Meaningful Work, Self Empowerment

Stepping into my power and releasing the old

Why I'm changing my approach to my creative business.

I’d rather be honest and authentic and disappoint some people, than to exhaust myself trying to keep up the facade of perfection
– Crystal Paine

I haven’t written anything for a long time.

You see, I’m feeling restless. I’m feeling a bit lost, while paradoxically feeling clearer than I have in a long time.

I can sense a change in the air. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m giving birth in about ten weeks – eek! – or maybe it’s a greater change coming about in general. In thinking about my business, I know I want to make some changes moving forward – but then, I also know that changes are coming in my life as a whole, in who I am and how I live.

Whatever it is, I know that things are shifting for me in big and little ways.

I can feel the old falling away and the new beckoning me to move forward. For me, the old looks like:

  • Worrying about what others think
  • Trying to please everyone
  • Hiding parts of myself and my life
  • Trying to portray a certain image or brand
  • Overwhelm, confusion, being stretched too thin
  • Trying to fit myself within a specific box (or in business terms, niche)
  • Competing and feeling not enough
  • Fear that others will not like who I really am
  • Trying to do things perfectly, correctly, by the book

These are not things I’ve consciously chosen to do in the past – in fact, I’ve actively tried to avoid most of them. But now that I stop to think about it, on some level, these things have still been present in my life. They show up in the way I censor myself on social media, in the way I’m afraid to step in front of the camera to make videos, in the feelings of stress and the procrastination that follows, in the loss of interest in my work, in the deep sense that I don’t have what it takes to write a book, in feeling stifled when I think about my business.

But when I think about the new, the ways I’m being pulled to move forward, I feel such a deep sense of lightness, ease, relief and excitement.

The new looks like:

  • Sharing more of my life in my work – that means writing about things beyond journaling and creativity (such as motherhood, simplicity, tiny living, self care, introversion, sensitivity etc)
  • Letting myself be more vulnerable, more easily seen – sharing more of my fears, my imperfections, my mistakes – and my face!
  • No longer listening to the business ‘experts’ but rather allowing my own inner compass to guide my business
  • Simplifying, getting rid of things that don’t bring me joy – including possessions, beliefs, digital clutter (unfollowing, unfriending, releasing)
  • Trusting that I still have a lot to offer people even if it doesn’t clearly fit within an obvious brand or niche
  • A deep sense that my soul is guiding me forward in just the right way
  • A knowing that in sharing who I am, vulnerably and authentically, I can help others to heal parts of themselves and shine brighter in their own lives
  • An acceptance that I can’t please everyone – that people will unfollow me, unsubscribe from me, maybe even lash out at me – but that as long as I’m listening to my own inner guidance I’m on the right path
  • An excitement that as I am more myself and more openly authentic, I’m going to connect with the right people in the right way at the right time

Maybe that sounds a bit vague. It sort of does to me when I read it over, but at the same time it makes me feel like I know what I want going forward, like I know how I want to feel.

Listen to the voice inside.

My business will be changing. Sure, there will still be the same journaling goodness (journaling will always be my number one tool for personal growth and soul connection) but there will be other things mixed in there too – things I feel called to share, for whatever reason. In building this little online business, I’ve struggled with the boundaries around being authentic and also being professional – with staying ‘on brand’ but also infusing myself into my work. It’s quite exhausting and limiting. I don’t want to present a certain image – I want to share me.

My deep belief is that all women, regardless of race, religion, size, social standing or anything else, have within them something valuable to share with the world.

But so many of us need to be reminded that we are enough, that who we are, as we are right now, is enough. That we have gifts to share and offer the world, that the world needs each and every one of us to share our voices, our experiences, our truths – no matter how insignificant they may seem to us. That we need to find the power within and the courage to be ourselves without apology, if we are to live a life that light us up and makes the world a better place.

I believe the best way to help women do this – to remember the great power and courage they hold within themselves – is to step into my own power, recognise my own enoughness, live my own life boldly, without apology and be an example for others.

And currently, I’m feeling stifled – by my online ‘brand’, by my work (my blogging, writing, social media etc), by the old ways of doing things. I’m sensing parts of myself just dying to be heard, expressed and shared, but instead being pushed down as I fear they aren’t ‘on brand’, or might offend someone, or just plain aren’t enough.

No more.

No more apologies, disclaimers, worrying about what someone might think. No more holding back, hiding parts of myself, trying to fit within a certain box or image to appeal to some ‘target audience’ out there. No more worrying about what label best fits me – artist, coach, writer, teacher… who cares? No more trying to have it all figured out.

It’s time for rawness, authenticity, vulnerability and courage. It’s time for mistakes, mess and imperfection.

Watch this space!

Meaningful Work, Spirituality

Owning my spiritual truth

I haven’t been entirely honest with you.

Or rather, there are some things I just don’t mention all that much.

You see, I’m a hippie. And I don’t just mean in a let’s-love-each-other-and-save-the-planet kind of way, although I definitely am that kind of hippie too.

No, I mean in the incense-burning, crystal-holding, oracle-card-pulling, dream-manifesting, inner-Divine-connecting, meditating, chakra-balancing, energy-clearing, past-life-regressing, kind of way. The ‘woo-woo’ kind of way.

I have sort of alluded to these things before. I’ve talked about my belief that we can connect to the Divine within us through journaling. I’ve mentioned manifesting and using oracle cards. But…

I’ve always kind of watered this side of myself down. I’m very aware that everyone has their own belief system, their own understanding of the truth. I don’t want to be someone who says that what I believe is the one truth, that my beliefs are the only right thing. Because I think it’s important that each and every one of us finds our own understanding of what rings true for us.

But in trying to please everyone, I’ve let myself down. I write a lot about the importance of vulnerability and being authentic, but I’ve not been fully walking my talk.

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A few of my favourite things

So here goes: I’m coming out of the spiritual closet, so to speak. I’m claiming what I know to be true for myself, I’m owning my own power. I’m no longer watering my message down in an attempt to please everyone, because I know that in doing that I am doing a disservice to those who really need to hear my message.

I don’t want to get lost in the noise of the internet because I’m only offering a luke-warm version of who I am. I want to set the world on fire with my message, with being 100% me – my weirdest and most wonderful self.

Because I believe there is so much more to this world than meets the eye. I believe we each have inner access to the Divine – we are not separate from it but part of it. We can access this inner Divine if we choose to tune into the whispers of our soul and tune out the ranting of our ego.

You might call the Divine something else, for example God, source, spirit, the universe – the language doesn’t matter. I believe we are not separate from it. In fact, most of the great spiritual teachers tell us that the Divine is within.

I believe that we each have a soul – the inner part of us connected to the Divine wisdom, above and beyond what we can logically comprehend. I believe this soul has been through many lifetimes before and will go through more after our body is gone.

And I believe that in connecting to our soul, we can find out our own unique purpose in this world, in this lifetime. That’s certainly what I’ve done, and I’ve seen others do it too. Unsurprisingly, I believe that journaling is one of the best ways to connect with our soul, but there are others – meditation, prayer, guided visualisation (another powerful tool I’ve been using a lot lately), to name a few.

I also believe that we can consciously manifest and create a life that brings us pure joy – if we know how. I always thought manifesting was little more than vision boards and affirmations, but I’ve since learned there’s a lot more to it. I’ve created a lot of wonderful things in my life in the past and with my new-found knowledge I’m excited to create more.

Because lately, I’ve been really diving deep. It’s funny how the universe sends us exactly what we need right when we need it. I’ve somehow stumbled across books, teachers, concepts, situations – you name it – designed to guide me further down my path. I’m letting go of what no longer serves me and committing wholeheartedly to the person I am meant to be and the purpose I am meant to serve in this world.

I believe I am Divinely guided in bringing this message forward (we all are, if we choose to allow ourselves to be).

And I’ve really clarified what the ‘wild’ in Journal Wild stands for: it’s our soul. It’s the wild within us, the part of us that is connected to the greater energy, to the Divine, to the power of the universe. When we tap into our inner wild – our soul – we realise our true power, our true purpose.

I hope I haven’t lost you in this post – it has simply poured out of my heart onto the page. From now on, I’m wearing my heart (or rather, my soul) on my sleeve. I’m being my most authentic self, sharing what I learn and what I know to be true. If my message doesn’t resonate with you, that’s fine. I wish you love and light nonetheless. And if it does resonate with you, I look forward to sharing more wild soul connections with you as I head further down this path.

Thank you for joining me.

Creativity, What Inspires Me

Prompt and poem: Roses, late summer

Today I’m struggling to find my own words, so I once again turn to the wonderful words of Mary Oliver. I only have her New and Selected Poems, but I think I will need to buy more of her poetry collections!

Roses, Late Summer

What happens
to the leaves after
they turn red and golden and fall
away? What happens

to the singing birds
when they can’t sing
any longer? What happens
to their quick wings?

Do you think there is any
personal heaven
for any of us?
Do you think anyone,

the other side of that darkness,
will call to us, meaning us?
Beyond the trees
the foxes keep teaching their children

to live in the valley.
So they never seem to vanish, they are always there
in the blossom of the light
that stands up every morning

in the dark sky.
And over one more set of hills,
along the sea,
the last roses have opened their factories of sweetness

and are giving it back to the world.
If I had another life
I would want to spend it all on some
unstinting happiness.

I would be a fox, or a tree
full of waving branches.
I wouldn’t mind being a rose
in a field full of roses.

Fear has not yet occurred to them, nor ambition.
Reason they have not yet thought of.
Neither do they ask how long they must be roses, and then what.
Or any other foolish question.

Prompt >>>

You might use the poem above as a prompt in your journal – to be answered with words, or with images as you like.

Oliver suggests that roses, foxes and birds – all of nature – just gets on with living without asking questions. She suggests their sense of purpose is innate and they are not distracted from it with ponderings about the world and how it works.

I love the final stanza. If you were to stop being fearful, or ambitious, what would you be doing?

If you were to stop feeling uncertain, to stop asking ‘foolish questions’, what would be your innate purpose?

‘Fear has not yet occurred to them’ – what are you afraid of?