This is going to be a long post. You have been warned. But it could change your life, so you might enjoy reading it. :)
As we go through life, things happen around us, to us, for us, and we do things that shape us. We all know this, and most of us deal with the things we realize, but there are things that happen that shape us in ways we don't know or understand. Sometimes these things happen to us as small children and we don't know how to deal with them, so they just become part of us and become part of how we view the world, much like a person who wears glasses puts on glasses to view the world differently. As we mature, these things come together with other things, and events, and a whole is built out of a whole lot of weirdly shaped "things." I call them things because they can be events, surroundings, reactions, feelings, emotions, etc. You get the idea? Just LIFE. Life Happens. It shapes how we view the world, how the world views us, it forms who we are as people. Sometimes, things happen that break us. It makes me think of coral, and how interactions with nature and humans breaks off little bits of the coral. The coral continues, but it is never like it was before humans touched it. In some cases it dies, but in others, it continues, but it's different.
So, where am I going with this? Let me tell you.
When I turned 50, I started this blog. I viewed 50 as a new beginning, a clean canvas, a fresh start. I decided that I was going to drive my next 50 years in a whole new way from my previous 50. And I have. I have a bucket list, an art journal, and I've started doing all kinds of things that are "outside my comfort zone." Right around my birthday, Melody Ross and her sister Kathy, who co-founded Brave Girls Club, announced a class called Soul Restoration. Melody and Kathy have been runing Brave Girls Camp retreats for a couple of years, and they are waitlisted for all of this year. They wanted to do more. They wanted to reach more women and help more women. So they started this online class called Soul Restoration. It is a 6 week class, offered online, with tons of curriculum and printouts and it is amazing. So, I saw the class and thought, "Hmm, interesting." I kept watching it (because I have Melody Ross as a friend on Facebook, as well as Brave Girls Club), and finally, one morning, in December, I caved and signed up. I knew I needed it, I just was balking at doing it.
Fast forward to January. Class starts. I watch the first video and I feel my eyes flooding and tears pouring down my face silently. The videos are amazing. Your heart opens, you learn that you are not alone, you learn that everyone has a story. There were somewhere between 600 and 800 of us in the class, and we had a private community where we chatted and shared and talked. It. was. amazing. I met women who made me realize that my story is wonderful and precious. I learned how truly blessed I am, and how God really DOES ride shotgun in my car as I ride through life! I made friends all over the world, with women who each hold a special and precious place in my heart. I learned to look at each day as a real gift, and to find beauty in the everyday.
There are tons of details that I could go into, but I think you NEED to take this class. Here are a few photos of my projects along the way. Some are reposts, but many are new. To the right is the cover of my soul book. Each item on the page has significance to me... I won't drag you along into it. :) It took me DAYS to make, because I'm such a Virgo sometimes. We did 2 little albums, and a timeline. I'll just pick a few things to show here, because otherwise, you'd be here all day looking all of my soul work, and there's a whole world out there waiting for you and your soul work! :)
One really important thing that you should know about this class is that it isn't about your art abilities, it is about your ability to listen to your heart and be still and just let the art happen. It may not be beautiful, it may not be perfect, but it represents you. Who you are, and who you are meant to be. It is such an amazing experience. I keep saying amazing, I know, I'm sorry but it's the only word that really fits, for me!
We also created these cards that are called Truth Cards. To the right, the pink lady is one of mine. I'm not going to go into the whole story, because it isn't my place to tell everything about the class. I just want to give you a glimpse into it.
So, now you know about the class. What you don't know is what I came away with. I came away with a better understanding of myself. I now see myself do things and am able to stop and take a second and change the way I do things, because I understand what is driving my decisions and causing me to react to situations. I'm not great at it yet, of course, but class has only been over for a couple of weeks, so if I really try, I can keep going and continue to grow and learn more and more about myself. I have signed up for Soul Restoration 2 as well, but that doesn't start until June, so until then, I'll continue to whittle away at all the icky parts of me that I don't want anymore. :) What fun!! (Seriously good stuff!)
One of the most amazing side effects of the class was that it rekindled my love of art. My Dad would be proud. My Dad was an oil painter. He did some gorgeous paintings. Two of his finest works hang in my living room. The rest were taken by his second wife. I do not know where they are, but I pray that she keeps them safe. Anyhow, my work is more toward acrylic, and, more surprisingly, I've discovered that I LOVE LOVE LOVE watercoloring! Last year, about now, I took a class in art journaling. I piddled around with it all year, doing little things here and there, creating a few pages, but now, oh my gosh, now, my first journal, as you saw a few weeks ago, is just about full! In fact, I'm working on altering a book to use as my second journal as I type!
So, that's about it for today. That's enough soul revealing I think. I hope you enjoyed your little glimpse into my soul restoration experience. I am beyond thankful for this class and the opportunities that it raised for me. It's the best best BEST $100 I have ever spent on myself, I think. Truly. What a blessing. Now I just need to figure out how to raise $1200 to go to Brave Girls Camp! :)