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The hot seat sucks

Mixed media portrait

Not all that long ago, I opened my studio and began inviting people to come in and work on their own trauma. In these sessions we talk (a lot) about leaning into hard things, dealing with conflict and tension instead of ignoring it. We spend time looking at important images, personal letters and objects, any “thing” that they bring in that has made an emotional impact in their lives. Then they work with those materials to make another image(s). The whole process is about feeling what has been trapped inside your body and letting it out in a way that allows the body to be in charge of the pace and intensity.

The whole reason I’m posting every single day (for the rest of eternity) is because if I’m asking the people who come in to be brave, I need to hold myself to that same standard. The hot seat sucks. But I’ll take it over the consequences of unprocessed pain any day. It’s dangerous. I’ve caused plenty of unconscious harm towards others because I hadn’t dealt with my own shit. And that shit keeps coming, finding its way to the surface. I still have a hard time “leaning in” to my own discomfort, especially when I’m caught off guard. Instead, I like to distract by picking up the crap around me, walking out of the room to brush my teeth--right that second, or head towards the butter dish to get more butter… I feel all squirmy and constricted, and just want to get away. But my husband and others that know and love me, notice my hiding and call me out. Then my butter (toast) loses some of its appeal.


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