Julia dives right in, as usual, stating…
As you redraw the boundaries and limits within which you have lived, you draw yourself to a fuller size.
My hackles raise….Yeah, well OBVIOUSLY. Duh. But what if I don’t want to redraw any boundaries? What if I’m fine just the size and shape I am, huh? Huh?
I find the whole notion of…allowing my Self to be bigger….incredibly annoying…and, yeah, terrifying I guess.
I feel this reaction within me and I am curious about it. Then I read the aim of this week’s work…
…bolstering the sense of a realistic self in the face of difficulty and discounting.
I know exactly where she is heading, and I know damned well why my spidey senses are tingling.
She is taking aim at my gristle. One of my most deeply imbedded toxins. One of loops that runs in my head constantly (still) is the dreaded “Who do you think you are?” chant.
Ah well….best get on with it…
Julia nails my early life, calling it…
…Growing up in the funhouse… where our soul’s aspirations are mirrored back to us in a distorted and distorting fashion that makes them appear egotistical and unrealistic: “Don’t get too big for your britches,” “Who do you think you are?”
And there it is…. The chant…
I love that phrase “growing up in the funhouse.” It cuts to the heart of it. To the strangeness of what is reflected back to kids whose parents are…having a rough go of it… And are unable to really nurture the uniqueness that each young human.
Growing up in the funhouse. That has to be a book title, right?
The horror…the horror.
But I digress…
Back to this book…
Part of us knows we’re more than they see; part of fears we’re less than we hope.
All of us need and require accurate Believing Mirrors.
These mirrors are held by people large enough and expansive enough spiritually not to be threatened by the size and grandeur of another artist shaking out her sizable wings.
Who-say-what-now? A Believing Mirror. Sounds good, yeah?
And I love the image of shaking out my sizable wings!
I shake off the fear here, knowing that, yes, I have also had THIS.
I have this.
I actually have a couple of Believing Mirrors. Great, wonderful, talented, friends who believe in me and encourage me and…yeah, reflect back something to me that is actually WAY bigger and brighter than anything I would normally see for myself of my Self.
To those of you who save my life on a regular basis, I say, “Thank ye!”
We are inhabited by a larger life than we know. As we doubt our own identity, that identity is still guiding us, still nudging us to our rightful path…. Something larger and finer than we know calls us to be larger and finer than we dare.
I like that.
And I love this…
We make art not only to make our way in the world but also to make something of ourselves, and often the something that we make is a person with an inviolable sense of inner dignity. We have answered yes when our true name was called.
And, moving on….
Frightened of being big-headed and egotistical, we seldom ask, “Am I being too limited, too small for who I really am?” Expansion can be frightening. Growth can feel foreign, even “wrong.”
Like Alice after she ate the mushroom, we experience shifts in size as hallucinogenic events. One day we will feel very large and competent. The next day we will feel that yesterday’s grander size was just grandiosity and that we are really much smaller and wobbly than we knew.
Here’s the thing…
Mostly, this week, I am feeling small and wobbly.
This… sucks… of course.
But I am taking aim very consciously at that thing we learned in chapter one…. The idea of Appreciating what I already am instead of the constant f’ing exausting striving striving striving always to do more and to thereby BE more.
Like I said, it’s been a rough week, man.
I have been…sad a LOT this week, and I’m not exactly sure WHY.
But even in the midst of this feeling of exhaustion and depression, confusion and downright worthlessness feeling…. This idea Of JC’s is helping me.
I come to my morning scribble (or another scribble later in the day) and when I hear the negativity… I flip into…“OK, Pam. STOP. Shift focus. What have you DONE today, already?” And I list the simple doings already accomplished and I really LOOK at them, and…. I feel better.
I feel A BIT better.
It is enough. For right now.
Julia goes on to say…
We are spiritual beings, and when our spirit grows larger, so must we. There will be no comfortable resting in yesterday’s definition of ourselves…we must cooperate or feel the pitch of spiritual dis-ease. We can try to play small, but if the universe has big plans for us, we are better off cooperating than resisting.
I hear a ringing in my ears.
As we surrender to becoming as large as we are meant to be, great events can come to pass for us and countless others.
Hear that, Pam?
You know this to be true, yes?
I do know this.
And I know that writing about this, will be….of use… for countless others.
And so, though the urge right now is to return to my bed and cover up my head, I am here, typing this to send to you.
On we go…
The notion that we can control our path is pushed on us by advertisements and by books and by experts who promise us we can learn to control the uncontrollable….experience teaches that life, and especially life in the arts is as much about mystery as it is about mastery. To be successful we must learn to follow not the leader, but our own inner leadings…
As we let go of our ego’s demands to be totally in charge, we slip gently and quietly into a series of changes that we may set in motion by our own hand but experience as the hand of the Great Creator working through us. As we are inwardly directed, a direction emerges.
OK. I sorta get this.
But then she says…
When we begin to see that we can actually change our life, we often panic.
And I get confused. Is she saying we CAN CONTROL our path?
My head aches.
I look back over her words… And a dim light shines into my murk…
I think, maybe, what she is saying is that we need to “let go and let God” as they say, and in this very act of letting go of the ILLUSION of control, we step onto a new path that triggers this CHANGE she speaks of.
Rings familiar… Rings of ancient and not so ancient wisdom that I have read and heard over and over. Maybe this time it will sink in.
Your panic does not mean you are crazy, just that you feel it….If you are panicked, tell yourself, “Ah! Good sign: I am getting unstuck.”
Oh good. Great. I shall begin to repeat this each morning when I wake to darkness covered in The Fears.
…We are in the process of becoming what we already are–perfect creations of a perfect creator.
Oh, how I want to truly deeply KNOW this.
Art, and artful living, is a constant collaboration between what we are made from and what we wish to make of ourselves. As we open ourselves consciously to inspiration and instruction as to our truest current form, we are led not only to creativity bit also to comfort.
May there be comfort.
- My anchor practice of life.
- I hold tight to them
- I count a lovely hour long walk I took in the bush as my artist date this week. I set the time aside and took water and a lunch. Walked. Sat in a few clearings and listened/gazed upon the world. Restful and lovely.
- Walked most days (20-30 min)
- The days I walk are the “best” days. I know this. But I still allow time to slip away somehow and miss walking on occasion.
- Walking alone is best, but company can be fun.
- This week, I had a lot of mind-racing show up on my walks. To counteract the Fears, I would stop and LOOK at a plant, or tree, or rock, or swift flowing water. This helps.
- Identify Your Identity
- Size Shifting (with a Wish List suggesting small actions to take)
- Shape Shifting (and comfortingand encouraging our inner artist)
- I’m enjoying how the TASKS in this book are part of each section instead of all bunched at the end of the chapter. I am doing them as I go along and enjoying the fact that A. I do them all and B. It slows the pace at which I devour the material.
Which reminds me of my Favourite Quoted thing from this chapter…
An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory – Friedrich Engels
And the doing of tasks in midst of my reading is adding action to theory in a delicious way.
Smart woman, that Julia.
Last but never least…
MY PERSONAL NUGGET (to bake in and carry away):
Tucking this into my pocket…to read over and over again on my walks…and throughout the day…
I am in the process of becoming what I already am — a perfect creation of a perfect creator.
Wishing you all a lovely week-end.
Happy Trails ~p