Updated: Jun 6, 2020
I continue to go to another place in my mind many times a day. A time where the function of my hips was to sit comfortably in easy pose. A time where my hips could flow through a yoga class without so much as a thought. A time where I had the other two guys in my life sitting on opposite sides of me in the front of the class and the calming voice of Olivia urging me to stay in the present. One side - Michael, who led me on a 9 mile torturous hike two weeks before my last hip surgery and who I’m getting ready to have him challenge me to a short hike in a few weeks (wink, wink). On the other side - Bubba. Now, the name “Bubba” conveys toughness. It conveys grit. It does not convey softness, humility or genuineness. Bubba sits to the right of me. And we share a common bond of artistry and a disdain for germs. I see his humility, his softer side. In fact, Bubba helped me perfect the logo for this blog and website! Bubba has lots of tattoos that tell many stories. Bubba, like me, has found an outlet for the emotions that are created by life’s struggles.
That outlet is yoga, contemplation and art - whether it be painting or writing. Bubba created the most amazing cup for me. It added to my collection of “hippie” cups. My favorite drink of the day is real lemonade made out of my life’s lemons. So, my point in sharing this is that we all struggle and we all need to find the outlet to release the anxiety, the fear, the anger. And, let’s be honest, now is the time that we are all experiencing anxieties, fears, and anger. All you have to do is turn on the news and see injustice, hate, worry, scary statistics and death.
And you have to sometimes turn the outside noise off just for a time of peace and renewal. When I asked Bubba about why he paints, he said that he likes to create something from scratch with whatever materials he has around. It is that ability to take miscellaneous and extraneous things and make it into something beautiful and cohesive.
Speaking for myself and possibly Bubba, I think that we both are hopeful that all of the struggles we have been through will create a beautiful, complex piece of art. My vision is that I will take the colors of pain, frustration, achievement, perseverance and mix them together. My picture will not end up with a muddy kindergarten color, but rather a vibrant picture titled, “Hope Is Still Here” even though right now the colors on my life’s canvas feel muddy.
Bubba also shared with me that he feels that sometimes his “mind is so chaotic that [he needs] to have an intense level of focus and concentration so that [he] can see something beautiful in [his] mind instead of everything else that roams around in there.” He feels that yoga has also met his need for self expression by helping him identify the colors of his body, soul, and spirit for his painting. Yoga has helped him create that cohesive picture of hope.
For me, from the time that I started this writing last night to now, I have gone through a myriad of emotions. Lack of hope. Sadness. Happiness. Sadness. Cautious Hope.
Sometimes, you need to dig deeper to develop the skill of painting hope. Sometimes, you have to look past the initial impressions of a name or an emotion even. Dig into your thoughts, your feelings, your spirit and your soul. If you are a writer like me, you can cross out the negative stuff whether it be an awkwardly worded sentence in your life or just even a typo that you want to do over. Even though I can’t cross out my hips, I can work on crossing off the way I react to situations. Bubba, with his myriad of colors, can also paint over the negative stuff with vibrant hues. Although this may not entirely erase the muddy stains of grief, sadness, despair, or pain, they can create a rainbow of hope.
Hopeful Hippies, please find the outlet that will allow you to move through this hip journey with a relative amount of sanity and hope. Find your intuitive, creative self and paint (or write) your own story of hope!