So how do I feel now that I’ve come clean about starting a podcast?
Well, my feelings are mixed and they are swirling like an eager wind grabbing dry leaves and other debris, only everything grabbed is useful for me to notice. I realize I am always having to navigate around the habits of old thinking because my reactionary thoughts tend to spring forward like a Jack-in-the-box at just the right crank. Those negative ideas about myself which I’ve carried around for so many years refuse to die, so I just have to step over them, as the sleeping ghosts that they are.
You’re not smart enough; you’re not worthy enough, you’re not good enough.
Sssshhh! And I’m just going to step on over ….
And then other thoughts try to join the party, thoughts about what the critics of the world might have to offer: oh look, another navel-gazer, narcissist, amateur, confused woman, silly blogger, celebrity hopeful.
Sssshhh! And I think I’ll just close the door on those thoughts and let them talk amongst themselves. I’m not mad at them, they simply desire to breathe their potential brilliance into the ether like the rest of us. But I don’t have to listen.
I’m stepping forward into a quiet and nurturing space (here, on the blog), opening the floor of my mind to invite Truth in, the truth of how I’m feeling. And this is what I can share about how it feels to come clean about having a podcast after keeping it a secret for almost two weeks.
Relief— I hate keeping secrets! Oh yeah, sure, secret-keeping used to be a constant way of life for me, for decades. Secret-keeping began in a chaotic and confusing childhood, continuing into a shame-filled adulthood until a few years ago. So the act of keeping the podcast a secret — even if it was for just a short time — did not feel good to me at all. Initially, I needed to be quiet about it so I could focus and not be distracted by potential reactions. Finally, being able to write about it here makes me feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me.
Scared— More like terrified. Now that everyone knows about the podcast, what if they all hate it? Yeah, well that could happen but it’s not something I can control, so I am reminding myself to let those thoughts party in the next room with the critics. Fear ain’t going anywhere no matter which way I turn, so I’m learning to live with that.
Calm— I also feel kind of chill, like all is well in my world. I feel like I’m doing what I need to do, to propel myself forward on this creative journey, following my heart and my gut, and everything simply feels right. I’m filled with a sense of peace about fulfilling my purpose and living from my heart’s space. I feel grounded by my core Self.
Disoriented/Focused— On one hand there is a sense of feeling a little disoriented because I went from having a plan of keeping the podcast a secret for a few months, to abruptly deciding yesterday, to announce it on the blog. It feels like I smacked myself on the head with a wet pillow; it didn’t hurt so much as it left me a little bit dazed and light-headed. Because now I’m wondering about listeners in addition to readers. Everything feels quiet since the post, like I’m staring into an endless vacuum without sound. On the other hand, I feel refocused, like in one swift movement I’ve swung the lens of a camera in a different direction, finding an object beyond the foreground and zooming in. I can see I have a few balls in the air and I need to keep moving to get my work done. The blog, the podcast and my non-fiction work-in-progress are my guiding principles. As long as I keep moving, keep my head down, avoid staring up at the mountain of work, take it one step at a time, methodically checking tasks off my daily lists, I know I will get it all done.
Reflective— The disoriented and focused feelings inspired a bit of reflection. How did I get here and where am I headed? I got here — thankfully! — because I took a stab in the dark when I started this blog. And I was pleasantly surprised to find that it actually resonated with a few others. Actually, it was more like shock to realize anyone would want to follow along. And then the blog gave me the courage to take a non-fiction book idea into the streets, surveying and interviewing people. As I reflect this morning I am especially thankful to two individuals who declined to be interviewed and share their story. But they were actual angels to me and I will carry each of their spirits in my heart as I continue with this creative work of self-discovery and transparency in my new authentic life. The first woman was a 19-year-old with a toddler by her side; what I learned in the fifteen minutes I spent at a bus stop talking with her broke my heart. She said she doesn’t have any real friends because they all disappeared after she had a child and now she knows why her mother tried so hard to warn her away from relying on friendships. The second person, a woman in her mid-forties, who when she got to the place on the survey which asked a question about the relationship with her mother, she started crying softly because her mother had passed away less than two years prior and she missed her terribly. Both women responded positively to me about the idea of a book about black women friendships, but they were each reluctant to talk about the subject because they found it too painful.
So when I look at all these thoughts and feelings, I know I am on the right track, doing what I am meant to do. I know I belong here, writing through some of these experiences and now also sharing some of what I’m learning on a podcast. We have been so conditioned by our social culture to shut out our pain, to quit our whining about life and get back to work, to quit being a downer, to lighten up and play ball, or watch movies or television, or have a drink, or eat some chocolate, or shop til you drop— just don’t talk about your feelings because then it gets too awkward.
Well, I respectfully disagree. We have already tried life the world majority’s way and how far has it gotten us? Yes, we’ve made great strides, but at what costs? Who have we intentionally lost along the way, sidelined as collateral damage? The nobodies (of which I am a proud member), the not smart enough, savvy enough or quick enough to keep up with the fast pace of our frenetic social culture.
Well how does blogging and podcasting help with such immense social issues? There is no ONE solution. I just feel like this is me doing my part. And I also think that in the same way I used to be so caught up in solely keeping up with the requirements of my own personal day-to-day, there are other well-meaning, loving others who could use a little reminder about reassessing their own beautiful place in our chaotic world.
I hope I start a revolution. We are all way smarter and way more resourceful than we realize. I think a lot of us are sitting on untapped talents and gifts. Even when we think we know all there is to know about what we do well, there’s always so much more magic residing quietly inside each of us.
I used to think, all I knew how to do fairly well, was write. In the space of a mere eleven months I’ve discovered I know so much more, realizing dormant gifts I never knew I had. So just imagine what you might be overlooking about YOUR OWN hidden talents.
P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, even if you hate it. All listeners are more than welcome. Thanks! 😉