GIRL LOOKS INWARD
Over the years I've done some radical mental, emotional, and spiritual work that has helped my love and celebrate my internal workings. I'm tired of hating the external vessel that houses all the things I'm proud of today. So, through creating art that celebrates lumpy and luscious goddesses to intimate and compassionate daily selfie challenges, I am embarking on a project of radical self body acceptance that I hope will result in an all encompassing self love. Here goes!
Altars prove to a powerful reminder of the strength we hold (hidden) within
(Fall 2015) This altar was created during my first semester of grad school for my Psychology of Art Materials class. I wanted my alter to reflect the inner strength I knew was buried under doubt and fear. Before creating the altar I sat and meditated on what or who I wanted to honor, and what I hoped to manifest. It came to me that I wanted my sacred personal altar to evoke a feeling of fierceness and confidence toward the challenges as well as everyday living. I chose red to represent an intense feminine force, or as I later reflected, “A bad*ss bitch who can handle her sh*t.”
The red filled me with a sense of potency, courage, and order. The denseness of the red roses and winding paths created a satisfying identification of ownership and a safe have to refill my power. My red altar space has been a daily reminder of my inner strength and ability. It has become an active part of my daily routine as well as my creative and and intrapersonal rituals. The meditation, reflecting, and building of my alter has in itself been a healing ritual. The final product (which I continue adorning because I am a work in progress) is the physical manifestation of my ongoing personal journey.
Selfies for a healthy selfhood
Vivienne McMaster is a Vancouver based photographer with a a gift for capturing self-love over self-criticism through self photographer. She offers a plethora of online courses that help you refocus and step into your very own journey of self-compassion. I experienced her 10 day Beloved Beginnings course and came away with a newfound and much needed self appreciation and celebration. Thank you Vivienne!
All too often I focus on the negative aspects of my body. For instance, my hands shake, sometimes they outright tremble, and it is extremely noticeable to others. When I get my morning coffee, I need to use two hands or it goes splashing all over the counter. I have not been able to draw a straight line for years. As teacher I was very self conscious of this; I felt it made me look rattled, weak, and unwell. I worried about future clients seeing my hand quake and losing credibility. For all these reasons I chose to to honor my hands, shakes and all.
In the Spring of 2016 I took my very first ceramics class. It was an amazing experience. My first knee jerk reflex was to fear this new, precision based art form but then I said, "hush. . . " Let this class be a continuing stepping stone in the art as therapy path. So I released a long breath and decided to follow the clay instead of fight it. And, man, I am so glad I did!
For our final project we were tasked to create a narrative collection the spoke to something personal and important . For me, I was knee deep in my quest for physical self-love and acceptance project. I spoke with my therapist about tapping into my bad *ss and felt moved to create a woman being one with the crashing waves around her. To that she exclaimed, "Yemaya!"
The Goddess Yemaya is said to be the great mother of the 7 Seas and of Unconditional (self) Love. She is as maternal and nurturing as she is fierce, clever, and brave. as she guides us to remain the Sovereign of our lives as we navigate the deep ocean of unconditional self-love.nd there. Surrender. That doesn’t mean give up. It means allowing yourself to drift on your feelings.
What better goddess to call upon for help with self love and acceptance!
Today I woke and said a little prayer for me
:::I got ya:::
digital collage, photoshop