April Newsletter – Different Times

WARNING, I'm going to be very honest and vulnerable,
THIS MIGHT GET A LITTLE WOO WOO. (skip ahead if itʼs not for you)

This whole pandemic issue sent me on a bit of a roller coaster ride. I started out the month thinking I was going to host some fun paint classes and ended up with an empty (of clients) studio. When the stay at home order came, I knew I had a ton of projects, new and old that I could work on, I would never be bored. I was thinking how much I enjoyed being at home and this was not really a hardship for me.   But then I found I couldnʼt quite focus, so I picked a few small projects. I finished a couple paintings, I did some mending, fixed my purse, went for quite a few walks, cleaned and organized a few things, I journalled a lot and watched art related videos online.

 That kept me kind of busy and occupied, but I was a little surprised at all the emotions that flooded in. I was okay one minute, then I would be worried about not having my income, fearful of the virus, and definitely worried about family near and far. I even had days where I was crying for literally no reason that I could put my finger on. Out on a walk and the tears just started coming. I do consider myself quite safe where we live, it”s a very remote area, so social distancing is not a problem (for some). I am good at being home, Iʼm an introvert, so not a problem there, I like spending time at home.

So what was the issue? Well some friends pointed out that we can actually absorb the collective sadness and fears of people everywhere, along with our own. Now whether you believe in empaths or not, I have come to know that I am, and that is really what was happening. Once I realized this, I was more able to work with that and look at what emotions are mine and which are not. Then I started doing more energy work, getting outside to walk in nature, I did grounding exercises, tapping, online workshops (which inspired me to create paintings just to work through these feelings) and energy clearing. (If you want to know more about this, let me know. I am still learning, but I find it helps me). I needed to find ways to be emotionally healthy through this too. I think the best post I saw about how some of us are reacting to this, is that it is a form of grief we are experiencing, which makes sense. Itʼs also about not ignoring or pushing these feelings away, but instead recognize them, allow them, and do a little self reflection that will hopefully allow us to come out the other side of this just a little more awakened.

The paintings were done on the remnants of some paint pours we did, I used the leftover paint to create designs on paper.  Then I just painted my feelings on top.  The tears falling, expressing my grief, the large tear drop and all the ones that surround it, each dot a prayer for healing. The bubbles are about protecting myself a bit from absorbing outside energy, it's not too hard to not feel compassion, but I don't have to take on everyone else's pain too.  The group of bubbles, are an example of those around us, it is a thin veil that can protect us, but also allows us to be connected. I was also struggling with what to do now that I wasn't able to host classes in my studio. I start watching videos, art and self help and about being an entrepreneur. Great, now Iʼve activated these new feelings, not doing enough in my business, I should be getting out there online, keeping my clients posted, offering free stuff as well as paid classes, I should have an offer. Well, now there is all this advice about how to get yourself out there online and promoting yourself, selling my artwork and offering classes. What comes up with that? Not wanting to put pressure on people to buy from me when they are struggling financially (like me). What am I going to offer? Iʼm not set up to go online, I feel technically challenged, Iʼm unsure of how to do it. Again, so many conflicting emotions. I want to sell my art, offer classes and also be there for my clients, but is this the time to be promoting myself? So for now, I am continuing to post on FaceBook and Instagram to let people know what I am up to. I am getting my newsletter out, I am looking at what I can offer once things calm down.

Then three weeks ago, something happened.
I went into our local Coop store and mentioned I didnʼt have any income from my business right now and that was hard. The manager, Michelle, asked if I wanted to work. I asked if she was serious, she said yes, I said yes. So this might be a far cry from my art work, but not so far from where I have previously worked, like Dutchies, the Bakery and the Gallery. Strangely, I did not hesitate. It wasnʼt just about having an income at this time, it was about helping out. They were struggling with having enough staff to work during this very trying time. I am grateful for the job and that I can help out at this time. For me it was about feeling like I was being useful (just who I am).  I can always do my art, start my classes up again once it's okay to do so.

So, three weeks in, I am quite tired at the end of the day and I am not doing one more thing after I get home. That brings me to a very big hats off to all those who have not had a break, who have been on the front lines of this pandemic from the start. Itʼs exhausting. I encourage you to make sure you tell the people out there in the public that you appreciate what they are doing. My greatest wish is that when this is over, we are willing to give these front line workers a significant break. That they get to recover, that they are allowed work through the trauma they went through. Think about what these workers are sacrificing for us to be safe, healthy and not be without the necessities. They are risking a lot, when this is over they will need to heal physically and emotionally.

A reminder that everyone is doing their best out there, everyone has their own issues, but please be kind and respectful.  Those still working are dealing with a lot constantly changing rules in order to stay open for your needs and trying to do the social distancing for both your safety and theirs is challenging at best.  There will continue to be more changes to help keep everyone safe, be patient, kind and understanding.    Take a moment before you react to anything, is it that important, or are you just taking your fears out on someone.  

I really hope at the end, when we start getting back into routines, that we don't go back to our old ways. that we actually learn something from all of this.  Take time to enjoy your family's, even if it's just through video chats, we are so fortunate to be able to do that.  

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Vermillion Bay, Ontario