After sharing my personal journey with anxiety and how it led me to meditation, one reader—whom I hold very dear to my heart— was brave enough to ask the following question:
Have you ever wrote something that felt right at the time and then struggled with regret that maybe you shared too much or it didn’t come out right?
Every time I post anything that really gets me jazzed, I’ve wondered if I’m overstepping some imaginary boundary of what is and is not acceptable. The more creative, the more truthful and the more excited I am, the more I question what the fuck I’m doing.
And why is that?
Hanging out with our creative muse can kind of feel like hanging out with the infamous Cat in the Hat: tantalizing fun that teeters on the edge of “I might get in trouble for this”.
And yet, I continue to share.
The truth is that self-expression is my soul’s equivalent to oxygen. There is no room for, “Oh, I can move through the world silent, timid and small.”
I’ve tried that and I’m betting you have to. It’s painful; it’s constricting; it’s unhealthy.
Yet, how often do we willingly enlist ourselves in this precise scenario in exchange for perceived security?
“Yes, sir. Do chop my balls off, along with the rest of my dignity, in exchange for a decent sized apartment and the social pressure to climb the corporate ladder. I do hope that this engagement will provide me the chance to look myself in the face, 10 years from now, and wonder who this old man is standing before me.”
Repression is the equivalent of a “living death”. It’s as if I’m being asked to walk through the world with my heart chained and my mouth muffled.
And it’s not a life I can conciously agree to.
The mind—with all it’s beliefs around conformity—will terrorize the soft flame of truth that lives inside of you if you let it. Guard that flame, not with fear, but with space. Breathe into her. Offer up your sincere reverance.
Here are three steps you can take to help cultivate the ideas within you that want to be heard:
#1 Build presence so that you may discern your inner voice from the chaotic noise of the world, society and your memories. These often appear as thoughts, feelings and toxic naysayers in your life. There isn’t a moment too soon to create space between you and all of that. Meditation, Chi Quong, hanging out in nature and being surrounded by animals are regular practices that help me ground and strengthen my jedi discernment muscles. Everything becomes easier the better you get at this.
#2 Create space so that your voice may take root and grow. This means removing the clutter from your life, creating strong boundaries with the noise in your life (e.g. loud sounds, negative people, old belief systems, harsh chemicals, etc.) and regularly dedicate time to explore your creativity.
#3 And last but not least, ready yourself for the magic that will come from you singing her songs. When she calls, be ready to move.
What do you think? Do you think sharing too much is actually a problem or are we afraid to be vulnerable? Maybe it’s both.