I have been feeling very raw, incredibly vulnerable. Every interview I do I cry. Every time I perform, tears fall. I don’t know why this feels new to me, it’s not. I’m a very emotional woman and it pours out of me through any form of creative expression. Though lately, there has been a raw quality to my tears. Something I haven’t been able to put my finger on until recently.
One of my dear friends and mentors, Lisa Lister not long ago said to me, “you have a powerful sound current in you. Use it to move energy. Use it for YOUR healing.” I guess I hadn’t thought about the power of my own voice for MY healing. I’m very comfortable using it for the healing of others, but for myself… Her words were just the reminder I needed to reconnect with my voice and its healing power for my own body and soul. I had a chanting practice that I let go of several months ago, but decided to devote myself to it again. Finding the tone that feels good in my body and letting myself experience its vibration throughout my body with a clear intention and connection to my spirit has been incredibly soothing and empowering. It’s exactly what I have needed to soften a bit of the hardening around my heart. A hardening that usually stems from me closing off to myself, to my shadow.
We all have a shadow side. The shadow is the parts of ourselves that we like to shove down or push away because we feel if others were to witness these pieces of us, we would risk abandonment, rejection, judgement or shaming. We come into this world as precious, whole beings that express every emotion freely, but soon, we are taught to categorize feelings and the expression of them into “good” and “bad.” We begin repressing weaknesses, impulses, instincts, fears, desires, rage… anything that we feel is unacceptable to our parents and later on, to society. We then begin to start wearing masks. We present one version of ourselves to the world while secretly suppressing our “darkness.” We become fragmented, disconnected from our wholeness. For me, this fragmentation was magnified times a million. Growing up from the time I was very young with the spotlight of the world shining brightly in my eyes, I felt I had to be the version of myself everyone expected of me. There was no room for mistakes, outbursts, opinions, expression of desires. There was only the sweet girl, walking around pleasing everyone. What we don’t realize is that eventually, something will trigger what we think we’ve gotten so good at hiding and the shadow will be illuminated. And when it is, it will shake us to our core. Our heads will spin, trying to figure out WHO THE HELL IS THIS PERSON RUNNING THE SHOW! Where did WE go? I’ve had many moments of this in my life, and without awareness of what was going on, I felt overwhelming shame that I still can’t find words to describe. There are days I still feel it. Days I have run in’s with pieces of my shadow that are just now being made conscious.
This is where self LovE and deep forgiveness is so crucial. I’m still learning how to LovE all my dark places, all my mistakes, all my shame. For so long, I’ve wanted to kill that girl and destroy all the pieces of me that I thought were constantly ruining my life. What I finally realized is that she needed to be held and LovEd more than anything. She had so much to say, so much to express, so many gifts hidden away within the darkness. So, I began sitting with her during my meditations. Witnessing her, all of her. What I saw was a little girl in tremendous pain. What she was needing was validation, not from the outside world, but from me. She needed forgiveness. She needed unconditional LovE. Once again…. working on it. On most days, I have come to a place of great compassion and empathy for her. She survived the almost unsurvivable. She’s a fighter, a warrior and for that I am grateful. Beginning to witness the totality of myself and not identify with my darkness as flawed, shameful and label those prices of me a “bad” person, but instead see them as wounds that are in need of LovE and tenderness in order to be healed and alchemized into the light and truth of who I am, has softened me. It’s softened the critic in my head. It’s softened the walls around my heart. And it has brought up a new challenge… truly being seen in that wholeness with deep authenticity and vulnerability. Here is where the raw, vulnerable feelings have been kicking in.
I’m beginning to feel more whole and that feeling is bringing with it a host of emotions. I’m feeling freedom, that’s for sure, but also overwhelming sadness, realizing all of the years that I’ve felt like half a woman, half a soul. At times, I’m experiencing fear, still holding on a bit to the old belief and programming of trying to please everyone and worried what others may think of my truth. Little by little though, choosing to speak the words I’ve only dreamed of saying, even if my voice quivers, or cry the tears on stage or in an unlikely place or at an “inappropriate” time, or voice my anger with LovE and without blame and not hold it in my body to manifest as illness, or saying no to the things I truly don’t want to do because they don’t bring me joy and trusting that the universe will take care and abundantly provide for my every need and desire, it’s all helping me come home to my true north, my soul’s blueprint and calling. Every day, I am choosing more and more to trust myself, my instincts, to not abandon myself and hide behind what I think will make others happy or LovE me more. More and more I am choosing me, to LovE me, to use my voice for me and in return, I am becoming a more powerful voice for others.
As we come into slower, darker days, I invite you to explore what it feels like to come into your wholeness and contemplate these questions for yourself. What parts of you are you afraid to admit exist? What stories are you telling yourself about these darker shades of gray you are suppressing, afraid others will LovE you less? Are you able to truly LovE you while still in hiding? Do you see that hiding is what’s keeping you from loving you and keeping you chained to looking outside of yourself for the LovE that you are so desperately wanting from YOU? Where can you dance with your shadow? How can you create a safe place to explore the sides of yourself you’re afraid to witness? I’m still on this journey with you and these questions are a daily inquiry for me too. Be gentle with yourself as you embark on this journey and know, I LOVE YOU!