from julia cameron’s the sound of paper: starting from scratch

“try this: most of us have been braver than we know, braver than we acknowledge.  take pen in hand and write yourself a fan letter, thanking and praising yourself for your courage.  be specific.  ‘it was brave of you to go back to graduate school.  it was brave of you to help your sister through her divorce.  it was brave of you to submit an entry to a juried show.  it was brave of you to take up fly-fishing.’  your inner artist is proud of you for your many accomplishments.  let this letter be a place to share that pride.  write fully and fondly, then mail yourself the letter.”


j –

i know that i do not say this as often as you need to hear, but i’m a big fan of yours.

i’m so proud of you and how you’re taking steps towards betterment.  i’m so proud of you that you got up the courage to see your doctor to discuss health concerns.  i’m so proud of you that you took the step towards seeing a counselor to help you work through the things you struggle with.  i’m happy to know that you’ve found a spiritual mentor – one who prays with you and for you.

admitting that you don’t have everything figured out was a huge step – and that you continually admit that to yourself, well, that’s incredible. you’ll get there, j, i know you will.

right now, you’re learning that things don’t have to always be how they are – you can make things better – don’t ever forget this.  never accept anything just because it is, but always look for ways with which to make it better.  never, ever be afraid to ask for help.  i’m so proud of you.

i’m so proud of you for starting a small garden at the local community garden.  you’re taking steps towards better health, towards getting to know new people, and towards that spiritual fulfillment that only getting your hands dirty in the fresh soil of the earth can bring. 

i’m proud that you’re reading again.  i know how you go through seasons of your life when picking up a book seems like the last thing on earth that you want to do.  i’m proud of you for discovering new stories, new subjects – keep it up – never stop discovering.

it was brave of you to volunteer your time to help those local nonprofits the past few weeks.  getting out of your comfort zone took courage – courage you rose up to and met.  never stop giving of yourself to others, but never forget that you need time for you, too.  your health and well-being is important: cultivate it, love yourself and in doing so you can better love others.

i’m so proud of you, j.  you’ve come a long way in just a few short months.  while the road ahead still looks daunting, never give up hope.  never quit trying.  never quit living, really living.

and no matter what, no matter what, always remind yourself that you have friends who love you and who are rooting for you along this journey of life.  keep these friends close.

traveling mercies,


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