The Declaration of You! Learning to Trust

Learning to Trust the Universe by Debbie Styer 2013
I am excited to write my third and final post for The Declaration of You! Blog Lovin' Tour. As some of you know, I took the Declaration of You! e-course a few years ago and fell in love with it. It pointed me in right direction and asked the kind of deep questions to get me off the coach and on to the work I was meant to bring into this world...  The book The Declaration of You! (which is inspired by the the e-course) by Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift and is out now for you all to enjoy.

This Week's topic: Trust!

I'm pretty hard on myself so trust is a difficult thing for me. I thought I had to make exactly all the right decisions in order for my life to work out miraculously perfect. If anything didn't work out as I planned, the self doubt and fear flowed...Sound like you?

Here's a little story on how I learned trust...

Now, I must say,  I'm not a hugely religious person but years ago,  before I met my amazing husband, I was having the worst time meeting anyone to love me. Sad but very true. Everything seemed to go wrong, the guys I was meeting were pretty terrible (both online and in the real world). I just didn't get it. The more I tried to control what was happening to me the worse it got, and the more desperate I got. It was not a pretty picture. And I was miserable.

Then one day things changed...I just let go. Everyday I would walk by this beautiful church and instead of pleading Help Me to God (or the Universe, Buddha, or whatever you would like to call it),  I starting saying Thank You for the things that went wrong. I began learning from my mistakes and I could clearly see that what I wanted was not necessarily right for me. There must be a reason for the way my life was working out. I started to trust that there was some big plan for me out there in the Universe. I know it sounds silly, but it was one of the great epiphanies of my life.

Learning to trust in something bigger than me lifted so much weight off my shoulders. I didn't need to put so much pressure on myself when something went wrong, and I could better understand when something went right. I was learning to trust something deep inside myself, I was learning to trust my soul.

When I finally met my  husband, I was able to see that this brilliant... crazy... crooked (and sometimes painful) pathway made absolutely perfect sense. Everyday, I still Thank the Universe for my life. I thank the Universe for my friends and family and all those who helped me become the person I am supposed to be.

Now, I open my heart again with my artwork. Again I am trusting the Universe that there is a plan out there for me. Everyday, that I create more work and share it with the world, the pressure of self-loathing and fear is going away. My soul is connected to something big. And I feel like I am indeed on the right path. I may not know exactly where I might end up but I trust that it will be the right place for me. And I am happy...

A few things for you to ponder...

Learning to trust is a pretty powerful thing, don't you agree?

Do you trust you are on the right path for your soul?

Do you think there is a plan for you?

As I wrap up this last Declaration of You! post, I also wanted to thank Michelle and Jessica for helping me along my crazy path. You guys are awesome, and I wish you tons of success with this incredible book. May it help lift, advise and encourage millions of people throughout the world.

One last thing, if you want to read my other Declaration of You! posts. They are here (on Success) and here (on Self-Care).

The Declaration of You! Find Meaning in Success.

 I am excited and proud to write another blog post for The Declaration of You! BlogLovin' tour. I wrote this post in honor of Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift who were able to successfully give me a kick in the butt a few years ago with the amazing Declaration of You e-course. Now they have written and illustrated this amazing brand new book based on their life changing course. Thanks Michelle & Jessica, your success inspires mine!

This week's topic? Success.

The big question...What does success mean to you? I have been fighting with this question since I quit my dead end job three years ago. Was I more "successful" then when I had a pretty good salary and benefits but was miserable or now when I am barely scrapping by money wise but get really excited about what I am doing and hope to do in the future? I know what my heart feels about my success, I'm happier with my career now than ever before. Of course, society (and my dad) thinks I am a bit nuts. I've been trying to ignore them.

The truth is I always wanted to be a artist. I can't remember ever wanted to do anything else. I started painting when I was 12 an I never turned back. Subconsciously, I suppose, I designed my life/career with doing illustration in the back of my head. But some times years went by and I just worked and hardly made any dent as an artist.  My day jobs were alright, I tried to surround myself in the arts working in galleries and museums but they weren't really the types of jobs that pushed me up the ladder of creative success.

Finding my own ladder of success to climb...

Now I'm building out my own ladder of success, one little step at a time. It is not always easy and I think my ladder is a bit wonky but it still works. I'm trying to figure it out for myself. That's the freedom of working for yourself. As for success and stable income, I'm going to get there eventually, it might just take some time. You know, what one of my favorite truths about business and success, sometimes it takes years for success to happen. We live in a world where we expect things to happen so quickly, sometimes they don't, and that's OK. I'm not planning on giving up just yet, are you?

I must also say, I've been so lucky in my life, that I have been able to take the opportunities to work on this crazy dream of mine. I am also so thankful for an amazing husband that has been helping me out while I build this new world for myself. Damon you are the best!

 Day to day, it has been very hard road. There are days when I want to quit and just start looking for a more stable job. But I always go back and think maybe this one thing, this one thing I do today, that right person may notice. I just can't stop believing that this illustration thing will just happen. Am I crazy?

Here's a few of the rules that have made my strive for success easier:
  1. The more I try things the more the Universe seems to open up. Learn to say yes to the world.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people that support you and your work.
  3. Find your art heroes. Try to understand how they do what they do.
  4. Allow yourself to get a bit obsessed by what you love. It allows you to magically create new ideas.
  5. Get out of the house! Like a lot of creative folks, I work from home, and sometimes you just need to move around, maybe even talk to a few people to get the ideas flowing again. 
Hopefully some of these might help you out. I have to remind myself of my little rules sometimes but I'm learning new things everyday and taking chances. I'm also gaining much more confidence than I once had. Which as they say, confidence is key. It is so true. Confidence, a bit of talent, some hard work and a splash of good luck, and we can move mountains...

Oh, Ms. Success, we are so close to being friends. We just need to get to know each other a bit better. I could make you laugh, I could make you cry...and you can teach me about money. We could be good friends...BFF's. Just give me a chance.

As, I said earlier, I highly recommend checking out, "The Declaration of You" book. It will help you find your way to success. I helped me find my path. As for my own success, in the last few years, I finally opened my first Etsy shop, I am working on my first book and I even got in a gallery show or two. There is so much more is in the works too. Thank you all for being part of my journey. I wish you all much SUCCESS!

A few questions for you all: What are you doing to get closer to success? What is holding you back from feeling successful? Do really believe that your creative dreams are possible or just dreams? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

The Declaration of You: Take care of yourself, Damnit!

"Taking Care" by Debbie Styer 2013

A few months back, I heard that Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift were doing a blog tour for their brand spanking new book, "The Declaration of You". Woo Hoo! I was so excited for them! With all the amazing changes that have happen in my life in the past couple of years I just knew that I wanted to be part of this blog tour.

This might be a bit personal but a couple of years ago, I took part in "The Declaration of You" e-course. It was so amazing. I learned so much about myself and just who I wanted to be. One of the most life altering sections for me was, "Self Care". I knew that without taking better care of myself,  I would never be able to, well, "take care of business".

I'm sure that we all try to take good care of ourselves. We know what we should do, simply be kind to yourself. It should be that easy, right?  Like everyone, I have cabinets full of lovely herbal teas to drink and tell myself I really need to start meditating, and relaxing more. I try to work out more (even a little bit helps) but sometimes the lack of time or energy zaps away my progress. I suppose, the important thing is I've tried, right? Little by little, I've seen the changes and they're good. And Yes, I'm still working on being healthier and less stressed. I think I am improving,  but it is a ongoing process. It helps to remind myself daily to count my blessings and am so thankful for great friends and family especially my amazing husband.  

But deep down in my heart, when I talk about self care I suppose I'm talking about something more than "don't forget to smell the roses". I'm talking about self love. It was something I had a bit of a disconnect with myself for much of my life. When I quit my stable but extremely dead end job nearly 3 years ago, I was very hard on myself. I was feeling pretty old (39) to be starting a new career. I was scared to death to make any wrong moves with my art. And honestly, I was really mad at myself for not starting earlier in my life. There was so much to learn and I thought I could never catch up.

So, I started the e-course. I wasn't sure what to expect but I did know that Michelle and Jessica had great positive attitudes. Before long they got me writing out all of these pent up feeling I had about myself. At first it was pretty depressing the amount of self loathing one gets when you let yourself go there. But after you look at it from a distance, it's not so scary. I kept kicking myself for not getting my work out to the world faster. I had so many regrets. I guess, I was a little lost in what my next steps would be. I found that by doing the work, something changed. I started looking at these issues as just stupid excuses (it's pretty amazing how much writing it all down helps, don't you think?)...and I was done feeling sorry for myself. So, incredible done....

I stopped looking at myself as this underachiever and someone that wasn't enough. I cried a lot too. What an epiphany! I was done with the guilt! Suddenly, I saw that I was talented, a true artist and indeed I was ready to share my art with the world...

And it happened, a few months after "The Declaration of You" course ended, I opened my first Etsy shop. Things changed, I truly began to take that self care/self love more seriously. As an artist, I have grown so much. I'm even working on my first book!  And you know what? I'm truly proud of the work I've done in the last couple of years and although there are still mountains to climb as far as a career goes, I feel a little less heavy these days. I feel happy and truly understand the need for deep self care.

And when you take care of yourself, and love who you are and what you do, you can bring amazing things (and businesses) to the world...

So take it from me, this book, which was modeled after the amazing e-course, will be truly inspiring. Michelle and Jessica know how to ask the right questions to help get you closer to the person you always imagined you could be. I highly recommend it. 

Here's a little bit from Michelle & Jessica themselves...

The Declaration of You: The Book! from Pierre François Frédéric on Vimeo.

The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s Blog Lovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. Learn more – and join us! – by clicking here.”

Join the Discussion: What have you learned from practicing more SELF CARE? What would you like to learn? What are you doing to treat yourself with loving kindness?