This is the post I wrote for Roots of She today:
My husband once said to me, “You start a lot sentences with, “I’m afraid….”
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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