Growing up in Northwest Montana, I was surrounded by mountains on all sides. I didn’t realize what a privilege this was until I was at least 18. Now, there are few things I find more beautiful than a craggy, snow-peaked mountain range.
The intense forest fires this season brought tragedy upon thousands of people across Western America. Homes were lost, and lives were lost. Lessons were learned (we hope) about healthy forest management and the need to fund our National Forests in order to prevent such intense and raging infernos.
Those of us that have grown up in and around our forests understand this need, but unfortunately there are groups of people that do not. Some that think they are protecting the forests, and some at higher levels that simply don’t care about the forests at all. Ones that seem to forget how the oxygen they breathe is produced in the first place.
While this year’s fires were destructive beyond comprehension, there is always light to be found in even the darkest places. “Rebirth” was inspired by not only the visual splendor of this natural occurrence, but the inherent regeneration that comes with it. The hope that the scale of this preventable damage will spur action – legislatively and within ourselves. The understanding that things appear darkest just before the light, and that new growth can occur only after utter destruction.
“Rebirth” is a symbol of what you, and we, are capable of.
A few years ago, for my husband’s 30th birthday, I surprised him with a trip to Cinque Terre. We had this little apartment with a rooftop deck that had the most incredible view. We went to a little deli and bought all sorts of tasty treats to eat and drink on our little rooftop so we could enjoy the view as much as possible while we were there.
The horizon gave us so many beautiful color schemes, sunrises and sunsets and made that trip absolutely unforgettable. I’ve been wanting to paint them since then, and like the Playa collection, I wanted to focus on minimalism with watercolor.
1. Go for a walk (without music). Make a point to listen to just the sounds that the earth is making. The breeze blowing through the leaves and grass, the birds, the water if you’re near it.
2. Meditate. This doesn’t have to be difficult or even lengthy. Just silence everything for a minute. Listen to your soul. Your intuition. That is your Self speaking. She knows all the things. Trust her.
3. Touch the earth. Go outside barefoot and walk in the grass. Sink your toesies into the sand. Make a mud pie with your kids. Sit your ass in the creek. Really FEEL it.
4. Invite nature in. This can look many ways. Houseplants if you can keep them alive (I’m working on this), are aesthetically pleasing as well as cleansing to your air. An indoor water fountain. A beautiful piece of nature art. See what I did there? 😉
5. Plant a garden. It can be flowers, herbs, or a full on crop of vegetables if you have the time and patience. Flowers support our bee population (aka life) and bring so much beauty and joy to your space. If you go the veggie route, growing something from start to finish is incredibly satisfying, and it tastes so much better.
6. Get into it. Go kayaking. Go snowshoeing. Skiing. Hang gliding. The level of casual or extreme is up to you. But give yourself a perspective that you wouldn’t see otherwise, and be present in that moment.
7. Look up. The stars are incredible. Our universe is vast, and we can only see a tiny fraction of what it holds. If you can’t see them, make a plan to get somewhere you can for a weekend. You won’t regret it.
8. Pay attention to the details. The veins on the leaves. The subtle color changes in a flower petal. The beautiful textures and variations of the tree bark. The perfect spiral in a sea shell.
9. Start a fire. Safely, of course. Build a firepit in your backyard. Have a fire on the beach. Go camping and cook your food over the flames. There are few things as wonderful as listening to the crackling of a fire, watching the flames and feeling the warmth on your face. Mmmmhmmm.
10. Take it off. And by this, I mean skinny dip. At least topless. Bonus pleasure points if there’s a nice warm breeze. Throw both hands in the air and revel in your Goddess-ness.
Do YOU have any ideas to add to this list? Tell me about them in the comments! I would LOVE to hear from you.
Sometimes, I get the most beautiful notes from my Collectors. This one was particularly important to me, as it demonstrates something very meaningful to me, and the kind of healing that I want to foster for those that view my work.
The Collector’s name and artwork title have been withheld for his privacy.
“This is uncomfortable to say…I have seen and been through things that no human being should. I have been to Afghanistan, Bosnia and other countries…I have been shot at, mortared and almost blown up more times than are ok. I don’t say this as a badge of courage, but as a prelim to say that our piece of Emily’s artwork is my center. When I wake up in the middle of the night covered in sweat, I go to the bathroom…I see it on the wall above the tub and it calms me, it soothes me. It reminds me that there is beauty and good in the world…and all is well.” – An Appreciative Collector
PTSD is a serious issue that millions of people face, and there are several methods of attempted treatment. Knowing that I can bring a little slice of peace to one survivor means the absolute world to me.
I am so grateful.
View all healing art here.
Subscribe to download a FREE digital print here.
We lost my little Grampa today. 91 years he spent on this earth, doing everything he possibly could to make the lives of those he loved better. 91 years of being the most selfless person I’ve ever met, giving everything of himself so that his family could be happy and safe. I’ve never known a more generous and loving person, and I could not be more proud of him, and I could not be more proud to be his blood.
His favorite thing to say to me was ‘oh babe, I’m so proud of you I could just burst’. He always wished he could do more, provide more, take all pain and problems away from everyone that he loved. I’m so lucky. We are all so lucky that we got to have him. He made it 91 years without disease, without cancer, without dementia…not so much as a hospital visit all the way through the end. He didn’t want anything but Oreos and milk the past few months, until he stopped eating even those a couple of weeks ago. Unless there was gravy. He would never pass up the gravy.
Once you’ve experienced one severe loss, you try to mentally prepare yourself for any that you know are going to come eventually. I’ve been trying to mentally prepare for this one for about 16 years, more so in the past few months as he declined to a frail 72 pounds couldn’t muster the strength to even venture outside the house. But no matter the preparation, there is nothing that stops a heart from breaking. The phone call comes and you clutch your chest with one hand and your stomach with the other, trying to keep your heart and lungs from exploding out of you. You can’t breathe or speak, just sob until your body has nothing left to express. When you slowly emerge from the haze you sit in silence for awhile. And then you have to let people know. So you cry more, you tell stories, and the language brings you back to the present.
And then you realize what abundance truly means. That we are equipped as humans to feel so much. The good and the bad create an experience that is so full. Full of everything.
How grateful I am to have and experience such epic levels of love that I can be caused such epic levels of pain. On a day of such mourning and heartbreak, I am also filled with so much love and gratitude that I was given this man as my Grampa in this life. One who was an example of what a man should be, without even trying. His nature was pure love, kindness and generosity. Not to mention he was the most adorable man on earth.
I love you, my sweet Gpa. You have helped to mold the person I am today and there aren’t enough thanks in the universe worthy of everything you’ve done for me. Until we meet again, I’ll carry you with me. <3
Ivan Bernie Enger
Well hello lovelies!!
Headed to Target this weekend?!
“Playa Seven” was chosen to be part of a Limited Edition Collection in TARGET and on Target.com!
I’m so freaking excited!! AND they’re only $25!!
WOOT WOOT!!! 😆😍
They’ll be available for the next 7 weeks only, so get on it if you likey!!
With so much love and gratitude,