Anne Copeland, a Phoenix, Arizona fiber artist, quilt curator and co-author of the new book – Artistic Alchemy.
and writer is my GUEST BLOGGER for APRIL 2016
For each of my GUEST BLOGGERS I have asked only one question. I invite each guest to share an article, photos and whatever else is on their mind that they want to share.
Each of my guests is a talented professional in their own field. I want to know what they are thinking about & want to share with others through this blog.
My QUESTION is:
What is on YOUR mind?
Barbara Williamson and I started are co-authors of the new book, Artful Alchemy.
When we started our nonprofit 501 ©(3), we got calls from a number of women who asked to enter some of our shows and they wanting to know if chronic depression was considered a physical challenge. I always answered them:
“Well, honey, it sure isn’t an out-of-body experience is it?”
I am not certain how many people who have suffered depression caused by chemical imbalances and other challenges they have faced in life, but it is very real and many people never get out of the cave. That list of challenges would including traumas and deaths of loved ones, often unexpected as well as their own traumas.
One of the beliefs about depression is that its one of the primitive responses to the environment. When people were hunters and gatherers they often had to suffer from hunger and cold and thirst. So when a person became depressed, his/her body would shut down, enabling them to live through the hard times until food and drink would become available again, or the weather would warm up. So it is a survival trait more than likely.
I lived through some pretty traumatic incidents through my entire youth, and I don’t think I really got to be a child at all, just tried to survive various kinds of abuse. Luckily I managed to shut down and write poetry and read stories and I did survive all those things. When I was old enough to live away from home, I took the opportunity, only to face more abuse in a very young marriage. But eventually I escaped, and started to work and educate myself on my own, and as I learned and got an education, I grew in my ability to feel joy and to become my own little person, eccentric and artistic and funky. I realized that I could become what I wanted to be without having to depend on others to live.
My art and writing helped me transition into a passionate and determined person more than anything. Suddenly I could transform myself into any world I wanted to experience, and I actually had a voice of my own that I was able to express through my writing.
Photo: Anne’s 18-year old Funky Honda Civic Hatchback covered with fabric
Today, I have many accomplishments since I got out on my own!
I am a most positive and committed person. I love to serve others and have been volunteering most of my life. I worked my way up to do the work I want to do that feels challenging to me and like something I can use to help make a difference for someone. Although I have attended three universities and earned two degrees (will have the second one in the Fall of 2016) and have two certificates in quality assurance from the third university, I am mostly self-taught.
I have lived a very full, exciting and adventurous life. And I have seen and done things that few people will see or do in a lifetime.
Now this is not a bragathon, but just something to let you know that no matter what your challenge is or has been in life, you can live a full life and have love and joy every day if that is what you want. Our minds are part of our physical body, so anything is possible.
I also believe that all challenges we have lived through are a blessing to us as we could never learn compassion for others if we never had these experiences. We would have no clue how to help someone; it’s sort of like a priest (no offense) trying to give a family advice when he has never been married. And we could never build our strength of character or our faith or spirituality, whatever form that might take. Once we have resolved a problem, it will not be a problem again unless we are addicted to problems because now we will know how to deal with it. Problems are only those things we have never encountered before. As adults, we can say no and mean it. We don’t have to accept anything that we don’t want to accept, and if there is something we do want, we just have to teach ourselves how to be determined. Most of all, we have to believe in ourselves. I once read a book called Advice from a Failure by Jo Coudert. In it she wrote
“Of all the people you will ever meet or love, there is one person you will wake up with every day of your life.” And I think that is so true. If you cannot love yourself, who can you love?
On the Other Side of the Garden Wall
By Anne Copeland
When I felt I was lost, I was found,
For I couldn’t know I was lost
Unless I had a context of being where I was.
When I felt I was unloved, I was loving myself,
For I was acknowledging
My human needs and feelings.
When I felt afraid, I was the bravest of all,
For it takes tremendous courage to face
Scary thoughts and feelings square on.
And when I thought I had no hope,
I had tremendous hope,
For things could never get better
If I couldn’t see where I am now,
And have a sense of needing to change.
And so I realize
I’ve been on the other side of the garden wall
Essay, photos and poem by Anne Copeland. Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
_Former AQS Certified Appraiser 22 Years
_Professional Quilt Judge/Quilt Historian
All ideas expressed on this blog post are the intellectual property of the guest, Anne Copeland. Shared today by Lynda McKinney Lambert, with much appreciation for her kind and generous spirit. Thank you!