As a side note: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As I have shared in my blog, and in this podcast, I am a survivor. I am hosting on my Instagram page (@witchywisdoms) an awareness challenge that asks anyone (survivor or not) to post a selfie with the hashtag #istandwithmysurvivors so that those who have been sexually assaulted will know they are believed and loved.
In addition, I have created an anonymous tumblr thread for survivors to ask me questions directly, post a thread of their own, share their story, and offer community. I will keep this thread open for as long as it is needed. I’ve also created a new tab up at the top of my page titled Safe Spacewhere you can find the link. Be brave and be strong ( *)
To piggy back on my WednesdayWisdoms exercise, I want to dive a little further into my experience with career:
Throughout my life, I had always put pressure on finding a dream job. I have worked in the service industry since age thirteen, and worked full time through college, but it never fulfilled me. I always dreamed I was destined for more.
In the search, over time, I lost my path. I knew I needed certain things out of a job, but I lost my creativity. And to a point, I would take any job that had a fancy title.
When I got the chance to work as a general manager in a restaurant, I thought that that was it for me. I thought that one day I would take over and have a couple of restaurants in New York, but then, as with the crumble of my life at the time, I lost the job, and felt that I had lost everything.
I poured all of my energy into this job and into my toxic relationship and none of it into ME. I was not living with purpose because I felt I had none. I tried to find it in a man and a job, and when I lost both I felt that my purpose was taken from me. But, on the contrary, it was inside me the entire time.
Much like the Hermit of the Major Arcana, it was time for some serious soul searching. My purpose was in there somewhere, I just had to find it.
And my purpose, as with I believe all women’s purpose, is to live an authentic life. My authenticity stems from my intent to help. And once I carved out some boundaries around it, I’ve made it my career. My purpose has given me what I so desired. And it runs deep. Deeper than any title that wouldn’t, or couldn’t, serve me.
Now, like the World card shows, I feel a sense of fulfillment. And it’s because I’m listening to my body and my soul. I’m living out my will. I am not hushing my creativity or silencing my innate need to nurture.
So what is your soul screaming? What is the purpose you seek out to live? Who is the woman inside of you trying to be? If you listen to her and live with purpose, purpose will live with you back.
Episode 3 is live! Here you’ll meet Kia Graves, a New York based producer, actor, and writer, who shares about her rape trauma and journey through healing as a single mother. If you’d like to follow up with Kia you can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and through Mountain Moving Studio.
Episode 2 is live! Here you’ll meet Vanessa Meyer, a Los Angeles based hair stylist and dear friend of mine, who imparts some wisdom on finding your purpose. If you want to follow up with her, find her on Instagram @theglitterwhore and www.theglitterwhore.com
The Knight of Wands is impatient and impulsive in his pursuit of creativity. He needs balance. My mother would probably say he has idle hands, because she used to always say that about me. This was her reasoning for why I always got into trouble. You know what they say, the Devil finds work for idle hands.
A combination of boredom, depression, and lack of boundaries made up the Devil in this scenario. Without a healthy range of hobbies and interests, I used all my energy in destructive behavior. When I was a child I had a multitude of interests, from writing stories and directing short movies with my sister, to playing concert piano and writing minuets. But all of that tends to fall away when you shift focus to unhealthy practices.
Being a teenager is a pretty difficult journey. Our bodies are changing and what used to be important to us are now on the back-burner to boys and popularity. And when you have no basis of self love or compassion, your idle hands start taking control. There is no moderation, and normal teenage hi-jinks turn into scary and real problems.
When I got older, after getting clean, I had no projects I was passionate about. I couldn’t play piano anymore, except for the first few bars of Fur Elise (which no one was really happy about,) and I had nothing that filled up my emptiness. I dabbled in my fashion and jewelry design but it didn’t hold my focus. It wasn’t something I woke up in the morning excited to do. It just wasn’t as important to me as going out and drinking. So my idle hands kept taking control.
What has happened for me now, though, is that my world is bigger and brighter. With the discovery of self compassion and self love, my idle hands have grown a sort of rigor mortis and don’t dance about as freely as they used to. Instead, they are kept at bay with a multitude of inspiring hobbies and projects that I wake up in the morning gleaming at the thought of accomplishing.
The point is, the hobbies weren’t the problem. The problem existed in that my world was too small for joy. My emptiness could only be filled up with my own light, and I had to find it first. I think it is normal for addicts to go through this change. When the thing that made you feel good and took up most of your time is gone, you’re back to square one. And until you find self love, you’re just going to keep practicing the same addictive habits with different substances, or even with the healthy interests you’re trying to replace the drug of choice with. Replacement doesn’t work. Nothing is going to work until you have self respect and self compassion.
Hobbies are wonderful, and they are awesome and healthy tools in self help. But if you don’t have the passion for them, they become to feel mundane and more like a chore. You don’t want to just plug along and endure, you want to flourish. If you have too much passion for them they can take as much control of your life as a drug would. Keep yourself full and happy by picking things that truly inspire you, that can help you find your light, and that can be an accent to your life, rather than the entirety of it. Stay passionate, stay balanced, and stay witchy ( *)