My life runs according to lists. There are lists on my calendar, lists on my note pad, and lists on post-its all over the house. If I write it down, I will do it—eventually. If a task has to rely on my memory for completion, chances are good that it simply won’t happen. For months now, I’ve been thinking that I should volunteer at the assisted living facility in my community. My plan is to offer a watercolor pencil workshop so I can teach the residents to use art as a vehicle to find peace and passion. I knew I would need to stop by the facility, fill out an application, and talk with the Activities Director. I didn’t put that visit on a list, so I never went. Yesterday, I went back to my dusty mental filing cabinet and transferred that thought to a post-it. The next thing I knew, I was in my car and on my way. I picked up an application, and today, the number one task on my list is to return that application. This teacher is ready to get back in the classroom. I’ve written it down, so I’m bound to make it happen.
“Apples for the Teacher”–Colored Pencil
In honor of completing my first year of blogging here on WordPress, I am engaging in a fifty-two week multi-media project I call “A Show of Hands”. Our hands enable us to communicate, to express ourselves, to create. Each week, I will craft and post a drawing or painting that celebrates the incredible, versatile hand and all it can do. Today, I am sharing one of my favorite hand signs and something this world could use a little more of—Peace.
“Peace”–Graphite and Watercolor
Yesterday, my massage therapist, who I think of as a true healer, came over to work on my uncomfortably tight lower back. After she inspected my sacral region, her questions shifted to my mental and emotional health. As the chaos of the previous weekend spilled out, I started to make the connection. A large part of my discomfort had been brought on by stress. She asked if I was still practicing yoga, to which I proudly replied ‘yes,’ but then she asked me a question I wasn’t prepared for: “What’s your mantra?” Suddenly, I was a kid in school who hadn’t done her homework. I didn’t have a mantra. I wasn’t even sure what a mantra was, or what I was supposed to do with one. Luckily, my therapist is a great teacher, too. By the end of our 60 minute session, my pain was gone, I had a mantra, and I knew how to use it. At least once a day—and any time I feel stressed—I am to breathe in deeply while thinking “I am at peace,” then exhale slowly while silently reciting “My creativity flows freely.” I am confident that my new mantra will help my body and mind to function more efficiently and peacefully. I think of it as a decadent piece of dark chocolate that I can pull out of my pocket any time I need a little something to take the edge off—only it’s calorie-free. Namaste.
“Namaste”–Pen and Watercolor–from my sketchbook