Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Trusting myself....

Under this waxing Hawthorn Moon, I'm learning a lot... 

How to play with photos taken long ago, for example (I adore the added fairy sparkle coming through the branches of this ancient twisted hawthorn tree at Rufford Abbey...) 

And I'm taking to heart the Trust Yourself message from my dreamboard as I work through Week 4 of The Artist's Way - 'I trust my perceptions' and 'A stronger and clearer me is emerging' - suggested affirmations from p. 86.

I used to trust myself - as a teenager I was confident that if I studied hard I would get into a chosen university. In my 20s I was confident I could survive a year in Kenya, even though my only ever trip abroad before that time was a weekend in Paris for my 21st birthday. (I did more than survive, I thrived, and met Nick, my future hubby!)

But somewhere in my 30s and 40s that confident trust evaporated...

I sense it began as I learnt to distrust my body... the repeated miscarriages, then Connie's death in utero in 1993... then developing diabetes in 1999, then of course the stroke in 2007...

How could I trust my choices, my decision-making, my thoughts, my perceptions when the body in which I dwell was so unreliable, so faulty, so broken??

How can I dream, make plans, imagine a future, when death could be just around the corner...?? Melodramatic, maybe, but nonetheless powerful for it!

But that, of course, is the whole point.

We only really get Life when we accept the presence of Death - the whole essence of wabi-sabi. The Beauty of Life IS the imperfections, the sheer impermanence, of it all...

This is why I adore the works of Frida Kahlo and Virginia Woolf so much. Two women who had every reason to distrust their bodies, but who painted and wrote such amazing things - who Trusted Themselves, their perceptions, their ideas despite the frailties of their earthly bodies.
a still from Frida with Salma Hayek

a favourite quote on a postcard stuck in a journal

Are thoughts of Death just morbidity, or are they an essential part of Life? 

Does an Artist (whatever their chosen discipline) have to suffer to trust themselves, their vision, their work? And what does it mean to 'trust yourself' anyway??

I'd love to know what you think...


  1. Hi Claire, this post is lovely, you've chosen the words are the photos so perfectly. Today I posted something that you will like on my blog, please check it out. Have a great day!

    1. Oh I did, Elizabeth, love it indeed!! I left a comment :) x

  2. A very moving post Claire. I think thoughts of death are a part of life. As I get older I have been thinking, How many more years do I have left? Its time to stop putting things off? Do it now etc. Then with the sudden death of my friend Kimberley at 43 I think she probably thought she had a lot of time too. We only have the present moment, in that moment I make my decision to live fully, freely authentically.

    Love you,

    1. Amen to that, dearest Kate!!
      Sending much love xxx

  3. I spent a long time largely ignoring my body, or rather, minimising its needs. Being ill has enabled me to come back to a sense of a whole self and acceptance (not every day, mind, some days I still struggle). Only through doing this, accepting that I am not invincible, can I really trust myself. I'd still rather not be ill though :)

    1. Indeed, Alison, we certainly wouldn't choose to be afflicted, would we? But it does serve to remind us we're mortal... to remind us we are made of the same stuff as the rest of creation, and subject to the same forces of Nature... ' not invincible', as you wisely say :)

  4. I don't think suffering equals trust, but that suffering (or experiences) equal growth. We fool ourselves if we think that life will be without suffering or that we will escape death. Death is a part of life, of every living thing, not just humans. It is how we endure that is the true test of our being.

    1. Thanks for this, Benita, wise words indeed! You are so right - our experiences (hopefully!) make us grow and develop as human beings... Lovely to 'meet' you :)

    2. You are welcome and thank you! It is nice to meet you also! One of the big positives to blogging...making new friends! :-)


Your comments mean a lot. They show I'm not alone. Thank you!