Voyaging Part Two

I used to be 50.

“Fifty” could be a song title like “Seventeen” was by Sharon Von Etten.

I’m getting older and thinking of what I want to leave behind as a legacy to define my life’s work.

I will carry with me as a voyager on earth all the days of my life the message that everyone’s doing the best we can in whatever guise recovery comes to us.

I’ve witnessed how a person’s struggle can be hard and brave when they’re hanging on with all they’ve got.

We are all tasked with having empathy, because everyone we meet is facing a battle.

What you and I bring back from our voyages can cheer on the others coming after us.

The rowing towards wellness should be encouraged.

Ultimately, you and I need to have compassion for ourselves and others.

We’re voyagers on this sea.

I’m shooting towards 60. This impacts my thinking. We’re all of us if we’re lucky going to turn 60 someday.

Why spend one minute of our long lives judging and hating each other.

Love and forgiveness are the oars.

Each “souvenir” we bring back from our travels becomes a part of who we are.

We share what we’ve learned from other people and other cultures.

That is the ultimate purpose of voyaging: to come together as human beings living on earth to explore our humanity.

Voyaging Part One

The postcard shown above I hand-fashioned in the Creativity Lab at the Museum of Modern Art / MoMa. It took me about 15 minutes to choose the elements of the composition.

“Today I tried” reminded me of when I was the Health Guide at the HealthCentral schizophrenia website.

There the editorial team wrote: “The only real failure is the failure to try.”

That’s audacious telling people living with SZ this. Only:

Trying can be as simple as getting out of bed.

Or cooking yourself a meal. Or taking a shower.

It’s the effort that counts not the outcome.

Michael Jordan is quoted too:

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.”

This is the viaduct in recovery as I see it: to try, to risk, to fail, and to try again.

To understand that life is to be lived “one second at a time” as we do what it takes to live well in recovery.

For what is recovery if not an act of courage to continue?

Read your 12-Step books. Go for a walk in the neighborhood. Call a friend on the telephone. Paint or sketch.

Engage in healing modalities like these and other habits.

As long as you try, as long as you give something your best shot, there can be no shame if it doesn’t work out.

In the next blog entry I’ll write more about the idea of voyaging.

The Healing Power of Choosing Your Identity

Goldie

In December 2019 I decided to identify as an Artist.

My reinvention as an Artist could empower you to live boldly as the one and only you.

That’s because as I found out your personality is your jet fuel.

You have the right as a human being to choose your identity and embrace your individuality. So many beautiful expressions of humanity exist in everyone living on earth.

Maybe you identify in a non-binary way. I can relate to individuals who were told to undergo conversion therapy. It’s a relief when you can finally live out loud as who you are.

Repressing your feelings can cause ill health. Artists are creative souls whose emotional energy has the power to transmit a healing vibe.  

Engaging in self-expression was the number-one habit I used in recovery to achieve my goals. Acting true to yourself sounds like a cliché. That’s because it’s true. Your personality is your jet fuel.

My Artist’s Statement is framed thus: I act as a Chief Joy Officer to create things of beauty to share with others to make them feel good.

The photo above is of a painting I created in 2018. You show up to an art studio. Upbeat music plays on the sound system. An instructor guides you through painting on canvas with a theme. The night’s theme was Golden Goddess.

Yes, I am an Artist. Who are you?