Each week I share a page from my art journal. I love to peek into the art journals of others, and hope to inspire someone else by sharing my own work.
Just a simple page this week. It uses alphabet stamps and a Buddha stamp that I hand carved.
Sometimes, for some reason, I’ve feel doubt about things in my life.
Not doubts about whether or not I want these things – in fact, I’ve never felt clearer about what I want – but doubts about whether the things I dream of are possible.
I go through periods of believing that anything is possible and that really, we can all have whatever we truly desire.
But then it feels like I spend too much time in the ‘real world’ focused on mundane, day-to-day tasks, and lose that lovely connection to whatever it is that helps me to believe.
What is it that allows me to feel so powerful, to believe that anything is possible?
God? The universe? My higher self? The divine? Some would argue these things are all one and the same.
Whatever it is, it’s like an almost magical part of myself that just knows anything is possible.
It’s not even believing – it’s a stronger sense of knowing.
And it’s a feeling too; a physical feeling in my body that there is so much more to this world than meets the eye, than we could possibly understand. A feeling of something greater that is looking out for each and every one of us, on our own paths.
For me, doubt occurs when I’ve turned away from my spiritual side to my worldly side.
I know that doubt comes from a place of fear and scarcity. It is from a belief that something cannot happen, that there isn’t enough – whatever enough means: money, time, skills, talent, luck, beauty, love, energy.
This is just a faulty belief that is reinforced by our dominant culture of scarcity and fear. In choosing to turn away from this belief, I can turn back to the knowing I have within.
It sounds simple enough, and really it is. I do know, deep within me, that anything really is possible in this world. It’s a feeling that comes from my heart, or my soul, not my head. It’s when I spend too much time in my head, worrying about money or work, or feeling guilty for not tidying the house or angry about sitting in traffic, that this knowing starts to feel more like a distant memory, a silly dream I once had.
Simply put, I need to spend more time in the knowing and strengthen this connection to the wisdom of the universe.
When I start to feel doubt creeping in, here are a few of the ways I regain my trust in the process:
This won’t be for everyone, and that’s okay. I’m not a religious person, but I certainly believe there is more to life than we can comprehend. The more I read books that open my mind to the wonder and possibilities of the universe, the more I feel in alignment with my true self. You may choose to read The Bible, or a book about science, or consult a tarot or oracle deck, or refer to the zodiac, or delve into a piece from your favourite spiritual teacher (I love Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Eckhart Tolle, The Dalai Lama and many others). I also like to watch documentaries and films that remind me of the wisdom of the universe – documentaries about space always make me feel part of a much larger whole. Whatever makes you feel that expansive feeling of being connected to something bigger. Document any ‘ah-ha’ moments in your journal.
To me, the divine and nature are inseparable. Each and every time I’m in the forest surrounded by trees, or on the beach staring out to sea, or staring up at the stars, I feel connected to something so much larger than me. I marvel at the universe – something so vast and powerful – and can’t help but feel that I too am part of the power. I remind myself that we are all made of stardust, and that really means anything is possible.
These are things I keep around myself that, for some reason or other, remind me of the magic of this universe. They remind me that I’m connected to something much bigger than myself – something so much stronger than my fears and doubts. Some of these things include crystals, little Buddha statues, feathers, dreamcatchers, certain images, oracle cards, and shells.
I believe journaling has so many different benefits, especially when dealing with doubt. It can allow us to mentally process things and rationalise faulty beliefs, but I think it has a deeper benefit than that. Journaling allows us to tap into our own source of inner wisdom. It allows us to get past the logical mind by dumping things out, then getting below the surface of that. The more I journal about my doubts, the more I continue to come to the conclusion that they are just fear in disguise and the stronger and more faithful I feel. Why does journaling work to dispel doubt? Because we connect to our wisest selves and to the divine on the page.
I’m going to come right out and say I don’t meditate. I want to; I love the idea of it, and it’s supposed to be amazing, but I guess I just haven’t gotten around to it. I like to think that one day it will be part of my daily routine. For now, I use yoga in a similar way. When I’m on the yoga mat (or, in truth, my living room carpet) I slow right down. I feel parts of my body I had forgotten were there. My body feels a sense of relaxation and my mind is at peace. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that yoga is so strongly associated with many spiritual traditions. It allows me to once again feel that connection beyond myself.
When I see the artworks and artifacts that other people have created, when I witness the traces of our history and the people that came before, I can’t help but realise that life is magical. I am reminded that I am not alone, that I am part of a large group of people who came before me, people who dared to dream. I am also reminded of the transient nature of life and how important it is to give it all I’ve got, right now.
* * *
I know that doubt is a natural part of life and the creative process. I know it will never fully go away, and I guess I don’t really want it to.
Each and every time doubt visits, I am reminded of the importance of my connection to the divine and to my true self. I am reminded to trust in the wisdom of the universe.