This summer I took a huge leap and became involved in the Connection Revolution‘s 3rd Annual World-Changing Writer’s Workshop. This course radiates authenticity and encourages you to write from your heart. It urges you to dig deep to uncover your own stories and to share them with the world. It allows space and opportunity for connection and honest dialogue with other creative, soulful people. It makes ample room for the pouring out of ideas, dreams, fears, and unique perspectives.
I have so much anticipation and excitement to be able to create more space in my life for my writing, to explore my authentic voice, to calm my doubts and apprehension, to create community, to focus my energy (if that’s even possible), and to grow and grow and grow.
When I was young, I wrote furiously and without restraint. I lost this habit along the way. I became judgmental and fearful of my potential. I was too afraid to put my thoughts to paper. I hesitated with every word. I censored every truth. I was ashamed of myself and so desperately wanted to be someone else. I didn’t think that my words were eloquent or important or interesting enough.
For years I struggled. For years I felt guilty because deep down, I retained my passion and desire for writing and self-expression.
This Spring, I wrote out a list of Summer goals. The last entry on my list was that I wanted to write ‘at least 3 articles to submit to magazines or blogs’. I am not a goal oriented person, but a couple days later, I found myself jotting down ideas in my journal. I started to flesh out the stories and perspectives I wanted to tell. Within the next couple of weeks, I had handwritten rough copies of 2 articles (one on creativity and the other on finding joy). I am going to be published in this GORGEOUS e-magazine that is infused with so many of the things that LIGHT ME UP.
I had finally found my spark again!
And holy shit, it was such a relief.
I felt free from many of my old (self-imposed) restraints. I felt lifted from some of my old fears.
I have blogged on and off for many years. My other blogs have been very personal ones where I have just written about anything and everything, no matter how raw or irrelevant. With this current space, I still tread slowly and carefully at times. I want to reveal both the joyous and passionate parts of myself, as well as the terrified and dark parts.
I want to infuse my personality into what I create (but I still worry about how much I should swear or use so-called ‘vulgar’ words). I want to challenge people and push boundaries and talk about politics, but these parts of me still hold back – they still balk and submit to stifled silence (only partially peeking out from time to time), in favour of more ‘palatable’ experiences.
It is so much easier and safer to focus on happiness and beauty.
And though these things are oh-so present in my current life,
and though I absolutely live for small wonders (and wanders) and simple pleasures,
the darkness still creeps in sometimes,
the fear and the doubt and the utter immobilizing overwhelm of it all pays me regular visits.
I think we really honour ourselves when we admit these experiences – when we accept them, without censorship, without shame.
It’s so important, no essential, that we own our struggles and break down barriers
that we reach out to others, that we connect on more vulnerable and intimate levels,
that we understand that we are not alone,
and that there is so much strength and beauty in that.
I am still sifting through all my stories.
I am still learning to tell myself that they are worth sharing.
“To create connection with your stories, you have to hit “publish”.
You’ve been trained by a fearful society to keep your dark side to yourself.
You undersell your pain for fear of burdening others or complaining.
You find security in silence because no one can judge you or find you lacking
You hide the truth of your journal and pretend there’s only sunshine in your life.
You think your story isn’t important.
When you reveal the soft, scary parts of your soul,
you open yourself to connection.
There is always someone who lights up when they hear your story
because they’ve lived it, too.
We’re drawn to shared experience.
Even the most hermit-like introvert craves the feeling of community
that’s inspired by saying…
“Hey. Me, too.”
Speaking your truth adds a shining new thread to the
tapestry of human experience.
It ties you to every person who hears it, whether the
story reaches one person
or seven billion.
And because of that,
the world without stories would be a sad place.
We couldn’t relate to others without shared stories.
We would never understand another culture, absorb new knowledge,
find beauty in art, or invest in peace.
How miserable and lonely would that be?
The way we recognize our people, our community, our tribe
is through the stories they tell.
Because they are our stories.”
Ellie Di Julio – No Shame (www.theheadologist.com)
Here is a small round-up of voices that radiate authenticity and speak their truths:
How do you tell your own stories? How do you push past fear? What is the one story you are aching to tell the world?
Here’s to being your awesome fucking self,