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A self-portrait

In the age of selfies, the art of the self-portrait is a drowning art. Like an anchor. It sinks to the bottom of the clear lake to remain as a foundation, while cell-phone portraits float at the surface by the millions each day.

What constitutes a self-portrait? I'm hardly a versed artist, but I can say this: a self-portrait almost always includes

thought & intention planninga message or subject& an audience.
Recently I took a series of portraits to tell a story. I wanted to show what it was like to have schizophrenia through emotion, fabric, highlight and shadow.

I chronicled through portrait my journey with schizophrenia:

Symptomatic but not medicated or diagnosed.Diagnosed but not medicated. Medication trial and error through hospitalization.Isolation out of fear and shame.Despair because of that isolation.Accepting my diagnosis. Coming public with my diagnosis.Advocating for others with the same diagnosis.

I know that the term schizophrenia is hardly praised, so I want…

I went to a place I never intended



Hello, again.

How was your day? Your week?

Month? Season? or Year?

Decade? Your life?

Has any of it gone as expected?


Oh, really? Well, mine either. And thank goodness.

Because sometimes the things I want are NOT the things I need. So the hard NO's actually redirect me towards the things that resonate the YES's that were waiting for me all along.

Not gonna lie. The NO's feel like a door in the face. Punch in the gut. Crash and burn.

Which is extremely helpful, actually.

If they didn't feel like that, I'd keep pursuing the wrong path and never get the hint. Luckily, there are ways to avoid some of the epic failures, rejections, or crises.

Like: checking in with myself every day, every week, every month, every season, every year.
Sound excessive?

Well,

when we avoid check-ins, it's like driving 700 miles down a road without a map or road signs. And when you finally do look up to see where you are, it can be a rude wake-up call to realize:

"I went to a place I never intended."


Many people are afraid of what they'll see when they look inward for direction. So, they never actually look and would much rather be oblivious.

Hint: don't do this.

Instead, look up today and ask: How am I doing?


Write down your initial thoughts. Not an action plan, just observation. Here's why:

Observation and action plan on the same day/week/month will lead to inefficient circles of thought and ultimately produce anxiety.

Just observe everything about your surroundings and your inner voice.
No, really. Fully absorb your Point A before you begin plotting your Point B, or your next desired destination.



Reason being: If you haven't checked in with yourself in a while, you'll more than likely be out of touch or disoriented, as if the road signs are in a foreign language you no longer know how to speak or read.

Immediately plotting Point B without knowing where you are RIGHT NOW could make you feel lost even further.


Leaving the map analogy:

Get to know yourself. Your TRUE self that's buried deep in their somewhere. This concept of self-introspection is too complex to even review in one blog post. It's a life long learning that requires consistent study, research, and depth of thought, encouraged by consuming new ideas, material, and concepts from others. Just like you're doing right now.

I'm just one voice. I don't have a quick fix, just a quick read. But I encourage you to continue your journey inwards, and if you haven't begun that journey- start today by observing.

Want to learn how to observe more accurately? Check out this book on mindfulness:

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life




I would love to read any input or ideas you have on this topic. Feel free to join the conversation on Instagram or in the comments below.