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  • Writer's pictureAugust Wolff

Reflections - How to say Goodbye to Imposter Syndrome

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

I've been living in Melbourne for over a year now. I'm watching the trees in my yard go through the same changes I've seen once before. It's been a whole cycle. Granted, I wasn't always here to witness all of it, but there is the recognition of 'oh yes, thats right - pomegranate comes slowly' and 'ohh wattle birds you're back and boisterous'. So I've been doing a bit of reflecting.

Now before I say what I want to say, let me start by being honest and admitting that I also kind of need this post. Yesterday I had a moment where I felt so proud of myself. I spoke to a beloved who has seen me grow over the space of more than 2 years in profound ways. We were listing some of those ways and it put a lot into perspective. Then a few hours later, most likely triggered by a very unusual interaction with an artist, I fell deep into imposter syndrome. I was trying to draw something and was allowing it to come from my inner child, but couldn't stop myself seeing all the ways that my skill is lacking. So I've decided to publicly share what's been happening in my life since I took a big leap and moved interstate last year, for all the people 'back home(s)' who are curious and for myself, who sometimes forgets.

Really, I feel I need to start this story in 2016. This is the year I exhibited 'Wolff's Cartomancy'. After 7 long years, it was finished and the cards were in their boxes and the prints were up on walls. YAY! I had hung around the Blue Mountains to do this exhibition and a month later, was ready to leave. I travelled through NSW and to Victoria, not knowing when I'd return, went to Earthsong Witchcamp and ended up in Melbourne. But after a month the land and my coven called me home. So I spent a few months 'homeless', back in those hills. I house sat places and stayed with friends. After many years of searching, I got a final diagnosis for my rare and confusing medical condition. And in January 2017, I eventually found myself (once again) in a sharehouse in Katoomba. I wasn't particularly well, so I decided my goals for that year were to sort my health and to finish my studies. I got lucky and finally found someone who was able to really help me get better. I was just at a point where all I could manage was caring for my most basic needs. Then I was placed on an intense dietary and medication/supplementation regime to rebuild my mitochondria and remove the parasites that had given me Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It worked. It actually took the treatment working for me to truly realise that yes, I actually DID have CFS and NO I wasn't just lazy and stupid. (invisible chronic illness is quite a thing... that's it's own post). So by May 2017 I felt much much better. It got me thinking. Having more energy meant that perhaps I could actually create more, and set up a business that was flexible enough to allow me to work within my other health limitations but also do the work I felt most passionate about. I realised that if Australia was at all viable for me and my crazy 'confronting' work then it would be in Melbourne. Plan B was Germany. A few weeks later I got a message from a friend in Melbourne offering me to house-sit his place for 6 weeks. It was quite a bit sooner than I expected, but decided to take a leap of faith and put my newfound energy to good use by selling, giving away or chucking out 80% of my belongings. I'd had a basement full of stuff and ended up with a carload full. I arrived in Melbourne on June 21, 2017. Since then I have: - Found a dilapidated, tobacco stain encrusted house, made it livable and beautiful, with an art studio and lived alone for 6 months creating, crafting and cleaning.

- Finished a dual diploma in holistic counselling and complimentary therapies, scoring HD's in all subjects.

- Been part of 2 exhibitions (that are currently still running).

- Been interviewed by Triple J Radio about BDSM as a healing tool.

- Run an online Sex and Tarot course and started (the current) 6 week Sex & Magic course. - Completed 6 months of Reclaiming teachers in training study.

- Attended 3 witch camps, 5 sexuality festivals and 1 death festival.

- Priestessed a sacred sexuality space and run related workshops/rituals at 2 witchcamps. Facilitated at 3 sexuality festivals.

- Run a tarot workshop in Berlin.

- Attended and hosted public and private rituals. - Begun writing a book to accompany 'Wolffs Cartomancy'.

- Made and sold numerous artworks.

- Performed poetry at an open mic event and hosted poetry, shibari and magical gatherings.

- Travelled to Sydney and Brisbane twice and NSW thrice. Travelled through Italy, England, France, Belgium and Germany. Road-tripped along the Great Ocean Road and through the Australian Alps.

- Supported people through their journeys with body, sexuality, relationships and self love, through 1:1 sessions in person and online.

Photo copyright Luke Clouddancer

- Learnt a style of African partner dancing, how to waterboard someone safely, needle play, pyrography, how to make a killer spirit house and the best ways and places to ride a bike around Melbourne.

But you know what took up most of my time? All the small steps and pieces between, and in preparation of these accomplishments. There were countless moments of working magic, ritual and connecting with spirit and land. There were a LOT of dates, meetings and time spent connecting with people, building networks, opening my heart and finding a place in community. There was netflix and chill. There was (oft unreliable) public transport and (reliable) morning pancakes. And there were people who literally threw my art in the bin or told me my work wasn't enough. There were ongoing medical appointments and up to 6 hours a week and hundreds of dollars spent on medical practitioners of various fields. There were new housemates and animal friends. And there were sexy times, frustration, depressed days, heartful hugs, humble moments and ecstatic bliss. So, I don't know if I have a moral to the story or a big ending. It's still being told. I'm still working on so many of these things. My book is in progress, my courses are being taught and new ones are being developed. I'm about to travel to NSW again for more work. I'm still getting medical support and practicing self care and painting and fucking and eating and growing. I'd like to think that this personal post does more than satisfy someones curiosity and my own inner critic. Perhaps it can also inspire people to do different things, keep seeking wellness, explore, ask for help or branch out into the unknown alone. Whatever you need permission to do, I hope this helps give you a nudge. And may it also serve as a reminder to myself and others, that we are not what our self doubt says we are. It's okay to be weird and wonderful and somewhere, someone feels the same. Love, B

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