I am thinking that I will change my posting style on this blog a bit—to write smaller pieces, largely thoughts and vignettes from my daily life, share peaks into my art journal like the one above, and, perhaps, to post more frequently. This week, I’d like to share with you a collection of these.
On Monday, my mother and I were at Hobby Lobby and saw a sign that read:
I said, “That’s what I want to be right now.” She replied, “I was just thinking the same thing.”
On Tuesday, I was going through a journal I wrote when I was in Ireland and Scotland for two weeks back in 2010. I love the funny little things it reminded me of, like the Irish tour guide saying to us in regard to seatbelt wearing “It’s compulsory, but it’s your choice.” Also, that the Australians on the tour started to call me DD, short for Deadly Diana (which, if you know how mild mannered I usually am, is pretty funny).
It got me thinking about the different nicknames I have acquired over the years. In my childhood, Dizzy Diana (all too true, I experienced a lot of vertigo) and Doctor Diana (you had to be there), compliments of my sisters. Sneaky Pete from a teacher in the fourth grade (I think because she thought I was cute? Still curious about that one). Princess D from my friends in college (they had fun imploring me to “let down my hair”). Other than my given name, I am now most often called Nana (a mash-up of Aunt Diana)—this by my nieces and nephew and to the utter confusion of people who think of Nana as another term for Grandma.
I recently started the free daily yoga challenge on doyogawithme.com and am really enjoying the beginners’ practices even though I’ve been doing yoga on and off for some 15 years. They are slow and gentle classes that don’t cause me any muscle ache from exertion the next day, so they are perfect for me right now as I am on a self-nurturing-take-things-slow kick right now. During one of the classes, the teacher encouraged us to feel a sense of ahimsa (a Sanskrit-derived word meaning non-violence) toward ourselves, to demur from self-criticism and negative self-talk.
I was amazed to discover that, after years of attempting to practice self-compassion, in that moment, I still felt an aversion to such a thing. I felt, on some level, I didn’t really deserve my kindness. I was astounded, though I probably shouldn’t have been. But, I will keep trying. It seems to be the only way forward. I have recommitted myself to quelling the battles beneath this skin, amid the walls of this skull. No doubt, I will fall off the wagon yet again and find reason to take up arms against myself, but I will keep trying, keep doing, because it is the only way to heal myself and the only way to help save the world.
So that was some of my week. What are you thinking about? Do you want to be wild and free, too? What nicknames have you had? How is your struggle with self-violence going? I’d also love to hear what you think about my new format. Have a lovely day and thanks for reading! 🙂