1000 followers on Instagram Art Giveaway!

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So big news in my world…I reached 1000 followers on my Instagram account!  I know to many of you, that seems so minimal (but hey, I am on a bit of a minimal art kick right now, so it works for me) but the IG community has been so powerful for me.  Why, you ask? Well here is a bit about me that might give you a few clues:

I have struggled with Lyme Disease and a few nasty co-infections for about 3 years, and before that a minor bout with non-invasive breast cancer. This has caused lots of havoc in my body and my mental health, so most days I really don’t like to leave my house.  I have a few really good friends in the “real world” who I try and make an effort to visit and laugh with as energy allows, but the IG community has also been an integral part of my life in the last year or so.  It has been a daily boost to my creative spirit,  an immense support as I strive to sell my art and an encouragement to see that others can “push through” their challenges with kindness and grace.

So head on over to my Instagram account @melissamaryjenkinsart and follow the Giveaway Guidelines where you can win this “stripy” painting and one for a friend!

Gratitude

Today was a day like many others.  After a few hours of painting, I was forced to stop due to pain and fatigue caused by Lyme’s Disease and a co-infection called Bartonella.  But today I choose to reflect on how blessed I am to be completely passionate about being creative.  In fact, a year ago my brain was in such a fog some days that it could hardly process just getting through the day, let alone an art project.  If I didn’t have such a burning drive to create, then I am not sure what mental state I would be in.  I am reluctant to leave my house as it has been embedded into my psyche that going out and interacting with humans will tire me out and cause pain.

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But I actually love being home and listening to podcasts and talk shows and learning about the world around me.  I am so grateful for social media because I can interact with other creatives, be inspired and sell my paintings and wall hangings without having to leave my home.  I consider it a miracle that I still feel charged every morning to go into my studio and paint.  I feel blessed that despite the tremor in my hands, I can still hold a paint brush.  I feel gratitude that my brain is able to create goals and think about the “big ideas” in life.  I feel such freedom to spend a few hours a day doing exactly what I have always dreamed of doing.

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A year ago, my life was very different. I was like the walking dead.  I had just enough energy to make meals, spend time with my children and lie in bed.  I am so looking forward to a pain free life and a life where I don’t dread a day of being out and just doing simple errands.  I look forward to being able to do something as simple as writing a blog post in the evening without such intense pain that forces me to end this post.  But until that day, today was good day because I chose gratitude.