If you were following my blog posts before, you may have noticed that they suddenly stopped.
Well, I'm back, and I want to share with you why I stopped writing. And why I'm back at it again.
If you couldn't tell by my previous posts, I've been on a journey of self-exploration for a long time now. Particularly since I started teaching yoga, I've really had to ask myself a lot of questions about who I am. I started digging deeper into the yoga texts. I started practicing more. I saw a health coach. I started taking better care of myself. And I started writing on a regular basis.
Out of all those things, writing was the most amazing to me. I was connecting with myself and others on a whole new level. I was searching within myself, and doing the work to articulate my deepest thoughts and emotions.
Then, I hit a wall.
Every idea that came to me seemed incomplete. I was displeased with everything I wrote down. I couldn't make myself sound articulate or smart. I began saying to myself, "if you don't have anything profound to say, maybe you shouldn't say anything at all."
So I stopped altogether. No blog posts, no rough drafts...I couldn't even bring myself to write in my journal.
I've been wrestling with this since I stopped posting on my blog (5 months ago), but in reality I've known all along why I stopped writing. And unfortunately, the reason is that I am a perfectionist.
There, I said it.
The thing is, although I know that I am a perfectionist, I'm only recently seeing how much it limits me (thank you, therapy). You see, I've hit these sort of "creative walls" before.
In my childhood up until high school, I wrote songs ALL the time...but I never thought they were good enough to share, so I only ever revealed a few of them. Eventually, I thought that none of my songs were good enough at all, so I stopped. I haven't written a song since I was 16.
I learned a few chords on guitar in high school. Man, I played those 5 chords to death! But when I started having a difficult time learning more, I gradually stopped playing.
These are just two examples that I'm not too embarrassed to share publicly (believe me, there are more). Time and time again I've abandoned creative endeavors because they weren't as perfect as I wanted them to be. My flaws-and my limits-made me so uncomfortable that I ran to the next thing.
That's exactly what happened with this blog.
All of my self-exploration was making writing way more challenging. As it turns out, it's not that my ideas weren't "good enough", it's that I was faced with the fear that that would be the case. That's the thing about perfectionism...it is not rooted in reality, but in fear. That "perfect" place I strive for does not exist, but that fear is very real and visceral to me.
So I ran. I avoided.
But now, I'm ready...at least in this moment. And what I'm learning each and every day is that if I truly want these fears and limitations out of my life, I have to transcend them. What that means to me is that I keep going.
So regardless of whether or not my writing is spectacular, I have to persevere. I have to look my insecurities and fears dead and the eye, and STILL decide to keep going. For my own sake.
I'm reminded of something my teacher challenges me with often: "what is keeping you small?"
Today-for the thousandth time-I am deciding to keep going. To move beyond my limits into a much more fulfilling place; one that is not reliant on my unrealistic expectations. All that's required of me now is to keep. fucking. going.