Updated: Jan 17
Remember your origins and ask yourself why you suppressed it all
Following last week's thread, and concentrating on my word of the year "Introspection", in today's blog post I want to take you to that moment in time when you decided to lose touch with yourself when you decided to ignore the voice that had guided you all along and that made you a unique human being.
I want to talk to you about the moment you became what the world around you told you to be. But most of all I want to help you reconnect with that part of yourself that gave you purpose.
Discover what hides in the shadow space and let's find your balance through your writing.
WHEN DID IT ALL START FOR YOU?
To know precisely at what point we lost touch with certain parts of ourselves, it's important that we go back in time.
For those of you who are familiarised with therapy, you will know how important certain events in our lives are. Maybe it's not necessary for you to go as far back as your childhood to figure out when something changed you deeply to the point of making you close certain doors. But what is important is that you find that specific moment.
We all know something is buried in the dirt when certain frustrations keep popping up at times when we need to take action.
Daily innocent "excuses" such as postponing a meeting with your therapist, not finding the time to buy that book that will help you improve your writing skills, or telling your English teacher you couldn't write a few lines to work on your expression can tell you a lot about yourself if you pay close attention.
There are two main characteristics that link these three scenarios:
They are all taken from real-life situations and experiences
They all have writing as the common denominator
At the core of all these, let's call them, "mental walls", lies the same problem:
Facing your shadows
Shadow workers tell us that when we find resistance, we ask ourselves what is getting in the way and then we write it down. Remember that when we write things down they become real and it's only when they become real that we take them seriously enough to do something about them.
For me, that resistance meant not fully embracing my writing career for many years because of my own perception regarding what being a writer meant.
And this is what I will talk to you about next.
THE STORIES YOU'VE BEEN WRITING ALL ALONG
Reading someone else's journey in the writing space this week not only made me remember how my own journey started. It also made me realise how little I had valued my writing experience and process for many years.
I was eight years old when someone bought me a diary for my first confirmation. I fell in love with the whole set straight away.
Before having the diary, I remember thinking it was sad to think I would probably forget most of my childhood experiences and memories as I grew up. That's why I made a huge mental effort to remember days out, my conversations with my parents, and even my thoughts.
At a very young age, I started wondering what life and existence were all about, and that kept my brain telling me multiple stories.
Having a diary allowed me to record important things, funny moments and sayings, but most of all, I wrote down how I felt. And I did that very badly, with many spelling mistakes, with punctuation problems, but I didn't care because what was important to me was to immortalise something.
My kids find that first diary hilarious.
As I grew up, I kept writing diaries, stories and my feelings about events and situations that hurt me.
With time I learned that writing was therapeutical, which made a lot of sense to me. Looking back, I would have loved for someone to have told me that becoming a writer was a possible career.
It took me to travel to the UK seventeen years later and meet "Mary", my Scottish teacher, to realise that not only did I have an innate ability to write engaging stories, but also that I was doing it in my third language.
For years I didn't value that ability. Instead, I told myself that my level of "English" had to be that of a native speaker before I could achieve anything.
This is how it took me another fifteen years to truly embrace that part of me that was dying to come out. All because I believed I needed to obtain certain qualifications to be legit.
If you have managed to read this far, I am sure it's because some of my stories have resonated with you.
I truly believe that everybody has a writer inside of him/her. This is very clear to me in the times we're living in where there are more and more content creators, telling stories that help others in the process.
I know that Chuck, God in Supernatural, would agree with me on this one.
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH ALL THIS INFORMATION
If there's anything I am good at, it is helping create awareness.
As a language teacher, going down the core of students' problems has always come naturally to me. Sometimes the problem has nothing to do with students' abilities to learn a language but with all the false beliefs they have about the whole process.
Interestingly enough, the writing sessions were the ones where we made the most of their learning process. But more than learning from their grammar mistakes or expressions, which is also very important, they became aware of the transcendence of organising and connecting their ideas because, through this, they learned a lot about themselves too.
Neuroscience keeps showing us how writing is the most enriching ability we can use to activate many parts of our brains. If you haven't written like this yet, this is a good time to start.
Whether you are a new or an expert writer, I invite you to write a personal diary where you explore all the dark corners of your mind. Reflect on your day, find a moment where you felt stuck and ask yourself questions, then answer them.
This is how you tap into a well of information.
This is profoundly challenging but also deeply therapeutic. You'll be creating awareness that will help you reach all those milestones you keep wanting to achieve.
But also remember to be kind to yourself and take one little step at a time.
USE GOTHIC TRIGGERS TO START OFF
I know that sometimes we need a little trigger to start our journeys.
How many times have you watched a programme, listened to a podcast or read a book that encouraged you enough to start writing your thoughts down?
I am sure if you think about it, there are many occasions when this has happened.
Think about those books you felt you wanted to replicate when you were a child or those TV series you could talk about forever. Even visiting a place, like an old building can trigger things inside of you. They give you an impulse to write it all down.
It's as simple as going on a trip, either mental or physical, and listening to what your internal voice tells you.
Write down your thoughts, record a voice message to yourself and listen to it later. There are many activities you can do to start freeing those thoughts that are dying to come out.
And then let me know by replying to this post.
Now you have a challenge!
As a writing coach and a confidence builder through the Gothic, I've realised how important it is to figure out where our learning or writing blocks and excuses come from.
I firmly believe that if you want something badly enough, your brain will find a way of getting there. All you have to do is to ask yourself the right questions and give yourself the most honest answers.
What you discover there will change you deeply forever.
In my personal journey to reconnect with myself, I started the year with a family day trip to Perpignan.
My husband, who's very good at organising routes and visits, took us to Saint John the Baptist Cathedral. It was a refreshing and culturally interesting day out. It was so interesting that we decided to try to do this once a month. It's so good for the soul... and for family bonding.
We have even made a video about the whole experience, which has been very enlightening on its own.
Here you have the link to watch it:
Until next week, stay Gothic my friend!
Thanks for reading,