As I look at love in my life, sometimes I don’t want to touch it, feel it, clean it up, start over, or even acknowledge that I need love or feel lonely. Hiding or running away feels easier than being real. Today has just been a weird feeling day.
Recently, I was challenged to look at a pattern showing up in my writing. It was a pattern of freaking out inside, being calm on the outside, and handling it. Without letting the comment throw me into a tailspin, I’ve been thinking... How do I express myself? How do I handle what life, love, or people throw at me. How can I use my words to better inspire others and keep myself feeling upbeat and optimistic? If words I choose to say to myself create my inner beliefs and eventually the life I live, what kind of words am I choosing to make my beliefs? What are the words I am using to create my beliefs about love?
Allowing someone to know your heart takes guts. Allowing them to feel and love your heart takes vulnerability. How do I allow vulnerability without getting my heart hurt?
About seven weeks ago, I got an artistic urge to do an impromptu photo shoot with my sweet friend Jaime, a blossoming photographer and writer. I loosely explained the photo concept idea I wanted to shoot for inspiration to write my monthly blog. She listened and said yes right on the spot. While I was at work, she picked me up a second-hand dress. Later that day, she called me to schedule a date and started running questions by me of the what, where, and how to get it done.
That night she mentioned it to her three daughters and our good friend Shelly, who also has a daughter. Suddenly there was a whole lot of buzz, love, and excitement going into my simple monthly blog project. I felt somewhat embarrassed and yet warmly loved being the center of their attention considering I hadn’t firmed up the writing or idea for my blog. I marveled at how these two ladies were getting totally jazzed to get up early, fix their children’s hair, and put on their glitter makeup to make this photo art project. The girls chattered away about how they wanted to be fairy princesses on the frozen lake we had selected as the location for the photos. Before I could think too much or say no, they helped plan a whole adventure of creating some photographic art.
At the wee hours before sunrise on the next Monday we had off work, five children, two adults, and myself dressed in ball dancing gowns and were running, jumping, and holding hands on frozen lake. Houses puffed smoke out their chimneys greeting our day and photographic adventure. A colorful band of dresses followed Jaime’s shout outs instructing us to move for the photos. The remnant of a full moon and sherbet colored skies made a dreamy backdrop. Bare tree branches tickled the sky. Shelly corralled children for the photos and fluffed up dresses. And of course, no morning that early is complete without some righteous crankiness as the air had a frozen bite from cold temperatures and tummies rumbled for breakfast.
As we tumbled into warm cars back to Shelly’s place, my heart was beaming with good feelings. Kids were hangry, but goofy poking at each other. With rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes each one was retelling their story of what they created in their photos. I couldn’t stop smiling. Even my stomach felt like it was smiling :) I felt giddy, light, and goofy. My heart welled up with warm, happy tears. I felt like I could build a rocket ship to the moon if that was my dream. I disregarded feelings of guilt for getting so much enthusiastic help. I chose to ignore inadequacy feelings that I didn’t have my blog written yet and chose to bask in the wonderful weirdness of the morning we created.
Right underneath my nose, these two ladies felt my heart. I allowed them to feel my confusion, need for help, and my incomplete fresh born creative idea. I took a risk to trust. It was uncomfortable and scary but not hurtful. They helped me connect some dots I have been struggling to do in many of the wrong places and with the wrong types of people. They shared their time, robustly nurtured my vulnerable idea, and added to it their imagination and optimistic life energy. In my heart, I keep saying more YES to adding more of this feeling to my definition of love!
It’s been said, speak of things you love rather than bash things you hate. I agree wholeheartedly and keep pointing my words and feelings toward believing love is more about being supportive, choosing kindness over meanness, finding peace, sharing encouragement, optimism, helping someone be their best self, showing up, and keeping your word. I dared myself to meet the challenge this month in up-leveling my writing pattern. Way to grow… in love! <3
I love these pictures. I thought taking the pictures would just spark an idea for my blog. Instead, allowing myself to be immersed in the experience of feeling and creating the pictures melted more of my heart walls, allowed me to be vulnerable, and to be loved in a way that felt good to me.
Be empowered to keep growing. Be inspired and dare yourself to let go of old definitions about life and love that don’t serve you being your best you! Cheers!
Feeling my heart, connecting me to others, finding beauty,
cheekiness, expression, and optimism are only a few things the arts
help me do in my life. Keep in mind, defunding of the National Endowments for the Arts,
pending cuts in funding of PBS, and other publicly funded programs
affect the richness of how we all experience, feel, and create life.
It affects how we transmit ideas and love to one another.
(I can’t help but put a shameless plug for the arts here!)
Support the arts.
Support political candidates that support the arts.
We have our work cut out for us keeping art alive in our life, schools. love, and communities.
Blog by Mary Riitano...
I'm a Montana actress on a journey sharing my heart and growth through blogging, stories, and poetry, I have faith you'll find empowerment and inspiration to create like a champion in your own life!
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