Oh, hey, kids! It’s Friday!
Anddddd the last day of June for 2017. How did this month go by so fast? I normally don’t do this, but for some reason, when I woke up last Sunday, I quickly realized it was the last week of the month and was reminded of the intentions I had set on June 1st.
To say this month has been one of extreme growth is an understatement. I have never felt more myself and am beyond grateful to have come this far. I started off the month with a small set of goals and intentions for how I wanted to live in this moment of time.
Be present and enjoy the ones you’re with.
Paint like crazy.
Write just as much.
Spend time with friends.
Live in gratitude for where you are right now in your life.
Okay, so these seem a little bit bigger than “small” intentions, but I was surprised that not only did I keep to these goals, but I also challenged myself to go beyond them. Some of them I did not reach just yet, and that’s okay. I have made great strides towards those goals, and I’m more than okay. In fact, the fear that used to dominate my thoughts is now just a pesky voice that pops up to say hello now and then.
This past month, I realized that as good as it is to set goals, you have to work with the Universe, not against it. You can plan all you want, but if it’s not through love, you’re resisting the Universe. You have to live in love and gratitude, rather than fear and anxiety. Yes, I did things that brought out some very uncomfortable things from my past and pushed me beyond my safe place. But in doing so, I was able to grow into the Britt I was meant to be rather than one who lives within the bounds of my past and society’s expectations. Keep in mind, I’m still growing. But I’m liking who I’m growing to be a lot more than I did six months ago.
This past month, not only did I get to spend time with people whose friendships mean the world to me (looking at you, Emilie, Sarah, and Sky), but I also made amazing new friends (oh hey, Sarah, Mich, and Shara)- something I had forgotten how to do since my freshman year of college. I attended events in which I had to walk up to people and say, “Hey, I’m Britt, what’s your name?” gearing up for the awkward handshake and small talk. The old voice in my head would come up whispering, Ugh, you’re so weird, Brittany, why did you say that? They probably think you’re a freak, why do you even do this stuff?
But somewhere deep down, I found the strength to push that voice aside and embrace the moment fully. I am here, I am proud of who I am, and I love myself. Coming from someone who has spent the last 22 years of her life telling herself how unworthy she is, annoying, a burden, etc., this was pretty monumental. I haven’t felt comfortable making new friends in years, and now I find myself so excited to meet people from this wonderful community and beyond, as well as nurture the friendships I’ve made from years prior. I finally feel that I’m a good person and I deserve to have friends that mirror those same values.
It took a while to get there. Meditation has played a big role in that, though. I started my meditation practice officially in April, but since the beginning of this month, it really has shifted to be a daily practice. Now, I need my time sitting in the field just as much as I need to pound the pavement on a run. Both are therapeutic, but in different respects. Both are forms of self-love, but present themselves in unique ways.
This month, I’ve really connected with the Universe. I’ve shifted how I view my reality from fear and self-doubt and judgment to excitement and love and joy. Not only is it much easier and feels so much better to live from this state, but it also helps to actually manifest what you want in your life. When you send out vibrations of happiness, gratitude, and love, you open yourself up to receive those same vibrations. But to do so, I had to let go of the stories I used to tell myself. I had to own up to the negativity that I was still holding onto and honor that this was a process.
That was most notable in the art that I created this month. For years, I had a specific idea of who I was as an artist. I was precise, diligent, and could render a scene immaculately on paper or canvas. Over these past few months, I’ve been working with my teacher to break those conceptions and to own my voice as a painter. My teacher once told me that in her opinion (and I agree with this), God already made the world we live in perfect. Why try to recreate that? So I started to paint with emotion. While I’m still sticking with landscapes and figures, I’m working more from memory and how I feel when I’m there.
I’d be lying if I said this was easy. Letting go of a story you’ve told yourself since birth is pretty damn hard. It must be precise. No, it doesn’t look like that. You’re so not talented, why do you even try? Where are you going with this? But in painting through the difficult moments, the moments of uncertainty, unfamiliarity, and unease, I trusted the Universe and myself that I would find my way on the canvas, and I did. It’s just like when I go for a run. There are miles that just feel like hell and then all of the sudden- poof– I hit that runner’s high and I’m golden. Okay, now I’m making it sound easy, but once you get the hang of it, I really do think it is!
And so, with all of these changes, both external and internal, I need to honor what I’ve done and sit in gratitude for where I am. I’ve let go of friendships that were no longer serving me and opened myself up to the ones I want to nurture and the new ones to come. I don’t sit in the negative anymore, but rather shift my mindset to what feels good. I now feel confident in myself as a person when I’m doing what I love. And I’m not ashamed of who I am anymore.
So I welcome July with gratitude and excitement as to what’s to come. I want to solidify all that I’ve worked to change this past month and enjoy where I am.
Let’s make July another good one. Summer, I’m ready for ya.