Don´t hate what you don´t understand.
Don’t judge what you don´t understand.
Be yourself for everyone is taken.
And so on.
I always wanted to be a writer. Correction, an author. From as long as I can remember i´ve been writing. It feels like my most comfortable realm to inhabit, surrounded by the comforting friendship of words. I realized as I got into my 30s that those things that you always wanted to do, you should do them. That said, although it makes complete and obvious sense, i find it can be a struggle.
For years I muted my voice. Kept the stories hidden away. Was too scared to put things out there. Worried I wasn´t good enough. That my dream wasn´t valid. That it wasn´t sensible to be a writer (this, coming from someone who has lurked in all manner of non-sensible jobs. 46 to be exact).
I thought I would have to conform in some way and let the “real artists” get out there and pursue their dreams. I didn´t have the right education (despite time in 20 schools…) nor connections to fit this mould.
I wanted to please. I was desperate to please my parents. My teachers. My peers. I wanted to fit – that conundrum that plagued most of my childhood. I didn´t trust myself enough nor think I was good enough to do what made me happy.
The importance of being you
I´m hoping to save you some time here and urge you to see the value and beauty you herald deep in your bones. It´s magnificent. It´s unique. And it´s you. As much as reminding ourselves we are all connected, it´s useful to acknowledge, I think, that we are each endowed with treasures all our own. To share with the world. And we have a duty to do that.
Certainly, there are folks out there with “your best intentions” at heart, but really, no one else has the same mind, talents or vision as you. So really, it´s up to you to be you and share that. To revel in all your glory.
Let´s not underestimate our own power to know what´s best for ourselves in our hearts. The exquisite liberation of listening to one´s guts can resolve many a conundrum. Can get to the heart of the matter. Help us make better decisions. And cut through the bullshit.
How do we do that? Good question.
Find your mode, that is, whatever helps you to tap into the source. That might include:
- A date with yourself. Call it what you want (baby – N.B. I would never knowingly call anyone “baby” unless they were, just that).
- Create but please yourself! For example, on lost days, I go to bed really early. Like really early. I take my art supplies, good sounds and just make things. Draw or doodle or make collages or whatever. Let myself play and experiment without the pressure of having to share it with anyone. And thus avoid the need to put myself out there and entertain anyone elses opinion. I repeat this as often as I need until I gather up confidence stocks to go out there and bear my soul to the world again.
- I also write every day. Each morning before breakfast i write three longhand streams of consciousness (which usually contain regular dollops of terribly self deprecating, awfully wrought, furious rage, sadness and self-criticism..) Getting this “out”, purging it onto paper and seeing what crazy bananas drivel takes up space in the brain usually helps me to get clearer on the important stuff. I tend to find all my ideas for projects or solutions to problems come out of these pages. If only because it sorts the fluff from the gold: if something is on your mind, something you want to do, or make, or resolve, it will never leave you in peace! It will show up every day until you ruddy well do something about it. And so, that is the magic of Morning Pages. Thanks Julia Cameron.
- Writing might not be for you. Your “way to yourself” could be some form of physical exercise that peps you up.
- Getting lost in art (creating our absorbing).
- Cooking wonderful food. And let us not forget (one of my fave past times) eating.
- Listening to great talks.
- Reading inspiring stories.
- Laying in bed just after you have woken up and rather than reaching for your phone, asking yourself what it is you want.
- Noticing how you feel when you make decisions. From the smallest (choosing what you eat) to the larger, more discerning conundrum (choosing how you spend your time).
Don´t get me wrong, I as much as anyone else need this reminder (regularly) to “do you, boo” and am grateful for “my people”. Those are the ones who champion me. Who are always present, who are happy to encourage me and remind me of my greatness, but also call me out if I get too stuck in victim mode and remind me of the important stuff. Most importantly, they let me be me. Therefore, finding those peeps you can be “you” with. Who you might not see or speak to every day, but nothing changes in the strength of your relationship. The realness of your essence. They are the ones i see myself with.
If you´re lucky enough to have good friends around you, a meetup might be required to get this injection, whether it be in person, via skype or snail mail. If that´s not an option, heading online to seek out your tribe can be lifesaving. This really saved me when i was living in Norway and felt super lonely. Follow your interests and indulge yourself!
And with all that said, feel Bernie´s OH SO WISE (but SPICY language) advice is apt. I watch it as many times as I need until I feel ready to face the world again.
I hope something resonated.
Be well. Be you.