Tuesday Go Ponder: Contemplating Artemis

“You and Your loved ones are safe and spiritually protected.”

A couple weekends ago, the retreat I was on gave me enough free time to actually think and write and contemplate my life – without the distractions of the regular world, from where I’ve been to where I am to where I want to be in the future.

While I was there, one of the women had provided Doreen Virtue’s goddess card deck for us to request guidance about something in our lives. As a healthy skeptic with an open heart, I was interested in what card would come up for me. Each time I shuffled the 44 cards, the same card came up.

Artemis.

Virtue explains, “The Greek Goddess Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo, the sun god. She is a powerful goddess who prefers to spend her time in the woods with the wild animals. Artemis has carried a bow and arrow ever since they were given to her in childhood, yet she never uses them to hurt anything. Rather, the energy of her bow and arrow is a talisman that helps her focus her thoughts and intentions, and she always reaches her mark of her manifestations. Artemis helps us to concentrate and focus as well. She offers protection to all who call upon her, particularly women and children.”

And I thought about her strength and focus. I thought about her relationship to nature and her protective instincts. I considered my obstacles, real and self-created, that I’ve allowed to keep me from plowing full speed ahead in pursuit of my real dream, that of publishing my first book.  And I continued to read:

“Like me, You have a sacred mission to spread love and light. Yet, this isn’t a position that comes from tension or worry. Instead, the gentle essence of a joyful heart and lighthearted laughter sets your power into motion. Why would there be any tension in your mind or system unless You believed that You were somehow unsafe? And how could you be unsafe when You’ve called upon the Spiritual Warriors to watch over You? So, ease your mind of all cares and concerns, and concentrate instead upon your mission.”

The idea of safety and security is often an underlying theme for many of us, but the biggest relationship it has to me at this juncture in my life is related to the fact that I am feeling every day like I am sitting on a precipice, afraid to leap. Thinking about where I want to go next, the projects I have begun but not had the courage to finish, the vulnerability I am afraid to expose, the “bag lady syndrome” that myself and so many of my peers experience…it’s at times been enough to stop me from going boldly in that new direction. Isn’t it amazing how external factors can influence us so deeply inside, and keep us distracted from our mission?

For me it’s the book, the ever looming book. I can’t punish myself, as I have made several drafts since kicking off the project last December. I have more work to do now that I’ve committed now to the direction I’m currently in, developing a professional resource for job seekers, and now it’s time to be thankful. Thankful for the time that the slower season ahead will bring in once again allowing me to dig deep and spend the hours I need to spend to add pages, fill in blanks, finish long-awaited interviews, and get my proposal together if I decide I want to submit it rather than self-publish. Ironically, none of the actual work terrifies me – it is fantastic fun!  What scares me is the idea of taking time to pursue my passion project which may or may not bring in money.

As a woman managing her own finances since the age of seventeen, I have never missed a payment on a bill. If that meant a steady diet of Hot Pockets or renting out one of the rooms in my house or trading in my bus pass for a bicycle, so be it. I have always done what needed to be done to make sure that the bills get paid. So with that, for some reason I’ve piggybacked the idea with billpaying that I shouldn’t set aside time for the real dream. (You know, the one you WISH you’d be getting paid for instead of your current work that has paid the mortgage for years).

I’m thinking of a time when I’ve forged ahead in spite of my fears, and it’s always been because I know I’ll be ok. It’s because I’ve seen much much worse, and I’ve always come out stronger. The lessons have always been worthwhile.

Today I edited for hours. I thought of so much more I still have to say in this book. I thought of recent conversations I’ve had with my clients, how each and every one of them have inspired me or taught me something. I think of my colleagues and my mentors, and even the people who have driven me a little crazy over the years. I think of my beloved who says to me, “my wife, the writer”.

And I wonder what was ever holding me back.

Tonight I walked down the street of a neighborhood I do not live in. I looked at my feet and leaves that I walked through, and I thought of a photograph. It’s something that the artist in me used to do all the time – snapping shots with my eyes, hearing lines of poetry in my mind, feeling myself in the air around me.

Maybe it was just for a moment, but today I felt safe. Today I feel myself beginning to reemerge.

Artemis is all around, in me and surrounding me. She is me.

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