Day 2 of my #100DayProject illustrating the wise insights of Brene Brown.
Today's little piece deals with the courage needed to honestly face our deepest challenges. Brene Brown hits the nail perfectly when she says, 'Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness(within ourselves) will we discover the infinite power of our light.'
But, my, my, my. I'd rather do just about anything other than that! I want to point my finger and blame others. I want to numb myself with binge watching. I want to surf online for deals and shop. I want to just box up the struggle and file it away. But the creepy little critter called 'pain' just seems to wriggle through the cracks of my box and find it's way back to slither it's way around my feet, tangling me up all over again!
Putting on my 'big girl panties' and daring to purposefully unpack the boxed up pain is really the best plan. Then, to pick it up, tuck it under my arm, climb into the boat (book, counseling etc.) strap myself in, and head for the deep waters of honest appraisal, the winds of freedom begin to blow through my hair. It's exhilarating and frightful. But it's also awesome.
Today marks the start of my #100DayProject. For 100 consecutive days, I'll be sharing small works illustrating an array of quotes from the work of Brene Brown. To start things off, here's the first. 'You share with the people who earn the right to hear your story.'This drawing depicts the joy that's found in a relationship where empathy and understanding have forged joy and trust.
When I first heard Brene Brown give her first TED talk in 2010, I felt as if she'd wrapped words around feelings I'd had rolling around in my head and heart. She provides a road map with which a labyrinth of emotions could be navigated. The concepts she shares are like brightly lit lighthouses along the craggy shore of human relationships.
I'm both excited and tenuous about sharing this series of drawings. I'm excited because of the giddiness I feel in sharing Brene's gifted words. I'm nervous because of the sheer vulnerability that's required to put myself on the line with a commitment to do something - anything - for 100 consecutive days - and freakin' tell everybody I'm doin' it! But, here I go.....The cat's 'out of the bag' and I off and running. I hope you can come along for the ride!
Depicting the concept that 'vulnerability is the birth place of joy,' I chose two creatures that would naturally be in conflict. Overlaying an imaginative story line, I've bonded them together in a frolicking romp that exemplifies life-giving joie de vivre.
Prints are available for purchase here.
For the last couple of years I've been contracted by our local regional library system to facilitate creative workshops for their patrons. It's been such a fun ride. The most enjoyable part of it all is just meeting so many awesome people.
For this new round of visits, I've been introducing the infinite wonders of collage and it's been such a popular project. I love releasing people, with just a few guidelines, into their own confident creative explorations!
Here's a progress shot of a piece from my new upcoming series based on the works of Brene Brown. Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Brené is the author of three #1 New York Times Bestsellers: 'Rising Strong', 'Daring Greatly' and 'The Gifts of Imperfection.'
The above image depicts the power of the force of empathy. Although the words empathy and sympathy are often used interchangeably in our daily conversation, the two words really embody two distinct sentiments. But I love how Dr. Brené Brown defines their clear delineation. She says that empathy fuels connection while sympathy drives disconnection. She elaborates that empathy has the distinction of 'perspective taking' (taking perspective of other person or recognizing their perspective as their truth.) Empathy also has the distinction of staying out of judgment. It recognizes the emotion in other people. It respects.
By way of comparison, sympathy exerts a subtle judgement by positioning itself at a safe distance from the other's pain. Sympathy says, "Oh, you poor thing.' While empathy leaps over the safe distance and embraces the other's pain. Empathy shows vulnerability. Sympathy holds up an invisible shield.
When I began to become acquainted with the work of Brene Brown, it was as if her words put flesh around feelings that have been rolling around and bumping inside of me for years. Thus, my decision to choose her insights as inspiration for my upcoming 100 Day Project.
Above the work table in my studio, hangs this little photograph of my first grade self. It's to commemorate the sweet lady who introduced me to the wonders of standing infront of an easel. Her name was Mrs. Ball. She's long gone into eternity. But I'll never forget her kindness and emapathy. She seemed to 'get' me instantly. She seemed to know how much I longed to be free from the rigors of academic constraints in order to give voice to what was inside my small, young heart.
It is to her astute skill as a teacher of young children that I owe my entire journey of artistic expression. I look forward ro seeing her one day, when we meet again in a higher place. Thank you, Mrs. Ball.
What's Next : I'll be participating in a '100 Day Project.'
Haven't heard of 100 Day Projects?
Simply put, it's an invitation to focus and to stretch yourself in some area for some purpose. From it's genesis, by a family trying to provide supportive encouragement to their 22 year old daughter(SULEIKA JAOUAD) with leukemia, it has exploded into countless variations. You can read more about it here.
No, I don't have any serious illness. I just have a compelling need to give voice. I'll be making 100 small works with an accompanying small verse. The theme will be that of exploring the necessary ingredients to emotional well-being. If you're familiar with the writing and work of Brene Brown, of whom, I'm a devoted fan, you already 'get' what I'll be up to! So, stay tuned...
But because I'm so super excited, and because I absolutely stink at keeping surprises, here's a sneak peek, below.
"Hello, It's Me" is available in printed form here.
Welcome! Glad you're here! This little spot is where I share thoughts, writings and verses that fuel my life, my marriage, and my art. My desire is to offer up hope and grace and help make your life feel a bit lighter.