Letter to my Soul

Do you think it was effortless in the beginning? Do you think I found it easy? Do you think it all worked out perfectly? Of course not. But I had faith that everything would begin to harmonise, and that it would work out perfectly in the end.

Dear Soul,

Why do I keep choosing struggle over ease?

Love, Michelle.x

 

Dear Michelle,

Because you are human. And you have been for a very long time. Struggle is encoded into your very DNA.

But DNA can be changed. Can be re-coded. It all comes down to changing you thoughts, your beliefs of struggle. The struggling, starving artist, in your eyes, creates better art, do they not? You have said on many occasions that you do not create when you are happy – you create when you are hurting, when you are sad, when you are miserable.

It is in these moments that you can express your darkest feelings and pains – and in expressing these you connect with others who are also in that space. But that doesn’t mean that you have to always be in that space. Or if you do need to sit in the darkness at times – it needn’t be for long periods of time.

Time to yourself is so important. Cut off, switch off, be still, be with yourself. It is good for you. You used to sit on the beach and watch the waves, with no thought of needing to do something else, or be anywhere else. You would just be there.

Do not resist the struggle. Experience it, express it through your words, share your thoughts with others. You have no idea how many people have found comfort in your pain, because it is their pain also.

Write from your heart. Write from me, your soul. Write whatever the hell you want. Do not censor yourself. Do not hide.

If you are thinking it, chances are, thousands of other souls are thinking it too.

 

Just say it. Say it well.

Love the struggle, it’s your friend.

Love, your other friend,

Soul.x

 

I wrote this letter a while ago, not long after I wrote my first letter to my soul. I just found it in a notebook and felt the need to share it. Why not have a go at writing to your soul? You may be surprised by the reply. xx

Is Poverty the Birthplace of True Creativity?

Does it also lead to deep appreciation and gratitude for the beautiful, simple things in life?

I’ve wondered, on more than one occasion, why I have remained in financial difficulty over the last few years. I mean, I am not destitute, or living on the streets,though if it weren’t for my amazing friends and family, and my credit cards, that may well have become the situation. But the thought popped into my head today, that if money were no problem, then perhaps I wouldn’t be quite so creative. That if money was plentiful and my bank accounts all very healthy, I perhaps wouldn’t be able to empathise and connect with those who have very little, and be able to help them.

I said to my partner last night – “I sometimes feel like my career is taking a while to really take off, to make sure that I learn to remain humble.”

I also think, that the struggle, the desperation, the rough times – all become the perfect material for creating stories and objects that will help and inspire others.

None of this means that I wish to be poor for the rest of my life, but it does seem to be that the ‘starving artist’ mentality may have its roots in the idea that poverty forces you to be more creative with what time, resources and money you have. If your budget is tight, you don’t go out and buy everything brand new for a project. You are more likely to recycle, salvage, and think outside the box. So in fact, having less money is promoting eco-friendly ways of being, too.

I do think that extreme poverty, to the point where you are living in scarcity and are unable to think of anything other than surviving the day, limits creativity, as it seems like a luxury to be creative in those situations. But when you are able to survive, but have a limited budget for things you want to do, I do think you become more creative within those limitations.

I have experienced this in my own life, where I have wanted to do something, but not had much money to spend, I find that I become more creative, and though it may take more of my time, there is something infinitely more magical about the end result. For example, when I did the Harry Potter theme parties, for myself and my friends, there were so many things I could have bought online. So much available merchandise, if I’d had a big budget. But I didn’t. I was trying to do the parties on no budget at all. So instead of buying chocolate frogs, I found a template online, printed it onto card, made the boxes, and then bought a frog mold, and melted bars of chocolate. Instead of buying a sorting hat, I dug out my leather from my notebook making days, and hand-stitched a hat myself. For the house points, I got four pop bottles, turned them upside down and screwed the lids onto a plinth made by my partner. If I’d had a budget, I would probably have bought it all, instead of making it myself. And I think it was the Weasley nature of the decorations that made the parties magical. I also appreciated it all so much more, because I knew how much time I had put into it!

I also mentioned gratitude and appreciation, because I truly feel that until you have experienced the feeling of having nothing, or of going through some very dark times, it’s difficult to truly appreciate and feel gratitude for what you have, and for the simple things. I watched a clip from Oprah’s latest Super Soul Sunday, and she was interviewing Amy Purdy. who is such an inspiring woman. She died on an operating table when she contracted meningitis. She said that when she crossed over, and was told she could stay on Earth if she wanted, she thought about all the things she loved about living, and they were things like – the smell of rain, and the sound of ocean waves.

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She decided to stay, and now, every day, she experiences deep and true appreciation for the simple things in her life, like her coffee in the morning, and walking in nature.

It seems that adversity that comes from illness, injuries, disability or near death experiences also inspires a deep creativity, and appreciation. Amy wanted to snowboard again, despite having had both legs removed, because it was her passion. But there weren’t prosthetic legs that were appropriate, so she created them.

How many of us just trudge through life, without stopping to create something new, without looking at things from a different angle, without pushing the boundaries in order to fulfil our mission and purpose and doing whatever it takes to follow our passions? Do we really need poverty, illness and adversity to wake us up and inspire us to truly shine?

What are your thoughts?

 

Permission to be Myself

I was inspired to write today’s blog post after having a great Skype session with Mike Gardner, aka The Time Doctor. We met on Facebook through the 30 Day Blogging Challenge group, and he suggested we have a session to see if he could assist me with my time management problems.

Well how many ‘aha’ moments can you fit into an hour and twenty-minute conversation? Quite a few apparently. The first thing to come up, was that based on the way I speak, the terms I use to describe things and my chosen vocation, Mike identified that I am very right-brained, and very creative. Which means that I simply don’t think the same way that left-brained, logical, structured people do.

AND THAT IS OKAY.

It’s who I am, it’s how I think, it’s how I work. It’s not defective, it’s not wrong, it’s not awful. So why do I keep beating myself up over it? My family members are all very creative people. My dad is a photographer, a musician, an artist and a craftsman. My mother is a quilter, patchworker and craftswoman. My sister is an artist, musician and graphic designer and my brother is a musician and handyman. It would be downright odd if I were left-brained, to be honest, coming from the background that I do. At home, we didn’t really do routine or structure, aside from school and work. We were encouraged to be creative, to do our own thing, to be original.

We weren’t encouraged to be practical, to save money, to be disciplined and stick at things we hated. (In fact my dad did work in a very corporate background, and he did stick to it, but seeing how miserable he was doing it, put me off that kind of life completely).

I realised after my session with Mike that I had created this link in my mind, that the reason I was in a bad position financially, was due to my haphazard (creative) ways, and so if I was to solve the financial issues, I would need to become more organised, more structured, and more left-brained in order to solve those problems. Because being creative = being poor. And this isn’t unusual thinking. After all, the ‘starving artist’ concept is so strong in our society, that when artists, musicians or writers do make a lot of money, it’s a big deal, because it’s seen as being so out of the ordinary.

I could go on about this all day, but the point is, I have now unlinked those concepts in my mind. Because I don’t choose to live in a world where to be wealthy you have to be left-brained. I choose to live in a world where if you are living a life full of passion, love and service, you get to be wealthy. If working in a highly logical, structured way is your passion, then you should be wealthy. If working in a creative, authentic and unstructured way is your passion, then you should be wealthy.

The reason that I have tried so many times to implement structure in the hopes it will help me sort my finances, and yet have always failed with it, is because I was trying to be someone I was not. I need to play to my strengths – which is to be creative – and use that ability to sort it out. And in allowing myself to come up with creative ways to solve my financial problems, I have already had several awesome ideas, that not only will help me, but will also help others who have similar issues.

Wow. The above is just talking about a single ‘aha’ moment I had in my session with Mike. If I wrote about them all, it would be a ridiculously long post. Because suddenly, I have been given permission to be myself. And I cannot believe it has taken me this long, or that I needed someone else to give it to me, but at least from this moment on, I will no longer strive to be someone I am not. I will strive to be me.

I went into my session with Mike expecting him to give me some strategies on how to be more efficient with my time, and yet I came away with something far more valuable and awesome. I would recommend checking out Mike’s blog, where there is a wealth of information. Or get in touch with him to arrange a session. In the meantime, just in case you need it – I hereby give you permission to be 100% yourself. Because you are awesome 🙂

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PS. I just Googled ‘Be Yourself Quotes’ and looked at the images to find an image for this post. I loved the one above because I love Richard Bach’s work, but there were so many great quotes, check them out for yourself 🙂