Self-Nurturing and Journal Prompts for Cancer Season (June and July 2017)
Indulge me in some personal stock-taking as we approach the halfway point of 2017. (You may find it fun doing the same!)
In the last 6 months, I’ve
- Presented at the first Festival du Feminin in Singapore as a guest speaker
- Released the Self-Love Oracle app together with Indie Goes software
- Started and completed the artwork for the Angel Power Tarot with Cico Books and author Jayne Wallace.
I’ve joked that the Self-Love Oracle deck took 15 years to complete, because the artwork for it came from the last decade and a half. My second deck took 3 months.
It’s been a time of discovering that I can produce one pretty decent painting per day, if I’m being paid for it. (The last bit is crucial–it frees me up from worrying how to pay the bills!) The road to becoming a paid artist was, for me, a long road fraught with constant messages that I should abandon such unproductive work. For years, it didn’t seem to matter how well I could do it–not perfectly, of course, but deserving to do what I enjoyed and was good at. But creative work is also a very treacherous terrain to work with when many in society (especially the one I grew up in) have never really considered what value beauty and creativity holds for them.
So you wonder what you were put on earth for. I can’t answer in one blog post, but here are 3 things to know while you’re trying to figure out your purpose.
And if your purpose in any way lies in challenging the status quo (and we live in challenging times!), this first thing will be extra important.
1. Know your highest values
The values you hold as your own highest personal values need not agree with those of society.
(If a society holds control, dominance, and economic survival as its highest values, those within them who already hold higher values such as compassion, inclusion and diversity NEED NOT and SHOULD NOT lower themselves.)
Let me share my highest values: Truth, beauty, and love.
Truth because the endless nights I spent in my childhood, teenagerhood, and adulthood reading books beyond my years and my paper qualifications. I read both fiction and non-fiction, taboo and “difficult” books. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn.
Beauty because everything I loved and appreciated made me want to pick up pencil and draw or write. It was my way of keeping order, of making sense of the storms and universes knocking from inside and wanting to come out. If the world outside was ugly, I could create my own with the colours, lines, shapes, and stories. Being amidst beauty and creating beautiful books was on my brain all the time.
Love because I needed this to allow myself to do these things. To be myself to bring beauty through. To raise a daughter who would feel it was safe to be herself.
You’re going to have your own highest values. You’ll know them when you realise your whole life revolved around them no matter what else was going on. They brought your highest highs and deepest sorrows, but they are what make you keep going.
So know your values. Put them somewhere important to you. Shout it out on social media.
Part of your purpose will lie in serving and sharing these values.
2. Know you are worthy
For a long time in my life, one thought that had permanent residence in my head was: “Who am I to want this and deserve it?” There were so many artists and authors better than me, better qualified than me, and with more encouragement and persistence than I had. There were also artists and authors whom I thought were not-so-great but who were published nonetheless, and they IRRITATED ME TO DEATH.
Sure, there’s luck involved (and I was hung up on this a long time), but there’s also persistence, trying, and finding one’s market. Another personal block I ran into was my deeply ingrained fear of rejection. I had learned to personalise ALL rejection because I had grown up with my own parents discouraging my artistic leanings, AND asking me “Who do you think you are?” whenever I gave them lip. Untangling and understanding the resulting self-hate and self-sabotage in me took years.
The answer is loving and nurturing oneself and one’s inner child. For some of us, this may require a kickstart from someone outside ourselves–say, someone appreciating and encouraging our artistic gifts.
I realised that my parents were “wrong” about me when, for one birthday, my then-boyfriend’s parents gave me paper and coloured pencils, and even apologised if they were an inferior brand or not what I used. Before this, I had never received such things from my own parents for my birthdays. It took all my self-control not to break down at the time, because it was a sad-happy realisation during cake: that there are parents who encourage their children’s less-common talents. (In retrospect, I think this ex-bf and his family have given me more than I can quantity or understand while I’m still on this side of the veil. It is perhaps fitting that my painting “The Gift”, was in fact gifted to this ex.)
As children, we have little control over what kind of parenting we were subject to. But as adults, most of us are in positions to try and understand, and undo, some of the damage to our self-worth and self-esteem. This is not just for ourselves, but for those people around us.
One common unconscious result of being damaged is believing that other people also need to be damaged, and damaged worse, in order for one to get ahead.
Getting away from this mindset is a huge part of healing. It’s a shift away from spreading misery to recognising the need in everyone to be nurtured and to feel worthy.
3. Know that all of the journey is important
When you’ve learned to love yourself, you’ll learn to love everything that made you who you are.
(There’s a quote like this out there. I should look it up, but I need to add this next bit too:)
Loving yourself, you’ll also love who you’ll be next, and everything that takes you there.
It’s part of self-healing, and part of your evolution and expansion.
When you believe in something, whether it’s Love, or God, the path of becoming whole includes expanding and being more of Love, and more of God. It is death of the ego and of separation.
It is the journey home.
Journaling prompts (presented with no obligation to do anything with them)
- Write your values and how you figured these out (Clues will be in what you love doing.)
- The dream you want to live even if you don’t know how it can happen
- How you can best help others, the “best” thing that only you can and want to offer that is unique to you and your experiences. (No worrying about what you can earn from this when you’re writing it down!)
- What “mundane” everyday skills you DO have under your belt that are assets you’ve taken for granted.
- Extra bonus points if you wanna figure out how to marry the two last answers together: How the skills you already have can be married to the best thing you can offer, if there are differences between them.
- Most practical bit: How you’re going to allow yourself regular space and time to develop this offering into something others can see the worth of. (Another hint: Others are not going to see its worth if you can’t, and you can only see it if you KNOW you are inherently worthy of your dream.)
- Write to Janet and tell her how confusing these exercises were
(Kidding on the last bit. Also checking if you’re still reading.)
If you’re interested in more prompts, inspiration, and insight on becoming a creative, lightworker, or both, sign up for my mailing list!