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How to Find Your Greatest And Most Free Self-Expression.

A friend of mine got a great idea for a documentary about medical aid workers in Uganda. She was excited about it. She had a sense of what it could be about, interviewed contacts, did her research, and started writing.

 

But after she wrote a first draft, she gave it to someone she knew in the entertainment business who gave her a lot of overwhelming feedback. She stopped writing for a little while.

 

Another friend, after going through a difficult break-up, got an idea for a blog to support people with relationship hardships. She had a catchy name and a great logo but, after she wrote a few blog posts and didn’t get a lot of comments, she put it on hold.

 

A third friend who was in the beauty business had a dream of creating her own skincare line. She wanted to know what she was going to call it before she began. She thought of a brand name she really liked and started asking people what they thought of it. With everyone’s different opinions, I watched her initial enthusiasm wither.

 

What if:

 

We didn’t ask anyone for their feedback right away and we could trust ourselves enough to begin without their validation?

 

We kept it to ourselves for awhile until we felt more confident?

 

We didn’t shoot it up into the sky and then pop the air out of it?

 

My friend who was writing the documentary took a month off but then went back to her project, far more cautious about sharing it. When we spoke about it, I made sure never to ask her about the specifics of the storyline. I spoke with her only about her writing process when she wanted support.

 

My other friend went back to writing more consistently, committing to writing a blog post once a week. Within a year, people were sharing her words on social media and she developed a nice following.

 

My third friend did start up her beauty line a few months later. She wrote a business plan and created a sample. One day a brand name came to her that felt so right, she didn’t have the need to ask anyone about it.

 

A project in its early stages needs preservation and nurturing. After all, we don’t take our newborns out into the world and let everyone touch them. We keep them swaddled, close to our heart, and sheltered.

 

All feedback is “bad” feedback in the beginning. If someone says, Wow! That’s the greatest idea I’ve heard in a long time. It’s so funny. This is sure to be an Oscar winner! Then the pressure is on to make it so. That pressure could switch us off. It doesn’t mean it will, but it could. So why not carefully protect our dreams?

 

If someone says, “You know, that’s a good idea, but what if you did so-and-so,” or “That reminds me of this other documentary I saw,” or any comment positive or negative, we can get blocked—sometimes permanently.

 

And the worst thing is, when we don’t care what anyone else says about it, but we comment about it ourselves.

 

Talking too much about a project in the beginning can put us in our heads. Rather than allow our intuition to download for us, we spend it, depleting the flow of the creative current.

 

Feedback can cause us to lose the gift of the unsullied, pure original thought that emerges from our imagination.

 

This goes for everything we begin. Not just creative projects.

 

Keeping your seeds to yourself in the beginning allows for safe exploration. If we carefully respect the natural unfolding with no influence, the organic outstretches on its own.

 

Conserving and respecting the energy, we honor that space for the seed to sprout and grow.

 

What wants to come through us is meant to come through us, because it’s what we’re supposed to learn about ourselves through the experience of doing it.

 

The awe and wonder that mysteriously reveals itself when we open to spontaneity and free expression enlightens our life’s present moments. We can share it if we choose but having time in the beginning helps us decipher what works and doesn’t work for us.

 

What if:

 

I could dare to jump?

 

I could mess it up?

 

I could continue to create along with the fear?

 

I had permission to fail, screw up, or suck?  

 

I kept the fun in it?

 

I didn’t have to know what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, or how it will end up?
Wishing you freedom of exploration!

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Lynn Newman