Practicing neutrality.

I know anxiety.


I know depression.


And now it seems these days like I am practicing neutrality.


Allowing things to be.  Just be.  Letting fear crumble through my fingers.  Sighing it out.  Letting the little bird free.

… keep some middle ground of neutrality amidst the chaos to stay out of other people’s drama.– Lena Stevens

I am practicing.  Every minute of every day until it becomes a habit.


Gnight! Lay out your worries. Some you’ll pay down a bit every day, some evaporate upon being named. Don’t bring them into bed, they cast grotesque shadows and leave crumbs like a muhf***ker. Sleep easy. – Lin Manuel Miranda

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain… Birds, metaphors, graphic novel, experiments

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Central to my graphic novel is the intensity of anxiety and severe depression while drowning in circumstance, highlighted through the metaphor of birds.

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Here are some experiments from the past weekend:

Drawing on a vintage Life Magazine page (Nov 3, 1947)

Drawing on a vintage Life Magazine page (Nov 3, 1947)



I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, 

And Mourners to and fro…

– Emily Dickinson

“Here, at the age of 39, I began to be old…”

I revisited Brideshead Revisited last night and was struck, more deeply than usual, by Waugh’s opening line:

“Here, at the age of 39, I began to be old…”

Why did this opening line stand out?  I’ve been trying to find the right quote, the right words to help me reflect on my current dip into anxiety after the vulnerability hangover took over a while back.  It’s not letting up.

My body has rebelled, or more accurately, my chakras are screaming!  Or even more accurately, or what comforts me to focus on, is that my sacral and throat chakras are in dire need of attention apparently!

My lower back was thrown out last Friday and refuses to ease.  Ah, it’s the old dance injury, familiar worries about money, embracing transitions, change, re-experiencing triggers.  And my old wound is acting up (an old left parotid gland/facial nerve tumor issue)- so scratching my left ear feels like I’m scratching my cheek.  Running my tongue along my upper teeth on the left side, pausing at the missing tooth, is interpreted as my lower jaw.  It’s all familiar.  It’s nothing new.  Benign.  But important.  Just old friends encouraging me to pay attention.

So why does the Waugh quote feel like the right words?  

“Here, at the age of 39, I began to be old…”

What does it have to do with aches and pains and anxiety?

The quote brought me right back to my 39th birthday, when I began to be old.  It was the turning point.  I experienced an intense, earth-shattering betrayal.  The wound was deep, great, painful.  It was different from other losses and experiences.  It attacked the very core where my innocent inner self was housed.

When a strong trigger strikes now, it opens that wound in the heart.

It’s a falling back into darkness.  It’s the place I am forced to go, to huddle and shake and decide how to utilize this in my personal journey.

On my 39th birthday, truth came out and I was exposed.  

Vulnerable, raw.  I began to be old.   Of course, so much more has happened before and since, but that experience stands out as the turning point into adulthood.

It fascinates me that as I look back on my journals and see where my anxiety/depression is at its height (or my energy at its lowest if you will)- it is after I have been exposed.  Or am exposing myself to the world.

Risking.  Risking failure.  Thus the vulnerability hangover.

Recall posts:

ANX·I·E·TY /ANGˈZĪ-ITĒ/ August 20, 2011

DIH-PRESH-UHN November 13, 2011

We all struggle.  And I send out love to all who are struggling right now.  

Check out articles shared on FB:

Thank you, Patti, for this one:

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Thank you, Margot, for this one:

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And so…

There, at the age of 39, I began to be old.

And I have journeyed through.  I accept my struggles, accept that life is a rollercoaster of triggers and emotions.  But I am HERE.  Strong, vulnerable, able, fragile, triggered, achy, anxious, a woman trying her best, a very very human being.

What do I do with all this info, lessons, tools, self-care, evaluations, experiences, wisdom etc.?

Well, here, at the age of 53, I decide I am wise.  And ready.

Yes, today is a new day.  I’ll wrap up the old wounds.  Lengthen my spine, listen to the birds, and revel in the theme of of this month [].

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Frida Kahlo and Bird
Frida and the Robin [a personal art therapy tool is to pick up a china marker and simply draw out the anxiety]
 Recall: Pay Attention to the Birds: American Robin

The robin brings a fresh new perspective to situations that are otherwise foggy and unclear. Try calling on robin energy for clarity when your judgement is clouded or when you need light shed on an issue.

The red robin reminds us it’s time to shake the sleepiness out of our head (both figuratively and literally), get alert, get moving, and start enjoying life! Spring has sprung, tides have turned, and no matter how crummy or grey our world has been it is time for new beginnings! Enjoy the bright road ahead because it’s only going to get brighter! [source]

Dih-presh-uhn. #arttherapy #tools #honesty


The first light of the mornings are often hellish for many of us. Once the sounds of the day and the resonance of hope quiets the pain, we can meet the day with renewed enthusiasm [hopefully but unfortunately for some, the days and the nights are too painful]. Toolkit. Toolkit. Recall my post on anxiety:


I wrote that anxiety can be that 200 pound lead weight on your chest when you wake up in the morning.

Well, depression to me feels more like being pulled downward by a lead weight tied with rope wound with raw nerves.

That terrible mood of depression of whether it’s any good or not is what is known as The Artist’s Reward.

– Ernest Hemingway


From Laura Mack:

“So many of us struggle with this and we need to talk about it, write about it, draw about it, dance it out more.

…and somehow, shared, the weight lessens.

I find myself wondering lately – am I cocooning, replenishing my energy reserves, or am I isolating, avoiding?

For me, it’s the 4 a.m. thing – I envy those who have managed to connect w/ a spiritual practice of meditating at that time. For me, if I’m awake then, I’m in deep heart pounding anxiety. Reaching for the journal helps.”

6 panels of my Frida series (my most personal pieces) will be on display/sale March 10!

Recall my post about my Frida Series and that the pieces were born out of the need to process divorce and depression.  Now its time for celebration and renewals!  I LOVED making these pieces (China Marker on Masonite Board) even though they were done at 3 AM with my heart pounding and anxiety choking me.  They illustrate the power of art to process life changes.  Now it’s time to let them go and see WHERE they go, and where I go!

“Instead of protesting change, adjust your own career.”

My painting carries with it the message of pain. – Frida Kahlo

March 10th art event: