‘It is important to be very gentle with yourself, especially in the early days of a transition. In fact, there is no such thing as being too gentle with yourself at this time.’ – Julia Cameron
I am working through Julia Cameron’s book, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again. It’s an Artist’s Way program for people who are in a major transition. I figured my life right now constitutes multiple major transitions, so it seemed like a good fit.
The quote above captured my attention yesterday.
I am struggling with being gentle with myself lately. I feel like a failure in most areas of my life. Even though I recognize that all of these changes mean everything is in upheaval, and it’s almost impossible to see progress in the middle of the process.
I drew a card with the question – how can I be gentle with myself during this transition?
My card was the Two of Pentacles. I saw it and thought balance, juggling all the different moving pieces, finding a balance between work life and home life and creative life.
In The Creative Tarot, Jessa Crispin says, of this card:
Sometimes when we’re feeling overwhelmed, we think we need to remove outside obligations. But it’s often those outside obligations that keep us [functioning]. We can actually improve productivity by adding to our to-do list.
Beth Maiden at Little Red Tarot says:
Another element in this card is that it represents change – new challenges entering our lives which will demand from us that we act like this juggler. Flexibility is key, being adaptable and bending to fit those changes into our lives.
Both of these feel relevant to me right now. The challenge, the need for flexibility and adaptability, and the hopeful comment that maybe my overwhelming to-do list is actually not a bad thing.
The Three of Cups was a jumper for me, and also feels relevant. Community, connection, filling my cup while filling the cups of the people around me.
From The Creative Tarot:
This card is about community and companionship. There’s an emotional stability here, brought on by a circle of supportive friends.
I feel good about the fact that my best friend is planning on coming over for a working date today, and that I have a to-do list with a lot of things to knock off. I still feel overwhelmed, but I can recognize the gentleness already present in my life, and it makes it easier to stop beating myself up for not doing enough, well enough, fast enough.
It will be okay.
I’ll work on my balance and my flexibility, and I’ll lean on my supportive community in the meantime. And I won’t hate myself for the overwhelming to-do list.