Finding Beauty in the Ordinary
Picture"I am Ready."
This week I go for a new procedure for the growth on my spine. In order to help me deal with the uncertainty of the result, and the stress, I turned to my creative ways. In the past, they have come to my aid as I wrestle with the big and little things in life. Today, it started with a selfie as I was heading out to the Union for breakfast.  At first I thought is was a picture showing the idea that I am ready for the day (filled with breakfast, laundry, marking and sub plans).  Then I realized it was about being ready for life. Below I share about my procedure, and the words I wrote as I waited for my breakfast. This piece is called 'I am Ready.'

Realizations and the Procedure.

The aim of this new procedure is to help me with the effects of the growth on my spine, which has been with me for over nine years. The growth has been removed, grown back and continues to perplex the neurosurgeons and various other medical specialists; their goal now is to reduce the pain. With this said, I have come to see that the growth and it's effects are a part of my life. I no longer fight the fact that my life has been radically altered because of it (just like a person can't alter the fact that life situations have occurred and changed their lives i.e. death, divorce, abuse et al). Granted there are days when I am angry or sad from the ever present pain, mobility issues, as well as the loss of strength and stamina in my legs/body et al, but this is who I am, now. 

However with this new procedure, I am nervous about it; the bundle of nerves that exit my spinal column is where they will be injecting a drug into my nerve sheath. I have been informed that there could be negative results, which are on the more serious effects of meningitis, but then again, I was told that there was a possibility I would die when I went in for surgery to remove the growth. I'm still here, and I intend to be here for many years to come. And yet, I'm still nervous.

'I am Ready.' (thoughts about life and the procedure)

Being ready is a state of mind and attitude. Life does not always go according to plan and sometimes the rug seems to have been pulled out from under us. From that, I find I encourage myself to stand up again, and carry on.

I'm not sure what will happen next. I'm not sure of the result, but I find what works best for me is to feel what I am feeling, and then, when I'm inclined, I take the first step.

When I try to see the future, or even try to take in the big picture, I can get overwhelmed. So I find I need to step back, be present and break it down into small steps and stages. In fact, sometimes the only thing I can see is what is right in front of me. And that is okay.

So when I say "I'm ready," it means that despite my fears and tears, I am willing to take the next step. All I can do is show up, and by doing that, I have done my part.

I am ready.

End Note: Please hold thoughts and prayers for a successful procedure (mind, body and spirit). I'll also accept any good karma points, as well! I know I am surrounded by an army of supporters; I feel every intention of love, and I thank you. XO 
Light and Love,
On April 15, 22 and 29th, come on out and play!!  This is your opportunity to learn some simple, easy and fun art techniques.  No experience is necessary, just the willingness to try and play. The great thing is that, at the end of the 3 weeks, you will end up with your life lessons on funky art pieces you created...AND  one piece  (anonymous or not) posted on the website!  (P.S. At this time, this workshop is for anyone over 18 years old).

Interested?  See below, and then RSVP me!
How often are you bored, or feeling 'off,' and instead of dealing with the reasons why you are 'off,' you ignore it and turn to other ways to  fill the discontent you feel inside? I say,"Yep...been there...done that!" 

This #TBT #Artwork&Words is about being emotionally hungry  and trying to fill it by other means. We can fill ourselves with eating, drinking, having sex, trying to find pleasure, sleeping it away, and even striving to fulfill our dreams. (In fact, I know I have used all of the above...thus, the art work!!). Written on this piece I wrote, "This strong emotion of 'want' is often not a 'need.' I'm looking to be filled. Trying to fill the emptiness...a boredom...a self-hatred...a discontent that I feel inside."  

It can all start from feeling out of sorts, or not being happy in the present moment, or even knowing 'something is missing' in our lives. From this point, we then try to satisfy ourselves with an object, person or activity that will temporarily quench our desire/want. I find this works, for a moment, or even moments (i.e. days/months/years), and then we see that this longing is truly something deeper.

People have always resonated with this ArtWork&Words, because I think it speaks a truth we often try to hide. What has helped me over the years is to see that I am a human and to err is human; to know that I have not always responded to my emptiness, boredom, self-hatred or discontent in the most positive way!  I have also come to know that I need to truly listen to my heart and be true to my deeper longings that I may be ignoring. 

And then, with that said, eating, drinking, having sex, sleeping and meeting my goals are very pleasurable!!!! I now try to savour them, not out of a way to be filled, but to  enjoy them for the pleasures of life!

I'd love to hear your comments! How do you fill yourself up when you are bored or unhappy? Or what spoke to you the most about this ArtWork&Words?
As I was clearing out my basement treasures (a.k.a accumulated clutter), I found some treasures. The image above, which I call Winner, is a drawing I created while I was in High School. It was based on another person's drawing/print that was framed in my parent's house; in fact, they still have it...somewhere.  I don't know the artist's name or the name of the horse.  All I remember is that it was a Kentucky Derby winner and that my parents love the memories of their youth with their horses.

I remember going out to my grandparents ranch, in the Cypress Hills, when I was younger. My grandfather, Dooley, managed a ranch that was 177,000 acres, while my grandmother, Myrtle, maintained the 'machine' (i.e. feeding themselves and their workers, while cleaning the living quarters and the clothes).  My grandma had many gardens; one of the gardens was the size of a football field, as she had to plant, grow, harvest, can and cook the food everyone ate).  In fact, my grandpa's job was so important, that when the call of war came, in World War Two, he was informed that he needed to stay and work the land and animals to help the cause; he was very disappointed in this request, but my grandma was very pleased with this news.

So, when I look at this image, I see my history.  It is the tie to the land as well as the strength, power, pride and tenacity that runs in my veins.  Being a 'winner' isn't necessarily who comes first, but that quiet, intense presence that shows up everyday and does the best they can do.  There is power in this.