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.
“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.”
“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.
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. Your 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.”
I felt unlovable. The experience of having someone leave you abruptly, having your heart and expectations dashed, battling through a relationship where trust has been broken, or suddenly not having a long term partner in your life, even if it was more about the company. All these things play with my subconscious, make my heart hurt, make my inner psyche doubt my worth. It’s those feeling of unworthiness that I inflict on myself, wounds that take so long to heal. Those moments where I literally feel the energy in my chest feeling like it is ripping my soul in two. Feeling vulnerability so intensely it feels like emotions are bleeding out of my chest.
I’m glad I’ve felt this. I’m glad I’ve had my heart proverbially ripped out and stomped on. That at the most difficult time of my life where my family relationship was strained, I thought I was losing a parent, I also lost my relationship, the person I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. I’m glad that happened. I’m glad she did what was best for her, I hold no resentment at all towards her. I’m grateful that I’ve had this opportunity to leave that life behind and use this pain to awaken to, use this sorrow to become aware, it has been the catalyst so introspect and develop the most wonderful relationship with myself.
I’m glad I got to tear down everything I thought really mattered to me, everything that I really thought I wanted. It has been a jetpack booster to my spiritual journey. My journey to find my power to find my heart, find connection and intimacy without expectation, to feel loved again. To unpack why I fell to pieces, what actually I felt like lost, what I actually gained, and the beauty of that experience.
Rejection made me question and realise how much I’d forgotten how much love I’ve got inside of me. I don’t think love comes from an outside source. It comes from loving myself, living to my own standards and making my own happiness on my terms a priority. Living my authenticness, what makes me uniquely me – when I put that energy out to the universe I stop needing to rely external validation. My life source comes from within, and in a world that rewards success, weight loss, worships superficial beauty standards to be in my own power, loving myself as I am, doing the things that really make me happy – is the most powerful rebellious act of social defiance. It’s not a big thing, it’s correcting someone who tells me I am more desirable because I am skinny, it’s acknowledging that not having / making lots of money doesn’t make me a failure, supporting my friends who choose to not take the traditional life trajectory of relationship, job, house career kids, and being there with them as they explore their squiggly line journey to what makes them happy, discovering what defines success for them.
One of my favourite authors, Brené Brown says, “What we know is that connection – the ability to feel connected – is why we’re here … It’s what brings purpose to our lives.” I love that she has extensively researched this unknown entity that keeps people all around us from being connected – despite so many of our social behaviours being driven by the lure of being more connected, but leading instead to competition based vanity stats driven validation.
“Shame is … easily understood as the fear of disconnection: Is there something about me that, if other people know it or see it, I won’t be worthy of connection?” The thoughts we have undermine ourselves. Our minds tell us “I’m not ______ enough [for intimate connections]”
How I have struggled with even the mere idea of excruciating vulnerability. This idea that in order for connection to happen, I have to allow myself to really be seen by others, to open ourselves to the vague potential of hurt or pain again. “Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness,” Brown says, “but it appears it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”
Today I feel worthy, I allow myself to be imperfect, to have my creative endeavors be different to society’s idea of success, to celebrate the precious moments of love that I share. I am so much more determined – more than ever to live my life wholeheartedly, to be willing to let go of who I think I should be, who I think the world thinks I should be, in order to be who only and completely who i am… I am more than anything else, willing to be vulnerable.
Every day I want to ask myself – “how can I let myself be seen today, deeply seen, vulnerably seen. How can I share my love with my whole heart, even though there’s no guarantee and nothing I can grasp to with any feeling or assurance of permanence. How can I practice gratitude and joy in those moments of sheer terror, to remind myself that feeling this vulnerable means I’m alive. Even if I feel like I’m running blindly towards my adventure and the unknown.
To every day tell myself, to tell myself so often that I truly believe that I’m enough. I’m enough and all I ever need. I don’t need anyone to be happy, but I can share my happiness with someone, I can share my love with others, and not run out, and not find it or need it from them. That I can self generate all I need, that am enough.
I am enough even if I ask for help, I am enough even when things don’t go as planned. I am enough even when things aren’t a financial success, that I am even enough when all I got out of it was learning how to do it better next time. I am enough even when I slip back into old patterns or habits, because I have felt pain, and sorry that has made me aware, and I can never ever lose that awareness of my power, being enough. Sharing my love with no expectations having it come back to me like a tidal wave of wonderful experiences that I didn’t expect, intimacy and connection like I’ve never experienced before. Feelings in my heart that tear me apart with what feels like the complete opposite of a breaking heart. One that overflows with love, gratitude and vulnerable feelings of love with no grasping, or expectations. It’s scary, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As soon as I choose to accept myself and love myself unconditionally, deeply and completely, I discovered that I attract and keep those around me will who will accept and love me in exactly the same way I do.
I am capable of loving, sharing my love and also of accepting the love from anyone who wants to receive my love, or who wants to offer it. I do not need to place standards on myself that determine, how “together” I am, what I’ve achieved or what stage of my life I need to be at before I am loved, or worth of love. I just need to open, be wholehearted and vulnerable. My own self-esteem and self-love is what determines whether I choose to remain around people who bring me down, memories of people who hurt me, or times when I didn’t love myself, and placed myself in the line of fire. When I choose and decide that I am worthy of more, that I am enough, and deserving of the greatest levels that love has to offer, that is when the love, intimacy and connection, the healing magick has started to happen in my life. It blows me away.
All my life I have struggled with my mind being so afraid of being alone. Rewriting this pattern is probably the hardest journey I’ve been on, and I know I’m still on it; because being alone made me feel unworthy and unlovable. Recognising this, I am starting work towards believing I am enough alone, loving myself alone, and as I am, authentically right now.
Rejection, as an ego-reducing emotion, is nothing short of painful. I’ve been really trying to view rejection as necessary and even positive for me, helping me overcome that pain much more easily. Recognising the hidden elements of this emotion, has been a catalyst for productive change towards a better, stronger, more powerful Me.
Going home. Being myself at all costs, authentically me. I love being creative, loud, empathetic, emotional, colourful, a risk taker, an adventurer, magickal, bold, impulsive, grounded, personally stable, a high achiever. I love these things, much more than it hurts if I am rejected or too much for someone because of these things. I let go of my own ego, and desire to please, or be liked, to follow the things that make me “ME”. To do the things I feel called to do, to let go of wanting to be liked, to be approved, or validated, to just let go and be me, no matter the temporary pain of rejection I might feel along my journey. Letting go my ego, being ultimately as vulnerable as I can be just to love myself.
Mentally strong people know that rejection serves as proof that they’re living life to the fullest. They expect to be rejected sometimes, and they’re not afraid to go for it, even when they know there is a risk of heartbreak or pain.
Disappointment, that is the emotion I felt as I unpacked that feeling rejection. I wanted to make it work, prove I could do it. Be a adult, have a successful relationship, work through those hard times, be loved and have proof to myself that I am loveable. Rejection, feeling disappointed in myself that I potentially wasn’t all those things was crushing. Moving on from that is feeling and knowing in myself that I am, I am loveable, I am capable of beautiful successful gorgeous love, where I give myself wholeheartedly. I know I can do that, I know I am worthy of being loved and able to love in a supportive, respectful and honestly vulnerable way. Sharing, loving and giving space, receiving space, being open. I did it. I felt it, I loved and thrived. Just cos it didn’t work once will never mean that that was my only opportunity. I can do it better, I can experience and share this again, just differently, and in a way that I will have learned, grown and become a more wholeheartedly open version of myself.
Success, long term relationships, marriage, promotions, wealth. These are all seen by society as good, these are what we are told to strive for. Failure, disappointment, rejection, hurt and pain are all seen as bad, to be avoided at all costs, to be pushed under a rug and not under any circumstances talked about. Your subconscious doesn’t see either of these. It is an extreme state. It only sees the distance these extreme emotions fling us from our self, our comfort zone, how this distances us from our authentic true self. This is the space we grow from, at either end, as we find our way back to our equilibrium, as we try and find a way of calming down the emotional roller coaster of extremes.
As we let go of the ego that either celebrates itself or wants to put it’s head in a hole, we come back home. Sitting in that emotion and feeling it, acknowledging it, and allowing ourselves space to work our way back to what is truly important to self, our hearts. That singular thing that we love to devote ourselves to whole heartedly without care about the outcome. It could be either or any of these – service, creativity, faith, family, adventure. Doing something worthy in a way that is wholehearted regardless of outcome, is a beautiful test of courage, the confidence in yourself that it will be worth it, and the willingness to grow and learn from it whatever the outcome might be.
I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. – Carl Jung.
Rejection can be a lifelong ordeal stemming from childhood. Tapping into any of my feelings of childhood abandonment, rejection becomes simply a pattern for me to understand and rewrite throughout my life. Acknowledging my actions may be triggered by a subconscious memory, then being able to step back and objectively unpack my reactions and the patterns come from – is an incredible exercise. Understanding the primary source of rejection and the impact it had on my inner child can help me deal with this unpleasant emotion. Accepting that this is not the first or last time I’ll feel the ache of rejection, but that I know I’ve defeated this emotion before and that I will emerge stronger from each instance.
“Live your life for you not for anyone else. Don’t let the fear of being judged, rejected or disliked stop you from being yourself.” – Sonya Parker
As years went by and I took on more risks, I invited more rejection into my life. Remember taking risks, being wholeheartedly “in it” or vulnerably “out there”, is a risk. This risk has massive rewards that can be worth the potential hurt. I don’t ever want the potential to be hurt to stop me loving, to stop me adventuring to stop me being my outgoing, vulnerable, action focused, empathic self, wearing my heart on my sleeve and sharing love wholeheartedly.
Rejection is negative judgment manifested, and judgment is subjective by nature. This means I can decide to interpret rejection as evidence of someone’s perception rather than as evidence of my flawed nature. People who reject me are the minority!
Estimating how many people I’ve met in my entire life, then counting the number of people who have severely rejected me. Dividing the second number by the first, the result would rarely exceed 1%.
Is 1% significant? I’ve met thousands of people throughout my life and only a couple of people have rejected me in such a way that seriously challenged my self-identity. Bottom line, extreme rejection is usually the exception.
The only reason we suffer the sting of rejection is because we feel emotionally attached to a person. Had we no emotions towards them, their rejection would mean nothing to us. Yet oftentimes it has nothing to do with us. We are attached, we have have placed some expectation or meaning outside of ourselves to our attachment to a person. We have hopes of the future, expectations of the fulfilment of needs. This expectation, and grasping onto attachment or meaning from a person, something or a experience that is never permanent opens us up to feeling pain and disappointment when that “forever” changes, or the situation shifts in a way we did not expect.
It is hard to remember to speak to myself like a trusted friend. To not conclude that I’m unlovable. To keep rejection in its proper perspective. One person’s opinion, or one single incident, should never define who I am. To not let my self-worth depend upon other people’s opinions, attractions or desire for me. Just because one person has rejected me, doesn’t mean everyone will or that it will be always like that.
Rejection — especially harsh or cruel rejection — can be a manifestation of self-insufficiencies and a lack of self-tolerance or understanding in the other person. When this idea came up in my reading, it really struck me with a sense of sadness and compassion. I deeply care and I do not want this kind of suffering for those I care about. But I have to step back, their journey is not my journey, I cannot see or understand their experience. I can only be honest and kind to both them and myself.
I can only ask myself this: “What did I gain from this?” so that I can learn and grow from all rejection I experience. Rather than simply tolerate the pain, I want to turn it into an opportunity for self-growth. To grow stronger and become better, to let go of what does not serve me, and embrace the emptiness, impermanence and change of this world around me in a way that frees me from pain, disappointment and hurt and opens doors for sharing the gifts of creativity and empathy I have been blessed with.
I know and am acutely aware of this unpleasant experience, but if I don’t endlessly focus on it, I’ll can take away its power. Placing my attention on the positive, gratitude for my blessings and privileges I have and amazing support I receive from others. Being consciously aware of the people who have supported and encouraged me will allow me to align with high-energy emotions and positive situations.
I love this crazy mantra “THIS IS FEAR! DON’T GIVE FEAR THE POWER OVER YOU!”
Once I’m back in a place where I’m conscious of my own magnificence, rejection will lose its power. I don’t necessarily feel that thrilled about experiencing feelings of rejection, but I know I will bounce back quickly. And most importantly, I’ll continue fully embracing my life, pursuing my wholehearted truth, and focusing on the many gifts I have to share from my past, in the present, and forward into the future.
Society is full of lies and bullshit it tries to feed us every day. If we’re insecure about how we look we’ll buy anti-aging cream and those pills that make cellulite go away. When we’re told that relationships / marriage is the ultimate goal in life, we buy that online dating subscription. When we’re told that photoshopped models are what we should aspire to we buy into size-ist bullshit, weightless programs, skin whitening, and that gym membership.
PEOPLE. You don’t need to listen to that crap. I wrote this list for myself when I was feeling so low and my self confidence had been through the ringer. It’s aaagggeees since I wrote this, and I’ve rediscovered myself in a whole new way, reinvented, and let my wings take me into this wild adventure of life. Celebrate yourself, just the way you are. YOU are an incredible human. I challenge you to read this, and write your own list… I love you.
You are beautiful
You are worth loving
You are easy to love
You have a beautiful big heart
You are not too needy or too emotional
You can be co-dependant and still independent at the same time
You love your friends and care about them and how your actions impact them
You have an amazing spiritual journey that is 100% valid
You have beautiful intuitive and empathic powers that you should always trust
You love moving and shouldn’t stop because it makes you happy
You have an amazing gift for sharing love and happiness with others so don’t stop
You are outgoing and gregarious
You are also stable and balanced and in control
You are beautifully grounded and content with who you are in yourself
You don’t need anyone else to feel stability and groundedness
It is 100% of if you do also feel grounded and stability with someone else too
Things that don’t work out are not a reflection on you, just an opportunity to grow
You are loyal
You are caring
You put others in front of yourself, but also know when to stop and where your boundaries are
You have a gift of communicating what is going on for you
You have a gift of the ability to share your feelings
You are beautifully open and vulnerable, don’t stop doing this
You are amazingly in touch with your body, celebrate this
You are able to feel, and empathise with others picking up on what’s going on for them
You are not too much or too full on
Your little tornado of creative energy IS okay
You are creative
You are amazingly driven and have an incredible sense of passion
Your ability to get things done is a gift
You are also able to finish things, & you have steadiness in you to follow it all the way through
You have a gift of being able to make amazing connections and networks
You are perfectly bright, never let that colourfulness stop shining
You are confident
You are a goddess
You have the courage and bravery to handle anything that comes your way
You are gentle and approachable
Having an active sex drive IS okay and normal
Wanting and desiring intimacy is beautiful
The desire to love and be with someone is hard wired into us/ normal, you’re lucky: double dose
Magick and manifestation is beautiful spirituality and a beautiful path to follow
You’re ability to take risks and seek adventure is amazing
Your ability to catch yourself out when something doesn’t sit right with you is a gift
Your willingness to work hard, compromise & build something despite hardness is phenomenal
You are not a creepy predator (so stop being shy and standing in the corner and not even saying boo to a goose)
You have talent
You can sing
Being an emotional being is a beautiful thing and rare and special
I hope you write your own lists <3 share them, burn them, celebrate them. You are MAGICK