On stepping out of your comfort zone - and fear

It took me a while to write this.
Actually, it took me a week to get back on track, period.

The thing is…I have dreamed of a website like this one for long, and I was so happy about it.
Then anxiety and all my mental patterns roared their ugly heads at me.
I panicked.

Because…Well, now, after a week, I can clearly tell it was because I stepped out of my comfort zone.
I dared to invest more on myself - financially, mentally, on every aspect.
I dared to take up a little more space.
The ingrained voice in my head shouted at me about failure, about not being enough.
There were also some technical issues that, for now at least, make it difficult for me to use the inbuilt shop feature, so I will be with the MyGypsyStore family for a little longer. It’s ok. I really like them, and the shop system has always been fine for my patrons.
So why was I feeling like such a fraud and a failure and all of those ugly things?

Because these voices inside of me, these mental pathways, run quite deep.

I am not enough. I will fail for sure. People will think I suck.
I am expected to be perfect.

And while I do my best to work on them every day, I can’t expect them not to show up.
I can only do my best to not let them rule my life anymore.

I won’t lie. The first two days were spent in horrifying anxiety attacks (borderline panic).
I won’t lie, the first two days all I could do was remove the shop and try not to think too much about the to do list or the people I was letting down or how I had done a “mistake”.
While there, in that space of “curling up in a ball and hiding from everything” this pendant came to me.

Do you ever wish you could curl up in some hidden, soft, welcoming safe space, away from everything, and just…heal? I do. Often.
Normally when heavy anxiety grasps me, this is what I do. I stop to function. I suck at answering people online. I have a hard time eating or taking care of myself. I can breathe if I create, and that’s it.
So I envisioned this pendant, like a locket, a safe space to close yourself into until you are ready to face the world again.

By the time I was able to crawl to the studio, though, something had changed.
I had explored my emotions. I sat with anxiety, with fears, with the parts of me who felt so small and vulnerable.
And I realised that, even if I did indeed shut down a little, I also managed to stay someway present.
First of all, I found the courage to sit with these emotions, instead of trying to push them down.
And then, I managed to eat.
And I was able to steer my thoughts - at least a little - away from the fearful imagery I had, and towards possible solutions.

And this is how this pendant, that was supposed to be a locket, turned out quite…different.

There is no clasp.
The borders don’t match.

It isn’t airtight.

Maybe, for this once, I can allow something to pass through me.
Maybe, for this once, I can allow a little of the world to come inside.
Maybe, for this once, I don’t need to shut down.
Maybe, for this once, I am strong enough to be present to it all.

I love how everything came out perfectly imperfect.
I played with the outside texture, melting and carving. It reminds me so much of those shells with all the things encrusted on them - like the things we carry from our past - how can we carry them with less strain?
Inside, a field of flowers. Because they remind me of softness and grace.
I filed and carved the rims to accentuate the fissures.
I chose a raw Pyrite for this pendant…because the raw stone looked perfect with the texture on the metal.
Because one of the names for Pyrite is Fool’s Gold. And I liked the idea of calling the Fool here.
The Fool's Journey is a metaphor for the journey through life. In the Tarots, each major arcana card stands for a stage on that journey - an experience that a person must incorporate to realize their wholeness. 
And this seemed quite perfect for this piece.

You will also notice a hint of orange between the flowers.
I did a little experiment.
I cleaned the piece with steel wool, and left some tiny tiny bits in there with a drop of water.
A few days later, I have rust.
Which always makes me think of blood.
Which goes well with this piece I think.

This week I also had a little Spirit Teacher coming up for me…the Dung Beetle, also called the Scarab.

I didn’t think about Egypt at all, at first.
I was there sitting and beading, while passing through anxiety wave after anxiety wave, thinking “omg why my life has to be this way???”…when I saw the Beetle in my mind.
Deal with your own shit. Make something good of your own shit.
Because that’s quite literaly what these little mighty ones do. They carry around big (for them) balls of dung, that they both eat and use to lay their eggs into.
Reason why the Ancient Egyptians chose them as symbols of rebirth.
There is this sentence, which they say was engraved on the hard pillars that sustained the sacred scarabs in the Egyptian temples…”I am Kepher, the disciple, when my wings open, I will resuscitate”.

I kept this sentence as a mantra.

Because - and here we go back to the title of this post - what did it mean to make this new website, to invest more in myself, if not opening my wings a little more?

I obsessively carved Scarabs on gemstones.
A couple have already become beaded jewelry, more will be part of talismans on the subject of growing, expanding, and being fearless in that - or, for those like me who apparently can’t afford to be fearless, at least to not let fear paralyze us.

Did I mention I was REALLY obsessed by carving them? :p

And that’s it for this week.
Back online, back to opening my email, back to imagining and shaping the future.

What is your practice for when those times hit you?