Mornings have been a real struggle for me lately. And while I've been trying to focus on the positive and write each day in my newly formed gratitude journal, I just can't seem to approach my morning calmly in any sense of the word. Be prepared for #firstworldproblems at it's finest. I'm not proud, it just is what it is. But there's some DIY artwork involved, so fair trade off right?
It starts with Luna's low whines and sighs around 5:00am that force my mind awake despite my body's wish to stay snuggled among the blankets. I slowly un-hinge the baby gate to the living room, and though still mustering up the strength to move my limbs, I attempt to barricade her unrelenting 60 lbs from barreling me over, soaring through the hallway and landing tongue-first onto a sleeping Rob's face. I am clearly not always successful with this one.
Don't let that sweet, calm, face fool you.
I take her for a walk, and try to enjoy the feel of waking up outside with the sun on my face and the grass between my toes.
Until a villainous bunny appears among the grass.
Luna's head turns abruptly. Her eyes narrow. The leash is tense. Hearts beating, minds focused, intent on not breaking visual contact - these two are ready for a showdown. The wicked creature shifts in the grass. All hell breaks loose.
Luna. loses. her. shit.
Working on her training, I attempt to walk backwards a minimum of 5 steps, and re-approach the bunny. We do this multiple times until Luna calms down (almost never) or until the bunny dashes away in fear (almost always).
We get inside, and it's feeding time. Do I live in a zoo, you ask? It sure feels that way. Phoenix, awake now from all the commotion of the morning, meows pitifully (and, no exaggeration, non-stop) until breakfast is served. Said breakfast is prepared for all three minions while I also try to keep Dali from antagonizing Luna, and further, keep Luna from lunging after Dali. Growling, possible scratching, me saying "NO" and "LEAVE IT" as harshly as I can in a quiet voice - the madness ensues until those bowls hit the floor.
This seems trivial, but for me, it's not. All of this commotion and anxiety before I even have a cup of coffee (much less a glass of water). I wake up each morning with my nervous system ready to be shot into oblivion, and that is just not working for me. Women with children, I APPLAUD YOU. I'm serious - I don't know how you start every day with so much willpower driven into your energy. Hats off ladies, hats off.
However, I am 100% solution-oriented. And although the above rant was necessary for me (it's cathartic - we all need moments like this to find release), I needed to get it out, be done with it, and think of ways to change how my mornings operate. And so, this calming painting was born.
I created this painting for my bathroom, as a reminder to myself, to slow down. These are the first images I'll see every morning, telling me to just breathe in, and breathe out. Take a breath. Take a beat. Nothing is so urgent that there isn't time for this.
There's no tutorial for this one, because I was a pretty "in the zone" during the creation phase, but basically my dear friend Anna sketched the lettering for me, and after running over that with black acrylic paint, I created the surrounding area.
I mixed blues and deep greens, going darker towards the edges of the canvas, and adding white sponging near the words to give it that "ocean wave" vibe. Anna also taught me to add a little water to the black acrylic paint for the lettering - the silky consistency allows for easier brush strokes without the risk of chunky paint clumps.
My plan is to take in these images each morning, take a "good morning world" breath in, and let it all out. I'm leaving a glass on my bathroom counter purely so that I can drink a full glass of water before heading out into the Danger Zone. I plan to make room for a few minutes to wash my face despite Luna's beckoning whine for me to come play, and allow myself to wake up first so that I can handle the chaos with strength and at least a small semblance of alertness.
If you need a gentle reminder to do the same, this is a great art project for you. Or if you're a bad-ass morning person with a nervous system of steel and the energy of a Jack Russell terrier, but you just enjoy creating beautiful things, then this is also for you ;)