Following Your Heart: Being Authentic and Learning to Breathe More

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Titled “Education” Credit: freerangestock.com

I know it has been at least a couple of weeks since I have written a blog post. I got sad for a while and…the many things that have happened in our world got to me.

I am sure some of you have felt the same too.

I think it’s pretty easy to feel helpless with your art as of late, especially if you are just starting out and building your publication credits like I am. You wonder if your work will truly ever make an impact on someone whether in real life or online. You criticize yourself for not doing enough. You ask yourself if this is truly your sense of purpose. You don’t want to get involved in very difficult, and sometimes complex, situations where people could be easily hurt even if you don’t mean to do anything hurtful.

I have seen that a lot lately, mostly online rather than real life. It was never aimed at me but people taking it out on each other. As someone who hates fighting, dislikes confrontation and tries to be peacemaker one time too many, it can drain you fast. You feel you have to protect your heart even more, and that includes your art. You feel you can’t be yourself, so you stay silent to keep peace.

But I have realized something.

You can’t hide your authentic self. Writing, for me, has been my outlet to be my best self without judgment from anyone. Lately, that has felt stagnant, but that’s because I wasn’t feeling or being honest.

When I wrote something earlier this week, job-search related, I felt liberated. The piece took five, maybe ten minutes at the most. I just did what all of us writers need to do more often but struggle to do.

Block the various comments from both sides: the positive and the negative. Tell the inner critic to shut up. Plus, a little instrumental never hurts!

I felt like myself again writing what I did. Because I was me.

I was real, I was honest about my heart and I felt those weights finally lift away. Maybe it’s been a growing trend ever since I felt a love for reading return with The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, my January Book of the Month Pick. Or perhaps because it is now 2017, a new year and 2016 is finally behind all of us.

Whatever it is, I’m finding my heart and light again.

I know the world is pretty scary for a lot of us. It is dark, at times divisive, uncertain, fearful and even hopeless. But I know there is still good amidst the chaos.

Remember your art. Read a book that you love that is not in your genre. I’m also going to take the advice of something I saw on Twitter this week too:

Turn it off (social media, the news, etc). Focus on your own life.

Because sometimes, you have to say I need to focus on me right now. You have to pull yourself away from the heartache and anger.

Follow your heart my fellow artists. Be real, and give yourself a break. You’re beautiful just the way you are, don’t hide that.

We need your light today.

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