Mapping my gremlin to allow myself to live my mission as the Sustainable Quilter
04 juni 2022 
8 min. read

Mapping my gremlin to allow myself to live my mission as the Sustainable Quilter

A gremlin is the manifestation of your coping mechanism, beliefs, habits etc  keeping you from reaching your dreams. A gremlin often emerges out of necessity to survive in your younger years, however, when you grow up they turn into little monsters holding you back.  

Today I want to share something personal with you. It's a lot scary to me, but I think it might help some people, so I am doing it anyway. 

It's a poem about my personal gremlin. My coach suggested me to create my gremlin because I experience a lot of self-sabotage in my life and business.

For me, the gremlin manifested into shying away from people, excessive drinking, and fleeing into unhealthy relationships (friends and love) in the hope someone else could make me feel better.

Mapping my gremlin like this has helped me to root myself in my mission as the Sustainable Quilter. Also, it has given me freedom from convictions that were unconsciously living in my brain, keeping me from creating that 'sustainable world where everyone feels welcome with the magic of quilts.'

Maybe me sharing this poem will give you the courage to also map your gremlin and overcome the convictions stopping you from living a life in joy!

Quilted patchwork dromedary Magnificent Beast in a tree

I feel much more whole, healthy, and alive since I started Kick Ass Quilts

1.1: What is a Gremlin?

A gremlin is that part of you being mean, procrastinating, saying or doing things you don't want to and being hateful or judgmental to yourself and others. 

Your gremlin is not really you. It is the manifestation of the coping mechanisms, beliefs and habits, which helped you survive whatever you needed to survive.

Mapping your gremlin helps you to get clarity on how it looks and where the gremlin comes from. Also, it helps to let go of these habits one by one that do not serve you any more. 

Go all out when mapping your gremlin, like I did. Go down to it's deepest darkest assumptions about who you are. At the bottom, you will see how wrong the gremlin is. We all deserve love

Sustainable Quilter Rianne in forest with quilts

My gremlin judges me every move I take

It's the 5-year-old kid who wanted emotional support, and learned that it's the wrong thing to ask for.

It's the tape recording repeating 'never enough' in the back of my mind.

It's the 'you are not worth it' fuel running through my vines.

It's the fear of attack when I try to move around in this world and grow. 

My gremlin is holding a placard with 'good things come to those who deserve it'

With on the back a picture with my 10-year-old face and the text:  she doesn't.

It's the belief written in every square inch of my nervous system that a good life is meant for others

And it's my duty to fight for their happiness until, and after, it takes everything I am.

At that point. It still won't be enough. 

It's the scorn when I eat

It's the disdain when I rest

It's the disapproval when I fuck

It's the sarcasm when I love

It's the disappointment when I cry

It's the anger when I am seen

And the flight when I am loved

But above all,

Above all

It's the doubt of a lonely, lost, child who never learned how to be hugged.

Sustainable Quilter Rianne hugging quilted patchwork dromedary Magnificent Beast

Mapping my gremlin like this has helped me to root myself in my mission as the Sustainable Quilter.

Shadows are the deepest part of darkness where monsters hide. A gremlin is the manifestation of that monster. Creating it by drawing, writing, or whatever brings your gremlin to the light, so you can see it and piece by piece let go.

Also, revealing your gremlin gives freedom because it means there is less to hide: there are fewer things lurking  in the shadows. 

It was so scary to share this poem with you all, because it triggers the insecurity of my gremlin. However, I also feel lighter and more able to follow my path as 'Sustainable Quilter' with Kick Ass Quilts.

Sustainable Quilter Rianne and Magnificent Beast patchwork quilter dromedary

Discussion on mapping your gremlin:

  • Do you think mapping your own gremlin will help you?
  • What do you feel is the biggest hurdle holding you back to live your dreams?
  • What did you learn from meeting my gremlin?

Do you want to read more about sustainable quilting?

Photos: Lidia Verheijen


About the author
Quilting has made me a stronger, more developed, and joyful person, and I've seen the same in many other people. Creativity is key to finding joy in life. There are many ways of being creative, I am your teacher in the quilting fabrication department.
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