Right now, they are really earning the money I have spent on them. They remind me how strong I am, and of some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life.
The South American design I have on my left ankle reminds me that I can overcome enormous difficulties in life, and find joy and beauty through deep sadness. I got this in Peru after completing the Inca trail in 2010. This was the biggest fundraising challenge I had embarked on since my brother died in 2005. His death led me directly to discover a love of walking, of adventure, and of fundraising. These things helped me get through some unbearably hard years, and have left me with life long passions.
The purple lotus flower on my right wrist is a reminder that I have the ability to calm and ground myself in the moment any time I need it. All I need to do is reconnect with my breath, breathe deeply, and allow my body and mind to rest in the moment. This tattoo was a celebration of sobriety and of publishing my book, and reminds me that I am stronger than I often give myself credit, and capable of far more than I often believe. The bird leaving the cage, which was a celebration of 4 sober years, does the same.
The George Harrison tattoos represent my love of music in general, and of George’s music in particular. George has had a big impact on my life, were it not for him and my love of him, I might not have Yoga, and I might not have Liam! (his father looked a LOT like long haired hippy George when we met. This *may* have been a factor in the attraction!) I adore them all, but the one that helps me most in life is the handwritten ‘All Things Must Pass’. This phrase is something of a mantra to me when life feels challenging.
My most recent two tattoos remind me that we live in a beautiful world, and that there is much healing to be found when we reconnect with it. The hills and path on my left arm speaks of my almost constant desire to take to the hills. While I can’t do this as much as I would like at the moment, I can see them, and can get out once a day, so will be taking full advantage of this to walk as much as possible during this time.
My most recent tattoo reminds me of my 3 proudest achievements, my sons. I am proud of the way they have grown into the wonderful people they are. I am proud of the roots I gave them, and the shelter I can still provide for them.
This tattoo is unfinished. This is reminding me of a powerful lesson in itself, that of acceptance. The tattoo was due to be finished last week, but due to my concerns about the coronavirus, Ray and I decided to put it on hold. This reminds me that we cannot control life’s events, but we can control how we respond to them. I could have gone to get it finished last week. But I wouldn’t have enjoyed doing it, I would have taken no pleasure in showing it to anyone, and if the virus hit our home, I would have absolutely blamed myself for doing this.
We are all having to give up a lot at the moment in order to protect ourselves, the people we love and our communities. My unfinished tattoo is a small price to pay, very small. But it is a useful reminder for me at the moment that sacrificing what we want in order to do the right thing is sometimes very necessary.
I have always loved my tattoos, but right now they are reminding me very powerfully that I can get through this, that I have the inner resources I need, that I can grow through this, and that I am strong and do not need anyone’s permission to be exactly who I am.
My next tattoo, which will not be long in coming once I can visit Ray again, is going to be some sort of representation of inner strength, or maybe growth. I’m not sure yet, but I will no doubt be showing it to you soon!
Do you have tattoos that tell stories of your life?