Visions of a golden life and frolicking dogs.
Christ, where to start! I’ve been doing A LOT of work on myself and my creative practice these last few months. What started off as casual tea and tarot Zoom sessions with friends finished as declarations and mission statements. Welcome to this, part two of How Very Dare I, a gushy thank you to all the women who have been part of this new way of living and what I've learnt.
The first two beauts getting a mention are Rebecca Sharp and Cathy Butterworth, my revolutionary sisters in tarot and all things spiritual. Between them they have helped soften my edges, be less cynical, critical and altogether more wafty. They’ve patiently listened to my epiphanies, self discoveries and realisations. We’ve talked about our lives, our mums (Hello Liz, Barbara and Pam), lockdown, podcasts, books, tarot, how we as individuals can change the world and how creativity has never been more important in bringing down and confounding ‘the man’. One world righting day Cathy recommended a book called You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero and this is where the first part of personal growth begins.
I’ve spent many years feeling far away from you. You would show up for short periods then you’d disappear just as I was feeling balanced and ready to enjoy what you bring. Have I been too needy? Did you not believe I needed you?
The main lesson I learnt about being a bad ass at making money was that I make the decisions and I have the power. For years I’d been holding on to the idea that men made the money and therefore made the decisions. My only real life frame of reference was my Dad, he was the earner and it appeared to me that he made the decisions about how money was spent; cars, homes, holidays, guiding how we spent our pocket/birthday/Christmas money. This notion was backed up by tv programmes, adverts, music videos and films. Even into adult life I’ve found myself phoning my Dad before big financial decisions looking for permission. By the end of the book I was feeling much happier about money, earning it, spending it, giving it, using it and being worth it. The seeds for my new abundant living had been sewn and it jump started the motivation to lose weight and live more healthily (How Very Dare I. Part 1).
Next on the gushy thank you list is Lee Chalmers. During lockdown she decided she'd like to help midlife women discover where the next part of their lives would lead. Within weeks she set up an online course called Kickstart Your Midlife Revolution. She anticipated around 10 people signing up, in the end it was closer to 600 women from across the world, of which I was one. The course is summed up by my favourite quotes from Lee's live sessions ‘better done than perfect’, ‘make it golden’ and the inspiration for the title of this blog post ‘How very dare I’. The last two quotes refer to visualising your future and making it the best ‘golden’, ‘how very dare I’ version you can come up with. My 10/10 life involves a garden studio with a kiln, frolicking dogs clamouring galleries, commissions, an agent and Vogue photoshoots. I loved this task, I revisit it regularly, checking in, refining and polishing.
In the final week we had to record a declaration and pick a theme song. The declaration was made up from crowd sourced information from friends and family on my key strengths. There were so many brilliant tasks in this course and I do love me some homework. Thanks Lee!
I am Jill Skulina
I am able to see through bullshit and identify the real issue.
I am creative to my core
I am a joy magnet, creative dynamo, funny, inspirational and easy to like.
I am leaving behind living a life of scarcity and apologies.
I am walking into a future of abundance, joy and care.
I am going to continue to show up, take action in my career, self care, exercise, eating healthily, advocate for myself, be my own best friend and cheerleader. Keep those boundaries strong. Role model for other women, encourage diversity and amplify others.
The Midlife Revolution was indeed an excellent kickstart and focused the mind firmly on the future and hunger for the next level of awesome. Enter Lauren Currie and her Upfront - Woman and Confidence online course. I follow her Instagram and I knew that anything she had to teach I wanted to know. After 6 weeks the course ended last Monday with a Zoom party complete with dressing up, sparkly faces, an Upfront butler and rooms to chat with the other women I'd only seen as names in the Facebook group. Which reminds me... Thanks to all the Upfront 0.1 women for being amazing, supportive and funny. It's been great sharing in your achievements and sharing mine in a safe space with you all. This has been a time of supreme levelling up; of attitude and aspiration; an accumulation of practical tools; diverse inspirational women and a feeling that we can make a difference. Upfront challenges you to step into your insecurities and do the thing anyway. Out of these actions this blog was born. I could go on and on about Lauren’s course and her commitment to raising other women up but I don't want to give all the delights away incase you sign up one day. I’ll direct you to her blog instead, where she will no doubt raise you up too. Thanks Lauren for your guidance and always making me feel seen amongst the many amazing Upfront women.
What I have learnt over these lockdown months is; I like working in solitary at home; by being less judgemental of others I’m kinder to myself; worrying about what your body looks like is just a waste of life; the importance of role modelling so others can see you doing the thing; no one’s going to do it for you and no one’s going to do it like you; there’s enough for everyone, the patriarchy has made us believe there isn’t; say what you think - this is something I’ve had to relearn after more than half a life of downplaying intelligence, keen-ness, excitement, implications my cheekiness was unprofessional or my opinions were wrong; lastly, practice practice practice. Practice saying what you think, practice being confident and practice being upfront.
I’m going to leave you all with a quote from the absolutely fabulous Professor Maja Jovanovic on the inner critic, speaking on Ariel Garten’s podcast, Untangle - Mindfulness For Curious Humans. It pretty much sums up where I’m at right now, sitting here writing to y’all being kind to myself, seeing openings and solutions.
“Research has shown self critics actually procrastinate more and they make less progress towards their goals because they’re just completely in this realm of negativity. If they were just kinder to themselves they’d see an opening, they’d see a solution.” - Professor Maja Jovanovic
Thank you all!
Next week, 7th October 9am it's feral interview time with artist Kirsty Whiten.