Growth out of decay

I just got home from an Ashtanga yoga session and an interview for a job as a ranger/caretaker of a hut in the highlands of Iceland this summer. I’m still not fully over the fact that I’m healthy enough now to be able to work, play and love once again. Health is not something to be taken for granted.

After two years of a debilitating chronic illness that I talked about in my post A Midnight of the Soul, I’m finally feeling well again. In fact I’m starting to feel better than ever before. My life has changed so much. I’m more confident, loving and grateful for being alive than I’ve ever been. I’ve discovered a basic truth of being human: we will experience pain and difficulty, but suffering is a choice we make.

I’ve started to get back into the groove of making art. I was studying illustration at university before I finally had to drop out due to my illness, and since then I hadn’t touched a pencil or paintbrush until a few days ago. I started drawing again, and yesterday I even went to a model drawing session. Feeling a bit rusty but so happy to be at it again. Here is the result.

I want to start sharing more of my artwork here on Joy of Awareness soon, but I’m still learning the WordPress ropes and I’m in no particular hurry. I want to share it post by post, but I also want to set up a separate gallery at some point. But for now I’m happy to keep drawing and writing, creating content and hopefully somebody will enjoy reading what I have to say. This is all just a constant work in progress.

What I’m focusing on at the moment is building a daily drawing habit again. I’m trying to start slowly, because having experienced total and utter burnout in the aftermath of my darkest hour, I want to be extra careful. It’s difficult to explain burnout if you’ve never experienced it. Or maybe it isn’t that difficult. Basically I’ve loved art and drawing all my life, but after a long drawn-out battle with chronic illness and lethargy while simultaneously trying to keep up the habit of drawing every day, I started to positively despise it.

Strange that a hobby or passion can die down so completely. I felt completely lost, not knowing at all what to do with my life from now on, or whether the passion would ever return.

Well, apparently I needed a few months to regain my energy and allow my body to heal and my mind to rest.

Although dropping out of school was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made, it was also the best. I would not be where I am now if I hadn’t. I gave myself a chance to completely re-prioritize my life and to find love within. From that self love sprang the desire to share my triumphs and tribulations. Thus the Joy of Awareness.

I now once again feel the longing to communicate, the urge to express myself. In words and in pictures. I want freedom of expression for myself and for everybody else. I don’t know what the future holds for me, and in the first time in my life I don’t really want to know. All I do know is that whatever comes will be as beautiful and expansive as I allow it to be. And the more I develop my conscious awareness and skills of communication, the more easily I’ll be able to find the groove of any circumstance. Serendipity is an extension of expanded consciousness. I don’t believe in chance anymore.

I want this website to be a reflection of myself in some ways. I want to write about anything and everything that intrigues me or plagues me. I want to try to help others with lessons I’ve learned the hard way, but I also want to clear my own mind, in a similar way to journaling I guess. A mirror to my soul.

I see it not as a project ever to be completed, but rather as a stream of conscious appraisal and insight. I hope that with time and effort I will be able to reach more and more people, while at the same time developing within myself the confidence, skill and love needed to make an impact even more. Our existence is a constant journey of discovery and learning.

Much love to you all, until next time.


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