Today I'm slowing down. Taking a deep breath. Catching up and sorting.
Not easy. Because actually all I really want to do is forge ahead, start new things, shake it up, kick start some change.
Ah. No. Bad idea. At least this much I know.
So first off. I finally got around to updating my 43 Paintings page! Yes. Three months later. Did you know I finished this personal challenge of mine over the summer? I DID! Wahoo!! You can check out the final 43 paintings HERE. I'm very proud. Grin. There have been some technical difficulties, but I think they are all sorted out now and the page is all updated and ready to go!
I've also been getting lots of owl "sitings." Three actual ones on a drive home one night. THREE! Very symbolic number. When you see something that third time, it's trying to get your attention. There is a message there. Pay attention!
Did I? Ha. Nope.
But, luckily for me Owl persisted. In pictures. Jewelry. Cards. Yep. Everywhere I "looked" (or was not noticing despite Owl's best efforts).
Last year I had the great fortune to do a Soul Retrieval. (You can learn more about that here.) During the journey, at one point, I experienced the feeling of owl feathers puncturing a drum-like skin that had been stretched tight over my larynx. It was a sensation of piercing through a skin that has been keeping my voice silent and suppressed. Breaking through a barrier. I can't begin to tell you the ways I've kept silent in my life. Afraid to speak up. To be seen. To be heard.
It seems Owl was here to help me find my voice.
A card that has appeared again and again for me this past year has been this one, Deception:
Owl. Right there at the throat. The message of this card is this:
"The great horned owl emerges out from his sacred heart articulating through his voice. The medicine of owl helps ... with clear vision in the darkness as as a guide through to the other side into the light... The idea of deception often elicits deep emotion within, whether another is deceiving you, whether you are deceiving another, or whether you are deceiving yourself. The ... card is here to bring you deeper insight for discovering an issue that has been in hiding."
Each time I keep silent, I deny my true self. I hide, afraid of judgment perhaps. Afraid of what changes might be kicked in gear that I'm not ready for.
The past few weeks, along side all the owl sitings, I've been whirling around in chaos. SO many things and details exhausting me to no end. Self-doubt floods in. Questioning, everything. I've been quite angry at the Universe. So tired. Yet knowing that something was begging for my attention. Something needed shifting. But I didn't know what. And I knew it wasn't a matter of "figuring it out" with my brain. I needed to go within. To quiet the chatter. And listen deeply, to my heart.
Again and again I seem to forget that painting does this for me. It quiets the noise and distractions of the world, of my own scattered mind and helps me to get centered. And so I forget to make time for it. Fortunately, with enough reminders from friends and this time, Owl, I sat myself down in front of the canvas and listened.
I knew I wanted to honor Owl. And this is what appeared.
It's the largest painting I've done on canvas. 3 feet by 4 feet. I thought it would be challenging, going that big. Turns out it wasn't difficult at all. I love painting big!
And as grateful as I am for what came out on canvas, as I took the time to really listen, I am more grateful for the insight I received as a result of going within. And, of course, it wasn't what I expected.
I have never felt, in the past 8 years, that I have been suited for motherhood. I often feel like a deer in the headlights. Wondering what the heck I got myself into. It's hard to admit that out loud. Our culture, I feel, has motherhood up on pedestal. We are responsible for so much. And yet blamed in equal amounts when things go wrong. So to speak up and say, that no, actually, motherhood and I are not always a good fit, is extremely difficult for me.
I know I offer great gifts to my son. He and I have a wonderful relationship. I am so blessed. Yet the profound realization I had is that I have spent much of his life waiting for time to myself - for when he is asleep, or at school, or now, when he is at his dad's. Time to tend to my soul. To my path. My purpose. And I find this shocking. Like I have been doing him this great disservice. That I have not been present as a mother for him. It makes me sad. But I am also honest enough with myself that this has happened because I don't feel like the role of mother has fit me well. That I have been uncomfortable in my own skin. And so it's been easier to focus my gaze elsewhere. I need to honor how I have been feeling, rather than beat myself up for not being "perfect."
When I had this deep insight appear before me, through that painting, I knew, at that moment, that I wanted it to change. I want to be present for my son. I want to really know him. To see him. To be his mom each and every moment I am with him. And so I did. I started immediately. The results were both huge and subtle. I am trying out new ways of being. Of interacting. Of being present. And it has shifted something deep, deep within.
And I am speaking up. Owl has guided me. To say out loud, that motherhood has been a struggle all these years. That I have not been sure it was a good choice for me. But that in doing so, in honoring this very struggle, giving it voice, deceiving myself no longer, I am transforming it. I am opening the way for something to be healed. At last.