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I have experienced many moments throughout my life, and currently still do in some cases, where I am trying to be someone who I am not.
I’m trying so hard to do my best, to succeed, to become the person that I dream of being. Sometimes this is completely authentic and aligned with me, and sometimes I get so caught up in this projection that I am putting out into the world that I completely forget about the thing that will bring me the greatest amount of happiness: being me.
I’ve noticed within myself, loved ones, and students that, quite often, the greatest amount of stress is caused by trying to be someone or something that we are not, or trying to do something that we are not in true alignment with.
We will see someone on social media, the unfortunate pinnacle of self-comparison, and we will become “inspired” by how they are showing up. So, we will do our best to show up in the same way. There is a fine line between being inspired by someone and actually trying to be them, which will always result in us losing ourselves in the process.
Every single person on this planet has their own unique way of relating to themselves, to their loved ones, and to the world. We so easily distract ourselves by trying to find a quick way out of this admittedly never-ending process of self-discovering by replicating someone who has already seemingly “discovered” themselves.
Every single person has their own unique self-expression.
Unfortunately, due to the (I’m just gonna be honest) f*cking terrible and absolutely appalling mainstream education system that we are all currently following, we have lost our creativity. We are not taught to find our creative expression in a way that is our own.
We are graded on our creative writing, our musical talent, our artistic sharing. We are told what is a “pass” and what is a “fail” and the more that we draw outside of the lines (which, by the way, is one of the most fulfilling and honourable things that we can do for ourselves), the more we are told to “do differently…do it like this person.”
I feel a sour taste in my mouth when I admit it, but the truth is, I was one of those students who applauded myself for colouring inside the lines and following all the rules of writing and getting an A+ in creative writing simply because I did as the teacher told. I was scared to break any of these creative rules because I feared that I would be ridiculed or outcasted by my well-graded “intellectual” group in school.
I went from high school to university to working in corporate advertising. I neglected any form of creativity because I was so focused on succeeding by the standards that society and my family had set out for me. Eventually, I realized that I had completely neglected the key thing that brought me the greatest amount of happiness: my own unique creative expression.
The following years were spent playing with different forms of art until I discovered the ones that brought me the most fulfillment, which also happened to be the ones that I loved the most when I was a young child: writing, singing and music, and dancing. Since I began discovering this part of myself, I started to feel more fulfilment, I began to feel more deeply satisfied by my days, and I even started to get paid for some of this work (and in some circumstances, get paid extremely well, more than I could have ever imagined).
Now I get to play with these forms of creative expression. They have transformed my life, my relationships, and my business in liberatingly positive ways that I never would have imagined. And, most importantly, they helped me realize who I am: me.
I stopped trying to be someone else, I stopped comparing myself so incessantly, and I stopped falling victim to stressing over feeling purposeless. I started being me, I started becoming inspired, and I started feeling purposeful.
If you are in a position where you are ready to awaken your creative expression, whether you are already on the path of honing in your creativity, or you have not a damn clue as to what it is you would love to be focusing your energy on, these different ways to reawaken your creative expression may either ignite the wick of your inner flame, or fan that flame that is already lit up inside of you.
These questions with undoubtedly support you in awakening the f*ck out of your creative expression so that you can live a life of joy and fulfilment doing what you love and living in truth and alignment with who you really are.
Five questions to help you awaken the f*ck out of your creative expression:
1. What did you love to do as a child?
Think back to the moments that you were the most unashamedly playful. The moments where you weren’t afraid to get dirty or do things the “wrong” way. The moments where you just let yourself be heard or seen. The moments where you just got to be yourself. Think of the moments where nothing mattered outside of what you were doing in that moment. Time felt like it stopped (or flashed before your eyes). What were you doing in those moments?
2. What makes you laugh more than anything else?
Consider the moments that are interwoven throughout your day where you find yourself in giggles. This could be through conversation with people you love, when you read stories about a particular subject, or when you find yourself in a moment of presence or an uplifting thought. All of the yummy and nourishing brain chemicals are released when we find ourselves in laughter. There is likely an aspect of these moments that can inspire you to reflect upon your unique creative expression.
I often find myself laughing in jam sessions (don’t get me wrong—I’ve also found myself scared sh*tless in jam sessions and nervous AF to open my voice up). Both of these differing emotions guided me to understanding that singing and music were both massive contributors to my truest form of creative expression.
3. Where do you find you get true inspiration from?
I’m not talking about the moments where you think you find inspiration but you are actually just comparing yourself or wanting to be someone else. Notice the places and people you feel most inspired by. Maybe you feel inspired by really old trees in the depths of the Pacific North Western forest. Maybe you find inspiration in museums or music festivals or sitting around a table with a group of friends and a sophisticated bottle of red wine from the Beaujolais wine region in France.
Wherever or whatever or whoever you find inspiration from, bring more of that into your life.
4. When you think of the person that you, in your wildest dreams, wish to become, what does your life look like?
Dream big. Who are you when you think of the person who you dream of becoming. I am not talking about dreaming of becoming someone else. I’m talking about dreaming of becoming the best version of you—the you who is unique, happy, loving, and free.
Be that person as if your dream has already come true. Once you do that, imagine, just imagine, what the next dream is going to be!
5. What brings you the most irrevocable joy?
No matter what, this sense of joy cannot be taken away. No matter what someone else says to you, if someone judges you, or if someone tells you to stop doing whatever it is, you still find joy in this thing.
Do what brings you joy every single day, even if you think you suck at it. You will be surprised as to how much much deep fulfilment and magic this brings you.
Now, go out there and make something happen! Allow yourself to get lost in your creative expression. Your creative expression, when realized and utilized and in alignment with you, will transform your relationships, your personal life, and your career or business in unimaginable ways.
My invitation is to just give yourself a few weeks of following the joyful truth of who you are and your unique creative expression.
Before you know it, magic will unfold.