The thing I'm most about - other than art - is essentially, self acceptance. I think it's something everyone struggles with in varying degrees and we all need a bit of inspiration from time to time to get us through rough patches.
So here I am today, taking the day off due to a head cold, and self acceptance is the last thing I'm feeling in my tummy. In fact quite the opposite - I feel like crap both physically and emotionally.
I'm going to share something with you here that I've been scared to say out loud to anyone: I'm struggling with my creative process at the moment. For years now I've been on this amazing journey of self acceptance through my art, and now that I'm teaching how to do this in my workshops, I feel loads of self-imposed pressure to get it right ALL the time.
I have people who look up to me and actually pay me money to share my creative processes with them and it's one of the most humbling and amazing experiences to feel in one's life.
But lately, I've been telling myself, "How could anyone learn anything from me, if I'm struggling myself?" It's like being human is getting in the way ... and then it hits me ... I'm trying to be perfect again.
This journey of self acceptance has no guarantees. There are times I'll feel great about who I am and there are times I'll feel crap about myself. And strangely enough, now that I've felt increasingly great about myself for a while now, going 'backwards' into my crappy-self-worth-space has really shaken me up.
If you've been here with me for a while, you'll know that I hit a rather nasty bout of post-natal depression after having my little boy Max, in 2011. It lasted a whole year and I tried all the tricks in my creative book to get me through, drug free. In the end, I realised that the most loving thing I could do for myself was to get help from my doctor, who had been urging me for many, many months to consider a low dose of medication to help with my illness. In the end, I succumbed, and almost ten months on, I've been feeling a million bucks since. Except recently; and it's scaring the pants off me.
Maybe I've just been burning the candle at both ends and this is where I need to be to gain some new clarity. I know I shouldn't expect to feel amazing all the time and that the challenges ALWAYS bring new insights and new ways forward. But I'm sure you know what it's like - when you're IN IT it's hard to see a way OUT OF IT.
If I'm honest with myself, I've been feeling pretty under pressure since hubby lost his job a few months ago and we decided as a family that he would stay home with our Maxie Bear Boy, while I worked on my creative business. This has been the most amazing, challenging, rewarding and epically exhausting time of my life, because I'm constantly mindful of 'doing' to support my family. I wake up thinking about art. I eat lunch, thinking about art. I fall asleep, thinking about art. I make art, thinking about art. I go on holidays and I think about art. I rarely switch off.
I've been sensing some gentle nudges from within, that there are other possibilities than working/thinking myself to the bone to earn our income, but I'm yet to put that into practice. And now I'm unwell physically, I'm feeling guilty for taking the day off. Great. Go me.
Usually, my writing always reveals a new direction forward, but I feel that today, I just need to wallow. It's challenging to wear my heart on my sleeve and declare my insecurities publicly here on my blog, but I feel like honesty is more important than any facade I'm trying to hold up at the moment.
So I'm going to do something I rarely do: I'm asking you for help.
- Do you run a business that supports your family?
- Are you a Mummy who juggles work and family time?
- Have you experienced coming out of post natal depression?
- What do you do when you feel guilty for time-off?
- Have you ever been here in any way and how have you coped?
- Or do you have kind words to throw my way, like, "It'll all be okay"?
No idea is too small, I'm reaching out for your wisdom.
Love Chrissy xx