Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

The Hall of Champions

I can believe anything, provided it is incredible.
— Oscar Wilde

We have been working some powerful exercises to recover a sense of safety for our tender Artist Selves. A big part of this work has been to uncover and face the damage done to us by the monsters in our past – those people and events that torpedoed our security as we first explored the possibilities of our creativity.

Again, I am so grateful to each one of you who has come forward to share the experiences you suffered. For as you know, your truth-telling not only helps with your own discovery and healing, you are helping others here to be brave, facing their own monsters.

And I also thank each of you who are visiting and who, for now, prefer not to speak up. Please, please know that you, too, are also most welcome and supported as you quietly find your own path of healing. We each work this process in our own way, sometimes in cathartic sharing, sometimes in quiet reticence. The energy is there either way, and makes our magic together strong and true.

We now conclude this part of the work by moving our attention from the monsters to the heroes. Today’s exercise is to list three heroic supporters of our creative self-worth. This is our Hall of Champions, Julia tells us; those who have wished us and our creativity well. Think back and remember any and all who ever encouraged you, or complimented your work.

Every encouraging word counts,” she assures us. “Even if you disbelieve a compliment, record it. It may well be true.

“If you are stuck for compliments, go back through your time travel-log and look for positive memories. When, where, and why did you feel good about yourself? Who gave you affirmation?”

Even the loneliest, most abused of us has someone, somewhere who gave us comfort or hope. A best friend, a teacher, non-ordinary beings, a neighbor; even books that seemed to speak directly to us and affirmed our unique value. All of it counts.

Write these down. If you can’t remember the exact words, write a description or close approximation. Decorate them. Stick them on your mirror, your work table, the dashboard of your car, or on the edges of your computer monitor. Copy it into a pretty greeting card (or make one!) and mail it to yourself.

If you can think of a specific bit of encouragement you received from one of your heroes, write a thank-you letter. Mail it to yourself, or if you can, to that long-lost protector.

Last, here’s a very fun exercise that you can go a little crazy exploring in your morning pages. If you had five other lives to lead, what would you do in each of them? Julia reveals that she’d be a pilot, a psychic, a cowhand, a physicist, and a monk. What about you? Maybe you can imagine yourself as a rock drummer, a brilliant scientist, a history teacher, a talk-show host, a country singer, a veterinarian, a football player, or a belly-dancer.

Some of mine are: A Foley artist, an English Lit professor, an herbalist, an astronaut, and a watercolorist. Those are mine just for today, that is!

Do not overthink this. Have fun; be playful and even silly. Julia explains, “The point of these lives is to have fun in them – more fun than you might be having in this one. Look over your list and select one. Then do it this week. For instance, if you put down country singer, can you pick a guitar? If you dream of being a cowhand, what about some horseback riding?”

Continue working with your morning pages (whatever time of day you’re doing them). And be sure to give yourself a fabulous, fun artist date! Let us know what you’re up to; I, for one, am always looking for new ideas for the artist date.

Treat yourself splendidly, dear friends. You’ve done some powerful work in this first phase of our journey.

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  • March 13, 2009, 11:32 am joanna brightbrook

    Beth,
    Thank you SO MUCH for guiding us on this journey. I am really really enjoying myself with this!

    Due to your posts I am going on a deep exploration of what art is for me, and what it means to me to be creative and artistic.

    More specifically I am asking myself, can I define the following as creating a work of art?

    facilitating a Reiki healing

    constructing & performing a ritual

    working in my garden

    making love

    taking a meditative journey

    reading a tarot spread

    And I find that the more I work with the concepts you are presenting, the more the answer is why not? and even, YES!

    So I am looking forward to an artist's date this weekend with my circle of new moon sisters, as we lay in stepping stones for a labyrinth in my teacher's back yard!

  • March 13, 2009, 2:11 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    the more the answer is why not?

    Yes, yes, yes!!!

    Joanna! Have yourself a wonderful time with your Moon sisters, and also visiting with your Heroes!
    – Beth

  • March 13, 2009, 5:12 pm Shell

    If I had to pick three heroes in my life. Which is so hard to do. My mom for always encouraging, my friend, Neo for pushing me when I need it and giving love to me when I’m down and one of my acting teachers, Hope, who always knew the right thing to say to me. I still remember so much she taught me all these years later.

  • March 14, 2009, 7:20 am Star

    Here is a draft of my reworked affirmations. I have no monster stories as many of my memories are missing. Not sure about champions either. BUT, I did do a list of 5 alternate lives, one of them is a SINGER and on Monday, I am getting together with some guitar playing women who sing harmony and we are going to JAM!!!!! I will have a backup band for a day…..Yippee!

    Star*

    1. I am the master artisan of my life.
    2. I am surrounded and supported by grace, beauty and abundance.
    3. I am on the right path to expressing my creative dreams.
    4. I have all that I need to manifest joy in my life.
    5. I follow the song of my heart in creating my art.
    6. The events in my life are in perfect harmony with the universe.
    7. I create beauty from chaos of color, texture and mess.
    8. My art is a journey of breakthroughs not a destination of perfection.
    9. I express my artistry with practice, patience and persistence.
    10. I am an open channel for creative energy.
    11, My art opens the way to beauty, balance and delight in my life.
    12, My creative acts hold unexpected gifts and possibilities.
    13. I find healthy ways to honor and support my inner artist.
    14. My art flows from a divine inner light and shines for me and others.
    15. I am open to miracles.
    16. I experience feelings of flow and bliss when singing, drumming, making mandalas, coloring, writing, crocheting and beading.
    17. My creative actions produce an inner state of balance and integration.
    18. As I open my heart to creative energy, past emotional imbalance is healed.
    19. Through daily practice of my art, I manifest internal abundance externally.
    20. My life is a continuous canvas of creativity.

  • March 14, 2009, 8:09 am Darla

    All of you are SO inspirational! (even though my inner critic steps in even now and says “see how beautiful *their* creative gifts are – they’re much more talented”) This society-induced need to compare and compete is difficult to shake… 🙂 However, I’m inspired more than intimidated so that’s definitely a big step forward for me! The Champion who has meant the most to me was my high school college prep composition teacher; I was so grateful for her honest praise — I even saved the papers she evaluated (which is now 30 years and multiple cross-country moves later). Does anyone else have a Champion who is also one of their Monsters? My mom falls into this category…
    ~ Bright Blessings ~

  • March 14, 2009, 6:56 pm Catherine BTW

    Star-what awesome affirmations-Can I borrow some of them?!?
    My champions-Mr. Copeland, a high school art teacher who in response to a first day mess made by a shy awkward girl, made me his teacher's assistant & who nicnamed me "Gracie" for the rest of the year. And my husband, who buys supplies for me to encourage me to keep trying. And my friend Spring, who saw my first painting & said "I'll buy it!!!" I love getting to thank them publicly like this…

  • March 14, 2009, 9:54 pm Star

    Anyone may borrow the affirmations I posted. I borrowed many of the words from meaningful tarot readings and some of the Artist Way author’s writing. It took 3 rewrites to get them to feel really good to me. I have been using affirmations for many years and find them helpful to keep my focus and to stay positive, especially when the despair monster peeks in the door. I like to read them aloud each day at least once. Sometimes I use the same ones for a really long time, and other times I move on to new ones as they seem appropriate to the journey at the time.
    Star*

  • March 15, 2009, 7:49 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    You all just knock me over! These are so amazing and beautiful. Thank you thank you!
    – Beth

  • March 16, 2009, 10:36 pm Thalia

    If I could lead five other lives? Linguist, scholar of comparative mythology, archaeologist, actress (which terrifies the crap out of me just writing), hermit (for real, like in a cave, or a cabin at Walden Pond).

    I'm having the worst time with my three champions. I've been thinking about them all weekend and am having a very hard time coming up with specifics. I know I get compliments all the time (from random strangers in email who've seen my art web site), but I don't remember them. The ego side of things says I am arrogant and have become inured to compliments, which is why I'm having a hard time remembering specifics. The deep answer I'm getting though is telling me that I don't remember them so well because some part of me immediately dismisses them. Which is very, very sad, and probably true.

    Okay, let me think:

    My friend Miranda, who gushed and gushed over a painting I did for her last year.

    Um, yeah.

    This is crazy. I've showed my Goddess cards to so many people over the years. But all I remember are the negative comments, the white dude who got offended because I didn't paint Kali with literal black skin ("It's, like, my religion, you know," he said), or the woman, who, looking through my prints without knowing who I was, saying how ugly my Artemis was, or even the supposedly neutral ones like "No, this one just doesn't do anything for me."

    Okay. My friend Frankie said he loved my Gaea because She was without race.

    Brendon S, who saw my Alexandre the rabid cat at the vet's scene and just stared at the animation loop going round and round for like five minutes, tail swishing, eyes twitching, foaming &c., (uh, Alexandre, not Brendon), then pronounced it 'really awesome.'

    This is really hard! And really sad.

    All the people I thought at first were supportive, or who I would have thought should have been are ones I couldn't come up with anything about. Various school art teachers? Not particularly. My sister? Usually just nods when I show her my art, but doesn't say anything. My mother? Just the other night I showed her some art I'd been doing in Photoshop and she kept asking me how it could be art? It wasn't like it was real, you know. Or work. Everyone knows computers do it all for you. (To be fair, she is 81, and a bit of an Old Dog.)

    Oh arggh.

    I haven’t done my artist’s date for the week yet. I’m trying to find my big box of Legos, which are deep in some closet or other, so I can make a castle with them. Hmmmmm. I think I may need a Plan B.

  • March 17, 2009, 7:59 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    Thalia – your difficulty is very common, and as you’ve seen – very revealing. I couldn’t help but notice how much more energy we were all able to give the monsters.

    Most of us can immediately recall them, in tiny detail. But our cheerleaders – so easy to dismiss, or overlook, or disguise behind our own inner, “Yeah, but..”

    This is all a part of the baby steps we are taking forward. Just notice how difficult it can be to allow ourselves to actually feel and honor the support we do get.

    Hope can so often feel like the most dangerous place to be. We are aiming to change that in deep ways!

    – Beth

  • March 17, 2009, 10:52 am joanna brightbrook

    My alternate lives would be: mother, anthropologist, botanist of tropical plants, dictionary writer.

    I also found it difficult to release the heros I know are in my memories somewhere. But I decided on Miss Kelly, my first and second grade teacher who made me a chart with gold stars to track my good behavior, and who gave me books as rewards. (I still have the book “Owl at Home” that she gave to me.)

    My parents, because even through the disfunction and abuse they also affirmed my intelligence.

    Oh, now we’re getting someplace! My teacher Robin who taught me bookmaking and gave me a lot of encouragement and praise. My friend and teacher Michelle who told me she couldn’t wait to see what I was working on next. A tarot reader I worked with briefly who told me I was a gifted symbolist. Connie, my mentor, who calls me seer and oracle in all seriousness. Now I could really get rolling and go with this! feels good.

  • March 17, 2009, 5:01 pm Thalia

    You can’t see me but I’m sitting here nodding and thinking, yes. “Yeah, but…” is trained into us so subtly and pervasively we think it is ours.

    I think I will do an art journal page(s) and fill it with champions/heroes/heroines. I have a feeling that like Joanna did if I can get the champion stories primed they will start rolling out. Then maybe collage over it with things representing becoming, blossoming, that sort of thing. That could be very helpful.

    This is all so amazing. Thank you so much, Beth, and everyone else!