One of the things I mentioned in my mega list of stuff I want to do and or finish before I die, was my Book of Demons. I had this idea several years ago, and I think I am finally ready to make it a reality thanks to art classes with my granddaughter.

The idea is to think about the things that scare you, aggravate you, and deter you from living the life that you want to live. The things that kill your creativity, destroy your relationships, or are in any other way toxic or at the very least, problematic.

In my experience, if I am able to identify and quantify something, I can then make friends with it. And if I can make friends with something in my life that seems to stand in my way, I usually find that we can work together to solve problems and live in harmony with one another instead of constantly bickering and fighting.

Way back in the day when I was a full time dog trainer, Worry, Guilt, and Fear rode with me pretty much every where I went. When I tried to avoid them or actively tried to get rid of them, they only got stronger and more determined. Then one day I had an epiphany.

It occurred to me that Worry is what impelled me to take excellent care of my family, my pets, and my stuff. Guilt made sure that even though I was self employed, I did show up and do my work every day even when I didn’t want to. And Fear kept me safe, stopped me from being too reckless or careless, and made sure I was thoughtful and careful about what I was doing.

So that day, when I got in my car to go teach a class of brand new students with crazy out of control dogs knowing that we would all be together in a small room and they were depending on me to know what to do, what to say, and how to actually help them communicate and teach their dogs basic manners ~ on that day, I said to my three new friends who were all sitting in the back seat, “Hi guys, it’s going to be an adventure. Anyone want a sandwich?”

And it was like a miracle. I knew that my new “friends” would keep me safe and on track. My anxiety level dropped by several degrees. The class proceeded as the classes always did ~ meaning it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

I have different demons now… Worry and Fear have pretty much faded into the background, much like Facebook friends that comment on my goings on periodically, but we rarely see each other. Guilt has lost pretty much all of her influence. Now she’s like one of those nagging robo calls, calling every day but I just hang up. Hmmm… I wonder if that’s why nothing is getting accomplished around here!

As for my current demons, we haven’t actually made friends. I haven’t yet sat down and had a talk with them, nor have I tried to figure out how they help me. I have no idea how we could ever get along with each another.

The Book of Demons is my way to find and identify them, learn about them, figure them out, and then make friends with them. I’m hoping that it will also help me to be on the look out for new demons as they show up so that I can extricate my self from my current state of continuous fight or flight. And as an added bonus, I will have a whole new series of paintings, and a book! So it’s a win win!

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