Dying to be Born Again: creativity has its downs and ups

I’m awake. It’s heaven knows when in the middle of the night. Oh yes, it’s 3:00AM. I’ve awakened with chest pains…no it’s probably gas, but I grew up in a family of acute awareness of the body and all that might go awry. Every slight hint of disease, malcontent, or drip of mucus was treated with the emotional microscope, my mother’s frustrated knowledge of the medicine she had wanted to practice but got married instead and the subsequent doctor’s stethoscope that soon had its way to my chest or other possibly affected bodily part. They call the practice of medicine a “healing art”. My mom practiced worrying and studying the doctors offices we visited, her own form of “practicing medicine”.

Thump, thump, thump. My heart is, by the way, quite fine. But I do have gas, and, thanks to my mother and probably a gift from some deity I have yet to meet… an inordinate amount of imagination. I, like my mother, at one time, thought of becoming a doctor, but it was a brief thought. Instead I went fishing for salmon in the waters off British Columbia. Did I also mention I briefly thought about being an actor, rock and roll singer and chef? Well, now I have, but I only dabbled in those and actually have studied homeopathy for forty years (wow, really that long? Yes.) I did not become a doctor, or rock singer. Instead I dubbed myself twenty plus plus years ago, “The Healing Artist”. It is undecided whether I’d call myself an “actor” now, even if I have been improv’ing my way through life.

When asked, or when I’m at a speaking gig, I love observing the reactions as I announce my moniker. I get the greatest questions/responses. “What is a healing artist? Are you a doctor? What kind of medicine do you practice? Where did you go to school? Oh, so you’re an art therapist! …My cousin/sister/wife/neighbor is an art therapist. Are you sick when you make art? Did you used to make art but then got ill and couldn’t?…” Yes, there are some who nod their heads knowingly, but are afraid to ask just what the hell I do. Those who really desire to know just what it is I “do” either corner me for a lengthy explanation or make an appointment to work. I prefer the latter, mostly. And no, I’m not going to explain myself here either. Or it least not exactly.

I suppose it’s time I came out of the “healing closet” to kind of explain myself, since its in the wee hours and I have little else to do besides meditate (which I’ve been doing), write this blog and use the toilet to relieve myself of the gas, not all at once, but you can catch my drift.

When I was but a wee lass in the then small but soon to be “Beverly Hills North” town of Encino, California, I used to don tutus and more extravagant costumes, choreographing and performing lavish dance and theatrical numbers in the large carpeted living room of my parent’s Mid Century Modern home. I leaped, spun, crouched, hopped and arabesqued around corners, across the floor, ecstatic to be dancing – it helped me cope with my childhood, which for me was trying, and by the way, after these many years I now believe most childhoods are trying, no matter where or when or with whom we grew up. It’s all part of the “growing up thang”.

As I grew older I played guitar and sang folk, made up songs and entertained at camp and for friends… whoever could endure my wailing, though this was with perfect pitch, I might add. No, I didn’t become a rock n roll or folk star, but I did become a groupie, designing some rocker’s stage wardrobe thus I discovered the visual arts and theatre simultaneously. Clothing design became my fascination for which I studied in Europe and in school here for several years, procuring jobs designing leather sportswear and men’s high fashion until the fates took me to Canada and salmon fishing. Kind of a switch, dontcha think?

Facing death in the high seas made me evaluate my young life as no “nice Jewish Girl” from Encino could do had she stayed in the comfort of her suburbanality. I puked my way around the British Columbian isles like a professional bulimic. Those waters were rough and my pampered ass was petrified, but fish I did, setting out gill nets (they were legal then) and trolling for salmon. It was too soon for me to become the Eco warrior I am now, but it probably laid the ground work for my obsession with saving our oceans and planet for humankind. And on a side note, has anyone discovered the reason we are called “humankind” when often we are not very “kind” to each other?

It’s probably a lengthy study in human behavior to figure out why in God’s name I remained for three fishing seasons before I chose to get a job in the blue jean business in Vancouver. What the hell was going on in my twenty something brain is anyone’s guess. Anyway, I fished, I Puked, I cooked aboard a galley the size of a port-a-potty, I wrote letters, poems and the occasional song and sometimes made love to my captain/boyfriend, until I decided to head back to LA to design clothes again. The Perfect Storm was not for me. Have you ever seen a wall of water the size of the Empire State Building heading toward you? I have. It would make you puke. I did.

I got rerouted on my ten year journey back to LA…the late eighties, a sort of beatnik hippie ballad follows.

Stopped in San Francisco to visit my sister. SNAP.
Met the guy who lived in the other room. TAP. TAP. TAP.
Oh we fell in love and moved in together. SNAP. CLICK. TAP.
Had to get a job. SNAP.
Got married. SNAP. CLICK. TAP.
Quit our jobs. SNAP. SNAP.
Moved to San Jose. Sold horseshoes. SNAP. CLICK. TAP. SNAP. CLICK. TAP.
Got pregnant SNAP. CLICK. WAAA!
Got pregnant Again SNAP. CLICK. TAP. WAAA!
Moved to LA. SNAP. CLICK. TAP. HONK.
Marriage on the rocks. SNAP.
Travelled on business. TAP. TAP. TAP
Got a lover. SNAP.SNAP. SNAP.
Met my teacher. SNAP. CLICK. WOO. TAP. SNAP. CLICK. WOO. TAP.
Bye bye husband. THUD.

You get the picture. Oh yes, there are so many juicy details which could be added to the ballad, but I won’t bore you further, nor will I sing it here today. Besides it may be I have drifted too far from my original intent in writing this piece, which I believe originally was referring to a bad case of gas and an extremely over active imagination.

Caroline Myss, intuitive, guru to many and author, once, or probably a zillion times has said, and please excuse if I paraphrase ever so slightly, “We are the sum total of all our experiences. We hold the memories of these in our bodies, and they can make us REALLY SICK.” I have since discovered, through my often creepy, very creative fascination with well being, Sacred Body Language and Body Electronics courses with Bob Stevens of mastery systems, plus the life-affirming, wise and meaningful support of my teacher (whose name I reveal only to close friends and family) that not only was Ms. Myss’s statement profoundly accurate but also is our agreement to dissolve/transform these memories as paramount to our healing fully, in body, mind, spirit, and especially for me, finding digestive peace and harmony once and for all.

In light of the above statement I have delved deeply into the twists and turns of my many and varied life experiences in order to continue my process of healing the core of my being. This has always not been an easy nor fun exercise and still I choose to make it more so each day. Waking with chest pains could have caused me to call 911, instead I chose to call my inner emergency artist to resolve my acute pain and fear. I asked myself “What is true for me now?” The answer was, “I am here to explore the experience of living in my body now, and currently I have a sensation of pain. The pain is most probably related to my second Christmas with Max being somewhere other than here. I also know that what created me and all there is is divine perfection …that all disease starts with a thought form and I agree to transform with the divine, any thought form into perfection once again.” My tears flowed, I began to write and the pain subsided. I imagined myself more at ease with my process of feeling my feelings even when they scared the crap put of me….then I went to the toilet and emptied my bowels (that might be TMI for you, but that’s good too) and fell back to sleep.

It’s morning now. I feel better than good. In the early hours I could’ve worried I might not see another day, and briefly, I admit, the thought crisis crossed my mind. My mother, who art in heaven, gave me a gift she didn’t know she was giving…the desire to heal myself on all levels, creatively. I cannot teach unless I practice this with myself fully. There’s an art to it, which is why I call myself, The Healing Artist. That’s all you’re getting from me today. Have a good one.

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