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 9 journey with joy ~ painting, listening…

It’s been a low-intensity day. (I’m still dealing with sinus issues, and self-care mode is very much activated.) I’ve been catching up on listening to some online recordings and watching some online videos. There’s so much good stuff. But sometimes I feel overwhelmed because I simply can’t keep up with all of it.

I have to choose and prioritize. I have to let some things go, and be okay with the releasing.

It’s interesting for me to realize how so many of the audios and videos talk about similar themes. There’s a lot of inter-connectedness and overlapping, and it’s fascinating to see synchronicity at work this way.

(because I feel like I’m hearing these things, from so many different people and places, for a reason)

So I’m listening.

Listening for the messages, for what I’m meant to learn from all of this.

It feels important.

I’ve also been painting today.

And again, I listen.

I stand there and I listen to some inner voice (or maybe it’s an outer voice which feels internal) tell me what color to use and where to put it and what to do with it.

Sometimes when I paint, emotions come to the surface, moving through me, to be released.

Today I just felt calm.

Peaceful.

And painting – and the sense of inner peace – definitely joyful, both of them.

Sometimes it feels really good to simply feel calm and peace.

The inner peace and calm – the inner quiet – make it easier for me to listen.

day 7 journey with joy ~ cycles and supplies…

I didn’t get much sleep last night… although I got more than night before last, when bothersome thoughts kept roaming through my mind and kept me awake until the time many people were getting up for the day. When I woke up this morning, I was grateful for the sleep I did get.

And I was still feeling emotionally raw from the past couple of days.

Old stuff – stuff I’ve already dealt with on many levels – resurfaced for another go-round of healing at a new and deeper level. Things I thought I’d energetically cleared showed up and said nope we’re still here, you haven’t totally finished the work of releasing.

Some very important questions around believing and trusting and relationships and emotions and what’s real and what’s not.

I spent part of the morning doing some processing around what’s happened the past couple of days. I did some of the healing work which needs to be done.

This is a process.

This is stuff that’s a lifetime old (and possibly even older).

I’m being kind to myself about the fact more healing still needs to be done. I know how these things – and the healing journey itself – can go in cycles, or be like a spiral.

To expect only forward momentum – or for a ‘good place’ to remain always good, always static – isn’t realistic.

Life doesn’t usually work like that.

There’s light.

And there’s shadow.

There are ups.

And there are downs.

There are cycles. There’s the spiral of life. Our emotional and healing journeys aren’t linear.

After some time spent on processing and healing (work which isn’t over, it’ll continue), my husband and I headed on a drive in the beautiful sunshine and visited a craft store where I spent time joyfully – yes, definitely joyfully! – exploring the aisles and gathering some supplies.

I was low on a few shades of blue, so I bought new tubes.

I stocked up on more large canvases as well as canvas panels.

And I bought a new sketchbook. (Can I just say how much I love sketchpads and notebooks and journals?!)

And when we got home I spent some time playing with paint.

I still feel a little bit like I’m in an emotional-recovery space, feeling the need to be gentle with myself, feeling the need to do a lot of self-care.

At the same time, I’ve definitely felt the connection to joy today.

The time of working on processing and healing, driving in the sunshine, walking through the parking lot holding hands with my husband, shopping the aisles for painting supplies, a cold drink on a hot day, standing in front of my easel while I painted…

Joy.