If you’re feeling stuck or stagnant, this will help.
IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY
In my studio, I have a shelf made of long thick slabs of wood held firm to the wall with some braces and a couple silver chains.
I love this shelf.
It’s handmade by my husband. He took the time to paint the thick slabs of wood white because he knows how much I want a white studio but can’t yet afford to remodel.
I feel loved when I look at that shelf. It’s a formidably long shelf that takes up the whole wall so each row can hold a lot of art supplies. The first row is my favorite. On that shelf are baskets and baskets of paint. Each basket is labeled by color and filled with little containers of paint.
I love those colorful containers. Even the name printed on each color makes me happy; lavender, chocolate, sour apple and carousel pink. True blue, moon yellow, midnight green, grape juice, soft black, driftwood, morning mist, grey storm and honey brown. They sound delicious and playful and moody.
I especially love when I choose a color, pop the top and watch the milky color pool on my palette. It has a glossy shine to it that never lasts after it dries on the page.
I’m always disappointed when I find just the right color, pop the top and tip the plastic bottle over expecting that glossy goodness to come pouring out and instead…nothing. I try to squeeze the bottle to push the paint out. Most times that works but sometimes I squeeze and press and squash and crush that little bottle trying to coax the paint but still…nothing.
This happens because what is left of my precious paint has dried.
The lid was open just a slit and the air ruined my paint or, more sad to me, I didn’t use it soon enough.
Sometimes I fear all my little bottles will dry up because I didn’t use them soon enough.
Being a highly sensitive person living with a chronic illness means I have periods of time where I’m stuck. I can’t do what I want to do so dinner dates are canceled, clients are rescheduled, parties are missed and paint dries up.
I get stuck sometimes because my body is reacting in a way that makes me unable to function but I also get stuck because I have a big emotional experience that I haven’t yet digested.
Deep feelers have big emotional experiences. Big emotional experiences are like eating oversized plates crammed full of food…they take longer to digest.
It took me many years to realize not everyone experiences the world in this way. Most people walk away from an experience carrying small plates with cute little bite-sized pieces of food. They don’t get overwhelmed by emotions they can’t digest.
Then there are the deep feelers of the world or the highly sensitive people with a history of trauma. They can be at the very same place at the exact same time as all the other people with their cute little plates but they walk away having to carry a massive plate with a mountain of emotions that they then have to figure out how to breakdown and digest.
Highly sensitive people absorb more emotional and energetic information from the spaces they occupy and the people around them.
It’s also magical and nuanced and deeply flavorful and profound.
But on my bad days when I feel stuck it’s annoying and exhausting.
I started the New Year in an emotionally clear place where I had the energy and the space to push myself to grow. I stretched past a lot of discomfort in an attempt to bust through a long standing negative pattern I have been dealing with for many years.
It worked. I made it to the other side. I celebrated a kind of success I couldn’t reach before. It was thrilling but it was also a lot for my nervous system to process. I got stuck. I couldn’t stretch myself anymore. I had to slow down. I couldn’t move forward.
I’ve been stuck for the last three months. I really shouldn’t say stuck. It feels like being stuck but I know deep down what I’m really doing is recovering and digesting.
I’m not going to lie, I find this part of the process annoying. I don’t want to have to recover or worse, digest my emotional experience. I just want to move forward. I want to move on to the next adventure and when I was younger I’m sure I would have but I’m older now and I know all too well how pushing past my emotional experience and ignoring my body’s limitations only hurts my body and gives my future self more emotional work to do and I don’t want to do that anymore because it’s mean and inconsiderate and ultimately, ineffective.
So my paints can dry out if they have to. I will pause and look back over the first half of the year and break down the emotions I couldn’t digest while I was going through it.
If you’re feeling stuck, you might want to do the same – look back over the year and process the emotions you didn’t have time to digest yet – and the season we’re in right now is the perfect time to do this.
Sunday will be August 1st which, on the Wheel of the Year, holds a holiday called Lammas or Lughnasadh. It’s a time halfway between the summer solstice and the fall equinox where we celebrate the first harvests. It’s a time when the days are noticeably becoming shorter.
Traditionally, this holiday celebrated harvesting the grain infused with the power of the Sun God. The grain was ground and baked into bread which was blessed.
Having Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (or McAss as it is lovingly referred to in my home) means I can’t digest grains so I prefer to celebrate this time of year with gratitude for the fresh fruits that grow and ripen in the sun. Imagine all the sun power that is infused within each bite of juicy fruit you eat!
In my art rituals at this time of year, I blend the colors of summer and fall together in my pieces – vibrant greens and yellows and the bright colors of fresh fruit beside deep reds and spicy oranges.
This holiday corresponds with the disseminating moon which interestingly enough is actually the phase the moon is in this week. In the creation process, it’s the time where you look back on the seeds of intention you planted and you take note of what happened.
Did your intentions manifest?
What did you end up creating in your life?
What did you learn?
Questions to Ponder
Here are some questions to help you explore your inner world in the natural rhythm of the season.
What are you proud of yourself for doing or saying since the New Year?
What didn’t go as planned?
If you could travel back to January, what would you tell yourself?
What is your biggest lesson since January?
From now until the end of the year, what do you want to invest less time in?
From now until the end of the year, what do you want to invest more time in?
If you could wave a magic wand and have everything be exactly as you want it to be, what would change in your life from now until the end of the year?
For Those Who Don’t Want to Go It Alone
In the Moon Mapping Year, I use this time of year to take you on a journey of reviewing the year and deciding how you want the rest of the year to unfold. I then teach your subconscious mind how to clear the memories and beliefs you carry that are not in agreement with your goals. How can you get where you want to go if you stay stuck or sabotage yourself? The inner work is crucial – especially when you’re a deep feeling creative person.
If you’re a highly sensitive person who could use support clearing blocks and moving forward, I highly suggest checking out the Moon Mapping Year. Together, we’ll do the deep inner work in alignment with the rhythms found in nature and the lunar cycles. You can check out the Moon Mapping Year here.