Me, new art, life and ‘surrogate suffering’.

WIP - trinity

So, it’s about time to do a bloggie about me don’t you think? I know, you’ve been dying to read more about my life, haven’t you!? ;)

Well, I’m almost 36 weeks pregnant, round round round, busy, crazy busy and in love with my family and the world. That would sum it up pretty much.

Ah, you want more detail. I get that. ;)

Ok, well, here is how round I am:

I know, you *really* wanna do a belly swap with me right? ;)

Well, I’m pretty much consumed with 2 things at the moment: being pregnant and almost giving birth to babe nr 2 and Life Book. Then also, of course: Dylan and Andy, sleeping, trying to keep my sanity and eating chocolate muffins are also high on the list. Oh, I also try to take a few moments each day to relax and I paint to relax. The above image is a detail shot of a recent painting I’ve been working on. Those who follow me on Facebook will have seen it already. I’ve been experimenting with combining different face styles together. The face in the lower part of the painting is a stylised face and the other two are much more realistic. The top two are done through a different technique: paint-over acrylic’s transfer (similar to paint-over collage). I’m not sure if I like the combination of the different styles. I like them all separately, but not sure if they go together. Interestingly, on FB there is a varied response, some people love the combination of different styles, others don’t!

Here is the painting in its entirety, but it’s not finished yet, still in progress, also, this pic was taken with iphone, so it’s not the greatest pic of it:

The baby bump is so big at the moment that I’m really ready to have him out. But, I’m almost 36 weeks, so have to wait just a little longer. After 37 weeks he’s ok to come any time apparently. Dylan came bang on his due date though, so if this dude is anything like him, he might do the same and I’ll have to sit it out for another 4 weeks! Then of course: the whole birthing thing again; NOT looking forward to that bit in particular, but hey, it’ll have to happen, ha ha.

Now, Andy and I are pondering on how to best prepare for babe nr 2. There are a lot of unknowns: how’s Dylan going to respond? How much will this impact our current way of living (again! lol!), how will we organise all the night time arrangements etc.

No doubt it’ll be almost as life altering again as when Dylbee graced us with his presence, yet, we don’t really know it yet. Oy ve! Ha.

Speaking of Dylbee who is now 2 years and 2 months old. Woah, time flies! He is many things in the span of a week: hysterical, beautiful, amazing, annoying, stinky, wonderful, growing with leaps and bounds, expanding his vocabulary on a daily basis (he’s recently started doing this thing where he tries to copy almost everything we say, including: when I call out for Andy, I call: ‘Andy? Babe!?’ and Dylan is now doing the same, he goes: “Daddy?! Daddy?! Babe!?” but the ‘babe’ sounds more like ‘bep’. Ha ha! It’s hysterical. I can’t stop laughing every time he does it)! It’s truly incredible watching him grow and develop. It’s so fast now. Every day it’s like he’s a different person with more awareness and understanding. And the love, oh the love for this little being, sometimes it floods me and overwhelms me with such magnitude, it knocks me off my feet.

Here are some pics of him:

Dylbee swing

Dylbee slide

Dylbee sand

Zen stones Dylbee collected Zen stones grabbed 
(These were ‘zen’ stones that Dylbee collected and I laid them out nicely in a row, very zen no? ;))
And here is some new art I hadn’t shared yet, these are new journal pages: 

Art Journal Sept 2011

Also, here are my first Life Book pages! :-)
These are the pages I’m creating in the first few lessons for Life Book! Eeee!
Exciting no? :)
Life Book - 2012

lb-3-700Life Book - 2012
Life Book - 2012

Life Book - 2012

 Life Book - 2012
Life Book - 2012

Life Book - 2012

Life Book - 2012
Life Book - 2012
Other than that, I’m ok, but I do still go through phases where I do this thing where I read something horrible (like a 10 month old who has been kidnapped or a 2 year old with leukemia) or hurricanes, earthquakes, wars and people going through tremendous suffering and then I imagine it happening to me and I then can’t stop crying. I’ve always been an empathetic person, but since I’ve had Dylan this has become ‘worse’. I put ‘worse’ in inverted commas as I think empathy is brilliant of course, but I also think what I do isn’t necessarily empathy, but more a sort of “surrogate suffering” that is ‘useless’. Ie: how am I helping anyone, by imagining my own child having leukemia or being kidnapped and then crying about it? 
I think this behaviour actually stems from stuff that happened in my childhood, what I mean is, when I ‘suffered’ in childhood due to bullying and other things, I didn’t feel anyone cared, and I think subconsciously I think that if I do the ‘surrogate suffering’ for these people who are going through these terrible things, I somehow express ‘care’ and ‘solidarity’ which is almost like I’m giving myself empathy, care and solidarity for the stuff I went through when I was young. So by expressing care and sadness for other people’s suffering, I’m also sending myself the same on some level.
I know, it seems perhaps convoluted and roundabout, but I think I’m onto something here. 
There is the additional fact, of course, that I really do care for people and their suffering. Truly, if I had one wish in the world, it would be to erase all suffering (or at least: certain types of suffering that seems too painful for me – certain type of suffering should just not be ‘allowed’), but I also think when I do this ‘solidarity crying’, it’s about me and deeper stuff about me. 
Additionally, the fact that horrible things like leukemia and kidnapping etc happens to little ones, does make me feel fearful and worried about what could happen to my own children. Imagining Dylan with cancer just absolutely devastates me in so many ways and on so many levels. And then I think: but this IS happening to some people! And that’s how I get into a crying sessions, imagining how those parents must be feeling etc etc. See? Useless no? How is that helping anyone? 
And of course, this ‘behaviour’ is very non-zen or being in the now. It’s all about future projection, attachment and ‘false suffering’. (Well, it isn’t ‘false’ as I am suffering, but I’m crying about an imaginary situation: Dylan having cancer or being kidnapped (!)). 
The other thing that is going for me too is that: all children in the world are Dylans to me. It’s isn’t less ‘bad’ that it’s happening to someone else’s child, it’s as painful to me to see a little 2 year old starve to death in Ethiopia as to see a 2 year old in France battling cancer or Dylan going through something horrendous. 
Anyway, I try to be more present to just the now and tell myself that if such a horrendous thing DID happen to me, I’d have to deal with it then and not suffer for it now, but at times I just can’t help myself and just tears keep flooding out of me. I suppose preggo hormones don’t help either. 
Byron Katie helps me too with this, though her ‘work’ is quite radical and one needs to live it continuously. Also, at times it feels devoid of empathy. Anyhoo, the other day, this vid of hers helped me: 
and also this one always helps me as it’s about fear of ‘something in the future’, worrying about a projected potential future (that is totally me): 
and lastly this one also mighty helpful: 
I just watched all of those and I’m actually feeling a lot lighter again. 
But anyway, I go through phases of just feeling absolutely aggrieved by what goes on in the world and feel lost as to how to deal with it. Byron Katie and Tolle are my usual go to guys to feel more balanced and leveled, but the outbursts often come back. I suppose their work is something I need to integrate into my life on a daily basis.
Don’t want to end this on a slightly sad note, I’m not sad now, just wanted to share this with the world out there, as I feel sharing this sort of stuff often helps others too and I’m all about wanting to be authentic and open, so there! :-) Let me know if you understand/ relate? 
On a VERY happy note: Life Book has just exploded with sign ups, this makes me soooo happy I could cry happy tears! :) I’m also very excitedly writing up the detailed WEEKLY year outline (we’re doing something every week, even though small things on some weeks), which is just so cool! And I’m super excited about having 2 more teachers join instead of Leonie! (I’ll be introducing them on my blog this week and next week too). They are Kylie Fowler and Tracy Verdugo!
Registration is still open if you want to join the 220 + students who have already joined!

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