Art and Love from Me to You

Love is coming home

 

Love is Coming Home to You

This is the post I wrote for Roots of She today:

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My husband once said to me, “You start a lot sentences with, “I’m afraid….”

I do?

I do.  Or, I did.

That was a big moment of awareness for me of how I was living my life unconsciously.

About 10 years ago, I went through a stage of intense anxiety and panic attacks.  I called it, The Red Face.  Anxiety would sweep in unannounced and wash over my body, from my head to my feet, turning my face and ears incredibly hot and deep red.  My heart would race.  I would become embarrassed about the red face and confusion would set in.  During the middle of the worst anxiety attacks, my cognitive processing abilities would shut down completely, and I would often loose the ability to speak.

Afterward, I felt ashamed and broken.

If I could re-do that time in my life I would go back and be kinder to myself.  I would meet “the red face” with love.  Just love. Now I know that the anxiety was all part of what I had to go through to get me where I am today.  The anxiety had a message for me about my life.  It was waking me up to what wasn’t working.  I fought against it, but it was leading me home, to a gentler, more authentic life.

I am in the middle of doing a gratitude project called A Hundred Thank-Yous.   I am making 100 paintings for 100 people that have touched my life.  I plan to have all the paintings finished by mid- July when I will have a gallery show, then spend 100 days of giving them away.  There is so much love in this project that just writing about it makes my eyes fill up with water.  But, there is also so much fear.  Can I really do this?  Can I finish all of them?  What if the creative ideas disappear and I discover that I cannot paint? Or worse, that I am not an artist at all?

This project is forcing me to meet my fear and say hello, every single day.  I notice the fear.  I don’t fight it, I just feel it.  And, I begin to paint and it goes away.

I send the fear love, I send myself love. It is all just part of the process of coming home.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Mariel Proulx February 8, 2011

    I have this same kind of anxiety now. I’m afraid of being and appearing as less than what others believe of me. Really, it must be a repetitive manifestation of fears that need my attention. And instead of pushing them away and ignoring their existence, I need to face them… with love, yes. *Thank you* for this message.

  • Brooke February 8, 2011

    This is beautiful, Lori. Thank you so much for sharing this. The tears, the chills– reading about your ability to let yourself be woken up, and to continue every day. This project feels like deeper awakening– to who you really are–and you are beautiful through and through. I so thank you for sharing, because I am right there with you, and look to you as someone letting go, and letting her dreams come true, and at the same time, seeing the beauty that is right in front of her! Sending love.

  • Jill Locke February 8, 2011

    Lori, thank you for sharing your journey. I have had anxiety like that also, though haven’t told people. I will take your advice to your 10 years ago self. Also, what a beautiful project you are working on. Thank you for sharing. Blessings and beautiful thoughts to you!You are a beautiful artist.

  • rachel awes February 9, 2011

    oh lori, this is one of my very favorite prints of yours!
    & YES to JUST LOVE & YES to YOU, always & always.
    xoxox

  • Molly (OneKindWord) February 9, 2011

    I love this print, and I absolutely love your project. How amazing! To create and give and spread joy. And to face your fears in the process. So inspiring!

  • hailey February 10, 2011

    I love the things you say here… sooo true. When I am against the way I feel it is though it has more power and hold but when I love and hold these things like they are dear friends that need to be acknowledged they melt. 😉

    hugs

  • kat February 11, 2011

    wow…what an ambitious project but sounds totally awesome! good luck…you’ll do it!!!

  • Mandy Saile of Bijou's Whimsy February 15, 2011

    Oh dear Lori, I have a long comment I hope you don’t mind, I have a need to reach out.

    Firstly, I LOVE this post & how your always honest & open. The creative journey is by far not an easy route, for most anyways. I have a quote taped to my easel that goes something like “If you think you can not paint, by all means paint, and then that voice will be silenced”. Isn’t it so silly & crazy, we know deep down we’re talented & speacil yet that crazy nasty negative monster likes to revisit as often as he can despite how many times we kick him to the curb! Well keep kicking his nasty butt dear friend because you have something beautiful in your art to offer the world.

    My own struggle lately is one of support, besides my amazing sweetie, (and I guess I am somehow embarrased to admit this but!) I have not one single ‘friend’ or family member who supports my work, comments, visits my blog, etc…not one. The support I find is from stranger friends I’ve never even met but for online & even then this group is small & somewhat inconsistant. I think this lack of support/interest is leaving me with a slew of strange feelings, such as; is what I am doing not good enough for people, espeacially those who are suppose to love me well, to stop and say ‘heh I saw this’ or ‘heh nice work’, do I not deserve abit of attention too… and it goes on like this…because ultimately my work is me, so if people are ignoring my work, they are also neglecting me…and that feels really crappy right now. I sit here thinking, am I expecting too much, my life is busy, peoples lives are busy maybe it’s normal & okay & just something I have to get used to but than I realize, dammit no, I am not expecting too much, certainly nothing that I don’t extend myself many times throughout a day….So that is the moutain in my viewline at the moment, ha ha.

    Your project sounds amazing, it sounds huge…100 paintings for 100 people, wow…but I think you can do it…and you CAN paint, never doubt that….your work is lovely & inspiring & has a beautiful lightness to it that I enjoy everyday (I framed up one of your prints for our living room:D).

    Can’t wait to see you finish your project & have your show….sending you much light, love and luck from my frozen northern studio. XXOO Mandy & The Buns XXOO and sorry for the little rant but something is telling me to follow your brave honesty & reach out as well. XO.

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