Took a moment…

lake 500 pi

I took a moment today to be calm and relax.  This is the view of the lake from my car.  I had a mocha latte which is my reward for facing my fears.

I have been caught up in the bustle of every day errands.  Groceries and such.  And I’ve had anxiety.  So I listened to my subconscious and thought what am I anxious about.  What’s making my subconscious make me anxious.  It was fear.  Fear of my abuser.  He doesn’t know that I know that he raped me.  But he probably knows that I’ve been mentally ill.  You see his family has ties to friends of my mother’s.  However I am not friends with them.  So no one of my mother’s friends knows the reason for my mental illness.  So I am relatively safe.  But my fear now is what if he finds out?  Will he try to harm me or my family?  I have to be careful on Facebook I think.  I phoned the police.  I have to go in physically and talk to an officer.  I’m going to do that soon.  I have talked to an officer on the phone but he didn’t file a report.  I want it on record what my abuser did to me.  So I have to go in.

It took all of my courage to call the police on the phone.  Now, to protect myself and those I love, I have to go in physically.  I’m not as scared as I was to call.  So that’s a plus.

I have also been searching for a psychologist for therapy.  My benefits cover it luckily.  But it’s been hard going.  Some aren’t taking new patients.  I finally got through to one group of psychologists but I think that there is going to be a waiting list.  So we’ll see when I get an appointment.

All of this has been working in the back of my mind as I do errands and take care of myself.  I am exhausted but staying positive.  I took a moment today to reward myself.  Nature helped me recharge my batteries as it often does.  I just sat and looked over the lake.  Sipping my mocha latte.  I am walking at home now so I don’t get a view of the lake or the time to gaze over it.  I need that.  I’ve been missing that.  I instinctively knew that I needed something today so I took a moment.  Bought the mocha latte and went to the lake.

Take a moment.  Reward yourself for your hard work facing your anxiety.  Facing and surviving your illness.  Take a moment and spoil yourself!  Always keep fighting!


Canoe in Mist on Lake WIP.

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Miriam’s Art is sharing her Canoe in Mist on Lake WIP pastel painting.  It soothed her troubled mind to paint this painting.  She has a special technique for the black silhouette of the canoe.  Enjoy!

The black silhouette of the canoe catches the viewers eye immediately.  The yellow of the mist is not developed yet.  The black silhouette of the trees has been established.  The reflection on the water is yet to be done.

I am in a state of anxiety about seeing a psychologist.  I know that we will cover topics that will be difficult for me and my subconscious is making me aware of these topics.  Painting helped to still my mind.

I have also felt a little bit of anxiety about my art.  Art is a reflection of your passion.  Water inspires me and I have passion for a still lake.  I had thought that waves interested me.  Although they are beautiful, I am not passionate about them.  It took a discussion with my youngest daughter who is wise beyond her years to realize that I should paint my passion.  I am also passionate about animals, water droplets, flowers and about mothers and young, human or animal.  I plan to develop my passion in these subject areas further.

A used a special Rembrandt black pastel for the silhouette of the boat.  It is much darker than the regular pastel black.  The mist is in place.  Now I have to play around with it to make it believable.  The sun spot will be a challenge to do.

I was dealing with this anxiety about the psychologist and therefore didn’t post this week.  Forgive me.  My health comes first.


Baby’s Face Portrait Painting.

baby face2 500 pi

Miriam’s Art is pleased to release her Baby Face pastel portrait.  It is with great pleasure that I paint a baby’s face.  Most of the painting was done at a time of calm.  Enjoy!

The pink of the lips of the child attract the attention immediately.  They are pouting as is often seen in a baby.  The pink contrasts well with the white highlight and the skin tones of the chin and nose.

This painting was done at a time of relative calm.  Or is it that it calms me greatly to paint a child.  I am a grandmother after all!  It was a joy!

The lips were the most challenging since they can’t be red as with lipstick.  They have to be flesh pink.  I believe I’ve got them right.  I may work on it a bit more.  The lips are proving to be difficult.

This is a 12×18″ painting framed.  The painting itself is 5.5 x 9″.  Please see my website under Shop, Portfolio and scroll down to Shop Now to purchase.  It can be found at

Being a woman…a poem.

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Miriam’s Art wrote a poem about being a woman this morning.  Since it’s International Women’s Day she thought that she would share it on her art website today.  Stay strong.  Stand alone.  Lean on your partner but never lose yourself in them!

Being a woman.
What does it mean?
A person of strength.
A person of dreams.
We are vulnerable and yet.
Able to withstand pain like no other.
Able to heal like no other.
Able to empathize like no other.
Yet we are victims.
Often dependent for love.  For worth.
Often mere reflections of our mate.
Stand strong.  Stand alone.
We are woman.
Independent and strong.

photo credit:  Aaron Burden with Unsplash.

Do I need a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist? I’m confused.

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I made a request to my psychiatrist asking to see a psychologist.  Their is a difference he told me with a little bit of disdain.  Slowly I heal.

I have been confused about this for a long time.  Psychiatrist versus psychologist.  Therapist is what then?

The internet defines the following:

psychiatrist:  a medical practitioner specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.  He treats mental illness with medicine.

psychologist:  a mental health professional who evaluates and studies behavior and mental processes. an expert or specialist in psychology.  Psychology is more of a behaviorist approach.

therapist:  a social worker or a psychologist.

psychotherapy:  the treatment of mental disorder by psychological rather than medical means.

I thought that I was in therapy when I went to see my psychiatrist.  This is wrong.  A psychiatrist merely provides medication without talking about the issues underlying the condition.  My psychiatrist quickly told me in the past that he doesn’t do counseling.  Counseling is provided by therapy.  Therapy is provided by social workers or psychologists.  He also said that he dealt with medicine.  And that psychologists often didn’t support medicine.  So there’s a bit of attitude between the two professions.

If you want to talk about the underlying reason for your mental illness you have to go to counseling.  What I found however was that with social workers they didn’t want to talk about the nitty gritty details but rather talked in generalities.  I need to talk specifically about what happened to me and my reaction to it.  S P E C I F I C A L L Y.  I need to say it out loud over and over again so as to free my soul.  I feel this deep inside.  I know this because when I try to do mindfulness or meditation, thoughts of my abuse still come to me.  In an intimate way.  It’s not enough to talk in generalities if I want to be free of what happened.  If I want my mind to heal.  Therefore I need the help of a psychologist.  Be careful, they are expensive.  But if you are lucky your health benefits will pay for them.  The medication and my psychiatrist have calmed my anxiety.  But if I want to be free of the abuse in my mind, I have to talk about it to someone specialized in psychology.

I am a bit angry.  Why did I have to come to this realization by myself?  Why wasn’t it recommended right away?!  And I have been confused for a long time about the difference between the two.  Hence this post.  Please forgive me for the rant.

I’ve said it before.  It’s not enough to treat the symptoms.  You have to talk about the underlying cause of mental illness.  Therefore this means therapy.  Therefore this means that a psychologist AND a psychiatrist should be involved.  If you are currently under the care of a psychiatrist and need to talk about the reasons for your mental illness, then you need a social worker or a psychologist as well.  I would go so far as to say that you need a psychologist rather than a social worker.  Check if your benefits cover one.  Make an appointment today!

Keep fighting!  Slowly I heal.

International Women’s Day!


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Happy International Women’s Day!  I reflect on what being a woman means with joy and sadness.  Enjoy!

What does it mean to be a woman.  The very essence and the very core of a woman is her status as a mother.  She is biologically chosen to procreate and yet has the honor of that intimate connection with her offspring.  That intimate bond that no other human can have with her child.  She carries her child for nine months.  The baby knows her heartbeat and is connected physically to their mother.  Giving birth is a miracle.  It is like running a marathon, pain included, but is still a miracle.  A new soul, a new spirit.  We, as mothers, have such a responsibility to that new being for we shape it’s very existence, it’s soul, it’s spirit.  The child we nurture is dependent on it’s mother, us, for it’s survival but also for it’s mental health and well being.  A child is so vulnerable.  So trusting.  So cherished.  There is no other greater work in the world than that of a mother.

Sadly there is a negative flip-side to this healing and nurturing profession.  And that is that women are often the victim of molestation or rape.  The very essence that defines the most important part of our being, makes us the most vulnerable to men who are mentally ill.  Why is it that in times of stress and conflict, such as war or when men feel threatened, that the woman becomes the victim of their sexual greed.  Why is it that we are often the victim.  Often the weaker and exploited.  It is time to stand up for we all have a voice.  It is when we make others aware of our plight that we become empowered and if we stand together we can change the world.  Speak out about your sexual abuse.  Talk to a trusted friend, a priest, or a professional.  It is only in speaking out that we have any chance of avoiding the aggressor and of healing.  Don’t suffer in silence!  Speak!

And so I bring back the conversation to the joy of being a mother.  Women are often healers as well as mothers.  It is the nurturing instinct in all of us.  The empathy that we feel for fellow human beings is far greater than a man can feel.  That is our nurturing instinct.  It is an honor to be a mother.  An honor to care for that little human being that is a miracle.  And yes there are women who abuse the trust and tarnish the honor.  But the majority of women nurture and cherish that little miracle that is born of them.

If you have never had a child and are thinking of it, I recommend the experience wholeheartedly.  However it is a major responsibility.  With your nurturing and special care you create either a solid human being who can stand up to life or a child who suffers.  That child is directly dependent on you for it’s survival.  Not only it’s biological survival but also it’s mental survival.  You will shape that little human being into something that is strong or something that is weak and perhaps flawed.  It is up to you.  There are many varying shades to the child and the child is directly dependent on it’s environment as he or she is growing up.  Biology and genetics play a big role but so does the environment that the child grows up in.  We all do the best that we can but know that that child’s mental health and stability is directly dependent on how he or she is brought up and how well protected he or she is from the evil that exists in our world.  Sadly that evil does exist.  It is our job as a mother to protect our child from all that can harm him or her.  It is a great responsibility.

And so I congratulate the many mothers out there who have children that are happy and compassionate.  That I believe is the greatest indicator of success as a human being.  To be happy and compassionate towards other human beings.

A mother needs to be patient, consistent and strong.  Stay patient!  Stay strong for that little being that is a miracle that is known as your child!  Enjoy!

A healthy relationship.

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A healthy relationship is built on trust, respect and communication.  Slowly I heal.

This week and in the past weeks I have been working on setting boundaries, saying no, and what a healthy relationship is.  I found out at my drop-in center that I am a passive passive communicator.  I tend to avoid confrontation and put other’s needs before me.  There is hope as you can see in this article called 9 signs of passive behavior.  I tried to be more assertive with disastrous results.  I came across all wrong and got mad when I would have liked to educate instead of argue.  I had practiced saying no but then lost the argument when I said something negative afterwards.  It ended up in an argument.  Also the person is so used to me saying yes, that no was difficult for them to understand.  That’s part of the reason it ended up in an argument.  I will try to be more assertive in the future.  But I will use baby steps in saying no.  I will start with small “no”s and see how it goes.  Also if someone mocks me, I will try to say something right away.  I have my own struggles at home even though others may not see them.

Another thing that came up in the drop-in session was setting boundaries.  That’s part of saying no.  Establishing boundaries can be stressful and difficult but important in any relationship.  Be it with a partner, a family member or a friend.  Here is an article called 10 ways to build and preserve boundaries.  In it they discuss important points such as naming your limits, tuning into your feelings, being direct, giving yourself permission to set boundaries, practicing self-awareness, considering your past and present, making self-care a priority, seeking support, being assertive and starting small.  Give yourself permission to set boundaries.  If you feel uncomfortable chances are a boundary is being challenged.  Seek support in counseling for setting your boundaries and being assertive.  Be assertive in a respectful way.  And remember to start small.  This will build your confidence for those bigger boundaries.

We can think of boundaries protecting us and they form a circle around us.  In the center is you who needs privacy, an identity and has rights and choices.  In the next circle close to you are people of emotional closeness to you.  There is comfort, respect, flexibility, shared values, dependability,  balance, non-judgemental, sharing by choice, predictability, and unconditional love.  In a third outer circle are friends.  There is limited emotional closeness, shared interests, information exchange, mutual friendship, and camaraderie.  In the outer circle are people with no emotional closeness, strangers, acquaintances, people you choose to keep at arm’s length.

This is a work in progress for me.  And very difficult.  It tires me greatly to say no and to stand up for myself.  I had to stop and summarize in this blog what being passive and the need to be assertive meant to me.  Thank you for being there.  It really helped to write this blog.   Remember, when communicating, it’s what the right answer is for the situation and not who is right! 🙂

World Wildlife Day2.

Miriam’s Art is pleased to exhibit a collage of some of her big cat pastel paintings with a lesser cat, the cheetah, as well.  Listed are websites that are concerned with wildlife survival.  Enjoy!

A big cat is designated as a big cat because of it’s throat which allows it to roar except for the mountain lion.  The mountain lion is considered as a big cat because of its prowess in the hunt.  A lesser cat is a cat that cannot roar.  This year the World Wildlife Day is interested in the Big Cats.

Some websites that are concerned for big cat welfare are:

Snow Leopard Trust

World Wildlife Foundation

In all of the above sites you can adopt a big cat and care for it’s survival in a monetary way.  Some of the proceeds from adoption are used for research of the species.  The World Wildlife Foundation allows you to adopt a wide variety of animals:  big cats, whales, etc.

Another site where you can donate money is:

Mountain Lion Foundation

Your donation will allow the foundation to continue their battle against trophy hunting, support local people who are trying to protect a resident mountain lion,  contribute to the growing amount of scientific knowledge, protect pets, people and livestock, and give a voice to the mountain lion.


Mother and Child Red Pastel Painting.

Miriam’s Art is pleased to release her Mother and Child Red pastel painting.  It was painted to honor her grandson.  Enjoy!

In this second Mother and Child portrait I have used different colors.  The blond hair and the red background contrast well and present a much better composition.  The teal of the shirt also contrasts well with the red background.  One is drawn first to the mother’s face and then to the child in her arms.  It is not a portrait of my grandson.  This painting came from my imagination.

This painting was done at a time of anxiety due to new obligations.  It was quickly done and as always provided relief from the stress of a new event.

I painted this painting because I wanted a new angle on another painting.  This one is a larger image and the face and child are more in focus.  And it is therefore a much more attractive painting than the first Mother and Child I did last week.  Plus the different coloring makes this a much better composition.  I am trying to study color more.  I just bought a book.  However I have to go out and buy some of the colors they have recommended in acrylic paints.  So my education in color is a work in progress.  I have also bought a book and a workbook about drawing.  I hesitate to start it though since it would take up most of my time.  We’ll see when I start doing the exercises.  So I have a lot to do with my art.

In addition I was faced with a dilemma.  Which to do?  A jaguar, a baby or a wave.  All three are interests of mine.  Some more demanding than others.  My daughter helped me out with my dilemma!  She told me to do all three!  Go figure!  Such a simple decision.  So I will do all three.  As you can see I have a lot of ideas for what to do next.  My art is always a thrill and usually a challenge.


World Wildlife Day!

It is World Wildlife Day!  Miriam’s Art is pleased to exhibit her Mountain Lion pastel painting.  This is a 12×18″ original pastel painting.  Enjoy!

Since 2013 the United Nations has set this day as World Wildlife Day.  This year it honors big cats.  The cougar, puma or mountain lion is considered a big cat because of it’s prowess as a hunter.  So, following Josh Gross’ lead in The Jaguar I have decided to exhibit my artwork of a mountain lion to commemorate this day and to raise awareness that many animal species are at the brink of extinction.  We need to address issues of climate change and deforestation to protect wildlife. While the mountain lion is not endangered it is in a vulnerable state in most of North America.

For more information and an article by The Jaguar about the Mountain Lion Foundation click here!