White Collage / Learning Balance

"You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don't have to be. Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you're still alive. Make stuff to inspire others to make something, too. Create to learn a bit more about yourself." - Frederick Terral

For the past few months I have been submerged in a rushing torrent of academic work, struggling against a current so strong I had no time to breathe, sleep, create, or in fact do my best in classes. I found the strength last week - with much help, especially from my dear brother - to let go of a class in which I was doing fairly well academically but which was severely draining me mentally. And, just like that, I find that I am lighter, happier, and have once again found the time to take care of myself and create.

It's a hard lesson learned; I am fiercely dedicated to things to which I commit, and backing out always feels like I am admitting failure. Yet, while perseverance is in many cases seen as a positive trait, neglecting to give yourself what you need is not.

I am on a quest for balance - balance of emotions, in giving and receiving, of selflessness and selfishness. I am learning, slowly, when to say no, and how feel less guilty in acknowledging that I deserve rest, love, and joy. So, today I forced (yep, forced) myself to turn off the computer and phone and paint for an hour. I created the spread above, a collage of papers and gesso and candy wrappers. And I felt lighter, and happier, and that I was taking care of myself.

And I will continue to practice gentleness with me, starting again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. This, darlings, is a journey of healing through art and self compassion.

What could you do to show yourself kindness?


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