I had a dream the other night that was such a transparent display of unconscious fears that I laughed out loud when I woke up.
In the dream, I was trying to help out some conductors. (Oh God, this is too much!) By “helping” I mean pleasing, being pleasant, can-do, will-do, think highly of me, know that I am capable and responsible and good enough to be part of the group. For the first dream segment, I was grabbing a courtesy coffee at Starbucks for Conductor #1, cue maddening dreamy obstacles to obtaining coffee, then BOOM I am running late to rehearsal. In the second installment, I was compiling a list of Christmas rep, but was late with the deliverables and invoked Conductor #2’s sullen disappointment. Such dream frustration!
What I appreciate right now is how upset I was. I was so frustrated, so myopic! This dream was a condensed replay of how I Used To Be. And now I see how much of my precious self I frittered away in my desire to please and to be accepted by Others.
These fears used to keep me in shadows. Shadows that kept me hidden, my good sense and intuition and creativity and worthiness tucked away for another day, another job, another time, another life.
It is uncomfortable to write this. Literally. But my present awareness is the greater pleasure. It is a relief to see how I have pulled my energy out of these external outlets. I have woven these strands back into my own source, which I am learning to manage anew. I feel strange, and still filled with massive, slobbery, unruly doubts. But I recognize them now. I am less near-sighted.
I also have a greater awareness of a life pattern. It is a cycle that I have repeated countless times, and I am faced at this time with a reckoning.
I give away (myself). I suffer. I awaken.
But I have always fallen short of the final piece: I reclaim.
To Reclaim means you have to change. It means you have to freaking grow, bigger and larger than you have been conditioned, and condition yourself, to be.
I don’t know what A Larger Self looks like. It is a fairly intimidating, overwhelming prospect.
But once you decide to reclaim your personal power, well, lurking back in the shadows of yourself becomes unacceptable and seriously uncomfortable.
I have reclaimed the power of my voice. I have decided to reclaim everything else in my life, too. That hilarious dream and those shadowy archetypes were a reminder that I must hold true to myself. (And frankly, a pretty lousy attempt at pulling me backwards. My poor ego, she must be sorely disappointed!)
My Self will not be overtaken by the fear of others acceptance, validation, approval. Period. Rather, I will believe steadfastly in my truest, wildest self-configuration of my voice and my artistry.
Do we not look at our musical idols and say, oh how I wish I had their courage? Their tenacity? Their brilliance at themselves? Do we not long to do the same?
The more I deepen my singing practice, the closer I get to that place of courage, and trust, and knowing that I am on the right track. I am so proud of myself. I am so much lighter inside myself, so much more caring and kind and understanding and for sure my voice feels like a million dollars, like liquid silver, like a factory showroom model.
The only thing is, I have no external proof. I have no person or institution saying to me, Congratulations! You have self-realized as a singer and sound awesome and are brilliant and you can now proceed to fame and fortune!
(Oh that is hilarious!)
But… I do have these teeeeeeny-tiny whispers. They are of inner knowing. That’s it. Teeny-tiny. This quiet, inner place of Yes. I understand. Now go. Do it. Just be yourself. It’s alright. It’s important. In fact, your life depends on it.
So what else can I do?
Can’t hide in the shadows. Can’t ask other people what they think. Can’t wait for the phone to ring. Or for a lucky email. Can’t hope for the best. And I certainly cannot ask others to provide validation for myself and my voice. The very thought of it seems ludicrous! But there you go.
So, I will actively practice being myself.
I will rely on my inner knowing as the only authority on that self. I will listen to this inner knowing when I sing, when I create, when I make choices, and when I guide others to do the very same. I will sing, create, and make choices. I will guide others. I will be in the constant unfolding of Reclaim. I will live into Larger. I will truly, wildly self-configure.
May you always listen to your dreams.
ps: this post is partly inspired by “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle. I recommend you read it. I wish I did that yesterday. It is in synchronistic alignment with my life’s timeline right now. It is brave and fierce, and I hope it may inspire you to craft your own true, wild self-configuration.