Just BE YOU

Authenticity Breeds Passion

5

Rita, Francine and Frank spent a spontaneous morning creating art together. It was so fun to just be present in the moment, letting the rest of the world slip away. They giggled as they shared tidbits about present day life and fun memories from childhood. 

Frank was pulled from this connected time when his phone dinged at him, reminding him that he was supposed to be at his friends house to practice their roles for the upcoming Spring production. It would be his last high school performance, he couldn’t believe it. “Oh geez, I forgot what time it was. I was supposed to leave fifteen minutes ago for Joe’s,” spurted Frank. Closing the sketch pad he was doodling on, he jumped up, saying a quick goodbye to his mom and sister.

“That was really fun mom, thank you for sharing your art stuff. I’ll be home by dinner time,” he yelled from the hallway as he closed the door behind him.

Francine looked up from her art to gaze at her mom. Rita was smiling at her daughter with a soft openness that Francine had not witnessed before. Something had changed with her mom.  “Was it the art, the magazine, their shared secret?” she contemplated. 

Smiling at her mom, Francine closed her sketch pad and placed all the pastel sticks back in the box. Sliding the cover into place she stated, “Thank you mom for sharing all of this with me. I had a lot of fun. I’m  really confused and lost right now, but, like the magazine said, it’s  okay. I’m going to go to my room for awhile to sort through my stuff, think and be by myself.”

“I totally understand sweetie. I feel the same way. The magazine has definitely stirred up a lot of emotions and questions. I’m going to continue to do art until I am guided to do something else. I will be putting some laundry in, do you have anything you want to throw in the pile?” she asked her daughter. 

“Yeah, I have some stuff on my floor that needs to be washed.  I’ll go get them. Thanks again mom, it’s nice to not be alone,” she shared as she stood up to leave.

Rita opened her arms for her daughter to lean in, so she could kiss her on the head before she left the room. “Thank you, it is so special to share all of this with you. To know that the magazine is real and I’m not completely crazy. Guess we have lots to explore and share. Please know I am here for you, we can talk about anything you want. I love you more than you can imagine.” Rita kissed her daughter, then watched her leave the room.

Looking down at her picture, Rita smiled. The time with her children today was so special.  It was real, authentic, fun, easy. “Why did she not create more times like this? What stopped her from just letting herself be,  opening the space for creating, sharing, exploring and connecting. Instead she often filled the time with busyness,  allowing the  “to do” list to dictate the day.  Letting self-judgment and feelings of inadequacy make her buzz about, thinking that somehow she could make things better by doing more,” her thoughts bubbled like boiling water.   

The magazine was awakening her to the lie that doing and busyness were just fancy forms of avoidance and sabotage. It was her way of buying into societies measurements for success. “What did she believe success was?  Who did she admire? What kind of life did she truly want? If she had all the money in the world, what would she do, create, share? Oh boy, these were big questions. Ones she had not thought about since she was a teenager. Why did she stop questioning? When did she stop believing in herself and that life can be whatever you want it to be?”  Placing her head in her hands, she felt tears of confusion well up. The emotions swirled and spiraled from deep within her. She found herself feeling like a bowl of pudding, a soft vulnerable mixture of emotions smashed together – joy, sadness, excitement, fear, anticipation, frustration, confused, hopeful… 

Rita heard music flowing from her daughters room down the hall. Smiling she encouraged herself to breathe deeply, letting the emotions just flow freely. Gently she let her hand slide over the soft colors embossed upon  her canvas paper. It felt so beautiful, full of invitation, celebration, unrequited love.  Staring at the image beneath her hand she could feel the wildness, the raw authenticity of the naked woman. The woman on the page was not afraid to be herself. She celebrated her curves, blemishes, imperfections. Wearing her truth with unabashed courage, delight, wonder and curious joy. In the sparkle of her eye, mischievousness danced with invitation. Staring in awe at how she had created her true self upon the page, a gasp of internal love escaped Rita’s lips. 

Whispering to herself and the page, “You are home again, I shall not forsake you, forget you, or hide you,  ever again. Today I promise that we begin the journey to live a life of passion, truth, vibrancy and raw expression. No apologies to anyone,” picking up the art piece, she kissed the page, tore it off the pad and placed it directly in full sight on her dresser. It would be the first thing she to greet her as she woke and the last image to caress her at night. 

Looking around her room, she leaned down to clean up the art supplies, smiling in tender happiness. After she put the load of laundry on, she wanted to come back to  write about the special morning with Francine and Frank. She did not want to lose this precious memory. Then it was time to dream a wee bit, exploring how she would bring art back into her life. 

Walking down the hall with her dirty clothes, she listened to Francine’s music. “Oh how she wished she could help Francine navigate all the challenges before her. Being a teenager was such a tumultuous time. Ugh.., memories of her own teenage journey flooded her mind. She definitely had no desire to return to that stage of life, yuck! As much as she wanted to smooth out the journey for her daughter and son, she was keenly aware that every person has their own unique path in life, even if they are your children, it’s their expedition.” 

To be continued… 19

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