Being Kinder

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-by Copper Wimmin

I’ve decided to be happy. I’ve decided to be glad

I’ve decided to be grateful for all I ever had

I’ve decided to let go of all this pain tonight

I’ve decided t let go of all these demons inside

 

I know…I am blessed

I know…all I ever wanted was this

I know…I don’t need more

I’ve got…what I came for

 

I’ve decided to be open for that little voice inside

Telling me I’m beautiful, it’s okay to be alive

I’ve decided to be kinder to myself when I am sad

I’ve decided to be grateful for all I ever had

Here is the Youtube musical version of this ABSOLUTELY gorgeous song. I’ll tell you how I learned about this song. I am a therapist and was counseling someone who had just recently been bedside, with 8 other women, while a longtime girlfriend layer on the bed dying from cancer. This is the song they sang to their dear, nearly departed friend. I ache thinking of it.

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Retreat

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This piece was created over a couple of days, while I retreated to my summer getaway on Vashon Island. Its where I was born. This is the first year, since I had my son, that he did not come with me. I missed him so much–and all the rituals we usually share. Someday, when he’s not committing adolescence, and grown out of teenage hood, we’ll share our beach walks, our trips to the tea shop for reading & Majong, and our beach fires again.

This year, I truly did enjoy painting and breaking for beach walks. Eating minimally, journaling, reading Billy Collins’ poetry and laughing out loud with no one. Reading a whole biography of Annie Liebowitz.  Painting some more. Podcasts. Listening to the soft waves while going to sleep at night. Feeling the passage of time. So bittersweet.

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Who Said This?

“Something whispered,

something that wasn’t even a word.

It was more like a silence

that was understandable.

I was standing

at the edge of the pond.

Nothing living, what we call living,

was in sight.

And yet, the voice entered me,

my body-life,

with so much happiness.

And there was nothing there

but the water, the sky, the grass.”

by Mary Oliver

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Kitchen Pharmacy: eating for brain power!

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A letter to friends, family and community:

I recently spent a day at a medicinal foods conference, and learned tons about current research on foods and amino acids and supplements that can deeply heal cells, tissues, blood, and the overall biome we walk around in. I got tons of information on medicinal foods targeting:

brain health, memory & cognition
inflammation
autoimmune disease
chronic pain
sleep disorders
fasting for health/keto diet

Because of my private practice, I have to take CEU’s annually for my license. I decided to help myself and my clients in the area of mood/brain/cognitive functioning. Everyone at the conference was devouring the research on brain health. I streamlined the information and made a list of the medicinals I am now taking, and offer to my clients. I thought I’d share it with you, even though I am not a doctor and cannot officially prescribe.

Here is the website and a few medicinals I am now taking for increased mental/brain functioning. ((Note: I also take VSL3 probiotic, Vitamin D, Multi-B vitamin for overall health:-))

First off, the place I shop online:

Vitacost is the online store I’ve used for years– for everything from food, probiotics, supplements, herbs, bath salts, dog food, and tons of organics (I use the Bham food coop for all fresh organic meat/produce!):

http://www.vitacost.com

And here is the link to the best Fish Oil for the price (nice orange flavor, highest levels EPA/DHA overall)

http://www.vitacost.com/vitacost-liquid-omega-3-purified-fish-oil-epa-dha

“True Focus” is a compound you may want to try in the mornings (increases neurotransmitter activity, increasing mood, clarity, memory and focus–through amino acids and other medicinal foods. Tyrosine/phenylalanine, etc):

http://www.vitacost.com/now-true-focus

I also take caprylic acid, which is a derivative of coconut oil, only much, much more powerful for brain octane. “Bulletproof coffee” has become a popular morning tonic for turning on your brain and focus—full of fats that saturate your brain and fires up your metabolism (it kills appetite, so force yourself to eat a few carbs/protein for genuine energy):

coffee
2 TB grassfed butter (kerrygold at Trader Joes)
2 TB coconut oil or MCT oil ( or caprylic acid in capsules)
5 drops stevia
cinnamon
blend in a blender or Vitamix

Green Tea Extract. Take this capsule in the morning, as green tea is stimulating. A powerful antioxidant, catechins/polyphenols are excellent for staving off cardio disease, protecting neural health, and reducing free radicals that can turn cancerous:

http://www.vitacost.com/vitacost-green-tea-extract-standardized

Spirulina and/or Chlorophyll are both essential green foods. They are what fish eat to produce all those Omega 3’s we then like to ingest. Try combining fish oil with spirulina for a huge boost in mental functioning. Both of these have been researched to show they protect your brain from dementia/alzheimers, improve mental functioning, protect against cardiovascular disease, and detox your overall biome–much like they do in the Ocean. 🙂

http://www.vitacost.com/vitacost-spirulina-natural-algae

Note: you’ll want to use any of these supplements for 60 before deciding if they work. Everyone’s body/brain are unique. Natural food remedies are slower and more gentle to the system, but also provide actual, genuine healing to the cells, tissues, and bloodstream through the body and brain!
in health, love,

LaurelH

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Your Art, Your Creativity, Makes a Difference

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Thoughts on creativity and art:

When you think about it, Intelligence—the ability in a new situation to create a new response—is creativity. We’re in a new moment. We pull from what we know—our experience and perspective—and come up with an entirely new, fresh response. Each person’s particular mind is extraordinary and unique. We get hurt when we’re young, and that effects intelligence & creativity. But still. Underneath the layers of boloney, we are all creative.

Art as a tool for Change

I often feel guilty that if I’m not paying attention to the collapsing society, that I’m not doing enough.

A lot of things in society are irrational, and I’m just busy warding off my own misery.  (Okay, I’m having a lot more fun than that, but you get my meaning). I swing from guilt –to distracting myself, basically.

It seems unfair to be openly happy when I see so much distress and struggle around me.

But here’s an idea: Reality doesn’t change because of feelings of struggle. Reality is constant, reliable, unconditional. Joy, beauty, intelligence, connection, are operating even if we can’t tell that they are.

How can we notice this more often? Discharging bad feelings and meditating and being creative.  How can I reflect that in my work? (with clients, in my relationships, in my day to day conversations, in my artwork?)

Having a good, meaningful life is helpful and hopeful for everybody. Otherwise, how can we support other people? By feeling bad, miserable, and guilty? I don’t think so.

Here’s a quote from RC on Artist’s Liberation:  “Art has played a significant role in history. It organizes and connects. It reminds us of who we are, individually and collectively.

Art-making is essential to having a good and complete life. When we make art, we are not colluding with or ignoring the problems of society. Art is another tool with which to organize, reach people, and be present.”

My online friend and amazing landscape painter, Lars Stenberg, once said to his university students (I’m paraphrasing like mad): “Don’t get self conscious about your art work, don’t get caught up in its meaning, its contribution to society. You don’t have to worry about that. You just get to be yourself and let your artistry naturally reflect your own human experience….that’s enough.”

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I’d add, if you can even find your voice, or even make time for art, or even appreciate other’s art, or even think creatively once and a while, well, you’re making a difference. We can create change together.

This piece was painted from a photo of myself. A selfie:

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Here’s a link to some fantastic podcasting:

Brainpickings

 

A poem by David Whyte. On topic.

Loaves and Fishes

This is not
the age of information.

This is not
the age of information.

Forget the news,
and the radio,
and the blurred screen.

This is the time
of loaves
and fishes.

People are hungry
and one good word is bread
for a thousand.

— David Whyte

 

So what would that “good word” be?

I am listening

You are good

I care about you

You make a difference to me

Go to the Limits of Your Longing

I love poetry. I love its density of images and the way it makes me cry. Rainer Maria Rilke is a favorite. I thought he–was a she–for years.  I’ve interspersed a favorite poem by him between photos of this piece:

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Go To the Limits of Your Longing

-Rainer Maria Rilke

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

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Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

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Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.

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Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.

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You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

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The Newspapers & France

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My heart aches for the French families and our world that suffers such shock and death to live with everyday for the rest of life.

Mary Oliver

Every Morning

I read the papers,

I unfold them and examine them in the sunlight.

The way the red mortars, in photographs,

are down into the neighborhoods

like stars, the way death

combs everything into a gray rubble before

the camera moves on. What

dark part of my soul

shivers: you don’t want to know more

about this. And then: you don’t know anything

unless you do. How the sleepers

wake and run to the cellars,

how the children scream, their tongues

trying to swim away–

how the morning itself appears

like a slow white rose

while the figures climb over the bubbled thresholds,

move among the smashed cars, the streets

where the clanging ambulances won’t

stop all day–death and death, messy death–

death as history, death as a habit–

how sometimes the camera pauses while a family

counts itself, and all of them are alive,

their mouths dry caves of wordlessness

in the smudged moons of their faces,

a craziness we have so far no name for–

all this I read in the papers,

in the sunlight,

I read with my cold, sharp eyes.

You’re the Average of the 5ive People You Hang Around Most

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Before I talk about painting this bluebird girl, here are some other intriguing tidbits from the illuminating James Altucher:

Your Awareness is the average of

*the 5 things that inspire you the most

*the 5 things you eat

*the 5 things you think about most often

*the 5 things you read

….My thoughts need an upgrade. My food, friends, sources of inspiration, reading materials are all great. I’m lucky. And focused. But when it comes to thoughts….ugh my brain goes over the most boring things again and again. “That needs cleaning” “I need to finish that” “I’m late” “Where is Julian, now?” “More dishes” “I have to get something done” “How much time do I have left?” “I’m going to write that down” “Has he done his chores” ~an endless chattering of stupidness

What would I rather be thinking? In order to upgrade my average OVERALL thinking platitude? “That would be awesome to paint” “I’m going to go paint right now” “I love him” “I’m so lucky” “I feel great” “Everyone is so special” “I am a being of light”

I’m trying to bring in more mindfulness these days. A walking meditation of sorts. Here’s a great definition:

“Mindfulness is being present to whatever is happening. Without judgement”

Here’s some recent painting–while staying in Mindfulness. Or at least thinking I am.

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Letting black paint and water run down through the piece.

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This looks finished, but went through several more changes as all my paintings seem to.

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Unpredictable Sonnet painting

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I love this looney sonnet so much, I want to marry it. Here’s a painting, that, like all my paintings, changes enormously before it finally reaches a place that I start liking. Sonnets work that way for me, starting dry, intellectual and then warming up into a blaze of emotion and insight.

Sonnet

Billy Collins

All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now,
and after this one just a dozen
to launch a little ship on love’s storm-tossed seas,
then only ten more left like rows of beans.
How easily it goes unless you get Elizabethan
and insist the iambic bongos must be played
and rhymes positioned at the ends of lines,
one for every station of the cross.
But hang on here while we make the turn
into the final six where all will be resolved,
where longing and heartache will find an end,
where Laura will tell Petrarch to put down his pen,
take off those crazy medieval tights,

blowout the lights, and come at last to bed.

*

I loved acting and all things Shakespeare in college. I memorized and performed 3 sonnets to a thoroughly surprised 400 level Shakespeare English class in 1987.  It won me English Student of the Quarter, even though I was just mimicking Ian McKellen. That summer, I played Ophelia in summer stock’s wild west version of Hamlet. Apparently, you can drown in those cowboy boots, “too much of water hast thou Ophelia drunk.”

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Mother & Son

    I’m pouring myself into this online workshop “Art Entwined” with the exquisite Misty Mawn. This piece is a work in progress. I like it’s rough sawn, unpainted quality. It’s an Egon Shiele study, sans heavy lines. I get an eery delight from painting the bony hand joints with fleshy pinks.

The child’s face makes me ache and look away. I yearn to have a young son to hold close again.❤️ My teen son is out gallivanting around, climbing rocks, enjoying his excellent young life. As it should be.🌿

Sigur ros, john cage, arvo part, and Philip glass are my musical inspirations these days.

Finished.