Today was an interesting day. I was feeling pretty lazy after Zumba, but in an attempt to get my mind off of staring at my inbox waiting for word back about my job application (as one does), I went out. I ended up writing two scenes for Spirit Parade, which was the first writing I'd done in a little while. Recently I've been coding a lot, so I haven't done much writing aside from the blog. This month started strong with me finishing off all the Without a Voice writing in short order, but after that I've had less and less free time. I need to charge up my Freewrite and just start bringing it around with me to get the writing flowing again. It feels nice to start up the habit once more. I don't think I'll be able to finish my monthly goals. I blame life getting in the way and I've done the best I can. Even so, I want to make a good dent in them. If I could finish off the Shuye route draft, I'll consider it a job well done with two finished games under my belt.
I also finished reading Your Story is Your Power today. I think that about half of this book was...useful? I hesitate to describe it like that. It's an inspirational book and a beautiful one. However, some of the language used was alienating. I'm not sure I agree with feminine power being such a mystical force, though I understand the thought process behind it. I do think solidarity among women is important! Some of the things covered are also a bit common sense.
The first two parts that covered examining your family and cultural stories felt pedantic. Of course your past has influenced who you are. Do you really need a book to tell you that? Or rather, would the target audience of this book really need this book to tell them that?
Honor the aspects of your personality that have helped you to survive so far.
Once I got about halfway through—and this was after putting the book down for several weeks—things improved. It was easy to read from where I started today. The chapters about Enneagram, about coming to terms with your inner voices and accepting them rather than denying them—those were good chapters. They reminded me of Yumi Sakugawa's work, her concept of "having tea with your inner demons."
(The idea is that your inner demons were created to project you. Your fear of commitment, for example, might serve to protect you from getting hurt by rejection or a bad break-up. So rather than reject your flaws/inner fears, it's best to confront them and get to the root of why they exist in the first place. They're never going to go away, so it's better to co-exist with them. I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment and have been doing a lot of introspection to come to terms with myself.)
Again, the book is beautiful. It has some great quotes and even if some of the points made are somewhat obvious or pedantic, they are phrased in a nice way. So it's by no means a bad book, but I wish it had delved a little deeper. I would still recommend it to people who need a dose of inspiration and prompts for introspection and shadow work.
That being said, I'm going through Lavendaire's Dream Life Series right now and I love how soft and inspiring it is. (if you haven't heard of Lavendaire, I really recommend going through her videos and blog) I've always thought Aileen's voice was so soothing and I enjoy filling out the worksheets and thinking about things while/after I watch the videos. I've already learned a lot just from doing the first two. I appreciate getting life advice from someone who has been through as much as she has, someone who is a multidisciplinary creative.
You've got to truly know yourself before you can improve yourself. If you don't know where the problems are, you won't know where to begin solving them. It's hard and it involves confronting and admitting to parts of yourself that you want to keep hidden—even to yourself. But the end result is so worth it.
It's like this. If you don't market a product well, nobody will want to want to buy it, right? It's the same with people. You can't "market" yourself until you know what the "ad" will contain. So other people won't be receptive to your "marketing" until you know your target audience, your themes, and what kind of person you are.
I'm still not where I want to be yet in life, but every day I am content and grateful for so many things. I've been able to let go of a lot of the anger and resentment I felt in the past because I realized a lot of my problems with other people were really problems I had with myself. I was projecting what I needed, what I was worried about, or what I wished I could be onto other people. By working on myself first, I've been able to open myself to new opportunities and better relationships and friends. I've still got a lot to work on, but I wouldn't change my current life for the world.