When Self Care Won't Wait

 Studio Southwynde rooftop deck - where you'll find me applying practices from my neglected self care repertorie!

Studio Southwynde rooftop deck - where you'll find me applying practices from my neglected self care repertorie!

I have always been reluctant to write or say much about the significant and chronic health conditions I live with. There are a few reasons for this: I don’t like to draw attention to myself, I am not looking for pity and I don’t want to use it as an excuse for why I can’t do something. Despite the intentions of my logical brain, and my formidable willpower, my body has put a halt to the pace I’ve been working at, insisting...no, make that demanding, that it needs some downtime. I have to say, it got my attention - it’s quite daunting to be so disoriented you can’t function outside of your home.  
 
The reason I make the work I make is to create art where beauty, tranquility, ease, and grace are accessible to the people enjoying my paintings; a restorative, peaceful, self care kind of experience. Ironically, I have trouble giving myself permission for self care at the levels my body requires on an ongoing basis. I’m great at operating at the edge of my capabilities, always flirting with the danger zone of too much.
 
As much as I would like to continue with my usual pace I am choosing now to take the time and space I need and my body needs, to regain my strength and stamina. I know from past experience (quite a few of them actually), that I am already over the edge into the inability to function state. I can pull back but I must actually make that choice so for now I am committing to a pace that works for wherever I find myself each day. I am committing to not succumbing to the pressures of posting to social media, of producing new work at an unrelenting pace, or feeling guilty about however long this will take. I will post when it works for me, and create work as I am able to. Our culture is full of subliminal messages like More! Faster! Bigger! and although lip service is paid to self care, there is still a sense that self care is an indulgence, rather than an important and necessary practice. So I’m going to take this public step of choosing self care over crashing and burning, and hopefully to working my way back to a more sustainable pace in the not too distant future.
 
I hope you’ll give yourself the gift of self care before it reaches the point where you have no choice but to do so.. I'll be dusting off some of the self care practices I already have in my repertoire and I'll be posting occasionally on Instagram, I look forward to staying in touch!