Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Five! Five things that are rocking my poptarts! Good things. Moving things. Things that restore my faith in humanity, or my faith in myself. Artsy things! Nerdy things! ALL THE LOVELY THINGS!* If you’d like to get my blog in your inbox, click here. If you’d rather just get my weekly newsletter (with a round up of my blog posts included in link form + subscriber perks, including discounts), click here.

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Thing One

Can we talk about a sensitive thing for a second?

I’m aging. The contours of my face are changing. Lines appear that were never there before. I have hot flashes. Like, multitudinous hot flashes. My skin isn’t nearly as supple as it once was. There’s a hair that grows over night out of my chin, and it’s the texture of barbed wire.I have wisdom glitter sprouting all over my head. My face seems to be slowly descending down my neck. Things that used to be pretty firm now flap.

“I ache in the places that I used to play.” Leonard Cohen, man. He knew stuff.

And yet…I feel more beautiful than ever. I feel embodied. I love being in my own skin. I catch sight of myself in a mirror, and I beam back at my reflection. I like to move this body. I am more and more inspired to dance. I want to take up yoga, and even have some community things in my calendar that are designed for beginners so I can actually satisfy that desire.

My relationship with my body has moved out of the realm of self-care deficit & utter neglect to this present realm I live in – this realm of self-love. And I’m not just talking about the warm fuzzy feely kind of self love. I’m talking about the morning hand full of B vitamins + multivitamin. I’m talking about the tincture that lets me sleep without anxiety. I’m talking about the food I give it, the way I adorn it, the choice, over and over again of comfort over anything that pinches or restricts the outrageous jiggling in my generous thighs. I’m talking about slathering it in coconut oil and spritzing it liberally with anything cut through with patchouli.

If you’re a survivour, too, you’ll know something about the kind of hard work it takes to get here.

The body, having been violated, can shut down. We can forget we *have one*. Forget to feed it, forget to tend it with loving care. We can live from our necks up in a way that fosters self-abandonment. We lose touch with our sensuality, our sexuality, with our healthy hunger. We can lose touch with desire.

Therapy has helped. So has the very powerful practice of meeting myself on the page. These commitments to the being known as Effy have borne beautiful fruit in the form of a more intimate relationship with my self in all my parts, including the ones that exist below my neck, that do the tireless work of keeping me anchored to this planet, that send signals like “eat”, “touch”, “move” to my brain in the spirit of trust that I will heed those signals.

There are still holdovers of self-abuse and neglect.

I smoke cigarettes. I can be very sedentary (though less so these days). I do sometimes still forget to eat until the work is done, which sends my body into a state of resentful depletion that requires extra tender loving care to come back from. But these issues are waning. They are becoming less and less prominent in my list of battles I must fight. I am finding myself focusing my attention elsewhere, higher up on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. 

“Eat breakfast before 4 p.m.” is no longer a statement I have to make to myself. “Bathe” is not something I ever need to add to my to do list anymore. Now I find myself jotting down things like “Explore the possibility of Bali.” and “What if you got over your resistance to having a car so you could travel some?”

Self love causes these shifts, and creative practice (plus trauma centered recovery, hello) facilitates self love.

Yes, I am an evangelist. I can’t help myself. I’ve been on the ‘pink cloud‘ of recovery from self-neglect through mixed media art journaling for seven years now, and I want *everyone* to come to a meeting. *Laughs*

I just wanted to tell you.

See this woman? I *love* this woman.

Thing Two

I dusted off my guitar, bought a stand for it so it could live in my living room, got a handful of picks, a battery for my built in pick up/tuner. I bookmarked Nate Savage’sGuitar System” and marched my virtual ass back in there. I started a bookmarks folder called ‘songs to learn’. I filed down the nails on my left hand so I could fret without fretting. I bought a music stand. I got a friend to tune my guitar, established that the strings aren’t yet dead, strummed C, G, Am & E as a way to ‘get back on the bike’, and woo her back to life.

I’ve been practicing enough that callouses are forming. I can bumble my way through “What’s Up” without too much trouble, and next on my list of things to take on is “how to play while standing up and singing at the same time”.

This is a life long dream of mine. I have always been one of those song birds – you know the ones – who can’t do anything without breaking into off key arias. I listen to music all the time, and even used to be a bit of a karaoke queen. I *can* sing passably well, but I’ve always wanted to sing *and* play, so I’m giving myself the gift of *time* in order that I may learn how to do that.

One of these days, I’ll perform at an open mic. It’s on my bucket list. I’ll be sure to get someone to film it when it happens.

Thing Three

Pictures of things with my art on it have started appearing in my social media feed. Dudes, I can’t tell you how wonderfully weird this is.

I’ve been joking on Facebook that I’m going to call the ‘surface design’ arm of my creative business WTF Designs – because it works as “Wild Things Fashion” Designs, but also as WTF! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

Who knew I’d be doing this? I didn’t. I really didn’t.

Anyway, several of you have written to ask where you can find the rugs, so here’s the link. I recommend signing up for an account so you can get notifications on sales! Sometimes they have percentages off everything + worldwide free shipping, so it’s worth giving them a little space in your inbox.

I’m thinking about redoing my living room with all things “Spirit Vine“. There’s a rug, throw pillows, wall tapestries, etc. etc. etc. so a room makeover is not out of the question.

Thing Four

Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade is a wonderful garnish on a beautifully seared steak. This is a pretty good recipe, though I like way more roasted red pepper and way less olives. Adjust to suit. You’re welcome!

Thing Five

 

THIS BEARS REPEATING!

Ever After 2017 starts July 1st.

Today is the LAST day you can use your coupon! Use it or lose it!

Art Journal Summer School ALSO Starts on July 1st!

See you there!

And that’s it for this week’s edition of Friday Five! I hope you enjoyed this peek into what’s delighting & inspiring me this week. Have a beautiful weekend and I’ll see you back here soon. <3

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