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.

music and self-care…

My husband I got home a little while ago from a visit with my parents. My folks live an hour away, so it’s not a very long drive but it’s long enough to listen to several songs. We drove, the night muggy from the rain of the day, the windows down to let in the summer air that wasn’t exactly cool but was cool enough not to need the air conditioner going in the car.

And we blasted the radio, enjoying the music as we rode.

Oldies were playing… Gloria Gaynor, Hall & Oates, Billy Joel, the Stones.

I danced in my seat to the fast ones. Sometimes I sang along.

It made me think about the role music plays in my self-care.

I LOVE music. LOVE. All sorts of music, most genres. It can soothe me, uplift me, get me moving, or get me crying.

I’m currently doing some online courses where we get up from the phone or computer or wherever we might be listening, and we dance to music for a few minutes – we do this as a way to help shift the energy, as well as to help integrate and ground what we’re learning. We move and dance to music by Loreena McKennitt, James Asher, and others.

It’s new to me to incorporate music and movement into classes and learning experiences. And I love it.

Music is energy… and music shifts energy.

Music feeds my soul. It nourishes me. It helps me release blocked emotions. It helps me connect more to joy.

That’s why it’s such an important part of my self-care.