Spin Your Story : Truly Alive

Spin Your Story guest post by Julia Fehrenbacher.

The way to express our gratitude for life is by being truly alive, not hiding from life in a corner, or watching life pass us by. The biggest fear we have is not the fear of dying, but the fear to be alive, to be ourselves, to say what we feel, to ask for what we want, to say yes when we want to say yes, and no when we want to say no. To express what is in our hearts is to be truly alive. If we pretend to be what we are not, how can we be truly alive?

Don Miguel Ruiz
Truly Alive

There is so much in me that wants to be expressed, so much I want to say and convey and share and shout out and whisper. Sometimes I struggle with where to begin but that’s just because there is this little mind part of me that still tries to get me to think there is a right and wrong way. Thankfully, that part of me is no longer in charge… it’s still there throwing out all of its nonsense but I see it for what it is and am continually practicing saying yes to that quiet, calm place, the place that knows that what’s right is what feels alive and free and true.

I want to ask you a question. I’m asking myself too. What if, seriously what if you stopped thinking there was a right and wrong way? What if you let go of trying to be good, of trying period? What if it didn’t have to be perfect before you published it or shared it or wrote it or painted it or tried it? What if you let go of trying to edit and please… what if the only thing you concerned yourself with is just being True to what’s inside? What if you got all of the shoulds out of the way and simply said YES to what wants to be expressed through you? What if this creating could be fully about expressing something beautiful and sacred inside? What if you could get “little me” out of the way and honor that what wants to come through is a divine gift that has been freely given to you — for the sake of expressing and sharing, not suppressing & hiding away?

The people that are close to me know that I am continually asking these what if questions, but really—-what if? Have you really asked yourself what life could be like if you dropped all of the bullshit/ pleasing/trying to be good?

I used to think there was “a Way.”

I used to think that if I just met the right person or landed the “right” job or got to be “good enough” at whatever it was I was trying to do, all would be well.

I used to think I needed others’ approval before I could feel good about myself.

I used to think I lacked the “talent” everyone else had been so freely given.

I used to keep all of my writing in notebooks, notebooks that were shoved away in closets and drawers and corners.

I used to not write because I feared it wouldn’t be good enough.

I used to not begin because I thought there was a right way to begin.

I used to work on a poem for days and weeks before having the nerve to ask someone if they liked it, if it was “good” enough. If their response was anything other than elation, I determined that it wasn’t good enough. I’d shove it in a drawer with all the rest of my words. Each time I did this my light grew a little bit dimmer, the sadness inside grew a little bit sadder.

Essentially, I was shoving my spirit in a drawer, I was deciding that “good” was more important than God.

I started writing poems when I was just a young girl. I used to carry around one of those little lock journals and jot things down as I went through my day. There was such a feeling of sacredness there, pen and journal in hand, me pouring my little heart all over the page. I felt safe there with my words. I felt like a writer. I valued this about myself. One day, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my journal and my Dad beside me, and he picked up my journal and read a poem that I had just written…one that had come from the deepest place in my heart. And this is what happened next: he laughed. And then he said (with sarcasm in his voice), “that’s deep.” It crushed me. It crushed the part of me that was scared and uncertain and hesitant and already felt not good enough.

It’s taken me many many years to get over these moments, to tune back into that little girl that just wants to express. But, here’s the thing…I’ve found her again! I think losing her for a long while makes finding her that much more beautiful and gorgeous and precious and sacred. So, truly, I am only thankful for it all.

How liberating would it be if we could just let go of this trying to be good? If, despite the perceived obstacles in our way, we just did it anyway? If the only indication of whether or not something was good was how it makes us feel? Instead of asking, is it good? We could ask:

Is it kind? Does it make me feel Alive, excited, invigorated, nurtured, loved, inspired, FREE, like more of my beautiful Self?

Here’s my vow…

I will never ever allow little me (or little you) to get in the way of this true, precious, sacred expression. I vow to allow that free little girl in me to have a voice, to let it pour. I vow to turn my attention to all that is beautiful and True and Alive and good. I vow to say YES when I want to say yes and no when I want to say no. I vow to keep showing up, to keep beginning even when little me has no idea how to do that. I vow to let go and let go and let go. I vow to ask for guidance again and again, to get quiet and listen, to stop trying to do it all with my little shoulding voice. I vow to allow myself to be human, to make mistakes, to not know, to be messy-all-over-the-place, beautiful, unique, just right Me.

I vow to allow God to be more sacred than good.

During the small windows of time when her two little girls are occupied elsewhere, Julia paints and writes and contemplates the deep questions of life. More than anything she wants to sprinkle some good around in this world and is always looking for ways to do more of that. If you’d like to join her on this path of shedding & opening and living from a place of truth and authenticity, please visit her at paintedpath.org, she’d so love to have you there.

Would you like to Spin Your Story? Get the details here! Please take note of the new email address {spinyourstory@gmail.com} & response times on the guidelines page, thank you!

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