inner critic

My Perfectionist Kept Me Awake Last Night

My Perfectionist Kept Me Awake Last Night
My Inner Critic SoulCollage® Card

It was midnight when I found myself wide awake. Around and around and around in my mind went thoughts and worries about the workshop I’ll be facilitating tonight. Third in a series of five and tonight we will explore and create SoulCollage® cards for one or all of the following — Maiden, Mother and Crone.

I tossed and turned trying everything to talk myself out of my concerns.

As 2016 came to an end I knew in my heart I was being strongly called to facilitate many more workshops in 2017 and bring women together in circle to gently guide them to creatively tap into their intuition to connect with their True Self and live a more meaningful life.

In many ways this is new territory for me. Along with lots of researching and learning as I go it’s a new energy I’m working with that I’ve not before.

Most recently I was introduced to The Circle Way as a structure to help create a safe container for women to tune into their intuition, create and share their stories.

While I’m grateful to now know about The Circle Way and which I’m integrating in my workshops, it’s still new to me. I worry that I won’t do it “right.” And I’m realizing this is my Inner Critic, which is also disguised as my perfectionist, who is showing herself more often.

Even though I’ve done much inner work on myself, the thing is it is never “one and we are done” but that we will now and then be challenged. This is what comes with growing and evolving.

The good news is that I can now more easily recognize what is going on. So this morning I pulled the card I made to represent my Inner Critic.  Here she is in purple worried that others will talk behind her back saying she isn’t any good at this facilitating role.

And seeing in the background the Egyptian woman with her hands raised I heard her say, “Stop all the madness!”

It brought me back to my senses and understanding that my Inner Critic has my best interest in mind. My Inner Critic wants to keep me safe and protect me. She really means no harm. She just needed to be acknowledged for her important role in my life.

So I silently talked to her and said, “Thank you for your concern. I got this. You can now rest for awhile.”

It’s going to be a great night with my Women’s Circle!

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SoulCollage® cards are not sold, traded, or bartered to respect the artists whose images are collaged in the cards.

How this Painting Brought Me Back to Authentic Me

tea time calm

A few weeks ago I did this painting under the expert guidance of my friend and artist, Cassy Tully. I was nervous about painting something from scratch as I’d really never done it before. But the invitation for a night of pizza, friendship, and fun, which included John too, was too delicious to pass up.

At first I wasn’t sure I’d display my ” work of art.”  I was too busy inwardly criticizing myself that it wasn’t “good enough.”  But John brought our paintings home yesterday after stopping at Cassy’s studio.  Cassy had wrapped them in pretty green tissue and a blue organza ribbon.

I set it to the side and didn’t even open it. This morning when I got up, I looked at that wrapped artwork sitting on the kitchen table. I scolded myself for being so hard on myself.  Just open it, I silently said. So I did.

I smiled. I recalled the special night with John and Cassy. I felt happy and yes, even a bit proud. So I decided to put it on my kitchen counter next to my basket of tea selections and also my favorite pottery tea cup I got in Asheville, NC this past fall.

If I had chosen to continue to get lost in negativity that I wasn’t good enough, I’d miss out on the joy this painting brings to me. It’s not really about the painting.

It’s how it came into creation. It’s about how good I felt learning something new. It’s about spending time with two people I love dearly. It’s that I tried. It’s also about something I love… tea. Then added next to my tea selection and cup it added another aspect of joy for me, which is making  things cozy in my home.

This little corner in my kitchen has made me smile at least five times already today and evokes a warm feeling in my heart.

It also made me think about how hard I’ve been on myself lately and my writing. Working on my new book Joie’s Gift-Finding Purpose in the Pause has been a struggle lately– even feeling daunting some days. My inner critic has been very loud.

This painting is a reminder that like writing it is a practice.  Just showing up is enough. Though I’m not sure I want to keep showing up for painting on a regular basis, I do want to show up for my writing.  Even on days when I feel like I wrote nothing that matters or it does not seem to make sense. I remind myself good writing days will come again. They always do.

All this from unwrapping this painting today and looking at it through new eyes. Which brings me to something new I’ve evolved to over the past few months which is being more aware of my thoughts– watching them go by and then pausing and shifting them. This leads me back to what matters– and it leads me back to authentic me.