Shame upon shame upon shame upon…
Did we ever truly feel that shaming someone is the answer? That the high folutin’ squish squash power of a good shaming session will cause anyone to dare to strip away all wrongs and find their right!? What ever kind of thinking, or not thinking, led us to believe that piling on shame would make one a believer in who they are once again? We were not born shame bound. We were not upon immediate inspection immediately expected to twist and turn towards an ideal of idiotic distortion. We were not measured and found not up to the mark. No. That happened later. Perhaps moments later.
Shame upon shame upon shame upon…
Two wrongs dont make a right. They take away our right. Our right to breathe. Our right to dream. Our right to roam free. Our right to walk side by side. Our right to our very place of existence on existing before its time to exit once more. No one life is better than another. No one being gets a gold plated, Jesus blessed, angel juiced, holy molly fuckin star from God! Despite what those religious bindings have told us, carelessly whispering our forever sins, marked by the DNA of our ancestors, who knows whether being sinners or saints, visions of goodliness or scoundrels of pariah.
Shame upon shame upon shame upon…
Original sin. Leave them to paradise. Of pleasure. Of nature. Of original naked nature. Rumi told of a field. Out beyond ideas of right or wrong doing. I’ll meet him there later. You coming to? Perhaps it’s paradise lost. Found.
Shame upon shame upon shame upon…
We get very good at hiding. Hiding and swallowing down. Swallowing down seeds of bitterness and regret. Seeds of truth momentarily caught in our throat. Caught between speaking our truth and being silenced by shame. Shame seems the easy option at the time. Easy to press delete and censor. Censor to oppress, repress and depress. Depress and destroy the vine of voice and the true of truth. Apples go bad. They rot inside. We get indigestion, no longer able to stomach the wrong inside.
Shame upon shame upon shame upon…
Whatever happened to forgiveness? Whatever happened to seeing through the eyes of learning? Whatever happened to kindness over cruelty? Whatever happened to truth over tyranny? Whatever happened to singing the songs of our bones, our blood, our belly, our body, our bold beingness borne from the bounty of life. Of love.
Shame upon shame upon shame upon…
Peel the layers back. Spit out the forbidden fruit. It won’t bite it has no teeth. For shame can only rob us when we keep it hidden, keep us hidden. Light is inside the dark. Dark is the ground for all light. Be. Be ugly. Be beautiful. Be bad. Be good. Be mistaken. Be wrong. Be generous. Be a git. Be foolish. Be willing to know better. Be ballsy. Be a coward. Be naive. Be lost. Be all. Be it all. So fucking what! Shame only wants us in its club because we think you have to be perfect. That we have to get it right. That we have to fit in. That we can’t say that, do this, think like who we are.
Shame upon shame upon shame upon…
Pull off the scales of arid armour. Lay down our arms. Be in not knowing who the fuck we are and how the hell did we get here! Press our nakedness against I dont know and stay there. Strip ourselves bare. Bear ourselves stripped. What they told us ain’t the truth. Listen to the seed. The seed that came before they started to shame us. Maybe, only moments, after we were born.
"Belonging. What does that mean? As David Whyte discovers in his extraordinary book 'crossing the unknown sea', we feel the gravitational pull towards the centre of our being the more we begin to live following the truth of who we are.
We are living in a time when our sense of who we are and the bigger, truly existential question, of where do we belong, to what and whom, grows more urgent.
Does belonging depend upon the colour of our skin, our religion born into and/chosen, our class, status, income bracket? Does it ripple out from the families we create and choose? Our vocation, careers, work? How we invest our time? Where we place our attention, a laser beam of luxury, freedom and privilege where we can pick at, like a buffet, and serve ourselves plates of what feels familiar, comforting and safe.
Is it enough to say we belong to the human race anymore? And then look away, busy ourselves with matters closer to home, half blinded by the understandable helplessness that strikes another human. Another life. Another world.
What does it mean to belong?
By simply being born, and that's a whole other story or stories, we are part of a conversation of belonging to life each other and the world. By who we are. By the words that we speak. By the actions we take. The course we traverse willingly or with great grudge. By the work that we do. By the art, words, and expression that we offer. It's all a part of the great living conversation. The conversation of belonging.
When we do not add to this conversation, for fear of the repercussions, we live a life crouched down, a life squinted and misshapen. We cower away, not desiring to rock the boat, the ocean liner, that carries us on the greater voyage of belonging, destination unknown. The boat marked 'in this together'..."
(Published to Elephant Journal. To continue reading head here :-))
An exerpt from my latest piece of writing on what Passover means to me, from Elephant Journal (link below darlings xx)
"Do we have to have faith? (Thanks, George Michael!)
The show “American Gods” (now excitedly showing up for its second season), foretells of such prophesy, though ’twas written 18 years ago by the genius that is Mister Neil Gaiman. The falling away and forgetting of our old Gods, of nature and honour, of respect and mystery.
Where do we place our faith these days? Who do we pray to or seek to glorify?
Surely, for the masses of our Westernised living, ’tis the false gods of Kardashian, soaps stars, and footballers. Perhaps “faith” is a dirty word, muddied by war, grief, power, and corruption. Can we reclaim it? Dust it down and hold it closer to our hungry hearts? To wonder, with willingness, what it might be like to pause, and to listen to nature and our own breath. To ask the clay of our own bodies how we are, who we are, and how can we be reminded of where we once came from, and to tell those stories once more to our children, and to our children’s children too. To see with reverence the wisdom held in a leaf, the sky, our world, our breath, and our very soul.
When did we stop believing in miracles? In stories and tales? It’s never too late to still believe in magic and wonder, and in the glorious technicolour madness of it all..."
D is for disappointment.
I woke up today and disappointment was my guest. A sadness, an ache, an ouch at my heart. So I invited it to stay for a while, made us both some strong black coffee, and leaned in. I am learning how to lean in more, how to stay with what arises, to become more intimate with those places within me that are a part of the tender layers, like the finest filo pastry, of the realm of vulnerability.
Full disclosure folks. My ‘guest’ arose as a reaction to having to cancel my workshop today. Yep. There weren’t enough bookings to run the day, and in the name of truth and transparency, there was actually only one dear woman who had claimed a place. This happens sometimes. And the thing is, no one really talks about it. The times when ‘it’ doesn’t work.
A part of social media’s shiny sing song is that it can be a beacon of fabulousness, of exotic and tempting events and ripe and flourishing activities to choose from. This is true. We really are living in extraordinary times of so much choice. I applaud this and partake in such platters on a regular basis. I am also aware of how extremely blessed we are, lucky, graced in fact, to even have the freedom to play out at all and dare to feed deeper parts of ourselves.
We, us solo creative geniuses, living on a wing and a prayer, and a deep, deep, internal compass of truth, freedom and beauty, take a risk each and every time we put something that we have created out into the world. It doesn’t matter what that may be: a poem, a song, a pot, a painting, a story, a workshop etc. It was given to us as a seedling of spirit’s spittle, and we turned it and churned it, into art, into an offering to others. This takes courage. This takes guts and sweat and often, quite often, a lil shake and the odd roll of a tear!
It’s terrifying putting ourselves out there, but, and for those of you who understand where I’m coming from, there is no choice. We have no choice. Something bigger than us, something that has a greater force, a stronger urgency, moves us into inspiration and action, and all that we can do is to bow to this and do its bidding. The holy moly dance between human and divine!
Yes, life is a dance, a constant shuffle this way and that, the occasional stumble, the surprising moments of winged feet, and the important moments when we stand still silent for the next gust of fancy footwork to move through us.
Sometimes I feel that life is a two steps forwards, one step back kinda foxtrot, a little like the tide when I think about it, rolling in to crash with might upon the shore here I am here I am, and then the same force dragging the waters with fierceness back, back, back, under, down, away, until the whole wave begins again. Which it does, because it has to. It’s its nature.
It’s our nature too.
Now I’m not saying I feel like I’m being dragged backwards with lungs full of water gasping and in frenzied chaos. Not today anyways thank god!! ;-) What I’m saying is that as artists, as creators, as those who dare to live at the edge called ‘make it up and improvise!’ each time we dare to offer we do so with the knowing that not all will reach the shore. Some will be pulled by spirit’s invisible current long before the force gains momentum. And this can leave us, if we care, if we have put our love into said offering, open to the wondrous and tender place of vulnerability. Open, not knowing, here, engaged, and alive. It’s this tenderness that gets touched upon occasion when we are disappointed. When something hasn’t lived up to what we wanted it to be, what we had dreams of it becoming, what we had expected to happen.
Now there’s nothing wrong with expectation. We hang so many of our finest, furry and fancy dreamings on to the hooks of expectation don’t we? It’s human. We hope and dream and want and desire and place this on to something outside of ourselves. A lover. A project. A promotion. A holiday. The weather. A day off. To be honest we bloody well sprinkle this shit on to everything!! Bless us!
Because at some level, at some place, we still have a small nudge of thinking that we are the ones in control! Isn’t that the fuckin’ truth??!! I’m smiling as I write this my loves. We all want to have control. We all want to place the pieces like a giant game of dominoes, oh so artfully and carefully, and watch with pride and relief as the pieces fall in exactly the way we had set them up to.
Spoiler alert. Life don’t be ahappening quite like that!!
You see, we can place our pieces wherever we want to. We can spend time and energy and focus on preparing and learning and creating and crafting, forming the moulds for life to move within and around us. This is important. We are the co-creators and God needs us to roll up our sleeves and do the work too. And hopefully this ‘work’ is fun, is what we are passionate about, believe in, trust, love, are turned on by, is our gift to the world, and is part of our living in service, in love.
But then. But then we have to let it go. We have to let go of the outcome. We do our best and show up, and then we have to give it up to spirit, to the mystery, and as prayer. At that point we empty our hands, we empty our hearts of expectation (tis tricky! ;-)), and we continue on, responding and living and loving life and each other.
As my teacher says, ‘It’s nothing to do with us. What happens is none of our business’. And you know what? There is so much freedom and space and breath and life in that knowing.
It takes practice though. My disappointment today is a gift. I’m disappointed for several reasons. I have let someone down. I was taking a chance to offer something new, something I believe passionately in, a new direction I intend to, and would love to travel with, more deeply (that of storytelling and performance and fairy tales! :-)). And again, in absolute full truth, I was hoping, wanting, to make some money towards heading to Spain again to go on retreat. I’m just being honest. I had, I realised, a few balls of expectation that I had been juggling with behind the wizard’s curtain! Does that make my disappointment Toto?!!
And all of this is ok. My guest has moved on now, and I have swallowed down some of its tender medicine, grateful, as always, to do so. I took a risk, like so many of us do that put out our events and then are not able to run them. No one talks of this. I wanted to speak of this today.
Sometimes we fail and sometimes we fall. Sometimes we stumble and we dance seemingly backwards. Sometimes there’s a spanner thrown in to the works of our unintended, unconscious control box. And sometimes we forget, we forget, that spirit knows best. Spirit knows best.
I trust in spirit and in the beautiful dance of my life and its glorious and, these days for sure, more unknown unravelling. I trust in the timing of all things. I trust in the medicine of disappointment’s gift. I trust in the fact that if I’m completely honest I was feeling rather full from a fabulous week and maybe, just maybe, my foot wasn’t fully on the ‘Yes, Go!’ pedal for today. I trust in the beauty of other’s understanding. I trust in the ridiculousness of our human endeavouring, and in all the absolute incredulous and moving beauty that we offer and pour out enriching everything. And I trust in the continuous urge, force, impulse, god given sap, that always, always, shows up, again and again, whispering excitedly in our ears, at our heart, with the words, ‘Ooooh, I’ve got a great idea!' ;-) :-).
Keep on keeping on folks. And thank you for reading thus far. Forever towards truth and freedom. Aho xxx
Hey lovely creative genius, let me know if you resonate with any part of this musing :-) And if you would like a lil assistance with shaking up your creative juju, then head over here to receive your FREE pdf book “10 ways to awaken your creative genius”. In gratitude, grace and freedom, HH
V is for Voice.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Hmmm. Maybe. Though not necessarily so! (as my oldest niece, having her little sister copy everything that she does, is finding that it’s more irritation than anything else! ;-)). But it’s how we learn isn’t it? We copy the alphabet to learn how to write and spell. We go to art galleries and reproduce our version of the old masters paintings into our school art pads. We study each and every nuance of our favourite performers to try and capture something of their creative genius essence.
And yet we also have our own way, our unique way, of seeing and perceiving and observing the world around us, filtered through our eyes, experiences and beliefs.
As a small child we dance and draw and make up stories and games. All of our knowing is play based. And pure. And innocent.
This innocence gets corrupted and we become closed down in some way. More fearful, less trusting of our own innate vision and truth. And this impacts upon our voice the strongest. We lose our voice.
We have been told that what we have voiced is ‘wrong’. What this filters down to, at the most base insidious level, is that must mean that ‘we are wrong’, ‘I am wrong’. And that is a mighty twisted place to live our life from. It’s an off balance, crooked and unstable foundation, you know, the bit beneath what is seen, to build atop. We might create giant heights to dazzle and take ones breath away but, and it’s terrifying really, a little gust of critical wind, a tiny blow of another’s questioning breath, and down it all tumbles, a staggering dusted cobble and debris of all that has been created from the illusion, and goddamn it it is an illusion, a deluded delusion actually, of being wrong.
Now copying is not wrong. In a way it’s an extraordinary way of understanding another’s genius. We literally put ourselves in their shoes. We shapeshift and become them like putting on a costume. We attempt to mine the essence of who they are and what makes them tick and why they create the way that they do. This can teach us empathy and keep curiousity alive. But staying here too long and it borders on fetishism and plagiarism and probably other words that end in ‘ism’! ;-). And it negates, the already wobbly toothed state, of our true and authentic and uniquely ours, voice.
Having spent the last few months crafting this here website for my new business, I have immersed myself in the t’interneted world of the how to’s and the marketing do’s and don’ts. Everyone has an opinion, their opinion, their VOICE, on the most optimum way to navigate this terrain. Now I’m not about to blast all of these tremendously helpful and creatively entrepeneured folk. Well maybe just a smidge! But there is a kinda ‘one size fits all’ system going on. A system that’s appears to be, in my opinion, quite shouty and fuelled by a shady hint of fear. Like that’s the fuel. Fear. Because unless we do it this way or that way we might never be seen. We might never be heard. We might never find those folk whom we are extending our hearts and arts out to.
I get it. I really do. Obviously I want for my business to take off. Obviously I desire clients and likes and claps and for what I am offering to be successful. I also want to make a living, a damn good living, from what I’m tremendously good at. I own this. For the sake of clarity and integrity. I both desire to make a fabulous living from something I am devotedly passionate about; and, I am absolutely bloody great at what I do. Full stop. Amen! ;-)
But here’s the thing. After many weeks of ploughing through this advice and this checklist I started to feel like something wasn’t quite right for me. Something was off. And what I realised was it was I that was off, off kilter from my own truth, from my own authentic voice.
You see I’ve never been what one might call conventional. I wouldn’t really know how. I’m me. I’ve always been me. And these days blessedly I feel more me then I have ever felt so before. And that’s bloody marvellous.
And what that also means is that I have been listening to and following my own truth more and more. Stayed in my own integrity lane if you like. And on a bigger scale that means that anything that I put ‘out there’ or offer or express will be coated in pure ‘me’ ness. If that’s a thing. Yeah I can see how that might seem a little selfish (me, me, me!!! ;-)), but there comes a time when we gotta stand up and claim our voice, and the way it pours forth through us, whether in words, or paint, or music, or song, or image, or dance etc. We gotta take our shape and fuel it with our absolute ‘Yes!’. We gotta own that crown atop of our heads, work that sash, and wave that glinting, gold topped sceptre, unapologetically, for all to see. Well, at the very least we gotta allow ourselves to be (fellow introverts I hear you!). That’s it. No excuses. Nada. Zilch.
So, thank you, there have been tips aplenty that have certainly been worth the deep dive into marketing know how. And I’ll imitate them because I can rub off on your genius :-). But I’m gonna put the rest down. And I’m gonna find my way, my creative genius way, to share my creative offering out into the world. And trust in that. And trust that being clear in what I am, which is the seed of all that I also do, will steer the way to what I desire. Or maybe it won’t. But we’ll see.
And for now I’m not sure exactly what that looks like.
There’s a few sprinkling of idea seedlings (there always are), and my intuitive soul will be my guide. I know that I’ll get lost and mess up and most likely at times act from fear as opposed to love. Because I’m human and learning and this is all new. But I believe in who I am. And, this is where I find my voice, a channel directly plugged into my creative genius. I’m practicing what I preach! ;-)
And it is this blueprint, though I hobble and shake and vow to keep on showing up and voicing who I am as an artist, as a creative being, that is brought to each client that I work with, and to each session, and to each creative relationship that’s explored through creativity coaching. It cannot be any other way. I want for you to deeply clarify and then take action from your truth. I want for you to be able to really know your voice and then to use it to super charge everything you touch and create with its power.
Because it is a power, and maybe that’s partly why we have lost it or are afraid of it. It’s part of our creative genius. And it’s a dangerous force but it has no rules or laws. It’s pure. It’s innocent. It’s goddamn real. And each and every one of us, has it.
What’s your voice dear one? Let me hear you :-).
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If you enjoyed this article then you might also like, 'Showing up for our creative lives', and 'I burn with a voice' xxx
Heidi Hinda Chadwick
Creativity. Sexuality. Life. Art. Soul. Love.