Artist, Writer, Woman, Mother, Healer, Teacher, Biohacker, Gardener, Friend, Entrepreneur
Breathing is hard for me. I have to practice it. I must focus on inhalation and exhalation like a ritual. It forces me to practice the pause, that space when we are fully in the moment before action takes place. Breathing has become an art form for me, and it is not one I am particularly good at.
Kurt Vonnegut said, “To practice any art, no matter how well, or how badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” Two years I would not have agreed with you. Yes, I do feel that art grows your soul, but something I judged to be truly bad art would have made me cringe worse than a tarantula crawling on the back of my neck. This illness, this falling, this lack of breath, has made me see things from a different perspective.
As a 6’2” woman I have spent much of my life looking down at people, but when your body insists on putting you down to the ground repeatedly so you have to look up, well… reality becomes altered. Your focus changes and your mind shifts much like muscle over ribs. It can be painful if things are constricted, so you learn to open up.
To open my breath I practice yoga; to open my heart I practice connection with family and friends. Art: I don’t know how much it makes my soul grow, but practicing it sure does soothe my spirit and the more I try new things the more I learn about myself. To open my mind I practice teaching through example, sharing my words, my images, and my thoughts no matter how dark or eccentric they are. I listen to the feedback. This is hard for me. It too requires focus. Focus is something hard to keep when you cannot sleep, so I practice that too.
There are many things in life I could complain about, but the fact is that has become hard for me too. With my shift in perspective I realize how much more easily I breathe without the stress I created with complaint and without the internal chaos of sitting in judgment. I’ve also recognized that I benefit from that lower altitude oxygen when I am planted on my ass legs askew, arms akimbo. Through these changes I have had one thing that keeps my focus: I am breathing.
Breathing means I am alive. With every inhalation and exhalation I have purpose. I am not certain where that purpose will lead me and there is no doubt that the path may be jagged, roundabout or lead me into some dark forests of the mind. However, it is my path, my practice of being human and that, my friends, is an art form in itself – even when I am not particularly good at it.
If you’ve read this far, you might be interested in what I have to say, or you have been seeking the free giveaway for the “Breathe” art card featured in the photo.
The 2.5” x 3.5” acrylic and ink painting features my chosen Word of the Year and will come to you unframed.
You can enter to win “Breathe” by doing three things…but you have to do all three things:
In addition to the original painting, I will be giving away 4 signed mini 2.5” x 3.5” prints of “Breathe” for a total of 5 giveaway items. Why? If you can take five breaths you can do anything…
The winners will be randomly selected on November 8th, the day America will elect the new President and we will all need to remember to breathe no matter how the vote falls or where we live in the world.
It’s my own little way of breathing some fresh air into what will be a scary day. At least that way, one person will be genuinely smiling – me, as I gift these little bits of me to you. Thanks for playing, thank you for being a light in my world and thanks for continuing to breathe.