A Summer Sabbatical, Fibromyalgia and Stillness

This Spring I decided to take a  Summer sabbatical from – writing, over-efforting, convincing, pushing – doing anything that zapped the precious bits of energy I had remaining in my body.

My intuition to shut down a lot of things not working for me and focus on self care was spot on. Just a few weeks later I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

For those of you who don’t know or maybe have been misinformed, Fibromyalgia is a complex central nervous system disorder, causing chronic pain and fatigue (among many other things) that affects an estimated 5 million Americans. While it occurs most often in women, it strikes men and children, and all ethnic backgrounds.

It has been a relief to FINALLY know what is going on with my body as I have been struggling with pain and massive fatigue for over 6 years now.

For many of those years, I pushed myself to make things happen. I facilitated workshops, traveled and did what felt like pushing a massive boulder up a hill, trying to maintain my “normal” life as much as possible. Now that I know what’s going on, I see how the pushing – so intricately ingrained in our culture – only made things worse.

I am not writing this for sympathy or attention, only to raise awareness and to share how I am choosing to work with this in the studio and in the unfolding of my own creative self-discovery.

I hope by sharing, others will do the same and by doing so, some of the shame we’ve cultivated as a society, around this and other invisible diseases, will begin to lessen.

My life has changed dramatically… but it doesn’t have to end. I am working on living much differently now, and that includes how I will be facilitating.

I will be letting go of process painting classes indefinitely. However, that doesn’t mean I have stopped creating or facilitating – things are just shifting.

I will be offering HeART Journaling from my home studio on Friday mornings with an option to join online.

I will continue to be part of The Walkabout and Rise and Shine  ( online options) as these things are HELPING me to stay grounded and connected to my center as well as giving me a sense of community, even when I can’t leave the house.

I probably won’t be writing as much because it definitely takes its toll on my body, so I may be sharing more images and less words.

I will be cultivating more stillness in my life and look forward to seeing where it takes me. And I welcome the chance to work with others wanting to creatively connect to their own stillness.

Sending Much Love and Endless Gratitude,
Steph

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