Category Archives: Emotions

Mandala Madness

 

Circular patterns

painted in pretty colors

helps clear the mind

quieting troubled thoughts

bringing order and calm

to the chaos within my heart

 

© Julie Rehnelt 2017

 

I recently experienced a painful heartbreak and have been having a pretty rough time of it here emotionally.  But also during this time, I have found painting mandalas to be quite therapeutic – it’s very focused and takes a lot of concentration, so it doesn’t leave much room in my mind for anything else.  It’s also meditative, so it’s soothing and clearing as well.

At the end of May, I took a Mandala Rock Painting Class at a local art studio and learned how to paint mandalas on beach stones.  I wish I could say I enjoyed the class, but for various reasons (which I won’t make you listen to), I actually found it a bit frustrating.  However, I did learn a few techniques from the two wonderful gals who led the class, and I’ve been painting mandalas nearly everyday since.

The following day after the class, I went out to hunt for suitable stones among the river rock landscaping rock that I have around the perimeter of my house.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any round stones, but I did collect a few that were somewhat round that I figured I could practice on, and off I went to the art supply store to purchase some paints and a few other necessities.

When I got home I painted this little oddball…

Don’t look too closely at it, it’s actually a bit of a mess, but it’s much better than the turd one I painted in class – which is so bad, I’m not even going to show it to you.

Unfortunately, the next day was when my heartbreak occurred and I was so sad and stunned, I could barely function.  But for some strange reason I felt compelled to paint.  I had this strong urge to try and create something that somehow represented my feelings, and I painted this…

And although it may have heartbreak associated with it, it also has beautiful, meaningful things, and profound love associated with it, so I like how it turned out.  Even if my heart is blue…

From there, I’ve continued to be compelled to keep on creating more mandalas.  It’s been a fierce urge, to be honest, a sort of madness.  I neeeed to paint them, like my life (and sanity) depends on it.

But the trouble is, I can’t find any round stones to paint them on.  Ask my sister how badly I’ve been obsessing about finding round rocks.  It’s become a joke between us now.

I worked with the little rocks I had found around the house, but unsatisfied with their lack of circularness, I moved onto tiles.  Even though they’re square haha!   I had a few tiles left over from a remodeling project and got an idea in mind of how I could make them work.  And I painted these…

Don’t look too closely at them, they’re not painted very evenly.  Hey, I’m still learning!  It’s a lot harder than you think to paint dots of the same size and to space them evenly.  Especially when you don’t have a real steady hand.  The tile pictured at the top of this post was the 3rd tile I painted, and I’ve since painted 6 others, each progressively improving.

Would you like to see them all, or just the most recent one?  I guess if you don’t mind scrolling, I’ll just share them all.  More blue…

This one got way out of hand and crooked, but the pattern and colors are still pretty 🙂

I wish I had a better photo of this one, the colors got a bit glossed over by the lighting

This one took me the longest. All those dots around dots, around dots… it took me 4 or 5 hours to make.

This last one is the most recent tile I’ve painted, and it’s my favorite so far.  The photo doesn’t really show the full depth and color.  You can click on it to enlarge…

I really like the look and the idea of the tiles.  I might even use these (and any future ones I make) in some of my remodeling projects around the house – maybe as a back splash on the kitchen or bathroom counter, or around a window or mirror or something.  I was using one of them as a coaster the other day, and I even thought I could attach some type of ribbon or wire and just hang them on a wall as they are, the possibilities are endless.  🙂

But as much as I like the tiles, I still really wanted to find some round rocks to paint on.  Remembering the rocky shoreline of Lake Superior, I took a day trip up there with my sister in hopes of finding some.  And in hopes of providing a bit of self care too – the North Shore of Lake Superior is one of my favorite places, being near the water is always very restorative and soothing to me.  ❤

These rocks aren’t exactly round either, but they all spoke to me and said they wanted to come home with me…

I love rocks, and I don’t really even want to paint on these.  They’re lovely just the way they are…

But I have painted on a several of them, and I have to say, I enjoy the feel of painting on rocks better than on the tiles.  If only I could find some round ones.

 This one reminds me of the sun…

And this one reminds me of an Easter egg…

This one I made into the shape of a heart after writing my last post

And this is the most recent rock I’ve painted.  It was a challenge on this elongated shaped rock…

 

I have no idea where I’m going with this mandala thing, but for now it feels good, so I’m gonna keep at it.  It feels like it’s helping me work something out within myself – while also creating something beautiful outwardly.

That’s all I got for now.  Thanks for letting me share my mandala madness.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I’m off to check on my garden (which is doing splendidly this year) and then I’m heading to Minnehaha Falls for the day for a picnic and a free Bluegrass concert.

 

“I saw that everything, all paths I had been following, all steps I had taken, were leading back to a single point — namely, to the mid-point. It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the centre. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the centre, to individuation.”  

~ Carl Jung

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

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A Place to Rest

 

Having been battered and scattered, blown about on gusty winds

tis a relief to finally lay to rest upon calming and gentle waters.

 

© Julie Rehnelt 2014

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It’s so interesting to realize the fluctuations that can occur in one’s perspective as life’s various circumstances come about.  I snapped this photo during a lovely moment by the lake while out enjoying some of the beautiful autumn colors, and when I first uploaded it to my computer my thoughts looking at it were quite fanciful… imagining the leaves flying joyful and free on the wind, experiencing the exhilaration as they’re released from their tree’s branches to fly off to see new and wondrous things, before landing in cool refreshing waters and continuing their journey floating happily onto new adventures.

But in looking at it this morning after being smacked in the face last night by some very hurtful words, which resulted in an overwhelming wave of emotions from old wounds reopening, I find myself seeing it quite differently.  One of the leaves being thrashed about in the wind, beaten and battered, rather than flying joyful and free.  I very much prefer the other scenario, don’t you?

But at least the ending is still good… finding calm, gentle waters to land in.  I could have wrote that they drowned afterward, some of the leaves in the photo are sunken.  😉

To be completely honest, I’m not quite there just yet ~ upon the calm, gentle waters.  But I know I will be as I work through it, I’m quite a champ at self pep-talks.  And besides… I’ve got some fun, festive things going on here over the next couple of days that are sure to help lift my spirits too.  I probably shouldn’t even have mentioned any of this stuff.  Oh well, too late now, I’m committed.  Clicking Publish

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Of Flowers And Chocolate Messes

Well, I think I did a pretty good job of staying positive and not giving into my worries yesterday.  Shortly after my post, I got the idea of going to the little local farmer’s market down the street.  I didn’t really need any veggies (if you’ve been here with me a while you know I already have quite a few of my own things growing here in my tiny garden), but I thought I’d go take a peek to see what they had anyway.  And besides, going there is just a festive thing that I enjoy doing sometimes on Saturday mornings during the growing season.

Mainly though, I was sort of thinking about picking up a bundle of fresh-cut flowers there.  One thing I like to do for myself when I’m feeling a bit low is buy myself fresh flowers.  I don’t do it very often, it’s a bit of an indulgence that I can’t always rationalize spending the money for, especially when finances are tight, but the fresh flowers they have at the farmer’s market are very reasonably priced.

Plus, they’re gorgeous!  See…

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And this bright pink Zinnia was just begging for a close-up…

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So lovely.  ♥

~

Sadly though, they’ve wilted quite a bit already and I’m really disappointed.  That’s the thing about flowers… once you pick them, they start to die.  😦

Bringing me to this morning’s mood…

Death.

Just kidding.

It’s just that I’m still struggling here with things.  I’ve been sitting here thinking “How the heck can a person have such a contrast of conflicting emotions inside?”  Cracking jokes one moment and then crying the next.  I feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!  Is it hormones, the waning moon?  Calgon take me away!  I did buy myself some wonderful handmade lavender soap at the farmer’s market yesterday, so maybe I need to just go and take a good long soak…

But unfortunately aromatic baths and fresh cut flowers are only temporary remedies and can’t fix the deeper issues going on inside.  *Sigh*

The thing is… I know all the right stuff to tell myself (and do, like buying the flowers for instance), but sometimes I feel like I’m just full of crap with all my sappy, feel good, mumbo jumbo rhetoric.  I pride myself on always keeping it real, always being honest with myself and with others, but sometimes, the fact of the matter is… I’m really hurting inside, and I cover it up.  I say it’s because I never want to be a downer to others, and that’s very true, but it’s also because I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it.  And I’m embarrassed to admit that.  I sincerely do have so much in my life to be thankful for.  I mean, I really, really do.  And so sometimes when I’m feeling down, I feel guilty, like I’m not appreciating all my blessings, or that I’m feeling sorry for myself.

Then I tell myself to stop over-analyzing everything and just fricken settle down.  Go pray, go putz around in the garden, listen to some music (take a lavender bath) etc.  But the problem with that is then I’m not really ‘dealing’ with whatever it is that’s bothering me.  Well, I sort of am by praying, but the rest of it is just stuff to soothe me.  Don’t get me wrong though, we need those soothing coping mechanisms, to do whatever it takes to calm us ~ sometimes they make all the difference and help so that we can approach the things that are bothering us more rationally.  And I truly believe that.

But gosh this is just so hard.  I’m hurting and I’m frustrated, the things that are bothering me right now are things I have absolutely no control over, and I’m having a really difficult time with it all.   I can’t seem to find the solution, and I feel like I’m fumbling around in the dark looking for the Light switch.

But yeah, so anyway…

I’m feeling like a bit of an emotional chocolate mess here.

So now… whether to actually post this or not, to risk being a downer, to risk exposing this part of myself?  I should probably just stick with my gardening posts.

Ah what the heck…

Hold My Heart

“One tear in the driving rain,
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breakin’ heart?
One life, that’s all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Won’t You come close and hold my heart.”

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~

Lyrics from “Hold My Heart” by Tenth Avenue North

To listen:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qEz2PsLJ-RI#!

Ah Roller Coasters

You know, I’ve never been much of a fan of roller coasters.  I mean, I like excitement as much as the next person, but I have just never really enjoyed the type of ride that you get from a roller coaster.  All the ups and downs and being jerked around.  And I don’t much like it in my emotional life either.

The other day after watching a memorable home movie, I was struck with how very much I want to treasure each and every moment of my life, realizing that time is precious and wanting to make the most of it ~ especially reflecting on the fact that right now is really all we’ve got.  So it’s interesting to me that basically the very next day I found myself wanting to dull my mind and completely “check out.”  I won’t go into the details for the reason why I was wanting to check out, but basically sometimes I simply don’t know what to do with my troubled thoughts and I just want them to shut up for a while until I feel like dealing with them.  There are several different things I use as a type of escape during times like that, but this time I chose to spend hours on end watching TV.  Now typically I don’t really watch a lot of TV, but I do enjoy watching certain television programs, series, documentaries and movies, but ordinarily I prerecord them so I am able to fast forward through the commercials.  I despise commercials with venomous hatred.  But on this particular occasion I was flipping through the channels and then stopping to watch various things that were of interest to me, so it was live TV and I wasn’t able to skip through the commercials.  Well, the last thing you want to deal with when you’re already feeling low about things in your life is to be bombarded with images being thrown at you that only validate the meaninglessness and emptiness of your present existence.  Haha I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but such is this emotional roller coaster of life that we sometimes must ride.

In commercials we have these fake people, in fake scenarios, portraying fake lifestyles, promoting material objects, products and services that promise you that the obtaining of these things will bring you all of the happiness and sense of success and fulfillment that you long for in life, and you deserve it.  If you eat this food or use this product, you will look like this, if you buy this item for your loved one for Christmas, that will be the thing that really shows your love and bring peace in your home, if you buy this car, that will show how successful you really are, oh and it’s got better mileage so you financial situation will improve too.  Blah, blah, blah, and on it goes.  Yeah, right, okay.  I’m not buying into it.  But at the same time, if I’m being honest, it still messes with my head a bit.  All these advertisements do is promote and create a sense of discontent with life.  In nearly every area, depending on the thing that is being advertised.  It’s infuriating!

And all I wanted to do was watch TV and escape for a while.  Ugh.

Then the following day, still feeling tender about my uselessness as a human being, I go out to drive my mom to a doctor appointment.  I decided to wait out in the car, listen to music, enjoy the nice weather, just try and forget about the things that are bothering me, and what happens?  All those thoughts and feelings I was trying to avoid, come crashing in and before I know it I’m in tears.  I sit there a while crying and then gradually I begin to pull myself together.  Then I start noticing the people coming and going from the clinic.  Sick and ill, I can see the pain etched in their faces and I begin wondering again about what is this life for?  What have these dear souls got going on in their lives?  I can feel their suffering and I start crying again, but this time for them.  Wondering what can I do?  Thinking ‘we’re doing it wrong, life isn’t supposed to be this way.’  I suddenly had this sense of awareness of how we’re all being fooled somehow about what we’re really here for.  I always over spiritualize everything so my rational side said “Calm down, you’re just being weird again.”  And then a song came on the radio that I was just thinking about, it’s one that often comes to mind when I’m in a busy, crowded place or sitting in traffic and I begin thinking about all the people around me, feeling that sense of how we’re all connected, but we’re all so caught up in our own lives to even notice one another.  Listening to it made me feel like Someone up there was hearing my thoughts and encouraging me that I wasn’t just being weird.  Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath

Then I look up just as a woman falls to the ground in the middle of the parking lot.  Without a second thought I get out of the car and rush over to her, she’s hurt.  And she’s embarrassed.  My heart broke and I felt helpless to comfort her.  I told her to just give herself a minute and not to feel in a rush to try and get up, then I asked her if she thought she may need medical attention and she said she didn’t know yet.  She began to cry and I cried with her.  It’s amazing the amount of love and compassion that was overwhelming me at that moment, I literally wanted to take her in my arms, but feeling awkward I just stood there next to her and let her sit there on the ground and work it out.  A couple came walking out of the clinic and asked if she needed assistance, she still said she didn’t know, but I could feel her growing embarrassment at drawing attention to herself.  She eventually got up and seemed to be alright.  I felt as if there was something more I should have done for her, but she quickly dismissed me and hurried off to her car.  I went back to my own car and cried some more and prayed for her.

Shortly after that my mom came out and wanted to fill me in on what had happened at her appointment, so I tried to shift my attention to her, but it was difficult.  After we got home I spent the rest of the afternoon out on the patio, back to contemplating my own personal situation, but still finding no resolve.  That evening I chose once again to try and numb myself with the TV, but this time it was prerecorded stuff so thankfully at least I was able to skip through the stupid commercials.  I stayed up late watching into the night until I was so tired that I knew I would fall right to sleep when my head hit the pillow, no sense in laying there “thinking,” but my sleep was fitful and I awoke not feeling rested at all.

As I write this, I have been secluded in my room all day, forcing myself to deal with and try and resolve these things that are currently troubling me so.  It’s well into the afternoon and I haven’t even had anything to eat yet today.  I suppose it might help to eat something, but I’m too bothered to eat.  Maybe the problem here is that I’m just being too up inside of my head.  I was trying to blame hormones or the new moon the other night for the imbalance of my emotions lately, but heck maybe it’s just a simple matter of lack of sex, hah yeah that’s it!  That’s a whole other issue completely.  Ah geez I should probably end this before I really embarrass myself.

Well, wish me luck on this fricken miserable roller coaster ride I’m on at the moment.  I’m sure I’ll snap out of it eventually ~I’m almost out of ride tickets.  😉

Hurts, Regrets n’ Stuff

That moment when you’re left scratching your head and wondering… “What was I thinking?”

Apparently I wasn’t, is my realization.  “Live and learn” the saying goes.  One would think that I’ve learned darn plenty in all of these 46 years and be much wiser by now, but I guess not.

What it comes down to is…  when the heart is involved… sometimes the head isn’t.  I’ve always thought that I had a pretty good balance between the two ~ and I guess I still do think that, for the most part.  Just having some regrets right now and wishing I hadn’t let my heart get broken.  Picking up the pieces afterward sucks real hard.

When you open your heart to someone there is always a risk of it getting hurt.  Hurt hurts and makes me want to close it up tight to protect it.  And there is something to be said for “guarding your heart.”  Tried to do that.  Failed.  I don’t know how else to live than with a wide open heart.

I probably just need to not trust so easily.  I’m usually pretty good at reading people, but at the same time I always give them the benefit of the doubt and try to believe that they are who they show themselves to be.  Maybe that’s just being naive.  I live my life being as authentic and real as I can (without totally embarrassing myself) and I guess I just expect others are trying to do the same.  It’s so disappointing to realize otherwise.

I wish I had something encouraging and inspirational to tell myself right now.  But yeah… I got nothin’.

~

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Guess I can occupy myself with other things like… gardening!  My therapy.  I’m going to attempt building an A-frame trellis of sorts for growing my cucumbers on.  I’ll get to use my new staple gun again.  Yeah, shooting staples ought to do the trick.  There is something to be said for keeping yourself busy doing things that you enjoy.  Wish it wasn’t so cold out, but at least the sun is shinning.  Soaking up some vitamin D should help fix me up too…

These Darn Emotions

It’s probably better if I just steer clear of blogging when I’m in a mood, but writing usually helps me work things out, so here I am.  Nothing like working it out in public for all the world to see.  Oh well, I’ve never been much of a private person.  Take me or leave me.  Judge me if you will, but all I want is to be real.  I’ve never been good at faking it.

I just hate it when I’m like this ~ a bundle of worries, frustration, and negativity.  I’m much happier when I’m happier.  No duh!  (Heh, I haven’t used that expression in ages).  I can’t even blame my hormones this time.  So what gives?!  (Oh, there’s another ancient phrase).  Guess I’m just chock full of out-dated little gems today.

Here’s the most frustrating part of this thing… I know what to do when I’m like this.  But I don’t feel like doing it.  I feel like being negative, sarcastic, and cynical.  I feel like ranting and raging about all that vexes me.  I feel like punching something or someone.  And I’m not a violent person.  Wait!  There it is!  That’s it.  I found it!  That’s what’s really bothering.  Oh it’s so good to get to the heart of the matter isn’t it?!  See, I knew writing would help.  Someone has hurt me.  Not exactly a newsflash, but I realize I’m turning that hurt into anger.  I’m just so sick of hurting.  Oh man am I ever sick of it.  It’s really starting to tick me off.  Gosh!

It’s okay to be angry when someone hurts you, but what in the world am I supposed to do with this anger?  The person who hurt me is too far away to punch in the face.  Not that I would really even do that.  I can dream about it though.  Hah!  No, when it comes down to it, I think the bigger issue here is that I’m angry with myself.  Angry that I opened up my heart and allowed myself to get hurt, when I should have known better.  Angry that I’m still holding onto hope that things will change, when it’s clear that it won’t.  Angry that I feel so fricken pathetic!

If only life was more like a movie… we’d all get our happy endings. </3

~

So what now?  I’ve realized what’s going on, but still don’t know what to do with this anger…

Maybe watching this might help ~ it’s one of my favorites.  And since I seem to be on a roll with punching…

Eh, didn’t really do much for me this time.  Hopefully ya’ll enjoyed it though.  But see… I am trying to snap myself out of this mood.  Guess I just have to feel this way until… I don’t anymore.  Yeah, that’s real enlightening ~ “until I don’t anymore.”  Sheesh!   In the meantime I should probably just crawl under a rock so I don’t do/say anything I’ll regret.  Already regretting posting this.

~

This rock looks as comfy as any other for crawling under…