When I decided to move to canada I met someone who was from Canada and who’d offered to sell me their vehicle. Sweet I thought, I’ll have wheels and will be able to travel and sightsee as soon as I get here. Fast forward a month in and it still hadn’t happened. I started looking around not knowing what I was really looking for, to buy a van.
I knew I wanted to be mobile, able to live in it while traveling, maybe longer. Suddenly my antsy frustration trapped feelings of not working for myself and being tied to one spot slowly started to melt away. I the idea I could live and travel anywhere around the city and driving distance on the weekends excited me so much. There was so much land, sights, nature and beauty right at my fingertips – mountains, lakes, seas and islands. It spelled freedom, and in a mysterious way my body energy started to slowly shift.
I ended up buying a cheaper van that needed a lot of love after the expensive one I wanted fell through because I couldn’t get away to look at it in time. The first two weeks I owned her were a tortuous mental turmoil thinking I’d made a terrible decision and bought a dud. I really didn’t know anything about my new van and I didn’t trust my gut that led me to her or even if I’d be able to make it work.
I love naming my vehicles.. I’ve had two green Turtle vehicles at different energetic ages. So I was expecting to find the name of my new van too. I think it took almost a month, maybe a few weeks till it happened. I believe in messages from the universe but this was the first time I’d felt anything at all close to an “out of my control” message. To me trust is a very important thing and I think vehicles have their own personalities in a way. The universe brought her into my life, but her name wasn’t entrusted to me till I trusted her and trusted my decision to have her in my life.
I was just simply texting a friend telling them about my purchase and all the work I’d begun to do to her and how much more I was going to have and I think I simply made the observation that “it was a complete mystery why this van had come into my life and if I had done the right thing and how much more work I’d have to do”. Then my fingers simply typed afterwards:
“Mystery the magick van”
I kind of felt stopped in my tracks, wait what!? Then I quickly followed up the text message with an exclamation – “I think that’s her name!”
“I just found out what her name was in that moment of texting you”
I was buzzing and I’m a state of surprise and somehow just realised and reinforce in my whole body that sometimes life is a mystery.
Sometimes I cannot understand why things happen or what direction all of these culminating things will take me. Trying to plan, control and minutely understand will not make me happy and will not help any kind of situation get better. Mystery was here to teach me this in a giant way.
Not only teach my to trust myself, to let go of control of the future but also to let mysteries be mysteries and enjoy the nuances of all the wonderful things that somehow I’m really having the time of my life learning now.
Skip forward another month and Mystery is in the shop having her carburetor replaced because hills stopped being possible to climb. I’ve just gotten off a bus and am I’m heading to work on the seabus ferry across Vancouver harbour listening to my favourite podcast. Half way through the woman being interviewed starts talking about the mysteries of life. Cue tears, my heart felt jerked, tugged on an completely vulnerable. The heart is so big and it breaks open and open and open. The blasted open energy of the heart is capable of enormous healing. I am here letting life break open my heart, letting this moment change me. Learning to stay with the feeling of knowing that my intuition never lies.
I don’t know what’s next I don’t know how life will pan out – I have to be in the Mystery. We’re so strange as humans we can watch mystery moving but when don’t know how it ends or don’t know the answers in our own lives we go crazy. It’s like living the High Priestess card – allow the Mystery. Allowing myself to be a mystery, allowing my life to be a mystery. I feel it is very brave and vulnerable to live like this – but it’s also a great adventure, which what I want my life to be.
There is no one else to save me, there is no one else to do my own emotional work for me, so I must rise up and save myself, dive into the mystery and follow my hearts. Stop listening to other people and doing what brings me joy. The grail or river of what I love and what makes me whole. I know I have SO much to give when I am in my joy. So much more love, healing, change and energy to share. It is not selfish to pursue what brings me joy.
I have a public Voice: Deciding to create is scary, deciding to create in a field where there are already thousands of products is scarier. That point of pressing the go button that I realised this project will have so many eyes on it, and that my art is out there for public opinion is daunting. To be rejected and criticised is the tax I will pay on having a public voice. Even really the loudest critic I have to work with is the one that lives inside my own head. Radio K-Fuck has been saying all these things to me in the last few weeks:
– You’re not a photographer
– Your photos aren’t very ood
– You’ve never made a documentary before
– You have no idea how to run a crowdfunding campaign
– You’re not an expert Tarot reader
– What makes you an authority to decide this should be created
– People will think you are narccasistic
– You don’t have any qualifications in this field
– Will anyone really care once it’s been created
– That’s alot of effort to put into creating if no one knows it exists
– What if you get called a fraud?
– People will think you’ve only done it for money
Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Here is my pep-talk to myself.
I am in deep love with my creative project, but am realising that it must not be my child. I can nurture, create and foster it all through the creation process, but once it is done, I must let it go. I am not doing this to get hundreds of followers. I create my art from a place of creative necessity, that speaks from the darkest places in my heart. I create out of pure love of the creation process. Telling my story is the only story that I can tell. The only story I am qualified to tell. Not to tell my story, and how I am finding, learning and growing myself through my Queer Tarot Project would feel like I was living a fake life.
What motivates me with this project is the need to be seen, to be known… Hell I don’t even need to be liked. I just want people to say “I see you.” To me, my definition of being an artist is: walking through the world saying “don’t erase me.” I feel like this is my journey to finding my voice, unblocking the fear of being shot down for speaking up or having an opinion In the case of my Queer Tarot project I think that collective “me” resonates. It is saying that “We matter. Our stories matter, and we have a place in tarot and other forms of spiritual or esoteric practices”.
I need to know that I’m here, and alive. I need to know that you feel that Im here. I’m still learning what it feels like to be okay to take up this space in the world. To create, to make things, to make art, and say to the World, “Here I am”. It is through this project, every time I create a new Tarot card with someone, that I am finding the lost pieces of myself, healing the brokenness of my confidence, finding again the magick and light in my soul. Physically, mentally and emotionally living the lessons of each card as it comes alive.
My older, wiser (some how that seems perfectly logical) future self would say to me, “Stop being so hard on yourself, you’re doing just fine, just keep at it. You are more courageous than you think.” Thanking the inner critic radio for keeping me alive today and deciding to take those risks, and jump into the fire feet first. I realised just now that I live terrifyingly. I consistently and on-purpose, put myself in situations where I absolutely have no idea what I’m doing, then FURIOUSLY go about learning every single thing I can to become proficient at the thing I’m trying to do.
– Moving countries
– Applying for jobs
– Starting my own business
– Making Tarot Cards
– Making a documentary
– Making image-recognition fancy thing for my tarot cards
– Dating… haha
This I guess is the arrogance of belonging. I belong here because I have showed up to learn, create and do the work. I may not be the best or even the worst but I have showed up to my life and I am here and creating shit. “You’re out of your mind.” “Good, all the best things happen outside of mind.” I have to remind myself that this applies to all of this list I just wrote.
Over and over again, but although right now at this very moment of writing I feel incredibly uncomfortable with this change and the flux I’m going through, it is also an environment that I flourish in: It’s challenging, with lots of opportunity to lear and try new things. Thanks Amy for helping make this okay for myself again. I am still getting used to the idea that I find my power when I feel the most powerless. When I feel the most restless I will find ways of channeling that energy into creativity.
Life doesn’t happen to me, it happens FOR me, And I keep doing these things for myself not too myself. It’s not enough to love my art, I must believe my art, my Queer Tarot project, all you wonderful humans who have touched my life with your stories – that you love me back.
What makes it all just a little bit easier is the knowledge that there is nothing I can put out there that is truely my own. Every idea has already been done before, even this idea of a Queer Tarot deck. I started and immediately found 5 or 6 people already creating their own interpretation of what this idea brought to them. All I can do is follow the fire in me and share it with my voice and my experience. That is all that is unique about this – Me.
Fear doesn’t have a volume control – any time you try something new it thinks you will wind up dead. Stop and think about the times fear has saved your life, and then think of the time where fear doesn’t have perspective or the big picture that you have in your consciousness. Fear and creativity will always be linked. Remember the opposite of depression is vitality. There is enough within me that I inspire myself, that my sense of adventure or curiosity can thank my fear for highlighting the risks and encourage myself to make a decisions that move me forward, even just slightly joyfully.
I’ve been wanting to write about this for quite a while. Becoming a photographer, calling myself an artist has almost literally come out of nowhere. In looking back on my life so far, I see all the experiences I’ve had that have taught me the background to what I know. I’m not here by accident, I’m not doing this work because I am unqualified. This is my passion purpose for now, and I will continue to evolve with it as it also evolves, as is the impermanent nature of life. This is my story of gratitude.
I was in the shower when the conceptual idea of creating my photographic Queer Tarot Cards. I’m not the only one who’s had this idea either but I’m excited that I have opportunity to express my iteration of this inspiration. So when my inspiration came to me, in a skin tingling moment of clarity it lit a fire under my butt like I hadn’t felt in ages. I feel calm and clear headed in the shower, a place where nothing else seems to matter past the warmth and water on my skin.
I believe in magickal spirit beings, and to me inspiration is the personification of exactly that. That mischievous sprite flys with the wind, getting carried with swirls and turns to the east and west. In all it’s travels it is looking for a way to become realised, to be transported from the spirit realm into the human realm, and I believe this is not just a one way journey. Sometimes we wake up in the morning and think “OOOOHhhhh I’ve had this marvelous idea, or oh what an amazing dream.” If we do not capture that, weather it be writing it down or taking action to realise that idea, it can and will leave, float away, drift off to another being to be realised. Have you ever heard stories about someone saying “Oh that was MY idea” or “I was going to write that book?” Do you think this is a coincidence. They did indeed have that idea, and maybe they didn’t give it their due diligence, love, attention or action it was looking for. I think an idea or inspiration can also be realised be several people. Maybe that wind of creativity blows through me, I feel it’s magick and bring that idea to life. But I have no ownership of it, I can’t keep it, or lock it up. In fact trying to do just that is a sure fire way of killing that inspiration.
So with that context – I have a contract with my creative work. I have a duty, and wonderful purpose to bring it to life. Right now it is my Queer Tarot project, in future it might be something new and different. My creativity inspires maintains and energises me, and will for the rest of my life. I will feel like a successful photographer, writer, creator and artist, before and after you guys call me a successful one. I am authentically honouring the gift of inspiration that has visited me, as well as expressing my soul through the creative process.
All my art is part of my journey taking me to the next level, and I don’t even know what that level is yet. There is nothing more successful than the person who is confident enough to be stupid, to take risks and put themselves out there. This is where the uncertainty of change comes in. I have been living in a life of constant change and uncertainty for the last 6 months, traveling, working for myself, and stripping my life of all the unnecessary fluff. Now I have just started a job here in Vancouver. My fear has wonderfully piped up and warned me of getting stuck, observing that I now have an hour and a half commute that is “wasted time, scaring me with the idea of losing my vitality and creative energy. I’m writing this letter in part to you, but predominantly to myself, to thank my fear, to hold space it for highlighting to me the things I now can be aware of taking action and making change in those areas. Yes, a 3 hour round trip commute feels like an absolute drag, but I’ve found podcasts I can listen to which light me up, I have laughed, smiled, and almost cried with the joy of listening, learning and exciting my mind. One of the podcasts Elizabeth Gilbert talked to a girl who described herself as having the most boring job in the world. Yes she did exactly the same thing every day, and I am grateful I am not in that position. I have creativity and variety in what I do, that I really enjoy. The thing I really took away is the highlight that nothing is ever static, there is energy all around, and especially in frustration there is much power to create the inertia for change or creativity.
My contract with my creative inspiration currently means I have to make my Queer Tarot project happen, to give up myself, or to give myself over to the call to create. Right now I am choosing the trade off of working and creating simultaneously so I can travel to meet and work with more people globally and create magick with them in 6 month time. What happens after that I don’t know, and I am happy to let that just sit. And I know that my inspiration owes me nothing, following it doesn’t guarantee success, it just offers me the transcendence of working with it at all. The dance that doesn’t include my ego, just the pure gratitude of showing up and actively participating in my own experience.
I feel an entitlement at my inner heart level. The joy and arrogance of belonging, of calling myself and artist or a photographer and owning it. I am, I am here, I have desires, I have voice, I have a statement to make and oh so much pleasure to pursue. I’m here to celebrate this particular magick of creation in my life. This is my curiosity, I am alive enough to see what that is. Today, this month, maybe this year, maybe even next year, Queer Tarot is my creative gift, my inspiration, the creative thing that consumes me. The only unique contribution we will make in the world is the gift of creativity. Creativity in whatever way I end up expressing it, is how I share my soul with the world.
As I write this, my fear crops up again. Am I sounding like a overly optimistic rose tinted dreamer writing all this. Then I think to the times when I’ve been told to “come back down to earth” or that my voice wasn’t worth hearing, or that I wasn’t who I was supposed to be. These wounds I am healing in myself with a ruthless dedication to following my curiosity. Expressing my creativity. You know, it might not work every time, it won’t always see the light of day, I make and create far more than I share or I publish. But everything I do I am proud of, they contain a little of me, and little of that magickal gift of inspiration that I am so blessed and grateful to have been blessed with.
I am happy. I self generate my own happiness, and I am energised by following my creative curiosity. I wish sometimes to date, but getting past my fear of losing myself in a relationship is another story for another day. Thank you so much for coming along on this journey with me, for allowing me to be heard. Pen-pals, please write back to me, I would love to hear about your journey with fear and curiosity / creativity. If you want more, the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is an amazing place to start.
This week I am stopping to remind myself that confidence is something that ebbs and flows. Something that has cycles just like the seasons. I’m currently on my moon cycle and this month I feel a heightened sense of shadow self. So I’m just going to sit with it, heal, to feel all my emotions, to be kind to myself and forgive myself instead of being my own worst enemy. I don’t feel sexy when I’m on my rag. I don’t feel sexy when I’m feeling low. One of my very dear friends, challenged me to go to a place in my head when I did feel sexy and sit in that energy, to absorb that happy and warm feeling, to remind me I have it within me even if it is on a little break for a quick minutes’ rest. So here is my “Sexyiess is a Contradiction” musing.
I feel sexy when I’m alone, the air is thick with music playing that my body can’t resist to dance to and misty smoke swirls of delicious incense fill the air. My body feels in touch with my inner magick and power. When I feel like the dark and light all at the same time, when I’m not the naive little girl I used to feel like, when I feel like the woman grown, mature, wise and sensual in the way I move, hold myself and know how and when to share my energy with people who deserve it. I feel sexy when someone looks at my energy, connects with the me that hides behind my eyes. When the manic noise of all our existences slows down for a second and we just breathe, giving space for beauty, silence and all the senses to come alive. Sexy is shaving all past off my head and letting my tears flow, feeling vulnerable, standing in the middle of the campsite naked in the warm spring pouring rains, with not a care in the world.
Sexy is stranding up for myself when I’m scared and hurting. Sexy is looking into someones eyes and seeing that although I’ve changed and gotten a bit more beaten up around the edges I’m still the truest version of ME that exists right now and being proud of that. Sexy is the wink the glance across the room from someone who makes me blush and heart beat faster. Sexy is watching seeing someone enthusiastic and in the moment and rhythm of what they love to do. Sexy is getting lost, losing all sense of time and space in movement, passion, sound and rhythm.
Create Magic: Baby Flossy
Sexy isn’t the modeling photos I shot 10 years ago that I showed you when I wanted your attention. Sexy isn’t the memories of my clubbing days, the skimpy outfits, big smiles and enlarged eyeballs of the young me that drowned out my inner introvert with colour, noise and wild adventure. That self didn’t know how to make any kind of deep or meaningful connection. That self didn’t give a fuck, but made no space for vulnerability or things less superficial.
Those to me represent eating disorder I battled when I was 20, the way I knew how to contort my body half one way and half the other to create the illusions you see in photos. Sexy isn’t someone finding me attractive, putting me on a pedestal of what they admire in me. Sexy isn’t the sheer revealing clothes I wore as a sex worker, selling my body for money to support me and my ex girlfriend even though she didn’t know that’s what I was doing. Sexy is refusing to conform to the unachievable social norms of women’s beauty standards, and embracing my dork, my short colourful hair that will never be “normal”, sexy is forgiving myself for binging on food and alcohol that makes my body feel and look shit, and healing myself with baths, hot showers and delicious fresh food that makes my heart sing. Even if it costs more to feed myself this way, when suddenly I’m not flush with money, I make this a small self love priority.
Sexy is floating in the ocean, the sea lifting the weight of my boobs off my chest and letting my legs relax after holding me up all day. Feeling like a streamlined ocean creature that loves water and moves swiftly and gracefully through the warm salty water at sunset, that feels sexy. I can imagine a place where the sky is magical and covered in stars, I feel safe and at home in my space- maybe a tent by myself, warmth envelops me in a comforting blanket of love, and my shape melds with blankets and covers. I like being that sexy slug. There I don’t feel like you have any expectations of me and what my confidence in myself should be. There I don’t have to be or do or look a certain way in order to gain approval from anyone.
Letting myself be okay and at peace with rarely feeling sexy around other people. Making space for being scared of be vulnerable or sharing my insecurities – which have always been there, bubbling like a little creek. I’m just putting less energy into hiding them now, the creek doesn’t go underground any more. I can’t pretend to be the eternal optimistic fountain of all joy and carefree optimism 24/7 – I still am these qualities, however I am allowing myself to be more selective with who I share that joy with.
I love being open and connecting with wonderful people I meet on an emotive level, but I choose who, how and when I let people in or share that gift with now. I’ve been told two or three times recently that I’ve much thicker walls up now and I’m much less open than I used to be. This used to worry me, but I wonder if it is because people who used to feed of this energy no long find it accessible to them?
My sexy is now sacred to me. My sexy is my gift, my joy. Those photos on the internet of me almost naked showing the curves, the body, the smiles and the “seduction”- THIS is my performance art. I’m a great performance artist but I want to retire from “being on show”. I want to retire from supporting everyone else with my positive free spirit attitude. I really truly believe love increases the more you share it but am exploring my boundaries keeping it safe and protected, I think just for now. I know right now my boundaries are pretty close and tight, and as time passes and I grow I believe they will expand to share and love more people and be more open again. Sacred joy, sacred shadow self, winter of self love that grows back when I nurture it softly.
I feel sexy when someone approaches me to bootblack my leather shorts. I feel sexy when I feel my dance partners body pressed against mine and know she can read my body language. I feel sexy when I’m naked in the warm summer rain. I feel sexy when your eyes never reach my body they stare deep into my soul and when tears stream down my cheeks they keep eye contact with you and you show me your openness and softness in return. I feel sexy when you say you’ll miss me but we’ll still hold space and love and support each other even if we won’t live in the same country for a while. I feel sexy when I hold you to warm you up on a cold night out and your body leans back into mine. Everything happens for a reason, it’s up to us what we do with these experiences. <3
“It us a long time, many of us longer than others to come up out of the darkness of our feelings of unworthiness, of unlovableness. Of allowing that liquidity to happen, of feeling safe to be in the presence of love. However you are at this moment, when you can accept that you are loveable, then the fear starts to dissolve. It’s allowing your own beauty. It’s allowing the beauty of your soul, which is behind your personality, it’s behind all of that stuff. Just another radiant bit of light, another soul. And I think at this moment there’s nothing violent to do, you just observe the kind of sadness, the feeling of loneliness, the feeling of separateness, the feeling of pain. You just watch it and allow it. Don’t get too fierce about it, don’t feel too deprived about it, don’t milk the self pity. You know, just notice it’s just a passing show, it’s another place your mind is grabbing. It’s all mind. You realise that, the only thing you are stuck isn’t even history it’s just mind. It’s a model you have of who you think you are, and who you think everyone else is. That’s all it is. That exactly what is causing your suffering at this moment, is your own thoughtfulness and your clinging to them and saying “this is real”. And it is as simple as that, it really is the mind.”