My psychologist has been more than just a mental health practitioner. She's also been a business coach. She almost always ends our sessions with a flurry of links, names and book titles that may or may not help me to market my work, find inspiration and lead the life I want. I haven't always followed the links right off or been motivated to get to the library and take out a specific title, but eventually, if I was meant to, I've taken the time to see just what she was going on about.
One such recommendation was for Molly Gordon, who keeps a marvellous blog, which she also sends out as a regular online newsletter. I'm not usually a fan of the e-newsletter since they generally have too much going on in them and ultimately they only serve to clog my inbox.
But this one is different. It's thought provoking, quick to read but also hugely helpful. Her last one was all about shining.
It was apt as lately I've not been feeling particularly shiny or full of *glee*. In fact, I've been feeling anything but confident, which tends to scare the crap out of me.
But her newsletter tends to serve as a reminder and it almost always seems to coincide with where I'm at and what current 'swift kick' I require. The funny thing about this most recent one, which is about finding one little thing to do to remind you of your role, to build your confidence and remember who you are, is I didn't read it until today but I did the 'homework' this week.
Typically we are our own worst critic. I think that when it comes to creativity people assume this means that, as an artist, we are most critical of our own work. I have occasionally thought something I'd done has been absolute rubbish, but I'd say 85% of the time I am extremely satisfied with the outcome of my art. I love my paintings and I love sharing them with the world.
Where I become critical is in my ability to prioritise. I tend to beat myself up for little things like not updating my blog frequently enough, not finishing a painting in the timeline I thought it would take, not going on twitter often enough to promote links to my available prints. I could keep listing all the reasons I sometimes feel that I'm just not doing 'enough' but I know it doesn't help anything. The idea of 'enough' is relative anyway and I've yet to meet someone who wasn't surprised at how quickly I get things done. Most of the time I'm surprised at how quickly I get things done, which might be why I'm disappointed if this doesn't happen.
What it all boils down to is learning to let go of that attachment to a specific, pre-determined timeline and lowering my expectations so when I look back on a week, instead of seeing everything I didn't do, everything I did stands out proudly.
Like this week:
I painted for three hours, starting and nearly finishing a single tarot card.
I began sketching another tarot card.
I updated my blog.
I attended the Queer Perspectives talk at the NPG
I went to the sketch class at the NPG
So I would say I shone quite a lot this past week. I shine quite a lot most days, even if I find it difficult to see. I think we can all find it challenging to see what we accomplish in our day to day lives when we focus too much on how we didn't do something we'd wanted to do. So please remember that you are a brilliant star in your own universe and remember the ever so clever Oscar Wilde quote below, which is credited to another mighty woman, the talented Maggi Hambling.