thank you Jesus (and Lao Tzu).

Oh my, what a sunday full of revelations I've had. I suppose they started last night (though it might have actually been late enough to be sunday already then, given my very late bedtime), but my day has been peppered with wonderful and monstrous realizations about the way I am responding to things, and how I can change my experience more effectively and positively. 

…does this seem ridiculous? I realize that the last few entries have been about nothing but all these massive personal growth moments and big ah-hahs, and I wonder whether people are thinking I might be full of it. Who has that many big revelations all at a time, huh? 

Well, it's a seriously intense growth period for me right now, I know, and I honestly am just that focused on understanding and responding to life in a different way that I am dedicating a whole whack of my mental space to doing so. I want this. I want this bad. I want this probably more than anything I've wanted in my entire life, and so am just fully focused on the experience of it, for it is time (past time, perhaps, but then all timing is perfect..) to release this stuff, and have a new experience of life. 

Part of my revelation last night/this morning that has really caught my attention and heart is the idea that I am 'writing' my story in every moment through the thoughts and expectations I have about myself and how I function in life. 'What I am', in a sense, in terms of the way I see myself and the way I interact with the world. 

For example, at this moment in time I consider myself to be unable to play music in public. I also question, rather heavily from time to time, whether or not I am actually talented at making art. I victimize myself (albeit more and more briefly these days) for not being able to have a healthy relationship with a significant other because of my insecurities, and that becomes my definition: I am messed up in the way I relate to love, so that just explains everything that is happening to me. 

But last night, reading a wonderful book by Alberto Villoldo--a shamanic practitioner who has studied with the Laika healers from Peru for decades--I came across a passage that asked the question of whether or not I would choose to still be defined by those qualities? And if not, why don't I just decide to be different? 

It's a huge request, and surely most of the time we would shy away from taking on that kind of responsibility ("You mean I am going to decide how I perceive myself, instead of the world telling me who and what I am??!"), but….why not? Why not decide that I am just going to be a good singer who loves performing in public, and that my art is excellent and a product of my soul and heart, and that I deserve a wonderful, loving relationship where I am able to express myself fully and coexist in honesty and integrity with another person? Given that my mind and certainly my self-definitions are completely within my control, is it not possible (and really, really, really logical) that I could just change those ways of thinking? 

What I am is a product of the trauma and experience I have accumulated up until this point, and is not indicative of what I might be in the least. It is only a reflection of the areas of my being that have needed love and didn't get it at some point, and so a 'shutting down' of my ability to self-assess my worth and possibility occurred in those places. At some point I perhaps was told that I wasn't as good of a musician as I could have been, and so in order to protect my own vulnerability I took that assessment on as my own defining feature, never mind the fact that it was surely not reflective of all of reality. 

Personal power and knowing is the act of choosing your own definitions. Choosing to understand and then go beyond the limited ways you have of perceiving and defining yourself (and others) so that you may contribute fully all the gifts and talents and possibilities you hold within. Personal power is the process and practice of choosing your thoughts and making sure that they are in support of your highest expression, and then living those thoughts through your actions, relationships, speech and imagination. 

I can't say that it's happening all right now, right here that I'm going to release these previously inhibiting parts of my personality, but I can see them for what they are now, very clearly, and am damn set on releasing them so that I can fully release everything that I want to do, and want to give to the world. I have been in this process for a very long time, certainly, and many of these things have been released already, but the ones closest to my heart--those which define how I love and how I express my creative, powerful self--are still there, lingering above the wounds that had previously defined by sense of self. There is much work to be done, but, dear Jesus (I'm not religious, but think Jesus sounded pretty good) and dear Lao Tzu, thank you for the reminder. 

What stories do you tell yourself about who you are and how the world experiences you? How could these stories be more supportive of your well-being? And…why not change them?