Don’t be afraid to take a step back – from yourself, others, or situations. Take some time alone to reflect and figure out why you’re feeling the way you are. Step back so that you can see the whole picture, and where this small piece of the puzzle fits in.Read More
Don't be afraid to just do something yourself. It can be intimidating, but in the end, the only person you can truly rely on is yourself. If you don't know how to do something, learn how. Stop waiting on the right time, person, place, or opportunity. Just go out and DIY.Read More
This is the second draft of my Photographing Light independent project. I got some good feedback in today's in-class critique; it will be interesting to see how the project shifts from here.
The wounds carved into my psyche by anxiety had become so deep that I identified with them; I did not know myself without them. After 21 long years of fear spurred from the ridicule of my own ruthless mind, I discovered a way to protect myself from its wrath, a way to strengthen my heart for the battle with my mind: self compassion, a practice that I am slowly coming to understand.
I learn through experiencing myself, steadily becoming attuned to my being’s natural rhythm and coming back to center, back to earth. The practice demands emotional, mental, and physical strength – but provides understanding and control in return.
A practice of understanding in itself, this series of images records the stillness in the energy created throughout my observance and acceptance of my mind and self.
I've said a lot of things, lately. Like how you should pause and take moments for yourself, and listen to your body. But sometimes you don't want to feel your body. Sometimes you know what's waiting for you, and it isn't pretty, and you don't want to deal with it. "I don't want to feel anxious and therefore I will not be anxious," I tell myself. But it doesn't work like that. At least not for me. Sometimes I refuse to acknowledge my anxiety and deny ever having it instead.
A lot of things are going change in my near future. I'll be moving out of the Halli house, no longer be living with my best friend, no longer be attending classes (although I'm finishing up a couple over summer). Never again will I live in Kirksville, MO. I'll be expected to be an adult who actually knows things and is capable of life, something I'm not sure I'm quite ready for yet. And that's a lot. What's more, the last time I was graduating and going through these types of huge, universe flipping changes, the ending wasn't so pretty and so my psyche keeps running to hide. I do what I know how to do; I work and work and work. I study and stay up all hours and make everyone else around me happy - all the while ignoring those shadows of fear creeping closer each day.
I've come to realize that my real problem here is my fear of the pain my anxiety will inflict. I'd rather pretend it didn't exist, which only creates more anxiety because I know it is there, lurking just around the corner. When I allow myself to fully feel my emotions and view them from an external perspective, I am able to better understand and then release my anxiety. Once I am able to acknowledge my emotions, I can begin taking steps to clear them instead of letting them fester, such as yoga, meditation or journaling.
The fears are still there, don't get me wrong. But each time I give them attention they seem be lightened, their weight not quite as heavy on my heart.
The autonomic nervous system's automatic response to threats seems to be at the root of all problems, creating relentless and constant fear within. It's a biological survival method, but now that we have secured ourselves at the top of the food chain, that reaction is triggered when we are threatened by insignificant things all day long, causing fear to consume our lives. Some people are just better equipped to deal with that fear than others; older souls know better how to control these reactions. Our mind is also what keeps us from pure consciousness; it drags us away from the present moment, the now. Your mind can terrorize itself with what ifs, buts and maybes, keeping you from your potential and your best self.
This poster was inspired by the following words that I recite each morning as a part of my energy medicine routine:
This is a new day, one I have never experienced before. I will stay in the present and enjoy each and every moment while expanding my memory and increasing my intuition.
I love myself unconditionally and I will live fearlessly. I will recognize the divine in myself, and all others, and all things. I am magnificent. I will show kindness and compassion to myself and to others.
Thank you 60 trillion cells for keeping me healthy, each and every one of you.
Using the linoleum block I had cut from my Self Compassion piece from A Spirituality series, I created this four-run (2 linoleum runs, 1 letterpress run, 1 screen print run) poster in my Printmaking II course as a reminder for myself and others to have the courage to live fearlessly. The rough, energetic hand drawn "lessly" conquers the word "fear" by overlapping the blue text in gold ink. Because the ink is transparentized, you can also see the background image through the blue text when up close, a beautiful effect.
In an effort to learn how to live fearlessly, I have begun meditation to help calm my mind, a practice I best accomplish through yoga. Inversion yoga in particular forces me to focus all of my awareness on my body and the now; it involves mastering balancing the heart above the head and seeing things from a different perspective. The practice demands emotional, mental and physical strength, but provides understanding and control in return.
Through experiences this past year, I have come to the realization that all of the negativity in my life stems from fear. I have always been an inherently anxious person, torturing my soul day after day as I ridiculed and condemned myself. After exploring topics such as energy medicine, self compassion, yoga, and meditation, I have been inspired to learn how to disconnect from my emotions and externally examine their cause. Through practice of this technique, I have seen that at the root of my sorrows is always fear; fear of being judged, fear of failure, fear of rejection.
I no longer want to live in fear. Every day, at some point, I have to gently remind myself not to fear something. So, I plan to document through (partially) hand lettered notes each day the lesson I learned about living fearlessly. I hope that they serve as a reminder of the obstacles I have overcome and what I have learned about myself through the process, as well as inspire others to live fearlessly.
The first of this series reads, "Don't be afraid to start." This was inspired by the fact that I was supposed to start this project yesterday. Before that, I was supposed to start at the beginning of Christmas break. Oh and before that, I was going to start after I got back from Thanksgiving. You get the picture. I always have lists and lists of great ideas for projects, but somehow never seem to "have the time." I've come to realize that the real reason I never begin a project is because I'm afraid that the project will go wrong or fail. Instead of just starting, I cling to the wonderful idea of producing a brilliant project - most times forever. The percentage of my ideas that are actually pursued is embarrassingly low. So, today I recognize that this fear is holding me back, and I will be aware in future situations that this is something I need to consider and overcome.