Truth telling will set you free.
It sets you free from what’s haunting you, what’s keeping you up at night, and what’s percolating under the surface of your daily comings and goings.
What truth have you been avoiding?
For me, I’ve been neglecting my body and taking care of my health. Lately, I’ve been feeling stuck. I know what I need to do, it’s just doing it that’s the problem.
Yesterday, Facebook reminded me of how I’m not taking care of myself when it posted this photo, a memory from six years ago of one of my first dates with Mr. Wonderful. Wonky, windswept hair aside, what I see is a healthier me. It was a time when I was feeling so good. I had lost a lot of weight by eating healthy and exercising. And, I had so much fun those days buying new clothes. When invited to an event, I didn’t panic thinking, “What will I wear?” I felt more comfortable in my own skin. I had energy and I was radiant.
Comparing the today-me with the 6-year-younger-me actually came at a good time. Thank you Facebook.
It’s been a stressful week. I drove down to Boston (ugh) for my first appointment at the Tufts School of Dental Medicine (double ugh). I no longer have dental insurance and the dental school offers reduced priced services. The tradeoff is that I have to drive down to Boston and the appointments are super long. Time is what I have these days with my new working arrangement and keeping up with my quarterly cleanings is a priority for me.
I came close to chickening out. A voice in my head served up a lot of excuses why I should cancel. But I showed up anyway. On the drive navigating the tunnel and the swarm of cars, I kept saying, “Kathryn, you’re doing a great job.”
I’m so glad I showed up. When I started my health journey years ago that led to a 60 lb. weight loss, it began with my oral health. Not only is one’s oral health vital for the health of the entire body, but our mouths are an important vehicle for communicating our truth.
Since my initial dental appointment this week, I’ve scheduled an appointment with a Naturopathic doctor, started daily walks with a dear friend, and prepared healthy meals including my favorite, wild caught salmon.
The Gift of Letting Go
Truth telling is the art of naming the unnamed and letting it go, releasing it, and surrendering it. My need to surrender anxiety that I was feeling this week came at a good time as it helped me to prepare for a new lesson that I’m working on for my Great Round mandala course. The theme for the lesson is about letting go and one of the mandala exercises is to give a safe place for our fears.
In my “Tears for Fears” mandala, I drew a circle with a strong, solid boundary to create a safe place to let the tears flow.
I pulled out some new watercolor brush markers to use for this mandala. (I’m crushing on these markers from Arteza.*)
The element of water is connected to strong emotions and I like working with water color paints or markers when exploring my feelings. Working with watercolors is tricky. There is an element of unpredictability with them and you have to let go of control. Use too much water and it will bleed out. Colors combine and move in the watery surface in unexpected ways. When you let go and accept the nature of watercolors, it’s fun.
I filled the circle by scribbling in some watercolor ink and then pushing it around with a water brush. The gray colors reflect the foggy unknown and lends a haunting feeling that surrounds my fears.
“What do my tears have to say?” They are asking me:
“Will I succeed in my business?” “Did I make the right decision to quit the “safe” day job?” “Can I find the energy and motivation to get healthy again?”
I like to create pockets in my journal to tuck in pieces of paper with journal writing that I don’t want to share publicly. Here I cut the top of the mandala and taped the side and bottom of the page to the next page.
Here’s what I’ve learned about how to let go.
Naming the fear helps to disarm it.
Telling a dear friend releases it further.
Creating a place to put the fear, in a journal or work of art, takes it out from rattling in the head.
Taking a step, even a small one feels empowering. It gets you moving in a positive direction.
Letting go feels so good.
At the start of the week, I was racked with anxiety anticipating the dental appointment and knowing that I needed to get honest about what I was doing and not doing for the health of my body. I was also feeling uncertain about my business.
Today, I’m feeling relief, ease, and excitement. I feel a renewed commitment to my intention to say yes to me and my creative dreams in each moment.
How about you? What truth are you ready to tell? What fears are you ready to release? What small step will get you started?
Spill it in the comments below or shoot me an e-mail. I’d love to hear from you.
If creative journal keeping is your jam, or would like to get started, consider joining me for my next online Journal workshop.
The Great Round mandala course is a fascinating series. I offer it each January. You may want to put it on your bucket list for 2019. I’m thinking I may develop and offer a “lighter” version sooner. Subscribe to my newsletter to get updates on when new courses release.