Tag Archives: fear

The Artist’s Way: Recovering a Sense of Power

23 Oct

Chapter 3 talked about anger and I felt it, along with fear, frustration, and resentment.  I’m very glad I’m keeping up with the morning pages; it’s a neutral place for me to dump all that negativity.  I can write it down, examine it as I type, and move on without having to dwell on it because it’s living in my head.

I’m getting better at identifying my fears which is very helpful.  If I look at them and see them for what they are, instead of just feeling afraid without quite knowing why, I can learn to move forward and not be held back by those fears.  All of this is an example of synchronicity — I set the intention to spend the week focusing on emotional awareness before I read chapter three.

This week’s artist’s date was fun.  I went for a walk and took pictures of autumn.  I have a tendency to use the word “should” a lot when it comes to the camera — probably the reason I rarely take pictures — but today I did a nice job of pointing the camera at things that interested me without worrying about what I might be missing.  That’s the big lesson I’ve learned from this project thus far: progress, not perfection.

As far as tasks go, I answered the 20 “detective work” questions, made a list of supportive friends, and made an effort to stay in touch with them.  I’m not geographically close to many of my friends, so I find Facebook very helpful…perhaps not what Julia Cameron envisioned in 1992, but I’m glad I have more options than the telephone.

* * *

Two questions from chapter three resonated with me and I would love to hear your responses:

1.  If I had had a perfect childhood, I’d have grown up to be…

2.  My God (whatever definition you use) thinks artists are…

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Scary New Ideas

6 Oct

I just learned about an unexpected change in my core story: I want to connect to other people.  I want to build close and even romantic relationships.

I’ve always been very comfortable being alone and my innate social skills are…lacking, (It’s a chicken and egg type thing — did I learn to enjoy being alone because I lacked the skills to be around others, I did I fail to learn social skills because I enjoyed being alone too much to be bothered?) so wanting meaningful relationships is new to me.  I do have some wonderful friends, but mostly due to showing up and luck.

I just managed to put everything together and realize that I want to connect to others, so I’m not yet certain how to proceed.  I think I’ll start by being more selective about the people I spend time with; I don’t think learning to connect will be easy, so I’m going to need to start with some exceptional people.  Building on the existing connections I have with my friends sounds like a good first step, and I’d like to ask their help in vetting people for me to try to connect with.

As I learn and things get easier, I think I’ll be able to be less selective and more open and eventually outgrow the need for vetting.  Right now though, asking my friends for help with this project is a sign of progress for me.  Asking for help is a form of vulnerability, and I’m not good at being vulnerable.  Unfortunately, the ability to be vulnerable is a direct measure of the depth of my connection to them.  In order to learn to be good at connecting to others, I need to learn to be okay with being vulnerable.

This is scary, but I think it’s necessary.

Hello, Universe

28 Sep

I went to my interview today; they watched me work for fifteen minutes and then they hired me.  I actually started immediately.  I’m pleased and grateful that things worked out so nicely, but I need to be realistic: this is not a good job.  The pay is terrible, the business is incredibly disorganized, and I will be taken advantage of in this position.  The work itself should be fun, but this is not a good job.

I’m feeling a little stuck, so naturally I turned to Havi Brooks and her brilliantly formatted very personal ads.  I always find that good things come when I ask the universe for what I want, so maybe I should create a space for myself to ask the universe.  Yeah, maybe.

What I Want

I’m trying to be specific, and I’m failing.  What I really want is a job that allows me to use my authentic skills — the ones that are intrinsic to me and the ones I’ve learned.  I want a job that pays me enough to take care of myself and I want to work for and with people that will remember that I’m a person, not just a cog, and my time has value.

The Potential I Can See

I felt sad and hopeless the first time I tried to answer this question.  The question I asked was, “What if I never experience truly supporting myself and taking care of myself?”  What if I don’t need to do it all myself?  After all, the entire point of this exercise is to seek help instead of trying to do it alone.

Fortunately I have some wonderful people in my life, and they gave me the push I needed.  I can see that good jobs exist, jobs that make people happy, that solve people’s problems, that help people travel, that help people through rough times.  I can see that I deserve to have a life free from the stress of worrying about money because my job doesn’t pay enough, or not having enough time because I have to work too much, or dread going into work because it’s a poor environment.

I admit that I am struggling to get from where I am to where I want to be, but I do have faith that it can and will happen.  I might not know what to do, but someone will, and being open about what I need might create an opportunity.

My Commitment

I’m going to apply for jobs.  Every day.  It doesn’t cost me anything to apply and I’ll never know what could happen if I don’t.

I’m going to be open to what might happen, to what might work.  I’m not going to limit myself to what seems practical or logical and I’m not going to let myself get caught up in what I should do.

I can do this.

What if…

22 Sep

“What if the reason why it’s hard is because you were never meant to do it by yourself?”

What if it’s hard because I’m ignoring possibilities?

What if I learned to embrace my own abilities and shed my poverty mentality?

What I fully loved myself all the time, not just when I feel like my life is progressing?

What if I changed my core story?

5 Lessons I Don’t Want to Learn

15 Sep

Sorry, no credit or debit cards accepted.My trip to Michigan was depressing.  It usually is.  I was able to see almost all of my friends and family though, and it was great to spend some time with them, to be a part of their lives.  I miss that so much.

However, so many of those people I love are struggling in one way or another.  Most people are struggling financially — jobs are hard to come by and good jobs are all but nonexistent.  At the same time, the restaurant where my mom works, which my best friend’s family owns, is struggling to find decent employees.  I only saw one person who seemed truly happy and excited about her life.

I’m working to rewrite my core story and my trip home reminded me how I came by the beliefs I’m trying to change.  Here are some of the things I saw while I was there:

  • Financial insecurity is normal.  Real prosperity is an unrealistic goal.
  • Work is something we all have to suffer through; no one enjoys their job, but we have to have money.
  • There is always too much to do, so something must be sacrificed.  Usually it will be the sacrifice of a dream or a goal to reality.
  • You can’t count on anyone to help you.  Even if someone wants to help, they’re probably struggling too so how can they offer you anything?
  • It’s always best to be cautious.  Things could turn for the worst at any moment, so be prepared.

Everything there is treated as a zero-sum game.  People who are successful are regarded with resentment and suspicion — obviously they couldn’t have achieved that success without taking something from someone else.  People are reluctant to help others unless they can see a direct pay off.  Fear is always, always present and drives most decisions.  Everyone suffers from a poverty mentality and that is the part of my core story that I am trying to change.

Prosperity, not poverty.

Faith, not fear.

Abundance, not absence.

I can do this.