Easing Anxiety & Fear With Art Therapy

At the end of 2011, when my watchwords (creativity, honesty & soulful purpose) for 2012 appeared, I had no idea just how much they’d become companions for my journey through Cancerville.

Even though Fall has officially begun, I want to talk about how I spent my summer, and how creativity has shown up as part of my journey to wellness.

Most of the other people I’ve met in Cancerville have a challenging time with the notion of giving grace in the face of this difficult diagnosis; referring to cancer as a beast which conjures up ideas of noble fights and merciless warriors focused on destruction of the enemy. Destruction, enemies, fighting… do not feel or sound like Love to me, but fear.

Fear is a companion we meet on any journey in life and it isn’t going anywhere. I’ve learned, fearlessness isn’t about a state or condition where no fear exists. That’s called grace. Part of healing, for me, has been about understanding and accepting with grace, my diagnosis and the fear about it. A state of grace allows me to accept and see the gifts that come with this journey.

The wisest of warriors understand fearlessness is really about how we show up in the face of our adversity. How present we remain when fear gets up in our face. Remaining present is a condition we cultivate from within, and is not based on certain external conditions being met or the absence of them.

This summer, I completed six rounds of chemotherapy. Every two weeks for 12 weeks, I went in, got hooked up and sat and watched as Adriamycin & Cytoxin (AC for short in Cancerville) was pushed into my veins. One of the reasons I believe I was able to handle chemotherapy with mild to very little side affects was because of what I told myself about what was happening to me. I told my story about it, and refused to listen to or chime in with others who wanted to compare long lists of complaints. I couldn’t focus on those things if I expected to heal with the help of chemotherapy.

What I did do though, when fear arrived (because it did and continues to visit regularly whispering to me stories about poison, toxicity and long-term side affects) was a lot of art.

What do you think about when you create art? Do you remember art class in school? It was one of my favorite times because I knew I could relax. Turn my brain off; at least a portion of it. And since fear is so good at serving up endless scenarios as possibilities for my future, encouraging me to size up exactly what I’m up against, art has been the perfect therapy to bring me back to the present moment and help me focus and stay there.

One of my favorite art projects this summer has been transferring Instagram photos to wood (specifics about how to do it yourself can be found in this post). Transferring Instagram photos to wood requires time, which is what I got a lot of these days. Rolling wet paper—that’s been glued down onto one inch thick 6 x 6 inch pieces of wood—into little balls takes a lot of patience. And when I’m working with it, I can’t really think about anything else. Not cancer, not chemo, not my upcoming bi-lateral mastectomy. Just whether or not I’m being gentle enough with the soaked paper so I don’t remove the ink that’s been transferred to the wood.

I also purchased a coloring book made specifically for women that encourages creative expression and giving you a voice to all the parts of the healing journey. Called She Dances Between the Worlds, this 90-page journal provides illustrations by artist Shiloh Sophia McCloud as well as blank pages that will support pencils, watercolor, markers or acrylic paint. The artist also includes her own inspirational thoughts about being a creative woman like “Yes, it is her we are after here — yes, the outrageous one within you!!!” and quotes from other brave, creative feminine voices.

Yes, it is her we are after here — yes, the outrageous one within you!!! ~ Shiloh Sophia McCloud

At a recent breast cancer support group meeting where Art Therapy was the evening’s topic, we were encouraged to write a word down and use any kind of medium provided in the class to expand and express ourselves. I started to write the word “whole,” then chickened out for a second and with only the “w” drawn thought about changing it to “well.” Since surgery was on my mind, I decided to honor myself and my fear about the transformation my physical body will undergo next month. I recognize that I’m in the process of discovering greater wholeness. Even though surgery looms, for the first time in my life I’m really listening to my inner teacher, trusting her voice and what she wants me to acknowledge and understand.

And very soon, I plan on doing something with the plaster bust I created during Keep-A-Breast’s Treasured Chest event.

All summer long, I’ve focused on creativity, as a way to help myself heal and to keep my mind focused on affirming life & it’s pleasures; slowing down my endless mind chatter that is filled with anxiousness, worry & fear.

Art therapy is teaching me how to remain present with uncertainty. I’m practicing trusting myself and this journey through Cancerville, believing there are no mistakes & I can’t do any part of this wrong. Which is the same advice every good art teacher gives to her students.

When was the last time you picked up coloring pencils or magic markers? Or sat and colored with your children? It’s a wonderful way to come back to the moment and practice being gentle with your self when the tides of fear rise up and feel overwhelming.

Facing breast cancer or other chronic illness and looking for some relief from the anxiety it brings? If you’re interested in shifting some of your own personal stories about health & wellness, this optimystical way I see things—is my gift, my superpower—that I’d love to share with you. If you feel you’d benefit by it, visit my coaching page for more info.

Full Moon Indian Guides & Karmic Ocean Feet

Full Moon Indian Guide
The moon was so bright, that it backlit the trees. And of course, as I played in MagicHour last night, trying to get a nice enhancement of the clouds and got ready to post to Instagram (the flare was not produced by a filter), I noticed the face in the tree (check around 2 o’clock if the moon was the center of the dials).

Later today, when I played the game of “find waldo” with my roomies, mama-roomie noticed even more. I saw an Indian face last night as I uploaded to IG. Old & wise, like a guide; staring out into a field of possibilities. Then it expanded and suddenly we saw the younger, bigger warrior indian brave taking up the whole fuckin’ tree (check 3 o’clock, it’s a profile shot, looking the same direction as Indian Wise Man, except the trunk of the tree and it’s branches form his feather and rather elaborate headdress. This one is defintitely harder to see but will reveal himself to you eventually.) And I see a third smaller Medicine Man face, staring directly at me/into the camera.

Photography: This photo was taken with my thunderbolt. No flash, full zoom (8 mega pixels). A big no-no in digital photography but I break the rules. Every artist will. At some point. Look what I found when I did?

Pretty amazing.

And there’s more… About a month or so ago, I visited Newport Beach and held my thunderbolt over my feet, trying to capture the waves rolling in & around them. My Reiki Healer told me “ocean waves heal karma!” Also & especially after attunements, so do organic apple cider vinegar and Epsom salt therapeutic baths. In this photo, which I shared weeks ago on Facebook, I explained what I saw.

Karmic Ocean Feet

i’m loving this photo i snapped at the beach last wednesday. i see a face, clearly, in the sand next to my left foot. this stuff has been going on since last summer in oregon. also of note: a large heart in the lower right hand corner and the eye of ra/horus contained in the large heart (protection). i also see hearts all over my feet; smaller ones between my two feet and vibrating between them, surrounding my right. i wonder what it all means… a smile on my face because i’m certain it means all is well in my world. i wonder what you might see if you start looking also? is your world filled with wonder? ♥ ♥ ♥ i’m grateful mine is & you’re part of it. June 9th, 2012

Photography: No wild filters on this. I think I picked something that punched up the colors so the sand looked more sandy and my blue toenails looked more electric. That’s about it.

Here’s the post I wrote last year after I visited Oregon. Down by the creek near my Grandma’s place, same thing, more invisible help.

It’s why we’re never really alone.

I know that more than ever now. We have someone looking in on us at all times. Either sharing & enjoying the ride with us and almost always reminding and encouraging us to remember our own magnificent worthiness. Guides, angels, loved ones just beyond the veil.

Thank you Cancer—for bringing me back to my present—moment-by-moment.

 

Ready to reclaim your present moment on your cancer journey? If you’re interested in shifting some of your own personal stories around health & wellness, this optimystical way I see things is my gift—my superpower—that I’d love to share with you. If you feel you’d benefit by it, visit my coaching page for more info.

Love, War, Armies & Chemotherapy

So, yeah… cancer. My life has changed in so many ways. Duh, right!? I’ve received an outpouring of L.O.V.E. Some shock, disbelief, denial even (as-in no response whatsoever from people you thought might say something).

I choose, Life is busy, for all of us.

I choose, This is hard & difficult news about someone you love & we each have different skills & tools (& timelines) for processing the information.

I choose, To see innocence. And not to judge. Because I am certain I am loved.

Hopefully since my last post though, you’ve been thinking about hugs since

my cancer manifesto is to Love it to death. Harrrrrr !!!

Not everyone is embracing this approach. Even my girlfriend stands firm in her own slogan for this adventure. In other words, her custom tee-shirt says “FUCK CANCER.”

Neither approach is wrong. It’s just that one feels more right for me. And everyone is entitled to feel however they feel about it. Shit, the last thing I need or want is someone telling me I’m doing cancer wrong.

I will be continuing to write. And do all the creative things I love doing like digital photography & design because a wise person/coach once told me ART SAVES LIVES and because I’ve looked through my camera lens enough times when it’s painful or confusing or just doesn’t make sense and found relief, compassion & empathy; and a deeper appreciation for my humanity.

I’m making juice instead of war, thanks to Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet. Her book is a Godsend for those who want to be proactive with their diagnosis and have no idea where to begin. GODSEND.

I’m sharing the more intimate parts of my journey and getting support using a private group on Facebook. Thank God for Facebook (technology) and it’s ability to help me connect with and gather up my personal army of love that I call the Love Squad.

I’ve started a Flickr set called HUG MY CANCER which, for now, is my little shoebox of adventure photos.

And I’ve received some of the most amazing responses to the invitation to HUG it, and LOVE it & SQUEEEEZE it & NAME IT my divine diagnosis.

And I watch in wonder as other things simply appear. At the right time. There we are, all lined up together.

Like enjoying an arts & crafter make a bunny-on-a-swing on TV while I wait for 45-minutes for radioactive sugar to make it’s way through my body so it can be picked up while I’m tubin’ it. #calilove

Or finding myself in the hands of two of the most compassionate Doctors and their teams. My breast surgeon is as excited about his website (breastcanceranswers.com) and it’s over 240 video answers as he is about determining the very best treatment plan for my cancer.

So how is it, that this heart-centered tech wiz girl-entrepreneur with cancer gets hooked up with compassionate, heart-based & technology-driven doctor entrepreneurs?

I wonder.

All are welcome to my army of Love and I am open to receiving your messages.

A few days ago, I was delighted to learn a dear friend will be walking in my name at a breast cancer charity event.

Another friend texted me last night with this story:

“This is really silly but a young inexperienced girl just drove 30 miles (considered a long haul in the bay area) to buy a loft bed from us. My price was $135. She came with $35, a misunderstanding on her part. She was in tears but still I had to turn her away politely. I felt so awful I couldn’t stand myself… and decided 10 minutes later that this is exactly the opportunity for HUGGGGGGINGGGGG a stranger that I could do! I called her to come back and loaded it into her car. I love you for reminding me to remind myself how good it feels to hug a stranger 🙂 Consider that a hug from me to you!”

Or consider this video posted by another friend on Facebook.

And then HUG MY CANCER; it’s my chemotherapy of choice! Hug anyTHING or anyone (stranger or friend or family or pet or stuffed animal or tree). Get creative. Use your heart & technology and connect! Facebook, Instagram, or your own blog. You with me, me with you. Love grows and expands in mysterious ways. Trust. Believe. You are magic. Now get to concocting your cosmic love potion on me & on us all 😉

Together in one big heart,
xxmm 🙂

Ready to talk about how to feel empowered to survive & thrive on your cancer journey? If you’re interested in shifting some of your own personal stories around health & healing, this optimystical way I see things is my gift—my superpower—that I’d love to share with you. If you feel you’d benefit by it, visit my coaching page for more info.

Hug My Cancer

How do you write about life-changing moments? Like… where do you start? Those biiiiigg stories. That feel like you have to reach far back in time to the beginning, instead of simply saying, this is what it is.

Stories. Our stories. The ones that happened to us. The ones that are happening now. The ones we wish & hope for which I call dreams… stories literally shape our lives. In every way.

I’ve been learning a lot about personal storytelling. And Love.

My personal story got a re-write Friday, May 4th. I have cancer. And what I know is one of the most amazing stories of my life is unfolding.

One I never thought I might be telling, not from this vantage point anyway. And here I am. Optimystical Mynde… pedallar of dreams & the magic of believing. Ironic? Mysterious? Karmic? It is what it is.

I am discovering, if I’m willing to be bravely present-moment-minded, so much of everything I’ve ever asked for, sought after or wanted

is right here.

In every tear drop. In each embrace. Words spoken and unspoken.

For today, the story about me and cancer goes like this… I’m doing everything I can to make peace with it. To Love myself. And it.

And let in the amazing outpouring of Love others are offering.

I’m certain about only a few things. I gotta share the journey.

That’s who I am.

I will continue to do what I have been doing, but in a new & different way. Because that’s what we do.

It’s how we do change.

If you’re kinda stunned right now, I understand. It is kinda like a Mack truck, huh?

If you keep reading, I’ve got an idea that I think might help us both/all.

Hug My Cancer

So, I am a believer that fairies live in the words we spell, in our language. Linda Goodman tipped me off to this language of lexigramming & I recently purchased a book called It’s All In The Name by Sharita Star who’s riffed off what Linda shared and become quite masterful with it.

I’m just starting out. And when I received this diagnosis, through snotted up tears, standing in the kitchen one night rather recently I said to whoever had ears to hear it, “I know the word GRACE is in the word CANCER somewhere!” (Even though clearly there is no G in the word CANCER, d’oh!)

But if you HUG MY CANCER, there is!

Let’s be creative.

When things get hard, it’s time to up the fun-ante (something I talk about in the first chapter of my ebook Web Presence Essentials). Sometimes, when it gets really hard and I can’t imagine what fun would look like or feel like, I think about pre-school children.

My daughter went to a pre-school called ‘Discovery Depot.’ I remember doing a lot of peeking when she was this age. In another’s care. I wanted to see her state-of-mind, her state-of-being. And get the indications “all is well in her world.”

When I close my eyes and peek in on this memory, I see children sitting in a circle, playing, interacting together, filling in the gaps of a real-time reality with imaginings & make-believe.

Be a child with me today or sometime this week. 

  • Draw, paint, write, digital photography, video… just hug my cancer. 
  • Pick up your favorite teddy bear, or your real four-legged furry friend, hug them and share the photo on Instagram or text it to me privately at 714-328-3828. And we’ll hug my cancer, together.
  • Mailvu.com is super fun and easy way to record a video and email it anywhere. My email address is mynde (@) myndemayfield (dot) com.

Why would I hug my cancer or want you to? Why not? Love is miraculous. And I’m willing to receive.

Hug my cancer? Won’t you? (Really! I’m certain about this.)

Oh, and what in your life might really begin to shift & change if you decided to love and accept it, instead of fight and conquer it?

Try kindness. Try courage. Try honesty. Try hugs & smiling. Or looking up at the sky. Try not to stop the tears when they want to come. Try. Experiment. Do something different. ♥ ~mm:)

Ready to talk about how to feel empowered to survive & thrive on your cancer journey? If you’re interested in shifting some of your own personal stories around health & wellness, this optimystical way I see things is my gift—my superpower—that I’d love to share with you. If you feel you’d benefit by it, visit my coaching page for more info.

Creative Rev

When you’re an artist, noticing & nurturing your creativity is vital. I’ve
discovered it helps me feel whole. Especially the more forms of creative
medium I engage with.

Because art invokes feelings & emotions, it’s heart-based. At least for me. Which is a beautiful compliment to the heady-stuff I get into being a web designer & technology integration specialist & astrologer.

Next week, I start an online photography class. I’m already getting revved up. Last weekend, I think I shot some my best photos yet (see my website footer for a peek or connect with me on Flickr.) I want to tell you why they were some of my best and to do that, I need to be really super candid.

I know, you’re shocked.

Last weekend, my girlfriend & I discussed what it would look like to not be coupled up (see? it’s difficult to even write the words.) Yes. Fucking scary! Evoking deep emotions connected with security & home (full moon in Cancer) which poured through me, often times uncontrollably.

mynde + thunderboltIt was challenging walking down the boardwark of Venice beach or Pismo’s pier with tears streaming down my face. But I did. She with her DSLR & iphone. Me, with my Thunderbolt.

It’s a very soothing thing that happens when I shift my focus into seeing life through my Thunderbolt. Moving my body, experiencing nature & other people, gave me such tremendous relief from the emotions that flooded my entire being.

I think about the brain here because when we are in different emotional states of being, it releases different chemicals on que. When we’re really frightened and experiencing a lot of anxiety about what’s going to happen next, the brain will do its thing and release chemicals that produce the fight or flight response. Or if we’re falling in love, it releases all the dopey stuff that makes us see stars & stuff like that.

And what happens for me—where the wholeness comes in—is when I’m creating. Even though I can feel extremely disconnected from Source (the negative emotions I experience indicate this), I re-connect to myself (Source) through a creative medium.

Design. Writing. Photography. Cooking. Music. All creative outlets. That when I give them my attention, heal me. Balance me. Providing this beautiful temperance. During moments when I think & feel like I’m falling apart.

Artists generally lean toward the deeper side of life. Our lives—a canvas of human experiences—drawing us together or apart, for our own growth & expansion. These rich experiences actually fuel our fires, our passion, stimulate new thoughts & ideas, give us meaning for being here—when here is often a difficult passage.

I’m using my creativity to sooth my soul & give myself the space to process, grow & learn. With each creative movement, tapping into more of myself, and bringing it forward into the light.

I invite you to consider your creative outlets, which ones you nurture. Which ones want to be noticed & nurtured a bit more? What might tapping in produce in your life? Or for your business?

Next week, I go deeper into my creative soul using technology. Me & my Thunderbolt join Bindu Wiles’ The Photo Essay Project – Level 2 (beginner’s are welcome!) for what promises to be more deepening, more wholeness & healing, more unfoldment of the mystery of my own humanity.

Which is your humanity also.

And most certainly tons of creative rev that I’ll be channelling into this brand new 2012.

If you’re into photography or considering a new creative outlet using your iphone or android device, find out more about Bindu’s photography course here. I’ve worked with Bindu on & off since 2005. Her perspectives on life, art & creativity offer ways to connect more deeply so that you can reshape your current reality in a powerful, transformative way.

Wordle: Create Art Online

mynde mayfield wordpress web design for women

Take a break & create.

Meet WordleUsing words from a website URL, blog or RSS feed; create your own custom “word clouds”. The more times a particular word is used, the bigger it becomes. Word Clouds can be tweaked according to your preferences using different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. Word Cloud images are yours to use however you like. Post them to your WordPress blog or Tumblr, print them out for a vision board, or save them in the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

Take breaks to be creative. It frees you up for what’s next.

For The Artist In You

Abraham & The Artists

“This is becoming a world (and more of you are beginning to feel it) where the niche-ness of You; the niche markets, the niche hobbies, the niche interests… this is the time for them!” ~Abraham

At the Abraham-Hicks workshop I attended in early March, the same one where I was called up to the hotseat, something interesting about the other “hotseaters” I noticed was how many of them were also artists.

A painter. A musician. And a writer.

Each of their questions asking for clarification on how to best support themselves in their creative processes and what to do with their resistance.

We all need support and encouragement to trust the art within us and let it flow out. As a coach and writer myself and as a web presencer for women whose primary medium online is often writing, I’m familiar with resistance. I find myself almost constantly soothing self-doubt. Believing thoughts like, ‘I need training before I can be taken as a serious writer/actor/musician/ [insert yours here.]’

There are lots and lots of other thoughts along this path I won’t go into here. You know the ones that get in your way. I’ll bet you are thinking about it now… that thing you say to yourself most often and you just stop.

You stop following your artist’s lead.

Today’s post is for the artist in you. A few messages from Infinite Intelligence meant to help you when resistance shows up.

The Painter

Her desire is to create income from her art and she’s been noticing that when she tries, constructs a grand plan for it, it never comes.  She wants to know how to better sift through her creative ideas and which one to put on her canvas before overworking it…

“In a moment when it’s not happening, tell yourself, ‘Later Gator!’ Don’t have the conversation. Don’t try to fix it. Don’t ask, ‘What’s wrong!?’ Don’t worry about what’s wrong… remind yourself, ‘It’s oil. I can paint over it.’

Put your brushes down, put your words down, put your thoughts down. As quickly as you can, pull your attention away from any thought that is giving you the feeling of frustration.

Your goal is to always paint when you feel good. You could even start out feeling pretty good while you’re painting and your mind could wander over to something that feels not so good… Stop painting!”

That’s our encouragement about anything.”

The Musician

He wants to know how to know who to give his demo tapes to… and what if he hasn’t done or isn’t doing something right? How will his music ever then be received?

“When you present your genius to someone else, we want you to don the stance of the one who is doing the interviewing, not the one being interviewed.

You’ve created something they may or may not be up to speed with and in this meeting you are going to find out whether they are qualified or not qualified to be the presenter of what you’ve created.

But there are people who are ready, qualified and waiting for you. And you are not attached to the outcome because you know there is so much more that is coming!

In the ownership of that, that is how you proclaim to the Universe, “I AM the creator. Bring it on. Bring the cooperative components to me!

And as you practice that stance, what you’re going to discover is, those Executives/Editors/Agents don’t understand any of it anyway!

In other words, they are totally gut-oriented. They are looking for confidence. They are looking for stability. They are looking for someone who knows what they are doing. And when you are under the influence of pure positive energy flowing through you, knowing what you are doing, they are going to know that you know what you are doing. And they’ll say, ‘Yeah, that’s good!’”

The Writer

A professor who writes and wants to inspire others with his writing. He’s felt a deep connection to Source before in his classroom, in front of his students. They are all “ready” for him. He’s familiar with the feeling of inspiration flowing through him. But he still hasn’t written his book.

“There are so many people who want to motivate their audience. You see the hype. You see the hype in the advertisements. You see the games that they all play, trying to motivate you in order to come and see what they’ve got…

Can we give you a little hint?

You are not writing to them.

You are having the inspired moment where you are receiving for your personal benefit.

That’s what we were saying to the artist, what we were saying to all of you… If you leave who you think is receiving you out of the picture, then you leave all that probability of distortion (disillusionment) out of your vibration.

You write for the thrill of writing. You write for the thrill of the inspiration. You write not to write the book, but because you want to feel that life-giving feeling of inspiration flowing through you!

And that’s what you want to remind yourself of…

Your painting is magnificent but it doesn’t appeal to everyone.

Your books are magnificent, your music is magnificent, what you do is magnificent but it does not appeal to everyone… nor does it need to.

Law of Attraction will bring those to you, who are a vibrational match. But you’ve got to be a vibration match to your own work first.

One who is connected, who is in that place of allowing the full force of creative expression to flow through their being, is more powerful than millions who are not!

It’s not about whether they are ready for you, it’s about, whether you are in alignment with who you are. And when you line up with you, you broadcast a signal that makes you more findable, it makes you more reachable, it makes you more seeable.

‘I’m not writing it because you need to read it. I’m writing it because I want to write it. Because I want to line up with it. Because I want to BE it. Because I want the knowledge expansion that it represents for me.

 

And I think there are probably plenty of others out there like me that would resonate with it too. There are plenty of them out there for me to be a successful writer. There are plenty of them.’

This is becoming a world (and more of you are beginning to feel it) where the niche-ness of You, the niche markets, the niche hobbies, the niche interests… this is the time for them!”

We create to receive. To feel the universal life-giving energy of Source flowing through us. We create to see and know ourselves. To become more self-accepting. To honor the Love we are created from.”

Go. Now. Follow… follow your artist’s lead.

Portions of this text were directly transcribed from a workshop held on March 5, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. For more information about the teachings of Abraham, visit Abraham-Hicks.com.