This Breakthrough artwork feels so strong and direct to me. That’s a bit ironic, I’ll admit, since most of my own breakthroughs are small, or private, or hard to explain. For example, I wrote this post four times and each time peeled back a layer of what I “should” be writing about, or what I thought you might want to hear as an audience. I eventually broke through to something more raw and honest.
Other recent examples of little, personal breakthroughs: I finally did some yoga after a year or two of not being able to bear being on the mat because I kept falling apart… and then I forgave myself yesterday for not doing yoga even though I’m finally doing yoga again. Or this: I’ve done some good work in therapy that I’m embarrassed by and proud of all at once. And I hired someone, though I’m really wobbly at it. I recently understood something new about my wife after all this time. Paused to really relish and admire the new orchid on my desk. Just wrote some emails, two years late. (I’d been too overwhelmed to handle the Big Pile of Email. I mean Big. And Wednesday I was too overwhelmed again and let myself watch a cooking show on TV. Honestly, that’s a breakthrough too.) Stopped writing a blog post at midnight and went to bed. Then got up in the morning and kept writing the blog post.
These little breakthroughs aren’t so small to me, actually. They change the shape and course of my life over time… like a little water can change a landscape after a while or a rush of birds can change what we know about the sky.
So in the face of US Supreme Court rulings and global climate emergency, I broke down my anger, heartbreak, and desperation into smaller fabric birds. In the Breakthrough art, I’m honoring each one of a million activist actions that have changed— and will change— a landscape of dominance and greed into an open sky of empowerment and compassion. Conversations, donations, prayers, protests, policy ideas, poems, songs, paintings, self-reflection, research projects— rising one by one and also together.
In the artwork, it's so satisfying to see these birds soaring upward, lifting our spirits, taking a message out into the world. The arrows emerged as I imagined a way to stitch the birds to the background... and it matters that we keep envisioning a healed and thriving world, dear ones. Sometimes it works! There's a wonderful, imperfect, huge piece of amazing climate legislation that actually passed in the US! Uncountable numbers of small actions and messages, powered by imagination and intention, worked together and finally broke through. What's next?
One by one and together— when we can, wobbly even at our best— we keep giving our intentions real wings. We lift our prayer and creative effort to break open the next thresholds too.
What's your experience of living with an intention and repeating it over time?
What smaller offerings in your life or others’ made space for change or new openings?
When have you experienced a quietly powerful breakthrough? What happened, and what unfolded after that?
Adding my prayers and efforts to yours-- Melanie
Breakthrough Art Print available
Breakthrough Art & Practice sets coming soon - email us to order
Join the Brave Joy Collective Monthly Recurrent Subscription on Patreon (with creative process updates and monthly zoom gatherings)
Purchase a Brave Joy Collective Gift Subscription (monthly mailings only)
Thanks once again to the Brave Joy Collective for supporting the creation of this image.