Courage and Truth-telling

I walked tonight with my ‘artist’.

Just the two of us.

It was one of my tasks for week one of  ‘The Artists Way’ By Julia Cameron. It is a 12 week program to unleash and connect to my inner creativity. It is a program to help unblock the artist in me.

It was has been an interesting week. I have been introduced to ‘morning pages’. Each morning I wake up 30 minutes earlier then usual and write. They don’t  have to be perfect or even presentable. Nobody reads your ‘morning pages’. They are for you only. It is a way to clear then mind. Release the junk. A way to make room for creative ideas. I am in love with ‘morning pages’. I write. I fill three pages.Most of it makes little sense and most of grammatically incorrect and the spelling it atrocious, but none of that matters.  I just let go of the words that bog down my brain. I release them all. It allows me to feel a sense of lightness, calmness and space. I have become a little addicted to the feeling and can’t imagine starting my days with out my ‘Morning pages’.

As well as doing my pages, I was required to complete tasks. This week was about our sense of safety. Most tasks were ‘time travel’ tasks. Recording and remembering our worst moments as an artist, moments where the outside world ate you up and spit you out making you feel worthless. Quite a few of the tasks were about being specific about these moments. Who, what, where, when and how. Remembering and rehashing all the pain and embarrassment these moments entailed.

These tasks were hard. I avoided them, purposely doing them last. I chose to accomplished tasks that made me feel empowered. The tasks that involved remembering compliments and empowering moments of creativity.  The tasks that involved imagination and remembering your dreams. The tasks that involved going on ‘artists dates’ and walks alone with your inner artist. I loved these tasks. They were great and easy to accomplish.  I look forward to do them with a sense of childlike excitement.

My subconscious was reeling. The whole time I was enjoying the ‘fun’ tasks or remembering the moments that gave me a strong sense of confidence and allowed me to dream deeply, a little voice kept reminding me to go back to the’ time travelling’  stuff. The chores that required me to dig and see what was within me. That voice kept reminding me that  the ‘stuff’ we avoid to look at is most likely the cause of  walls we have built. The stuff we don’t want to look at is usually the baggage that is holding us back from a life of contentment and joy.  I know I have this baggage. I feel its weight but I have been unpacking it slowly over the years. Never at the rate that this journey was demanding from me.  That baggage scares the s**t out of me. I don’t want to unpack it. I want to throw it into the back of my closet and forget about it. I know that is not healthy but for years that was the only way I knew how to survive. But is simply surviving what I want? or do I want flourish and bloom?

Bloom, Damn it, I want to bloom!

I meditated, I evaluated, I processed these duties I was suppose to preform in my artistic journey. I decided to pull up my big girl pants and just do it. Sit down and write and see what happened. See what came to be. I wanted it to be organic and natural. I wanted to let go of the weight that held me down. I wanted to heal.

I wrote and the words that came were raw and real. They surprised me. They made me cry. They made me angry. They made me see clearly. They were truth, my truth.

I looked at what I wrote and the first thought was that I had to share these words. My truth was there and truth-telling requires courage. Courage that I am sure others were looking for.

Courage is like a crab grass, expansive and only needs the smallest bit of encouragement to grow and overtake. Courage needs encouragement and a sense of connection. Courage allows us to do the thing that scare the s**t out of us. Courage allows us to find our truths. Courage allows us to find our light and be truthful.

It is taking a ton of my courage to share with you the following words I found deep within my soul. These words are not perfect, nor grammatically correct but they are what bubbled out of me .

Here goes, My truth-telling and honest attempt to heal my ‘broken bits’ , and maybe by doing so my courage can become contagious.

I have felt stiffled. defeated. From the beginning of my memories I have felt a lack of respect to what I was trying to create. I have a problem explaining myself clearly. I always have. Looks of confusion are constant for me. I talk fast. I think fast. I do fast. I am a hurricane. Hurricane Jess. I hate stagnant energy.  Added to my  speedy speech,  I lack a  certain ‘je nais c’est quoi’ when it comes to explaining my ideas. They always come out completely less then stellar. Usually my ideas- once they reach conversation- have lost all the awesomeness they had in my mind. My lack of explanatory skills made me feel the judgement:

“She has no idea what she is talking about”

“who is she so know anything?”

I have sent many night replaying the ‘stupid’ stuff I have said early in the day. I ave spent to much time berating myself for my ridiculous comment. I have fought back tears of embarrassment one to many times. I have spent too many minutes worrying about judgement. 

Judgement makes me feel like my ideas are worthless. Completely and utterly. Because who am I to create? Who am I to know anything more then the next person? who am i?

In school, I was told I was to fast, to messy, not thorough, I missed details, was too speedy, talked to fast, wrote to fast, didn’t think about what i did before I did it, Didn’t think before I spoke,  was too ditsy, giggly and girly,  I was told I was absentminded and rushed through too many things.

It hasn’t been till now that i realized these comments (as well intentioned as then may have been) were wraped and translated into soemthing scary in my subcouncious. I saw these ideas in a different way…

**Jessica, you cannot do that because you are speedy mess. to rushed, to sloppy, to fat, to messy, to dissorganized, to gross, to imperfect, to wild, to loud, to dumb, your ideas suck and so do you. You have no ability to be an artist and write.**

I hate that my brain decided to warp these statements into such hateful stories, but the truth is that is what I did. I set my self up to fail. How can you achieve anything while your playlist includes words like ‘you suck’ and dumb?

That is what came up. It made me feel. Strongly. I was sad, angry and elated. I was sad that I lived so long under the thumb of inner hatred. I was angry I let this happen and elated that I had the strength to acknowledge this cycle.

We all have had experiences that mold us. Our past is an integral part to the matrix of who we are but essentially we all have the choice on how the stories play out for the future.  I made the subconscious choice to morph my past experiences into a negative thread of hateful comments.

From this point on that is going to change. It may be a work in progress but no more intense self hatred.

The next step to this task was to write ‘a letter to the editor’ negating these hateful ideas. Cameron even suggests writing this letter from the voice of our inner child.

I decided to write mine from my inner teenager, with a little hint of attitude.

To whom it may concern, 

SCREW OFF!  

I do not suck. Simply put. I am great, clever and strong. I am powerful and have the ability to accomplish all that I set my sights on. My dreams are big and nothing can stop me. 

I may be messy, loud and imperfect but I would’t have it any other way. Great things come from spontaneous moments of imperfection. My life is big, messy and imperfect and it is beautiful. 

I can write and my words are worth it.

I forgive you. 

Much love, 

Jessica

Writing that letter helped. It made me feel empowered. It made me realized that I had the power to control the though process and change the pattern.

Te baggage was scary but I am glad I opened it. I am glad the weight is lifted. I am glad I have regained a sense of empowerment and strength. I am glad it was hard.

507

 Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength. 

Much love,

Jessica

 

Beautiful shoes

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Saved up my money and treated my self to some new spring shoes! Love these ‘toms’!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” -Dr. Seuss

Why not make them pretty shoes to steer me where I need to be.

Technicolor

The moments are in technicolor,
Vibrant and full.
My mind is calm and content, but moving in full speed trying to take it all in.
I am mesmerized by it all.
The color of your golden hair and and how it falls loosely over your ears and caresses your cheek. How all three of you smell so much like home. 
Familiar and grounding. 
A smell I seem to long for in moments of disarray. 
The feel of your soft skin as I touch your cheek. 
Unblemished and new, not yet affected by the harsh truths of the world.
The taste of the wine, the one you chose. 
Delicious and deep. 
Rich and Vibrant. 
The perfect compliment to our evening.  
These moments seem so much more real today. 
I am glad for it. 
Knowing that my truth is becoming more open and free. 
Knowing that when I take the time to nurture my soul, I receive these ‘gifts of the ordinary’.
The ability to see and feel my life in full form. 
In full technicolor. 

Food is beautiful.


Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth. ~Benjamin Disraeli


Much love, 
Jessica

Love the ones we marry.

I was talking to my Mr. Kennedy yesterday. Alone. We were conversing as adults. It was nice.
We were enjoy that brief moment of alone time at the dinner table.
That sweet moment were you can disappear together.
If you have young children, you know this moment.
The moment that they are done their plates (or what they are going to eat from them) their bellies full and they are feeling happy and free.
They saunter off in their food haze, unaware that mommy and daddy are doing something without them.
That sweet moment to finish your dinner, trying hard not to pay too much attention to fact that you are eating cold pancakes for the 4 time this month because it is the one food you wont have to force feed your toddlers.
And in my case, I got to share that moment with the man that so often gets neglected and put last on the household ‘list’.

We were talking about our days, our food, the kids, hockey….all the real important stuff that keeps are world spinning.
And during this conversation we had a moment.
A shared moment of epiphany.

Heres how it went down:

Me: My parents are back in town from their trip. Want to go over for dinner tomorrow? They will have the girls for the day and we can go over after work. What would you like to do?
Him: *pause* umm…..
My response is already boiling in my head. The typical wife and husband routine about the ‘parental’ visits.

Me: So? What are you going to do? come or not?
Him: I think I will stay here. I need sone time where no-one is needing or demanding anything from me.

My initial reaction was to freak out.
What?!?! You need some time? What about me?
But I stopped myself.
It would only start a fight and we would both lose.
Instead I asked him,

‘are you feeling overwhelmed?’

Instead of his usual joking and lack of seriousness, he was truthful and honest. He responded with a simple ‘Yes’.
No dramatics. No fights over who us ‘more tired’ or ‘works harded’. No judgement or blame game.
We both simply respected each others feelings and concerns.
It was refreshing.

He decided to stay home tonight.
And I took a lesson from his honesty and told him I could use some ‘out of office’ time.
No demands, no tasks, no ‘to do list’.
He was happy for me go get that. He was helpful and accommodating.

I went to a late movie to see ‘les miserables’ with my best friend. It was incredible and simply for me.

It was truly refreshing and liberating to have our feelings respected with no attached judgments or drama.

“Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry.” -Tom Mullen

Much love,

Jessica

I am part of a whole, I am not alone.

There is this man we see everyday of the school week.
He is a bus driver who we pass on our way to pick up the school aged boys I babysit.
Every day he tells me I am super mom and deserve a medal.
Each day I laugh graciously, make brief chit chat and then move on my way with the kiddies.

Today he actually gave me a medal.
A supermom medal.

On a day I feel the furthest from deserving that honour.

Today I stared at a 8 month old and demanded he go to sleep. I spoke to him in a tone that I wouldn’t dare speak outside the walls of my home.
Today I read stories to three toddlers. I read them rushed and with no energy. I sucked the fun out of story time because I was tired and needed a break.
Today I lost my cool. The kids were demanding my attention in 4 different directions. The baby was strapped to my chest having a melt down because he was exhausted and three toddlers grabbed at me. I lost it. I was counting to ten trying to cool down and stay patient but it truly wasn’t doing anything to help my mind calm down. So it decided on a different route. A route that I am not proud of. I threw a hissy fit. I stomped my feet and screamed at the top lungs. It was a full out horror movie scream. I was mad and everybody and nobody. I was frustrated and cornered.
I scared all the kids and immediately regretted my reaction. I apologized and reassured them all that it wasn’t anyone’s fault and that I was simply feel frustrated.

But there was no doubt that I was feeling far from super mom.

Then we walk to the school and see our bus driver friend, and he hands me a gift. It is a medal that say ‘supermom award’ and a picture of us he took last week. We all looked so happy.
He truly has no idea how important that was.
How it made me feel and made me think.
That gentle and kind man dug me out from a pit of self loathing.
He made me believe that I am not alone and that there is love all around me.

Right now I still don’t feel like super mom but I do feel better.

The universe works in magical ways, teaching (when I am willing to be taught) that there is love and support waiting for me. That it will be there whenever I am ready to love myself and realize that I am not nearly as ‘horrible’ as I feel I am.

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” -Albert Einstein

Much love,

Jessica