

I’ve heard plenty of people talk about panic attacks and how bad they can be. I’ve secretly wondered, Do people really need to go to the emergency room? Does it really feel like a heart attack? Are you really being attacked? Can’t we call it something else, something less invasive? Can’t you just take some deep breaths and calm down?

Now I know. Now, I’m humbled.

If it hadn’t been for my years of meditation and breathing practice and my supportive, former EMT husband watching me closely, I might have gone to the emergency room. My chest hurt worse than ever before, and it was hard to breathe. Years ago, I’d gone to the urgent care place with chest pain shortly after my first husband left. It turned out to be stress and acid reflux, but I don’t remember that being as intense as the pain I felt during my first real panic attack couple months ago.

Chest pain is nothing to guess about. When in doubt, get medical attention.

The first good news is, that I know what triggered it. I felt challenged, then I felt cornered and I was hungry.  Since I’m hypoglycemic, I can get shaky and irritable when I’m hungry. It’s best not to challenge me when I’m hungry. Fortunately, I can take steps to minimize exposure to these triggers. I can maintain my boundaries and use the “broken record technique” by simply repeating, “this is not a good time to talk about this.” If I’m able, I’ll offer an alternative time, but simply repeating my boundary is enough.

I’ve been trying not to feel embarrassed about feeling weak, and leaning more toward feeling humbled and gifted – the other good news – explained in Jana’s post . I’m reminded that I’m never going to have it all together, because I’m human. Some weakness will always pop up to humble me and lead me to God’s grace.

 

25 Weird, Unusual, or Interesting Facts About Me

Being inspired by https://thefalliblequeen.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/25-facts/ and remembering how much I enjoyed making “I’m Special” collages when I worked with children of alcoholics and addicts, I decided to try something like this:

  1. I was born in Washington DC and remember my first address: 514 Oglethorpe Street.
  2. I went to kindergarten in Argentia, Newfoundland where my dad was stationed in the Marine Corps during the height of the “cold war.”
  3. In fifth grade, I went to three different schools and lived in four different states when my dad was in Vietnam.
  4. My mother had electro-shock therapy  when I was 10.
  5. My first crush was on Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek series.
  6. I learned to sing listening to The Sound of Music and, later, Karen Carpenter.
  7. I have never lived in a home with an automatic dishwasher.
  8. I’m more afraid of cockroaches than I am snakes, but if I find a spider or moth in the house, I catch it in a jar and put it outside.
  9. I saw the first Star Wars movie 10 times in the movie theater in the late 70s.
  10. I’ve been scuba diving with a school of barracuda.
  11. I like anchovies, but have not had them in a long time.
  12. I have not eaten red meat (beef or pork) for at least 40 years. And I don’t miss it.
  13. I used have my own horse. When I first bought her, I didn’t have a saddle, so I rode bareback. I fell off more than once.
  14. I’m an open-minded Christian who respects and values other religions. (And I’m not the only one.)
  15. I worked as a substance abuse/addictions counselor in a non-profit agency for over 30 years.
  16. I did some private practice work as a certified hypnotherapist and also studied Reiki.
  17. My high school sweetheart found me again after 39 years of no contact, when the time was perfect, and we got married in 2012.(I’m writing a book about it.)
  18. I wanted a partner who loved dogs. My new husband (the high school sweetheart) had 3 dogs when he found me again, and I had two, so we had 5 dogs in our two bedroom house, which thankfully has a big back yard.)
  19. I’m a natural artist and good singer, but I have a real hard time with mechanical things, doing my own taxes, and learning to tie special knots.
  20.  I love to read and write, but I’m a slow reader. In school, I was almost always the last one done on tests.
  21. My imagination is beyond imagination. (Maybe that’s why I’m a slow reader.)
  22. I’d rather pick up trash at the beach or in a park than go to a fancy, expensive dinner where you have to figure out which fork to use.
  23. I have never used an ATM.
  24. I don’t use straws ever since I saw that video with a turtle who got a straw stuck up it’s nose.
  25. I saw angels once. Now, I paint them.
Angels Among Us

This is a mural I did on the side of a building which has since been painted over.