Using Art to Move Your Life

{Not all sharing is a good thing. An alley wall full of chewed up gum.}

I’m currently taking Brene Brown’s The Gift of Imperfection Life Class. That along with twice a day walks, listening to Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s free Destiny meditation and cutting out refined and processed carbs has completely changed me inside and out. It’s slowly lessening the gap between who I am on the inside and the me I show the world.

One of the things that has specifically shifted is my intention of being authentic, expressing my true self and using artistic expression and creativity to push me forward. That sometimes means dragging a paintbrush across a canvas, decorating a room, or writing down a poem. Sometimes I share it here. Other times I hide it away in a book.

When do you share and when do you keep things to yourself?

In Brown’s class, she discusses what it means to be vulnerable. Sharing what we feel is vulnerable is one way we release shame. {Kind of like this poem I wrote here.} The difference with sharing too much and sharing enough depends on your ability to be okay regardless of the feedback.

The same thing may happen if you’re deciding whether to share something deeply personal with the world. Maybe it’s a dream, a secret, a trauma, an amazing accomplishment, a fear…Whatever it is feels terrifying to share. But secrets can eat you up from the inside. The only way to freedom is through reaching out. The key is to be very discriminative about who you choose to share what to.

I’ve made this mistake too many times in entrusting my precious thoughts, feelings and dreams to people who couldn’t hear it so they a) criticized it b) tore it apart c) told others about it. In the end, expressing my dreams felt dangerous and left me feeling wounded. What I learned in the process it that if I could use art and creativity to work my way through what felt hard and personally dealt with it, then I had the inner strength to share the work with those I loved, trusted and felt safe around. And that in return, felt wonderfully healing.

These days, social media makes sharing all too easy. When we’re pissed at a friend, a relative or a boss, it’s so easy to vent but so hard to take back what’s been sent.

Here’s my suggestion.

The next time you’re going through a rough situation. Put a pause on blogging, updating and tweeting to the world. Instead open up a journal, write down your thoughts or take a pen, crayons, pencils, paint and draw it in on a canvas. Then when you’re ready and not depending on what others have to say about it, share it with those who are near and dear to your heart.

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GMDL Day 6: Holding Back

{photo by: Emily Elisabeth Photography}

I might have mentioned once that I work for a site called Psych Central. It’s a wonderful company to be a part of and I am proud to be an Associate Editor. One of the joys I get from working there is getting paid to read the wealth of articles written there.

Holding Back Who We Are

One article in general really got me excited. It was about how we hold back. We hold back who we are out of fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of being judged. We hold a part of our true selves close to our heart, so no one can see it, ridicule it or take it from us.

It sparked something in me when I read that.

I wonder how much of us are locking up who we really are.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

When you are writing an article, a blog post, a new chapter in your book, are you hiding behind your true words?

When you are chatting with a friend or interacting with a co-worker, are you holding back the best of you in fear of others finding out?

There once a girl who hid behind her words. She through them fast on the page and hid quickly so no one would see her. She pretended to be fine when she was not. She was silent about her real dreams and passions. She was safe. But her talent was undiscovered. She was a gift that no one else knew about.

Is that girl you?

Part of the challenge is to gain more than we are willing to sacrifice. It’s gaining freedom to be who we are by not spending the time and energy being who we are not.

Don’t hold back your feelings when someone asks you. Don’t censor yourself when writing up that post.

Open your heart to the possibility of who you are. Whether you are writing or talking to a loved one, take a chance and be yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results.

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