On Writing and Taking Up Space


On this full moon I have been thinking a lot of my relationship with writing. I have kept asking myself what those deeper reasons are, reasons that don’t include the obvious answers like using my life experiences as a catalyst for poetry, capturing a beauty of a certain moment, inspiring others by sharing insights from my own journey. Even if no-one would be reading what I share here why would I write?

2011, one of my intentions was to step out of my comfort zone to find my voice and I shared these words on my previous blog Glowing Balance:

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I had an interesting experience last week during my first yoga therapy session. After the consultation one of the questions was if I have ever noticed how my voice drops, and gets lower at the end of the sentence.

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The first realisation was that something prevents or at least makes it really difficult for me to use my own voice in a larger context. I have always been really sensitive to critique, and preferred to be quiet rather than opening my mouth, and saying what I really think.

Too many times I have noticed that when I speak with people who I don´t know, my voice starts to break down as I wouldn't believe in myself or those things what I´m saying. But it´s crucial to stay true to yourself, find your own voice and start to use that because we don´t need to please everybody.

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I have always equalised my worthiness with doing rather than being. For me my creativity has meant doing over allowing and the external critique, either positive or negative, has always been a direct measurement of my worthiness and how people see me.

This spring, during a healing session, it came up how my truth was actually unaccessible under several cloudy layers. And I felt a little bit defeated that I hadn’t been able to really make a difference, because when writing those words on my blog five years ago I was already aware how difficult it had always been for me to express my true voice and values and I wanted to make a change.

The truth however is that my throat often feels constricted and I have been repeating the same patterns in order to please others throughout my whole life. I have felt the need to constantly edit how I show myself to the surrounding world so that I don’t seem too selfish, too boring, too difficult or too something. Saying yes when my intuition has whispered no. Circulating parts of old stories in different order so that I wouldn’t feel ashamed of still working with same issues. That has created lots of pressure to the point that it has been easier to withdraw.

I have felt guilty of taking up too much space even with my personal writing practice, especially on those days when there hasn’t been anything new to say. But what hasn’t fully been acknowledged or felt through stays in the cellular memory and keeps showing up until the real root issue has been recognised. Sometimes we are afraid to be honest to ourselves, sometimes we need help from others to shine a light over something we haven’t even been thinking and sometimes it just takes time and repetition to be opened up to new insights. 

Have I ever even given myself enough space, time or encouragement to be really curious about my voice, what makes it flow with fluidity and expansion, without any kind of agenda, without trying to change anything. And it makes me sad to realise how detrimental it has been to yield and suppress my truthful expression if it hasn’t seem to lead anywhere right away.

It’s only me who has really rejected my voice and it’s me who needs to reclaim it with kindness and courage.

I only hope that new understanding will surface if I just keep showing up for myself with honesty and courage. And it’s a process that keeps going on, shifting from the deep seated unworthiness into acceptance, into believing that I do have the right to take space as who I am at this given moment, not who I think I should be.

And when I keep asking those questions, I realise that by writing 

I keep peeling back the layers that obscure my view from what is true for me,

I keep showing up for myself when I feel completely alone,

I ground myself back into my body,

I practice self-acceptance by observing what has happened without judgement and without rejection,

I access those parts of me that have never been heard or seen

and by offering myself a space where I can share what I have created I reassure myself that

I have the right to take up space and I have the right to be here. 

Keep writing.
Keep creating.
Keep breathing.


 

Diamons in the Sun


Deep within
under the accumulated layers of unworthiness, pain and unspoken feelings
there are diamonds of clarity, courage and strength

and they radiate in the sun,
when the golden rays of recognition reach them without judgment. 

Creativity that wants to flow without restriction
keeps surfacing
so that what needs to be felt through without distractions
and what needs to be seen with compassion before the pain can transcend,
will show up.

On some days,
when everything feels like constant repetition of the same stories
I’m afraid I’ll never find new words, 
never reach beneath the surface
and I get so frustrated I want to crack the layers open by force,

because it feels like I have been waiting for my whole life,
waiting for something I can’t even name,
waiting for something to change,

waiting for the the crystal clear fluidity of my expression

to radiate
like diamonds in the sun.

Space for Gentleness


Sometimes when I close my eyes I see the cobwebs I feel in my brain, 
all tangled up, 
layers and layers of threads that keep expanding into the ether.

Some of them are barely visible
more difficult to expose, 
other ones are easy to see,
but all of them
keep blocking my essence, 

and I’m not sure anymore where my truth ends
and someone else’s begins.

My mind has kept me running circles in the maze of black and white,  
without space for gentleness,  
holding on to the fear
I keep witnessing day after day,
as there wouldn’t be any other options
or any other truths than what I have been living throughout my life.

How do you revive the true voice when it has been lost for so long,
buried deep within.

Maybe I can’t feel my truth
because I don’t know how it feels like
to trust,
to live without constant worry,
to be kind to myself,
to be safe,
to be really seen,

how it feels to take any space.
 
And slowly
I start to fill those white spaces that are still left,
with brighter and lighter colors, 
hoping that at some point they will create new patterns,  

eventually dissolving the sharp black lines, 
revealing what really lies beneath.

Peeling Back the Layers


I was sitting at my friend’s light filled healing space in L.A. on a gorgeous spring day, a couple of days before my birthday, experimenting how to access and move stagnant energy from my sacral and solar plexus chakras with breathwork.

That heavy energy on my abdomen has been there as long as I can remember,
accumulating and gathering strength from words that I never spoke out because it was easier to agree, feelings that I never expressed because I didn’t want to show my vulnerability or how I really felt,
emotions that turned my blood ice cold and filled my lungs with sadness,
depression that replaced the joy and imagination and covered everything with numbness,

how I had equalised my self worth with external validation and achievements.

But the energy of what wasn’t dealt with back then keeps crying for attention, it wants to be acknowledged and understood, and it wants to move and transform into something lighter.

And we talked about how to take the pressure off from my relationship with creativity. Creativity that has always been my lifeline and has always been there for me when I eventually chose to show up. Something that comes so effortlessly is so easy to take for granted and neglect.   

How could I show up for the creative practice for the sake of practice, not because I would need to achieve any kind of external validation but for the sake of my healing journey.
How to keep the energy flowing, how to show up and commit even when it is hard, how to trust and be open for what is yet to come, not by forcing but by being gentle and curious. 

Trusting that eventually the energy will move through the layers of stagnation.

Trusting that the inner fire that has only been flickering as a weak flame will get stronger as I keep calling back my power, and that the fire will burn off everything that is not needed anymore.


Last year, it had been 11 years since I had painted anything, something that once was my source of joy and connectedness and as the months passed I started to feel that it might be time again. So on a grey and chilly November afternoon I attended a mandala workshop, and when I held a paintbrush after all those years and watched a drop of color moving across the paper I felt the joy that once was there and kept wondering why it is so easy to stop doing things that we love.

And those lessons that have come to me after that are so often lingering around us, but we don’t often hear or see them because it's so easy to get caught up with our own expectations and interpretations. 

There just needs to be a circle to start with and every single time something shows up. Sometimes I have an idea on my mind I would like to explore, certain colors or shapes, but what shows up is always completely different if I’m just willing to let the mandalas take their own form.

There are days when it feels hard and frustrating, but often, what feels ruined beyond repairing is actually a starting point for experimentation with imagination and an opportunity to give up strict boundaries and control. The willingness to journey through disappointments and seemingly dead ends transforms into spontaneous beauty when compared to something that was planned beforehand. 

And then the idea started to slowly gather inspiration under it’s wings.

Mandalas with my voice. No matter how they would show themselves I would accept and capture my truth at that given moment,
both with my artwork and my words, reflecting the soulscape of the current moment.

Trusting that something will show up.

Starting from a beginning every single time, without expectations. 

Trusting that eventually the lessons and beauty are going to show up because they are always there,
deep within, under all of those layers.


Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there
With open arms and open eyes
— Incubus

Spring


The spring never feels too early.

But snow has once more covered the earth and the freezing wind blows through me,
days when the air is supposed to be softer and calmer,
supposed to caress my bare hands opened up to the sky.

I can’t wait to feel the warmth of the sun that spiralizes throughout the darkness,
and I look up into the sky,
imagining what lies ahead.

I hold my breath, waiting to catch the sunshine on my palms,
longing it to breathe life through my lungs and heart again.

My body has been hibernating throughout the darkness while releasing old wounds,
hoping to catch the light, feeling alive again,
ridden of elemental grief and sadness,
moving on through the journey of murky waters
that on the darkest days doesn't seem to lead anywhere.

I am going through again and again,
crying for my creativity, my dreams, my feeling of being alive,

never feeling comfortable with what seems never ending,
the heart wrenching sorrow, doubts and tears

and finally I reach a space where I can rest for a while before feeling all of that again until it is gone,

or is it ever really during this lifetime?

Can I ever let go of completely, 
when the sounds, words and feelings of what has been are always reminding me.


And eventually I feel it through all of my senses,
child of the sun,
always waiting for the first spring day.

Sounds are echoing through time differently,
and when I close my eyes the warmth on my face feels different.

There is a change in the air and the wind feels softer,
dark days of the winter are slowly abandoning my bones,
giving way to new life,

and I start to call back my spirit.

I always fear that everything has slipped away from me into the nothingness
and that I can’t shed the darkness,

but when I start to listen,
there are dreams that flow within me like deep  underwater currents,
I know that they exist
but they can’t be reached with my mind or seen with my eyes,
they need to be caught with my heart. 

And the rare moments when rays of light, when reaching that world in a right angle,
will illuminate a subtle knowing for a moment,
and then life passes by again and the moment is gone.

And I sit still,
waiting to be blessed once more
with that knowing, that light, that feeling
of being alive. 

Stories


The melancholy that travels with me during the dark and fathomless months of winter and thrives in coldness and isolation captivates the old stories and feelings and traps them deep down in my body and bones. Stories of moments and feelings that weren’t recognised, acknowledged or really seen.

There are days when they try to catch my attention by filling my lungs with dull sadness,
on other days the only thing I want to do is to unravel the emptiness from my heart to get rid of the pain.

“You shouldn’t have been left alone.” 
“It must have been hard.” 
“There should have been someone there with you.”
"I see you."

Just like that, hearing those words from someone else who has given you enough space to share your story, moments you have carried with you for years often dissolve into nothingness,
like raindrops when they touch the concrete and turn into stars, 

and suddenly you feel a bit lighter.

There are stories that need only your own acknowledgement and can be released from your body when you write them down,
watch how they burn, turn into dust and stop existing.

Some of the stories you carry with you no matter wherever you go and whatever you do.
You can’t release those before the time is right, no matter how hard you try,
because maybe there’s still something you need to learn from them
and until that realisation they will travel with you. 

Letting go doesn’t happen in a linear timeline and there is always more layers to shed. 

There are also days when there is not room for thoughts anymore,
just thousands of beginnings that don’t seem to lead anywhere and are hard to grasp when you can’t stay still without waves of anxiety washing over you. 

Sometimes you are not even sure what stories you are carrying with you before you hear them from someone else who has gained a glimpse of your soul and acknowledges the pain you couldn’t put into words. 

And then there are those moments when you recognise your stories mirrored back to you from someone else’s eyes.


Letting go of the stories makes me afraid that I am suddenly naked without any protection,
so rather than letting go
I would rather keep them hidden.

But if left unacknowledged those stories always grow and gain power,
and the open space is filled with deeper sadness, frustration, anger, guilt and shame.

And eventually on some day, without forcing,
the time will be right and those stories come grumbling down,
one by one,
word after another, 
and I will make a wish:

may I be 

open to see with my heart,
rooted in my spirit,
grounded into my center,
acknowledging with compassion what once has been,

may I have enough courage

to reach out for support,
to dream my own dreams,
witnessing the shadowlands with love and acceptance,
willing to feel the sunshine after traveling in the darkness while searching for the meaning,

and may I feel

safe wherever I choose to rest,
safe enough to be me without the stories I tell.

Letting Go


The path of releasing and letting go spirals through the bleak landscape of darkness, 
and once more
I am lost where the time has stood still for years, 
wandering endlessly in the deceptive corridors of the past,
trying to catch the light, 
and once more
I am living through the feelings I couldn't escape. 

letting go

I stand mesmerised between the past and present, 
watching the streams of life in every shade of color
passing by my eyes, 

while still
a part of me is trapped
into expectations of perfection,
into something that once was,
into illusions that prevent my spirit to fly free in this moment. 

Over and over again I breathe deeply
and gather the pieces of broken dreams from the floor
that feels cold under my feet before the dawn.

And I see it clearly now,
letting go can’t happen without forgiveness
and it can’t be forced,
it can only happen when the heart is open enough
to receive the truth
of what has been revealed.

It's time,
to walk through again,
to root in quietness,
to fly free
and trust that when the time is right

I will paint with light again.

With light that doesn't need to get caught, 
light that can't be extinguished,
light that radiates from within.