How hard it is to show ourselves! To make ourselves vulnerable to criticism and judgment. To speak, even if our voice is wavering, a truth we are afraid others will reject.
And yet, our truth is the only one we can show.....
I've been invited recently to do so much of that - to show myself. And as I play with what that "self" really is, discovering a body and mind and ?? through yoga, releasing it through meditation, expressing it through art, dissolving it through Buddhist study, I find the journey both frustrating and fascinating.
Through Jamie Ridler's Sparkles course, where we were asked to take a photographic self portrait, to the 21 Secrets Yoga+Art Course, where I've put myself out there in words and video to share several beautiful ways to experience life, to the artistic expression in yesterday's post, to the recent Buddhist Women's Conference where I was challenged to find (and perhaps dissolve) myself through words and sketching.
But all of this? Truly, they are just stories. They are my experiences of life and what words and forms I use to express those stories to you. There are no good nor bad stories - they are just our stories.
Today, I share with you another one. I am taking Natasha's class, Oh The Stories You Will Tell (great title, eh?) and Loving the process. (Natasha is an amazing, inspiring, honest, and involved teacher...you can also find her at 21 Secrets!)
We were invited to describe ourselves without using the traditional titles and role descriptions. Here is my story.
I am not I.
I am not the me you meet when I put on airs (unintentional though they may be).
I am best understood in stories, though they are just tales.
You know the story that accompanies the angry heat you feel when you've been threatened, when someone touches that button that you still haven't figured out how to protect? I am the racing heart, the shortened breath, the fire that burns in the depths of your stomach. I am power.
Do you remember the tale of the broken heart? Not the school-age crush, but the story where life seemed to stop, when love was lost to death of any kind, when nothing else mattered but that. I am the emptiness that is left, the salt-stained flood that clouds vision, the weakness that makes even walking near impossible. I am impermanence.
Oh, and the fairy tale that even now brings a smile to your face...the one that seems too good to be true but somehow you KNOW it is. The twitter you feel within, the quickened breath that races to dive back into that world, the thought-soothing freedom of possibility. I am magic.
There are so many stories written in the book of me. Steamy romances of groin-warming passion, Life-confirming tales of family struggling together, frustrating pick-your-own adventure chapters where the end never seems to come.
And yet, the more I live, the more I realize that these stories....they are not me. This book of "I"? I am not I.
i (yes, i) am the one writing the stories, the one reading the stories, the one surveying the blank pages ahead. I (yes, I) am the awareness of these stories, the author looking on as someone else reads what she has written.
i will keep writing so there are stories to be shared, because this is what creative human living necessitates. I will silently smile in peaceful awareness, because this is what divine nature allows.
So, you ask, you am I?
In return, I offer you a smile.