For the past few years, I have been meditating and letting a word be my intention for the year to come. In 2014, it was Expand. In 2015, it was Devotion.
For 2016, my guiding word had let itself known for quite a while. I had several months to let it sink in, to be sure it was it. And it is.
Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, embodied, or realised. “Praxis” may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas.
This year has been specifically filled with ups and downs. And it was to the point where, I have been several times on the edge of quitting making art. I did not want to step into my Studio, to hear about paint or anything that would have to do with creativity. I have been pretty quiet about it because I did not want anyone trying to influence me one way or another, I wanted it to be my choice. And mine alone.
I needed to bring the joy back to painting, and to push the pressure I was putting on my shoulders away. This is when Devotion kicked in. You would find me in my Studio in the early hours on the weekends (always the first one awake). I would take these couple of hours to just enjoy getting messy. For me. Not in the goal of selling or pleasing the crowd. Painting what was meaningful for me, what I needed the most. Going deeper and deeper in how I wanted to feel when in my creative space. I would start by smudging myself and my space with some Sage. Lighting a candle or two. Dab some Devotion oil on my wrist, and lose myself into it.
Devotion was not meant to appear only in my creative practice, though. And I needed to devote time to heal my body. To listen to it more closely. Living with fibromyalgia, an all new level of “normal” had to appear, adjustments needed to be made. Knowing it is okay to cope with a hot bath, at any time of the day. Knowing it is okay to change my diet and therefore not eat exactly as the rest of the family. Knowing it is okay to have to say “no” to a date or an event.
Several times in 2015, I came close to give it all up. I was fed up with the way going to the Studio was making me feel *after*. Sharing, trying to sell, to come up with classes ideas, figure everything out. For weeks at a time I did not go to touch my paintbrushes once. It happened more than once… I felt shattered, crushed by the weight of not meeting the simple goals I was setting for myself. Comparison came to keep me company now and then as well, which as you probably know is baaaaaaad for your heart. I guess I lossed track of the very first reasons why I actually created to begin with. The inception, the fire, the passion, the healing. So Devotion put me back, one morning after another, one brushstroke after the other. And today, if I think of taking a part-time job somewhere, it is for very different reasons than if I had thrown the towel last year…
Do you have a word that guides you ? How did it help you ?