Sunday, October 28, 2012

Living with a Whole Heart

Living with a Whole Heart © 7.5x11.5"
This is my newest piece! I actually just finished it this afternoon. This work was inspired by Brené Brown's book I Thought it Was Just Me (But it isn't)  and Sara Groves's Loving a Person - Add to the Beauty.

I read Brené Brown's book this summer. I have never leaned so much about how shame can shape us as women! What a tough topic to divulge into and side by side with vulnerability, not something I would normally be drawn to, but  when I had a mentor suggest a few books to me this summer this is the one I knew I needed to read more than anything. I know shame is something that my heart struggles with deeply from childhood scars to finding acceptance.

I love how Brené Brown speaks of Wholehearted living. This is the inspiration for the title. Choosing to be fully you, and fully honest about who you are. There is such a fragility about choosing to not simply please the people around you and try to meet all of the standards that are thrust upon us. I liked how the size of the hummingbird can represents this frailty.

The female North American Hummingbird is flying with her breast open and her inner wing exposed to the viewer. The pose in itself represents the vulnerability of sharing who we are. We are open not only to receive empathy and strength, but it can also open us to rejection and hurt. Causing us to make a courageous choice.

As I went to paint the hummingbird I did my some research on the bird as I usually do before painting, and I came across some facts that made her even more of a perfect choice! I learned that hummingbirds have a large heart in comparison to their body weight of 1.75-2.5% of their total weight. They actually have the largest heart to body ratio of all the animal kingdom. I also found that as a hummingbird is in flight their heart rate is about 1,260 beats per minute, compared to that while resting as about 250 beats per minute. I couldn't help to think about the shear effort flight takes these creatures, but how beautiful it is to watch them whiz around as if they are dancing with the wind.

I think about the effort it takes to love someone, to meet them where they are, and to seek them out when they push you away. The effort it takes to admit I am wrong, that I have made a mistake, and most of all to ask for forgiveness. I think of the effort it takes to be real, to love myself, and to grow. I think of the effort it takes to reach down to my pain to provide empathy and understanding to another, or to simply let someone else know they aren't alone in their struggle. That moment of labor is worth the flight, it is worth the refreshment of my soul, it is worth the joy that follows. The knowing of finding purpose in my existence to worship and connect.

1 comment:

  1. I can't tell you how much I love my painting! Thank you so much. It's hanging in my office and is a beautiful reminder to stay openhearted!