Writing Trumps “Righting”

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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 embraced 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.

 

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  • commented 2016-03-15 10:36:16 -0500
    Dear Marian,
    I couldn’t agree more. I appreciate the vulnerability and truth that inspired this reflection. Years ago, I started writing two different books. I was so passionate about the topic, yet failed to find my writer’s voice when I thought I should write from a scholarly, professional “perfection.” The “righting” that you speak of permeated my process. Eighteen months ago I threw out the writings and “scholarly perfection” and started over after a freak accident changed my life. I found my authentic, vulnerable voice in the human experience of pain, struggle and healing. Thank you for sharing this beautiful reminder.
    A World of Love,
    Julie
  • commented 2016-03-12 10:01:27 -0600
    Marian,
    I feel very honored to be recognized in this post and even more so to have served as a reminder to express our true nature. I appreciate your continuous support and love over the years—thank you so much! I won’t say it is easy to take off the mask and simply let myself be vulnerable. Like anything, it takes practice—yet I must admit, it is a fun process learning to just be myself. The best part is the positive response because as it turns out, when I embrace my own quirky self, audiences feel connected and more understood themselves.
    I hope to see you again soon and share further insights about writing from the heart and letting go of feeling the need to “get it right,” as you mention. I love you very much and look forward to reading more of your inspirational writing.
    Lots of love,
    Lexi

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