Friday, August 21, 2009

TAW: Recovering a Sense of Safety

This morning while writing my Morning Pages, I realized that the question, "What makes you feel safe?" had me absolutely bamboozled. Holy crap, I had no idea what makes me feel safe.

First, the OCD list: having a plan, feeling in control, feeling like I'm organized, CLEANING. Over the past couple of years I've realized that when my sense of security feels threatened, I clean. Usually the kitchen.

Then, the rational list: knowing I have food & shelter. Enough money to pay the bills. Having heat, water, a comfortable bed to sleep in. Stuff like that.

Finally I got down to it. Books. Books are safe place. They have always made me feel safe. Love the feel of books, the smell of books. I don't mind reading favorite books over and over again, they are like old friends. They are an escape to another time and place. Books welcome me, have always been there for me, they are unconditionally loving friends.

So are cats. I've always had a cat in my life, except for when I was in college, living in the dorms & apartments that didn't allow pets. I hated that. When we moved to Colorado, I made sure our apartment allowed cats. And then we adopted our sweet Claire, and later our Moose-man. Kitties are such good friends. They are warm and soft, they are loving and trusting (once you earn it!); nothing is more calming and creates a feeling of safety & comfort than having a kitty cuddled in your lap, purring away. Kitties are also unconditionally loving friends.

The last item I came up with is rather strange-- it's color. Yes, color! Glorious color. Color makes me feel safe. No white walls for me. I love to surround myself with color. My "studio" (craft room) is purple, my bedroom is filled with spring green and yellow, my living room accented with lots of hunter green. Surrounding myself with color creates a safe, cozy, atmosphere.

And I realized, maybe this love affair with color is why I love polymer clay so much. It comes in a huge rainbow of colors, colors that can be mixed together to get MORE colors. I can put my hands on these colors, work the clay, make it pliant and smooth, shape it and create with it. Working with the clay is an exercise, a meditation in color; and for me, nothing could be better. Huge lightbulb moment. No wonder I like working with poly clay so much.

So far, my first week with The Artist's Way has been enlightening. Morning pages have not been so bad, I find I rather like the brain dump before I get started with my day. Its like I put all the worrisome chatter that's in my head down on paper and then I can forget about it and move on the the day ahead of me. It feels time-consuming, but so far, doable.

I haven't done my Artist's Date yet, but I do know exactly what I'm going to do for this week, and I'm soooo looking forward to it.


Vanessa said...

YES! I completely agree about all three, but especially color. I love how it can instantly change your mood, whether it's a stroke of a paintbrush, or, as in your case different colors of clay.

The MP are definitely a big help in just getting up, and pouring over the negative (and positive) thoughts one may have before tackling the day ahead.

Although you haven't decided upon your Artist Date, I hope you and your artist child can reconnect - these were always my favorite part of TAW :-)

miss*R said...

my home is very colourful too!
I haven't done my Artist Date yet either, but I have something planned for Monday afternoon.
this morning I didn't get to do my morning pages and feel quite guilty.. but seeing as I didn't sleep all night, I am trying to go easy on myself.

Domestic Witch said...

I'm a cleaner too! Great topic, I have to think on this some more.

Sonny said...

What an incredible post. I really like what you wrote. The artist date took me back at first, but when I did, it was incredibly fun. You can do it too! :)

Garnet said...

Ya know what, I haven't been reading your blog or many other people's blogs as often as I used to. And I am sorry for that! I'll be around more often now that I'm aware of it. I've always enjoyed your posts and many of your commenters, too!


Garnet said...

I enjoyed reading about the evolution of your thoughts regarding what makes you feel safe! I, too, share many of those safety things with you! Especially the color thing. About three years ago I turned one of our spare rooms into "my room" and in doing so I wanted to paint it a shade of purple. It took me about 6 months to pick the right color and when I did I slaped it all over all of the walls and called it a day. Unfortunately, ever since I painted in there, I haven't felt very comfortable retreating to "my room." I've tried reading, writing and napping in there and I just feel so out of place. I recently decided it's the color on the walls that's keeping me away from the room and not feeling safe in there. The purple I chose is too BRIGHT and BOLD for me to settle down in. If we were staying in this house, I'd repaint it a much lighter lavender.
Every wall in our new house is white. This gives me a blank canvas to work on in every room! I intend to get started chooing colors as soon as we're unpacked and settled in. The colors of my rooms, my clothing, my jewelry, everything effects my mood completely. I think there are not only safe colors and not-so-safe colors but also, the shade of those colors can be either/or as well!