Category Archives: Self worth

Innermost self

The Daily Post asked today: If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?

When i initially read this I instantly thought of a suit of armour. Sadly I feel it necessary to wear this armour as I do not tend to be too resilient (yet) to what other people say or do. During my teaching I learnt from an anger management course, that what we hear may not necessarily be what was spoken, and what was seen may be misinterpreted by individual life experiences.

suit of armour

But as I think further about my inner most self in its true, natural form it would probably look like the Thistle Down Coat designed and made Adrian Bannon from the seeds of the thistle plant. I saw this piece on display in the Textile Hall at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, UK.

Thistle Down Coat designed and made Adrian Bannon
Thistle Down Coat designed and made Adrian Bannon

It sums up the fragility of my innermost self.

Would I dare to wear it? It would probably be a case of how long would it last if I did? Until I build up my resilience to people, places and situations I would probably say no….

The armour would be more appropriate in this day and age, but if I was among friends who love me and know my true inner most self then I would wear it, and if it should break or become tangled, I know they will help me to mend.

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Disheartened

Well I’ve finished my 2nd craft fair and I must say I have come back totally demoralised. I’ve received comments such as ….. ‘Treat it as an experience,’ ‘the trouble is you have too much of YOU invested in your work’ or ‘different meat for different stalls’ but I can’t help but feel disheartened.

It’s not that I don’t believe in my work, but that I am still trying to find the angle to pursue or avenue to take as a long term pursuit. I’m not looking for sympathy or consolation, I’m not really sure what I need to make me feel better but I am going to do what I usually do and that is rest, recharge and reassess. Sometimes I just need to sit and think, reflect and trust. It’s the trust part that I find very difficult. But that’s another post!

Thanks for reading. Hugs and love xxxx20141018-234411-85451713.jpg

An extra hour to your day!

Good news — another hour has just been added to every 24-hour day (don’t ask us how. We have powers). How do you use those extra sixty minutes?

Wow, how many times have I wanted to fit more into a day, what would I do? To be honest, I would commit myself to a daily blog rather than just random posts. I would take time to learn from experiences bloggers and try to make my blog interesting, visual and find ways to get people to interact.

I read many blogs and follow ones that resonate with me and I would love to be as engaging as they are.

For example I received a comment on my post ‘Goodnight Shirley’ from Storyshucker. I was privileged then to start following him after reading ‘write it for her anyway’ I have also become a regular follower of Leanne Cole Photography and have had some of my photographs featured in her fabulous weekly posts for Monochrome Madness. Through this blog I have been introduced to photographers that I would never have known before and been encouraged to venture into new creativity with my camera.

As a newcomer to the world of blogging both of these experiences have encouraged me. However with that extra hour I would learn all about pingbacks, learn more about what helps to engage others and enjoy the experience rather than worrying if anyone is reading my blog, or asking myself such questions as; are they interested? Have I said too much? Was that post too negative? Too confusing? Too vague?

Or maybe I would just sleep that extra hour as I’m exhausted from questioning my every word. It would be lovely wouldn’t it?

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Right place, right time

Sometime you just have to be in the right place at the right time. This morning I was enamoured by a dolphin swimming in the sea, it’s not an everyday occurrence here in England but today the performance was just for me.

The day ended much as it began with being in the right place at the right time. I hadn’t planned to capture photographs today but the opportunities were there. Not only were they there, but I took them.

I was reminded today of going that extra distance to get the fullness of what can be seen. Life can be like that. You can go so far, taste the sweetness but then stop often thinking that either you don’t deserve any more, or that to go further would spoil the experience. However, by going further, your perception can change, the sunset deepen and the richness becomes richer. Why settle when you can have more?

Moving from the ‘rat race’ into creativity has opened up a whole new world. By challenging myself to enter into more experiences I am learning more about myself, others and that life can really get brighten if you just go that little bit further! X

Why not comment on where have you found yourself in the right place at right time and share your photos xX

Here are mine to start you off. Enjoy the views! Xx

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‘I’m ok!’

On The Daily Post today the post asks for us to think about the following..

‘You’ve been given the opportunity to send one message to one person you wouldn’t normally have access to (for example: the President. Kim Kardashian. A coffee grower in Ethiopia). Who’s the person you choose, and what’s the message?’

I read some responses and thought about who I would choose. Now, if I was to think with my head, I may choose someone who has world wide influence, or maybe a political figure who could make a huge difference, but I have very little knowledge about politics or war and wouldn’t be so arrogant to pretend that I had.

As ever, I listened to my heart. I would choose my mum. My mum died suddenly 8 and a half years ago, I don’t miss her with the intense grief I had at the start but I am still aware that it would be good to tell her little snippets of my life, small messages or statuses which let her know the simple message, ‘I’m ok’.

When I had bereavement counselling for my mum, the counsellor asked me what I missed about my mum. Although it was painful I told her. I missed her honesty, her laugh, her companionship, her listening ears and shoulder to cry on. In all, I missed her friendship. Then came the honesty I needed when the counsellor said… “Well your mum is gone, you now have to find these things you miss about your mum in the people you have around you.”

As harsh as it may seem to hear those words, It stopped me in the longing stage of my grief and forced me into acceptance. I had longed to have my mum back, to give her messages and let her know ‘I’m ok’, ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m sorry’, or just to tell her about my day but I knew deep down it was an impossibility, I just didn’t want to accept it.

Today I carry my mum in the friends I have around me. I have a wealth of people who hold the same values and give me love. I know I will never fully fill that hole left by the loss of my mum, but that my life will grow abundantly around the hole so the pain will lessen. For me this has been true. I give thanks every year that I haven’t been swallowed up by grief and that my life is rich because of what I’ve learnt.

When I see a robin, I see my mum and they inevitably show up when I am with people I love and care about. So what will my message be to that person that I wouldn’t normally have access to?

Simply, ‘Mum, I’m ok’ xxx

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‘Love affair with your own b£&@!?£’

I heard this tonight and what a fabulous way to sum up the belief I can often have with some long held negative thoughts and opinions (bull£&@)) about myself. Quite often these beliefs are like a pair of old slippers, extremely comfortable, well worn and that, for some strange reason, I find reluctant to let go of.

Some beliefs are so ingrained that they have taken on the very steps I walk, the mannerisms I have and almost morph into me. Sometimes I don’t recognise the ‘bullshit’ and, quite often, believe wholeheartedly that what I tell myself, about myself, is the absolute truth. Thank God for perspective, for friends who can stop these thoughts simply by challenging their truths.

In ‘The four C’s’ I spoke about the four types of people I surround myself with today and I am grateful that these people give me a full and honest view of myself in ways that can be both positive and challenging.

I’m not saying I surround myself with people who pat me on the shoulder or continually stroke my ego, but people who care enough it give me the truth.

Another way it has been described recently is that you can surround yourself with so many different people and they are all staring at a beach ball. (Me) Each person has a different view point. Some see red and yellow, some blue and white but they are all seeing the same object/person.

The love affair with my own bull£&@ had to stop at some point. Running away from reality was not successful and it has been only by relying on the help of others that I have been able to start truly living.

A love affair can be something sordid or something truly beautiful. I want to dance through life wearing life like a loose garment, but before I can do that I need to take off the corset of self criticism/abuse or what was so aptly put tonight, bull&@£&. I need to untie the laces that have kept me from facing fears or trying new things and get rid of the limiting beliefs about not being good enough or that I was a ‘beautiful mistake’.

“Happiness is an inside job” said William Arthur Ward and I need to start feeding myself up on positivity and love for myself, from myself. Today I feel the happiest I’ve felt for a long time. A weekend that has been incredible and has shown the truth to me… I am good enough and that isn’t bull)&@&!

*I do not usually use bad language in my blog so please do not stop reading. This quote had to be used without being watered down. Sometimes it needs to be knocked in with a hammer rather than being stroked by a feather.

Self indulgence

Had a brilliant day and it has finished as it started, with friends. It’s been a while since I have felt so self indulgent without the feeling of ‘shoulds’.

Today I wanted to spend time with new and old friends who make me feel good about me.

For many years I have held on to ‘friendships’ through obligation. When relationships had clearly run their course, (I see today) I would drag them on wringing out the very last drop. I would always be the rescuer as it gave me a purpose, and when I was no longer needed, I then became a victim who persecuted.

Today I spend time with people who, like me, have travelled the distance. People who have been to very dark places, but who have survived. Despite adversity, and probably because of it, the new and old friends have a greater understanding and compassion for themselves and others. We, together have bonds that are beautiful rather than the chains of obligation of previous years.

Self indulgence today is a gift, to truly allow yourself a day to just be. A day where you can eat cake without worrying about the scales or sit drinking tea knowing that whatever chores need doing, can wait until tomorrow.

What a blessing not to rush through life and to be able to witness the joys of animals or the colours of flowers. Doesn’t this self indulgence sound perfect? Well it is. Just for today.

A perfect day today, a reminder of what lies ahead in my journey from rat race to creativity.

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To thine own self be true

Following yesterday’s post, I’ve tried today to live in the now and I’ve had a lovely day. Apart from the odd phone call about possible work I’ve managed to stay in the present without worrying about the next pay cheque or opportunity of work.

I suppose that’s the only downside to escaping the rat race. No longer do I look forward to the 22nd of the month when I could breathe a sigh of relief that money was coming in and when I had the luxury to buy what I wanted without thinking.

Don’t get me wrong, I want for nothing. I am not destitute and I am in a fortunate position, but it’s a insecurity that is years old.

When you’ve worked to build a career and the wage that rewards the effort, I have found it difficult to go from that, to waiting to receive a call asking you to work. The answer? Make my own work!

As a self employed artist, it’s about finding a problem to solve that would form a regular income. I’ve also got to consider the ‘impulse buyers’ and have pieces of work that are affordable. I’ve read in a book that someone has made a living writing a blog and travelling. Wow! If I didn’t have such self doubt I’m sure I could do that! Hahahahahahaha

Anyway about the ‘now’. I want for nothing, I have shelter, food, warmth, love and security and I am enjoying the freedom of not being involved directly in the rat race. I’m allowing myself the gift of time to build a career around what I love but also what I believe I am good at.

I went into teaching to change people’s lives, to make a difference. I know I did that in the years I worked within FE.

However over the last 7 years the students I worked with changed my life and perspective. They helped me to become more loving, compassionate and more supportive to the ‘underdogs’. The ones that no one wanted to work with, but those I found I had a natural ability to work alongside.

In those 7 years I became the best teacher I could’ve been. I was ‘outstanding’ according to OFSTED and I saw miracles in the lovely students I worked with, so why, you may ask, did I leave?

Because I could no longer protect them. I could no longer assure them that they would be ok and that no one could hurt them in my care. Systems were put in place that meant that I couldn’t create the haven that they craved nor keep the wolves from them. I felt powerless.

I was often told to keep my emotions out of the role, but how could I? When you are working with the most vulnerable how do you keep robotic, lifeless or unattached?

As an artist I am emotional, I feel, I see and observe many things. I feel pain with other people and cry alongside the strongest of characters. I also feel tremendous joy when I know the battles that people have overcome to gain qualifications or achievements that they thought they would never get!

I am me and, although I am far from perfect, I can’t and won’t change the person I am to fit into any one else scheme anymore. I will not force a square peg into a round hole just to please others. I have to be true to me.

Of course I miss the money, the security and excitement of the 22nd of each month, but what I miss, I gain in the new adventures and connections I am making whilst I’m making this transition from rat race into creativity!

I am open minded and willing to learn. Any comments or suggestions on how to grow my little business would be greatly appreciated xx

Thanks for reading x

http://www.beckyfield.com

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The four C’s

I can’t be the only creative person to buckle up in the morning and face the rollercoaster of emotions throughout a day? I never cease to be amazed at how I can so easily be affected by another person’s opinions or behaviour.

I give away my power to people who will probably sleep like babies. They would not give a second thought about the candle of hope that they have distinguished with their thoughtless comments.

Is this a trait of the ever creative, sensitive specimens of life? My Aunty would say… ‘Paint your frustration Becky’ but I just climb into my cave and wait…… Wait until I feel safe…….. Wait…. Peep to see who is still around……. Wait…… And then emerge, sore but ready to buckle up again.

Today I’ve re-emerged from licking my wounds of unsolicited advice. The type of advice that makes you feel belittled or incompetent. The type that lingers like a monkey on your shoulder that whispers to you such comments such as; ‘who are you trying to kid?’, ‘you?, an artist? A designer?’ Or the old favourite of ‘you are not good enough, forget your dreams, don’t be so ridiculous’.

When I give thoughts like this time to take root, I’ve lost. I have to dig them out immediately, talk them over with someone. Someone who just wants to listen.

Whilst on a personal development course I learnt that everyone generally needs 4 C’s in their life.

Cheerleaders – these are the people who are encouragers. These are the people who believe in you even when you don’t.

Confidants – These people are the ones who listen without judgement and that you can trust wholeheartedly.

Challengers – (my least favourite) These are the people who positively challenge your thoughts and behaviours. These people are not easy company but give you a different perspective.

And finally

Coaches – (my favourite) These are the people who help you to find your own answers, direction and solutions. Those who walk with you side by side.

I revisited this last night after doubting whether I was being over sensitive or reacting defensively or negatively to a ‘challenger’. I don’t believe today I was. When I read this last night the word ‘positively’ stood out. I allowed the person to influence my mood negatively. I wasn’t given a new perspective in a manner which was uplifting and I literally felt myself deflate over a matter of hours.

I was left in self doubt about myself, my artwork and questioned whether I was really being ridiculous. What a complete drop from the exhilaration I felt a couple of days ago, where I was absolutely certain that I had it in me to be successful. What a roller-coaster.

Do I dare to dream? Of course I do. I’ve come this far and I’m not about to start listening to the monkey that tells me to forget it. I am going to surround myself with coaches and cheerleaders who believe in me. Those who love me enough to let me make my own discoveries in this creative world. I will trust my confidants to be there for me, as I am for others. And finally I will welcome the challengers who positively help in my awareness and help me to gain a different perspective.

Maybe then It would be more like a gentle fairground ride rather than the highs and lows of a roller-coaster.

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