The oddities of humanity. The neuroses that so often become us that really have nothing to do with who we are, at all, or what’s best for our health, wellbeing and growth.
Take breakfast, for example.
My body doesn’t know that breakfast is a man-made occasion, and yet, still, I choose to feed it specific foods such as toast, cereal, orange juice or coffee at the very time it expects to find them in my life. The morning.
My body, I’m fairly certain, just needs food. To be nourished. It doesn’t care if what I eat in the morning is not, what I might consider, ‘breakfast food’. Only the odd little whisper of my brain cares about that. Should I listen? Or should I challenge what it has to say?
It’s not just cultural expectations around breakfast that rouse me. For too many years, I allowed the cultural narrative of suppressing emotional vulnerability to rule my choices, and, as a consequence, I lost the ability to live with my heart. Goodness gracious me. My precious life moments. Potential soul singing moments, destroyed because I succumbed to a life story that, ultimately, had nothing to do with the truth of who I am.
I have no regrets. Every wrong turn has brought me to this place of strength, wholeness and home, and I am grateful for the rocky roads I’ve travelled thus far. How could I be anything but grateful for the ways it has all helped to shape and expand my perspective?
I’ve come to realise that creativity is just the art and flow of being yourself. There’s really not a lot more to it than that.
At its core, creativity seems to be made of the absolute depth of who we are. And the depth of who we are is always waiting, somewhere beneath the surface, to be shared in its most resonant form. (I believe this is true for every human being. Not just those who are considered creative types.)
For me, the purest form my creativity takes is music. My voice, in particular, seems an extension of the calming, soothing essence that naturally seems to spill from the deep, internal parts of me…and so my music always does seem to reappear in my life, no matter how far I stray from it.
For a lot of years I judged myself (my voice, my performance capabilities) based on what others were doing with their own musical talents. Somewhere in my teen years I grabbed a hold of the idea that, although my talent was constantly being validated, I didn’t have a voice that could compare to a real singer. According to young human me, real singers had a range that reached far beyond the heights that my limited range could. Real singers were perfect, never to stray a note in pitch at all.
How sweet it is to have found the most beautiful new gift of evolved perspective when it comes to my music: that being…my music is my essence. Unique and beautiful, and only mine, never to be compared to any other. My voice and my music are here to achieve their own purpose. And this purpose has nothing to do with an out of this world range or perfectly crafted technique.
There may be singers who use a wider range of skills to express their musical essence in order to thrill…but to thrill is not what I am here for. I am here to express the depths of my heart. I am here to heal with my voice and perhaps to bring peace, calm and emotion to those who connect with my music, writing and creativity. How beautiful, to finally come to know this of myself.
And so I continue to release my musical essence as it is.
No more excuses.
No more foolish voice within trying to compare my musical self with others.
They are all beautiful fruits to be savoured and cherished in the fruit bowl of musical life. I am a different fruit, who finally understands that apples and oranges never will compare.
I’m very aware of the rich soil of this place. How I am peeking through the soft earth, unravelling beautifully. How I am fully becoming myself.
Over these past few weeks, I’ve been allowing myself to be as I am, just watching the world go by. Watching all the expectations I had for my life and my dreams fall apart, so sweetly.
I am here to create and to love.
That is all.
It seems that, for most of my life, although I have been creating, although I have been loving…I have been looking to frame this creativity and love within an identity. Within a ‘reason’. For example: I must write a book in order to write legitimately, to be accepted under the culturally approved model of what a writer/creator must wish to strive for.
But I don’t wish to strive for this. Although it would be lovely to hold a book of my heart in my very own hands, I am so fulfilled by life that it truly does not feel necessary, to me.
I only wish to create. To be utterly fulfilled by this most beautiful connection with myself and the people I write for.
How or where my creativity (my essence) finds these people has become unimportant to me. I trust my words and heart will find home, effortlessly. I know this logic might make no sense to some, but for me, to flow through life feels like the only right way.
I never had to write a book to be a writer. I never had to be ‘a writer’.
Life is for living. It’s a lovely sentiment, isn’t it?
Lovely. And vague.
Because what, exactly, is living?
I turned thirty-eight this year, and I’m still fine tuning what living means to me. I imagine I always will be. Ever evolving. Ever learning and growing.
One of the beautiful things I’ve learnt about what living is to me, is that I have these five senses for a reason. For most of my life, I woke of a morning, achieved the mindless list of tasks laid out ahead, went to bed, and repeated the whole thing again the next day.
No wonder my soul was starving.
I’ve started to understand that, to fully live, you need to know yourself and how your senses interact with the world around you. I, for instance, am extremely sensitive and I’ve come to the realisation that because my senses are heightened…I need to be particularly conscious of my environment.
For example: I need to try and keep things tidy, both internally and externally. I feel calm when things are tidy. I feel calm when I am completing one task at a time. Overwhelm, for me, equals poor mental health and activation of either the fight, flight, or freeze response (and, I assure you, none of these survival responses have ever worked out well for me, in the past.)
This time in my life is where I’ve begun to really use my senses to enhance my world and wellbeing. I’ve come to understand that everything we perceive in life has a texture and depth, and I try to utilise this knowledge to better my life, as much as I can.
For some reason, my nervous system tends to do much better when it comes to perceiving softer, lighter more porous textures. Wood grain soothes me. Light, drifting plants soothe me. Soft pinks, mauves, light greys: these are all the colours of me. And yet, for the longest time, I surrounded myself with bright and bold…because the rest of the world did. I hadn’t learned to know myself yet.
I often think back to (and I’ve mentioned this story on here before) the discomfort I used to feel when driving to work with my Dad, listening to the two negative, grumpy radio hosts on the morning show. Every time I heard them speak, I wanted to run. I had no idea why I was feeling this way, at the time, but now I know. It was the density of their energy. The texture. It was not at all light, it was heavy and bold: never have I thrived when surrounded by this kind of dense energy. Never have I been comfortable in my own, unique (big ol’ sensitive muffin) skin.
I can’t avoid density, I know that. Life is full of the dark, the negative, the heavy. But I can try to be mindful of surrounding myself as much as possible with the softness that brings me back to life, so that’s what I try my best to do.
Humans are funny creatures. How our worlds shift and change with time and age.
And though reality often hurts, it is also very beautiful.