Running away from myself

Running away from myself

Creative process are such and interesting beast. I’ve spent the last two years adventuring and piecing my self back together while creating. A creation project that has really felt like I found my purpose, my passion for making with a cause, a story and something bigger than me.

Life made space for this creative passion or magic as I like think of it to enter my life when I needed something to cling to for sanity. I started this project just before a breakup that has really changed the course of my life. I’ve moved countries for a start, running away from all the pain and chasing connections with others and telling their stories to fill the void it had left.

Over two years on now and I’ve started mending my heart, I’ve fallen in love with a new country and gone in and out of many phases of darkness. I’ve experienced depressions in ways that I never would have thought to call depressions till I learned more about myself. Dark nights of the soul, periods where I’ve been processing, learning about my self in all the ways that I’ve felt pain.

Even once I’d run away to Canada I’ve run from myself again. Set up life that makes sense, is outwardly successful and happy then, with poor planning and very little money put myself through a crazy adventure, pushing my limits to sit in the uncomfortable. Dreaming of a life I don’t want to run away from. The silly thing is when I run away I end up creating more space and time for really sitting with my shadow and learning to love it. Love myself. I’m still trying to befriend it, but even lately I’ve found myself looking for that even in others. I know this all sounds like I’m torturing myself and dwelling in the past, but how can one move forward till one has put the past to rest? And if not putting it to rest, then at least feeling love towards that side of myself.

I’ve not created anything in months. I’ve tried editing, I’ve poured any of the creative energy that I did. have out in to what I’ve needed to accomplish for work leaving little to no creative magic for myself for my own creative process. My making things, the very thing that feeds my soul. I feel like I’ve sucked myself dry trying to pretend that I don’t have a hole in my heart. I think it maybe that the universe is teaching me to live with my shadow, my doubts about myself, my fears, my worries my pains about not doing, being or achieving enough, to live with the knowledge I am always going to be my own worst enemy, and that I have to stop running.

I want to start making and creating and not consuming. I want to nurture interactions in my life that feel like they feed and inspire my brain. How can two conversations feel so different, one draining and one nourishing, exciting and sparking change and a rekindling of that fire in my belly. How have I looked for this fire in the bellies of those who need my fire more than they have fire to give me. Fire to be out there in the arena conquering their own daemons and making, creating and living their magic. I see kindness and I see care, attachment and attention and mistake it for fire. I’ve dated three people since I arrived in Canada, all for very short periods of time, each time my heart has awoken a little more, but not been ready to give, or able to stay – but mostly my shadow has come down descending on my stating what it’s expectations are of me, my critic telling me I wasn’t enough for what these people wanted. With their permission, I share a little of this story. I briefly dated this magical unicorn and although I balked at the idea of any kind of naming, boxing or description of what we were together it was fun, new and exciting. And then I felt expectations creep in that I couldn’t live up to, pressure that only I was creating in my own head. I saw them less and less, and then after turning into a big puddle at the worst moment in front of them, knew I had to break up this “not even a relationship” undefined connection we had.

Their response was magic. Holding my hand and telling me to do what I needed to do, to listen to what I needed in my body and they understood, and would be there regardless. They understood that feelings change, and body signals are always right, even if we over think, ignore and push back till we are black and blue. Learning how to listen and decipher has been hard. This unicorn and I have such an amazingly deep and glorious friendship now. I trust them with my vulnerability. They were so kind and gracious when I needed to retreat from the relationship, that my body knows now it can be honest and vulnerable with them with out the fear of rejection. This is the key, to push away and not be rejected but embraced and set free (from my own expectations not theirs) has now brought us closer together. They observed to me recently how our intimacy as friends is so much deeper now than it ever was when we were sexual. I’m sure I still have so much more work to do to figure out the rejection triggers from a sexual perspective, but this experience has been worth everything for this tiny lesson.

I don’t know how I deviated from telling this chapter about how I lost my creativity into how I am learning to overcome my fear of rejection and my own crazy expectations of myself which I then project onto others. Maybe these things are tied together, when I can have no expectations of myself I thrive, I become the over achiever and creative machine. When I’ve been at my lowest I’ve had no thought of myself, just loosing myself completely in the creation process and incidentally finding myself so darn happy I “created” myself out of the darkness. Now it feels different, I have more confidence, I have friends and support around me, I am no longer in survival mode, but I have no context of how to create in such a mindset, I have not idea how to manage my own expectations of myself with this confidence. My mind automatically tries to destroy my confidence so we can go back to darkness and get high on the creating drug fuelled from depression.

I won’t let that happen, but I will listen to my body. When my body screams about the expectations I am putting on myself I will step away, I will look at why those expectations of myself are being created in the first place, look for that fire to nourish me as much as I nourish them. I will see when I run away and look for that kindness to accept that I need to step back to create space for me to kill off the negative voices in my head, and once killed off and time taken to love that part of me, (all it is trying to do is keep me from being hurt again) suddenly I have more space to give, love to share and happiness in myself to show to the world.

This week I have felt all these emotions, from rough numbness when I couldn’t have written half as many words to explain anything going on in my head, to frustration at my shadow, exhaustion from what my inner critic has been telling me. Then conversations with my unicorn friend and an amazing witch in the middle of no where shook me up.

I’ve made time and space to slow down, process and fall in love with myself. I’ve reminded myself that creative processes are not linear, they are not always pleasurable. They are all to often filled with doubts, guilt for not having done anything, shame for having taken on such a huge project and let it lie, and the fear, crippling any confidence one has left by comparing to others. This is what creativity looks like for me. Bursts fo insane energy coming from places of darkness in me, till I find the next hole of darkness I need to work through, and in doing so it turns that pain into such joy, and pride of the community and connections it has brought into my life.

I feel silly sometimes that these lessons are hard ones for me, that maybe learning to love my darkness is messy and takes others down with it. That I feel awful about, despite living each moment of this mess in complete authenticity. I say when I am struggling, and I say when I care, and I mean it. Stopping my heart from balking at perceived expectations isn’t going to be easy, but I am learning to communicate them better – “When you say this, I feel an expectation that your happiness is depended on me” for example. The fear of rejection is real, and I don’t yet know how to work through this, how to heal this, but I am aware, learning. I am reading books, and open to ideas thoughts and suggestions where I can learn more about this beast of a demon so I can tame this one too, and learn to love and embrace it as much as I love the other weird and strange parts of myself.

If you have read this whole story this far, I thank you for being in my life, witnessing my messy journey. My vulnerabilities as I journal through them learning about myself so I have more to give back to this world. To my Tarot project, to those in my life that I love and my community. Thank you beautiful.


Florence Rockwell
WebDevelopment, Photography & Animation

www.therockwellproject.com
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On Wed, Jul 10, 2019 at 10:13 PM Florence Rockwell wrote:
Creative process are such and interesting beast. I’ve spent the last two years adventuring and piecing my self back together while creating. A creation project that has really felt like I found my purpose, my passion for making with a cause, a story and something bigger than me.

Life made space for this creative passion or magic as I like think of it to enter my life when I needed something to cling to for sanity. I started this project just before a breakup that has really changed the course of my life. I’ve moved countries for a start, running away from all the pain and chasing connections with others and telling their stories to fill the void it had left.

Over two years on now and I’ve started mending my heart, I’ve fallen in love with a new country and gone in and out of many phases of darkness. I’ve experienced depressions in ways that I never would have thought to call depressions till I learned more about myself. Dark nights of the soul, periods where I’ve been processing, learning about my self in all the ways that I’ve felt pain.

Even once I’d run away to Canada I’ve run from myself again. Set up life that makes sense, is outwardly successful and happy then, with poor planning and very little money put myself through a crazy adventure, pushing my limits to sit in the uncomfortable. Dreaming of a life I don’t want to run away from. The silly thing is when I run away I end up creating more space and time for really sitting with my shadow and learning to love it. Love myself. I’m still trying to befriend it, but even lately I’ve found myself looking for that even in others. I know this all sounds like I’m torturing myself and dwelling in the past, but how can one move forward till one has put the past to rest? And if not putting it to rest, then at least feeling love towards that side of myself.

I’ve not created anything in months. I’ve tried editing, I’ve poured any of the creative energy that I did. have out in to what I’ve needed to accomplish for work leaving little to no creative magic for myself for my own creative process. My making things, the very thing that feeds my soul. I feel like I’ve sucked myself dry trying to pretend that I don’t have a hole in my heart. I think it maybe that the universe is teaching me to live with my shadow, my doubts about myself, my fears, my worries my pains about not doing, being or achieving enough, to live with the knowledge I am always going to be my own worst enemy, and that I have to stop running.

I want to start making and creating and not consuming. I want to nurture interactions in my life that feel like they feed and inspire my brain. How can two conversations feel so different, one draining and one nourishing, exciting and sparking change and a rekindling of that fire in my belly. How have I looked for this fire in the bellies of those who need my fire more than they have fire to give me. Fire to be out there in the arena conquering their own daemons and making, creating and living their magic. I see kindness and I see care, attachment and attention and mistake it for fire. I’ve dated three people since I arrived in Canada, all for very short periods of time, each time my heart has awoken a little more, but not been ready to give, or able to stay – but mostly my shadow has come down descending on my stating what it’s expectations are of me, my critic telling me I wasn’t enough for what these people wanted. With their permission, I share a little of this story. I briefly dated this magical unicorn and although I balked at the idea of any kind of naming, boxing or description of what we were together it was fun, new and exciting. And then I felt expectations creep in that I couldn’t live up to, pressure that only I was creating in my own head. I saw them less and less, and then after turning into a big puddle at the worst moment in front of them, knew I had to break up this “not even a relationship” undefined connection we had.

Their response was magic. Holding my hand and telling me to do what I needed to do, to listen to what I needed in my body and they understood, and would be there regardless. They understood that feelings change, and body signals are always right, even if we over think, ignore and push back till we are black and blue. Learning how to listen and decipher has been hard. This unicorn and I have such an amazingly deep and glorious friendship now. I trust them with my vulnerability. They were so kind and gracious when I needed to retreat from the relationship, that my body knows now it can be honest and vulnerable with them with out the fear of rejection. This is the key, to push away and not be rejected but embraced and set free (from my own expectations not theirs) has now brought us closer together. They observed to me recently how our intimacy as friends is so much deeper now than it ever was when we were sexual. I’m sure I still have so much more work to do to figure out the rejection triggers from a sexual perspective, but this experience has been worth everything for this tiny lesson.

I don’t know how I deviated from telling this chapter about how I lost my creativity into how I am learning to overcome my fear of rejection and my own crazy expectations of myself which I then project onto others. Maybe these things are tied together, when I can have no expectations of myself I thrive, I become the over achiever and creative machine. When I’ve been at my lowest I’ve had no thought of myself, just loosing myself completely in the creation process and incidentally finding myself so darn happy I “created” myself out of the darkness. Now it feels different, I have more confidence, I have friends and support around me, I am no longer in survival mode, but I have no context of how to create in such a mindset, I have not idea how to manage my own expectations of myself with this confidence. My mind automatically tries to destroy my confidence so we can go back to darkness and get high on the creating drug fuelled from depression.

I won’t let that happen, but I will listen to my body. When my body screams about the expectations I am putting on myself I will step away, I will look at why those expectations of myself are being created in the first place, look for that fire to nourish me as much as I nourish them. I will see when I run away and look for that kindness to accept that I need to step back to create space for me to kill off the negative voices in my head, and once killed off and time taken to love that part of me, (all it is trying to do is keep me from being hurt again) suddenly I have more space to give, love to share and happiness in myself to show to the world.

This week I have felt all these emotions, from rough numbness when I couldn’t have written half as many words to explain anything going on in my head, to frustration at my shadow, exhaustion from what my inner critic has been telling me. Then conversations with my unicorn friend and an amazing witch in the middle of no where shook me up.

I’ve made time and space to slow down, process and fall in love with myself. I’ve reminded myself that creative processes are not linger, they are not always pleasurable. They are all to often filled with doubts, guilt for not having done anything, shame for having taken on such a huge project and let it lie, and the fear, crippling any confidence one has left by comparing to others. This is what creativity looks like for me. Bursts fo insane energy coming from places of darkness in me, till I find the next hole of darkness I need to work through, and in doing so it turns that pain into such joy, and pride of the community and connections it has brought into my life.

I feel silly sometimes that these lessons are hard ones for me, that maybe learning to love my darkness is messy and takes others down with it. That I feel awful about, despite living each moment of this mess in complete authenticity. I say when I am struggling, and I say when I care, and I mean it. Stopping my heart from balking at perceived expectations isn’t going to be easy, but I am learning to communicate them better – “When you say this, I feel an expectation that your happiness is depended on me” for example. The fear of rejection is real, and I don’t yet know how to work through this, how to heal this, but I am aware, learning. I am reading books, and open to ideas thoughts and suggestions where I can learn more about this beast of a demon so I can tame this one too, and learn to love and embrace it as much as I love the other weird and strange parts of myself.

If you have read this whole story this far, I thank you for being in my life, witnessing my messy journey. My vulnerabilities as I journal through them learning about myself so I have more to give back to this world.

To my Tarot project, to those in my life that I love and my community. Thank you beautiful.

Talk to yourself like you talk to those you love: Fear has no volume control.

Talk to yourself like you talk to those you love: Fear has no volume control.

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.

Love xxx

Flossy

Creative authenticity vs “Helping people”

Creative authenticity vs “Helping people”

When I started my business I set out with the righteous notion of helping people.  This holidays that changed.  Imagine this: “ Florence you don’t know my life, my situation circumstances, financial situation, my culture.  The list could go on.  “What gives you the expertise and position to tell me how it goes, how I should run my business or live my life. “  

After listening to more “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert and then subsequently watching all the episodes on Netflix of the show” Chef’s Table, probably the least expected place I would be learning about myself.

The Chef’s table show is about the lives of some of the top chefs in the world. They share how they got to where they are, and what makes them happy, creatively fulfilled – and the stories are not easy ones.  The common theme intrigued me.  The were all saying the same thing that I’d heard in listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s, but in a different context.

“As soon as I stopped doing my thing “for others” and focused purely on what made me happy and fulfilled creatively, I found happiness and peace in my heart” (and ultimately success).

I was flawed.  They all spent time gathering their “Career Capital” then tried to cook like someone else or what they through their guests wanted.  As soon as they stopped doing that, relinquished all perceived expectations, they found their zone of genius, passion and happiness. From a writing / content point of view Elizabeth’s perspective is very similar.  She writes her books for herself.  As if writing it down makes it easier for her to take her own advice. Each story is for herself at the moment she writes it.  For the now, that specific moment in time.  The lesson, story or encouragement SHE needed to hear.  She goes on to say by writing only for herself there is no expectation for it to help others, there is no expectation that anyone would agree or find it useful.  

By doing so all the pressure of achievement success or effects for others are removed and lifted.  If the writing doesn’t connect with someone, it does so organically to their interpretation.  How it suits them, their situation and circumstances, how they choose to read it.  There is no more forced and pointed sense of that “Helping others” martyrdom in the writing.

Watching those whose truly happy sparkle glows in their eyes, who are helping others, are doing so because they love the work they do on a deeply personal level.  It gives them personal satisfaction, joy, a creative outlet or expression of passion.  The chefs who showed they were creatively expressing and challenging themselves had a sense of calm content and happiness about them. Their purpose was not to conform but to serve their creative needs and share the outcomes with others with that joy in enjoying what they do.

These chefs and writers have changed their own worlds by doing so and unconsciously have changed the lives of those around them.  The experiences they share with others are truly authentic and very vulnerable.  People connect with this openness and authenticity on a deeper level. They are challenged by observing the author or creator living their magick, their truth, being their authentic creative selves.

Reading everything I have written now about my business, why I want to do what I do – I know it needs doing over. I will work over the beginning of 2017 to update my website to reflect how my thinking has changed and the “WHY” of my business.  My need to help others and feel like I am giving back to the universe has not gone away, and I don’t think ever will.  But my perspective on how to go about it has completely changed.  I don’t know you.  I don’t know your life, I only know mine, and the things that effect me.  I can only write about those, I can only tell you my story.  I don’t do it from a place of self absorption but from a place of wanting to be a better version of myself to in turn share that with the world in a positive way. I do hope that you will connect with what I do, how I write and what I share, but it is no longer my motive, or my expectation.

I want to help you by showing you the best authentically creative version of me.

This is a very scary thought for me.  Putting my real self out there, being open to judgement and criticism, being brave to say “This is me and this is what I write, this is what I create.”  Doing, making and writing what I’ve learned, self help for myself, and courses that I would take, that I want to learn. It’s like stepping outside without an umbrella, being scared of the rain, and hoping it will be fun to jump in the puddles and that the rainbows will come out.

I only know what is my truth for right now, and I accept that as I grow and learn this will probably change.  I will learn from you!  I will share what I learn and how I grow with no expectations and I release that martyr-esque mentality of only doing what I do to help others.  If I am happy I have more love to give, if I am creatively fulfilled I am making and creating things to share with the world.  THAT is magick. That is what I want to live for, that is what I want to build my business around.  If this even prompts a thought in your head it has done more than it was written for.

My business is a creative outlet, for me to build things, write things, and share. It will follow my journey, document the things I learn and how I grow.  I am eternally grateful for those who listen who follow, and support me.  May I support and follow you in doing the same, living your fulfilled creative and magickal life.

She created freedom with Magick

She created freedom with Magick

Create Magick is the powerful feminine witch. The girl who started a girl gang (witch coven) working together for the good of her fellow woman, the planet and her self.  She is strong yet gentle.  Her magick is rooted in old traditions of the Wicca past, in the present day focusing on manifestation of magick, freedom and creativity.

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Reward yourself for Self Care not just Productivity

Reward yourself for Self Care not just Productivity

Self Care not just Productivity

The past few months have been massive lesson and journey around my self care, creativity and productivity in my work. I’ve had a full plate and so much to enjoy, to do and produce.  I’ve been mentally (and starting to track in an app) my energy levels, and how that relates to what’s happening in my life, and my hormone cycles.  I feel like I’m facing some inner judgement of myself sharing this, as I’ve always considered it a weakness to admit that my periods effect me so much. I’m not allowing myself to continue with that rhetoric. Everyone has mood swings, or things that cause stress that effect or change their ability to be productive and creative  My internal dialogue has been telling me I’m not good enough or working hard enough when I take breaks or self care.

Reward yourself for Self Care not just Productivity.

Re-writing this pattern, this internal critic, to make my business healthier, my creativity stronger, my work and sanity balance more calm.

I really enjoyed recording this video almost as a way of telling my self to listen to my own advice.  Speaking it out loud makes it real ya’know some how.  Thank you for listening to me, after a long day working, it is so lovely to just sit down and talk to you.  To feel a little vulnerable, letting you into my space, giving you the freedom to judge, appreciate or comment on my thoughts.

Self Care not just Productivity?
Do you share my experience?

 

I’d love to hear! x