Select Page

Why October Is The Ultimate Month to Celebrate Body, Mind & Halloween!

I’m celebrating getting ready to perform my show tonight, BUT…Did you know that there were three celebrations so far this month?

IMG_20150831_104009

Studio gallery here.

(And it’s not even Halloween yet!!!)

1.) It was World Ostomy Day – a day to appreciate the body your have – for ANYONE!

WORLD OSTOMY DAY is October 3rd, 2015!

Loving our bodies…

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

2.) It was Mental Health Awareness Week this month – which we can celebrate all year long!

You can learn about my mental health programs for students here and for everyone else…here!

3.) It was Domestic Violence Awareness Month – a time where we need to celebrate speaking up for ourselves and taking care of our own bodies.  You can listen to an interview I did about my own history of abuse here.

WP_20150322_21_20_07_Pro

How Creativity Saved My Life here.

This is how I honored my body, my mind, and the gift of being alive this month:

 

Body and Self-Acceptance…
Years ago, when I was still trying to come to terms with my new body after 27 turbulent surgeries, much of the art I created was tactile art, using materials like felt, buttons, etc. to really feel comfortable with how my body was “magically” altered every time I woke up in the recovery room.  Waking up with a new colostomy, ostomy, wound, scar etc. is always a bit jarring and takes some time to get used to.  Getting recognized with the Great Comebacks Award was a big honor and also helped me realize that what I had been through could inspire others.
I even wrote a song about it years ago:  “The Body Song” – you can listen to it here.
“The Body Song” by ME.
This was just a “mini-me” I made out of felt years ago to get accustomed to the new body I was in:
Me…with an ostomy.  (But still me.)

It’s hard to always feel connected to your body.  I just saw this book in Barnes & Nobles -and it’s true.  We keep so many emotions locked up in our bodies

In The Studio…the body DOES keep score.

I tried experimenting with a different color palette this weekend in honor of my newest Fall Into Art Journaling Challenge– basically it was an excuse to squeeze out the last of any old paint bottles.

 

You can still join in on the Art Journaling Challenge – you don’t even need to be an artist! Or like artists!

I call it early spring cleaning!  Okay, my studio’s a mess.  I admit it.

How I Used my Art to Celebrate:

I’ve been thinking a lot about my body lately, especially after World Ostomy Day this month.  It made me reflect on my relationship to my “self” and the actual body my “self” is in.

I’ve been painting a lot of figures without faces or expressions lately because the truth is…I’m not so sure how I feel about my self in my body at this moment.

Check out my workshops for artists here…and performances too!

I like just dabbing around a paper towel through my art – that’s all I did to make this.  There is something soothing about the non-exact kind of just playing around in paint.  Very therapeutic not knowing what I’m doing – or caring.

ANYONE can make art.

In the past, I’ve talked about how terrible I am at minimalism.  I have a problem “walking away” – there always needs to be STUFF added to it!

So the next day I came back to this…

And I might have added a bit too much.  But as the wonderfully charming folks over at Powerful Nonsense Podcast found out from reading my blog, it’s hard for me to leave a canvas without adding one thing…

podcast nonsense

Listen to the podcast here.

A TEAR.

340799_10150602709799658_500205866_o

(sorry, can’t help it.)

So that’s what I added.  Knowing it was probably fine as is.

Crowd-sourcing Opinions:

 I did make a desperate plea to Facebook of course:

“I need your honest opinions…just used paint yesterday. Went back and added the fabric teardrop, eyelids and heart because I couldn’t help myself. Does this call for an edit: undo?”

And of course everyone has their own opinion…

  •  PERSON 1:Sometimes less is more I do like the one that has nothing on the face. But having said that I like the tear drop and eyelids (heart ? Can’t place it?) it has more emotion and feelings to it. To me.
  •  PERSON 2:I love it with the new additions adding more emotions. It’s beautiful!
    But at the end of the day, the only one who can decide…is yourself.
    Sometimes a tear

    This is from my Inspiration Gallery

    The tear was more for me than anyone else.

Clear Cut

Finding Gratitude When Your Body and Mind Aren’t Perfect:

I’m a very positive person but I have plenty of difficult moments.
I write a lot of positive things because I’m very grateful to be alive.
1

Loving your body takes work.

But I have awful days too. Having bags all over the place isn’t easy – ever. And sometimes I forget what it was like to just wake up and not deal with anything – and honestly, sometimes I just can’t deal at all.

My World Has Split, MIXED MEDIA

But I think what World Ostomy Day is about it just knowing that we’re not alone. Life is a bit harder and it takes a bit more work, but there is some kind of power in numbers here. Knowing we all struggle, we all get frustrated, we all feel messy, sick, angry, sad, or just don’t want to deal – when we know others go through this too, we actually feel human.
You may not love your body, your life, your circumstances.  Heck, you may not even like it.
Surgery #27

Art I did with my ostomy bags when I was very frustrated with my circumstances.

But remember, the whole world is with you – today and every day.
Beautiful
Why we should all celebrate together:
 Anyway, we’re all in this together, and in the end, it makes things just…well, easier.
I know I’m not alone here – How do you feel about your body?  What frustrates you?  Do you have a hard time always trying to find the positive side?
Send me a note, or better yet….DRAW IT.
IMAG4494
  • Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to understand ourselves. Carl Jung

This October, we love our bodies, our minds and our detours!

lovemydetour

Get involved here!

See ya, Detourists.  Keep on following your own beautiful detours.  I’m following mine to Denver tonight to perform Gutless & Grateful, my one-woman show.  Wish me luck!

AmyO-Nov'14.Still027

Check it out! I travel 🙂

 

October – you’ve been a crazy ride.  We’ve delved into health, life, and loving all of it all month long.  Now let’s get crazy for HALLOWEEN!!!

For more inspiration and an awesome Detourist Field Guide…subscribe!

Wanna know more about my program tonight?  I can always come to you!  Check out Gutless & Grateful and be sure to subscribe for updates!

I was sexually abused.My stomach exploded.I was in an coma for months.I've had 27 surgeries.I couldn't eat or drink for 6 years.

Why October Is The Ultimate Month to Celebrate Body, Mind & Halloween!

%d bloggers like this: