Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Saying Yes

I was introduced to the power of yes by Shauna Ahern, a lovely lady who writes a blog (and also has a book!) called, "Gluten-Free Girl". Even if you have no issues with gluten, it's a positively yummy blog!
Shauna has the word "yes" tattooed on her arm. It's a reminder. When she began saying yes to life, life started saying yes in return. Really. It's something you want to believe, but sometimes have trouble doing. We are SO programmed to say no because we're a little afraid of where life will take us. No is control. No is two feet planted firmly on the ground. But no is boring.
Today, Shauna came to mind while I was on my way to work. I was going to cut through Pike Place Market, as is my habit on Wednesdays, past Rachel the pig, the buskers, and down the stairs. I love the Market, but that's a tale for another day.
A young guy was stationed near the buskers with a pedi-cab. "Free ride?", he asked. I had to stop and think. "Maybe on your way back?", he said hopefully.
And then I remembered Shauna and yes. What the hell...
I have never ridden in a pedi-cab before. It made me feel kind of special. He zipped me into the covered cab and off we went. Down Pike Place, left on Western and down the hill. I felt like I should wave at everyone we were passing.

He's just starting out in this business. Not a lot of work to be had this time of year, but hey, someone said yes to him. Even if I was just a local.

Thank you Shauna, for giving me the power of yes and turning an ordinary Wednesday into something special.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Face to Face With the Next Step

Before my friend Marcia was "my friend Marcia", she was the instructor/facilitator in a workshop I took. One night, she gave us all a photocopied cartoon of a dog on a staircase, his forehead butted against the oncoming stair. It's titled, "Face to face with the next step". I kept it and put it on the side of my refrigerator. While I was doing my morning pages today, it caught my eye, and I smiled.

On Sunday, for the first time, I will be selling my own stuff at a craft fair. Decoupaged switchplate covers, to be exact. I am terrified (what if no one buys anything? what if someone tells me my stuff is ugly, imperfect?), overwhelmed and excited. I am face to face with the next step.

I know, it's not rocket's paper glued onto a light switch cover. But it's MY work. It took over two years just to get this far, to find something I thought I could do, to shut down the nasty little inner censor that tells me I'm foolish, untalented and just plain stupid for even thinking I could be an artist. My head was butted up against that step for so long, it hurt to think. And I know it's not finished. I know I'll wrestle with it every day that I choose to make creativity my life.

My goal for the future is to create shrines and altars and combine it with my Celebrancy practice, focusing particularly on individuals who have been seriously ill and are making a transition back to "normalcy". I would also like to work with those men and women who know they are facing the last journey of this life, and would like to do it in a way that makes them happy. Everyone deserves that much.
For the nonce, however, I'm face to face with the next step, and ready to climb. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Return From the Pit of Despair

Depression is funny...and I don't mean humorous, though it can be. Depression makes you abandon your interests, your values, the people that love you.
You sit at the bottom of a pit, just you and the dark. Sometimes a little light peeks in, and you see just how sad you are. The phone rings, and you don't answer. You don't want just want to sit with your gloomy friend, who doesn't want to share you.
This has been my existence for the past year plus. It hasn't been that way ALL the time, but a lot of it. I've done stupid things in the name of depression. I've gotten most of the way out of the pit, only to fall back in.
I don't mean to be a downer, but this is the explanation for not keeping up on my blog.
Now, I've decided to make a return. I have tools to help me, and people to take my hand, if I just ask. That's hard for me to do. I've done damage to relationships and often don't feel I have the right to ask for anything.

However, this week has shown me that life is still worth celebrating. We have a new president, and even as bad as things are, I can tell people are hopeful. There are smiles from strangers on the street. The gallows humor is dissipating.
It's not going to be easy, not the economy, not the depression. We will stand on the edge and wonder if we should just let gravity pull us back into the pit. It feels so much easier, so comfortable to be with our gloomy friend.

Fight it. It will be worth it. I promise.