From Neglect to Nurturing

doodlecarrie 001
Doodle, www.carolineallen.com

I posted this blog earlier today with a digital photo of verdant nature. After I finished the blog, my inner little girl artist mentioned in the blog below said it wasn’t that she wanted me to hang up my ‘professional’ works of art around the house, she wanted me to hang the hundreds of doodles I make a week and usually throw away as irrelevant. These are our voice too, she told me. I’ve included such a doodle above. Keep reading to see what I mean.

I did a reiki ritual at my art studio about a month ago. I used an empowerment ritual in the manual given to me by my Reiki Master, following the guidelines to the letter.

The ritual affected the space so profoundly, I haven’t been able to do a single moment of art in my studio since. I can barely enter the space. I was doing visual art three to four times a week, and post-ritual I haven’t been in the space for a month.

Admittedly, I’ve been revising my novel as first priority, but I’m Type A and can do many things in my life at once. The inability to do art at my studio has left me extremely curious as to what happened with that empowerment ritual.

Slowly I think I’m understanding. I think the empowerment brought the space to my highest potential. I was neglected as a child, my artistic side actively downgraded by parents who were scared of the power and wanted me to be a good little helper not a mind-blowing artist. Where I’m at right now in my self esteem around visual art does not match the power in the space. I have to go from neglect to nurturing, so that I can rise to the potential the ritual invoked. (There may be more going on with the studio — it used to be a textile mill and a LOT of women in it were kept low in a repetitive job. There may be some deeper things happening — I can’t be completely sure.)

What does this have to do with writing?

Are you the sort of writer who gets blocked often? Do you find the concept of sitting down to write so overwhelming you feel like sobbing? Do you know you are a writer, and you’ve had long phases of writing, but then you shut down for months or years?

From my own experience and in working with clients as a writing coach, I know that 99 percent of the time this has to do with childhood neglect, both the absence of basic love and more specific neglect around our creative selves as children.

So how does one reparent that little girl artist? That little boy writer? The answer will be specific to the trauma. I did a meditation and one real bruise in my soul is this: my mother hid my artwork in the bottom of a dresser drawer saying it was too messy. My siblings’ art was hung on walls, magnetized on refrigerator. My meditation told me to hang my art up at home. I have a few pieces here, but most are at the studio. I need to reparent that little girl by putting up my art at home.

How can you reparent the inner writer? Get copies of your favorite children’s books and reread them. Take your journal and glue a collage on the front. Let a truly trusted friend read something you’ve written. Match the nurturing to the specifics of the neglect. Do the opposite of what that parent or teacher did that shut you down.

Take action. Don’t think, act. Mulling doesn’t help. Do one physical act that will bring you from neglect to nurturing, so that you can have the creatively fulfilling life you were destined to live.

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5 thoughts on “From Neglect to Nurturing

  1. Good advice, Carrie. I’m going to reread “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street” by Dr. Seuss right now! Loves and Hugs, Luanne

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  2. Just reading your words brought tears to my eyes. When I was in 5th grade, and 11 years old, I made a list of all the things I wanted to do in my life. It was a short list, and my favorite books inspired it:

    The What I Want To Do When I Grow Up List
    1.Write books. (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott)
    2.Live in Egypt. (Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw)
    3.Have red hair. (Anne of Green Gables by Lucy C. Montgomery)

    And I’ve accomplished all of them–except the first, which should have been “Finish and publish books” (but then there is much joy in the writing). As for numbers two and three –I lived, along with my husband and kids in Egypt for five years during the 1980’s)I dyed my hair red for a year when I turned 40—many years ago. It’s all about the books–at least it was for me as a kid. There are many more childhood books that I still have on my shelves. I think I’ll go write up the list!

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  3. I was very blessed and was nurtured and encouraged as a child. Nevertheless, this article is so touching and sweet and will be of such great help to others. Thank you for sharing your story and giving of yourself in such a loving way.

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