Be what you is, cuz if you is what you ain’t, you ain’t what you is.
—Old Tombstone in Texas
It’s such a common trap we fall in to. What is trending right now? What can I do that will grab the most pairs of eyes? If what I like to perform/create/write is no longer popular, then what can I do to make it more appealing?
Spirit begs us to ignore this trap, because it moves us farther away from who we truly are, which is our authentic selves. Your authentic self isn’t interested in being in tune with what is happening in popular culture. Your authentic self is connected to the Universe, and the Universe only cares about each one of us having the experience that feels most aligned with who we are.
When the craving and striving self comes center stage to your craft, remember this is your ego in charge: it doesn’t care how you feel and what lights you up; the ego only cares about likes, fans, and being adored. The Universe is already your biggest fan, and believe me when I tell you—you are adored.
If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. If you find yourself writing to a specific audience, which doesn’t feel like your own prose, you’ve missed the mark. If you find that your personal creations are trying to meet the latest trend but leave you feeling disingenuous, it’s important to do some mental reframing.
While at face value it may seem like only a subtle shift in preferences towards something more culturally desirable, this can be a slippery slope. The farther we travel down the harder it becomes to climb up and out.
As soon as we try to inspire other people, or try to say what we think others want to hear or be who we think they want us to be, then we are no longer being authentic. We are coming from the head and not the heart. When we come from the heart instead, we allow the message to come through us, rather than from us.
Escaping this trap and returning to our true selves can be done. And it happens by making a shift from the external to the internal. From the world outside to the world inside ourselves. When we make this important shift we can then find the light glowing inside of us and begin to fan that flame.
Starting the process of returning to ourselves can be done with five simple words: What feels good to me?
What feels good to you is the result of being aligned and acting from your higher self. You are touching your true nature, and any interest in having followers begins to fade. You feel lighter and more at ease in this world. More relaxed. Less anxious. You experience a feeling of pure enjoyment in your craft.
Some of us don’t know what feels good. We’ve been living covered under heavy drapes with no peep holes, keeping ourselves out of the light of true discovery and awareness due to fear or trauma, or losing ourselves somewhere along the way to the wants and popularity of media culture and forgetting who we were and what we once truly enjoyed.
If this is you then here’s the fun part: start saying YES to trying things on. While it may seem scary, the truth is that in the process of discovering what makes your heart sing the Universe is loving and supporting you every step of the way.
What is something you’ve been thinking about trying? Go ahead and try it! The Universe will applaud your efforts. Picture a crowd of adoring fans cheering your success each time you find something that lights you up! Remember, they don’t care about what is popular. They only want you to feel joy. Once you find those things that light you up, prepare to feel delighted!
Not sure what to try? Here are some ideas:
- Get Artsy: painting, drawing, crochet, pottery, calligraphy, art journaling, floral design
- Just Write: gratitude journaling, poetry, fiction writing, spoken word event
- Child’s Play: bike rides, running through sprinklers, hopscotch, look for tadpoles, cloud gazing
- Be in Nature: walking meditation, forest bath, grounding/earthing, city park visit, birding
- Explore New Hobbies: geocaching, herb gardening, dance class, book club, karaoke
- Get Educated: online or in person courses on any topics that spark your interest (many are free)
- Volunteer: animal shelter, school tutoring, food kitchen, clothing pantry, park cleanup
My experience with this exploration allowed me to see what creative pursuits aligned best with my authentic self. The more I discovered that which brought me joy, the more I began to know the self that exists independent of the latest trends. Creative ideas bubbled to the surface and delighted me in ways I never expected.
We don’t know which way our interests will ultimately lead, but the most important thing is that we like to do them and as a result we feel good while doing them.
Ultimately please know that not everything you create in this world will be liked, welcomed, or well received. This is OK! We were created to have different tastes and interests. What lights you up may not light up the next person.
Ricky Nelson once sang, “You see, you can’t please everyone so you got to please yourself.” Follow your intuition and do only those things that you enjoy. Be who you are, and trust that the Universe will reward you for your authenticity. Return to you, and you won’t be disappointed. There is no replacement for living as your authentic self.