For the first half of my sixty-five years, I strove to be what others expected of me. My well-intentioned mother taught me many important-to-her life lessons such as, “Don’t win all the time. Let the boys win.” Among his litany of Dale Carnegie quotes, my dad offered, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” Given that every moment was another first, I spent much of my life stressed out about showing up doing everything “right.”
I just completed a two-week Tai Ji program with a teacher who has been encouraging me since 1989 to let go of my attachment to “getting it right” and instead relax into my true nature. Discovering and expressing my true nature is a continual journey for me.
Today I was reminded that I reach significant milestones on this journey when I write. I thank Lexi, a family friend I’ve known and loved for all twenty-five years of her life, for this reminder. As a new blogger, Lexi is unafraid of exploring her vulnerabilities in writing. I applaud her ability to reveal her inner-critic (even giving her a name!) and to speak (with great humor, I might add) to that part of us that has taken me nearly twice her lifetime to discover.
When writing the first edition of Revolutionary Agreements a dozen years ago, one of my author friends pushed me to reveal my own struggles and imperfections to my readers. Ward's encouragement felt so important to me that I added months of introspection and writing time to my book project. Being vulnerable was new to me after years of wearing my mask of competence to succeed in the male-dominated world of business and politics.
The book I wrote in order to help others turned out to help me. By sharing my not-always-pretty authenticity, I released my self-imposed shackles of “righting” and e
mbraced my true self by writing about it. The result was (and still is) a feeling of greater freedom and joy. Funny, the subtitle of that first edition was “Twelve Ways to Transform Stress and Struggle into Freedom and Joy!” There is much to the saying, “We teach what we need to learn.”
After a decade of personal growth, I was inspired to revisit the book. The result is a second edition graced with personal stories from readers willing to share their own vulnerabilities. No longer dealing with the "stress and struggle" of a decade ago, the book's new subtitle reflects its -- and my -- evolution: "A Personal Path to Peace on Earth."
Have you experienced the joy of writing from the heart of who you are? Whether you
keep a personal journal that only you will read, or write a book for all the world to see, perhaps you'll discover, as I did, the joy and freedom that can come with expressing your own true nature in the written word.
Marian Head is the author of Revolutionary Agreements: A Personal Path to Peace on Earth (2nd edition, March 2016), Gratitude Journal for a Healthy Marriage and The Suprasexual Revolution (with Barbara Marx Hubbard). Lexi's March 5 post, "that nagging, critical blog voice," can by enjoyed at LexiBelivin.com.