February 18, 2013
FIRST! An Announcement!
Book Of Days Boot Camp LIVE starts March 1st, 2013
Click here for all the deets about this four week intensive in the art of keeping a Book Of Days, bookbinding, soul questioning, etc. etc.
And now for this week’s stuff:
Coming Out Of The Shadows
This past week has been a watershed week for me. I quit drinking on February 5th and began attending AA meetings on February 7th. Most of you probably already know that since I expect many of you are friends with me on Facebook.
I just wasn’t digging the way wanting one glass of wine would lead to an empty bottle, a hangover, and more often than not, sobbing into a pillow, so I got clear on some things:
I am an adult child of an alcoholic. My family is replete with alcoholics and addicts. I may have been ‘managing my drinking’ before, but I couldn’t say that I was managing it anymore. So. Yes. I am an alcoholic. I didn’t have to go all the way to the trash heap of brokenness to smell what my genetics and usage were cooking. Nope. I got in while I still had a relatively intact life and health.
I’m incredibly lucky, and when I think about my sister, who lost her life to alcohol abuse and my father, who has been drinking and blacking out since he was 12, all I can think is:
There but for the grace of whatever power you want to name go I.
My Week In Art
In which I celebrated my new found sobriety with a ‘big day spread’. This is lots of paint flinging + paint over collage + collaged elements + doodling.
Soulistry With Effy 2.0 #7
In which I explored how my vulnerabilities lead to my strengths with a paper mosaic background, lots of paint, paper collage, and some text.
In which I made a little booklet (one strip of paper folded in half) to tuck into the binding of my BOD. Memory keeping from Tuesday – Friday written in Uniball Signo.
Your Week In Art!
I encouraged my sisters in BOD Premium to do a spread that celebrated something completely made up, like Mango Day or CAKEALICIOUS Day or something similarly whimsical and fun. I’d love it if you’d do the same! Go ahead and post a link in the comments if you do play along or join me in Wild Soul Arts where you get a photo gallery all your own + lots of fun free places to play.
(To see me make these spreads live, I welcome you to join me for Book of Days Premium where I record video for you every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and deliver it to you every single week!)
Ye Olde Monday Musings
Effy On Shining Over Shadow
It was a week of shame & shadow busting, and I wanted to talk to you a little bit about important it is to step out of shadow. When I refer to shadow, I’m referring to all those things we deny about ourselves ~ the character defects and flaws and faults, the regrets, the secrets that keep us in bondage and isolation ~ if we are going to live an authentic life.
It took me about three weeks after my drinking got out of hand to admit it. That’s not a long time in comparison with the years of denial my dad and my sister experienced, and I count myself so very, very blessed to have had a running start by way of art journaling and self-inquiry. Without this practice and the honesty it fosters, I might have stayed stuck in this for years.
Coming out with your stuff is scary, especially when you consider how some folks respond to such confessions. Thing is, coming out TO YOURSELF is the most important thing you can do. Whether or not you share with your social circles (or, really, anyone at all) is entirely up to you. I find hope and strength in sharing openly but it might not be safe for you to do the same. If you’re in that position, just begin with saying to yourself “Yup, I struggle with this…” or “This is a weak place for me….” or “I am an alcoholic/addict” or “I’m ready to accept that I am *insert whatever you’ve been denying here*…”
You can’t heal what you don’t acknowledge.
If you *do* come out to your friends, family or social circles with stuff that has historically had shame or oppression attached to it (like sexual orientation or addiction or alternative lifestyle or spirituality), be prepared to deep breathe through some triggers. Some folks won’t get it no matter how eloquently you express yourself, and that’s okay. Some folks will, and that’s where you’re better of laying your heart and trust. If someone is particularly nasty to you, just remember that mean people are hurting people. Work through your own feelings with a trust friend and hold yourself in the highest esteem for risking such a response in the first place. Especially toxic folks can be put on indefinite ‘block’ or ‘ignore’ if they aren’t people you absolutely have to deal with.
You matter more than I can express. Your journey through the shadows is what makes you shiny. Sharing that, even with your own journal if no one else, will set off a domino effect that will impact your entire life.
Yours truly is living proof.
How To Integrate This In Your Journaling Practice
At all costs, be honest with yourself, even if you have to write in pencil and then erase. If you catch yourself whitewashing your stuff or denying or minimizing it, be gentle with yourself, admit you’re lying to yourself, and try again. Anything you reveal to yourself about yourself can be covered over with paint or collage, so be fearless when you take your own measure. And do it out of a desire to find your shiny, not out of a desire to self-denigrate.
Resources I’m Digging
In The Rooms (for folks struggling with addiction and alcoholism)
Any class Joanne Sharpe teaches! I spent all day Saturday under her live-and-in-person tutelage and it was absolutely *fanfreakingtastic*
Books I’m Reading
And that’s all she wrote for now.
P.S. I’d love it if you’d come hang out with me in my on line arts community. It’s totes gratis, and I made it for you. xo
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