The above page is a piece of tissue paper that covers my pastels. I have handled it over and over again taking my pastels out to draw. But today I noticed it. I noticed the striations that aren’t particularly rainbow-ordered (I have given up trying to put 64 pieces of pastels away in rainbow order). It’s always been there. For me, it is evidence of a process and a practice that made me accept a gift I thought I was never worthy of receiving.
The quote today reflects a lesson that I have learned over and over again throughout these past 100 days and during my daily mayBE project for the month of May.
In the beginning, I was afraid. I was afraid that I would run out of things to say. I was afraid the well would run dry. I was afraid that it would be too big a challenge to incorporate this activity into my very busy life. After I committed to the project, there were countless moments when I thought,
What was I thinking??!?!
The first 30 scribbles were just thoughts and observations as I paid attention to the moment in front of me. But towards the end of the first 30 days, I felt the need to incorporate something visual. There were many reasons that I wanted to have a visual component besides a photo. I wanted to force myself to use the beautiful supplies I had just been sent from Rowena at Paper Plus Cloth and not just admire the pretty crafty goodness in their packages on my shelf. I also wanted to support her etsy shop because I am really grateful for the way she tends her business. She doesn’t just run it. It is a tending – she cares for it and nourishes it through her passion and creativity. When you receive a package from her, you feel the love being sent too.
But I had no idea what I was going to do. I was terrified to create in a visual way again. Apart from chalkboard drawings and drawing things for kids’ lessons, I had not created anything visual for the sake of creating in about 7 years. And I hadn’t drawn or sketched for the joy of it in over 20 years.
The first 30 scribbles began to open me up. As I sat in stillness each morning during the sunrise, I felt the longing. The longing to pick up a pencil and just draw – not for the kids, not for their schoolwork, not for outside appreciation or approval, and not even for myself. I just felt it needed to be done.
Needless to say, I told that part of me to shut up. I wasn’t ready. I still had a lot of pain attached to the act of drawing. But then I had this idea for The Book of Hours. I told myself that I could simply copy a quote and just use washi tape and leftover scrapbooking supplies that I had lying around.
Then we went to my husband’s cottage retreat with his colleagues who are all entrepreneurs. The creative and uplifting energy was buzzing all week. I had meaningful conversations with many people. I opened up even further. I began to see things differently.
And I felt that longing again.
For my first Book of Hours entry, I used illuminated lettering and let myself freely embellish with just the pen. For the second page and my first quote entry, I added a little watercolour paint. For the third entry, I decided to copy a Monet painting with pastels. Each time I sat at the table, I surrendered to the longing. Sometimes I fought it. But when I fought it, I couldn’t write. I lost the understanding and the knowledge of the quote sitting in front of me. It was just words. I couldn’t even pick a washi tape to use. I felt paralyzed.
I wanted to give up but I knew this was a practice. A practice in choosing to receive. Showing up to my Book of Hours was my signal that I was ready to receive. I really just needed to get out of my own way. It was already within me. All I had to do was to see that and say YES.
I have said YES everyday for 100 days.
I didn’t see that one coming.
In hindsight, my month of mayBE was a warm-up, a way to begin the willingness to pay attention, to listen, to receive.
As I said YES in this area, in my 100 days project, finally receiving and accepting my artistic gifts, things began to flow. Actually they began to overflow. I had unblocked all this creative and abundant energy that was now spilling over into every other part of my life – my finances, my home, my homeschooling, my relationships, my parenting, and my physical body.
By July 14, I owned it. I shouted it to the world before I even drew my first picture. I knew that it was time to finally accept what I have been refusing for most of my life.
And then that’s when the miracles began to happen.
(Tomorrow I will talk about what has happened since that day.)
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.