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A Story of Abundance

June 25, 2017

This post will seem very random at first.. and maybe the whole way through.  But for me it’s all connected. Enjoy.

Part 1: My gray hair

My hair has been going gray ever since I can remember.  Both my parents have been gray (or covering their grays) since before I was born.  I started covering my “old lady” roots at the very least, 11 years ago when I graduated college.  That meant that every 6 weeks I would spend over $100 to deny my hair the color it was trying to grow in as.  About 5 years ago it went from every 6 weeks to every 3.

I always said there was NO WAY I would stop dyeing my hair until I reached my 60s or 70s. No. Fucking. Way.  My cousin stopped dyeing her hair in her early 40s and I thought “what a shame.”  My sister stopped dyeing hers last year and I thought “well she’s married so she can do stuff like that.” Single women in their 30s cannot let their hair be gray. Not an option.

Part 2: The sunrise in my new apartment

The first few months in my new apartment, I was waking up just before the sunrise (new apartment bliss I think, because not anymore).  I’d sit on my couch in the quiet and feel the room grow slowly but unrelentingly hotter and brighter as the sun rose slowly up, second by second.  With each passing second my world would go from dimly lit and cool-to-touch, to fucking bright and uncomfortably hot, and eventually I’d get up and move to the shade.

One of these mornings I noticed a quick bit of nonsense cross my mind; “oh right, it’s the sun, it’s not going to stop rising”  which is obviously a weird thought to have because of course the sun will continue rising. That’s what it does.  But I sat there in my living room not wanting the environment to change and apparently had some kind of split-second expectation that because I didn’t want it to, it wouldn’t. It made me view the sun as a force of bad ass nature that didn’t give a fuck what anyone else wanted. Every second of every day it moves along its path with zero consideration of what it might feel like for anyone else.

I wrote in my journal that morning that I wanted to use that unforgiving sunrise as a meditation for being unforgivingly myself, for not giving a fuck if someone else wanted me to shine a little less brightly in their living room.

I wrote: “Each time its lead me to thinking about not shining away from our nature. I saw a thing online that said something along the lines of ‘Shine your brightest. The sun doesn’t give a fuck if it blinds you.’ I’ve seen these moments with the sun as unapologetic, natural, strong, abundant and consistent. And that’s how I want to be. Sitting here for the sunrise will be a perfect place to meditate on that. But for now, I’m moving to the shade 🙂

Part 3: The new moon in Taurus, April 26 2017

In April of this year, one of the woke-lady-Bay Area astrologers I follow, Chani Nicholas, posted an offering on her site to “show you how to tap into and harness the potential of the new moon [in Taurus] through ritual and astrological reflection.” Sometimes I’m called to pay attention to these astrology/moon phase things, and sometimes I can’t be bothered.  For whatever reason when I saw the post about this particular guided new moon manifestation I decided to pay the $25 and have myself a little new moon party-of-one that week.

The first exercise was on manifesting;

This is a line of Chani’s I wrote in my journal: “The more we show up for ourselves, in a loving mature and supportive fashion, the easier it is to bring in the abundance we seek because we realize we ARE it.”

Then the last exercise was “Rituals for Taurus Rising,” unique to each rising sign. Something about that specific new moon for me, a Taurus rising, meant that physical appearance was a main factor.  So in the last section of the course, Chani asked us to respond to a list of questions she was about to pose. I took out my journal and paused after each question to jot down my reactions.

What did you learn about your image growing up?
Ugly hair” was #4 on the list.  Thank you boy from school who wrote that in my 6th grade yearbook.

What was positive?
NOTHING

What was negative?
All of it.

What do you still carry around with you?  What is still draining your energy?
All of it.

What self-image are you dedicated to healing?
ALL OF IT

What can you do to start healing?
Let my gray hair show (???)

As you can see from those question marks, I was not convinced of that idea.  I dismissed it as soon as I wrote it, closed the book and went to sleep.

Part 4: The part where Parts 1, 2 and 3 all come together

The morning after the new moon ceremony, I stood in the bathroom looking at my gray roots. Out of nowhere (or I guess out of the new moon in Taurus), the color growing in seemed to me a bright, abundant silver.  Instead of a heavy source of insecurity, all of a sudden it reminded me of the sunrise in my living room. My hair had been slowly and consistently trying to rise up and shine it’s light on the world (so cheesy, deal with it) and it wasn’t going to stop no matter how badly I wanted it to. All of a sudden my light roots seemed a source of abundance, which I still don’t fully understand.

After 11+ years of denying and hating a part of my nature, I stood in that bathroom surprised and confused by this new desire to embrace it.  I had a vision of myself as a 60-year old, finally letting my gray hair rise up and realizing that I really loved the color. I saw myself as a 60-year old wishing I wouldn’t have wasted so many years and so much energy trying to be something I wasn’t, trying to cover up a part of myself that never stopped trying to show up.  I was already a 35-year old who wished my 16-year old self would have loved herself more, I didn’t want to regret any more years.

Even still I was pretty sure all these new “embrace the gray” feelings would pass. A part of me hoped they would. Was I really brave enough for this? Day after day, it never passed.  It’s now been almost 3 months since I last covered up my roots. The new moon made me do it.

Conclusion: The Summer Solstice Art Exchange

I found this picture in a magazine and cut it out for no real reason, I just liked it.

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When the Summer Solstice art exchange theme, abundance, was announced I saw abundance in the sunshine in that picture. And I thought of the sunrise in my living room and how it didn’t give a fuck if it blinded me. And how in sobriety, me and all my sober sisters are learning how to shine as bright as we can. And how my slowly growing-in (gray + white = ) silver roots were proof that I’ve crossed some kind of line of self love I never thought possible.  So that’s what I wanted my abundance piece to reflect.

To quote myself, I wanted it to reflect how we are learning to be “unapologetic, natural, strong, abundant and consistent.”

So this was my plan:

combine

The picture of the sun shining down on those dandelions, and the words on the bottom right.  I thought I’d paint horizontal lines along the edges in colors I wanted to pull out of the picture; dark green, purple, white, blue, orange yellow and gold.

When I started with the horizontal stripes I hated them right away. So I tried to blend the colors along the side, but I think I’ve officially concluded I hate blending acrylic paint. I was stuck.

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Then I thought “sunrays.. diagonal lines.”  I thought I’d reflect the sun shining down on the world and started painting lines that way.

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At one point I moved the sunshine-dandelion picture out of the way and fell in love with those lines. I wondered if I actually wanted the dandelions there after all, slowly letting go of the way I thought this would go. That picture was the initial inspiration of everything, did I really want to lose it?

And the idea was to depict the sun shining down on the world and coloring everything with it’s brightness, but then I turned the canvas upside down and saw the sun radiating up.  Like a person standing on the earth letting their light radiate out.  I decided to at least keep painting the lines that way and see what happened.

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When I finished those lines, I had my answer.

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Sun rays shining up it was. And I let go of the original idea all together. The dandelion picture now lives on my desk where I can see it all day while I’m working.

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I hope you like it Natalie, I think you two are a perfect match.

Love, Sarah

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