My Own Worst Enemy

I. My notes from a workshop I took for this cycle from New Moon to New Moon included these words about Full Moon in Scorpio: Deep & cathartic. Intense. Revelation. Something is illuminated that must be grieved. Challenging. Disruptive to relationships. Breaking habits/relationship patterns.

It was all of that. The whole weekend. Deep, cathartic, intense, revealing, challenging, disruptive. The things I want to change within myself were lit up and on display. The cracks are starting to show, and I know that’s how the light gets in, so I’m okay, honest, but I’m afraid there are (very valuable) things I can break with my intensity, my bull in the china shop approach to my own emotional content, and that fear tempts me to shut down.

II. I’m not going to, though. I’m going to simmer down a bit, maybe. I’m going to go quiet, hang back, let things unfold with a little less push & pull, a little more of the attitude of the gardener. Weed. Water. Let things grow as they grow. Quietly wonder. Gently await. Harvest only when it is actually time and not a moment before.

III. My notes on this cycle tell me that May 30th and 31st are going to be lovely. “Dreamy, affirming, solidifying, deeper awareness of how to work within your relationships for healing and building…”

*Checks calendar*

Okay, then, universe. Bring that.

IV. I have nothing to say about the final episode of Game of Thrones, except maybe this:

V. I did exactly zero art this past weekend, and I am jonesing. I feel pregnant, like there’s some mysterious being in here somewhere that wants to burst out – something true and raw and maybe bloody and fanged and furred.

There is something in here about pleasure seeking gone wrong – too much of the good stuff. Habits that I want to break because I lose myself somewhere in all of that, lose my ability to think slow and measured thoughts.

There are some parts of self that are meant to be inhibited, meant to be tamed or they will run me into ruin.

Knowing who they are is part of the work of the moment.

VI. I got a hair cut. I really like it.

VII. Today’s forecast calls for wobbles & spins, and all the tools in the tool box.

VIII. Got a piece of hate mail last night about one of my classes, which came just as I was going into a pretty wild spin. INSERT SARCASM HERE: Wonderful. Just what I needed. All my doubts about myself came crash booming into sharp relief. Imposter. Useless. Garbage. Nonsense. Unworthy.

I had to work really hard to wrangle myself back to some kind of centre while I was already feeling worn down like a road.

I managed. My peoples helped. I am well-loved, even if I am fucked up as a soup sandwich. Knowing that helps me shake it off.

All good this morning about all that, though. I issued a refund and got on with my life, because what else can one do but that?

IX. Standing on the overlook at the dam at Three Bridges. The wind up, smelling of rain. The hawks circling over head, lazily catching updrafts, coasting, gliding. The bench on Woolwich trail. People watching. The little waterfall looking so enchanted and perfect and pretty. Feet in the dirt for the first time this season. A coin buried amidst the roots of a beautiful tree as an offering for the solace offered by that moment. The way we do complete silence. Holding his hand.

X. I like to think of myself as unbreakable, but I’m not. I know that. But it’s truth time, my loves. The only one that can break me *is me*.

I terrify myself. I take myself to dark places. In my frenzied drive to heal *now, right now, because ain’t nobody got time for this* I delve when I shouldn’t, deeper than I should, with no respect at all for my own true pace or need for a more careful excavation.

I’d like to stop doing that, and so the work continues.

And this song today, because reasons.

Get Up From The Table

I. I don’t want to talk about Mother’s Day at all except to say that there was sweetness, and there was bitterness, and I’m doing my level best to give my time & energy to sweetness these days.

This quote sums things up nicely:

“You have to learn to get up from the table when love is no longer being served.”
– Nina Simone

II. Six years of therapy in and I have learned to get up from the table and even flip the fucker over when necessary.

Onward.

III. This is going up in Moonshine on May 17th for Full Moon in Scorpio.

I *loved* making her, but she did a number on my neck, and shoulders. It was *hours* of filling in the petals on those background roses. Hours! But in Moonshine, we treat our effort as an offering to the divine for blessings, boons, and the attainment of our desires, so a little blood, sweat, and tears goes a long way. HASHTAG ART WITCH. :)

IV. I am falling in love with couch art done on my iPad with an Apple Pencil. You can set Procreate so that it records your every stroke, which makes for really fun time-lapse videos.

This was only my second piece, and I’m learning so much.

“Nuture”

This was my first piece.

“Mother Love”

I foresee some of these going up in my Society6 shop at some point.

IV. I feel pretty low right now. Empty. Spilled out, with not a lot coming back in. I was talking to my son about this the other day, about how I’m in the middle of grieving a lack of care that’s been a theme throughout my life, about how easy it is for me to do and give and please until I start to feel completely spent, about how often I don’t even know what my needs are let alone how to ask to have them met.

I need a crisis before I can say OH HEY DON’T DO THAT or OH HEY PLEASE DO THIS. That fucking sucks, but given my history of being abused or abandoned if I express a need, it comes as no surprise. I’m over it, though. No more of that. I am paying very close attention to where energy exchanges begin to feel unbalanced, too much like fawning or people pleasing. I’m asking myself ‘what do you need’ and I’m learning to ask for those needs to be met.

Hard work. Worth it.

In response to our conversation, and because he knew I’d had a spectacularly shitty day, he made me dinner – a perfect meal of steak and sautéed summer squash, and did not let me life a finger for the rest of the evening. We’re talking wine refills. We’re talking dog wrangling. We’re talking cleaning up the kitchen.

Other care.

It’s a thing, y’all.

V. I often meet my own needs by proxy, by which I mean I throw myself body and soul into meeting the needs of others. Doing what I can to make others happy, comfortable, satisfied, to make them feel like they matter feels *really good to me*. It feels redemptive. It feels like something I am also giving to myself.

But.

I can (and do) take it too far. I can (and do) take it to the place where I give all and ask for nothing, or I set up some kind of way off balance energy exchange, paying way more than I should or giving way more in return so I don’t feel guilty about having BASIC HUMAN NEEDS.

That. Has. To. Stop.

My therapist has started calling me on it, so it’s very in my face as a thing I’m becoming aware of. Catching it when it happens is step one. Preventing it from happening is step two.

VI. I need a retreat. I need a break. I need to refill the well. I need to be touched with love. I need a massage. I need some fucking F.U.N. STAT. before this low takes me under.

VII. THREE SLEEPS.

VIII. Sometimes, when I’m feeling really depleted, I buy myself things. This was one of those weeks. I got myself a new set of long handled watercolour brushes, a Paul Rubens palette of glittery watercolour paints, and a pad of Paul Rubens hot press paper. I also got myself a wifi booster, since wifi in the studio is pretty craptastic and that makes doing anything live really frustrating.

VIII. Speaking of Paul Rubens stuff, I saw it reviewed on Emily Artful. If you don’t know her, you should. She’s hilarious, and I have really been enjoying her channel. This whole ‘talk while making art’ thing people are doing on YouTube is really inspiring me. If only I had time!

Maybe I’ll make time. What should I call my series?

IX. I am super disappointed in Game of Thrones and I can’t even talk about it. This article sums up my thoughts.

I am hoping that the book will make up for the DISASTER THAT THIS SHOW IS BECOMING. *EPIC EYE ROLL*

X. That’s me, today.

 

 

 

 

 

And The Winner Is!!!

A few days ago, I held a giveaway for a seat in Ever After and here are the results:

Random.Org helped me select a random person from among the comments, and here’s the number that came up:

That means that JILL (jillsfine@gmail.com) has won a seat in Ever After 2019. YAY! KERMIT FLAILS! I will be emailing your details to Tamara today, Jill! CONGRATULATIONS!

The Contest is NOW CLOSED! Thanks for playing!

In the meantime, I hope to see you In Ever After 2019 for it’s FINAL RUN!! Here’s some info:

Ever After began in 2016 and ran again (with totally new art lessons) in 2017 and 2018. It has a blend of magic (because FAERY TALES) as well as style development that is fantastic for beginners, intermediate, and advanced artists.

If you’re not ready for (or into) style development then you can just buy the ‘Ever After Fairytale Bundle’ offer on its own (without the style development element) which simply is an awesome mixed media art class with a fairytale theme taught by some of your most favourite artists and fabulous teachers in our beautiful mixed media community!

This year I’ll be working with the story: The Witches Of Eastwick. I know, I know – NOT A TRADITIONAL FAERY TALE – BUT it has all the elements of one, and I will go over those with you in class. I will also be switching things up a bit the way I do so that our heroines get a better deal. *Wink*

You can find out all the details (and sign up with the Early Bird price) by clicking here.

Please note: this is Ever After’s LAST YEAR! If you know you want it, please use the Early Bird Discount code to get 20% off!

MAGIC2019

The Happiness Your Body Can Bear

I. You might remember my saying a few days ago that I had this in the works as bonus content for my peeps in Patreon & Effy365. I’ve finished filming it and it’s going up on Sunday, May 12th as a kind of “Mother’s Day” present for all of you who nurture life in whatever way you do. It was super fun to make, and the tutorial will come with 40 minutes of video. Just long enough to teach you, but short enough that you can watch, and then go off and create your own luscious bouquet. I hope you like it.

II. I had an ‘I feel pretty’ moment the other day, so I took a selfie and posted it on Facebook. It was good for my soul, because the news that I have cataracts made me feel kind of old and brought me face to face with a bunch of underlying stuff I’ve got going on about aging (like the whiskers growing out of my chin, and the fact that I haven’t had a period since December).

I’m aging. I totally thought I was cool with this given how thrilled I’ve been with my delicious crows feet, and the way my wisdom glitter is coming in…but I realize that the stuff I have around aging isn’t about my appearance. I think aged women are beautiful, and I am aging beautifully in that regard.

What I’m grappling with, it turns out, is mortality. My body is showing the usual signs of wear and I feel a little bit like I’m just getting started in the living, loving, laughing department, so I admit to have some resentment about it.

It’s also making me think long and hard about the things I do that contribute to my less than stellar health – the sedentary nature of my lifestyle, the smoking, the drinking…

Being happy has had the unexpected side effect of making me want to live to be 120.

A thousand years beside him wouldn’t be enough, and right now I’m looking at maybe 30 if I’m really careful and lucky.

Speaking of 42, this one’s for him, because reason.

III. Realness.

IV. This went up in A Year Of Rumi a day early because I’m bad ass like that.

V. I’ve spent a fair bit of time over the last 72 hours counselling one of my kids through a pretty devastating break up. There’s a child involved, too, so the heartache is compounded by all the questions we all have around how things are going to be for the little one. My kid is navigating all of this with grace, grit, and maturity, and his siblings and I are all circling him like he’s a bear cub and we’re fearsome.

I believe it’s going to be okay, but I wouldn’t say no to a little healing mojo being thrown his way if you don’t mind.

VI. This family crisis came in the middle of some omgdoom at work in terms of needing to get things done for things that I was feeling behind on. I am happy to report that I managed to carve myself an ACTUAL WEEKEND OFF – Friday & Saturday, at least. I will need to work on Sunday. I got up at six this morning in order to make this happen, and I am super chuffed with myself.

My son watched me fly through the list today and said “I wish I was a go getter like you…”

I felt seen. I am a go getter, and I believe he will be, too, once he heals up and recognizes the value of getting up and going.

VII. I’m feeling very affirmed lately by my people, including my students, who are all expressing appreciation for my way of being in the world. I just want to take a moment to thank you for that, because I grew up without any kind of affirmation and spend most of my adult life feeling ‘less than’. It is nice to feel that turning around.

VIII. The Ever After Giveaway contest ends tonight at midnight. Go get it. I’ll announce the winner on May 10th. That’s TOMORROW.

IX. I have therapy today at noon, and then Bean is coming over for a few hours. I am deeply grateful to be getting in some Bean time. Deeply. Grateful. While he’s here (his dad will be here, too), I am going to get a big pot of beef stew started since there are so many people hanging out this weekend. My love tomorrow, my kids on Sunday & Monday. I’m hoping to get some solo time in on Saturday, but I have to go to Costco at some point to do my contacts fitting, so yanno. Probably not gonna happen.

X. This song today, dedicated to the one and only Kidlet, because reasons.

 

 

Better Man

I.I turned up wanting to be elegant. A soft place to land. Sanctuary. I wanted to keep my questions to myself, to take what was offered, and ask for nothing more. I wanted to hold it lightly, to be easy as a summer’s breeze. I thought of him as a hummingbird. No one can possess such a thing. We just let them flit in and out, watch in awe as they sip the nectar we offer, and hold that jewelled moment in our heart’s forever. Right? We hope they’ll come again, but we don’t set our clocks by them. When they are here, we stop. We drink deeply alongside them. When they leave, we get on with our lives.

II. My past experiences with love have trained me up to expect very little. I had begun to think of myself as a kind of drive through, where my loves could pull in, fill up, and drive away again. I got filled up elsewhere. Through my friendships, or my spiritual practice. Through music or art or writing. I didn’t know it was possible for there to be anything like an equal exchange.

III. Having discovered that there is such a thing, and having experienced it for just a little over half a year now, I have become very possessive of it. I can’t imagine going back a life in which I allow myself to serve as fuel, as a prop, or as something that can be easily shelved, and taken down only when it suits someone else’s agenda. I can’t imagine being in a relationship in which I have no expectations. That seems like bullshit to me now. Like a raw deal. Like something I can’t believe I *ever* signed up for.

IV. When the former is all you’ve ever known, the latter comes in like a wildfire and burns down everything you thought you knew about love. It is impossible to be elegant in the midst of a wildfire. I have not been elegant or easy. I have been full on. I have grappled. I have asked all the questions. I have expressed what my needs are. I have asked for more.

V. He meets me there.

VI. For me, possession isn’t about ownership. It is about how he has taken up residence in me, how he pours himself into me so that there is no room for anymore of this kind of love. I used to think that the only way I’d ever get my needs met was if I had multiple partners willing to patchwork up some kind of solution to the problem of my too muchness. No, man. That was not the answer. The answer was finding someone who filled me up to capacity and then some, and now I know that exists. This means that non-monogamy – something I have wholeheartedly embraced and believed in my whole life – is no longer an option for me. The thought of sharing my body with someone else makes me cringe. The thought of redirecting any of what I feel toward anyone else just doesn’t work. I can’t.

VII. This doesn’t mean that I’m not sovereign in my own life. I am, absolutely. I can withdraw my devotion at any time. I have the right to change my mind. I just don’t see it happening, though, because my devotion is met with devotion. My love is met with love. My questions are met with answers. My needs are met with care.

When people approach me with interest, (have you noticed how when you are in love, you get more offers than ever before?) my response is pretty much “N’aw, honey. I’m good. All sorted. Thank you, though.”

VIII. His are the only hands I want on my body. His is the only mouth I want on my mouth.

IX. Something about how he invokes the best in me. Something about how his showing up sent me flying into an accelerated evolution, threw me into a healing crisis as though my whole body knew that this was it, and we had to do our work now, because we have living to do, and *waves at all of that back there* was in our fucking way. Something about wanting to show up as my whole self, because he deserves that, and I deserve to enjoy him as my whole self. Something about how he brings a warrior energy with him that makes me feel encircled in safety, makes me feel safe to be a woman. Something about how at home I feel in my own skin, how embodiment is easy with him. Something about how anchored I am in the moment when his eyes are on my face.

X. This song, today, because reasons.