Art for Healing

Art helps us talk to ourselves, encourage ourselves, and channel messages for ourselves and others that I believe come from a source outside ourselves. Art is my time to not think. And it’s amazing what comes through when the mind is not trying to control the outcome. It’s time to experiment, make mistakes, and see what works and what doesn’t.

Even when you’re telling yourself to focus, the mind gets to play with what distraction looks like on a page.

Instead of gears turning in the head on the image I was working on, my inner child wanted mandalas. Because in the art world, it’s whatever I want. Yay!

Later, one of the mandalas became a flower. An idea growing, maybe? I take it to mean what I’ve always known, without knowing I knew… and that is we can change our minds from robotic to blooming. From mundane to colorful. From traumatized to healed. Something I’ve consistently worked on.

In an art journal, you can allow spinning chaos, and confusion to slowly turn into a pretty yellow flower with a green stem. When we step back and look at the bigger picture we realize that underneath all the people we’ve been (and are becoming,) all things we’ve had happen to us, we are not reduced in size, just changed over time.

The quote that came to me:
“I can be changed by what happened to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou.

The easiest and cheapest kind of therapy you can do is play in an art journal.

What healthy outlet do you have that helps you stay sane?

Coming up for Air: When Self-Help Becomes Self-Abuse

Reading self-help and attending counseling for a lifetime can start to feel like abuse-of-self after awhile. With each new book I crack, my body asks, “When are we going to be okay the way we are? Why are we never enough? Why is it that we have to change?”

I thank god for the privilege I’ve had to self-help books and counseling throughout my lifetime, even when I was poor and on welfare.

But, excessive reading and searching for something outside our own inner knowing only reinforces our less-than opinions that others have liberally applied to us, and not always in childhood.

So, I chose to read for pleasure. On a pool day.

Self-help and growth as a human is wonderful, but it should also involve play and coming up for air from time to time. Constantly rolling in the deep, and diving deeper and deeper with little rest doesn’t make us stronger, faster. It can weaken us and take us under, drowning us.

Some myths about a water drowning:

*Drowning people yell for help.
*Drowning people wave and thrash about wildly like in the movies.
*A drowning person is capable to assist in their rescue.
*Drowning takes a while.

These are also fitting signs for other types of drowning.

— Drowning in trauma we rarely talk about.
— Drowning in self-doubt, we’re embarrassed to bring attention to.
— Drowning in grief that society expects us to “get over already.”
— Drowning in fatigue from a lifetime of trying.

Trying is good. But, excessive trying can make us weaker, sicker, and can take us down faster. ILL health is the result.

So, on days your body is asking you, “When are we going to be enough?”

Say, “Today, sweetheart, today.”

Float. Find pleasure. Play.

It’s all part of the process of becoming.

Maybe even do a handstand?

Looking at Old Photos: An Exercise to Help You Reconnect To Yourself When You’ve Forgotten Who You Are

My 2001 interview with Oprah, Lol!

I’m going through old photos while working on my second memoir and found this memory today.

This one is from a trip to Las Vegas in 2001 where I visited Madame Tussaud’s wax museum. I am a huge fan of Oprah, so when I ran into her that day, of course I let her interview me for my upcoming best-selling book. Lol! 😂

I was writing my memories out by hand back then for the book I wanted to write someday and was filing them away in my 3-ring binder.

I used to sit and watch The Oprah Show every chance I had at 4pm and still have the notes I took on the episode where she interviewed authors of memoir on how they approached their writing process.

This exercise of looking back at old photos is helpful for reconnecting to our old selves to see how far we’ve come, and to see how much further we have yet to go. It’s also helpful for abuse survivors who have endured decades of psychological abuse to help us reclaim who we’ve always been at our core, before toxic people projected who they are onto us.

This photo reminds me what I’ve known all along. I’ve lived authentically and genuinely from my heart. I’ve approached my big, convoluted, noisy, messy, busy life with a huge sense of humor, a love of life-long learning, the strength and dedication to keep my word to myself and follow through on my commitments, while showing up for my roles and responsibilities and continued to dream big!

And here I am. Still smiling and laughing. Still learning and growing. Still strong and doing. Still keeping my word. Still showing up. And still dreaming big!

I’m also still very realistic about what a long way I have yet to go, to get to where I dream of being. But, the most important thing about this is I kept my word to MYSELF to write that first book! How is that for learning self-trust, self-love and self-acceptance on your own?

Don’t allow the community that teaches about narcissistic abuse tell that you don’t know how to teach yourself or can’t. If what you see is good and you’re happy with that, keep doing that. If it’s not, have the guts to change it.

And, don’t let narcissistic family project onto YOU who they think you are, or should be, in order to make them comfortable and to keep you in learned helplessness. Be defiant! Be a force to be reckoned with! They’ll get over it. Or they won’t. It’s their choice to make.

Dream big or go home, baby!

projection #protection #dream #do #create #laugh #learn #grow #loveyourself

Growth from Toxic Relationships Is Not About Building Walls

We can learn everything there is about toxic people of every kind and know something about every kind of personality disorder — and still get duped.

We can prepare in every way possible to never allow ourselves to be used, abused, or manipulated again, but that’s not real life. When we’re keeping our hearts open, living our lives and not isolating ourselves for protection behind impenetrable walls, those things can and will happen.

Believing that everyone who hurts us is purposefully toxic or disordered, and that healing from them is a one and done, is both naive and harmful. Harmful to us to think we should never be duped again if we just learn these simple rules. And harmful to others for pigeonholing everyone as “toxic” or “narcissistic” who may hurt us.

The world has gone crazy with all this narcissistic 101 crap. Everything I see is about it is from one extreme to the other: all good, or all bad; with no in between. That’s called borderline personality disorder. So, whatever you do, learn to see shades of gray.

I’ve tried all my life to walk the midline of life and have still hurt others inadvertently, or been harmed by others. I’m not going to stop living my life and trying again with new people. Making everyone we meet pay for the sins of another is not growth. It’s just another form of superiority.

Yes, we need to learn our boundaries, yes, we need to learn the signs of toxicity in others — and then— we need to liberally apply some common sense to the whole situation and realize that each time we engage with others there is a possibility that we could get hurt. Anything other than staying open is not living.

Learn to Discern What You’re Listening to about Narcissistic Abuse on YouTube.

I wish videos on narcissistic abuse didn’t go straight to NPD when discussing narcissism. Because there are healthy levels of narcissism with a little “n” that we all have in order to forge ahead and make our own paths in life. Healthy narcissism is how we get our needs met. It’s how we get out of bed and try again. It’s how we rise above. It’s how we speak up and out against injustices and stand up to be counted. It’s how we are able to put ourselves in others shoes and put our own needs on hold for another.

This kind of narcissism is full of compassion for others, takes ownership of self, takes responsibility for one’s own actions, self-partners, fulfills self from within, is authentic and genuine, isn’t afraid to look imperfect, and has empathy for self and others.

As someone who has two narcissistic parents, and is married to a man with a narcissistic mother, narcissism that comes in the form of capital “N” Narcissism, as in the personality disorder NPD—we can tell you it is completely unhealthy and void of anything that resembles empathy. They present with an inability to ever be wrong about anything, can never have faults, be responsible for their actions, don’t take ownership of self, don’t even try to understand others feelings, can’t ever look imperfect, can’t show any vulnerability whatsoever, apologize, or have remorse and empathy for others.

The video I watched today went on to talk about how “sad” it is for victims. And while it is, I also wish videos that discussed NPD didn’t pigeonhole victims of it as somehow doomed to never prosper or succeed in life. Nothing could be further from the truth! I’ve been living this life, all my life — and I’ve never thought for a second I was sad or doomed.

Telling people this or even hinting to it, is just another type of conditioning and grooming going on in the narcissistic “expert” community that wants to educate people about it, yet have us heavily relying on their products, classes, books and more to heal from it.

It’s like dumbing us down while building us up to need them. It feels opportunistic and it feels wrong to me. I don’t begrudge anyone from making a living, but I do take offense to showing pity and pandering to a group of people looking for healing, while simultaneously keeping them stuck and sick and reliant upon their content to heal by using degrading words that push people back into the pigeonholes they are trying to escape.

Don’t believe anything that pushes you back in life! And don’t listen to people who use negative language to describe your life. Only grow forward and make your own path in life with your small “n” narcissism in tow.

We are not victims, nor are we sad. We are victorious and more powerful than they want us to believe.

#nowyouknow #notsad #notavictim #justsayin