Yes, I believe I am.
After the busiest summer of my adult life (or at least, it very much felt like the busiest summer of my life), the kids have returned to school and my partner begins another semester teaching. This has left me with some much needed quiet time- and a return so a bit of a routine, which will, hopefully, include blogging and spiritual exploration through different mediums. I have, over the last few weeks, been busy catching up to my program work, and training work. My hope is that I’ll be caught up soon, so I can feel like I can catch a breath and relax!
I had a lot of thinking time over the summer, and while that’s good, it can also be overwhelming. I found myself drifting away from my original designs for the summer, at least in terms of where I wanted to take Liminal Raven Ministry, my dreams, my spiritual journey and where it would all head. I’m not naive enough to believe that once you set a goal, things and plans don’t change, but I allowed myself to delve deeper, and explore other paths.
It’s definitely been enlightening, to say the least, though I hesitate to say I’ve made much headway in terms of direction. (Insert a laughing emote here, ok?) What I did walk away with though was the confidence to say “I have dreams and goals, and they aren’t perfectly clear, so I’m just walking in this direction, and we’ll see where the path leads.” No expectations, no restrictions, limitations or even no set end all, be all steps towards the “perfect” direction.
Instead, I’ve taken a deep breath. I’ve renewed some process of self exploration, shadow work and developing a healthier, stronger me. It’s not easy. Some of it can be hard, but some of it can also be fun. Over the course of this year, my love of art as a therapeutic and creative outlet has really taken root. I’ve painted, I’ve sold paintings, I even applied to have art exhibited in an art museum (It was not accepted, but there was something…encouraging about putting myself and my work out there.)
This week, I’ve been able to take some time to put towards my art and my self exploration. I did a small art journaling project that I’d like to share and encourage you to do as well. You’re going to take a mixed media journal, or mixed media paper, or just paper, if you don’t plan on using heavy paints like acrylic or gouache. You’ll need something to create your image with- paints, or you can use markers, or crayons if you want. Hell, take a magazine and cut out letters, words and images that work.
I took two pages from my mixed media art book. One one side, I drew a moon and stars with pencil, but then realized I wanted to write down words that described my hidden self, or my shadow self. The things I hide from others. I included words like pain, anger, abandoned, resentment, etc. The so called “negative things.” I did this a pen that had more watery ink, and when I was done, I brushed over the words with water. After that, I painted a night sky over it. All the words disappeared.
I did this for two reasons, at least in my head. These words are a part of me, even if they are hidden. Some helped me survive once, and some were from painful and terrible situations. No matter the reason, they are a part of the person I am. But, in the process of painting over them, blending them into the night sky, it was a symbolic turning of something I wasn’t comfortable with, into something beautiful. Because these things might be a part of me, but I am the one in control, and I can take something like fear, and turn it into something else- courage. That’s what each of the stars represents- what I transformed into something healing. I might even write those words down, at some point, but we’ll see.
On the other side, I painted a sun. And when it was dry, I began to take some black Indian ink, and I wrote words again. This time, at the center of the sun, the stuff that made me strong and the stuff that I believe stands for me. Family. Friends. Love. The things I believe to be an innate part of me- Faith, The Gods and Goddesses, Courage, Creation…
And finally, I created beams of words- the things I believe I resonate to others, or desire to resonate to others. Joy, Magic, Wisdom, Growth, Passion…. When people think of me, these are the words I hope comes to mind.
This was a fun art project, perfect for my art journal. And it felt good for my spirit as well. A reminder of the good parts, and yes- the parts I’m still working on. But each part I’m working on has the potential to be something wonderful and inspiring. Instead of a wound within, it can become something healing, transformative and something that can shine in the darkness.
And with that, I hope to step up and write again, and share my art, spiritual space and ministry work! While I'm not exactly looking forward to Winter (Hello Pain, SAD and cold!), I do look forward to actively contributing to the Pagan community once more.