Spring comes to us with a purpose. We can choose to embrace her and propagate some serious growth. Ren·ais·sance, a renewal of life, vigor, interest, Ren·ais·sance, say it with me now!
One of the creative artsy modalities I use for healing is photography. I have taken pictures of abandoned buildings to demonstrate my feelings about abandonment, and to represent the horror of being raped in a motel. I take pictures—a plethora of pictures documenting my life, moods, my children’s lives, my art, nature, our animals.
Ren·ais·sance originally means the activity, spirit, or time of the great revival of art, literature, and learning in Europe beginning in the fourteenth century and extending to the seventeenth century, marking the transition from the medieval to the modern world.
Renaissance, lit. “rebirth,” usually in a spiritual sense, from renaître “be born again.” An earlier term for it was revival of learning. My drift is to take this word and its meaning and make it malleable to your own spirit. What do you hope to create this spring? What garden will you cultivate? This means inside yourself, and outside in your outer world. We can always be born again! It is so true. The earth does it all the time. We are made of her, and we can do it to. Just set your intention to grow, and be open to the newness of spring.
In the spirit of nouveau inspiration, of rebirth, of metamorphosis, let’s take more pictures that we see meaning and feeling in. Keep a scrapbook of your pictures. Choose any theme you wish or none at all. Just intend to create visually a tangible way of seeing your inner world. I think to myself, “I feel ——-.” I then take a picture of something. Voila. You can give visual, give image to your inner world. The idea is to express what is inside of you, no matter what it is, and move it out of you in some kind of creative form. This is your art. This is how we can make our life an art. You are an artist in your own life.
My intention right now is to breathe in spring, feel the energy of renewal, reawakening, rebirth, resurrection. Watch as the birds flit around gleefully, their long awaited reemergence into air. This is all healing, nature and art are elixirs for the soul. My porch is a sacred space. Out there I have beautiful copper wind chimes with colorful jewels that catch the sun’s rays, the light flinging itself into my dining room daily. I have plants, a bonsai tree, sculptures, bird feeders, and soon a cozy rug. Deep orange gossamer curtains hang in front of the French doors leading to the porch. It is very important to create intentionally, space from which to exist. This is where we live, we can make it beautiful and sacred. We must make it so. Sometimes we can learn to care for ourselves inside by acting as if and demonstrating to ourselves how to do it outwardly, starting the home we occupy. I leaned some of my self care and self regard this way. I choose to occupy my lifespace a certain way, with sacred intention.
My entire home is a scared space actually. I have created this with my family over the last eight years. Only things that engender a soul quickening get in my door! I do not allow clutter in my home. For me, life is always moving, therefore I am always polishing, tidying, letting the chi flow through my home, doing laundry with gratitude for the little bodies that wear the clothes. I am always going through things, so that clutter has no time to form. Clutter is a symbol of emotional cobwebs, and we have a choice about how we approach that. Our outer world can align with the inner world, and vice versa. What is within is reflected outside of us in our environment. Thus take pictures, and if you feel unsure of how you feel internally, pictures will help you see your internal state. And, it’s fun!!
Spring births life anew, and we follow her heARTful, blooming example.
It is a wonderful time to begin taking care of your physical self through motion if you do not. Pain gets stuck in our body. We have these little emotional crevices which get filled with pain. You gotta get moving to spill those pockets of stored up stuff. I set my intention to release, relax, and revitalize. It works. I run, lift weights, practice yoga, and do copious amounts of stretching. Walk your dog to start. Put on Fergie and dance. Chase your kids. Play hide and seek with your partner. Make love. make some more love! Jump rope. Skip to your local cafe. Walk to the grocery. Pick up litter. Go on a hike. Do something, and do it often. I feel triumphant after a good long workout. Most importantly, PRAISE YOURSELF when you do something heal-thy. If you are doing inner child work, buy stickers and give yourself one as a reward to chart your progress. Make a list of rewards you wish your mom and dad had given you for your accomplishments, and give them to yourself as you do even the smallest things well.
Write yourself a letter that you wish your mother had written you. Mine have said things like, “You are beautiful. You can do anything. Let’s go shopping for that prom dress. It is safe to be a girl. I will protect you. I love you so much. You inspire me. You were the most gorgeous baby I ever saw. When you were little, you were so magical. You are so smart. You are funny. Being a mother to you, staying home with you, was never a sacrifice, because I got so much out of it too, who wouldn’t want to watch you, Sarah, blossom? I would never leave you.” Give this to yourself.
Music, choose some new music, listen deep. Find a new rhythm in life. This is part of rebirthing the self, our own personal renaissance. So, take pictures to externalize your personal experience, for me this is particularly of beauty and gratitude.
Dave Matthews Live, When the World Ends (“When the world ends, you and me will just be beginning…”), Warpaint, by The Black Crowes, Billie Holiday, Jack Johnson Sleep Through the Static, Thievery Corporation mixes.
Ylang Ylang to revitalize.
Thirty minutes of running, weights, flow yoga.
coffee, green tea, water. Take care of yourselves!