Cyndi Lauper Has Nothing on Us!

We’re all familiar with Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, a huge hit. It was an anthem for many, shooting Lauper to the top of the charts. But it was her moving song True Colors that stopped many of us in our tracks. A song so meaningful, thought provoking, and honest inspired many to begin an inward journey.

As artists we’re blessed to have our “true colors” revealed regularly. Our art is the doorway to our soul. It allows us to tap into the deepest emotions, spiritual questions, and unconscious processes. It allows us to reveal happy, sad, and surprised. It challenges us to be authentic and honest because everything we create is beautiful. It’s a reflection of our soul, the most gorgeous creation of all.

Revealing our “true colors” inspires others to show themselves. It blazes a trail for others to show their “true selves”. Can you think of anything more healing both personally and universally than open and honest self-expression? The opportunity to write a song, write a poem, perform a monologue, paint a painting, chisel a sculpture or sew a quilt (just to name a few) adds to our collective consciousness. It is like making a deposit in our collective bank building our resources as spiritual beings having a human experience.

In a world where many feel invisible, ultimate self-expression through art allows us to be seen, heard, and experienced. Our “true colors” are invitations to connection and that’s a catalyst for our immune systems. Our ability and willingness to reveal ourselves through art is freeing. It’s a breath of fresh air for the body, mind, and spirit.

I hope we all give a nod to Cyndi Lauper for providing a platform for self-acceptance. The song True Colors gives us the encouragement and support to put our art, our lives, and our truth out for all to see!

Facing a chronic or life-threatening illness?  Looking for education, support, and inspiration?  Visit http://www.survivingstrong.com

Advertisements

Are You a Modern Day “Chicken Little”?

Do you remember the story of Chicken Little? He ran around screaming “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!” I’m not saying that you’re an alarmist, but as artists we have some qualities that mimic Chicken Little. Are you wondering what they are?

The truth is artists are messengers. Fortunately, we’re not here to warn the world of impending doom, but we are here as social observers. We are nouvelle anthropologists and sociologists. We provide a reality check for society in a creative manner.

What is true, but often isn’t discussed is our role as healers. Artists are modern day shamans. We dig deep into the personal and society unconscious and bring it forth for the world to see. We allow healing to commence once we’re able to identify the ills of the world.

There is much to be said about the state of the world and how that impacts our personal lives. As artists we take those cues and allow them to be the backdrop for our creative activity. We give a voice to the voiceless. We make seen that which is invisible. We embrace those who are lonely by providing a sense of connection between the art and the viewer.

What message are you bringing forth? How are you delivering your message? How are you promoting ultimate self-expression? What do you hope to accomplish by serving as a societal messenger? These are important things to consider being a messenger holds enormous responsibility. It requires a commitment to expressing truth and authenticity. This is the most healing element of creating art.

Facing a challenge in your life?  Looking for education, support, and inspiration?  Visit http://www.survivingstrong.com

What I Did For Love

I’m on a journey to expand my artistic endeavors. It’s not that I’m looking to change mediums, but I am looking to expand ways of telling my story. I’m looking for methods and techniques that will give me the tools to create more layered works of textile art.

This past weekend I took a Japanese calligraphy class. I’ve always been intrigued by Asian culture. I find the Asian culture graceful, delicate (that I’m not), and elegant. The idea of taking a calligraphy class is focused on writing. It’s a way to connote meaning. When most think of calligraphy they think of the writing they see on a wedding invitation. I wanted something more symbolic and since Japanese is not my native tongue; it made sense that I would be drawn to Japanese calligraphy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The class started and the teacher puts up on the board the first character we were going to learn. There is an angle in the brush stroke that I found difficult. Why did I find it difficult? Well as it turns out, Japanese calligraphy was not created with a left-handed person in mind. It didn’t matter how I twisted and turned I wasn’t getting the correct angle.

The teacher asked me a question that I hadn’t expected. She said, “Do you think you could hold the brush in your right hand?” I really am not ambidextrous. I had a moment of anxiety, and then decided what have I got to lose? The rest of the class I used my right hand to learn the brush strokes.

Why did I do this? I did it for love. I did it because if I’m going to learn something new I want to give myself every advantage to succeed. It’s not as if I was engaging in neurosurgery. I was learning calligraphy. It was awkward. I was asking my right hand to engage in activities I never thought possible. I was actually creating the correct angles in the brush strokes with my right hand.

Venture out. Do something that may be a bit uncomfortable. Engage in a process that stretches you because that’s the healing part of art. Give yourself every opportunity to engage in ultimate self-expression. Just remember, you’re doing it for love.

Facing adversity in your life?  Visit http://www.survivingstrong.com

It’s Not the Weight You Carry, But How You Carry It!

I gave a eulogy this past weekend at a memorial service and read the poem Heavy, by noted poet Mary Oliver. Oliver’s poem shares how we experience grief, and how we survive grief. The poem was written after her long-time partner died. She shared her grief with each and every one of us who reads the poem. Oliver gives us the unspoken secrets of the grief journey and shows us that we can emerge triumphant.

 

Heavy

That time

I thought I could not

go any close to death without dying

I went closer,

and I did not die.

Surely God

had his hand in this,

as well as friends.

Still I was bent,and my laughter,

as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.

Then, said my friend Daniel

(brave even among lions),

“It is not the weight you carry

but how you carry it

books, bricks, grief-

It’s all in the way

you embrace it, balance it carry it.

When you could not, and would not,

put it down”

So I went practicing

Have you noticed?

Have you heard the laughter

that comes, now and again,

out of my startled mouth?

How I linger to admire, admire

the things of this world

that are kind and maybe

also troubled-

roses in the wind.

The sea geese on the steep waves,

A love

to which there is no reply

I read this poem and just sat with her clarity about the grief journey. I thought about how poetry allows us to share our deepest vulnerabilities in a way that others will comprehend. It gives us the tools to express the depths of our emotions when facing adversity. It doesn’t matter how you express yourself, the act of ultimate self-expression is what counts. It’s one thing that will release you from the ties that bind. It will release you to explore all your emotions and share those experiences with the Universe.

How do you creatively express your vulnerabilities? Let’s start a conversation in the comment section below.

Looking for inspiration, education, and support when facing a chronic or life-threatening illness? Visit www.survivingstrong.com