I had big plans for the last 90 days of 2022 but the universe had other ideas. (I was happy to see that someone has tried to revive the Last 90 Days movement but I haven’t seen much, well, movement in the process.) I’ve spent much of the last 90 days nursing a recalcitrant shoulder. It’s given me time to work on healing some deep relational stuff and set some new boundaries.
We don’t only project our faults and pathologies onto those around us. I have been guilty of creating what are known as Golden Shadows. Not golden showers; that’s a whole other mess. Jung used this term to describe the submerged creative potential we deny in ourselves when we project our own qualities and talents onto those around us and shove the poor bastards up onto a pedestal.
We create a Golden Shadow, when we’re blinded to our own strengths, talents and gifts due to unhealed trauma and can only identify these traits in those we admire.
In my own case, for years, I was unable to see my own artistic talents and projected/hero worshipped/resented those around me who appeared to be making headway with their art. I saved my top-shelf resentment for those I considered to be forging ahead on ill-gotten gains or seemed to be getting a lot of help. Because I was unable to accept compliments and follow through on sales, I turned down commissions. I shot myself in the foot and blamed others for it.
I felt that no matter how hard I worked, I was never going to make it as an artist because a) I wasn’t talented enough and b) didn’t have the looks/je ne sais quoi/x-factor to attract buyers even though it was often right there in front of me for the taking. I found it very difficult to work with someone I was projecting with a Golden Shadow because I felt I simply couldn’t measure up to her talent but I also thought she was undeserving because she was lazy, not to mention her habit of appropriating the Intellectual Property of other artists.
Submerged creative potential is exhausting. Suppression is exhausting.
It’s the source of all comparisonitis and of all our feelings of not being enough. I know this because I’ve lived it. It’s hard to be around someone who has what you want whether its a career, a relationship, a child, or even a lot of followers on Insta. And remember, people don’t appreciate us putting them up on a pedestal because when they fall, as people sometimes do from great heights, we’re devastated.
Life would be so much easier if we could just love others exactly as they are, not for what they could be or what we wish they were. Oh and imagine if we could accept and celebrate ourselves all our own beauty and enough-ness.
So, my #last90days have been very interesting but then the last few months (years) have been interesting for us all. The astrologer I follow, Dr Michael Lennox, makes it all make sense on the daily so check him out if you’re in need of some down to earth guidance. In his most recent podcast episode, he talks about how over the past months, we have, through our personal spiritual practices, created hearts that are capable of loving more fully even in hard moments.
This got me right in the feels. For the past week I have been using the Ho’oponopono prayer to help heal a deep relationship wound I have that is as old as I am. This stuff works. I was able to completely transcend the pain and frustration of that wound during a Christmas event that would normally send me scurrying for the door/booze/Xanax. All it entails is picturing the person or the situation and repeating the words I love You, I’m Sorry, Please Forgive me, Thank you.
It’s that simple.
In all the years I have been on the spiritual path and in therapy, I have never encountered another tool that works so well and so quickly. We don’t need to project, we don’t need to pretend; a bit of love and forgiveness goes a long way.
I’ve just finished listening to a very fast-talking Neil Pasricha on the Don’t Keep Your Day Job Podcast with Cathy Heller. I love Cathy’s podcast. It pushes me outside my comfort zone and well into my growth zone when it comes to promoting and taking my work to the next level. Here are the main takeaways from the conversation. I highly recommend taking the time to listen.
Neil is so high energy. Cathy describes the conversation as, ‘taking 26,000 trips to Disneyland without the queues.’
Pasricha also has his own podcast, Three Books with Neil Pasricha. 3 Books uncovers and discusses the 3 most formative books of inspiring people such as Malcolm Gladwell, Judy Blume, Roxane Gay, Daniels, David Sedaris, Seth Godin and many more…
Here are the main points from his chat with Cathy. Enjoy…!
- Work on just one facet of your craft each day if that’s all you can manage. As long as you’re making something, some of it will be good.
- Get outside. Get active. Read Fiction. Neil quoted, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” ~ George R.R. Martin.
- Take two mins in the morning to write down “I will let go of…” “I am grateful for…” and “I will focus on…”
- What’s the smallest possible morsel of creative output you can ‘flow’ on a regular basis? When you have a rhythm, you have an audience.
- Don’t be afraid to tell people what you are doing. Promote your new stuff.
- There are three Ss of Success—Sales, Social and Self—it’s up to you what you want to go after.
I am on a Kate Atkinson roll. I LOVE her Life After Life but wasn’t a huge fan of the follow up, A God in Ruins. Great name, but the story left me wanting.
I picked up book 5 in the Jackson Brodie series, Started Early, Took my Dog last year and I Loved it, so I went back and read from the beginning of the series. I’ve just finished Case Histories and One Good Turn and now I am onto When Will There Be Good News? Some of the references (technology, cultural, etc) are a little dated, as you would expect from books written nearly 20 years ago.
I have also started reading Jane O’Connell’s Cold Against the Glass. Jane is the new editor of the Gold Coast Writers’ Association.
From Jane’s website: Cold Against the Glass is contemporary Australian fiction set in Sydney and tells the story of Florence Lane, an artist and forager who discovers a collection of forgotten human specimens languishing in a city museum. In studying these curiosities, Florence unlocks the secrets they keep of dangerous industries and decadent lifestyles, of medicine gone wrong. But it’s the specimen of an unidentified baby that captivates her and she becomes obsessed with tracking down the infant’s parents. Who are they? Why did they donate their baby to science? Why have they never claimed her? This unexpected tale of love and loss explores the lives we treasure, the stories we choose to tell and the grief we carry in our hearts.
After a week or so, the Christmas movies started to blend into one another, so on 21 December we started watching Jack Ryan. A bit of violence and gifted anti-espionage is the perfect anti-dote to the saccharine sweetness of back to back Christmas Romance! Your Christmas or Mine (2022, Prime Video) was my pick for the season.
Then I wanted a little more sweetness and started on Emily in Paris, Season 3. The fashions are even more outrageous, the stakes are higher with Emily’s livelihood on the line and a couple of big story lines for Gabriel and Camille. Sigh… I love Paris, even when it’s completely fake! Reality is highly overrated!
I finished Wednesday last night so now I am onto The Witcher!
I have finished (for now) my latest draft of my crime novel. Here’s en extract…
The droplets running down the windows turned the view to abstract art, but the rain had never bothered Jenn. She loved London and if that came with rain, then so be it. There were places around the world where the people pray for a drop of rain, so the least she could do was appreciate it. She checked her watch. With more than half the staff off on annual leave or sick with the usual winter illnesses, the office was empty. She didn’t want to go to the airport yet in case she was bumped again. Her flight to Kabul had already been re-routed and re-scheduled so many times, text messages flying back and forth between her and the booking agent. Until she was sure, she might as well get some work done in the quiet office.
The editorial assistant had a phone pressed to each ear and gave an audible sigh of relief when he looked up and registered Jenn’s presence in the room. He flicked a document across the desk and the three pieces of paper shot onto the floor. Jenn bent to retrieve them, and the assistant gave her a look that said, ‘I am so sorry.’
Jenn smiled, shook her head, and mouthed, ‘Not at all.’
She spread the sheets of paper on the boardroom table and skimmed the list of stories from their Australian and New Zealand news websites, putting a line through any stories she didn’t think were relevant to European readers. She almost crossed out a story about a crocodile in a swimming pool in Darwin but changed her mind. Europeans loved that kind of thing. She circled it. The summer stories would warm a few cold hearts and get the clicks.
Jenn read down the list, circling or crossing each story after reading just a few words. The last story had just broken. A former Olympian had found a body in the back yard of a renovator. She shook her head, stood slowly to go in search of the editorial assistant. He was making coffee. Jenn handed him the list.
‘These can all go on the website, but I want to find another photo for this.’ She pointed at the article entitled, “Olympian Finds Body.” ‘Call me old fashioned but we are not running a picture of the woman on a podium in her swimmers.’
The assistant took the list of stories Jenn had approved.
‘But what about the clicks?’ he said, with fake drama, and they both rolled their eyes. ‘Don’t worry, I’ll find a relevant photo,’ the assistant said softly, skimming the article. ‘My mum lives in Noosa. This is all over the news there apparently. The Olympian. It’s Hannah Woolf.’
Jenn shook her head. ‘Sorry, no idea. I don’t follow sports.’