calming the anxiety…

For a variety of reasons – some I can identify and probably some beneath my conscious awareness – my anxiety has been amped up this summer.

Some of my usual tools haven’t been helping as much as they typically do. And sometimes I forget to use some of the tools I’ve learned and gathered over the years. (I don’t know why, but there can be times in the midst of ‘stuff’ that I can forget that I know what I know.)

Around a month or so ago, I realized the thing this summer that’s been absolutely calming my anxiety, every time, no matter what, is painting.

Playing with paint on the canvas.

 

Or in the big spiral-bound pad.

Moving the paint on the canvas or the paper as I stand at the table-top easel in my kitchen.

I’m still using the other tools in my “toolkit” of anxiety-reduction techniques that help me.

I’m being more conscious about returning to some of the tools that I’d been forgetting (or had let slide).

I’m focusing a lot on my self-care.

But the sure-fire way to still my inner trembling, to completely quiet my anxious thoughts and underlying feelings of anxiety – for me, this summer – it’s turned out to be painting. More than anything else.

When I realized this was happening, I was sort of surprised. But I welcome the times of total freedom from the anxious feelings.

I’ve known for quite a while that letting myself paint was soul-care for me. Painting whatever colors seem to be calling to me at the time, moving my hand or my brush in whatever way feels good at the time, not worrying about how it looks, not wondering whether I’ll show it to anyone, not being concerned what anyone will think if I do show what I’ve painted.

Just being with the paint and the painting. In the moment. In the flow. In the now.

Losing myself and my anxiety in the calming of painting.

Whatever does this for you – whatever stills the anxiety, whatever calms you, whatever connects you to the flow that helps you find your inner quiet when you need it – I hope you make time for that.  ♥

day 23 journey with joy ~ places…

It’s been a gray day here, with a thunder storm rolling through earlier bringing lots of rain and thunder and lightning. For a few different reasons, it’s been hard today for me to make a connection to joy.

Hard to feel the joy.

(even if I know it’s there, inside)

On days like this it helps me if I can think of anything – and any place – where I’ve felt joy.

For me, the beach holds many, many joyful memories and feelings.

At times when you have a hard time connecting with joy, thinking of a place you love might help.

day 14 journey with joy ~ taking a break

Sometimes connecting with joy means taking a break and getting more rest. ‘Cause if we’re exhausted – physically or emotionally – it can sort of block the channel to joy.

(I’m not talking about feeling physically exhausted in that ‘good’ sort of way, like when you’ve had a wonderful day doing something that lights you on fire or has been full of fun or good times with loved ones… I’m talking about the not-so-good kind of being physically exhausted.)

Self-care can help with connecting to joy.

And sometimes self-care is getting more rest.