Before the dawn breaks, I wake up. Something is bothering me. What is it? What is it? The remnant of a dream? Nope. Ok. I’ll be still and let it come to me.

Critic: I did not like the strap you knitted for the doilies-to-bag project.

Defender: Oh. I spent three days to knit 160 cm strap out of paper yarn – which was not so pliable, you know.

Critic: Yes, I know but it is too black… and too thick.

Defender: Yes, but maybe…

Critic: No, actually I told you to rethink about it at the 25 cm but…

Defender: But I wanted to see how it will turn out.

Critic: Now you know. Too thick and too black.

Sensible: Ladies, why don’t we have a cup of coffee first and argue later?

Critic: I was just stating the obvious.

Defender: Oh, please be silent. Let Pusher sleep or she will suggest another alternative. And now.

Body: Sorry, first I need to empty this bladder.

The rest (chorus) : Aaargh! All right just be quick!

Body: Only if I could flex those legs first… because of you, I spent three whole days sitting at this worktable, you know. We could have a walk. But no, you had to knit 160 cm of-

Defender: You, too? Put the blame on Pusher, she’s, you know, pushy.

Sensible: Ok, bathroom first. Coffee later. Creative discussions whole day.

The rest (chorus): Oh-o, these are the lines of Sarcastic!

Sarcastic: I am here and just collecting data for future reference.

Defender/Yielder: (taking a glance at the said strap which is indeed too black and too thick, coiled at the worktable) I need to undo this.

Critic: Ah, finally.

Hoarder: Good. You used too much of that black paper yarn anyway. Now I can save some for other projects.

Pusher: I have another idea about it. Let’s try it! Now! Now!

Body: Just shut up y’all when I do what I need to do-

(Impatient silence)

Nothing. Ok, I go to bathroom. I wash my face. It is a new day. I am full of determination and energy… to undo some things and to do some things. I decide to change the strap I knitted for the latest bag project for Sista&Sista Made, the brand my sister and I created for our sustainable sewing projects. I need some lighter colors, and maybe a narrow strap. I think Ebru will like this one, but I will leave the harder work to her, that tedious part of sewing and attaching a lining to the bag, because she is good-

Envious: At sewing, my sister is better than me.

The rest (whisper as a choir): Hush! Yasemin is now at another integration.

– with details. Ok, now I will set the breakfast table and later I will deal with this strap. I feel that what fuels my creativity is such early morning hours, when I enjoy my solitude.

Body: Solitude? You wish!

* * *

The above lines may seem like a parody but trust me, at least in my inner world I need to hear out the remarks, complaints and the new or repeated ideas of my inner selves before they reach an agreement and take away the blocks preventing the creative flux. Otherwise, mayhem. ?

It was the last century when I read “Psychosynthesis” by Will Parfit and it literally changed my mind. Before I read this book, I had self-diagnosed myself as schizophrenic because of the chorus (and not always in sync) of the voices inside my head. Thankfully, only a few of them were talking about murder ? but the majority was proactive, impulsive, arrogant, extrovert yet at unexpected times, pensive, touchy, easily offended and introvert. It took me a while to learn about them but eventually I managed to recognize, acknowledge and (if needed) empower the not-so-little voices inside my head. I am grateful for the trainings I received since 2006 in regression therapy and the invaluable methods I learnt such as personification, inner child work and integration.

This is the gist of psychosynthesis, as well: Observe your inner world, identify inner selves no matter how “unfit” they are, hold the space for them to be heard or seen, and if they are willing, make friends with them so as an integrated whole, all of us can function instead of scheming against each other.

For this piece, I just want to emphasize the benefits of exploring your inner world to be truly creative, without worrying over how you will be perceived by the external world… because if you do it, you will, as I did, discover that you are not alone when you are all alone: there are myriad capabilities, talents and skills within each of us.

As you come to know your inner selves, you see that actually all of them patiently or impatiently have been waiting for you to be the leader of the pack – which is our fundamental capability: Self-management. Trust me, this term may sound too business-like, but it is the real art of living.

Try it. “Know thyself” a little bit more. You will not need to watch soap operas or so-called reality shows anymore after witnessing the high-maintenance drama queens and kings within you. In time, they will become your most trustworthy friends, your true bffs. After all, they are you, they are me, they are us in fragments. Our best creative work can be picking up our pieces and make ourselves whole again.

One stitch at a time. One inner self at a time.

The infamous strap

Wishing you and all of your inner selves a happy integration!