“To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.” -E.E. Cummings
Let me be real… Today I am writing in my pajamas- and they have a massive rip in the crack and they are comfortable and someone is going to have to throw them out while I am not looking because they are my favorite things in the world.
Let’s get real about that feeling… what feeling you ask? Oh you know the one….that feeling of heaviness or Pressure right in the middle of your chest. Yea, we all get it. Over and over and over again… That little bit of pressure-thing that taps you into some kind of discomfort in your life—- that is trying to break-free to be expressed. Yea, that thing— We all get it— that some kind of “feeling” that’s itching us to be more of something.
Where does this pressure go when it hides? Does it get buried over time or put on a mask and disguise itself in different ways… in the form of fear? How do we get it to go away? How do we find the source of its roots? How can we better recognize and explore this feeling to better understand its source and how we can utilize its purpose?
The courage to face this feeling and the pressure that builds from denying its existence is the true human dilemma we all face. And, it is really important to share about it.
Growing up as a child on stage, acting was something that grew in me— on and off the stage. The problem with that is that “pretending” got really easy. So easy that I found myself doing it a lot… in real life. And, that was a huge barrier for me in learning to recognize and speak my very own and real truths. I think a lot of the pressure we feel stems from our denial of truth. And it starts in childhood.
I would like to say something a bit more about pretending though… I don’t think we give ourselves (or others) enough credit.
Truth and lies reveal themselves clearer than any words we say. They can be felt, they can be seen— and they are reallllly obvious when we are trying to hide them. The ones we tell ourselves and the ones we tell others— that’s why we often times feel very stuck. Because we are.
We are stuck in a mask we have made for ourselves that we falsely believe hides the realities of being human.
Working with children has shown me a great deal- it fascinating to watch how quickly kids are able to tap into the honest nature of people. They can see through bullshit a lot quicker than most “grown ups” — and with a lot more accuracy!
The world doesn’t need more perfect pretenders. We need people willing to share their imperfectly perfect and vulnerable selves because, that’s the truth, folks!
So, What is in your psychological bag of tricks? What does your internal dialogue sound like —or— how do you talk to yourself? What do you affirm? How do those affirmations affect you (& the world) and how do you choose to react to them? Are you living in acceptance or denial? And how is it serving you?
If we don’t know, maybe we aren’t listening well enough or maybe we need to ask some questions…
1. What do I affirm?
What is it that I tell myself on a daily basis and how do these words keep me from moving or getting stagnant?
“This above all: to thine own self be true.” -William Shakespeare
2. How do I lift or depress myself? Do my thoughts motivate or diminish my sense of worth?
3. What am I accepting? Do I accept myself and others unconditionally?
4. How do I handle rejection? Poorly or Courageously ?
I know a thing (or 500 things) about rejection….
As a performer I have become quite familiar with the business of rejection. It is something that most artists have to come to terms with because, art as it is… will always be scrutinized. As it should be. But, as a person… how does it affect me when I feel rejected? What does it do to my personal sense of belonging and do I carry that rejection, with me, like a heavy bag of misfortunes?
I heard this awesome thing once. It went like this: “Get Over It!” It’s short and sweet but, it’s actually quite hard to apply. It’s time to start learning how to get over some of our “stuff”– and especially the fear of rejection. We must learn to get over the things we carry with us from childhood, our blame-mentality, all of it— if we hope to move on… because, we are so worth it!
5. What do I Deny?
What truths am I denying in my life right now that could possibly be limiting my experience of happiness?
If not now, When?
I truly believe we fear the little voice in our heart more than we acknowledge it.
We neglect the most powerful tool we have– our mind. We don’t want to be seen as crazy so much so that we stop listening to our intuition. And for what? And for why? Who benefits and who sacrifices? The truth is, WE ALL DO. When you deny yourself, you deny me the privilege of knowing you fully and when I deny myself, I deny you the joy of fully knowing me. It all goes hand in hand.
If we could just take more moments to listen to our instincts– maybe we would start to hear our truths — thumping in our chests and demanding to radiate our lives!
Let us begin the really important work of exploring our authentic selves. And, in doing so– I have begun regularly asking myself important questions…
How have a I put up blocks around my heart and prevented more love from getting in? What areas of life am I most fearful of failing? Where have I allowed myself to get distracted? What things have I chosen, or people have I included in my world, that do not promote my best self ? And most importantly…
Why have I chosen to ignore my innate potential and who the hell is that serving?
The human experience is not about finding a “Quick Fix”. There is no APP to navigate your way through this maze, the drive thru won’t serve it and it certainly doesn’t function on convenience. We ain’t always gonna get clarity, when we want it. We’re gonna get it when we are ready to see it. We’re not gonna find love by looking for it, it’s gonna find us– when our hearts are open to receiving it. We’re not gonna feel our potential until we are willing to release fear and walk our own path, courageously. The world is never going to allow us to feel worthy until, we can recognize our own worth. And, the “Fulfillment” thing… it isn’t going to hit us like a beautiful sunset. Don’t get me wrong…there is a necessity in Temporary happiness- That tinge of serenity– when we are simply basking in the present. We need those breathers. But, if we are getting those feelings from “things” outside of ourselves they are most always and certainly going to be fleeting. Real genuine happiness (that can be harnessed any time, any place, and in any mental state) — that is the peace of mind we are going for here. It is a slow and steady reflection…
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” -Lennon
Some of the most pivotal moments in our lives are the darkest. They are times we feel the most isolated and the most alone. They come to all of us at intrinsic times. I have grown to sort-of love these times. Because, I know they are moments of transition, expansion and a stretching out of the emotional body. It is really productive. There is massive importance in sharing during dark times. It helps us appreciate the darkness and move through to the other side because…
the perfect storm is always right around the corner…
FAKE IT TILL YOU BECOME IT:
The art of facade— it’s is a slippery slope. But, I do believe there are advantages to the “Fake it till you make it” attitude. It has had a powerful influence on my life. It is really less about “faking it” and more about “remembering” what things we’ve forgotten feel like. The mind can be an absolutely spectacular or destructive instrument (it is all in how we use it) . If we can start to transform moments of fear and pain into those of joy and happiness— we can begin learning to shift any circumstance we find ourselves in just by our state of mind.
Next time your feeling shitty, try just sitting down– closing your eyes and smiling. It may feel odd but, after awhile— it might actually start to feel real, and good— and the best case scenario it’ll bring some tears to your eyes and you’ll get settled in why you were feeling shitty in the first place and start the process of moving through it. Smiles are medicinal…
“When I feel worried and depressed, I consciously form a smile on my face and act upbeat until the happy feeling becomes genuine.” -Jonathan Lockwood Huie
To me, the misconception of “enlightenment” is that it comes to us/ is presented- from some “other” source. Perhaps this is why so many people struggle internally playing the waiting game in a holding room they’ve designed for themselves. Perhaps we start coming to the realization that, while patient space is sometimes very necessary while we “wait” for a better time to change or the change to come- we are essentially wasting precious time for the change to actually be.
“Awakening” is a matter of integrated spiritual work and it is self service -it is a matter of 1. Recognizing that only we can do the work for ourselves and 2. Actually doing that work instead of simply talking to ourselves about doing that work.
As we seek purpose and growth –let us share in the art of being human. Be it beautiful and ugly (because we all know it’s both). Share your truth! Let’s break down illusions by embracing the struggles and sharing the joy— to be real and build healthy/honest relationships with those around us and give way for unconditional love to flourish in our lives– for others (with others) and for ourselves. Because, we need each other!