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Pivot, The Art of Change

In December of 2021, our family went through a huge change with the long-in-coming death of my husband. Shock, numbness and confusion was followed by a long period of sorting out affairs, talking to friends & family, soothing each other. Yes, there was anger & a lot of bargaining, the "if only" period of integrating loss. A loss like this isn't unique to me or my family. I write about what I am learning in terms of creating art - why it matters, what to create, how and when to create; worth sharing. See if you agree.

Because I continue a lifetime curiosity about human nature, I noticed my own process of drifting away from the studio, stumbling back to it & being surprised my approach had shifted. I was not so anxious about creating. I had more clarity. It was as if I pushed a 'reset button'. Freedom to explore was the first gift. The Internal Critic was silenced; maybe not forever but at least for now. The fact of death, of endings, sobering as it is, weirdly freed me.

Things became simpler: I am quicker to "go for it" - in activities, creating, even resting. Why? Time is short, then we die. We have this one opportunity to explore & create in this gift of life. Van Gogh painted everything he did in about 10 years! What if he had procrastinated til he 'got it right'? We will never get it right. No one. It's a phantom state we chase. Not perfect? Do it anyway.

Death emphasizes the importance of working out relationships, disagreements, own mistakes, restore relationships. Also: First do your best to make repairs; If repeatedly rejected, walk away. Second: avoid being inappropriately reactive, coach yourself: "If you won't remember it in 5 years, it's insignificant'.

I could ramble on about all I learned in a long career as a psychotherapist, about conflict management, brutal scapegoating, when to stay & when to let go. But my message today is simpler. If it twists your gut around, get help. Change is possible. You can learn from conflict, heal wounded hearts, your own included, and experience the freedom that comes with personal growth. Learn to walk away with the lesson. Carrying relationship burden restricts your creativity, takes you away from the studio.

I keep re-learning about the courage to be vulnerable: admit wrong doing, make needed repairs even while feeling judged, (see John Gottman information online), revisit the experiences, embrace the knowledge, compassion, empathy, talent & goodness you most certainly possess. Share it all. Remind yourself, there is no guarantee you will be here tomorrow. Do it today. Do it all. The risks you take won't kill you. (...well, not true if seeking thrills by jumping off buildings. But you know what I mean.) Better stated, "Do something for yourself today your future self will thank you for" (Sean Patrick Flanery).

Eckhart Tolle has it right: live in the present moment. Your studio time will be massively rewarded. For now, I'm off to the studio. I'll be back with another Blog after the holidays. Have a good set!

From the heart...



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