My lesson from last week: Listen to your body

The lesson: If you enjoy doing something creative such as drawing or painting, make sure that you're taking care of your whole body.

In theory, I always knew that we should be good stewards of our bodies, but in reality the effort I put into it was minimal. I get my kale/banana smoothie pretty much every morning and my chips addiction has been kept at bay, but as far as exercise...eh not so much.

 

 

So it all started with some shoulder pain on Thursday, I kept my arm rested during live model sessions at Orange Door. 

Check out these expressive drawing that came out of this session. You can probably tell who the model was.
It was inspiring to see these women really go at it and put down their marks on paper. My arm was still ok.

Drawings by Jere Tannenbaum

Drawings by Jere Tannenbaum

Drawings by Diane Maller

Drawings by Diane Maller

 

On Saturday I had the urge to draw as well and had Joachim model. 

Richard Bilotti and I confirming our measurements.

Richard Bilotti and I confirming our measurements.

 

And after that, I had the urge to work on Adam. Do you see the big ole red flag my body was waving at me? At this point I'm holding up my right arm with my left. I should've heeded those signs.

But nooooooo, I kept going.

 

Well, that evening, I could not sleep because of the pain in my shoulder. 

This is when I felt a bit better. Pain is no fun, people.

This is when I felt a bit better. Pain is no fun, people.

My wise husband finally took me to urgent care, where we found out that I have calcified tendonitis. It comes from repetitive movement over the years and it just happened to flare up last week. 

Me: "Will I ever paint again??" 

Super-amazing-competent-doc: "Of course you will. You just have to strengthen your shoulder and be aware that there could be flare ups in the future."

With some heavy meds, daytime has been ok because I'm distracted and when I'm upright it doesn't hurt as much. But night time is another animal...I slept on an armchair in the living room. 

And this is where artwork comes back full circle: I couldn't sleep, all I could look at was the walls of this room. And one painting stood out: 

 

SKY by Mic Boekelmann 2015

SKY by Mic Boekelmann 2015

I needed to focus on a promise that there is hope. I needed to see a slice of heaven. I needed to be led to an open space.

This piece of art lifted me up in that very moment. I'm grateful for that and for the people who sent encouraging messages and prayers my way. 

 

MY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS EXPERIENCE

  • Schedule some real "Take care of your body" time and put it on the calendar.
  • Put up images on your wall that can transport you to a place where you're filled with inspiration (really helpful when you experiencing those rubber-meets-the-road moments.)
  • Give a piece of uplifting art to a friend who is not doing so well.
  • Balance your activities - rest, work, play!

 

big picture

In order to keep on doing what you love, like making art, you'll also need take care of the body that does all the heavy lifting, drawing and painting. I'm planning on doing it for a long time, so I need to invest in longterm care of my right shoulder, especially.
Bottomline: Take care of your body and it'll take care of you and everything else you love!

 

action step

What does your schedule look like as far as excercise? Let me know what you do to keep your body fit. 

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.
— Jim Rohn