How to Master Loving Yourself Fully & Fiercely
I met Peyton Turner as I was working on creating the Spring 2022 issue of the JMB Living Journal. Peyton is an artist that performs intuitive paintings guided by channeled spiritual meaning. She lives in Louisville, KY and can be found as the artist-in-residence at KOZY in New Albany, IN.
I’d been so excited with how beautifully the artwork of Briana Ariel had looked in the winter issue of the journal that I knew I wanted to highlight more artists in future issues. I stumbled across Peyton’s Instagram page and instantly knew she was someone I wanted to connected with. It was such a delight to meet Peyton over a cup of coffee and learn more about how she creates her paintings. When I told her that I’d love to feature her art in a future journal issue, she offered to do an intuitive painting with a message for JMB Living. Of course I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to see how this would unfold.
The following is a guest blog by Peyton about her experience creating the piece and its meaning. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Guest Blog by: Peyton Turner
If you are on a spiritual path, then you know this one fundamental truth: it’s no joke. Every glorious day in the sun is only possible after a dark night of the soul. Over and over again, we unearth our shadows; and there are plenty to last a lifetime. It’s a cycle that is continuous and, at times, relentless.
Why, then, do we even begin? Why embark upon a spiritual path of growth when growth means that there is always another storm to endure or demon to slay?
As a spiritual mentor and guide, I am not immune to the pains of the shadows. In my early days, I did everything I could to stay out of the darkness. I tried to avoid it. It found its way to my door. I tried to rush through the visit. The darkness made itself at home. I tried to fight it. The darkness barely flinched. No matter what I tried, I could not change its agenda. Once I realized it wasn’t going anywhere, I pulled up a chair and we sat face to face. Not sure what to do next, I decided to ask it a question.
“What are you here to teach me?”
This was revolutionary.
We sat together, my shadow and I. As it told its story, I learned about forgiveness, grace, and resilience. It showed me how its presence had made me wiser and stronger. By the time it was done, I was so moved by all it had to teach me that I embraced my shadow, loving it as a dear friend. What had felt like a last ditch effort for survival turned out to be the key to my salvation. And then, just as unexpectedly as it arrived, the darkness left. Rays of sun peaked through the curtains, warming a happier (and much wiser) me.
This journey of spiritual growth is the inspiration behind my newest painting, “The Phoenix”.
The story of this mythical creature is timeless. Everyone loves a good redemption arc, after all. I have been very vocal about my own, sharing openly of surviving and thriving after leaving an abusive relationship. I even wrote a book about my experience invoking the spirit of the Phoenix with the title Rise Up From Ash. My tale of transformation, just like so many others, gives a light of hope in dark times. We can see that better days are within reach, redemption just around the corner.
There is, however, one fundamental flaw. Humans do not like to suffer, so when we think of the Phoenix, we tend to only celebrate the rise. We struggle to sit with “negative” emotions, and are constantly seeking the fastest way out of our pain. With our eyes on brighter days ahead, we run from our shadows and dodge the storms in an effort to reach our space in the sun FASTER. If you have ever tried this, you know by now it does not work. It is impossible to outrun our demons. Eventually we need to face them if we are ever to find peace. The fastest way through every storm, after all, is not around it. It is THROUGH it.
The full story of the Phoenix is about the light AND the shadow. To invoke the spirit of this magical creature, we must embrace its rise AND its fall. This practice of loving and learning from our shadows is hard to implement, even for the most seasoned spiritual warriors. Hell, I wrote an entire book about my rise up from the ashes, all the while still cussing and cursing the darkness when it knocked on my door. It never occurred to me then that there was another way.
So why do we embark upon a spiritual path when, very early on, we realize that the cycle of death and re-birth is never ending? We do it so that we can learn to LOVE OURSELVES FULLY. This is the essence of this piece, and these words are painted under the layers as a reminder.
I do wonder if I will ever burn the final shadow and arrive “home”, living out the rest of my days in peace and glory. Will the spiritual journey then end? Perhaps. But until then, I will remember that we cannot truly experience the glory of victory without the agony of defeat. The best moments in our lives are breathtaking because we have all felt, at times, that we are on our last breath. To fully embrace the Spirit of the Phoenix, we need to love all of it. The rise, the fall, and everything in between. It is in this contrast that we come colorfully alive.
JMB’s Journey as The Phoenix: A Message from Julie
I was both moved and full of wonder when Peyton called me to give me the intuitive message and explain the vision behind “The Phoenix.” The concepts of rebirth and loving yourself fully felt like the perfect embodiment of what I dreamed when I started JMB. Hearing Peyton talk about her intuitive message from Spirit was so validating and affirming at the end of my first year selling the JMB Living Journal.
Abandoning my corporate job to pursue my passions and living in the first year of running a small business (during a Pandemic, no less) has brought me overwhelming joy, but has not been without its struggles. Just as we seek to love ourselves fully, I also seek to love JMB Living fully, through all of our obstacles and new challenges; I am renewed by seeing it depicted with so much empowerment and strength.
JMB Living’s mantra going into 2022 is to amplify loving yourself fully. I love the community of women that has gathered over the last year, and as it grows I want everyone in this community to learn and see themselves as worthy of all the love they have to give—shadows and all.
A wonderful and huge thank you to Peyton Turner for providing me with this wonderful new perspective and addition to our mission. Peyton will be offering limited edition prints on canvas of the original painting. Each will have the gold leaves applied by her as well as her signature. You can learn more about how to get one her website and follow her on Instagram @peytonturnerart to see more of her art in the future.