Friday 1 October 2010

Out of Ashes, Phoenix Rises

art journal sept 2010

A long overdue blog post with a bit more detail than just 'here is my new art video' or 'look at this cute picture of Dylbee' (not to say that those aren't totally delightful, right? ;)).

Ok, so what has been up with the Tam, waddup, whatdeuppah, whatsieupsies Tamarooraaa?

Well, life really, lots, big huge mountains of it.

The biggest learning when you have a baby is basically one in 'zen-mind'. (I've been trying to get that mind for a while now, and of course; the trying is in the way, so now, with a baby, you're no longer trying, you're just DOING zen-mind, because you have NO choice, ha ha, how's that 'careful what you ask for eh Tam' ;)).

Karen Maezen-Miller (author of Momma Zen) says it perfectly: "the things that you used to think were 'yours' are no longer yours". Take sleep for instance; before baby came, you may have had sleepless nights because you were stressed about work or something else nagging, but at least those sleepless nights were YOUR sleepless nights; ie: you were the one making yourself sleepless. With a baby, he or she is making you sleepless, it is out of your control, there is nothing you can do but 'go with it' (see: great practise in mindfulness and zen-mind).

While your life is blessed with this stunning beautiful thing called a new baby, it's also earthquaked upside down in ways that you -seriously- don't expect. So, without you sort of asking for it, you're all of a sudden learning learning learning learning learning. (A bit like when I went to Sri Lanka; so beautiful and so difficult at the same time!).

I was saying to my osteopath the other day; 'when you're pregnant and you imagine having your baby, you imagine it to "slide" gracefully into your life, perfectly fitting around everything else already there, you image this baby becoming 'part of your life' and sort of it moving with you, but instead; it doesn't become part of your life, instead; your life is no longer relevant and everything, really, everything revolves around this little creature's life". The osteopath, proud father of 3, simply smiled. :)

So, needless to say; a lot of our lives revolve around the little critter at the moment, look at him now ->

dylan 13 months old

dylan in the bubbles

Dylan @ 13 months old

He is nearly 14 months old now and is a pretty sturdy walker, has a 7th tooth coming through, makes an hilarious noise when you ask him; 'Dylan was does the cow say' and still doesn't sleep great, but is getting better and better with that one overall.

He loves reading books, or rather; have us read them to him, is crazy strong (for some reason likes to pick up both my exercise weights 4 kilos each at once) and is the proud owner of 2 pairs of shoes!

He knows how to point at his ear, nose and feet and when you ask him where they are (he's a genius! ;)) and jiggles/ dances while sitting down when you sing to him which is so insanely cute! He adores his daddy, loves being chased and has the most amazing giggle that makes my heart soar when I hear it.


Here he is in the pool and in the New Forest with his dad:

I used to find it annoying when people who had babies would just 1. disappear on me, and 2. only talk about their babies, but I find myself in the same position now! I have very little time to see friends or write blogs between working, sleeping and being with Andy and Dylan, there just isn't much time left!!

And that I find difficult and sad. Part of me wishes there were 48 hours in a day so that I can spend 12 hours working, 12 hours with Dylan, 12 hours with Andy & Friends and 12 hours sleeping, but alas alas, it be not so.

So, I, we, are doing our best to manage work, Dylan, our together time, sleep, getting stuff done, meeting up with friends, writing on blogs, but really, when you have a baby, you have an extra full time job on your hands. I never quite realised this with other people with babies until now.

We have hired a childminder who comes 3 days a week for 7 hours, which is a huge help so we can do our work, but it also breaks my heart a little as I miss Dylan like crazy for those 7 hours, but it's gotta be done, gotta bring in the bacon as they say! :)

Work wise, well that is going well!! A lot of people are enjoying spending time on my ning site. And the courses and my art is selling well! I'm very proud of this and immensely enjoying all the connections I'm making with the artsy community online.

I am currently working hard on my free online course 'The Heart of Art'. It does really feel good to simply GIVE, I am so overwhelmed by everyone's responses to it, at this point over 500 people have already signed up! I can't wait to get started on that one and really contribute to people in this way. :) I have another course planned for October/ November as well called: "Magical Mythical Makings" and we'll be making a new mythical creature each week, very excited about that one too!

Psychologically I am up and down at times (the story of my life). Since Dylan has been born I feel even more attuned to other people's suffering and don't quite know how to 'shut that empathy door'. A friend of a friend of mine has just found out that she is terminally ill and is going to die soon and she has 2 young children. When I think of that, I experience it as if it's happening to me and can simply break down in tears and don't know how to 'let go' or help. It makes me feel utterly helpless and in despair to think what she must be going through. And this is just the suffering of 1 person. When I think of so many other horrible things that happen in the world, I can feel utterly depressed and overwhelmed with sadness and again; don't know how to not be so affected by it. I know Byron Katie says it's 'false suffering', not my suffering and I often am able to let go with doing some of her work, but I often slide back into "suffering on behalf others", it's so pointless though as it doesn't help these other people at all. Gotta remember that. I am also always very fearful that something like that can happen to me and that would be my worst nightmare; having 3 months to live and having to say goodbye to your loved ones. I much rather die an instant death in an accident or something.

Apologies for some gloomy stuff, but this is also what goes on for me and at times this is a daily struggle.

I now try to make time each day to do some art journaling after Dylan has gone to bed, just to realign myself, with myself, after a long day full of things and to just ground back and reconnect with and into myself and that has been really helpful as it's like a place I can return to, to give myself some nourishment, self-connection and empathy. Here are the pages I've done the last couple of weeks:

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

hope you like!

and here another picture of the two most amazing men in my life:

dylan & daddy in marwell zoo

oh and me and dylbee!! :D

mummy & dylbee

i deeply hope everyone is well, ok, sparkly and beautiful with blueberry muffins.

big hugs. x


  1. I have had a HUGE issue with "shutting the empathy door." All my life I have felt other peoples pain and sorrow and that has had a tremendous effect (and not in a good way) on my life. Finally, I have a resolution. Every morning I meditate to put me in a "good" place, and then I visualize putting on a clear armor that repels negative energy. I still can see it that way but I don't have to FEEL it. I know having a baby probably gives you little time to meditate, but honestly, MAKE the time. It makes all the difference in the world!

  2. this is a beautiful post, tam.....loving the colours in your journal pages.... a very happy day to you... ;)

  3. I love this post Tam...your journal pages are just beautiful and so is your family! I knew there was a reason that I felt so at ease with you...we seem to share a lot of the same problems with our stressing over the suffering of others...I have that problem too but I guess I never really realized it or maybe admitted it until I saw you write I see it and I guess I need to find a way to deal with it. I want to thank you for offering help to those of us who need it. You are a truly beautiful gift to the world Tamara LaPorte and I hope that someone tells you that every single day because it is every bit true! hugs!

  4. Wonderful post Tam, thank you for sharing so much. I struggle with feeling overwhelmed by all the suffering and anguish that so many feel, individually and collectively as a community. It doesn't always feel better, but perhaps knowing that sharing about how you cope with it here, and that you are not alone in the whirlwind, might ease your two-sizes-too-big heart. Your family is beautiful and precious-enjoy every moment! Many blissful days,


  5. Just signed up for The Heart of Art - and did a post about it on my blog. Love Your Beautiful Art!!!

    Your little one is co cute.

  6. A beautiful post and very beautiful journal pages.

    I absolutely adore your sons image with his tongue sticking out. Super cute!

  7. Wow, Tam! You wrote with such depth and feeling. I'm so with you on everything. . .except having a baby. (For me, that will come!)

    I have to say, you've made a big impact on my life! I'm grateful to you for helping to open my 'art' door. I had no idea the things I could do until I discovered your YouTube videos!

    I, too, suffer with others at times. It doesn't do much good, but I know I do it to keep my mind off my woes in life. Don't be hard on yourself about it. Just realize you do it as an escape!

    Take care of yourself, and know there are many of us supporting you even if we don't say much!

    Your art journal entries are fantastic as always. They seem to express the same emotions I've felt as of late! I think I will have to make some time for myself each day to create and escape life- even for a little while! As always, you and your artwork are an inspiration!


  8. Hi Tam, I'm so glad I 'found' you! Thank you for a wonderful post & beautiful art. Great to see the video of andy & Dylan - a very cute little boy. Hope you have a great weekend.

  9. Hi Tam,
    This is a such a beautiful post. It is understandable that you're busy with "Life" and that it is keeping you busy, but I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't secretly overjoyed whenever I see a new post on your blog or an update on Facebook. It's always so good to hear from you. I have missed your art and your beautiful spirit!

    As always, your journal entries speak to me - thank you so much for sharing so much of YOU with the rest of us. You are so talented and an inspiration to so many of us. And a huge THANK YOU for your free online course. That you are willing to offer a "free" course speaks volumes of the kind of person that you are, and I just want you to know how much I respect you for that very gesture. That is putting out some serious good-karma vibes...and it will be returned to you, tenfold!

    Have a lovely weekend, my friend.


  10. This is my first visit here and I'm pulling up a cosy chair ready to get comfy (hope you don't mind and, more importantly, that I don't come across like a stalker!). I found you via all those wonderful fellow bloggers talking about your course - thank you so much for doing this. I've put your banner on my blog, and will definitely be blogging about it, tweeting, facebooking and all those wonderful social media things!

    Onto this post, I felt what you wrote in my heart - I have a son (he's 6 now) and boy has my life changed, but naturally you wouldn't swap it for the world. He's a part of me and a joy to share my life with. As he grows he amazes me with his little wisdoms and observations. It's hard to believe that I made him! Wonderful.

    I felt the pain when you spoke of your friend. I just wrote a whole lot more then deleted it, since it brought tears to my eyes. Warmest wishes to you, your friend and her family.

    Nice to meet you and looking forward to starting the course.

  11. Oh, Tam. I really feel you. Empathy is difficult for me because it really can overwhelm me. I find myself either shutting down completely or feeling everything all at once. It's not an easy task to learn to shield oneself from the onslaught.

    Your boy is beautiful, as are you gorgeous pages. What a creatrix you are! Amazing, inspiring, beautiful woman, I wish you peace in the struggle.



  12. @jerene: yes, meditating is a great way of getting yourself in a grounded head space. i find meditating so hard though! i always get really restless, but i know it's something i really must take up! thank you for your comment

    @janie; thank you janie! :)

    @dawn; thank you so much dawn, it's good to know i'm not the only one going through that. big hugs to you. *squeeze*

    @carmen; thank you so much for your comment carmen, yes, sharing it does make a difference i must say! big hugs. xoox

  13. @leila: ehehe, he's funny eh with his cheeky tongue! :)

    @kristin; thanks so much for your supportive and lovely comment kristin. big hugs

    @kristen alicia: thank you so much for your lovely comment! big hugs. x

    @angie: you are welcome sweets! thank YOU for being so supportive and for your encouraging, lovely comment! big hugs x

    @wrightstuff; nice to meet you too! thank you for joining me here! :)) and thank you for your empathy re my friend of a friend, i know it's too insane to think about what she is going through. *heaving heavy sigh*

    @effy; you dear effy; thank you for your empathy, you say it so well; to shield yourself from the onslaught .. yes yes.. big hugs to you. x

  14. Ho ! It's wonderfull ! I've only sew your vidéos on another site, i didn't have the idea to visit your blog ! What a terrible error !!
    I'm under charm ! Thank you so much for your "façon d'être", (behaviour ? not completly that...).
    Heu... I'm french, so my english is really poor !!! Sorry :D
    See you later here !

  15. wonderful post... my English isn´t so good, but I feel and felt the same with my daughter ... she is now nearly 10 years old.
    Our life change so much if we are parents and we grow so much with our new tasks.. I love it...although I think often how wonderful would life be without a kid... I won´t never miss my daughter...the more we give of ourselves, the more they give to us!

    xxx Susi

  16. Parenting is both amazing and overwhelming. Joyful and suffocating. Finding time just for me feels at times as intangible as trying to climb Everest. Through my art I am learning to find balance and joy. Thanks for your courses and your inspiration.


Thank you for connecting with me. I appreciate you! <3


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...