Journey to Spiritual Self-Esteem

When Journey Cole was a little girl, she ran away from home a lot. It’s how she got her nickname–from the time she was young, she had a sense of adventure.

Suitcase, packed and ready. Image by © Journey Cole, 2012 All rights reserved.

She still does. Journey is a contributor to Raw Art Journaling, and last year, when I started to talk about choosing a word for 2012, Journey told me, simply, “Spiritual Self Esteem.” I had to ask her how it was going. Here’s what she said:

Q: When you told me that you were working on Spiritual Self-Esteem I was fascinated. What does that mean to you?

Journey: Spiritual Self-Esteem is the most powerful Word of the Year I’ve ever chosen. It is a process and not an abstract idea. It means learning to live in my higher self/spirit. My spirit is not in question but my connection to it. It is an inner knowing/intuition that guides me to make better choices: What do I let go of? What do I want to create?

Q: How did you come up with this idea?

Journey: I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions; they don’t work for me. I choose instead a word that defines a goal I would like to reach. Since I suffer from the dis-ease of feeling not good enough, my word usually applies to doing, getting, or something ego related. The idea of Spiritual Self-Esteem came when I was in meditation, which I do daily. I felt a sense of peace and gratitude, a stillness from deep within, and thought this is how I want to feel…to live in my higher self and not my ego…and the word Spiritual Self-Esteem expressed that feeling best.

Q: How does SSE come into use in your daily life–most of us have jobs that we don’t consider spiritual.

Journey: My husband and I travel a lot for our work. I meet a variety of people in different locations. The opportunity to use Spiritual Self-Esteem occurs daily. I have always believed that dealing with people can be hell or used as a spiritual practice. For example, if someone is ill-tempered with me, in the past I would react from my ego, but now I ask myself would I act the same way if I were in their shoes? In my travels I’ve had some mature, insightful talks with children and met some childish adults.

Q: I know that you journal quite a bit. How does SSE come up in your journal entries?

Journey: My daily journal includes a lot of Spiritual Self-Esteem entries: daily encounters, questions I ask myself and how I can improve my actions and stop the reactions.

Q: SSE sounds like it’s a healing practice. Do you see it that way? How?

Journey: Spiritual Self-Esteem is indeed a healing practice for me! When I am spiritually attuned, serendipitous events take place, my stress level goes down and I feel more balanced.

Q: If you were to teach a class on SSE, what would you tell the participants they could gain from your class?

Journey: I’ve never thought about teaching a class in Spiritual Self-Esteem because I feel it is a very personal inner journey: each person’s unique connection to their higher self.

Q: How has this changed your life?

Journey: I’m slowly learning to be the observer, not the absorber. All my life I’ve compared my writing, artwork, etc. to that of other people. I let their criticism and rejection push my buttons. Now I find it freeing and strengthening to be the observer. This is how I define the process of Spiritual Self-Esteem.

Quinn McDonald loves the idea of not being an absorber. A natural sponge, she is learning how to wring herself out in her journals.

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8 responses to “Journey to Spiritual Self-Esteem

  1. I like the idea of interviewing myself about my word for the year using your questions and replacing SSE. The trouble was I couldn’t recall my word! I thought it had something about moving on, advancing in some way, digging deeper. I went back into the archives and found it – uncover. It fits – and is definitely more spiritual than physical.
    My journal is waiting for some responses.

  2. Nice, insightful post Quinn. I loved “slowly learning to be the observer not the absorber “. So hard to do.

  3. Kristin McNamara Freeman

    A wonderful interview and post, Quinn. To set another paradigm for the process of creating, SSE is magnificent. That ego does move in in sneaky ways…this interview gives insight on ways to alter that occurrence and have an experience with the development of our Spiritual Self Esteem. Appreciation abounds for this interview to have been shared with us all.

  4. I love the idea of getting away from ego-related goals. This is a very subtle but meaningful distinction. The ego is sneaky that way. I hope you conducted more interviews with Journey. Be sure to thank her from making me aware of SSE. Also, thank you for giving me a great idea to interview the “Journey” in my own life.

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