When I begin a project, I approach it with the energy of the Fool–I’m excited and starry-eyed, idealistic about the journey and almost radically hopeful for what it will bring. There comes a time, however (usually after a few bumps in the road and facing the enormity of what I’m up against), that I’m forced to get down to brass tax and look into my heart to discover my true intentions: what am I called to offer? How can I contribute to the community in a unique and valuable way? What is my core self, and how can I convey that through my content?
This marks the first evolutionary stage in my creative process, one that is inevitably fraught with doubts, insecurities, and confusion. I’ve been through this process often enough to recognize these thoughts and emotions as my ego’s way of rejecting the new and the challenging, so I’m usually able to prevent them from overriding my momentum. But this was not always so. And despite everything I’ve done to smother the beast of fear and self-loathing, it still manages to rear its ugly head from time to time.
When I can’t seem to quell the negative loops from co-opting a major chunk of real-estate in my brain, I bring out the big guns. Being of the witchy and woo-woo sort, I attack these destructive specters with my two favorite tools: magick and tarot. When I shuffle through my deck, I’m met with archetypes and symbols that illustrate the obstacles I’m facing. When I practice ritual, I commit myself to locating my center and honoring the messages of my subconscious. If nothing else, these tools help me to put my experience into perspective and to continue the fight against my more depressive leanings. I’ve been sucked into the vortex of self-destructive thought more times than I care to admit, and nothing useful ever came from those sojourns. I know how difficult it can sometimes be to avoid the pull, and how difficult it is to climb out once you’ve succumbed to that dangerous gravity.
I may not have a perfect outline of what this particular project is (not yet, anyway), but I do know that I’d do just about anything to make sure that no one has to suffer the damaging effects of self-destructive thinking. Here, then, is my offering on how to reframe and transform the little demons of negative self-thought into something workable and manageable. I make no claims to hold the cure to this unfortunate facet of the human condition, but I have figured out a few ways to halt the process of negative thought and build the foundation of a loving, respectful relationship with self. I wish you all strength and confidence in each of your journeys, and hope that you’re able to overcome the the demon of doubt as it manifests in you.
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