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Friday, August 7, 2009

Learning To Believe In Yourself

Am nearing the end of reading James Van Praagh's excellent newest book, "Unfinished Business ~ What The Dead Can Teach Us About Life." The book, like many of his other offerings, is a combination of fascinating "readings" for others that James did as a medium at conferences and other demonstrations, as well as helpful tips and techniques on meditation and living a life of love and compassion. I've never been disappointed by any of James' books, and this one is no exception.

A section in the book that really hit home for me personally is entitled, "Believe In Yourself." It begins by saying, "There is no one that knows you better than yourself." And most importantly, James writes, "Over time, you will go through many trials and tribulations in order to have a better appreciation of and trust in yourself. But in order to reach this awareness, you must be willing to withstand the critical opinions and beliefs of others and see those opinions and beliefs for what they are - merely someone else's point of view."

Now I always thought I had a pretty healthy ego and opinion of myself...not too egotistical but enough that I was confident and willing to forge ahead on what I call "my hair-brained ideas". I believe in my work. I've been a fiber artist for nearly 30 years and have written and taught in the field. However, over these years I have realized that I don't withstand criticism well. I get hurt very easily. I am an empath...a sensitive...and feel things very, very deeply. I'm too swayed by other people's point of view; even worse, when I think their opinions concern me. That's right, I worry about viewpoints that I'm not even sure folks are having about me. I agonize about people's opinions before they happen, not even sure if they will happen! Eeesh! What a waste of precious time fretting about things I don't even know are true, eh?

My goal is to stop this nonsense NOW of being troubled about what others think. As James writes, "If you worry about what other people think or say, you give away your power, and that is a surefire way to live an unfulfilled life."

I'm in the process of finishing a book on spinning, natural dyeing, and knitting. When the book comes out there will be folks who will like it and there will be folks who won't. I know what I've written will help some folks become better spinners and dyers, setting them on a path of self-discovery through the fiber arts. That makes me feel very good. What's most important, however, is that I've put my best foot forward, remaining true to myself every step of the way.

Thank you, Mr. James Van Praagh, for reminding me to believe in myself.

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