After completing my “practice-makes-perfect” motto collage, I realized I wanted to look for a turn-around. Even with the inner meaning of perfect = whole = complete, I felt that actually changing the words of what I am practicing is important. So, I started playing with changing the motto:
- Practice makes perfect
- Practice uncovers wholeness
- Practices uncover wholeness
- Practices welcome wholeness
- Practices invite wholeness
- Devotion to unfolding
- Devotional practice
- Practice devotion
- Devotional life
- Devotional living
- Mindful living
- Living mindfully
- Mindful devotion
- Practice Loving Kindness
As I landed on “Practice Loving Kindness,” I realized how related this is to the themes in my life these days. I am struggling with owning younger, more vulnerable parts of myself that I have split off in order to be “capable, competent Katy”—
- the side of me that was impressionable, open, sweet, connected, innocent
- the side that was full of energy, gusto, aliveness, joy, bounce, and verv.
This has affected very much how I tend to live in the world, not making enough time for rest, for play, for ease, for gentleness, for wildness…And how I am with the boys, especially the younger one, Evan. Because of my own disowned parts, I don’t have as much compassion for the parts of him that are like the young, wild, energetic me.
So, this collage turned out to be a tribute, an honoring of these young and vulnerable parts of myself—parts of me that are still here, but haven’t gotten as much air time. It includes photos of me on both sides, and moves from younger me to more adult me as you move toward the center. This collage reminds me that it is the practice of loving and being kind to these parts of myself that allows them to be in balance, joining in friendship, allowing me to be more embodied, more whole, more “perfect.”
The whole collage is in the shape of a heart with wings. I love this image—which for me symbolizes that the practice of loving and being kind is freeing—it opens the way for the heart to fly, for the body to be a prayer, for the mind to be open, not caged in self-images…
As Janne Eller-Isaacs, my Unitarian-Universalist minister said in a sermon: we want to be open to the invitation that life extends to each and every one of us to become more fully and responsibly human. I can’t be fully human without embracing both of these sides of myself. As I embrace, allow, and honor these parts of myself, I will be more loving and kinder not only with myself, but with others, which has to have a loving effect on the whole world!