So, I had an idea to launch a weekly creative prompt from my blog. Actually, I had this idea quite a few weeks ago... then didn't do anything about it. The excuses came so readily: really have to tick off one more more chore; better make that phone call; nearly finished this blog post; too tired to do anything but read; just one, two, three more crochet squares; need to reply to that email; oh dear, now the little 'un's awake, there goes my time-for-me for the day!
Today, I see that I have no choice but to confess that all the reasons I am using not to do this thing are actually the reasons why I should just do it. It's not as if the idea or its execution are ever going to be perfect. And I'll never be in a place where I am 100% confident it is a good idea, or even a great one. So here I am. I'm going to do it anyway.
By doing this, I say: my idea is enough.
By doing this, I say: my writing, my art, my photos, all the work I've done and all that I'm about to do, is enough.
By doing this, I say: I do not claim to be the first person to think of this sort of thing and honour all those who have gone before. Like Tracey Clarke, who provides a sacred space for women to celebrate their enoughness. Like Liz Lamoreux, who reminds me to make my own corner beautiful, rather than waste energy envying someone else's. Like Jennifer McGuiggan, who bravely suggests that the things I covet are the things I am meant for. Like Chris Guillebeau, who challenges me to rethink the way I downplay my achievements. Like Summer Pierre, who shows how an attitude of "Screw it!" can help overcome any fear. And like Leonie Allan, who continues to shine the light for new mums like me who are trying to find themselves in the malestrom.
By doing this, I say: my own perspective and experience are worth sharing.
By doing this, I say: by sharing I have made an important step for me, and external measures of success (like fielding positive comments or attracting solid numbers of participants), while nice, do not have any bearing on my own assessment of its success.
By doing this, I say: thank you to you, dear reader, for communing with me in this space. I know I am not alone in struggling with feelings of unworthiness. And if reading this helps make just one person feel less alone, that in itself is tremendously satisfying for me.
Worthy is my word for 2011. This word emerged in late 2010, as I emerged from a fog of despair. I was hyper-aware that I had so much to be grateful for: a beautiful baby, a devoted husband, a loving family, fantastic friends, a great part time job, my dream house, and a supportive community of kindred spirits that had grown around my burgeoning blog/art/ writing. But despite all this, I felt suffocated by feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt, as well as my inability to rise above them, to the point that I hadn't even noticed that my sense of self had completely evaporated.
I have since embarked, with professional help, on the journey of recognising all the long-held beliefs and deeply-entrenched behaviours that contributed to this situation. And I now see a raw and fertile space emerging where there is room for my sense of self to flourish once more.
So what is Worthiness Wednesday?
Through the process of working with a Cognitive Behavioural Psychologist, as well as reading fiction, non-fiction and haiku, talking to likeminded souls, and enrolling in excellent e-courses like One Little Word and Soul Restoration, I have begun to assemble a powerful little toolbox of resources, delights, reminders, and shared experience. I really like the idea of taking my explorations of what it is to feel worthy to the next level and sharing them with kindred spirits.
What I plan to do is post a question, prompt, or musing each Wednesday that relates to worthiness. I'll then invite you to share your responses. This will likely be a form of celebrating your self. Your response might take the form of a scribble in your journal, a witnessed moment of synchronicity, a photo, an affirmation, a poem, a treat, a piece of art or craft, a quiet moment, a quote, a plan, a fledgling idea, a challenge, whatever takes you outside your self so that you can see the extra in your ordinary. You will have the opportunity to link your blog (or website or flickr page or similar) to the post, or if you don't have any such thing, you are most welcome leave a comment sharing your experience. I'll leave the link open until Saturday of the same week, so that there's time to explore, contribute, and explore some more.
My dream is to grow a community of kindred spirits who are working on recognising their worthiness, protecting their sacred spaces, and celebrating the unique selves. I hope, in the coming weeks, to be able to offer a button that can be placed on your blog or website to recognise your contribution building this community.
Will you join me?
In the spirit of worthiness despite splendid imperfect -- and just, well, doing it anyway! -- I will launch Worthiness Wednesday tomorrow. Which, you will notice, is a Thursday.
I can't wait to see you here.