I love tattoos. I got my first tattoo when I graduated high school and a new one each year until I graduated with my bachelor’s degree. I’d been out of undergrad for three years and hadn’t gotten a new tattoo, so naturally I had the itch.

As soon as that itch became pretty unbearable, I turned to my husband and asked for his expert opinion. “How would you feel if I got another tattoo?” He looked me straight in the eye and replied simply, “Why do you need another one?” Good point. All of my tattoos have significance. I had a lot to consider, so I dropped the subject.

My husband has tattoos. When he was seventeen he got a big tribal tattoo on his arm while he was on vacation with his family. That tattoo is what spurred my love of ink. However, that tattoo hasn’t really lived up to my husband’s expectations over the past seven years. He bulked up, and now the curvature of the design doesn’t exactly flow well with the shape of his bicep. So the process of covering the original tattoo has been initiated! Eventually this solid black tribal tattoo will be a beautiful galaxy half-sleeve designed especially for him.

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(six years ago with our first tattoos)

It hit me, again. The itch for a new tattoo was stronger than ever, so the topic was reignited. “How would you feel about me getting a new tattoo?” Again, my husband looked at me, but this time responded, “What do you have in mind?” That was a loaded question. I knew exactly what tattoo I would get. I smiled. “It’s a yoga tattoo, isn’t it?” he asked. My husband is a wise man.

I decided on an Om, because yoga is a huge part of my life. I wear an Om Alex and Ani bracelet almost every day to remind me of my life intentions inspired by my yoga practice, but it’s more than just that. The Om is a description of all life, an awareness of everything that is good. It’s the cycle of conscious and unconscious states of being put into a symbol that is filled with love and thankfulness. It’s a reminder of the light within all beings.

om chart

(provided by girlonyoga.com)

This is my first tattoo that isn’t black. The colors have such a heavy weight of significance. I’ve never considered getting a tattoo that wasn’t just black or gray, but this tattoo is different. As soon as I decided on the Om, I knew that color needed to be integrated. Purple and teal are the colors of the awareness ribbons for domestic and sexual violence. I come from a history of abuse and graduated from a dark, depressed life to one filled with love, hope, and happiness. I now volunteer as an advocate and counselor for those that have been emotionally, physically, and spiritually broken. This is my life. I chose watercolors, because the growth from pain and heartache into love and light is never ending. Watercolors blend and flow into each other. They are bright and visually appealing. They encourage an emotional response.

The location of the tattoo was also greatly considered. I wear my heart on my sleeve. My life’s intention is to continuously love and be happy. Wearing my heart, my Om, and my intention on my arm is a powerful vulnerability that I don’t mind sharing with the world. The placement directly above the bend in my elbow, right on my bicep, reminds me to rotate outward; to draw my shoulders back and my shoulder blades down my spine, and serves as a reminder to remain strong in everything I do. To be seen and to be acknowledged, is to stand with openness. The placement of this tattoo is to remind me to constantly be open in my yoga practice, when I walk, sit, and stand, and with the way I approach life.

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(tattoo by V. Martini at Pink Raven Tattoos)

Tattoos are one of many ways my husband and I express ourselves. They are a visual, artistic representation of who we are. Our tattoos give light to our passions. They draw conversation, opening the opportunity for us to explain their meanings.

 

Do you have any tattoos? Please share your ink stories in the comments!

pbr