I. If you’re looking for the 100 day project stuff, I created a page for it over here because I can’t keep up with blogging every day while I’m also trying to paint every day. Look at me, respecting my own limitations!
II. Boundaries and visibility coming up a LOT for me right now. This all came up in response to my posting daily TikToks and being much more visible than usual and everything that was coming up in response to that decision. I posted about it on Facebook, and I’m going to cross-post it here
You might be wondering why I’m doing this (or maybe I flatter myself by thinking that, but whatever…) so lemme explain:
Recently, I uncovered a nasty piece of conditioning that goes something like “You’re an attention whore and you should sit down and shut up and stop taking up so much space.”
This is clearly problematic given that my business depends on my ability to show up & take up space AND ALSO, as a HUMAN, I have a right to take up all the space I need AND ALSO, I have wonderful things to offer so why shouldn’t I offer them AND ALSO, that voice in my head is old tape and I’m over it.
So, I’m *forcing myself* gently and with a lot of self-empathy to put myself out there as though “out there” is where I belong. I am stepping into being more visible. I’m participating in class groups where I’d generally “take a seat in the back” and observe in silence.
I am coming into ownership of myself as a force for good. I *am* a force for good. I’m trying to act like it. It’s *hard* AND I’m enjoying it.
Also, someone came over here yesterday to tell me that they assume I’m a princess from a wealthy family who is masquerading as a bohemian artist, and I blocked that fucker because the misogyny in that comment was more than I could bear. Even if it was “just a joke”, it was really inappropriate. This is someone whose comments are often paternalistic and condescending, and I was *grateful* for the opportunity to yeet them because every time I see their name, I feel myself shrinking.
I’m sharing this because I want you to know that I’m aware that the more visible I become, the stronger my boundaries are going to need to be. My tolerance for other people’s projections is hovering right around *zero* as I undertake this journey to reprogram my self-talk, so if your comments sound like the mean voices in my head? I’mma yeet you the fuck outta here.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
III. The audacity of that comment…I just can’t even. And I am NOT SORRY for being a “bitch” about it either because I am at least half-wolf and being a bitch in response to this kind of fuckery feels appropriate and measured.
IV. SO if you’re here wondering why you no longer have access to me, well now you know.
V. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I sent a love letter today. Here it is in case you missed it
. It includes the link to today’s Journal52, so go get it.
VI. New bedding.
VII. I always know I’m healing when I’m fucking furious all the time. It signals a shift *out* of a trauma bond. When the anger shows up, when I am thinking flipped birds in the direction of someone I’m grieving, I know I’m on my way out of the woods. This is such good data, y’all. Such. Good. Data. Once I get through the fury, the peace comes and I’m ready for it.
Notice I didn’t say “once I get through the fury, the forgiveness comes…” because the pressure on survivours to forgive is bullshit spiritual bypassing and I’m over it.
VIII. Also, this:
IX. And that’s where I’m at. Actually kicking ass, but pissed off at EVERYTHING and…
X. And that’s okay.
So say we all.
I. Yesterday was a mixed bag of stuff that included a lot of goodness and a bit of omgdoom – a car accident right outside my door complete with strangers banging on my door to find out who belonged to a parked truck (I had no idea), lights flashing and some guy yelling at another guy, the dogs freaking out etc. It was a few hours of shredded nerves, but I did all the things to mitigate the impact on my nervous system and I got myself sorted. Phew. It also included eating HALF OF A TORTIERRE, y’all. HALF. I was ravenous. It was delicious. There was a Zoom with art friends and then more Zoom with adult kids (I was mediating some stuff. Not an ideal way to spend a Sunday evening, but we got through it). There was the discovery that my cat peed on the apron I’d been wearing all day. There was the impending phone call at 9:45 a.m. this morning with my new nurse practitioner – always a good time, amirite?
II. But, all shook out okay in the end and I am content today. Candles are lit. Day 2 of my 100 day project is done. I am in love with what’s happening. Here’s the TikTok.
I WANT TO LICK IT.
III. And that’s all I’ve got for today. If I’m going to maintain this pace, I need to be mindful of my emotional bandwidth, so I’m signing off now and I’ll SEE YOU TOMORROW.
I. I thought I was going to do a really ambitious 100 Day Project that consisted of creating one 5 x 8-inch painting a day that incorporated colours or symbols or words that represented what I needed in any given moment, but I came to the conclusion that this would be setting myself up for a) failure and b) a long, long 100 days, so…
II. …I set up an easel in my living room, dug my heavy-bodied acrylic paints out of storage, and decided to work on a canvas every day for between 10 and 20 minutes first thing in the morning. Coffee, candle, canvas. Every day for 100 days.
Hold me? :)
III. I’m filming these for TikTok and if you’re visiting me here from there HI HI HI! It’s lovely to see you! If you want to get these posts emailed to you, there’s a box up there in the upper right that will get you all set up. Just type in your email and I’ll see you in your inbox.
IV. So, today was day one and I experienced a *lot* of resistance to getting started. I stared at the canvas for an hour first. Then I wondered where my heavy-bodied paints were. Then I whined to myself about how much space this was going to take up in my very tiny little nest of a studio apartment. Then I found my paints and got everything set up. Then I drank a third cup of coffee. Then I lit a candle and drank a fourth cup of coffee. Then I set up a ring light so I could film the process. Then I changed my mind about doing anything at all for the 100 Day Project and I knit three rows on a triangle shawl. Then I shoved three slices of pumpkin pepita loaf cake (with butter) down my gullet. Then I said “Fuck it” and I threw down a layer of cool colours on the canvas.
V. So I guess I’m in. We’ll see what happens.
I am aware that I’ve made this project a lot more time-intensive than it has to be by filming and also blogging the process, but I love the idea of being more “out there” in the world and also who doesn’t love a good challenge, right?
VI. In other news, I am in excellent spirits. I am loving my work. I am really enjoying all of the classes I’m taking (most of them not art-related, which feels refreshing and good for me). I’m not gonna lie – I’m lonely – but I’m using the time well. Loving on my furbabes. Lots of video chats with my kiddos. Reading and knitting. Text convos with the like-minded. It’s not a heavy loneliness. It’s anticipatory loneliness. Like, something is coming. Not sure what, but I feel myself yearning for something, and I’m living in the yearning.
VII. So much is percolating and bubbling up from the nether depths to consciousness now that I’m not half soused half the time. My self-awareness is a bit overwhelming, and I have access to memories I didn’t have before. Some of them are gnarly, and these recollections call for a lot of self-soothing. Some of them are revelatory, and I’m finding myself shifting in response. Self-loyalty. Aligning with my own integrity.
VIII. I’m applying liberal applications of empathy to the self that sits with all that is coming up at this time. She has been holding so much for so long, and whatever she needs to do to clear it, I’m game. Making this kind of space for myself takes courage and silence and while I’ve always had a lot of the former, I am not so good with the latter, but this morning?
This morning, I painted in silence. It was only about 10 minutes, but I did it and the voices that rang in my head for that 10 minutes were *very very kind*.
“Look at you!” they said. “You’re doing it. Good for you, love! Proud of you.”
Now, that’s what I’m talking about.
IX. A new round of Wild Musings is happening soon, and I’m in. What about you? I love this kind of prompted writing practice, as you well know, and I believe it’s a beautiful jumping-off point for art journaling or any other kind of self-expression. Check it out here, and if you’re in, too, I’ll see you there.
X. Here’s where I left day one of #the100dayproject. See you tomorrow!
I. I wrote most of what I want to kick this week off in my newsletter, which you can find here, but there’s some less “newsy” stuff I want to explore, so I’m here today as well because a witch has things to purge and what is a blog but a personal vomitorium?
I kid, but not really. Anyway, let me explain that rather – um – alarming title. I promise it ends well.
II. I was in conversation last night with some shadow-dancers, and in response to something we were exploring (how difficult it is to stand for what we know is true for fear of abandonment), I had a vision. It ain’t pretty, so brace yourself.
I saw all of us trauma survivours (of whatever – you know who you are) as women on the birthing table, in transition. I saw us exhausted, in pain, at the end of our collective ropes. I saw us fully dilated, with our bodies absolutely on fire with the need to push, and I saw us clenching up for fear wondering what would happen if we shit on the table. This thought, this fear of laying a fresh turd right there for all present to see is so powerful that we *do not dare to push*. So we white-knuckle it. We hold it all in however painful it is to do so.
Gross, I know, but stay with me.
III. Along with this vision came this understanding:
If we don’t push, we’ll delay the inevitable, and it will hurt for a lot longer, and while shit is not a pleasant thing to have to deal with, the baby that *needs us to push* in order to come into the light doesn’t care one iota about the fact that we are going to shit on the table, and neither should anyone else who is present in the room, and if those who are present in the room *do* care about the fact that some shit arrived along with a *whole ass human being* we just pushed out of our cootchie, well, those humans do *not belong in the room*.
See what I’m saying?
IV. It was one hell of a vision, and while this whole “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best” thing is not a new revelation for me, it was powerful to have this new (if rather visceral) way to think about it.
V. I was reminded of the experience of having all of my upper teeth extracted.
After growing and feeding babies in and from my body while I was living in poverty, my teeth were too far gone to save, so they had to come out. And I was terrified because like many of us who have a history of child sexual abuse, I do not enjoy the sense of powerlessness that comes over me when someone hovers (looms!) over my prostrate body and does stuff to me that hurts.
I had asked my partner to stay with me throughout the process, which my partner promised to do with the dentist’s approval, but he couldn’t handle it. He said “Your face is getting all wrinkly and it’s freaking me out.” and he *left me there*. I was high on nitrous oxide, terrified, and totally helpless, and *he left me there*.
Same thing happened when I went to emergency with an irregular heartbeat and the doc was afraid I was going to throw a clot.
He left me there, all hooked up to a heart monitor, watching it like a hawk while I waiting for a head CT, afraid I was going to stroke out.
VI. It should come as no surprise that these examples of being abandoned when the shit hits the fan are only the tip of the “abandoned when the shit hits the fan” iceberg.
When my first husband died of pneumonia and my grief over it elicited eye-rolls and exasperated sighs. When the kids in our household were all going through some form of crisis AT THE SAME TIME and he checked out completely, smoked pot and played WoW and left us all to our own devices. When my kid got hospitalized for psychosis and I was left to fend for us both while he holidayed in India.
I know *now* that that fucking guy did not belong in the room. But in those moments, I thought it was *my fault* that he didn’t want to be in the room, because, look. I couldn’t even get the flu as a kid without being treated like I was an inconvenience, so of COURSE it was my fault that he didn’t want to be in the room, right?
VII. I know better now, because, me? If I love you?
I want to be in the room.
I want to hold your hand when the dentist is ripping your teeth out by the roots. I want to help you breathe through the worst while you shit on the table. I want to hold you while you grieve. I want to *show up*. I want to *be there*.
Hell, I want all of that even if I barely *like* you.
So, yanno. It follows that anyone that wants to be in my life has to be able to say the same or they don’t deserve me.
And that’s a thing I know now.
Hallelujah. I’ll take it.
On To Lighter Fare
VIII. When I say “lighter”, I mean “less heavy”. I am lighter. The content I am pursuing and engaging is lighter. The things I’m painting are lighter. The way I play is lighter. While all of *waves at the above* is super heavy, I am following heavier fare with lighter fare as way to practice self-loyalty. I am doing therapy and then engaging in something whimsical so my nervous system has a chance to regulate itself. I’m taking a course on shadow work, and following up with an episode of The Great Pottery Throw Down or Portrait Artist Of The year (instead of the latest serial killer documentary). I’m digging in my own dirt, yes, but I also turn on the tunes and dance it out until I’m a glowing, sweaty bundle of endorphins, and then? I sluice off in a hot shower.
It’s such a relief because I got stuck there for a good long while with nothing but the heavier fare. Too much true crime (what is up with my fascination with serial killers, y’all). All the sad songs. My regrettable past playing on loop in my head. All The Trauma Work, none of the fun, and what passed for fun was really just anesthetic.
There wasn’t much room in my life for the things that give me life.
IX. I wrote a bit about that for this week’s Journal52, which I sent out to my beloveds via my newsletter + uploaded to The Wilderhood, but I thought I’d share it here as well.
GRAB THE FILE ON DROPBOX
It has been an absolute joy to see how people respond to these (brand new for 2022) editions of Journal52.
Lighter Fare. Mmmmm hmmmm.
I’ll take it.
X. As mentioned in my newsletter, I am 73 days alcohol-free. The search for lighter fare has been integral to this journey, because once you stop numbing everything out, everything arises to be felt and dealt with, and that, my loves, is heavy stuff. But, I’m up to it.
See? This is me. Clear-eyed. Self-possessed. Dancing in all of my own rooms without fear. Pushing as needed, shit be damned. This baby is worth it.
*I know I’m aging myself here – we give birth in beds now, but I had the delightful experience of having to hop up on a *table* in the delivery room once, and I’ll never forget it. Boy am I ever glad that’s a thing that’s changed.
I found this in my travels on the interwebs and found myself immediately enchanted with the idea.
I thought about it for a while and realized that it’s not really practical as an actual thing for me because my witchcraft practice can best be described as “engaging in spicy psychology”, so I don’t do “spells” the way the average witch does spells. I make mine up, usually on the fly, and they aren’t generally “book, bell, and candle” type things. I do most of my witchcraft in my art journal because art witchery is my jam.
This could be so much fun as a whimsical project that I don’t take too seriously. I could see myself creating mixed-media art spells on recipe cards. It could go like this:
I sit down and do a tarot draw to see what wants to come up for the day’s session.
I paint something that will call in whatever needs to be called in – love, prosperity, healing, strength, creativity – whatever.
Voila. Spell cards. Right??!!
The more I thought about it, the more excited I got.
So, then this happened.
I don’t know what to tell you. They just hopped into my shopping cart and whined and cried and carried on until I hit “buy now”.
AND this all coincides with the upcoming 100DayProject.
So, that’s a thing I’m going to do now because, yanno. I don’t have enough to do.
In Other News
It’s month-end and I had a bit of a disaster when I was filming the new moon working for Moonshine, so I’m woefully behind. I spent an egregious amount of time making tiny doodles in a waterfall using a Sakura Gelly Roll, and then when I went to glaze over the doodles with some acrylic ink, the Sakura smeared and disappeared and OMGDOOOOOOOOOM.
I went looking for an “omgdooooom” gif or image on Google and you know what came up?
Links to my blogs.
Omgdoom leads to images of people’s faces in shock about something but omgdooooom looped me right back here.
I am amused. And bereft of an OMGDOOOOOOM gif. Could someone make one for me?
Okay, back to our story.
Needless to say, I have to fix the thing before I can finish the spread and get it up in the classroom.
So, today will be for *waves at all of that*, which means I have no more time for *waves at all of this*.
I’ll see you on the other side of omgdooooom. ;)
P.S. I was absolutely in love with the way the light was coming through my window treatments yesterday so I snapped this, and offer it, and these totally chill furbabes for tax.