Wednesday, April 9, 2014

 FACEBOOK MESSAGE FROM MICHELLE (I don't think she will mind me sharing this)
Michelle Whyte 5:41am Apr 6
Kiaora Kat,

I was clearing out my emails the other day and came across a conversation I had with Gary over a couple of months. Brought a wee tear to my eye. It always brings me right back down to earth feeling humbled and counting my blessings when I think of Gary. It's funny how someone I never met was a bigger part of my journey than some of my good friends! Anyway, respectively it got me thinking of you.

I hope all's well with you and your family. I guess you'll be coming in to winter now. Hope you had a good summer and life is treating you well.

I have been thinking about how to start my blog post this month. It’s a bit late as I have had my head in starting Arts therapy and working out how to manage. Funny how we can lose ourselves and what’s important, when we start new things that are also so important.
I have been spending the best part of the last few weeks dealing with anxiety and its repercussions. Looking at how it arrives and what it does, how it affects me, my relationships and acknowledging it is something I will never be free from really but I can start to befriend it a little and stroke it into submission. I decided last week that as well as my old tricks  (breathing meditations and chamomile tea. Prayer being essential) and knowing that my anxiety can override all safety mechanisms; I really needed to do a workshop on it or seek some serious help.
I walked into class this weekend. Most of the first day was focused on techniques and approaches for dealing with a difficult emotion and the tutor chose anxiety as we were all expressing this in some way or form. So an answer to prayer. I have become very aware of how I am breathing again and where I am holding my breath.
Michelle’s email above talks about being bought back down to earth and the feeling of humility. These two things have been travelling with me also. One of the exercises we were given was to stamp our anxiety out with our feet into the ground. Enables us to ground ourself self as anxiety causes us to want to take flight.
I came across the passage last week where Jesus washes the feet of others and also lets his own feet be washed with expensive perfume that could have been used to help many others. There is in this so much richness in this passage and what I am with is the humility and honour that each of the people show in this process to the other. We all need our feet washed at times by others and the acceptance of this is so very hard. Trust me I am learning I can’t do it alone and I ask when I need help now and accept it. I am still finding it hard but learning I have to. It's a process of accepting you are worth helping and learning to see yourself. Jesus knew his worth.
Hana and her boy bought me a wee book with new testament stories when I met them in Auckland and the first story I opened on was about Jesus washing feet.
On the way up in the plane I read the book of Esther with the feeling I was supposed to be reading it. I didn't figure out its application in my life until I was driving to the airport with my beautiful friend Fifi. We drove past a hair salon in the burbs called Becoming Esther. I told Fifi about the book I read on the plane and explained my take on the Salon. Esther as a young girl was chosen with many others to under go a beautification process that took a year, the purpose of which was ultimately to be chosen as the wife for the King at the time. In this she was taken from her community, all she knew as young Jewish girl, isolated and changed. Queen Esther (as she became) was pivotal in saving her people from massacre by humbling herself , taking a risk, trusting and being completely brave.
What I started thinking about from this is the idea of sacrifice and suffering in order to prepare for something greater than ourselves.
I wrote this poem in the week previous to this one in response to a painting I did as part of my study. It was on PTSD and I used the grief process and the idea of complicated grief as a way to relate to the diagnosis.

Beauty from ashes

There is a space 
in my center
An actual hole
I can see through me
how to this keep sacred
This trauma lies not only the loss
of him
but in the loss of me
How to make sense of photos
or hear his name
without hysteria rising
Complicated thoughts images and feelings
arise from daily things
‘this is so tough Kat’
I hope that with time they will lessen
and take their proper place
and I despair that exactly this will happen

tell myself it will be ok
it will be fine
Beauty will come from ashes

God reiterates in so many ways, pays to keep the eyes of my heart open.

I got a facebook message last week from someone I thought I knew but turns out I don't. Quite a surprize to find out someone snuck through my radar I am usually quite fierce. This is what she wrote and what I wrote back.

Hello my friend of a friend, who is now my fb friend.  Can you please tell me how u find time to do art and study?
I am struggling to fit study in, with kids and house etc.. and I miss my art... but cant even contemplate how I can find time for art.
Feeling really tired and despondent. ?. Any advice would be appreciated! 
Good luck and you go girl!
Hey Margaret sure thing. Am just heading out the door but will be back in touch xx An artist here Sylvia hmm cant remember last name ..but she is famous in nz so you could google sylvia and artist. Used to carry a clipboard around with a biro tied to it when her kids were small and just drew everything on the same page. I will be back in touch.
March 28th, 10:05pm
Thank you x
March 31st, 12:07pm
I just checked your page out to see what you studying. That will be full on. I can see why you are having a few moments:).Do you journal? I have found it invaluable as a way to look after myself in this process. Write scribble make a mess anyway you want to, for Playtime, think time. Its important to take care of yourself. Your question made me think a lot. I think the core of it is value. Valuing yourself and therefore others around you and taking care of yourself what ever that means to you. Mine is walking juicing and journaling and these make me feel good. I think when you are doing a course such as what you are doing process journaling would be helpful.
April 1st, 12:39am
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond in such a kind, caring, informative way.  You are so right in your point about taking care of ourselves.   We cannot truly nurture others, unless we nurture ourselves.  I like it, journaling, juicing and walking.  I can do the journaling; I just have to make time. Walking I love!   And I have recently changed to a healthy diet.. Juicing is on the cards!  Thanks! I look forward to meeting you one day. Take care xx
Chat Conversation End

Wanted to include this as the whole thing made me think hard about how we see ourselves and how others see us. I certainly didn't think I was doing anything particularly well or handling anything in a manner that was fruitful. It really made me consider the core of it all, which is value. I have started eating properly again and juicing and a regular walk. Small most days but I stretch out others and have just pumped the tyres on my bike. Yoga on the cards. I am reminding myself that wine is not suitable as a dinner food just sometimes it seems the perfect thing. The two bible readings I mentioned above reiterated this for me. Humility and Value, both I struggle with and both I am working on.
Grateful Grateful for Fifi driving me to the airport. I came home to a clean house by the ever organized Macker, made an enormous difference to my landing. Got picked up by Trudy and I had the energy to clean my car for the first time in a year. Gaz would be pleased, never liked my dirty car.

Saw Awie and Andrew (Gary’s work mates) at Auckland airport. Had just finished saying to a stranger that ‘it is odd I never meet any one I know on this flight’ and there they were. Realised that for the first time I was able to compartmentalise the airport and not look for Gaz. If I had met them even a month ago they would have had serious concerns about my reaction. Airports are a trigger as I keep expecting to see Gaz come and meet me and I look for him. It was so lovely to see them. Terribly hard, weird and lovely all at once. Just wanted to keep staring at their faces.
Thinking about marking the year anniversary coming up. Still thinking. x

 Isaiah 61:3
New International Version (NIV)
3     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

And lastly a journal page I did inspired by an exercise in class
Its a Banksia, they reseed after bush fires.