The Ritual

I started writing about something quite different initially, but it took on a life of its own and ran away with me, contorting into something else, and venturing into a place that I’m not quite ready to open to the public as yet. As a consequence, it has now been safely stowed away for a possible future appearance, or at least until it learns to behave itself.

So instead I’ve decided to talk to you about how I came to be here, in my present position, in this place of infinite possibilities and life changing decisions – or at least that’s how I’m choosing to view it as opposed to the chaos that others might see.

It all began when the founder of FoolishPeople, John Harrigan, posted a link to his upcoming Ritual Art Workshop. I’ve known John for quite a while and followed the work of FoolishPeople for even longer, so the prospect of a workshop with him was a whole new level of tempting for me, the only trouble was the overwhelming feeling of discomfort that welled up inside of me each time I read the description. I eventually reached a point after returning to the event page time and time again, when I was so angry with myself for the irrational fear I was experiencing that I just booked a place to prove a point.

I’m not going to give away the details of what the workshops entail as I would recommend that everyone goes through the process, and does so without knowing what to expect. At the time of writing this, I’ve attended two day workshops and a weekend workshop all of which have helped me in different ways and are still helping me progress towards a future I would have never even have imagined before them.

What I will share with you is that the first workshop prescribed a ritual to help remove creative blocks, but what it did for me was so much more. By the beginning of the final week it was clear that my issue wasn’t what I had believed it to be, and was in fact something that had been buried in my subconscious for many years, this was the loss of voice that I referred to in my previous post.

I had never told anyone the full story before, but it became very clear that it was the only way for me to progress, so I spoke with John and was finally able to complete the ritual and regain what had been taken from me all those years before.

I attended the second workshop just a few days after completing the first ritual. This time I was still nervous but in a good way, possibly because I had a sneaking suspicion I knew what was coming. You know that moment, when you sense it’s going to be you, your name that’s going to be called, everything stops, and then it becomes a reality, and (in my case at least) the next thing you know it’s about fifteen minutes later and you’re blindfolded in a room of virtual strangers. This was my ritual, they all gave up their time to help me, I cannot begin to tell what that still means to me all these months later.

The results of the ritual have been remarkable, it was as though I had been living in a tiny, dark room for most of my life but was unaware of the restrictions it placed upon me as it was all I’d known. The ritual opened the door, let the light in, and took away my fear. I’d been afraid of so much for so long without even realising it for the most part.

I had not appreciated how much having my voice taken from me had impacted every other aspect of my life, how timid it had made me, how afraid I was of actually voicing my own opinions and of being ‘me’ until all of those things stopped. Things are very different now, I’m very comfortable sharing aspects of my own life, voicing my opinions on, well pretty much anything to be honest. I’m much more interested in the world around me and the issues within it, whereas before it was if I couldn’t even see them let alone have feelings about them.

One of the most dramatic changes for me is that I now know what I want to do with my life, I actually have a plan, it’s not a comfortable plan but it is my truth and that’s most definitely what matters.

The ritual opened not only the door to that room, but my eyes, my heart and my mind. I am forever grateful to John and the people attending the workshop that day as they gave me the ultimate gift, my freedom.


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