In January 2013 I was recovering from wrist surgery. I was pretty sedentary, unable to play my violin, and feeling that my life was fairly flat. I wanted a new creative outlet. Likely inspired by my work with Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, I turned to the world of online journaling and began this blog. I dedicated it to Elizabeth, my sweet friend from southern Oregon, and have since published 157 mental streams. While on a very snowy walk two winters ago, my now-partner confessed that he had read every entry. He also mentioned that I often explore personal struggle. Indeed, many of the 157 things I have written have attempted to bring to light a persistent inner darkness.
Since late May I have been seeing a counselor. This is not the first time I’ve sought mental support, but I felt determined that this time I would find a practitioner and stick with them for an extended period to resolve deeply-rooted issues. Feelings of inadequacy, fear of failure, washes of anxiety. I felt that these had no place in my beautiful life in Alaska, with my loving support network and incredible opportunities. I felt totally stuck: I wasn’t sleeping well, I was crying often, I couldn’t work as I wanted to. So, I found someone, and we’ve been gently shoveling away to the deeper parts, uncovering what it is that is holding me back. It’s been good work. I’ve been exploring practices to cultivate a self-positive mental landscape, rather than dwelling in negative places.
My incredible friend Hallie Bateman is selling her art to raise money for families separated at the Mexican-US border (she’s raised $11,200 so far!). I bought one of her prints, titled “Hallie Prayer.” The last lines say, “I express my love and not my pain/That I become my love and not my pain.” I think it’s time for me, and for my five-year-old Positive Affirmations for Women, to start expressing more of my love. More of my joy. To start celebrating what I know is good in me and in my life: my empathy, my friendliness, my talents, my intelligence, my dedication, my humor, my ability to forgive. May this be a place to support my transition from pain to love and to inspire others to do the same.