4-23-2019 I’ve been starting to do some work with the sphere of art around going deeper into my creativity, and into exploring how I can use such a state to inspire my creativity. I’ve also been exploring what it’ll take to be successful as a writer, mapping out what my routine ought to look like as well as what to attend to business wise. The true success of any creative is the choice is to be a business owner as well as a creative.
4-27-2019 One of the decisions I’ve made around my writing is that once a year i’m going to re-read the books on book marketing and sales. Being a successful writer isn’t just writing, but learning all the skills around it and what I’ve noticed is that reading and implementing what’s in those books has helped me improve my book marketing skills. So this time around I’ve made a couple of changes and I’m glad I have, because I think it’ll make a significant difference in what I’m doing and how I’m reaching out to people.
4-29-2018 The other night I did a presentation on magic by design. At one point I shared how quickly you lose your ego when you work a customer support job of any type, because the truth is you can’t have ego in that kind of job. You’re there to solve problems, take people’s shit and do whatever needs to be done to get them to their solution. It’s not easy work to do, but it has the gift of humbling you. I’m rather grateful for this job, because while I don’t want to be here for too long, I realize it helped me get some needed perspective and I think its helped me show up better in my everyday interactions. Sometimes we need the experience of being humbled to recognize that we are but mortal.
To be in the present is perhaps one of the most difficult things you can do, because it requires you to truly be present with your experience, instead of trying to escape from it. And when you are present you are brought face to face with all your inconsistencies, all the ways you don't show up, all the ways you hurt yourself and other people. But on the flipside, you are also present in those moments of intimate contentment, of giving and receiving with the people who are important to you.
All this really requires is letting go of your need to be in control, letting go of where you could be or what you could be doing.
Right now you are here. This moment is yours, every moment is yours if you're willing to be in it, no matter how painful and intimate it might get...it is your moment, if right now you are here.
5-2-2019 One of the most important realizations I’ve had about my creativity and sharing my work with other people is be humble and grateful to the people who believe in your work. They make your success what it is. I am keeping this in mind with every interaction and it makes me glad that I have such a community on my side who believes in what I’m doing.
5-6-2019 Something I’ve been struggling with this year is where my dad’s death fits into this year’s theme of creativity. Some people might say, “Does it have to fit, Taylor?” And I get why they’d ask, but for me that event and the ripples spreading out from it has defined 2019 for me thus far, and a lot of my work around creativity as well. And today I finally think I’ve got it, because while the death of my dad alone has sparked a lot of thoughts around death and rebirth, the process of dealing with the ripples and how those ripples could impact my life has been teaching me a lot about being patient and letting go of the result.
Something I have to remind myself about my magical practice: Wanting the result to happen faster isn't necessarily going to make it happen faster and is a symptom that I'm not paying attention to the journey and process. Instead I'm trying to rush and when I rush I might get that result, but I may miss out on crucial details that would help me with overall journey.
My dad’s death and the ripples around it as well as working at the job I’m at has really forced me to pay attention to the journey and process in much more depth than I might have otherwise. There are days where the hardest thing I do is let go because letting go means facing my fears and feeling them intimately instead of holding onto something which is comforting and illusory.
Right now here I am.
And another realization: the bigger the success, the more energy it uses up. This was a response someone had to my prompt, but its true! So I have to really be sure I want that success and can commit that energy, which goes back to staying focused on what’s essential instead of getting distracted. Stay with the journey and process.
5-10-2019 Next week is my dad’s memorial. I’ve been thinking of him on and off. In the SOA, the archangels have indicated that after the memorial is when we’ll move to the next stage of the work and it makes sense. I need to get through this moment of time with all its stress and closure before I can really focus on next steps.
On a more light-hearted note, I found the universe has a way of poking fun at me when I need it. Today was working with someone I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to associate with, but nonetheless it was a good experience, a reminder to stay humble and be open to whatever experiences come my way because of what I might learn and I learned a lot.
5-13-2019 I had an intense dream this morning about a person who is not yet in my life, but I suspect will be. She said to me: Tell me to come and I will, so told her to manifest and I felt this ring of a bell go through the universe.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creativity and connection and how people who connect with you can either inspire your creativity or kill it. You have to pick the people in your life carefully when you’re creative because if you aren’t careful you’ll lose time and creativity to them.
5-15-2019 I’ve gotten inspired for what the next phase of my work will be with the sphere of art the element of creativity. It happened as a result of working on the art magic book and describing something which made me realize how I could take this work to the next level. I’m excited, but also glad that I’ve taken the time to really steep myself in this work, so that these realizations come about in the way they need to.
5-18-2019 I’m in South Dakota for my father’s memorial. I’m also seeing people I haven’t seen in a long time and working through the accompanying feelings. I feel conflicted in some ways, both in terms of dealing with feelings around my father and feelings around other people, a couple of my siblings. My dad tore through our lives like a tornado and seeing the effect he’s had on other peoples’ lives…I can honor the good parts of him, but I must also acknowledge the way he has shaped my life and the lives of others in ways that can’t be easily mended or healed.
Hearing further stories about dad, good and bad, makes me realize how important it is to learn from his mistakes. He shaped my life indelibly, in ways I’ve had to work hard to resolve. I feel like with his funeral I can get some closure, but more importantly I know my relationship with him hasn’t ended…it’s changed and That change is something I will work with as I continue to also do internal work around this person that has played such a pivotal role in my life.
5-19-2019 I can’t sleep. I keep thinking about my dad. One of his friends described him as a mystery. They talked about the Pudge they knew in comparison to the Pudge they didn’t know. He lived such a compartmentalized life. I keep thinking about what I know and what I don’t know. I keep thinking about the mistakes he made, the choices he made, and hope I can learn from them. I’ve made some bad choices myself, sometimes, some mistakes that I live with and that I’ve tried my best to learn from. I miss him and I realize how little I really knew him, and no amount of newspaper clippings of his youth or stories of him, good and bad, can change that. I grasp tiny pieces of this person who is now gone and they dissolve. I never really knew him…I knew what he showed and sometimes a glimpse of what was underneath the mask…I loved him, but I never knew him. In some ways my life has been defined by how much I’ve tried not be like him, to make different choices, yes, but also as I put it to my siblings, to defy his expectations. He would call me a disappointment, because I didn’t measure up to his expectations and I would take the rage and depression and everything else and rebel against his expectations, go my own way instead of going on his own path. The irony is in some ways I ended up taking his path anyway. He was such a driven person, driven by his desire to succeed…and I am the same. His death has challenged me in so many ways. His mark on my life also challenges me. Who am I? I asked myself that as I considered my dad today. I am who I choose to be, yes, but I am also a person defined by the choices others made, to a certain point. It’s what I do about that…about what’s shaped me that will speak to whether I’ve learned my father’s mistakes or if I’m just repeating them in my own way.
It’s later today. This has been quite the trip for me. I attended the adult sunday school my dad would attend. We got into an interesting discussion about healing versus salvation and I discovered a prayer they had which used the 7 directions. What I really got to see though, and this brought me a feeling of peace was that my dad found people who shared something with him that brought him a measure of peace later in life. This trip has been eye opening for me in some ways, and I’ve been working through a whole gamut of emotions around my dad, but I think this is good for me and may help me find some closure to the grief I’ve been feeling the last few months since he died.
I wrote this last night and it was a letter to my dad…
You are defined by the people who come before you to a certain extent, by their choices and actions that play a role in shaping who you are.
You are also defined by your own choices and the responsibility you do or don't take on in owning those choices, and yes owning and recognizing how those other people have shaped you.
Are you the person they made you?
Can you be the person you make of yourself...learning from the past, yours and theirs, but not letting that past lock you into a cycle...
I've tried to live my life on my own terms, rebelling against the expectations others tried to place on me. I've walked my own path, to my own beat, even when everyone else has said you can't do it that way.
I still do. I'll learn from you who came before, but I won't let you define me by your choices, your actions, your mistakes. Those are lessons to learn from but they are not me.
I am me, defined by my own choices, actions, and mistakes and by what I've learned from you who came before. I walk my own path because that path IS my choice, my decision, and because that path has empowered me to rise above everything that has come my way, as well as my own mistakes, to find courage in the face of adversity to pursue what I KNOW is right...for me. THAT is who I am. And it has gifted me with amazing experiences, astounding people, and the fortitude to keep going regardless of what comes my way. I may fall, I may stumble, I may disappoint, but I never stop, because it is not about living up to you who came before and your expectations.
It is about my life on my terms walking my path on this journey called life. It is about my passions: my magic, my writing, my calling and my devotion to all of that because it is why I am here. It is about my curiosity, my drive to know and learn and discover and experience. Let that be what defines who I am and what my legacy is.
And let me have the humbleness to learn from you who came before...from your mistakes, from the things I never knew about you, but wish I had while you were still alive...let me learn from you that I don't repeat the cycle of your life, but instead become wiser for making informed choices that help me be the best person I can be, for myself, and the people I love.
If I can do that, then I have learned a lot and taken responsibility for the shape of my life, and this journey I'm on while I am here, as this person who is...
I, Taylor Ellwood
5-20-2019 Today we’re leaving S.D. I’m mostly just worn out. This has been a rollercoaster of a weekend for me and I’ll be sorting through it for a while. Since we’re driving to Minneapolis, I’m going to stop by Dad’s grave one last time and leave some flowers and say goodbye. I don’t know when the next time we’ll be that I’ll come out here, though I would like to come out at least once or twice more to visit with dad’s friends. I feel sad as well. Just because the funeral has happened, doesn’t mean the grief stops. I do feel a sense of closure, like a step has been taken. Where it goes from here…I’ll find out as I continue on my journey.