When in doubt, make art

Last week, my friend and fellow artist, Beck Lane got in touch with me and asked me if she could do a video on me and my art....since Beck is someone that I have known for a long time, and one of Sacred Relic Studio's early supporters way back in the beginning, of course I said yes!

You can check it out below.



Through this project, Beck became aware of The Resilient Heart Project and opted to participate. I mailed one of the hearts to Beck late last week and she received it yesterday. 

Today, she surprised me with a new video, a sort of update...check it out:



I want to be really clear about this, because I think there are misconceptions surrounding the work Resilience....Resilience for you, and often for me is waking up each morning, knowing that you probably are waking up to the same shit show that you fell asleep to last night...the bills, the illness, a long list of things on the "to-do" list that you are fairly certain you will not be able to accomplish, the dog has to go to the vet, etc...and still putting both of your feet on the ground and moving into your day. Taking steps, even small steps you may perceive to be teeny tiny and insignificant steps are actually what resilience is about. Movement towards something even when things don't look so hopeful. Rising up in the face of sadness, illness, fear, etc...and moving forward through the day anyway because you are made of that kind of stuff. That stuff is resilience. 

One of the biggest lessons that I have learned in my life is about the temporary nature of everything. Nothing stays the same. Knowing that and accepting it and all the good and bad things it brings is difficult for me. So, I pull my resilience around me, grit my teeth and show up again in my studio. Creating has always been the place where I work things out, whether it is actually things encountered during the process of creating, or bigger grief's and hurts, problems, confusion. Art has always been my respite in a world where I am often described as being "overly sensitive' to, (I prefer the term EMPATHETIC BADASS, thank you) and I am grateful for it.



The Resilient Heart Project

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The Resilient Heart Project has come to life. I'd love to be able to say that I have carefully been plotting and planning this for months, but I can't. Like most of my creative visions and ideas, they happen and I usually get stupid excited about them and just jump in before my brain decides to start in with the self doubt.

So I jumped. I am hoping others will jump in with me.

You see, I know that the word SURVIVOR has many different meanings and conjures up many different things in folks minds. I know, because I have survived many things in my life.

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I am an adult child of an alcoholic, I am a psychiatric survivor, I am in recovery fro mental health challenges, and substance use challenges, I am a suicide attempt survivor, a suicide loss survivor, I am currently surviving a chronic illness, I have survived the loss of my father, my best friend, jobs, homes, etc. All things that I was not sure if I would survive or how I would survive. 

It was not a pretty clean and organized survivorship. Lets face it, sometimes we do not face up to these big things in our lives with a lot of grace. Shit happens. But I became resourceful, I became self aware, I learned to identify my needs and articulate them to others, I learned how to stand up for myself and advocate. I learned to listen to my own heart and mind. 

So I learned a lot from each experience. Im not going to tell you it was easy. It was not. I am not here to write platitudes to the tragedies and trauma I have experienced in my life. But I am here to tell you that these experiences helped me to become stronger. 

And it made me realize how we are all surviving in big ways, in small ways, in any way that we can. 

It helped me so much to celebrate my own survival, and to remind myself that no matter what I may face, I absolutely can get through it. It will probably be messy and ugly in parts, but transformation and rebirth are messy. 

Part of what I see and understand to be my work in the world is to hold space for others who want to celebrate their own suvivorship, who want to stand in their power, to decide to radically love themselves.

This project is an extension of that work for me.