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

Queering the Hermit: Being present

Queering the Hermit: Being present

Interestingly in most Tarot depictions of the Hermit tarot card, they are never hiding away in a cave. Rather, they are out wandering, seeking their own truth and magick.

I’ve big plans; travel, exhibitions, work, creative projects, so to cope I have been introverting like a mo-fo.  Working really hard is easy for me, managing myself so I don’t burn out is not.  I wish it was, but unless I eat well, get at least 8 hours of sleep every night I turn into an emotional wreck, and a bundle of germs. This moment, feels like I am the artist who hides away for days then emerges to paint a masterpiece.  My favourite Instagram brand is “Stay at Home Club” and the way their humour makes it okay to choose to not go to the party. Giving myself this quiet time allows my body to re-charge, and all the confused pieces of my mind to fall into place. My mind is alive, overactive, and calming it down allows me to see things I wasn’t able to see before.

Removing ourselves from the barrage of external chatter – we are able to finally hear the small voice from within that leads us to higher ground.

Recently a friend asked me, “Florence how long did it take you to ‘know / find yourself?”  The first thing that popped into my head was my inner critic saying “What – no, you don’t, you’re still learning!” but what came out of my mouth surprised me.  I was home schooled, for the most part of my childhood and teenage years I was surrounded only by my parents and my two younger siblings. I had no school bullies, no keeping up with the cool kids, and no TV in my life.

Basically it was a very sheltered life where I only knew me as I was, and what I thought I should be, leaving aside parental expectations from a strong religious perspective of course.  I loved my own company. My imagination was my best friend, I lived in a fairy world in my head, made love to ghosts and could speak to animals. I miss being able to escape into another world, away from the noise in my brain.  Spending time alone, clearing and settling, taking back control of my the junky thoughts in my brain feels like I’m getting closer to that young imaginative child again.

The Hermit- Slow Holler Queer Tarot Deck

Remember, the person in the Hermit Tarot Card is holding their own lantern: they are lighting their own path.

I have been reconnecting with my free-spiritedness, my independence, as a single person finding my feet and confidence again.  Rediscovering my natural self-reliance and pulling away the layers of fear from my ability to access the deepest magick and my highest spiritual self within me.  Relying on myself, and not being willing to rely on others is something that comes very naturally to me, from a fear of being let down or abandoned, so rewriting this pattern in my head as a more relaxed attitude has been wonderfully challenging.  Accepting that I can’t go through this world not trusting in anyone, and letting go of disappointment if something doesn’t happen the way I planned.  Releasing the rigidity and fear in me, stopping grasping onto my expectations and letting myself be carried along with whatever happens.  Planning ahead and being proactive when it matters but allowing space for changes in plans and outcomes without having an adverse emotional reaction.

While I don’t have any signs in virgo in my astrology chart, I feel the virgo energy as we move through the earth and planetary cycles.  Much like my feelings about my strong Capricorn energy, the Virgo is grounded and stable. My growth through change is taking its sweet time, much like my Hermit tarot card friend.   The Hermit isn’t about fast, practical, or quick small changes; it has all been big shifts, lots of learning and challenging emotional growth. I am making solid change in my energy; it feels completely earthy. The Hermit tarot card relates to Virgo, one of the four mutable zodiac signs (Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces), and embracing my Hermit journey has thrown lots of change, need for flexibility, and lessons about adaptability at me.

https://stayhomeclub.com/

My head has been battling through what a relationship means to me, what I want out of one, what my expectations are if I were to be in one. How I change or my demeanour changes when partnered.  It’s been really challenging to spend time alone with my brain and unpack where my desires for a certain type of relationship have come from.  What fear drives those desires, and work through how I want to rewire my brain, and rewrite those patterns.  Essentially I have not changed, I still represent the sustained personal identity I have kept throughout my entire life, I have just unpacked, and removed a layer of fear and bullshit.

Prioritising space for my mind to turn inward and allowing myself the time and space to think, feel, to hurt, and meditate on what it is that I truly want in and from my life isn’t easy.  Feeling lost is crappy, but the more I unpack that lost feeling I can see what drives it.  Fear of abandonment, feelings of insecurity and imposter syndrome.  All feelings I am familiar with but didn’t realise drifted over into my desire to love and be loved.  Checking in on these feels validates them, but slowly takes the power out of them for me.  When I feel abandoned, I put into perspective how much love and support I have around me. Am I really abandoned or have I pushed people around me away because I feel scared??  Am I really insecure or have I listened to my inner critic for too long and am self doubting things I know I can do, and the confidence I know I have?  When I feel like I don’t belong or an imposter in my own life, where is that negative chatter coming from, why am I comparing myself to an imaginary reality?!

Sometimes this ripples over into my relationship with my family. My Queerness makes me feel like I don’t belong. My inability to ever meet or live up to their religious and social expectations of me as a daughter creates a feeling of “Other-ness” in me.  This feeling is both terrifying and powerful.  And while it is not something that is exclusive to queer experience, it is all too common in our community who don’t have close or accepting families in their lives.  It is terrifying to come face to face with a solo journey, but it is also powerful as it it forces me to throw off anything that is holding me back, seek out my own truth and my inner magick.

If you feel drawn to The Hermit, or if it comes up in your reading, ask yourself:

  • What negative self talk am I holding onto?
  • How is that is affecting my current state of mental health?
  • Do I have fears about my present and future?
  • What is holding me back from fully in and enjoying the present moment?
  • How do I let it go?
  • What positive change can I make to create a shift?
  • Is that fear irrational?
  • What can I do today to stop, enjoy and be present in my own Power?