Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Breaking Down the Walls

I feel as though I keep disappearing. Maybe to you, the reader, I have disappeared (particularly if you visit me on Writing.Com). Everyone uses it as an excuse, but I can’t think of any other excuse to use…

I’ve been busy.

For these first two months of 2010, I’ve been trying to remain focused on being creative and nudging that focus forward with actions—however small I might perceive them to be. I am focused more on play dates with myself, exploring new blogs and online communities such as Artsyville, e.beck.artist and Owning Pink. I have even stepped off the curb and become a member of the Pink Posse. Back in November, I became a proud member of The Journaling Lounge. I’ve also chosen to open another online shop offering a different variety of items from my current shop. I am enjoying this particular journey while seeking to explore different paths to finding my Self.

Am I lost?

Hmm…Can you lose something you’ve never had possession of, or someone who has not been with you?

I hadn’t realized how blocked I was to myself, how trapped and boxed in I was until it occurred to me that I was living my life through the labels and definitions that had been gifted to me intentionally or not by other people. I hadn’t realized I had no idea who I was until it occurred to me that I had merely accepted, embraced and lived the misguided thoughts I’d been given or taught.

  • You are a victim.

  • You are stupid.

  • You must settle for mediocre.

  • Don’t ask questions.

  • If they want you to know something, they’ll tell you.

  • Don’t ask for what you want, if you’re deserving of it, they’ll give it to you.

  • You should have done better.


I was completely unaware that I had chosen to adopt these thought patterns. I heard the voices in my head, but I wasn’t aware of where they came from or when exactly I chose to believe them. I certainly was not aware of the impact they were having on my life; holding myself back, making bad life choices and getting involved in abusive relationships.

Then I had my daughter.

Having my daughter has been a greater gift than I had imagined. It’s amazing what a child can inspire within you, bring out in you and teach you when you’re open to allowing it.

In my desire to be a different kind of mother, a good mother, I began to read various types of self-help and creativity books and contemplated what my actions and words were teaching my daughter. I encourage her to do things she enjoys. I tell her to stay active, eat healthy foods, be true to herself no matter what, to learn, to understand that how she feels about her day is a choice. At the same time, I began to realize that “do as I say, not as I do” is not a good parenting plan. While I still tend to use that parenting method in some areas (diet, exercise) I am working on it.

Where am I today? Do I know who I am? Have I found my Self? Have I discovered my authentic self?

Uh…er…almost.

I have learned a lot about who I am not, but I’m not certain that I could tell you who I am. In my work with Rhonda Britten’s book, Fearless Living, I learned that my essential nature was to be authentic and the thing that puts my Wheel of Fear in motion is being viewed as incompetent. The Wheel of Fear consists of:

  • something happens that triggers your fear

  • your fear response makes you do something that is meant to ensure that you avoid the dreaded outcome

  • as your realize you haven’t avoided what you fear, the consequence is that you experience the gut-wrenching negative feeling of not being good enough

  • you find a way to numb the emotional pain, almost invariably self-destructive behaviors.


On paper, my Wheel of Fear looked like this: “When I want to avoid having people think I’m incompetent, I react by making excuses, procrastinating…. When that doesn’t work and I end up feeling worthless (my core negative feeling), then I isolate, overeat, shop….”

I am closer to living my authenticity. It’s been almost two years since I worked through that book and I’m thinking that I might want to start over and go through it again…I have changed. In practicing my Wheel of Freedom, I have grown. The Wheel of Freedom consists of:

  • identifying your essential nature, the state of being that fuels your passion and gives you an abiding sense of purpose

  • engage in proactive behaviors by doing things that allow you to get in touch with your essential nature

  • as you take actions…. You dispel your fear of not being good enough and experience a sense of wholeness

  • your sense of wholeness frees you from the fear of not being good enough and you engage in self-affirming behavior.


As suggested in Fearless Living I carry with me a laminated card with an intention statement and a list of proactive, self-affirming behaviors. I have not been 100% consistent with practicing these positive behaviors every single day and while I do still struggle with authenticity in some areas of my life I have experienced a great deal of transformation that I have not given myself enough credit for. I have made movements forward and I am getting closer to myself; knowing myself, recognizing the reflection in the mirror, pulling myself up, taking responsibility for myself, making sure to express gratitude for what I have and acknowledging myself for who I am, who I can be and what I can do. When I once felt I was never enough, I now have days where I can say, “I am enough.” Where I once felt I was never happy, I now have days when I can say, “Yea. I am happy.” Where I once felt I was incompetent and lacked creativity, I now have days when I can say, “Yes. I made that.”

Long before I began my work in Fearless Living, I had been repeatedly asked when I was going to start a business and sell my cards, gifts, photographs, etc. I made excuse after excuse. I couldn’t do it. When someone would read my writing, my many poems from years ago, they would ask me when I was going to have them published. Again, I made excuse after excuse. I couldn’t do it. Hubby is self-employed but I never once considered that I could be as well. Enter the internet and Writing.Com. Enter the Kreative Notions Blog. Enter the Spoodles of Joy Blog where I update family with stories from our days (which I manage to make interesting enough that my family keeps asking if I’ve written a book yet). Enter CafePress.com and opening on online shop. Enter Twitter where I’ve discovered Sanity Journals, Owning Pink, Artsyville, e.beck.artist, Studio Mothers and some incredibly, supportive, awe-inspiring women! I am so on my way!!

In my fear of being rejected, or seen as incompetent, untalented and insignificant I have not put the energy, time and effort into my writing and creativity that I could have. I have not sat down and thought out or planned where I want my blogs to go, where I want my b-u-s-i-n-e-s-s to go.

Yes, Syda. I said business. Start treating it as such and get to work playing.

It’s 2010 though and I have a different feel about the current year. I cannot find the words to describe it. It’s more than wishful thinking. It’s more than making a resolution. It’s a vision. It’s beginning to redefine a childhood dream. I always thought I’d become a Psychologist to help people. I’m realizing that my mission to help, inspire and guide isn’t in an office on a chair….it is in color and words.

Since starting out on this path, I have busted a few holes in the walls that I had built around myself. I have traveled far from the place I was in when I wrote Sarah Steps Out (which you will find in the folder labeled the Sarah Chronicles in my portfolio on Writing.com). I have implemented a monthly family dinner with my now adult stepchildren. I think the Hubby was surprised when I brought the idea up because I don't do groups, and I don't do social. Okay, so I do them, but generally, I avoid them because they wear me out physically and mentally. Surprisingly to me, however, is that we two down and they’ve been wonderful! I haven’t dreaded them before, nor felt frustrated or drained after-wards from being over-stimulated.

There is still much to tear down, but I can see out the window. It might be raining outside, but the sunlight still brightens my days with inspiration and hope while I stick my arm out the holes so the rain can wash away my doubt with the motivation to keep moving forward, keep picking at the sheet-rock and peeling away the old coats of paint.

Thank You. With Joy & Gratitude,
Syda

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