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Learning to Listen

Some days I feel ready for the truth, other days I do not. I am connected with my inner truths and desires more than ever, and I lie awake at night, imagining my future life. I have a hunch that this “spaced out” feeling I have had recently is the new experience of being fully present in each moment.

Throughout my life, I have often clung tightly to planning and anticipating the next moment I might experience, in a controlling, outwardly-focused way. While this has made me an incredible event organizer, I have paid the price by being mostly disconnected from my inner landscape. Now, I am somewhere in the middle--between the strict grip I once had to have on my life, and the intense presence of being (and truth) that I float in and out of. Either way, I feel good. I am happier.

I calm the doubt inherent in this new way of being by asking myself how I feel. Last night, as I was unable to sleep, the answer was “Stupendous! Amazing! Spectacular!” However, I often see the shadow of my former self, which I inhabited only a few months ago, and I am compassionate towards her. However, I do not ever want to be where she was again.

I remember owning a business; I thought it was what I should do at the time, and it made me feel important. That feeling of importance gave me permission to ignore the voice in my head. Heeding my inner voice of truth may have led me to pursue a different life, a creative life, but I did not because I did not consider it a viable option.

Although I started my business with a creative spark, maintaining that fire throughout the business was a challenge. After eight years, owning the business felt like the world’s smallest room, with the four walls closing in on me. I developed asthma for the first time in my 38 years on earth.

“You could live a creative life,” I would tell myself when I had a tough day with the business, “but then, you wouldn’t have any, you know, money.” I had developed the belief that money and creativity were mutually exclusive. There have always been creative aspects to my life--namely, music and dance--but as I reached the “deciding age” of 19 or 20, and pursued college, the message was clear.

From conversations with my parents, from the overachieving university world around me, I internalized the following message: sure, creativity is something to do on the side, but if you want freedom or happiness you must make money doing something you may not like. College was where you learned how to make money, with money being the main objective.

If I pursued a creative life, I would surely be a broke, sad, and lonely artist within 10 years, or so I imagined. I recognize now that if I am not actively creative in my life, making money does not come easily, and I end up sad, lonely, and broke anyway.

My new life unfolds around me every day, one small leaf and petal at a time. I no longer allow creativity to be a curse. While it feels slow-paced in comparison with running a business. I can breathe again. I am learning to listen to the voice inside, answering the call to use my natural creativity on a daily basis, and no longer looking outside of myself for confirmation of what I once expected of myself.

The interaction with my creative self is god-like. Not the big-white-guy-in-the-sky type of god I thought I had to believe in when I was younger, but the god within all of us: the small, yet intense, crystal light held within all of us, each one of us containing shards of a bigger crystal light that shattered into infinity when the universe exploded into existence. This is the Universal Truth of who we are. This is what I will tell my daughter when she asks about god.

When I ignore the voice of truth inside of me, it creates a ghost in my soul. The ghost wanders around looking for purpose, not able to find satisfaction, because it is being ignored. I usually end up cranky on these days.

I now know the truth, the crystal light needs to be nurtured and allowed to shine. My inner voice tells me, “choose creativity, the money will come.”

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