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I recently participated in an Art Therapy class called “Mothers in Mid-Life”. The class was geared for women transitioning from the parenting years to another chapter, one where find ourselves we gaining independence as our kids become more independent. For some women, including myself, it’s been so long that we’ve worn the parent role, we forget how to use this time for ourselves. The class opened my eyes to emotions I was experiencing, but did not know how to describe or coin a term to. Above all, I was happy to know I was not alone. I met a group of wildly creative and vivacious women. All of us adoring our kids, but ready to unleash the tether of allowing ourselves to be on-call for all their needs, more than giving ourselves the gifts of realizing our own dreams. How do we do both?
During class we did a great deal of free writing. Just letting thoughts or the subconisous leave your hand to the paper. Streams of words. I discovered things about myself in these free flowing words, and reconnected with my former self in BC times (Before Child) There are parts of ‘BC’ her I would like back, but I also know I am far more mature, experienced and wise today than I was back then.
I’ve begun to incorporate free writing as part ritual in the studio. Today, I let the words flow about why horses and what do they mean to me. I’ve been asked so many times over the years Why Horses? Meaning why do you paint horses instead of people or landscapes or…blah, blah..if you are a fellow horse artist, you know exactly the question and how often you’ve heard it! As usual the words surprised me, they were equally weighted between pure curiosity about their ridiculous beauty and amazing people I’ve met over the years, contrasted by utterly horrible experiences I’ve had with the animal and some rather unscrupulous horse people. Much like parenting it has not been all roses and rainbows, there were hard times too, but I still love them dearly and they continue to capture my imagination and drive my passion to this day, even after all these years.