Today’s ancestral message: “You’re deliberately ignoring the choices that are available to you; pretending they don’t exist. Instead, you’d rather bitch about the things you can’t do. You need to destroy that pointless, limiting mindset; grind it into the dust beneath your feet, so that you can start over again. You need to relearn who you truly are because you’re not the same person you were 10 years ago. Once you’ve asked yourself those questions you may find yourself in a place of fulfillment, confidence and contentment. You’ll also find yourself better able to nurture and sustain others because you’ll finally be able to nurture and sustain yourself.”
So, my ancestors were unexpectedly charitable today. Instead of the usual smack upside the head (in a loving, concerned manner of course), I got a bit of an “attagirl”. They’re reminding me that I’ve learned a lot over the years. In fact, I’ve learned enough that I could teach certain things if I chose to do so. I just need to maintain confidence in myself; keep my expertise, enthusiasm, and ability to engage others in the forefront. I also need to make sure I enjoy what I’m doing. At the end of the day what I know and how I convey that is only beneficial if I enjoy doing it. Otherwise, it becomes just one more chore over the course of my life.
QotD: How can I feel more confident and comfortable in my own skin? The Magician What will challenge or support me in this? 8 if Pentacles Rx
I was watching a YouTube clip of the amazing Kelly Bishop performing “At the Ballet” from A Chorus Line. Watching her burlesque before the singing struck a chord with me. Sheila (Bishop’s character) is brash, ballsy and clearly terrified. She projects a confident, almost arrogant persona which is soon revealed to be a costume; an act. As I watched her I was struck by the thought that’s how I appear to people. I may try to portray myself as cocky and confident with a “don’t give a shit” attitude but the truth is I’m far from that.
I learned to don that persona as an adolescent as a way to protect myself from the teasing and petty cruelties of other children. I won’t say that I was bullied but kids are kids and I was different. I was not good at fitting in simply because it didn’t occur to me. The end result was that I was often teased and mocked which made me defensive and aggressive. Over time I learned to laugh at myself but deep down I’m still that confused child who doesn’t understand how to fit in and why I’m different. So I burlesque; I create a stage persona and don her as needed.
At Readers Studio I’m considered a charter member of the “bad girls’ table” (a term I hate because it implies we’re misbehaving children when in reality we’re simply doing our own thing. I prefer the “wild women’s table but what can you do?). I can often feel myself slip into performance mode when interacting with people I don’t know. I’m uncomfortable in large groups so the protective coating feels necessary. Unfortunately, I also slip into character when I’m with friends. I think sometimes it’s become second nature to play the role. I’ve gotten better at realizing it but it’s still a work in progress. So I decided to ask the Tarot for some tips on working through this.
I had to smile when I saw these two cards appear. The message was at once simple and deep. The only way I will feel more confident and comfortable in my own skin is if I will it to be so. I am the Magician of my own reality; creator of my own magic. The only thing blocking me is me. All the training, experience and hard work I’ve invested in myself in the past will support me now. I simply have to remember the lessons I’ve learned and not let the inner demons of self-doubt sidetrack me. I’m not a child anymore. All that past petty schoolyard cruelty can’t hurt me anymore unless I allow it.
What threshold are you about to step over? How have you prepared for what is to come next?
The 8 of Swords reminds me that I’m finally ready to escape the cage I created with my own self-doubts and low self-esteem. I’m getting my head on straight and ready to move forward.
The 5 of Swords suggests this won’t be an easy task. My inner demons won’t give up peaceably and quietly go away. They’ll try to trip me up, undermine my confidence and slam me back into that cage. I have to alway keep fighting, never give up and never surrender (yes, I’m quoting themes from Supernatural and Galaxy Quest).
I can do it as long as I keep believing in myself.
How are you feeling trapped? How did you get to this point? What is your next step?
I trapped myself into believing I would always be a student, never confident enough to practice or teach. Instead, I convince myself I still have more to learn. I don’t have faith in my skills and knowledge, too afraid to put myself out there.
I don’t value or nurture my own intellect. Instead I pretend I have nothing new to offer. Instead of trying to share my unique insights and thoughts and communicating them to interested parties, I downplay it; denigrate it; treat it as if it’s nothing special.
My next step is to change these things. To paraphrase line from Mad Max:. Beyond Thunderdome, I need to break a deal and spin the wheel. I need to break free from this mindset that undermines my confidence and prevents me from recognizing my gifts. I need to create magick in my life; break the curse under which I’ve placed myself. No one else can do it for me.
I’m afraid of starting over; of being the student again, the beginner. At the same time I do have faith and confidence in my ability to succeed at whatever I focus my energies towards achieving. I think there is still a part of me that resists drawing attention to myself; that wants to avoid standing out from the crowd. Call it the lingering effects of high school mocking and teasing.
My inability to seek support and assistance further complicates matters. I’m definitely in the “rugged individualist” camp. I know it’s short-sighted and makes things more difficult than they need to be but it’s a mold I find almost impossible to break. I come from a long line of self-sufficient, fiercely independent women. We can bear a helluva lot without asking for help. In this respect I’m my own worst enemy. So, the only thing holding me back is me and my own self-doubt and stubbornness.
How are you undervaluing yourself? What can you do in order to get what you deserve?
Hmm, it appears that I don’t appreciate things at which I have some expertise or mastery. I might have mentioned several times in the past that I often view my accomplishments as something easily dismissed as not difficult to achieve. I think that’s the message the reversed King of Wands is giving me – undervaluing my skills equals undervaluing myself. Not appreciating what I’ve accomplished in my life makes it seem as though I don’t count; have little to offer.
The reversed Six of Pentacles shows that although it’s nice to be generous, giving away too much undermines the worth of my skills and gifts. Unfortunately many people associate value with cost; being overly generous with my gifts sends the message to others that my skills are of little value. If I don’t value my gifts and skills, consider them worthy, then how can I expect others to do so?
Okay, this was rather unexpected but not inaccurate. My self-confidence is often directly connected to how in control of a situation I feel. If I don’t believe I can excel at something, I often don’t bother to try. This has prevented me from learning new things and trying new experiences. It has inhibited my growth in more ways than I can imagine.
Feeling out of control or insecure about a situation reverts me back to childhood when I was very sensitive about being different (aren’t we all?). I did well in school; was academically gifted. As a result, I was often teased about my vocabulary (using $10 words), getting good grades (brainiac or “know-it-all”). I eventually developed a thick about these things and stopped feeling as competitive about grades but the damage was done. Although I have moved passed these responses in many ways, there are still moments when I revert right back to that awkward, smart, socially inept little girl who didn’t want to stand out.
Do you remember the last time you felt confident? What can you do to easily access that state (physically and mentally) when it is called for?
I feel confident whenever I think about my marriage. My husband’s support, trust, faith and belief in me helps me remain confident and positive even when my life seems like a shit storm. He is proud of me in all my vocal, assertive brashness. He encourages my weirdness and reminds me of my value.
The way I can easily tap into that state is to look in my own heart and see my hubby’s face reflected there. I’m usually fairly confident but every so often I stumble. When I do, I hear my hubby’s voice in my head & heart encouraging me, supporting me and loving me.
No matter how heavy the burden you bear, how great the responsibility, keep hope alive in your heart.
The heavier your burdens get, the more important healing yourself becomes. Don’t let caring for your own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs fall by the wayside.
Believe in yourself even if you believe in nothing else. Even in the darkest times our beliefs are what sustain us. If you believe you can achieve your goals then you will, no matter how burdensome the challenge.