MAY I have a moment of your time? I’m pretty sure unless you live under a rock, you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As someone that works very hard on my mental health, I almost feel like it’s a month of celebration. It makes me happy that it feels normal to talk about this now, that we can share our struggles and mental health journey with so much more freedom than in the past.
I know that everyone’s journey is different, and there is no one size fits all formula for staying healthy mentally. In the same way not everyone’s body needs the same diet or fitness plan. But, for me, these are some of the things that have helped me or that I’ve noticed about how I feel.
DAILY attention is important. Just like you can’t drink a smoothie and instantly be healthy, mental health requires daily attention. Personally, I find it very helpful to start my days with some peaceful routines, I enjoy the process of brewing my French press coffee, and then walking barefoot through my garden while I listen to the birds and just observe what’s growing. I need moments of calm and reflection. Constant running and racing makes me feel very anxious, so even on busy days I try to find a way to decompress and just breathe for a bit.
MUSIC plays a huge part in my mental health. It’s like my personal movie soundtrack. Sad music allows me to process some feelings that sometimes get stuck or locked up when I feel like I can’t deal with something. Calm music soothes my soul and helps me lessen my anxiety. And happy music is a must to keep my mood lifted. Music has always been a tremendous part of my creative process. I’ve always got something playing while I’m creating.
CONNECTION is also so important for me. Although I really enjoy my quiet and crave isolation, connection on a deep level gives me such energy. Conversations with people about their hopes and dreams, passions, and struggles feed my soul. It totally makes my day when one of you will reach out and connect with my art or a post I’ve put up. When you share with me your real moments, things you’re excited about, or struggling with, and finding ways to meet those challenges, this means so, so much.
CREATING, having an outlet for my emotions is so key to my staying happy. Sometimes words won’t work for me, and that’s when my creative process kicks in. With color, I can say things that words just aren’t enough for. Both the dark things and the bright things.
So now, I introduce you to my newest series, WAVES of REFRACTED LIGHT. Three paintings: Silver Linings, Our Own Rainbows, and The Dreamer.
I created these, especially for a World Ocean’s Day exhibit with the Taras Oceanographic Foundation. I wanted to create something to celebrate my love for my ocean home, but also make something that simply sparked happiness and joy in my soul. I found myself returning to childhood memories of when I first dreamed of being an artist, around the age of 7 I remember thinking that would be the most amazing thing I could ever imagine, to be an artist professionally, while listening to my favorite muppet record with Rainbow Connection on repeat (My little brother later broke that record, an offense I still hold over him to this day).
The past 3 months of creating these pieces each time I’ve touched this canvas I’ve just felt pure happiness; each layer was another happy thought. I hope that you will smile when you look at them and that they may spark joy in you as well. We need smiles, even in sadness. So if you are struggling with your bigger picture happiness, turn to the small things. Find something that can, just for a moment, remind you of the beauty in life
XOXOXO with all the sparkles and rainbows,
Join me June 9th for the World Oceans Day Art Exhibit and Ocean of Notes Concert