It has been a long time since I wrote a post. This year turned out to be pretty intense, starting with the war in my home land Ukraine and continuing with me fighting off the complications after Covid… and there has been so much going on in between.
I am glad that regardless of everything that has been happening, I found time to paint a few pieces of artwork this year. Definitely it has been the lowest in art production for me but I am looking forward to painting again very soon. I have so many unfinished projects and even some commissions sitting on my desk.
My emotions have been put through quite a few tests and I can only tell you that I have learned a lot, I am glad it is all over now, and I am so happy to be better equipped if I ever have to face similar challenges.
Going through so much at once, caused me to fall into a period of inspirational block – artistic block. Apparently, these are more common than I thought. These blocks feel terrible. I felt unmotivated, lost, confused, “not-good-enough”, not ready at all to pick up a brush and paint. Even though it seems like this should be the perfect time to paint or create, it definitely was not for me. The “not-good-enough” part is the strongest of them all to ruin the desire to create, participate, or accomplish anything. I knew that this part in me came from the pain I was feeling knowing the war was raging in my beautiful Ukraine where my family is, while I am here in a safe place not able to do anything to help. Just the fact of me being safe here and them being there NOT safe, felt terrible and heartbreaking. I did not know why this feeling was so strong in me and how to make it feel OK again.
Rage and helplessness took over me. At first, I put those feelings onto the canvases, but very quickly I felt this was not enough. So I put together a letter with names of Ukrainians in Ukraine pleading to NATO to close the sky over Ukraine. Of course now, we all know that the sky was not closed but at least this letter gave people, who gave their names for my letter, a hope and motivation to keep going. And I felt hopeful with every single one of them. Then, I raised money, bought necessary in Ukraine products and sent them to Ukraine. I wanted to raise more money so I started a bigger art project but my work was abruptly stopped by Life’s demanding challenges. Without going into details, I would say that it felt as if my whole being went through a complete reorganization of thoughts, feelings, priorities, ideas, and beliefs. I feel so strong now for being able to keep going regardless of those challenges.
In August, I started a job in one of Hamilton’s Settlement organizations as a Settlement Counsellor for Ukrainian newcomers. The war has opened a void inside of me that was so painful to carry. This job gave me an incredible sense of emotional stability and fulfillment as now I am able to support people escaping the war in Ukraine. My pride for Ukraine and its people is stronger than it has ever been and I am so honoured to do this supporting job.
After going through all this reorganization, I am finally feeling my new SELF is emerging. It is incredible and scary at the same time but, I guess, this is how we grow in Life.
Now that I am recovering from Covid and my job is finally starting to feel more like home, I know I am ready, or rather will be ready very soon, to get back to painting. It is a warm tingle inside my chest that I always feel before being inspired. I love that feeling as it helps me to heal from anything and everything. This article IS my first step towards the healing and progress towards “New”. This is my New Charge. I am ready to move on.
Oh, what a year it has been so far. I know we all feel overwhelmed sometimes. Other times, more than ever. Do you have strategies to help you deal with roller-coasters of Life? What do you do to make yourself feel better?
For me, I have discovered, slowing down and remembering to take care of myself first is what helps me to cope and get through the most difficult times. Also, remembering that I must keep moving! Slowing down does not mean stopping or ending. Slowing down is to look around closely, to understand and learn about the situation that causes the distress. But continuing moving almost like on tip-toes, regulating your breathing, listening to your heartbeat and cutting away all of “ifs” and “should haves” is one of the fundamental elements of staying on top of the challenges. It is not easy – it is difficult and, at times, seems impossible…. but moving forward is always the only way. This is how I survived this year’s “growth” challenges and how I recognized that there is still so much unknown ahead. I am ready.
I hope that you are remembering to give yourself a credit for a wonderful job you do every single day no matter how small or big. I feel that every single one of us can write a book of stories how difficulties were overcome and progress was achieved. But also a book about things that we feel have destroyed us. No matter what book you would feel more inclined to write, remember that those difficult times have shaped you and built you to see your Life clearer, from different perspective, more vibrant, maybe more cruel, but also more needing you and your help to survive. For as long as you can, give your knowledge and expertise to those who need it around you. Share your story – it might save someone’s Life. Be kind! Always BE KIND. So, when you find yourself needing help to move on, remember that there are others around you seeking the same. Maybe by helping each other Life can move on a little bit more easier, a little bit more peaceful and creative. By finishing reading this article, you have helped me as well – now you know a little bit more about my thoughts and struggles. And it might have not helped you in the way you thought it could, but I am sure it has left you thinking about your own Life and its story. So… where are you going from here? Are you ready for the new challenges? Or are you slowing down to heal for a little bit? Take your time. I am wishing you to always remember to slow down when needed and get inspired to keep going to a better “YOU”.
Thank you for taking your time to read and be with me at this moment. I appreciate it.
Always yours truly,