My He(ART)-Full Life

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 year review

 For some strange reason, I am having a lot of difficulty writing about my year review. It's not because so much has happened or we were super fact, I have done my very best to sloooooow down. Maybe I've just forgotten everything the years go by and Tara grows up...I seem to measure the passing of time more by her growth + milestones rather than my own. Anyhow...I think this post is more about the larger picture rather than specific events (which I've tended to focus on in the past.) This year has been all about growth, living in that space of uncertainty and all of the tenderness and insecurities it brings...and most of all...opening up layers + layers of my heart to vulnerability, courage, truth-telling and love. It's also been about accepting every step of the journey, letting go when things didn't flow (relationships/friendships, art opportunities, dreams etc etc). Realising that things simply have to flow...there has to be connection, ease, good vibes. Difficult lessons to put into practice and sometimes near impossible to apply to real life situations. But I tried + tried and then...tried some more. I failed frequently, beat up on myself...had to practice forgiveness...and then....woke up the next morning + tried once again.

 I was so very very fortunate this year to leap into creative possibilities. I took 3 amazing e-courses that have all  added immeasurably to my life. I have to say that there are so many many e-courses out there, it can be so bewildering. Also...there are classes that offer much + deliver little which can be extremely disappointing. But all 3 of the classes I took resonated with me in so many ways and have carried me through the year to a deeper understanding + blossoming of mySELF. Vivienne McMaster's BYOB was just so over the top fantastic...and I now incorporate photowalks into my everyday creative life. But this class taught me so much to really look at mySELF with love (through the lens + in my everyday life) and acceptance (no small feat because all the gremlins seem to come out in self seems!). It taught me how to look at myself with kindness...and the prompts were great for kick starting creative sight.

 Then I took a painting class (Herstory) with Danielle Daniel and...oh! my!!! I just knew she is the real deal but I was really blown away by all she shared with us. The exercises really helped me articulate how to paint my stories...the stories that only I can share and bring into being. Just loved loved this class! Her prompts, techniques and soul sharing opened my heart in a way that allowed me to see the possibilities in my own creative journey. love this girl! thanks so much Danielle!  And my 3rd e-course??? A Lifeclass with Oprah and Dr. Brene Brown!!!!! Okay...this class just ended about a week ago and was an absolute lifechanger, heartchanger and game changer. For real. I want to write a separate blog post on how infinitely powerful this class was for me. I hung on to every word, took notes diligently and had an infinite number of aha moments. There's just something about the way Brene explains things that just makes you go..."Oh...I get it!". All the knowing in the world doesn't amount to much if I can't put it into practice....especially when it's impossibly difficult! Vulnerability, courage, daring greatly, setting boundaries...I mean seriously...this class is so needed! Hello gratitude!

This year was also so much about magic, possibilities, hope and promise. Tim and I have been working towards each other, finding our way back to ourSELVES and our partnership in ways that were not possible a few years ago. We have started sharing more of our deepest dreams, opening up layers and layers of vulnerability and I've been practicing listening...really + truly listening. The first few years after Tara was born plus all the moving from place to place left us with little time for each other.And now, all of a sudden, it seems as if we are rediscovering each other and ...kind of dating again:) Falling in love with ourselves, each other and our marriage all over again.

And just like gorgeous sweet baby doll grew up!! makes me radically proud + devastatingly sad all at once and I tried my best to give both of those emotions space to live in my heart. 5 years ago this time I was so pregnant and had no idea the infinite ways my heart would expand...had absolutely no idea how I would be utterly transformed. She birthed me, this sweet girl...and she continues to do so every single day. She is super smart, kind, curious, sassy, loving and totally into all things pink + sparkly + girly. She loves storytelling (the listening + the telling), playing, art-ing and collecting stuffed animals. difficult. No joke. It takes commitment + kindness + unending resolve to fail + get up and try again. But the joy and love and delight I take in being Tara's mom is a gift I am forever grateful for. She lights me up. 

My art started off with a bang this year...I couldn't believe that I was on the cover of Art Journaling back in January. A totally unexpected dream come true! And when I picked my word for 2013 DARE (!!!) ...I started daring to dream. There were so many amazing opportunities this year that came my way...I was published here (Somerset Apprentice) , here (Somerset Gallery) , here (Cloth, Paper, Scissors) + here (Of Note Magazine). Plus I started selling my work at a gallery. But...about halfway through the year...I stalled. I didn't have the time + energy to focus on my art...I fell into a sort of creative rut...Tara needed me more and I focused on her and...that's when I felt called to do less in my studio. And it was all okay with me. I started practicing self care, listening to what I needed and knew that everything has it's path. So very very grateful for this year in creative news, though:)

Also...this year I made a conscious commitment to self care. For the first 3 years of Tara's life...I practiced self care in snips + snatches. Mothering, moving, marriage and painting left me with no time for taking care of me. Totally normal and all too common with women, right?? But this year felt like the right time to carve out some self care time. I started working out (it was hit or miss the first half of the year) but then I buckled down and decided to adopt the "just do it!" mantra. Tim has been my inspiration because he is the most disciplined person I matter what...he's down in the gym every morning. Thankfully...we have a full gym in our I just get myself down there and that's half the battle won! But self care is so much more...right?? I started using photowalks as a self care tool...,scheduling much needed annual check-ups that I usually put offpampering myself more, taking care of myself spiritually and mentally (hello reading, writing, setting boundaries!!).Hello spending more time outdoors under the heavens and trees and sun...hello reading poetry aloud, doing absolutely nothing but feel the wind in my hair + the sun on my face, hello music, love + laughter. hello silliness + joy + playing. hello life!

When Nelson Mandela passed away just a short while ago...I sat on the couch and cried for a full week. I was overwhelmed by emotions so raw and took me completely by surprise. Of course...I didn't expect him to live forever...but how to imagine a world without him??  And seeing all the footage on t.v. ... the songs and images of that place I left so long ago but ...the place that never left me...was healing + heartbreaking all at once. There was so much about Mandela's life that was cause to celebrate...and yet...all I could do was cry.  South Africa today probably bears no resemblance to the police state of apartheid I grew up in but was a seminal moment for me to grasp the enormity of the man and his accomplishments. And I also had to fully understand, claim and acknowledge how I benefited under the system of apartheid that discriminated on a tier system. I had to see truth for what it while there were many Indians who fought against apartheid and even served life sentences with Mandela...the majority of S. African Indians adhered to their own racist ideologies based on the caste system and subscribed to apartheid ideology.It was a reckoning, then...of my history, my participation and my guilt. It's been so incredibly heavy but cathartic as well.

And just  a few weeks ago I thought that my word for 2014 would be surrender. It seemed so what I need in the coming year...I was certain. But then this other word...FAITH...kept on showing up in various ways in my life as my conversations with friends...writing in my journal...the books + poetry I've been reading. And I guess faith + surrender are very closely leaning into the other. And I guess I had to be okay with surrender to get to faith...because, quite frankly, a few short years ago both of these words would have sent me running. But now they both fit me I decided to pick 2 words for the year ahead...surrender and faith. There are so many different changes and possibilities (known + unknown) looming many of which we have no control over so it seems perfect that I choose surrender (as in let go) and then faith (as in trust). It all feels right. But of course, as I have discovered in the past...our words can take on a whole new life of their own and turn everything on it's the best possible way giving us just what we need.

So...dear is with a heart full of gratitude that I say goodbye to you. You have been so kind to me and my family...showing us all good health, love, forgiveness...growth. Even the difficult time (and there were many) were gifts that provided opportunities for transformation. Thank you for the heartaches + tears too...they were their own revelations...bringing forth courage, vulnerability, strength. Of course...there is a bittersweet lingering...saying goodbyes are never easy. As I step into the New heart is full of hope + promise because here we stand...on the cusp of possibilities. Happy New Year, friends!! xxx

1 comment:

SooZeQue said...

You always have such a way of articulating what I cannot say. Blessings to you, Tara & Tim going forward. I hope to move forward and work on those things that I have so missed and find myself again...slow process and many obstacles. Hugs my dear friend..