I found this meme floating around on Facebook, and it perfectly summed up what this past week has felt like for me.

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I won’t take you through what all happened or what I felt line by line. Let the meme stand for it, since any attempt on my part to type it out will leave me shaking, exhausted, and tear-stained.

What I do want to say, though, is that I came to a place of peace on Saturday.

I realized, thanks to a few shining lights in my universe, that all I could do in the face of this was *what I already do* but more fiercely. With more love. More compassion. More emphasis on mutual understanding. And better boundaries (and, yes, that includes disconnecting from people who are racist, misogynistic, engaged in rape culture, or who use shame in their attempts to get others to do what they thinkĀ  should be done vs. doing their own work and letting the rest of us do ours).

There are a few things I can’t tolerate right now. Slut shaming Melania. Shaming women (or anyone, really) for the ways they are handling their grief. Shaming people about focusing on what they are feeling convicted to focus on in the face of this. Shame is the dark underbelly of the shadow, and it is, in my opinion, exactly what got us into this mess. Misogyny & racism are now front and center in our awareness. We can shrink in the face of it, or we can rise. We can go low, or we can go high.

But before I, personally, could do anything, I had to give myself space to feel what I felt. Rage. Mistrust. Deep, feminine wounding. Fear. All of it had to rise up, and all of it needed expressing.

And once I’d done that, I knew that the right answer for me was to do more of the same, but more fiercely. The right answer for me is to choose to continue to create and maintain safe spaces for LGBTQ folks, PoC, women who have experienced sexual assault & abuse, the “Othered” in all their glorious forms. I knew that the right answer, for me, was to treat everyone like they are God In Drag (thank you, Ram Dass), and to remember, above all else, that We Are All Just Walking Each Other Home (more Ram Dass).

So, I will pick up where I left off before that fall down the rabbit’s hole on Tuesday. I’ll keep teaching what I teach (how to meet yourself on the page, how to love yourself in all your parts). I will keep doing what I do (making art, love, safe space, delicious meals, and cup after cup of good, strong coffee). I will keep taking exquisite care of myself so that I can serve from a full cup. I will do more of the same, but more fiercely.

Here are some lovely things that have happened this weekend. Because #joywarrior. Because #humansarebeautiful.

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This beauty is on her way to me. She’s a gift from my delicious friend, Sarah Trumpp (aka Wonderstrumpet), and she will be my touch stone in the days and weeks and months ahead.

I’m deriving an enormous amount of comfort and strength from my teacher’s Facebook timeline. Her name is Karina. You can find her here.

Ivy Newport just released a curated collection of royalty free images that we can all use in our art. So generous, and such a beautiful light in the world of mixed media art.

Tamara Laporte reposted a blog post she wrote about how she struggles, too. It is a gentle nudge in the direction of trusting that practice will lead to progress.

I’m going to do less social media, and more time in my studio, because boundaries, and also because art heals.

I just wanted to check in with you. Thanks for reading.

xo
Effy

P.S. Life Book 2017 is open for registration here.