The psychologist asked me to write down what my core values are.
I found examples online, and had a whole list.
Then he asked me to tick off all the values that are not mine and that I don't do for myself. I was left with a pretty compact list.
What keeps coming up is 'connection', both in my work and private life. Interesting, because somewhere I find connection also a bit nerve-wracking. After all, I fear being disappointed, not being accepted, or being abandoned. As soon as you connect, the risk of that becomes much greater.
I was also recently asked to write an artist statement. There too 'connection' popped up a lot.
A paragraph from my artist statement: "My goal is to encourage others to get closer to themselves. That way, you can live a more authentic life, making connection with others easier. When we are more connected as people, it creates a world where we understand each other better."
This week I came across a quote by Brené Brown:
“Our connection with other people is only as solid and deep as our connection to ourselves. In order for me to be connected to you, I have to know who I am. I have to be connected to myself. And I think what we end up doing is we end up desperately searching for connection with other people, when we have no idea who we are.”
If I want to make people feel connected in my work, I will also have to be deeply connected to myself. That means taking time to stop and work on myself. And not always cramming my schedule with work so that I don't have time to spend with myself.
'Being busy' is the best excuse to run away from yourself and what you really want. I realise this now that I am facing burnout. Very confronting, but before, I didn't want to listen.
I hate picking a word for the new year and making it a theme, because it limits me too much. But I think being more aware of my core values is going to give me guidance to stay close to myself. Because feeling connection with myself is something I often find challenging, as a people-pleaser.
If I were a multiple socket outlet, I'd have to plug in my own plug before I can give any energy to others (I'm quite done with 'put on your own oxygen mask first, before you can help another' 😉).
In my paintings, 'connection' is very clear, through my exploration of what home is. Feeling at home is all about connection.
In my other work, be it illustrations or newsletter writing, I find that I am energised by anything to do with connection. Not in a superficial, but in a profound way.
I'll keep following this thread and see where it takes me.