Thursday, March 19, 2020

Scared Sacred




I'm not gonna lie....these past several weeks I have felt afraid. I've also felt empowered, angry, happy, peaceful and full of love. I remind myself that I can hold more than one thing at a time.

I am aware of is how important it is for me to acknowledge my fear - I paint about it, write about it, scribble or talk it out. And of course this in itself is a process, because my first reaction is to slap Fear in the face and run away screaming! Feeling and acknowledging this is uncomfortable business and I don't like it.

However, unacknowledged or unattended fear disconnects me from my truth and knocks me off balance and I can't function like that for too long. The upside to this is fear ALWAYS gives me a choice to turn my scared into sacred and my fear into faith. Remembering to breathe and to stay present is key.

 I can't imagine where I would be without my community of process artists and fellow creative self-discoverists. Process art provides a way for me to meet myself in it ALL and not feel so alone and helpless in uncertain times.



*Stephanie Gray is a writer, artist, process arts facilitator and creative self–discoverist.Her main focus is working with people as they make their way through life transitions - trauma, grief and spiritual awakening - by providing suggestions on how to stay connected to self during shifting times. Stephanie combines art making, creative writing, active listening, heart-based questioning and over 20 years of her own self-discovery practice to assist individuals in living a more authentic life, cultivating awareness of their sacred selves.

Stephanie facilitates creative self-discovery in person from her home  -  Inside Out Studio - and online with folks all over the globe. Stephanie is co-founder of Creative Nectar Studio

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Trusting Stillness


If I had a dollar every time the word TRUST came up in my art and writing. I'd be a rich woman. Working creatively - not for product but for the process that occurs - allows me access to a rich knowing that exists within. And for this I am grateful because I need to be constantly reminded to trust the body I inhabit. And that it's okay to get frustrated sometimes, but ultimately she is serving a purpose - stillness.

Living with a chronic illness for several years has been hard for me to accept. I have so much I'd like to do and often times feel burning with light and intention inside only to be kept down by a body wracked with fatigue, pain, anxiety and the weirdest of symptoms.

This past week has been particularly hard. I cannot describe how it feels to be healing emotionally and spiritually and not have my body following along. So many of the books I've read and the podcasts I've listened to have told me that if you look within, and begin to heal, transmute and integrate your shadow, the body healing will follow. But what if that's not always the case?

 What if, this is exactly how it's supposed to be right now? What if stillness, art and contemplation are exactly what I need in my life and railing against it only makes things worse? I can still bring my light and intention, even in a compromised body. I know this does not diminish my power. It just looks differently than the popular model (I am doing it now as I type). I know and feel this. I just need reminding sometimes. 

TRUST.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

A Wound With A View


If you've read some of my past blog posts or have taken any of the classes offered at Inside Out Studio, you know I believe we are living in a time of great transformation and that many of us are being called to to uncover some of our biggest and deepest wounds in order to transmute them - myself included.

For the past year I have been working on transmuting my deepest wound this time around - the primal wound of adoption. It has taken me 50 years to recognize how the separation from my mother at the time of my birth was a trauma. A trauma that has helped to unconsciously steer much of  how I've responded (or not responded) to people, places and things in my life.

The healing and transmutation of this event is happening and the proof of what can unfold in my life when I do is apparent. As I began to work with this in the studio within a few months, I met my birth mother and father. I know in my heart that by beginning to scratch at the surface of this wound, these key players were magnetized to me so a healing could occur.

This past week while working in my altered book, words began to form. Below is what came out (un-edited):

"My wound is sacred. Seriously. My deep dark shameful black hole of a wound is sacred. Possibly one of the most sacred parts of myself this time around - but probably at any time around. It gives me strength and has nudged me towards who I really am and begged me to ask the bigger questions. My wound has had me on my knees and opened my weepy heart giving me a deep sense of presence and an authentic love for myself  - and a compassion for others. It has been my guide and companion and it continues to ask me to love, even when it's hurting the most."

The sacred alchemy of this work boils down to this realization: My wound doesn't exist to define me, it exists to empower me. 




Stephanie Gray is a writer, artist, process arts facilitator and creative self–discoverist.Her main focus is working with people as they make their way through life transitions - trauma, grief and spiritual awakening - by providing suggestions on how to stay connected to self during shifting times. Stephanie combines art making, creative writing, active listening, heart-based questioning and over 20 years of her own self-discovery practice to assist individuals in living a more authentic life, cultivating awareness of their sacred selves.

Stephanie facilitates creative self-discovery in person from her home  -  Inside Out Studio - and online with folks all over the globe. Stephanie is co-founder of Creative Nectar Studio

Monday, July 29, 2019

Real Vibes Only



What you think about you bring about. You create your own reality. Positive Vibes Only.

Nope. I can't buy this. I mean, at one time I did....and then after my love affair with The Secret was over, I found myself sitting in a pool of my own shame and self loathing. Why couldn't I manifest my reality? Why couldn't I think positively all the time? What was wrong with me? 

What I discovered, was that there was NOTHING wrong with me. Shit happens. We are on planet earth. We are spirits in the material world and the material world is a mixed bag. Suka Duka - What goes up, must come down.

So why has our culture (at least in some circles) become enamored with this? Maybe because we love pain...or maybe because we like to cause others shame. OR maybe when things are really bad for someone it's easier for us to pass it right back on to them, instead of really looking and feeling into it with them....because that would be seriously uncomfortable. And why is it uncomfortable? Because until we take a long look at ourselves, another person's pain and suffering will trigger us and we will want to run for the hills.

What I am acutely aware of is how much pain and damage this new age spin on an ancient teaching has caused - to me and many others. Yes, there is some truth here...but it doesn't happen after a month of positive affirmations when inside you still feel like a piece of crap. If your inner intentions are still the same as when you started, then no amount of positive vibeing will change this.

Real inner work has to be done. Grab a pick ax and start chipping away at the ugly shit you want to ignore. Invite those "ugly" bits in for a chat. See what they have to say....and love them like the lost little orphans they are. At least, that's what I'm doing....and it seems to be working. Now I am a more naturally positive person. I laugh a hell of a lot more and I see things differently. My perspectives are shifting and I have a deep inner sense of being okay. 

I won't lie... it's taken a LONG ASS TIME and I am still a work in progress. My guess is it takes a different amount of time for everyone, depending on what we've experienced. The thing is, it's never to late to begin. It's a wild weird wonderful and sometimes painful unfolding that can start at any time. 

Real Vibes Only.