Nature has an abundance of gifts and lessons for us. And if we are aware and keep our hearts open we are lucky enough to be witness to them.
For my birthday my sweet friend Kate brought me an amazing bunch of peonies, and since then I have been taking photos of them everyday. Noticing how dramatically they change day to day. And also noticing how beautiful they are in each stage; as they begin with their vibrant pink petals in tight buds, to slowly opening and becoming more fragile while loosing some color, and eventually releasing their pale petals altogether.
Peonies are my favorite flowers because they go through the most change (I also think of them as the artist flower, as they have been the muse of so many great painters from Latour to Manet). They are in a constant state of transformation. And it is so dramatic and so beautiful to watch, and I always think of it as such a good reminder for me in my life.
This past weekend I participated in two workshops that focused on grief. One at the Iyengar Institute called Conscious Grieving, and an amazing one lead by my dear friend Ann Faison, called Drawing on Grief. Since my mum passed away I have been fascinated by this topic, and love learning and talking about it. And my art is all about transformation, and the intensity of grief: the complicated relationship of intense pain and sadness, as well as intense joy and love. And how beautiful it can all be.
I was around two amazing and brave groups of people this weekend who have all lost someone close to them in their life. As I listened to their stories it got me thinking about how grateful I am that the experience of my mum's passing was so profoundly beautiful. I won't even try to describe it here, and now... but will just say that being witness to her death was the most magical moment of my life, and changed me forever in such a radical way. And I am so grateful for that.
It was so unexpectedly beautiful, and I had feared it for many years, and I think that because of this it taught me to trust. Trust the universe. That it has a greater plan for me than I could ever imagine.
And now I am so grateful for my grief, it has been an amazing teacher to me.
I know everyone needs to grieve differently. And today after Ann's workshop, on my drive home I just felt my heart open up, and somehow was able to have even more gratitude for the healing breathwork that both Ann and I have learned from David Elliott. It has been something in my life that allows me to heal and grow in such an exciting way. Ann is the one that introduced me to David years and years ago, and now I am doing the Healer Trainings with him. And I feel very lucky to have found a practice and way of life that resonates with me. I am eternally grateful for that.
And, though I am still getting comfortable with saying this, I am learning to be a healer in my own way.