Maria wrote a beautiful piece on her blog last night, she called it "I Am Worthy. And Thank You," and I think in many ways it is the most important piece she has ever written about self, and her own long search for identity. She is sick of feeling unworthy, she said, tired of being afraid to ask for help or receive it. I recommend it.
"This morning I woke up annoyed with myself," she wrote.
"Who, I thought, wants to support someone who keeps whining that they’re not worthy. And what am I really looking for? I’ve heard so many times already, through the letters I’ve received, in my email and on facebook how people believe in what I’m doing. How people believe in me."
So, she wrote, it's time to believe in herself. At first, she was frightened by the outpouring of support she received when she asked for help. She has instead chosen gratitude and excitement.
I love this post, and I am struck by the impact Maria's trip to India is already having on her. I can hardly wait to see what the trip itself and the aftermath bring. She is writing her myth and beginning to live it.
With communication, wrote Joseph Campbell, the mythic experience begins. So many of you are communicating with her this week.
The beginning of a mythic world or a mythic tradition is a seizure, something that pulls you out of yourself, beyond yourself, beyond all traditional patterns. It is out of such seizures that civilizations are built, books are written, lives are changed. Maria is in the midst of such a seizure, and great things will come from this trip.
All week, we have been reading these beautiful messages from all over the country, so many people wish they could come along, so many believe in Maria, her heart and her gifts and her commitment to helping other people. In just a few days, Maria received enough money to pay for her passage to India, for her travel and food and hotel. She is going to help the victims of sex trafficking learn how to find sustainable lives.
Maria has received more than $3,800 on her indiegogo.com page, and several thousand dolalrs more from the donations and wonderful letters are still coming into our post office box, P.O.Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. She is still accepting donations, any additional funds will all be used to help the women she is going to India to teach – the victims of sex trafficking, a horrific problem in Southeast Asia and much of the world.
These women, former sex workers and slaves, are the women Maria is going to Calcutta to help. She will teach them how to make the humble potholder, something in use all over the world, something relatively easy to make and easy to sell. Maria will also teach them how to make potholders that are also works of art, something that is not to easy to make.
In opening herself up to this trip, in accepting all of the help from others, in absorbing all of the beautiful messages, the great human experience starts. The ancient mystics called it aum, said to be the seed of creation.
For Maria, her journey in search of her strength and voice began with the potholder, selling her first potholders told her that she could live and work as an artist. Accepting help and seeing herself as worthy has been a longer and harder process. But the potholder and her ever-evolving art did their work, helping her to find her voice, and increasingly, her strength.
She is finding her myth even while she is living it. Jung wrote that the way to discover your myth, to discern your true identity is to observe your dreams, observe your conscious choices, keep a journal, see which images and stories surface and resonate and speak to you. Look at stories and symbols and see which reflect your heart and soul.
Anna Freud wrote that panic strikes us when we lie to ourselves and the sub-conscious rebels. Maria told me yesterday that she knows she is lying to herself when she says she is not worthy. She is never arrogant, she is not a saint, she is always worthy.
Maria has done all of this good and hard work, in her life, in her art, in her humble potholders. Now she is taking her myth to India. The basic story of the hero journey involves giving up where you are, going into the realm of adventure, coming to realization of who you really are, and then returning to the field of normal life. A call to adventure comes and draws you out. The call to adventure is one of unknown places, unseen forces and unknown powers.
So thanks to you all of you, the adventure begins. We will keep you posted.
She is worthy, and we both thank you for your support.