Week 7: 2/13/17

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I cooked a lot this week with the theme being Mexican food. I bought chips, tortillas, salsas, avocado, mango, plums, corn, peas and made tacos, tamales, guacamole, and wraps. It was fun to explore markets that I haven’t been to before that are within walking distance of my house or conveniently on my route home from work. Cooking inspired me to search for some lunch and snack inspirations and create boards on Pinterest as a future reference for whenever I want creative and healthy options to bring to work. I’ve been doing salad jars and Buddha bowls forever without knowing it was a thing but looking it up made me aware of all the options and varieties I can have with them. I also learned about how to store produce so they last longer. Some foods give off a gas that can make some sensitive foods spoil faster. It’s good to keep those foods separate from each other. This may give you an extra week to eat them!

Valentine’s Day was nice. Had a nice walk and late night Chinese food dinner. Quaint and low key. My clients made chocolate truffles in cooking class but had a hard time breaking up the Oreos in the blender as well as in a bowl. Finally they were able to break them down by placing them in ziplock bags and smacking them with wooden spoons. It was a really funny sight. It was as if they were all attacking zombies and stubbornly guaranteeing their deadness. At one point they were all saying “Bad cookie! Bad cookie!” and laughing, even the serious ones were laughing. My other client made 70 homemade Valentine’s with an inspirational quote and two candies attached to them for the homeless. My job was to pick the right animal sticker that matched the quote and explain to her why it matched. It was actually really fun to explain the emotional connotations that I saw in the colors and gestures of the orangutans  and zebras and how it fit the quotes.

I watched the movie Paterson with my mom over the weekend. I started writing about it here but then it just evolved to a blog of it’s own. To say the least, I really enjoyed it.

I volunteered again. This time I worked with a little girl who was going to write about her experience watching a scary movie with her family. However she kept talking about the movie itself instead of the experience around the movie. Toward the end she realized she rather write about going to the park with her family. She asked if I was going to stay, meaning keep volunteering because I was fun. I couldn’t help feeling kind of good hearing a kid saying I’m fun the first day meeting me. I think it helped that when we introduced each other I signed her name in sign language which she thought was pretty cool. She then said it was cool how I knew all about the movies. I think she was mostly referring to a movie she couldn’t remember the name of that started with a “T” and had another “T” in it. I guessed if it was Titanic and she said, “Wow! How did you know? Have you seen it?”. I said I did a long time ago but she wanted me to prove it by explaining parts within the movie. The volunteer leader said kids love being able to distract their teachers which made me feel a little less excited about the kid’s positive regard but never the less I had a great time with her too.

Speaking of scary, I finished reading Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. It creeped me out! I felt tense and unsettled after reading each story but it was so worth it! Being scared like that shows how well Carroll executed her stories. She really used her color well. Most panels were in primary colors, white, black and red but you know something bad was going to happen when red started appearing in the panels. It was a way to foreshadow and create suspense. Her art showed a lot psychological nuances that enhanced the story telling process. She shows this in the prologue when she depicts herself as a child reading by lamp light in bed and everything else in the panel is pitch black. She captured a very universal and relatable fear of the dark in a unique and simple sequence that made it easy to empathize. All the endings are unexplainable and surprising. The mysterious ellipsis she leaves in every story makes it that much more intriguing and frightening because you are compelled to linger on it and let it rest within you. I would highly recommend this book to artsy comic book fans who are looking for some dark and edgy thrills.

Everyday I rewrite my to do list with most items carrying over from the previous day. It takes weeks, months for me to get things done. That’s why I am proud to say I reorganized the art cabinet. I made it an even more of a fun task by listening to podcasts about art therapists and learning about all the different programs that these therapists created for specific populations including therapeutic animation for at risk youth, music therapy for people with PTSD, and improv for teenagers with Autism. I learned a lot that day and how these therapists adapted to the challenge of finding employment and reimbursement for their services. They had to be at the cutting of where the demand is and know what new skills are needed to make the most use of their art therapy knowledge. As I was listening to these podcasts the art cabinet became accessible and functional once again. The organized art cabinet felt inviting and inspired me to want to use it to make art.

Can’t wait to see what projects I’ll be doing next week!

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Week 6: 2/6/17

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fullsizerender-16This week was about embarking, getting stuff done, and moving forward. I received a letter that I wrote to myself over 7 months ago that corresponded well with the themes that I found meaningful and helpful from the Tarot cards I drew a couple weeks before. It gave me perspective because my past self was trying to remind me to slow down and let go of my anxieties and let myself live. I was feeling anxious before and now I’m just not balanced. These phrases came to mind: Don’t give up but don’t be hard on yourself. Enjoy the moment and follow the joy but know truly what you want to do and where you want to go. Prepare your path, look at the big picture, go for it with excitement. Find the adventure. Keep striving. I hope I can look back 7 months from now and be able to tell my past self how proud I am for the decisions I made and the energy I gave to create an unexpected life I worked hard to experience.
So I’ve been hustling! With job applications, class assignments, volunteering, recertification, and dancing. I even had a chat with a life coach. She validated my efforts, stating that I’ve done a lot of experimentation and exploration, which I always think other people have done more than me. I always am amazed when people are able to jump from one unrelated field to another with such agility. She also gave me a great resource; a book written by Stanford professors called Design Your Life. I look forward to reading it in the near future, but in the meantime I don’t think I have the funds to go beyond a free sample of life coaching.

I interviewed for a job working with teens/youth with disabilities and recreation. I thought this job could help me with getting more experience with this population to see if I like it. It could be a way to transition into pediatric OT if I do. It also is a way to see if the field of recreation or recreation therapy is something I want to consider. I hope I’ll get the opportunity to find out!

Finally! I actually started volunteering with the kids this week after delaying for three months. I started big too by volunteering twice that week and going to a workshop the organization hosted. At first I was intimidated. That first day after the election was painful. They were angry, tired, took it out on everyone. Airplanes were flying, notes being passed, whispers, giggles, mocking of staff, of me. I was ignored, alone, an awkward adult shrinking into a turtle shell. I wasn’t ready for this. This time it was different. A different program, different building, more structure and less shock. I helped a kid write an ode to a mango and we enjoyed the process together. I was committed to his ode and wanted it to be something he would be proud of! I was excited for it and it was fun to be creative and collaborative together. He was shy and friendly and responded well to encouragement, questions, and suggestions. He liked the topic and thinking about his favorite food and why he loves it. At the end he said thank you with a sweet smile.

The next time I volunteered that week it was with a teenager. I was helping write about his experience being in an adolescent psych unit. It was a bonding experience to help him share his story the way he wanted to and an honor for me to hear about such a vulnerable time in his young life. I was proud about how he was processing it in his writing and willing to let others who are in a similar situation realize that they are not alone.

After that session I rushed to the workshop where they talked about the power of growth mindset and how it can impact kids’ behavior. It was a great workshop with scenarios to problem solve and discover practical and effective ways of handling situations that commonly occur. At the end they asked what are takeaways were and if we had any lingering concerns. I opened up about a time where I worked with kids that I felt very ashamed about because I lost all power and respect from them. It was good for me to let it out, let it go, and slowly let go of the shame and failure I experienced. It was a learning experience that taught me that sometimes you can only do so much and certain situations are not the best. Maybe I could have tried being more preventive with making clearer boundaries and expectations and being more consistent and assertive but it may have just ended up the same. Anyways I needed to share that with the group because that is the reason why I’m at the workshop and with the organization in the first place; to know where I stand with kids. I’m there to re-evaluate and overcome a fear, to know the truth. I want to know whether I like working with kids, could I be great at working with kids, and how could I be better at working with kids. It’s an opportunity to practice and become reacquainted with the skill of working with kids in preparation for pediatrics or possibly for another creative career working with them.

Besides volunteering, I also finally got my professional CPR certification done. It was partly online and it was a very agonizing process. It actually made me cry. It was crashing and lagging so badly that I would have to start over from the beginning for each scenario. Then finally when I was on a role and got 7 of them done it crashed and I had to start all over again. It also would say I fail because the timing of the breaths and chest compressions would lag. God that was terrible! Never doing it online again! But I finally got the certification Saturday at noon. Phew! I had a nice lunch with my mom at Morning Due Cafe to celebrate and decompress.

Later that day I celebrated my friend’s upcoming wedding with a surprise bachelorette party on a party bus! We were secretly planning this for over a month and it almost fell through but at the last minute we miraculously did it! She was so shocked and so happy. There was so much energy, life, joy, and love that was shared that night. We danced for almost five hours while winding around through the twinkling lights of the city.

The next day I danced again! I went to the first dance practice class for Carnaval. A couple friends were with me the night before on the party bus. We couldn’t get enough. We went around the group sharing what we’ve all been up to since May. Some people started new jobs, new gigs, new marriages, new projects and classes, lots of progression and inspired me to want to share because I now know how to interpret and organize the many little things in my life. Unfortunately I didn’t get to, but if I did I would say this:

A year ago I thought I would be working for an OT in the East Bay in the fall and tried to make room in my schedule to allow for that transition. That didn’t happen so I’m now on the waitlist to volunteer with an OT in San Francisco and see where that goes. In the mean time I’m starting to volunteer more with kids as well as planting the seeds to work with kids with disabilities as a way to prepare my path toward pediatrics. I’m also applying to work as a creative arts specialist, recreation leader and as an OTA at a SNF as well. I thought to try working as a geriatric OTA again to check it out and see if it’s a slower pace with a more psychosocial focus as a way to regain my latent OT skills. The creative arts specialist and recreation leader position I applied for because I’m interested in expressive arts therapy, recreation therapy, and being a workshop or retreat leader who leads people through fun exploratory activities that help people build friendships.

My line project, which was all about line experimentation and variation, was completed this week. It was a carefree, chaotic, playful mess that I didn’t bother to control until the end when I realized I’d be graded on composition and craftsmanship. In class I asked my teacher for advice and she suggested giving it a big bold mark to ground it. I didn’t want to cover any part up so I did the next best thing: use tracing paper and smaller cutout curved lines to suggest a big invisible circle in the center as the big bold grounding shape. In the center I pasted a picture of a hand writing that I cut out from a pediatric OT supply magazine and on the bottom right the logo for the place I volunteer for. There was a theme and a symbolism that wasn’t quite conscious of. Something had to be placed as the center of the life of this little world I created just like something needs to be placed in the center of mine. In this case it happens to be writing. Or perhaps it’s working with kids, or becoming an OT, or doing creative projects with others. Whatever it is, the project provided me a place to project finding clarity, celebration, creativity, and joy in the midst of all the chaos and confusion. I channeled all the energy I’m feeling into something that gave me the opportunity to practice making a decision. It gave me a way to connect disparate pieces by adapting to what’s presented to me, which in turn offers a sense of control and the ability to bring to life what I want. I didn’t know where I was going or what I wanted and was just making one mark at a time. Somehow it came together in the end with a happy, spirited sentiment, that I didn’t realize until others pointed it out for me. It made me look at it in a new way that made me feel happy and proud without any shame of my messy journey. I may be all over the place but I just might know what I’m doing.

Week 5: 1/30/17

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This week’s theme was about the decision to overcome fear and to take initiative. (These blogs are really good for integrating all the busyness that I experience each day.)

It’s nice to be invited to things and try new things.

But when you’re overwhelmed between deciding trying aerial conditioning, barre method, varying class payment methods, whether to join ClassPass or ZenRez, or trying to not be as late as possible for an ASL class…you may just decide to go home. SF living problems. It all seemed too expensive anyway, so my financial fears won in this round.

I had to decide if I want to teach kids gymnastics, to apply to be an employment consultant for people with disabilities or to try working as a COTA again at a skilled nursing facility. One needed a car and the other was seasonal, part-time and a far commute. I applied for the COTA position. I had the interview for the gymnastics coach this week but realize later that it wouldn’t be an ideal situation.

I reflected on things that I’ve been striving for and applied to volunteer for an after school program. I tried it for one day in November and I felt so uncomfortable because the kids were outright mocking me. It felt bad, to be an adult and feel so insecure by these kids. But this week I decided to sign up and try again. Boo yeah!

I also had to make the decision to call the police. On my way to an interview a couple of kids physically harassed a girl on the bus, hitting her and stealing all her stuff. I was late with the call but so glad that I did it. They called me back a couple times while being I was loss and crossing my fingers to get to my interview on time. There was a handful of people on the bus but no one did anything. It was so surreal and shocking. The police said thank you to me and how important it is to have an uninvolved bystander. Luckily the kids  filmed it and posted it on Instagram and made it easier for the police. I hope those kids stop and that the girl realizes that she matters, that someone actually cares about her and that her voice is heard.

I met some neighbors that same night who were willing to help me whisk away a bookshelf from the street and bring it to my house. That was fun.

I bought a huge vat of freshly cut coconut from someone selling it and preparing it on the street. So fun and so good! That was a lot of coconut. I spent the whole night I was with a friend eating it.

That weekend I wrote a lot, ate Arabic food, visited old family friends with my mom, celebrated two birthdays, and did my design class homework.

Next week is going to be more interesting. I’m excited to see how volunteering goes and see any progress I make with these potential jobs. I want to say yes to becoming a physically fit acrobat but this week shows my priority to save money and explore options relating to OT are higher. But maybe I can pretend to be an acrobat on the side, just a little bit here and there, maybe after a payday.

A Letter To Myself sent 7 Months Ago

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Dear Olive,

It’s not always easy to live in the moment and feel that you are who and where you want to be. Once you do, in those few instances, you wonder how you struggled so hard. It’s a worthy endeavor to listen to your body, to know your values and priorities, and to live simply. Not sure where you are with these now but remember life is short. You may never do the things you want to do or be the person you want to become, or at least not all of them, but you are who you are and you do what you do. Letting the potential connections, depth, playfulness and spontaneity and value stem from accepting and exploring all the opportunity that has already been given to you is the best way to expand time, feel satiated, and feel calm and grounded. It’s possible for you to feel free and settled at the same time.

Remember this and give the present the chance to make you happy. What can help you do this is writing down all the things that I am grateful for and acknowledging all that you have. Practice and find others who value health, wellness, meditation, mindfulness, read books. Remember how amazing the neuro system is! Let that be your primary intelligence along with your emotional intelligence and intuition. Keep playing. It’s okay to look like a kid and to not be seen as an “adult.” There’s strength in that that’s overlooked. Sometimes jobs, difficult relationships can make you feel that there is something wrong with you, that you lost yourself and don’t know where that beautiful, intelligent, happy, and strong person went. Know in those times that you are always everything and changing. Time, seasons, phases bring on their own challenges, joys, and selves. You are always going to learn more about yourself. Sometimes you may worry that your life will become stagnant if you don’t “do” something and may feel frantic to act. But if you can simply feel, the truth will carry you without you knowing your exploring, discovering, changing, growing, and “doing.” I hope you are happy and feel that you are “exactly where you need to be.” It takes practice but it really is all about the practice. Can’t wait to hear what you’re up to these days!

Love,

Your friend for life,

Olive

Week 4: 1/23/17

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I had some small adventures this week including finding a Sit Cycle and putting in all the effort to take it home with me to realize I had made just as much of an impulsive decision  as the person who left it out on the curb. It made a weird noise, there was no resistance and it was too high to sit at my desk.

I walked through North Beach, Financial District, Chinatown, and Downtown on Saturday morning and saw glimpses of the Chinese New Year Parade, a place that hosts Hawaiian swing music on Tuesdays, and an art store that has a secret dungeon. I haven’t walked around in those neighborhoods for years and was nostalgically recalling the memories of walking along those streets in 2012 when I worked at an after school program in that area. It was one worst jobs I’ve ever had but I still feel a fondness for the emotional journey I was going through at the time.

While walking around downtown, I was going to go to Target but the music I was listening to was too distractingly inspiring. I spent the whole time messaging an artist I admire a note of appreciation instead, which was pretty exciting.

The night before I experienced the sleepover feeling. I haven’t had that feeling for a while. Cozily watching videos in pjs on a huge bed, stuffing our faces with home made food and popcorn, talking and laughing, it was great!

I had Japanese curry with a friend after work one day and she inspired me to reconsider the possibilities furthering my writing pursuits. I now am wanting to try diving into writing fiction and reading about the writer’s process to ding that. I felt so encouraged by her enthusiasm after I told her my stories of my teachers wanting to share my work by using it in the school play or by using as an example to show their students how to write an essay.

My art class was great! We cut small portions of our abstract found object paintings and displayed them on the bulletin board. We discussed the movement, texture, sound, communication, emotion of the pieces. It was such an imaginative and playfully mind opening experience. I made the class laugh when I said one would feel like bubble wrap.

I friend from work is looking for a housemate in a neighborhood I used to live in. I miss that neighborhood and really enjoy spending time with her and have been considering it. It would be cheaper. But I fear that it would miss where I live now. Where I live now is convenient to public transit and sunny and in the heart of the city. Her place has nature, quiet, and mysterious fog, but also possibly my past. I worry that I would feel like I’m regressing back 5 years but maybe it would feel new with different house and housemates and street. I’m pretty content where I am but I do crave some kind of change.

I also got to show my mom around Valencia Street and was so surprised that she had never seen many of the places that I’ve been visiting for years! I showed her different pieces of my life and experiences including city college, Mission Theater, Serendipity, Paxton Gate, 826, Gracias Madre, and much more. It was a full day. And I also felt the cozy sleepover feeling too where it made it fun to get ready for bed and get excited for coziness of watching a movie or reading before sleeping. I felt a coziness about my room that I don’t normally experience. I want to feel that every night.

Though I felt a lot of good feelings during the week, I felt overwhelmed the last day of the week because I think I spent so much time feeling, thinking, exploring, talking that I didn’t do anything actually practical for myself like taking care of chores and doing homework and exercising. Somehow I managed and fit it all in on Sunday and Monday. I’ve just been feeling so tired. Sleeping better is going to take time and I just need to patient. My mom actually says that my mattress is lumpy and old and that could be contributing to my sleeplessness and any aches I have. Getting a new mattress will be a new endeavor to add to the list

During this week I was realizing I haven’t found a fortune cookie fortune in a while but then miraculously on my way to work on Friday I did.

“An upset is an opportunity to see the truth.”

That was very fitting. Ever since November and December that has been a theme with the election of our current president and within my personal life. There’s a truth about our country revealed by his election. There’s a undercurrent that was always there and a voice that is now loud and clear that we didn’t fully hear before. We didn’t realize how much of a problem all the prejudices we have in our country were until we felt a direct outright threat. We need to hear this voice because it’s the truth but also resolve the conflict between different viewpoints to come to a place of mutual safety. This fortune was a very thought provoking one that gives me perspective on macro and micro social issues allows me more easily to accept conflict.

This week was filled with 2012 nostalgia and reflection. Finding the fortune cookie fortune, doing a Tarot card reading, writing in my journal, and talking to friends and family made me really want to harness on what I love and know how truly feel.  It also made me really want to write. And sleep. And dream.

 

Innovation Waiting

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I’ve been reading this book So Good They Can’t Ignore You and it’s been such a mind-opener. It has resolved a lot of my confusion and answered many of my questions and insecurities about my pursuit for a rewarding career. The best thing of all is that reading that book made me reevaluate how to approach my goals. Let’s look at this plethora of dreams.

Publishing books

  • Children’s book
  • Poetry and photography book
  • Graphic novel
  • Psychology research

Creating a blog community

  • Promoting and writing about the work of others
  • Building friendships and connections
  • Networking and collaboration

Being a dancer

  • Hula hooping
  • Zumba
  • Hip hop
  • Latin
  • Martial arts (Capoiera, Qigong, Kung Fu)

Being a singer-songwriter

  • Write and compose songs or improvise songs while performing
  • Perform at open mics and on YouTube
  • Collaborate with electronic artists

Have a YouTube channel

  • Stop-Motion
  • Improv
  • Songs
  • Observations, stories, comedy, journal entries
  • ASL dance (interpreting songs with no words), songs and stories

Starting my own business

  • OT practice
  • Creativity retreat center
  • Journal store
  • Be a consultant for companies wanting to hire people with disabilities, to build better teams and prevent burnout

Getting my masters

  • Psychology
    • Organizational and Industrial
    • Environmental
    • Neuro
    • Social
    • Mind, Brain and Behavior
    • Consciousness and Transformative Studies
    • Integral and Transpersonal
    • Writing and Consciousness
    • Positive
    • Developmental
    • Art and Community
  • Art
    • Illustration
    • Visual Development
    • Character Art
    • Comic Book Creation
    • Interactive Audio
    • Creative Writing
  • Therapy
    • Expressive Art Therapy
    • Play Therapy
    • Drama Therapy
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Recreational Therapy
  • ASL Interpretation
  • Parks and Recreation

Learn to sew

  • Stuffed animals
  • Clothes (artsy, urban, 80’s)
  • Pillowcases

Work with kids

  • Perform in children’s theater
  • Be an ASL interpreter
  • Story reading
  • Pediatric OT

Draw, write, sing, dance everyday as well as perform in front of others. That is the practice. And…

That’s a lot of lives I’m shooting for!

And don’t forget being healthy, happy, social, making lots of great memories as well as having fun! I’d be lucky if I’d be able to do one of those dreams. Committing to one is the trick. I think the key may be to start where I am. What have I been doing, what has come along well and what are my skills currently is the question. The answers to these questions will point to what I need to continue to do, so that I have something to offer. With that, let’s look at my actual experience:

4 Years of Experience

  • Creative writing
  • Playing guitar
  • Studying OT

3 Years of Experience

  • Working with adults with developmental disabilities
  • Working with children
  • Studying psychology
  • Practicing Zumba
  • Hula hooping
  • Taking photos
  • Drawing
  • Blogging

2 Years of Experience

  • Studying spirituality

1 Year of Experience

  • Working with seniors
  • Practicing research
  • Practicing improv

Less than a year of experience

  • Learning ASL
  • Practicing singing
  • Practicing public speaking

Next, let’s think about a list of questions:

  1. What are my values?
  2. What could I never get enough exposure of?
  3. What do I want to be really good at?
  4. What are my natural tendencies and habits?
  5. What are my personality traits?
  6. What are my strengths and skills?
  7. What type of people do I like to work with and be around?
  8. Where would I not need to start over?
  9. What pursuits am I not willing to ignore?
  10. What am I willing to receive harsh feedback on?
  11. What pursuit am I willing to be out of my comfort zone for?
  12. Which pursuit can I already feel that the desire to feed my curiosity overrides my insecurities and discomfort?
  13. Where do I find evidence that others will find this pursuit highly valuable and useful for them?
  14. What field that I am a part of do I have enough experience to see the cutting edge and what’s possible for further exploration?
  15. Where can I pursue small achievable projects to see the real and concrete possibilities of an idea?

Johnny Bunko’s Secrets

  1. There is no plan.
  2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.
  3. It’s not about you.
  4. Persistence trumps talent.
  5. Make excellent mistakes.
  6. Leave an imprint.

The most important secret is to follow the joy like the Tarot cards advised and see what I enjoy being nerdy about and talk nonstop about. Learning about these various topics and finding the connections could be a very interesting endeavor and create a unique niche. The best  place to sail off on an adventure like that is the library. What an amazing thing to have access to exploration of knowledge and discovery for free! The next list to be read here will be a list of books!

“A good career mission is similar to a scientific breakthrough – it’s an innovation waiting to be discovered in the adjacent possible of your field.”

Week 3: 1/16/17

The Stinky Backpack

This week was a big week for everyone. The inauguration and protests were huge historical events. I loved how the rain revealed and strengthened the determination and passion of everyone involved with the march. I saw a lot of creative messages like “Tweet others how you’d like to be tweeted,” “A woman’s place is with the resistance” and “We’re only going to get browner, queerer, louder, stronger and watch the dinosaurs die away.” It was inspiring to see the vast ocean of people in all directions and how smoothly and peacefully it was all organized. Kids, families, pets were all there. It was invigorating and emotional, a wake up call to be ready to protect what’s important to us.

I was a little bit better with sleeping this week. Instead of going to bed at midnight every night I went to bed at midnight for two nights, at 11pm for…

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Week 2: 1/9/17

The Stinky Backpack

This week I spent time with friends a lot! Four days to be exact. I saw two movies, The Arrival (had some deep and mind expanding conversations after seeing this one!) and Rogue One. I also watched the original Peter Pan with Mary Martin which was funny and endearing and mostly just so 1950’s.

I also started this thing with a friend where each day we text each other a picture that we drew to keep us on top of our drawing practice. I’m learning that I feel the most confident and excited about capturing the expression and gesture but my proportions and perspective need a lot of work! My goal is to focus on drawing from things I see and someday being loose and carefree in pen and other days in pencil focusing on the big shapes in this “envelope” technique to analyze and correct myself as I go…

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Week 1: 1/1/17

The Stinky Backpack

I’m happy that in the first week of the year I read two comics. It’s been so rainy and cozy, it was perfect! I read Blankets and This One Summer, which were both coming of age books but with characters that had different ages and genders. I hardly ever allow myself the time to just delve into fiction. It was so refreshing to be away from a screen but witness art and emotion and nostalgia flowing through pages. What’s also great is that I feel like I’m starting to bond with people through a medium I’ve hardly been exposed to and it’s really fun to feel their excitement! For example after sharing what I have been reading, my housemates surprised me by kindly and generously letting me borrow a large pile of 9 comic books! So cool!

It was also invigoratingly relaxing to listen to Invisibilia while coloring in…

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Finding My Source

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This week I had a reminder to be simpler and less ambitious. I often fear being stagnant and not growing toward my full potential. There’s so much I daydream about doing and time moves too quickly. It’s hard to know if I’m just struggling with discipline or trying to travel upstream when trying to direct my energy. I value many things and these values sometimes get in the way of each other, making me feel like I’m running in place. I value the connecting with friends and family, being spontaneous, saying yes to new experiences, creating and sharing memories with others, being out of the house and in the moment, and exploring nature.

But I have other values as well. These include time to reflect, sticking to my goals, sleep, daily practice, commitment, focus, learning, reading, planning, having a direction for my future, keeping promises to myself, skill development and mastery.

On Sunday I drew these three Tarot cards:

Harmony:

Listen to your heart, move through the world connecting to the intelligence and playfulness of your heart. Be in tune with the rhythms of your inner silence. Risk everything to be simple. Let it be natural and never forced. Find your heart and your own beat.

Going with the Flow:

Everything is happening as exactly as it should. Relax and trust. You are allowed to trust life and where it takes you. You are available to the current. Move toward depth, toward the deep and true. Let go of ambition. Let go of being special, exceptional, extraordinary. Be humble and let go of your ego, let go of your self. Take your time and savor it.

The Source:

You have a vast reservoir of energy. Get grounded to tap into it. Be centered and silent. Let go of thinking and planning. Allow your energy to make you feel whole, one, integrated. Let the energy arise from the core. It grounds you when starting something new. It ignites creativity, inspiration, compassion, love, light, and greater life. It nourishes you when you need to rest, when you finish, when you accomplish. The source is your personal sun, your fuel and fire. Relax into the source. It decides where your potential is and takes you there.

The Tarot cards I drew on Sunday helped me start to reconcile the many paths that I often look at with excitement and sometimes wistfulness. This week I daydreamed about writing, collaborating with kids to create illustrated stories, singing and making electronic music, and leading art psychology workshops. Sometimes I think I have let the daydreams from high school die but then they spontaneously re-emerge with a sting. But it’s hard to take any of my dreams seriously when I have so many.

These cards reminded me to let myself be guided by joy. I had a strong vague feeling of what that joy is and tried holding onto it so I could know better how to recognize it but I’m still discovering and learning what that joy is.

There’s a confusion between a thinking, waiting, anticipatory joy; an in the moment, short term joy; and a deep, long term joy. Possibly deep joy is the type of joy that can connect spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical parts of me and inspire feelings of courage, empowerment, determination, truth, and honesty. It’s soft and receptive and meaningful. It gives me the ability to accurately portray on the outside what’s happening inside. It’s when I feel capable while on the edge of what I can do. It taps into my full potential and provides me with a sense of purpose, a feeling of positively impacting the world, connecting me to a community I’m a part of, and a sense of self-efficacy.

These cards were so fitting and I want to keep them alive day to day as I try to navigate how I spend my time and live my life. I want to be sensitive to and seek that feeling of simpleness, joy, depth and grounded energy. I want to follow a pure simple joy that moves me along in a grounded relaxed way. There’s so much that I could do or be, so much that excites my imagination, so many things to learn, experience, create, express, and share.

I have friends in art school pursuing animation. I have friends that are art therapists, preschool teachers, special ed teachers, social workers, counselors, OT’s, drama therapists, who started their own businesses, who write books, who teaches dance to people of all ages, who are musicians and singers, who write fan fiction, who are studying UX design, who are graphic designers, who are consultants, who are social media marketers, who are paid to write blogs and travel, who teach hula hooping, who are ASL interpreters, who are ABA, Floortime, play therapists. They all seem to be following their passion and courageously doing what it takes. I feel like they were brave attempting dreams I contemplated but that I let go of out of fear and in attempt to be practical, realistic.

I want to let the energy and joy I relish in move me through fear smoothly and gracefully, to make my decisions for me. I want to nurture and not pressure it with thoughts and ambitions. I want to give it time and space to glow and warm everything around it. I want to see the best it can offer to the world.