From the Ashes...
Updated: May 8
The other night I watched Frida, the movie about Frida Kahlo, one of Mexico's greatest artists who began painting after being severely injured in a bus accident in 1925. I was struck by how none of us would have known her name today if it were not for that accident. If her back had not been broken, and the chronic pain that followed, she would have completed medical school and lived a normal life, dabbling in art as a hobby and making her children laugh with her vivacious nature.
That accident shifted everything. Including art history. She laid in that hospital bed and painted across her body cast. In the slow road to recovery she painted and painted and painted our her pain. When she fell in love with Diego Rivera and married him four years after the accident, she painted the sorrow of her miscarriage and inability to carry a child due to the damage to her body. She painted the frustrations of an unfaithful partner and her self portraits help us see our own shadows. We know the name Frida Kahlo and her famous unibrow because of her pain.
I used to speak about the tortured artist being some limiting belief myth that hindered artists from prospering in every area of their lives. I wanted to believe it possible, that remarkable art could be created without sorrow or dark nights of the soul. But yet, when I look over my greatest works from over the years, they were all born out of struggle. The ones that tell a story, the ones that people do a double take and linger with my strokes...they cost me the most. My vibrant "happy" works have roots and skills that were forged in fire. Heck, even Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse out of revenge. "All great art comes from pain", is how Christopher Zara describes it in his book Tortured Artists. You can read his blog about it on Huff Post.
It's difficult to write when in the eye of the storm and yet it seems like one of the most vital tools to help pull ones soul through to the other side. We want to grow and evolve and become these unforgettable people that mattered on this planet and yet we resist the Universe when she offers us the gift of pain. We resist and ask for any other form of learning, when sometimes it is the most powerful and necessary one available. The areas I can speak with confidence and depth are the areas in which I have fought through hell to survive and come out the other side. And the same goes for you. So why do we keep resisting this gift?
For those of you who have followed me on social media in the past 3 years would probably know my personal life to some degree as I have shared with gratitude the journey of coming out of 20 years in the closet and finding love with an incredible woman. Many applauded and called me brave for choosing my truth and living it. I won't mention what "the others" said, they don't deserve the attention. Anyway, the deep and undeniable connection I found to this remarkable soul turned my entire world around. She has taught me more about myself, people, relationships, trauma, life, and spirituality than all the podcasts, books, and conversations I have ever experienced...combined.
Sometimes life doesn't make sense and is far messier than you imagined possible. At the end of April this year we had the toughest conversation we have ever had... and bravely admitted to ourselves and each other that despite having just married 5 months prior...our journey together as a couple had ended. Alright, so if you know me I am a big soft lovo and she was the one who had the balls to say the authentic truth first. We were able to recognise the hundreds of pebbles the Universe had thrown at us from the beginning that showed us we had a significant role to play in each others' lives, but that it did not include marriage.
How many decisions do we make in life based on fear? Fear and hesitation of our inner voice, our intuition, opinion of others, and the list goes on. Yes, we could have tried to make it work. We could have tried to force something that wasn't flowing and hadn't flowed well from the beginning, rather we took a leap towards our own individual selves. We could of stayed together for the sake of the kids as our connection as a family unit was a force to be reckoned with...or from fear of the opinions of society and friends. Yet that would be blatantly against everything we desired to impart within our children, to live authentically and honestly no matter the cost. So we chose to hold each other... cry our eyes out, and then lovingly, respectfully, and with gratitude for the lessons learned...say goodbye.
I'm not gonna lie. The past three months have been hard AF. A rollercoaster of emotions as in one moment I am paralysed by tears, and the next, my higher self perceives with gratitude my past, present and glimpses of the future. Up. Down. Up. Down. Like a freakin' yo-yo. Life. Turning 40 and single at the same time was not something I ever saw coming. Helping load a moving truck and watch my world reset into a video game I had never seen before was terrifying. Seeing the emptiness of my room and wondering how I was going to ever fill it (metaphorically speaking) was overwhelming...and a little bit exciting too.
I had been asking the Universe to help me figure out who the hell I was and grow as an individual. You can only imagine how much time it takes to rewire 38 years of archaic and corrupt brainwashing, that left me without a voice, opinion, or mind of my own. There is only so much we can learn from others. Source in her beautiful wisdom, removed everything from me this year and said, "ok then, it's time."
Time to learn how to trust myself. Time to heal years upon years of suppressed pain, trauma and anger. (It's a process)...Time to grow the fuck up and find my voice in a way I never thought possible. Time to lead myself...and the hardest...to love myself without judgment or conditions. Time to see all my shadows without shame or guilt and speak to them with compassion and light. Time to see my divinity and not be ashamed or afraid of its radiance.
Maybe you are in my shoes in some form or another. Confused and scared, anger or hurt. Whether by mass media and the government, your work or lack thereof, relationship struggles, parenting dramas, loss, etc. Do you distract yourself from the pain and numb it with alcohol, drugs, social media, food, or whatever your unhelpful self-soother of choice is...how is that working for you? It's a bandaid and you know that doesn't work on a haemorrhage. So just breathe with me. Inhale. Exhale. We got this. We can do hard things. We are the creators of our lives and we can survive this storm and help others through theirs. We are ALL CONNECTED. Your pain...is my pain...your victories are my own celebrations. As I raise my vibrations, I unconsciously raise the earths...and therefore yours...we are all in this together.
As I allow myself to lay in bed like Frida, covered in a body cast of pain in this bus wreck of life, I will paint. I will paint my visions and they will help heal the earth. I will write my story, and it will make a difference in lives I have never known. I will unearth the divine within me that has been buried under the rumble of religion. I will sing my DNA and it will harmonise with yours.
So lift up your head and let go of your need and desire to control an outcome. Let go of final destinations. Be here...now. Listen to your body. Listen to your soul. Listen to your spirit. Listen to Gaia. They are all speaking...and teaching and leading you home. See you there.