If we’ve been around each other for a while, you’ve probably heard me reference Inner Little Girl as an incredibly useful source of self-inquiry and potential healing. She’s been coming up a lot lately—in the form of various mermaids at that—and I thought I might talk a little bit more about her here, on this blog. What follows is an excerpt from Radical Self-Expression Manifesto that offers a deeper view of Inner Little Girl, and her …make that our…other spiritual aspects.
I know you’ve either personally experienced or witnessed the friend-parent. The parent who is doing their best to manage their child’s feelings while they do what they feel they need to do as parents. They want their children to be happy, and that desire even extends into wanting their children to be happy with they choices they (as parents) are making for their children. I don’t think that works. I’m open to talk about it (via comments or direct email), but so far, I think that’s more about a parent’s fear than a child’s wellbeing.
I believe that we live in a “Culture of Passivity,” where having a voice and standing up for yourself is looked down upon, and sometimes even punished. Vanishing face-to-face conflicts requiring direct communication is one of the main components of this shift today, although it’s been happening for longer than social media and the world wide web has been in existence.
Whether you find humor in this or not, you will find truth. And truth-telling often leads to dialogue, which is the genesis of healing. We can’t heal what we won’t speak on, right?
“Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have.” James Baldwin, Radical Self-Expressionist
Action, not inspiration, is how we find and explore ourselves. We can read great books, study great women, applaud great men, and cry at the memories of those who found their voices, and in some cases lost their lives to share what inspired them to action. But until we take it to heart; until we are willing to test our own wings,…
Inner Work is what will help you to take care of yourself while you take care of everything outside of yourself. Your loved ones, your work, your interests, all of those things carry big rewards and great risks. The rewards are obvious, but the risks require your full attention too. The risks cost you quality of life in the form of happiness and health.
When you finally tell a truth about yourself, out loud, you have to let the full effect of that choice work in your favor. Don’t shy away from opportunities to stand in your commitment.
If it’s a fitness goal, make a bold commitment, not one that is safe and easy to accomplish.
If it’s a professional goal, write out the vision so you can see it all the way to what you can imagine. Let yourself commit.
“For 23 consecutive years, the Fi Wi Sinting Foundation has hosted the annual festival in celebration of African heritage in Jamaica. We recognize and acknowledge the importance of preserving vital and living elements of our cultural heritage as well as the positive effect creative activity has on individuals; providing enjoyment, enlivening spaces and enriching lives.”
What images, people, stories, and words call to you stronger and more consistently than most? These are the nudges of Old Knowings, and if you use them up, feel them out, and follow them even when you are afraid, you will find the amplifiers for your voice and the clarity for your next step forward.
I had to take a minute to share this message of radical self-expression with you right now because the whole point behind what I do is to shine a light and sound a siren in any direction where people are using their pain to define their purpose, and ultimately to thrive as a result of learning how to use their pain.
When we manage the energy of our experiences (past and present) instead of just walking along our life’s path tucking, rolling and reacting to whatever comes our way, without recognition of our ability to harness what we know and express what we love, we become change agents. We become the small instances of change that push limitations and fears aside in favor of the audacity to turn a dream into a goal into a series of tasks. These dream-focused tasks become not just what we believe, but what we are doing to see the world we desire, starting boldly with ourselves.
I could list so many other reasons that Valerie embodies the energy of Radical Self-Expression, but it’s probably best that you visit her blog and find out more for yourself.
She learned how to close her eyes without squeezing them out of fear of infiltration of water. She knows not to hold her head all the way up because water would then get into her nostrils. And she learned to trust that she had resources (primarily her mother, in that moment) that were working in her favor, to protect her as she went through the process.
Sometimes, the simplicity of an idea or belief is what makes us more likely to put it into practice. This reminder works well for me, particularly now. Tap into your Inner Little Girl, and see how she can help you keep it simple, consistent, and of course, FUN!
I remind myself consistently that I am a writer. And that I AM is not my doing, but my Creator’s doing, and only I can undo it, most likely by not doing it enough (if that makes any sense to you!). Reality is subjective, so if we shift our reality from what we fear to what we deeply crave, then reality works in our favor.
This is one of the poems and images from Radical Self-Expression Manifesto. The woman pictured is my best friend. Her story inspires me deeply. She is all flow, even in the perceived ebbs. I thought this might feed you something yummy.
For me, my ever evolving relationship with my ever-evolving body, offers plenty of opportunity for me to practice Radical Self-Expression. My hair and my belly have been my two ride-or-die body parts, and I speak in honor of them quite often. Here’s an excerpt from my new book. It’s my way of practicing what I preach.
I shared this particular note on a juicy website I’ve recently discovered—The Goddess Column. It feels to me like a community of young Radical Self-Expressionists, listening inward and outwardly expressing the elements that comprise their lives today. I love it that they’re exploring and expressing at such young ages (early twenties), and I encourage you to…
I want more of that. Not just for myself, but also for you. I believe that it is a radical act to create and participate in scenarios that fuel your joy. In any moment, my daughters–like many children–can transform their literal reality into one more befitting of whatever emotions they want to experience. Imagine if you and I got better at that? Imagine if you felt disconnected from a particular way you wanted to feel, and imagine that you could get dressed, walk outside, and just be how you wanted to feel, instead of steeping in any sense of disconnect for too long.