I want to talk a moment about dwelling on what could go right in your life, instead of wrong. I think it's normal human thinking for us to worry and have anxiety from time to time. A few years ago I started practicing self affirmations that were encouraged in a book I was reading, The Artist's Way. My self affirmations started mainly with my career goals as an illustrator and quickly spilled over to what I wanted to have go right in my life, such as my relationship goals. I am always amazed at the power of positive thinking and day dreaming. Of course it also goes hand in hand in with working through your struggles and not giving up on yourself and your dreams.
I read once that worrying is like praying for something you don't want. Once that message was heard, it resonated with me. And helped me take my worries and set them off to the side, so that I could bring in the room for good thoughts and goals into my heart and mind.
I choose to dwell not just on the possibilities of what amazing things can and will happen in your life, but I remind myself to dwell on the goodness that is in my life.
I have a quick story that happened a couple months ago, that I think you'll enjoy. I was having a discouraging week for one reason or another. I think I was putting pressure on myself for work because I was facing a new era in my life. Post hospital stay era for the blood clot they found in my lungs. If anyone has gone through a medical health scare and then come out of it, you'll probably understand the newfound anxiety, stress and PTSD that comes with it all. For me it was a worry that my blood clot in my lungs could come back, or I could have an underlying disorder. I also worried that I could have enormous hospital bills that would scare me so much that I would want to leave the life of being an illustrator-and the uncertainty of getting good paying work consistently. I was feeling all these emotions about it, and was questioning if I could get through it all without a consistent paycheck. Mind you, I seemed to forget that for 5 plus years I have been able to make a great income steadily by illustrating. I guess my PTSD was getting the best of me.
So I did what I always do, when I need a gentle way to calm my spirit. I prayed. I asked God to help me know how I could get through this anxiety and my health issues/hospital bills. I said I would give up illustrating if I needed to get a "real job" to pay for my new expenses. I just wanted to know what to do. I remember feeling at ease after saying my prayer. I went to bed early that night, and my negative thoughts tried to creep in and I remember thinking, "Just dream about what you want to go right in your life. Think about your dream job Jessica". And I thought, "I want to work with Sephora. I always have...and I will just dream of that to put me to sleep tonight".
The next morning I woke up and made myself my morning cup of coffee. I got out my laptop and went to check my emails. I was floored by an email I got through my website. It was from...Sephora!! It was their Paris branch that works for all their stores in Europe, and across most parts of the world except US, Canada and China. They were reaching out to me, about wanting to work with me on beauty illustrations. All I could do was put my head in my hands and cry tears of joy and comfort. I knew that God was answering my prayers and giving me that nudge that I would be okay, and that dreaming big and working hard have always lead me to these amazing goals coming to fruition.
I wanted to share this to hopefully inspire you. To help you know that having anxiety and struggles happen to us all, and that once again-you are not alone. I have always felt strongly that if I put out my best work, that the opportunities I dream about will happen.
I am currently sitting looking at the start of another mood board for the 2nd project for Sephora right now. I am also going back to the blood doctor next week to see the results on my blood tests. Life is crazy how you can continue on with a grateful heart...even though there will always be amazing things happening at one end of the spectrum and maybe some things that cause you sadness or anxiety on the other end of the spectrum. Each day truly feels like a gift to me lately, and it makes it easier for me to dwell on the good.