Self Empowerment, Spirituality

How I deal with doubt

 

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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.

When I start to experience doubt I know it’s because I’ve lost that sense of connection with the divine – with my highest and wisest self.

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.

I need to spend more time trusting, and less time worrying.

When I start to feel doubt creeping in, here are a few of the ways I regain my trust in the process:

Reading spiritual material

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.

Being in nature

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.

Surrounding myself with spiritual artifacts

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.

Journaling

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.

Yoga and meditation

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.

Visiting museums and galleries

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.

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Creativity

Art journal play: The first two art journal prompts from the 30 Day Journal Project

I finally made some time to play in my art journal this evening.

I’m quite new to art journaling and I’m just trying to see what others do and pick up things from them. I also try to see what I feel inspired to do at the time. Sometimes this works, other times it doesn’t.

I love playing with different media such as stamps, washi tape, acrylic paint, watercolours, markers, collage etc. I also love the idea that I can just cover anything I don’t like.

I really feel my perfectionism creeping in when I’m working in my art journal.

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I’d like to learn to relax a bit and go with the process, rather than worrying about how it’s going to look in the end. I want my  art journaling to be more about the process than the result.

I haven’t shared much of my art journaling on here. I don’t actually do it as often as I’d like – it’s more time-consuming than pen and paper journaling, and also I guess I worry about it not being ‘good enough’. Which is silly really, because it’s not about that.

At the moment I’m following the prompts from Lisa Sonora’s 30 Day Journal Project. I love how she starts each list of prompts with ‘do one, some, all, or none, as you wish’. It really helps me to feel free to choose and journal how I most feel like it. One thing that I have found to be really difficult with projects like this are too many rules.

The first prompt is about beginnings. Lisa provided the quote, from Henry David Thoreau:

There is no beginning too small.

no-beginning-too-small

I wanted to bring in the idea of the beginning being like a journey. I’m starting where I am, which is literally Auckland, New Zealand on this map. But it’s also about starting where I am in my life right now – with the skills, feelings, and desires I currently hold.

So often I put things off because I’m waiting for ‘the right time’ – whatever that is.

But more and more I’m realising that starting where I am is fine. Starting now, in fact, is better. Start where you are. You are here. Move forward from here.

Have faith.

you-are-here

These words appear so often in my journaling. Faith is a ‘being value’ I’m forever working on – a character trait that I would like to possess. I so often doubt myself, my work, my dreams, my skills, the possibilities for the future. I remind myself daily to have faith that things will work out. It never fails to reassure me, and keep me on track.

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Be bold.

Courage is another being value I’m working with. In case you haven’t noticed, fear is something that seems to follow me around! Reminding myself to be bold kicks its butt, though.

be-bold

The second prompt is to do with commitment. This is something I really struggle with.

I’m fine with romantic commitment (I’ve been with my partner for over 5 years) but most other forms of commitment are tough for me. The thought of a mortgage terrifies me. I usually don’t stay in a job for more than a couple of years. I move house a lot. I change my mind a lot about things: I lose interest, lose motivation, lose faith. In fact, blogging every day as part of this 100 Day Project is one of my best commitments so far.

I think I’m afraid of getting trapped in something I don’t want. And I’m also afraid that I won’t see things through, so committing to something can be really hard when I doubt that I’ll finish it. I worry about over-committing to things and getting too busy and stressed.

I love my freedom and like to make choices based on how I feel at any given time (this is why I find full-time employment quite hard). But, I also think there are benefits to really committing to something worthwhile and seeing it through.

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Most of all, I think it’s important to be gentle and kind to ourselves. You can only ever do the best that you can at any one time. You are doing the best you can. Go gently.

It’s a very strange coincidence – I didn’t read the text before I put it down and painted over the top. Then I noticed these words:

make-a-commitment

Just try it. Experiment…make a commitment. Respond kindly.

Or perhaps it’s not a coincidence at all. The universe works in mysterious ways when you invite creativity into your life.

Creativity, Self Empowerment, Spirituality

When in doubt

When you’re pushing for something you really want and it doesn’t seem to be happening as quickly as you’d like, it’s easy to lose faith. It’s easy to start doubting yourself and your dreams.

But, you just have to remind yourself to have faith.

Everything is exactly as it should be.

When I start to feel doubt creeping in, I write myself little reminders in my journal.

I find writing things like ‘have faith’ and ‘trust the process’ work as great reminders to myself.

It’s like having a wise friend reminding me that things will work out.

If you’re feeling doubtful about your dreams or goals, try writing affirmations to yourself in your journal. It always works to get me back on track.