Prenatal Depression & Creating During Pregnancy

While your body is busy creating a child and your hormones are driving you extremely insane it can be difficult to show up to your creative practice. The harsh reality and looming responsibility of having to create a future for you and your child can be paralyzing. Especially if you are self-employed or already working in the creative arts field.

The energy it takes to pursue my own work came to a complete dead end and I was fortunate enough that I wasn’t in the middle of a huge design project at work as I had no motivation to create anything. Projects that I excitedly began in the New Year fizzled out quicker than I could breathe life into them.

This was the only thing I had finished despite the fact that I had intentions in turning each image into a lino block.

Between the emotional spells I was also trying to navigate my trauma. Which who knew, things they don’t tell you about pregnancy, is that your past trauma can leave you knee deep in shit you thought: you forgot about, made peace with or just assumed you were over with. But that mess crept back in like a leak in a roof. Spreading mold and despair and sending me into a decent bout of prenatal depression.

Post Partum Depression is talked about a lot but Prenatal Depression seems to get you the stank eye as if you’re not grateful for the miracle taking place within you while others struggle to even get pregnant or have suffered a loss. Here I was navigating: all my past trauma, a relationship with the father (it’s complicated but we love each other), becoming a mother, letting go of my very independent single life, and honestly the relationship with my creativity.

While everyone was telling me how excited they were and are for me I was internally dreading all of it and questioning what the hell I was doing. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted this, I’m 36 and not getting any younger and the timing seemed more than perfect though my circumstances weren’t. But as all these feelings came bubbling to the surface I found my self questioning everything and relying on therapy to help me come to terms and validate what I had been through and feeling.

A few things that helped:

  1. Therapy! I can’t stress enough the importance of therapy. Luckily I had already had someone but please find someone you can speak too. It can be a lot of help to you to just have your feelings, concerns, & worries be acknowledged and validated. It takes the edge off as you come to grips with whatever you’re dealing with. And you can tell them things you may not tell your loved ones for fear of rejection or being further misunderstood.
  2. A trip: Now this may seem crazy and ridiculous especially if you’re already struggling and trying to save but I turned 36 while pregnant and I was going to cancel my birthday plans to take an overnight beach trip. In all honesty that tripped saved my life. Even if you can’t afford an overnight trip, a day trip to the beach or anywhere where nature can comfort your soul can be so nourishing.
    • At the time of this trip I was on the edge. I won’t explain why or what got me there but taking a solo trip to play in the ocean, journal, visit an art gallery and commune with the sun was exactly what I needed. I felt like myself again.
  3. Now things weren’t perfect when I got back as I still had a lot of work to do emotionally and spiritually but I had a therapist tell me to ground myself when things get hard or emotionally unstable.

Ground yourself through creativity.

Ground myself? I literally rolled my eyes. Like how the hell do I do that. What is this therapy garbage you are spitting at me and if it’s more foo foo self love bs I’m going to have another tantrum before we even hang up from this session.

Well duh, with creativity baby! ūüôĄ It seems so logical and self explanatory but my Dr. had a point. I mean creativity had always been a source of comfort for me throughout my life; I even say it’s saved my life. And here it was to do it all over again by grounding me.

And it had already been working. Though I wasn’t creating what I consider my main body of work, I found myself creating stuff for my baby. I made his name sign to hang over his crib, crocheted a blanket and several toys, made a sweater, and still working on completing my first quilt.

The sewing machine I had left sitting to collect dust ended up being a beacon of light as well as a new love for crocheting. I never expected crocheting to be my new hobby this year but the simplicity of repeating a stitch was comforting. I could mindlessly, to an extent, crochet and watch TV and processe emotions while I fervently single crocheted.

My artistic plans for the year definitely didn’t come to fruition but something else was born and will be born this month! Insert smiles. A whole new world of creativity opened its doors to me and I was able to explore a new hobby and even become inspired by crazy talented fiber artist.

I think as artist we’ve been told too often that we should stick to one trade, one form of art while the job industry expects the exact opposite (let’s not go there). But it was diving deep into crocheting which I had no monetary or career goal associated with it that got me out of my creative rut and gave me a new appreciation for it.

So pick up a camera, print your pictures, water color, collage, journal, paint your nails with copious amounts of glitter, do something new, crochet, knit, follow a recipe, doodle, buy the expensive markers and tons of glue sticks… just create and soon you’ll remember why you fell in love with it. Let it ground you as you navigate the new role of becoming a mother. Don’t give yourself crazy deadlines and project goals, create because you enjoy it and it’s comforting to your soul.

With much love, BEautifullyODD

If You’re Complaing, You’re Not Doing

If you’re complaining, you’re not doing. I see glimpses of my dreams, hopes and desires like a mirage far off in the desert; It’s haze shimmering between time and responsibilities. I fear and hope more than I do. Constantly wishing, praying for my deepest desire to come to fruition. Trying to find courage instead of fear. Taking one step at a time in spite of the swarm of anxiety humming beneath my breast-plate. Just keep going I say, Just stay focused I say, Just never give up I say. Whispering into the light of the moon so the sun may know my heart when tomorrow begins again.¬†

BEautifullyODD

Love,

Olisa Rachele

 

Developing Rituals

Hey Creatives,

Today I bring to you some tips for developing your very own morning ritual. Now look, I too struggle immensely with this whole getting up thing at the crack of dawn and being a productive member of society… ready to accomplish my every goal. But by taking baby steps, implementing one tip at a time if need be, I know I can get a handle on my mornings and you can too.

So let’s get to it…

  1. MUSIC!! There is nothing like waking up to your favorite songs. I would suggest waking up to songs that motivate you, or inflict you to start twerking or twitching in your bed as the beat gets your heart pumping and ignites your inner beastmode. I downloaded Umi which is an alarm clock that connects a playlist from your spotify account and it has truly been helpful these last couple of days.
  2. LIGHT: If you can jump right of bed, I envy you. In the summer when you see the sun coming through your window it’s a bit easier but in these winter months it can be even more daunting to get up. Who wants to wake up in the middle of the cold, dark night. If you have one of those artificial light alarm clocks, you fancy, and more power to you. But my trick is to crank up the brightness on my phone and let it burn my retinas. lol. Like I put that sucker right up to my eyes, wide open, probably isn’t even good for you. Eveuntually I’ll reach for the lamp. All jokes aside don’t underestimate the power of natural light in the morning.
  3. . MANTRA: Those silly, pesky mantras are powerful like mustard seeds. Find a simple phrase you can repeat to yourself at least until its time for the next step. This is hard for me… I blame it on short-term memory. But I do know the power of it and I think the bottom line is that you immediately start talking positively to yourself in the morning. Don’t give yourself an opportunity to resist and justify. Remember all of the reasons why you need to show up, not only for your dreams and family but for yourself.
    • Rituals arm you with confidence and self-reliance.
    • Be the best you can be for the day.
    • Start your day with purpose, intention and joy.
    • Show up: I like this one… your mantra need not be some complex, long drawn out mission statement but a single word, as long as it reminds you what you’re fighting for.
  4. Review todays goals: I keep my bullet journal by my bed so that in the morning I can open it up and remind myself why I want to jump out of bed. Looking at my goals helps me remember what I’m working towards and helps set my mood and excitement for the day.
  5. EXERCISE:¬†There is no way around it. You have to do it. If you plan to still tie your shoes when your 80 and not climb stairs panting than guess what. I prefer a morning work out, the endorphins help set the mood for the day. But it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Just get your body moving. Perhaps you want to do cardio or you’d rather just do a 15 minute pilates video or a short yoga session. Just make an effort to move your body even if it’s just you stretching in bed.
  6. NIGHTLY INTENTION: I love this one because it helps you set your mind frame before you even get up in the morning. Make a list or update your planner so that in the morning when you look at it there is no confusion about why you need to get up and seize the day.

 

I think the whole point is that we realize we have another day, an opportunity to get closer to our dreams. So wake up to the music, dance off any stress from a dream or any negative feelings and take the time to remember what your fighting for.

BEautifullyODD,

Olisa Rachele

 

Hope Before the New Year: 7 Ways to Start the NY’s off Right!

I have seen this quote floating around recently, “If you haven’t started working on 2017 by now you’re already behind.”

I don’t know how everyone else is feeling, but man I feel it.

Up until a few months ago; I was feeling a bit stuck. To be honest I’m still trying to fully dislodge my self from the iky-ness¬†I have experienced. Not only this year but the previous too. It seems like these past two years have weighed heavily on my heart. Despite my challenges, I have been able to grow in a sense; Mainly in part because I launched the blog.

And for all of it I am grateful because in spite of it, I keep trudging along. There is still so much I want to do with the blog and I am so excited about its potenital and the arrival of my sewing machine. It has re-sparked my flame. Trudging isn’t always feeling so depressive now; I’m actually starting to skip again. I still have my bad days. But boy it’s BeautifullyODD when I have my moments of peace and creativity.

All I want is more of those sweet moments in 2017.

I do feel like there is a shift happening¬†in the world and that if you haven’t already jumped now is the time to do so. (Check out Steve Harvey’s Book: Jump)

Ways To Start The New Year Off Right!

  1. Clean! Remove anything of no use. Get Rid of it. No clutter. Amazing, clean, organized workspace. A clean environment leaves room for inspiration.
  2. REFLECT: I encourage anyone and everyone to sit down and seriously reflect over the past year. What did you accomplish, what did you struggle with. Take the time to be honest and ask your self some questions to help better guide you in the new year. Google: year-end reflection journal prompts to help get you started.
  3. Go WithIn: With all the reflection I feel the need to sorta meditate and even do some yoga this weekend to just focus on what I want to manifest for the new year. To open myself to the peace and harmony I want for the new year and making peace with the past!
  4. CELEBRATE!¬†I love to crack open a bottle of champagne! I’m actually partying this year. But whatever you want to do… do it. Get a masage, burn some candles and sit in the tub. Go to dinner by yourself. Just find some way to celebrate the ringing in of a new year and all of its possibilities.
  5. Intentions: Goals are always important and after all the reflecting you did in#2, you should have a better idea, of some of the things you want to change, improve upon, try and or enjoy in the new year.
  6. Don’t Be Fooled.¬†Yes, every day is a chance to start your life. Hence the reason people are like if you haven’t started then you are behind. But don’t let that discourage you, let it be the reason to proceed. With the power of the winter solstice upon us, we come full circle when the year ends and there is something magical in that moment. Something formidable. It may only last for a second. But it’s within that second you have communed with the universe. All your hopes and dreams are wrapped up in that very moment.¬†Which leads to…
  7. Get to WORK! It’s up to you to make it happen. If you have to, take small steps by making a plan or schedule and then stick to it. Just do the work and before you know it… your garden will be in full bloom.

BEautifullyODD

Olisa Rachele

How bad do you want it?


A friend posted a quote on face book today that said, ‚Äé”It doesn’t matter how much you want. What really matters is how much you want it.” (R. Marston) It got me thinking; Do I really want to achieve my dream? Do I really want “this” and how much of it is just fear and doubt that is stopping me.

The art of the game is embracing the fear, tucking the doubt under your arm, running
and willing your way to personal freedom. (by Natasha Munson)

No matter how scared I am, I have to tuck the doubt under my arm and do it. It’s like I’m scared or shy to continue on to the next step. And I know for a fact I’m lazy. Some days I’d rather have a glass of wine and watch a movie or two. And all that does is make me more depressed because I am not living up to my full potential. I’m not doing what I need to do.

I hate questioning my dreams and feeling unsure, perplexed and scared of ’em. After graduating I proved to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. But since then… I have forgotten. If I have already proved to myself that it is possible… then I should be able to realize at this very moment; that if I want it bad enough, I can make it happen.

Do I want this? YES I DO. I think of the people I’ve lost. The love or relationships I’ve walked away from. For instance, in Kanye’s song, I Wonder… he says:

“On that independent ****
Trade it all in for a husband and some kids
You ever wonder what it all really means.
You ever wonder if you’ll find your dreams.”

I’ve made sacrafices for my dreams: And am I willing to continue to make those sacrifices. I don’t want to end up some old woman who never gave love a chance because she was a workaholic. And hey, it’s not like I can’t adopt a kid in the future. But, I want my dream so bad, that I am willing to continue to sacrifice my love life. I think it’s worth it. At least till God finds someone who can wake me up.

I can see myself living my dream. That’s the easy part… Now I just have to do it.