This month it’s my blog’s third anniversary! Whoop whoop! This anniversary invited me to think back on why I ever started writing this blog in the first place, three years ago. While I was contemplating my motivation and reasons for starting this project, I realized that this decision has influenced my life in so many more surprising ways. Today I want to share with you this story which might help you in making smaller and bigger life decisions.
I remember very well when I slowly started sharing my idea with friends and family about my blog. Many people came with well meant advice about how to gain more readers and followers, which quickly made me realize one thing: This is not the main reason I’m blogging for. Even though I really wanted to get my message across, my main aim was not focused on my readers, but actually on me.
I had been thinking about writing this blog for about a year before I finally started. Fear and feelings of inadequacy kept me from doing what my soul was obviously yearning for. You need to know that from a very young age, I was traumatized about doing anything that requires any creative skills. At school I’d always receive under average marks for all my creative endeavours which is why I quickly decided that arts and creativity was for other people, but not for me.
Obviously, writing was also one of those skills in which I consistently underperformed in the eyes of my teachers. It took me a year to convince myself that not only skilled writers have the right to start a blog. I had the right to do so, simply because I had the desire. My blog wouldn’t offend anyone, nor would it bring me into jail or ruin me financially. The worst I could risk is that no one would read it or that people would make fun of me. I consciously decided that this time shame and fear would not control me and I launched this blog.
In the beginning I barely told anyone about it. I was deeply ashamed and only dared to tell my closest friends and family members about my secret activity. Over the time, I slowly started to share it more and more, though up until today I’m still not very open about it. So, why did I ever start blogging if I’m so afraid to share it?
As I mentioned, this blog was more of a project which was meant to serve myself. In the first place, I really felt this strong desire to simply share the wonderful insights and experiences I have gained of being on the spiritual path throughout the past 10 years. Ever since I’ve been on the spiritual path, my life has changed beyond the imaginable. My pessimistic and self-loathing former me would have never dreamed this to be possible. Instead of hating myself, I actually really enjoy being me; instead of pitying myself and complaining about my life, I actively turn failures into lessons and instead of blaming my mother for putting me in this horrible world, I started exploring it and seeking pleasure in even the simplest things this world has to offer.
Before I started writing blog posts, I’d share my insights with friends and family, but soon found out that not everyone was equally interested in my “woolly” talk and would even be annoyed by it. I learnt the hard way that we simply can’t force people into being happy. So, instead of wasting my energy in telling unwilling friends and family members about this terrific inner world I discovered recently, I decided to write it down and spread the message all over the internet. In the end, I’m a social butterfly and I really enjoy sharing and connecting, no matter whether it’s in real life or virtual.
Furthermore, writing down my experiences is also a way of honouring this precious process of being on the spiritual path. It’s like a traveler who first sets foot in a new country. He feels flashed by the bright and lively colours, the exotic odors his nose has never smelled before and the different lifestyles and traditions the traveller has never experienced before. Completely overwhelmed by all these impressions, he feels the urge to capture his impressions on paper, in order to create memories and dwell just a little bit longer in this precious experience. Writing about his experiences helps to give them more meaning and enables him to get back to those feelings and sensations through his own words and sentences.
My posts help me to capture my own inner journey like a picture in a golden frame. They enable me to travel back and forth within my journey, reminding me how grateful I can be for having embarked on this life-long trip. My own words cheer me up in moments of hopelessness and despair. This is also exactly the reason why I want to share my insights with you. Throughout the process I’ve greatly benefited from reading posts from other people who have shared their journey. In the end sharing is caring, right?
So, am I trying to convince you to write blog posts as well? No, but what I’m trying to tell you with this post is that no matter what you do, you can only stick to it and feel gratification for the work if you do it for one person only: for yourself. As soon as you start doing things for other people, expecting something in return, you’ll likely end up disappointed, angry, sad and eventually you’ll give up.
Whatever you do, do it from your heart, do it because it’s your purpose, because you enjoy it, because you would even do it if you were the only person on this world. When you do your work, don’t expect praise; when you raise your children, don’t expect gratitude and when you let your creativity flow, don’t expect anyone to pay for it. Do it because you want to do it.
Doing things in alignment with your Inner Being rather than with your ego will oftentimes result in even more positive outcomes than you might expect. Next to honouring my spiritual process and sharing it with the world, my blog has also helped overcoming a huge obstacle: my shame. As I mentioned, I’ve never excelled at any creative acitivity, so putting myself out there in public was a huge step for me. Overcoming my shame was a very critical step in my creative life, as it was so strong it had completely paralyzed me. I had put all kinds of creative activity on hold out of fear of (self-) judgement.
Experiencing that it’s perfectly possible to confront my fears and still see the world turning, has helped me to look more of my fears deep into the eyes. Over the years I’ve inspected more and more aspects of my life and have identified whether my actions are driven by my Inner Being or by some form of fear. In this process, I realized that many things I had been doing were driven by some form of false security (read: fear) which were either geared towards fulfilling societal duties or self imposed duties. This realisation has helped me shift my actions from goal-oriented actions to soul-oriented actions!
This has led me to me to cut out the things in my life I felt didn’t serve my Inner Being. I started working less and spending more of my time and energy on the things that really make my soul sing. To my surprise I found out recently that what I really enjoy is exactly the thing I’ve been surpressing the most: letting my creative juices flow!
With no other goal in mind than just enjoying the proces, I took up painting and drawing again. My pieces of art look just the way they looked when I stopped at the age of 10, but the feeling I get while doing it has changed dramatically. I don’t fear getting a bad mark anymore which created space in my heart to just enjoy the process. With all my heart I enjoy connecting with the object I want to represent. And the level of presence it requires to establish this connection literally brings light and joy into my life!
And in presence and the release of resistance lies the key. The time alone is not going to bring you any closer to your Higher Self if you keep traveling back and forth in past and future, resisting the Here and Now. Can you really enjoy what you’re doing right now regardless of your past experiences and what it’s going to bring you in the future? Of course, we have moments of not being in alignment and feeling resistance even for doing something we actually enjoy. By being present you can learn to tell the difference between the things you do for your Higher Self and the things you do for some exterior motive. Because being in the Here and Now disables you to be led by fear, anger and pride and automatically connects you to your true motivation. Presence silences your ego and gives your Higher Self space to communicate what it really wants. And voilà: Gone is the resistance!
To top things off, I’d like to remind you that living in aligment with your Higher Self oftentimes leads to even more unexpected blessings from the Universe. In my case, my blog has led my (by now ex-) partner to take up contact with me which has led to a wonderful relationship which I wouldn’t want to have missed. Even though the relationship is over, I will always treasure this period in my life! And I continue valuing my ex partner, as he has turned himself into a wonderful friend who might have not been part of my life if it weren’t for this blog :)
So, is there something in your life you have been yearning for but you’ve been putting off for some reason? As long as you know that this is a heartfelt desire, take a deep breath, let go, tune into the now and just do it! Enjoy being true to yourself and get ready to watch the many unexpected blessings unfold…