This phrase has been showing up lately. I’m listening. As best I can.
Journaling for therapy. Since my mental health crisis last summer, I’ve been doing some intense PTSD-informed work with my regular therapist. Peeling back the cliches and discovering my authentic self, my own divinity, and my relationship with God. The Universe keeps putting people in my life who are guiding me in this truth.
An Anxiety Notebook, created by a therapist, based on CBT. No, not cock ball torture. (Though that does show up in my notebook!) Cognitive behavioral therapy. Powerful guided writings. Thank you Tony Law for bringing me into awareness of CBT.
Sexual banter, exploring my sexual feelings, needs and wants. Pains, wounds, healing. Shades of gray. Fifty in fact – or 50^5. Challenging old ways of showing up, while still breathing life into my spiritual and sexual journey.
Drifting from my “combattical” into a new chapter. My vert journey. My Lolita-based exploration of art, desire, sexuality and connection with Professor Peacock, CelebrateUU and C Todd Dudeoir. Mix in a couple soundscapes and a little 3D or 5D action, and explore the creative process.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to be able to share all of my art. And since I’ve already been banned twice with my recent C Todd Dudeoir posts, I know I need to create a safe space where I can explore. I think Patreon will give me that safe space to explore my own desires, thoughts, feelings, and creations without fear of trolls or banning. So all of me can show up. All of my art.
I’ll still do some writing here. And sharing on my website or Insta feed. So keep in touch however works best for you!
Thank you to my fellow artists who inspire, inform, collaborate and lift up. They told me to swim with the dolphins. I’m finding my pod.
Inspired by my fearless models and muses, Brandon, Stephen, Joe, Jeremiah, Josh, Austin, Devon and others who have crossed my path – for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
Give me a little time. I’ll let you know when I’ve got the new space ready to go. Done is better than perfect. Goodish rules. I will continue to evolve.
Thanks for listening,
Keep tellin’ the story.
Professor C Todd Peacock III Community Artivist, Connector, Storyteller & Healer
“To remember your trusting vantage is to remember life is in your favor, you are in your favor. It is to remember there are no wrong choices and that all is conspiring to bring you into love.” ~Sarah Blondin
12 years ago tomorrow, I left early from work to come home to my empty house in Greenfield, IN. I was recently single, and my life was spiraling out of control. I had a regular buddy over to get stoned and high and fuck. He was younger than me, and we had hung out several times. I had a crush. He was using me for the drugs. And I was ok with that at the time.
In the weeks and months leading up to December 21, 2009, I struggled with my demons. I often left myself voice recordings in the dark of night. I knew I’d either get help or die. (Spoiler alert: I lived.)
It took another 9 years before I started to love myself enough to finally put down the pipe. At 50, I was still using people, places & things to find validation. Today, I still use people, place & things to find validation. But, more and more, I see my own beauty, my value, my purpose. I started looking inward for answers, largely because so many other people, places and things had let me down. In searching, I found my own Truth. I know. More clichés. And I’m ok with that.
Trauma, Severed Relationships & Attachment Styles
Last year, a dear friend challenged me to ask “why did I pick up in the first place?” I put my therapist on notice and we dug deeper. We started digging more into trauma, attachment styles and my fears around sex & intimacy.
I’ve come to understand that a lot of my attachment issues stem from early childhood. I was bullied as a young kid because I was different. I stuttered. I sounded like a girl until I hit puberty late in 9th grade. I rode a short bus to a gifted and talented program. I liked to dress up but had no fashion sense – so I got doubly-teased for that.
When I was 10, my dad got a third job transfer – this time to Canada. So I was moved from Baton Rouge, Louisiana – where I was born and raised – to Sarnia, Ontario, with my southern accent and stunted development. I was teased so much that one of the teachers Mr. Rogers took me under his wing. He had me help out keeping stats for the basketball team. He helped me fit in.
When we moved to Canada, it was only supposed to be for 2 years – then we were moving back to Baton Rouge to the house where I grew up. I didn’t say good-bye to my childhood friends – just “see you later.”
Two other things happened to me in Sarnia that traumatized me further.
First, our house in Baton Rouge caught fire the first winter we were away. The house was gutted. My parents were gutted. They decided for us, as parents do, that we were not moving back to Louisiana. Quite literally, my first friendships as a young boy were cut off. Severed.
That old line “This is not a good-bye, but a see you soon” wore thin as I grew older. This was probably the first trauma I can recall. Like a snowball rolling down hill, more and more piled on, contributing to what I now understand to be complex PTSD.
Second, I became more of an outlier and runt. I was testing out of 6th grade english and maths. So the powers that be – teachers, counselors, parents – decided it would be best for me to skip a grade. Intellectually, great idea. Socially, not so much.
I left for my first Summer break in Canada having completed 6th grade and ready for 7th grade — but started back in the Fall as an 8th grader. My initial friendships as a young boy were cut off. Not as severely. But, it was socially awkward to say the least. A Gemini June-baby, I was already small for my grade. Now I was really a runt.
Compensating with Accomplishments
I compensated by throwing myself into my studies & extracurricular activities. I found self-worth in my accomplishments. We moved to New Jersey for my high school years. The first year I was there, I got the lead in Oliver!, the musical. Looking back, I know I got it because I was a runt and hadn’t yet hit puberty, so I could hit the high notes of “Where is love?” I knew then I was gay, even though I didn’t have words for it. I knew that love would be hard to come by, even at the young age.
This year, I’ve come to understand that these experiences, along with many others as I grew into my mid-20’s, would leave me with an avoidant attachment style. That kernel of insight and self-knowledge has already started me on a path to more secure relationship styles. But more on that later.
Remembering Trust. Choosing How to Live.
I try not to dwell too much on the past 9 years. I feel like I wasted time with bad choices – unhealthy choices – choices that took me further away from self, from love.
This meditation from Sarah Blondin has become an anchor this year, helping me to trust a different Truth. My younger self has been making choices to protect himself, out of love for himself. Even when that involved drugs, sex and prostitution – I was trying desperately to heal the severed relationships, grieve the losses, and live with greater integrity, connection & abundance.
For each step, each movement and action will come together to create the beautiful paradox that is life.
We compound our suffering by looking too closely at the thing that is causing us pain. We forget that soon a revelation will come from this very place – that these painful spots and choices are often where growth comes to break us open into something larger – something more loving, more purposeful in being in body.
If you have lost hope, if you feel you have landed yourself in a landscape of ravaged earth and drought, where you are sure your heart has left your chest – please just rest and hush now. You have but try again. Just choose again. Choose anything but remaining complacent in your pain. Choose anything other than running from your moments and your self.
When we escape ourselves, it is because we feel too ashamed, too broken, to look in our own eyes — too with the unraveling of all that we hold as dear. We are so afraid of the thunder and lightening clapping at our heels that we keep running from ourself. When really, the storm has come to wash us clean – come to quench the drought – come to feed our earth.
Arts Live Here: Celebrating Joel Simon – Troop 276
This is my world today. This is a sacred place within a sacred space within a community within a neighborhood within a city.
It’s a pretty cool place. Thanks to a Boy Scout named Joel Simon.
For my story, this place was completed on August 13th, 2021 – one day before the 18th birthday of the very man who created it.
It was completed on Friday the 13th. 13 is my lucky number.
Yes, Virginia. Great things are possible every day – even on Friday the 13th.
Thanks Joel for creating this place for us to enjoy!
Bloom where you are planted
Joel grew up in this community where we celebrate abundance, where we look for abundance, where we find abundance, where we shine a light on abundance.
I grew up in this community as well. Rather, I am growing up in this community.
So it made total sense for Joel to pick this spot for his final project in his journey to become an Eagle Scout. Because he quite literally grew up in this building. Well, at least one day a week. Sundays. A day of rest.
So Joel created a place to rest.
We bloom where we are planted.
The Abundant Community: Broadway
This new community fire pit and art space is part of a magical space – The Abundant Community: Broadway. Inside, there are many rooms. And there is even a magical hallway called the Magical Arts Corridor! Come check it out sometime! It’s pretty rad, as my husband Brandon likes to say. I tend to agree.
There’s a lot more going on here DURING the week than there is on Sunday. Just saying.
Shining a Light on What is Already Here
When Joel Simon had to decide on a project for his Eagle Scout badge, he chose this place because he grew up in this church — in this community.
Because of that experience, he wanted to shine a light on what is already here today: abundance.