Have you ever attended a workshop, a conference, a seminar where you left feeling shift within you? That’s what I experienced last week. I went to gorgeous 1440 Multiversity in Scotts Valley, California for the Brave Magic workshop. I’m not sure ‘workshop’ accurately describes the soul searching emotional smack down that the 600 people who attended went through. There was that, and, oh yeah, there was writing.
The writing part is what I anticipated, what I thought I’d signed up for. Cheryl Strayed and Elizabeth Gilbert were the leaders and wove us through a series of letter writing exercises to, from my perspective, allow us to dive deeply into our own hearts so that we could gain clarity and focus moving forward in our own creative process. Because, as Cheryl has said, “anyone can write a letter.”
I’m still not quite sure the emotional hangover has ended, and I’m ok with that because I continue to think about the work I did. Using the creative process to speak truth to myself tapped into my passions. The part of me that feels light, and clear, and joyful.
I want to talk more about gaining clarity. A happy outcome of last week. It can be so hard in our culture because life screams at us from all sides. We’re “supposed to” be doing XYZ or believing XYZ. Other people dictate what is important in our lives and if we’re not careful we can go along like ants in a line, marching to satisfy someone else’s mission. When we break away from the line, our people often try and pull us back. They remind us that life they way they’ve designed it works perfectly and it’s safe. And it may…for them.
At some point it’s healthy to sort through how we want to engage with life. To review the landscape in front of us and go through a process of determining which parts we align with, and for those where we are different, what exactly is does that mean? If you determine you are led down a different path than the one you always thought you’d be on – mainly because you hadn’t thought much about it – you may find that life feels uncertain for a period.
And that’s where spending time gaining clarity comes into play. Your clarity is that inner voice, the one you can trust that says “this is what I want.” It’s not the voice of your “inner terrible someone,” ITS as Cheryl Strayed described it. The ITS wants to keep you safe instead of paying attention to clarity. I know that following and trusting clarity is where the magic is. Clarity shuts down the inner chatter related to your growth, because the ITS is speaking from fear.
Instead of staying in a space of fear, when you have clarity, choose to engage. To fully engage in what you know to be true, that’s the point where you will feel alive. I believe that as you gain clarity and realize you are not engaging in life according to who you now know yourself to be, you can feel like you’re selling yourself short. Betraying your true self. I know I do. Continuing to interact with life instead of engaging my clarity causes a plethora of frustrations and results in operating from a place of doubt and weakness instead of strength.
I walked away from last weekend with more than words could describe, and you may find slivers of it as I write over the next few weeks. Besides the warm embrace and comfort that comes from being surrounded by close to 600 women (honestly, were there a dozen men there? To say that is a stretch), I gained raw, unfiltered clarity. I know that I know the direction I’m headed. The bold life that God wants me to lead. He’s set me up for it. I choose to walk on that path. And I think it will look different, but I will choose embrace what’s to come even if it makes me uncomfortable.
Clarity isn’t a departure from who I am, it’s finding my true authentic self and letting that girl out to play. Brave Magic may not have been what I anticipated, but it was exactly what I need.