Three years ago I started this blog, and tonight I want to reflect back on the journey it’s been opening up to the public, letting myself be seen, and how my greatest tools have been my virtues coupled with my willingness to be vulnerable.
For those of you that have been following me since the beginning, you may remember my first blog, The Skin Liberation (theskinliberation.wordpress.com). The Skin Liberation was a result of having lived in downtown Vancouver for 6 years and struggling with my self image like many do in the area. I challenged myself to stop wearing make up for 30 days, and to write about my internal and external processes everyday. I successfully did that, and was surprised at how many women and girls I inspired to embrace their own natural beauty.
What ended up sticking was a new sense of self assurance, and a willingness to share more raw authenticity. The blog ended up hitting a dead end when I attempted to turn it into a series of challenges, but then I went through the hardest break up of my life thus far, and my only way through it was to write. So began, the Virtuous Fool.
“It starts with a giant leap of faith. A plunge into the great unknown. The key is to trust that, as the journey begins, you will land on your own two feet, and if you don’t, you will be able to pick yourself up and keep going. This is the journey of the Fool.” This was the first paragraph I wrote for this blog, and here I am 3 years later, having picked myself up over and over again after plunging myself over and over again into so many unknowns. I am so proud of how strong and how willing I have become.
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all the teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering its a feather bed.” (Terence Mckenna). The fool has faith.
After going through a month of developing a personal vision, routine, and action plan this June, I want to update my list of virtues and align them with my top 5 personal values. I believe that with each virtue there needs to be a strong reason, a foundation, for each of them to give them purpose and power. You can say you value patience, but why do you? What is it about these values that you hold that makes them valuable?
The top 5 values I choose in June were listed as; 1) Compassion 2) Honesty 3) Loving 4) Health 5) Reliability
My original 9 virtues back in 2017 were listed as follows;
1.Honesty: Upright; to always tell the truth and stay true to myself. Reversed; being able to accept the whole truth and not pick out the pieces you want to see.
2.Courage: Upright; Living life fearlessly, taking action without fear of the yet to come. Reversed; not allowing fear to control your actions, or lack thereof.
3.Compassion: Upright; being kind to others as well as your self. Reversed; understanding when something that may not feel good is still necessary.
4. Prudence; Upright; making decisions wisely using foresight and personal discretion. Reverse; Understanding how all actions have reactions which you choose to feed is the one that will manifest.
5. Dignity; Upright; Self-worth, valuing your self. Reversed; Holding your value of your self above anyone else’s.
6. Tenacity; Upright; Strength of mind, Sheer determination. Reversed; Remaining grounded and in control of ones thoughts and reactions.
7. Service; Upright; Understanding that we must all do our part. Reversed; Understanding that our part is specific to us and sometimes we must do what isn’t easy for just anyone, it’s our job.
8. Wholesomeness; Upright; General health and cleanliness. Nurturing all aspects of the body, mind, and spirit. Reversed; Being able to listen to the body’s needs and exercising care for them.
9. Humour; Upright; Always remain kind and open. Reversed; Don’t forget to laugh at yourself.
As you can see, I really put a lot more thought into my virtues 3 years ago, and so they have really carried through up until this day, but my list needs some tinkering. I feel like I have done a very good job at upholding these previous virtues, and just because I am deciding to change my list doesn’t mean I don’t still value them, I believe that it’s necessary to form a list that applies to my current goals and remind myself of them as challenges rise along the way. So here are the tools that I will require for the year to come;
- Honesty; I believe in telling the truth and nothing but the truth. I was raised in a household where lying was the one thing that had serious consequences, because you would lose something priceless, trust. I also value the power of the truth, and believe that it truly sets us free from our own confines and allows us to truly connect, and what do humans want nothing more of, but to truly connect.
- Compassion; As someone that is very passionate about animal and environmental rights, I believe that every living and non-living being deserves compassion. It is the path I will always follow and wish never to stray from being truly kind to one another, as well as myself.
- Courage; knowing that something may not be easy, but choosing to do so anyways because you know that it is the right thing to do. Living life willing to take risks, willing to be the first to say, “I love you”, willing to get hurt, willing to sacrifice momentary satisfaction for long term results. I believe that these are the traits of a courageous person, and I want to lead the way through the fire, through the dark, through the thick of it all, because I know its worth it.
- Self-Reliance; I error on the side of caution using this one, but I believe that it’s foundation is made up of good intention. Many that know me, know that I am a bit of a lone wolf, but that is not what I want to lean towards with this. I want to create my own concrete foundation and be my own anchor. I value being able to take good care of myself, not only surviving but thriving. I want to see myself polishing my nails, nurturing my insides, and building my own business that is based on being a boss lady.
- Humility; This year has been a very humiliating year for Jessica, and Im glad, it’s humbled me. I keep tripping, and saying the wrong words, and getting ahead of myself, and failing over and over again, and I think my acceptance of this has been a powerful medicine. I want to continue to admit when I am wrong, or if I’ve worded something wrong, I want to own my downfalls.
- Grace; With humility there must be grace, because if you are going to take a fall I hope you don’t give yourself too hard a time for doing so!And dont be so hard on others, we’re all learning how to live.
- Diligence; I have big goals to accomplish in the next year here. Not only have I decided to remain 100% sober, but I want to see myself pushing harder and consistently. I will need diligence if I am going to launch a business and be successful.
- Strength; Those goals include grinding hard mentally and physically. So reminding myself that I am strong, I have strength and will only continue to grow stronger will empower me to keep pushing when I have moments of weakness.
- Patience; And last but not least, all good things come in good time. I must have patience with myself, with others, and with the process. Maybe I wont get what I want done as quickly as I want to, maybe I wont see those results, maybe I will feel burnt out and my patience may be tested, but I value patience because of the sense of inner peace it gives me.
So, there they are! For anyone that admires this blog, I recommend giving yourself a list of virtues and reasons you value you them. When you are having a hard day, when you’re trying to make a decision, when you are feeling lost, this is the list you come back to so you can see which actions check all the boxes.
Thank you for reading, sending you all much love and warmth.