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.
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.