Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Summer Sabbatical, Fibromyalgia and Stillness




This Spring I decided to take a  Summer sabbatical from - writing, over-efforting, convincing, pushing - doing anything that zapped the precious bits of energy I had remaining in my body.

My intuition to shut down a lot of things not working for me and focus on self care was spot on. Just a few weeks later I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

For those of you who don’t know or maybe have been misinformed, Fibromyalgia is a complex central nervous system disorder, causing chronic pain and fatigue (among many other things) that affects an estimated 5 million Americans. While it occurs most often in women, it strikes men and children, and all ethnic backgrounds.

It has been a relief to FINALLY know what is going on with my body as I have been struggling with pain and massive fatigue as well as misdiagnosis, for over 6 years now. 

For many of those years, I pushed myself to make things happen. I facilitated workshops, traveled and did what felt like pushing a massive boulder up a hill, trying to maintain my “normal” life as much as possible. Now that I know what’s going on, I see how the pushing - so intricately ingrained in our culture - only made things worse.

I am not writing this for sympathy or attention, only to raise awareness and to share how I am choosing to work with this in the studio and in the unfolding of my own creative self-discovery.

I hope by sharing, others will do the same and by doing so, some of the shame we’ve cultivated as a society, around this and other invisible diseases, will begin to lessen.

My life has changed dramatically… but it doesn’t have to end. I am working on living much differently now, and that includes how I will be facilitating.

I will be letting go of process painting classes indefinitely. However, that doesn’t mean I have stopped creating or facilitating - things are just shifting.
I will be offering HeART Journaling from my home studio on Friday mornings with an option to join online.

I will continue to be part of The Walkabout and Rise and Shine  (online options) as these things are HELPING me to stay grounded and connected to my center as well as giving me a sense of community, even when I can’t leave the house.

I probably won’t be writing as much because it definitely takes its toll on my body, so I may be sharing more images and less words.

I will be cultivating more stillness in my life and look forward to seeing where it takes me. And I welcome the chance to work with others wanting to creatively connect to their own stillness.

Sending Much Love and Endless Gratitude,
Steph

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