Where to start? These few months have been strange. Astrological advice in mind, I had kept July and August light in my commitments. This allowed me to be flexible, which was a good thing, because very few things, even when planned, went according to plan. There were technical hiccups, vehicular hiccups, communication and timing hiccups… hiccups for everyone!
2018 started as a year with all the planets moving direct—a somewhat unusual occurence, as it happens. By August, the majority of planets were retrograde, further activated by three eclipses, throwing many spanners into the works. September was a slow return to—well, not “normal”—but a new normal.
What had I wanted in my life in 2018? This mandala was created in December 2017 for the year ahead. I’ve learned a few things since then: Alignment is easiest when you’re not second guessing your dream and your purpose. And when you’re aligned, energy flows naturally as you need it.
Do Not Stay Small
I was fortunate enough to be a part of some group breakthroughs since July that allowed me to bust through old emotional and mental blocks. The sequence of events that even led to the group is a story in itself, but what was consistent was this: I always knew that art and my artmaking was better appreciated outside my birth country, and I started taking my artwork to the Australian market at my own expense. Business-wise, this was hard to justify as profitable, but, these expo/exhibitions affirmed me and what I wanted to do through the people I met. The experiences opened me and gave me hope and purpose.
If you’ve ever had a childhood or been raised in a society that discourages your dream, especially when it is out of the norm, then you may know that receiving affirmations and encouragement is invaluable, like finding your tribe or a soulmate. Since holding a booth at the Mind Body Spirit Festival in Melbourne in November 2017, it has been my honour to serve people with the skills and talents I always wanted to share the most, and to help them towards their own answers and purpose. I did this by offering my art, in-person aura readings, and oracle cards. Some interactions felt like getting struck by lightning, running into people and having conversations that would change all those sharing in them.
At the last MBS Festival in Melbourne in June, what I’d anticipated as 4 full days of labor (of love, but still), became effortless joy after my friend brought me to his Alpha Alignment practitioner. I received alignments every evening I was in Melbourne, and felt electrically recharged after each session, sleeping well and experiencing a mental and emotional clarity I’d never had before. My inner sight was clear, giving me more confidence in my readings and paintings. I’m now committed to an Alpha Alignment diploma course taught by Dr. Robert Cote, which will take a year of study and practice. It is also Dr Cote who facilitates group breakthrough sessions once a month.
Talk about manifesting with my mandala from December 2017!
There’s no doubt that getting ahead in the creative and/or metaphysical industry is hard, not to mention hard for most people to understand. I understand now that the discouragement I faced my whole life was more reflective of other people’s ignorance than they were of my abilities. The tragedy is that I let their fear override my faith in myself and my dreams. “Pragmatism” won.
Three decades of this shit can make for bad habits, both external and internal, that lead me to stop trying, or try less hard, or try “something else” rather than have to deal with financial loss, naysayers and self-doubt. Putting my energy into other things for which I have less enthusiasm just to pay the bills may be necessary, yes, but the scale can easily tipped into mind- and heart-numbing despair. Balance is more necessary for me now than profit.
Regrouping and Recommitment
The bright spot is: I never really stopped painting. And even though my style is slow, enough years have passed that I have a body of work that, even if it’s not as large as I would like, has finally gotten to a point that I feel it can start supporting me and getting me more sustainable recognition.
No offence to the people who’ve followed me and had faith in me for years—I love you and thank you—it’s just that I really had little faith in myself (especially being told that opportunities were scarce and non-existent for my type) and I was hopeless at monetizing my work. It was easier (and it’s still easier, in many ways), selling my graphic design and editing skills than my art.
One huge difficulty was how badly I took rejection, and it was wrapped up in how my own family had rejected my artmaking. If other people rejected my work (art directors, project managers, etc), it just proved my parents right that art was a mistake to pursue. Rejections sent me into depressive spirals. Sometimes I even felt like I had to score every gig and project out there, because that was the only way to survive and prove myself, but trying to look “better” than everyone made me lose my own style and confidence.
(After all, Asian society teaches children—and females in particular—that their job is to please everyone. In creative work, this is a f*@king recipe for disaster.)
In between my group breakthroughs, I suddenly realised that the fear of rejection I had in dating was the same fear of rejection I used to have submitting my portfolio and works to publishers and other businesses. Instead of seeing rejection (giving, and receiving) as just decisions on what worked and what didn’t for the parties involved, I saw all rejections as confirmation that my work was shit, worth shit, and that artmaking was the wrong path, as I had always been told.
Sounds stupid, but this was my reality for decades. No art, art business, or self-help book ever managed to hit on this for me; it seemed that I needed to unravel it for myself, and free that pain and wrongful understanding from my body and belief system. It has really taken this long.
(Parents, watch what you say to your children. Because long after you say your words, your voice becomes their inner voice. And if your voice doubts and undermines them, they only learn to undermine themselves.)
Where I Am Now
The Self-Love Oracle, even as an independently published deck (that didn’t use Kickstarter, either) opened more doors than I had anticipated, putting me on a path that connected me with the people who loved it, the art, the messages, etc. Again, I can’t state the difficulty I had before the deck, getting people to understand that my art was emotional, was healing, was always trying to get at the truth that beauty and love was worth it. It may be that I didn’t even understand it myself. Until after the deck got out and did its work, and people wrote back and spoke to me.
My long-term goals are to write more, paint more, and produce more decks, and to keep deepening my understanding of healing and the journey back to our whole selves. These goals also give me more reason to research the spiritual and metaphysical topics I’ve loved since childhood, because this study helped me in the last ten years to understand my own purpose and need to heal. Every thing I learned, I applied first to myself.
Rinse, and repeat.
This is what I want to keep on doing. And this is what I am affirming to myself.
Oh, I may pop up at events too. And maybe even make announcements about them.
Reflection and Action
How have your last 3 months been? Did you learn anything? What negative beliefs have you released?
What positive beliefs and goals will you affirm for yourself going forward? What actions will you take as steps towards those goals?