You Are Safe

So, if you know my instagram page you will understand that I love to do morning walks and record the sunrise. This walk has become a ritual for me, as I find this time alone very sacred and special. It is a time where I can relax, be with my thoughts, and have no one around me besides my trusty “walking partner”, my beautiful dog called Pinot Noir (or Pinot for short). 

You are safe – Ink on paper

Pinot also loves our morning ritual, as I feel she senses this calming peace that surrounds us and craves this during the day, as, I also do. Pinot is the most perfect walking partner, I can not even imagine walking on my own now. We have become so in sync and know exactly what we are doing (most of the time). I do not even need to make her sit when I get my camera out, she just waits patiently for me, it is so wonderful to be walking in peace with such a beautiful being. 

However it hasn’t always been this amazing, when we first got Pinot she was very hard to walk, reacting at everything, growling and jumping, pulling on the lead with teeth baring and her beautiful red coat raised in hackles. One time she even jumped aggressively at someone, which was shocking. I used to get so embarrassed and envious when we would walk past calmer dogs patiently trotting behind their owners, and I would ask the question, why couldn’t Pinot be like the other dogs?

But I was asking the wrong question, you see Pinot is a rescue dog, we got her when she was about 18 months old, and other than her daily walking tantrums, Pinot was perfect and we all started to think of her “bad behaviour” as a quirk, as something that couldn’t be helped or corrected. We would excuse her aggressiveness with “Oh she is a rescue dog, its not her fault, she was treated badly as a puppy”, but as it turned out it was not her fault at all, it was mine. 

The famous dog trainer Cesar Millan once said, “The dog is a reflection of your energy, of your behaviour. You have to ask, ‘What am I doing?’ That’s the right question”, and he was right. Pinot was waiting for me to take the lead, waiting for me to reassure her that she is safe, waiting for me to guide her and show her she can trust me, waiting for me to lead her safely past any obstacle or threat she might see. Pinot wasn’t just a poor orphan puppy to be pitied, she is a being that needs to know she is safe and loved. With this in mind I started walking with confidence, holding her lead without trepidation or fear. When I started doing this the change was amazing, and almost overnight. Now I make sure she knows I am right by her side, walking with control and kindness, tugging gently on her lead as I assure her, she is fine.

As I started this new way of walking, I started thinking about Pinot and her perception of my energy. Not only did I start correcting my attitude during our walks, but I also started bringing this into my daily life. You see I am not so different from Pinot, as I feel most of us are. We all are looking for guidance, to be comforted, to know we are safe, that there is someone holding the lead. With this I have started looking at how to self-guide my own security and love, to reflect the same energy that Pinot sees in me, not only for her but for myself and the world to see. 

Every time I start getting triggered nervous or upset, I stop close my eyes and breath, saying to myself, “You are Safe, you are loved, you are seen”. I have to say this a few times, just like tugging on Pinots lead, to remind myself, I am here, I am safe, I am me, and this seems to be working. With these words, I am soothing my inner child that reacts when she feels scared or threatened. Just like Pinot a neglected puppy, I have been shutting out the simple need to know safety because I am an adult. 

These thoughts and my illustration titled “You are safe”, (ink on paper) have inspired this post. I created this image several years ago, humming around my studio playing with different types of media, when out popped this image. This is how I usually create, (I will write more on this later,) however due to my new way of being I have found myself directing my creativity more purposely, finding a subject and concentrating on it. In a way I am taking my art practice by the lead, finding confidence in what I create and moving in a space/community that makes me feel safe. I have finally stopped waiting for art to take the lead, I am directing my own art with confidence, kindness, and love. 

Stay well and safe everyone. 

Published by allihoward123

Allison Howard main passion has always been story telling works predominantly with illustration and completed her MFA at Monash University, Melbourne 2012. Graduating with the Chancellors award for best Thesis. Allison Has worked and collaborated with many artists and exhibitions, in both Australia and New Zealand. To be kept up to date with Allison's latest activity and to view her current and archived works please visit Instagram @alli.howard123 and hit the follow button.

5 thoughts on “You Are Safe

  1. I love this. I love the description, love the confidence and love the picture. Thanks for sharing it with us 😊


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