What is Luann doing with all those little boxes???
I worked in my studio yesterday. It was a major event.

I made eight little pendants for my simple horse necklaces. Not a big deal, usually. Certainly not a big production day for me.

But it was significant. Because it’s the first work I’ve made since my knee replacement surgery last month.

My last post before I went under the knife showed the frayed mental state I was in. It wasn’t pretty! Even now, I lay awake at night, exhausted, my body aching for sleep, my mind racing at 90 mph. A litany of minor sins streams through my brain–all the things I need to do, all the things I have to redo, all the things that need fixing/making/writing/cleaning etc. After what seems like an eternity, I finally fall asleep.

But when I wake in the morning, all I feel is tired.

I’d be more worried, except my very good friend Jennie, a recent surgery patient, too (who was, incidentally, also the first visitor I “received” once I’d stabilized from the surgery) gave me a wonderful insight.

“It’s not so much the surgery, or the pain,” she mused. “The hardest part for me was when I did start feeling better. But I was so damn tired all the time. No energy!”

Oh gosh. I’d forgotten all about that part.

So once again, I have just the right words at just the right time.

I can walk without crutches. The pain is easing. I don’t have to wear those damn compression stockings anymore!

But my body is not healed yet. It will take more time, and I must be patient with myself. Exquisitely patient, no matter what the demands in my life try to tell me otherwise.

And Lydie’s advice was right. Yes, it might be easier to work in here if my space were cleaner, less cluttered, less dusty. Maybe I should have spent more time restocking stores with inventory, or even trying to get fitter before my surgery.

But when I come in the studio, and see the materials for my next big series of works, it makes me think of the exciting new ideas I want to bring into being. I see a studio full of everything I need to take that next creative step forward.

I must remember to ask, every day, when I enter this fabulous space, with patience, with gentleness, with respect and joy:

“What is it you need from me today, that this new work can be brought into the world?”

All it really wants, for now, it seems, is for me to be here, with love. And intention.

And so my studio, too, is patiently waiting for me to heal.

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.

11 thoughts on “HEALING”

  1. After a surgery in December and a round of radiation I am dealing with exactly what you are dealing with–my brain and creative spirit are moving faster than my body can accommodate. I try to remind myself daily to be patient with myself. Everything is happening as it is meant to happen. My work speeds my healing and my healing speeds my work. A lovely cycle.


  2. After a long absence, sometimes it is enough to just “be” in the personal space that is your studio. Take some deep breaths and let your body heal and the rest will follow. All the best for a complete recovery-and also to you, Deb Sims.


  3. Hi Luann, I enjoyed reading this! It brought me back to 2005 when I had surgery before leaving for Ireland for a year. With my whole family–three kids–and an entire house to store in our barn and clean for our year’s tenants. I could not move at the speed I wanted/needed to. I was too tired most of the time and under doctor’s orders to rest, rest.
    I am well and healthy now, more so because of that surgery. I am only a block away–I will stop by and see what I help I can be to you!


  4. First, let me say I LOVE your studio. When people say I met Luann first words from my mouth, “did you go to her studio”. Second, you let me know when you’re ready and we can do some private yoga at your place… stretch and relax. Keep the faith and feel better soon.


  5. It is always amazing to me how long it takes me to recover from surgery. The bad part is, you think you’re all better, and then you try to do something the least bit strenuous, and you are exhausted, and probably sore, too. I can only say to do what you need to get some sleep. Sleepytime Tea, relaxing exercises, drugs, whatever works for you. You heal when you are asleep, and insomnia is its own form of hell. I am sending tons of good thoughts your way.


  6. Luann, I’ve had two major and one less major surgeries in the past two years. I was told it takes six months to rid your body of the anesthesia chemicals. Then there is all the additional work the body has to do to heal and adjust to changes. Naps are still my friend. Your body will go at her own pace. The doctors can only offer guidelines around recovery time. I’m impressed you’re in the studio already!


  7. Best wishes to you, Luann. I have a suggestion that may help you as your mind is racing and getting way ahead of your physical body, and berating you for not keeping up. You can choose what to think. You can tell that revolving message that you are not ready yet, and that you will not listen to the negative messages. Then replace the negative, pressure filled messages with ones of pleasant thoughts, like day dreaming about the cloud shapes, about the first things you might do in your studio, about something new you’d like to try, about a design problem, about what to do for Christmas this year, etc. Repeat as often as necessary. At first, this is quite difficult to do. But, as you practice it, it’s easier. And effective. Don’t let your mind beat you up. You are a treasure, wounded, and will heal. Take care of yourself, and be gentle with yourself.


  8. WOW!!! I just stumbled back in here after physical therapy this a.m. (and all I will say about that is ow-ow-ow) and here I find more blessings! I am deeply moved by your encouraging words and offers of support.
    Thank you, one and all, from the bottom of my heart! :^)


  9. Thanks for this post. I have printed it out to save for when I have the same operation next January. It is so hard to have patience when you want to do so much and your mind is jumping around. Happy healing.


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