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One True Voice [Day 18 – 28 Days to GYST]


This is Day 18 of 28 Days to Getting Your Sh*t Together.  Yesterday, Pace Smith inspired us to change the (our) world AND to really connect with others who can help us do that in a meaningful way. I knew you’d love her. 🙂 Today, my amazingly talented (she’s the designer of choice for many of the rockstars who’ve already posted here) and deeply insightful friend, Reese Spykerman shares her thoughts on the One True Voice you should be listening to. It’s awesome. 🙂

By: Reese Spykerman | @reese

Geneen Roth is one of the few authors I pay any heed to anymore.

Among her many topics is diet culture, about how we listen to the authority of others, versus our own bodies, when it comes to choosing how and what to eat. In her book Breaking Free from Emotional Eating (Dear men in the house, please bear with me for 2 paragraphs), she writes:

“We eat what the current authority tells us to eat, when we are told to eat it. And because the current authority is usurped monthly by a more current authority, what and when we feed ourselves also changes – and often.”

Getting our shit together is no different.

Bookstores and marketing departments make gazillions in releasing titles and information that tell us what to do to be more productive, more romantic, more organized, less stressed, more hyped, leaner, bolder, blonder, more rich, more happy, more everything, less some things.

In recent years, there’s the addition of a new veneer of individualism or “authenticity” thrown in just to take our egos for a new ride.

And we believe them. We believe in the wisdom of someone’s face on a book more than we believe in ourselves, even when we think we’re being rebels in what we do.

We figure that anyone gifted (or is it really connected?) enough to get a book published must know something more than we know.

Or we think that nomadic woman who built her six-figure business in a year must know a thing or two that we don’t, and we are lesser beings accordingly.

Maybe she does. Maybe she doesn’t. But in choosing, consistently, to listen more to the mantras of others than we do to the song inside of ourselves, we live a life of denial.

Our true heart is left rejected. We’ll walk around with uncertainty, until some book or product seems to pave the way and hold the secrets, and then, for a flint of a moment, we strut a bit because we think we know now what to do.

We think the path is clear.the path is clear

Then the path fails, or perhaps it succeeds for a short while, but before long we’re empty again and craving the advice of someone else to tell us something else about how the hell to make our lives something better.

The cycle never ends. There will, I promise, always be a trove of books, programs and gurus at the ready to sell you what they know.

The problem isn’t with the selling or the commercialization or the marketing.

The problem is we give all that more credence than we’re ever willing to dare to give ourselves.

And we are left thirsty and small, stuck in a Gravatron ride of advice, success (or failure), dejection, advice, success/failure, dejection, uncertainty, advice, and onward.

After years of this, it’s frightening to imagine looking within for the enlightenment we seek. So much conditioning leads to chronic self-doubt.

We stand frozen, facing a battle between our egos, which think we should continue as planned, and our souls, which never feel heard.

So what do you to stop this mess? Self-admonishment and drastic measures are rarely the answer. You could stop all at once or you could be kind to yourself and a bit patient and begin extracting yourself from the commercialized relationships that are their own special brand of Xanax.

You let one go, you see how that feels.

Maybe you question one internally. “Does this person really know what’s best for me?”

Maybe you start defining your own rules and order for scheduling in your life.

And then you begin to question the next thing you stumble across that promises magical secrets.

What about your own wild, passionate magical secrets?

Do they not deserve to be heard?

Will you not allow them a voice, just for you? A moment on the stage, a chance with the mic?

There’s so much discomfort surrounding this prospect. We’ll avoid immediate discomfort at all costs, even if our long-term mental health and sanity are at stake.

To choose your own voice’s wisdom when it comes to doing your Big Thing or living your life or communicating with your partner or getting your shit together, it’s a courageous act.

It’s you being brave.

There is no overnight change, at least not in my experience. No earth-shattering ah ha, no American-Idol-winning moment. While there will always be a need and desire for the wisdom and help of others, there is the realization that enough is enough, and the path before you is incredibly foggy, but it is YOURS.

Your path. Your way. Your wisdom.

You will fall and you will get lost. Unlike the usual list of promises and benefits, I’m not going to sell you bullshit on this one. The paths of others will converge with yours and often they will try to pull your path in their direction.

And if you follow that – if you believe their paths are more worthy than your own, you find yourself five years from now wondering where you went, how you got here, and why you feel so stripped inside.

The way out isn’t found through me, or through Sarah, or through the bloggers and marketers you admire.

The way out is you. I don’t know what that path looks like, and neither, probably, do you.

That’s the rub.

But that is also where you find peace, where you dance not with jaded bitterness of all you know now and your journey thus far, but with joy over the uncertainty.

When you get your shit together in this way, it’s not a grounded thing. It’s not a finite, directed path.

But in the uncertainty of listening to our own musings and thoughts, we begin to feel whole again.

We find hardships are lighter. Creativity comes with more ease. There’s a softening to everything until the seasons of our goals and milestones blend together kindly.

We see that what may be a greater path than making a grand impact on thousands of people is making a life-changing impact on a few we love dearly. Our egos quiet, and we make things out of love and passion, regardless of their end scale.

And it becomes enough. More than enough. It becomes a life where “having it all together” really means trusting, above all else, in ourselves.


How does this post make you feel? Uncertain? Inspired? Skeptical? Do you have faith in your ability to trust yourself above all others? If not, what tiny step can you take to start?


Photo credit goes to: Nina Matthews on Flickr.

reese spykermanReese Spykerman is a designer who goes to the antique store and farmers market and library to get inspiration for her work. In 2011, getting her shit together looks something like a return to work just for herself. You can connect with her on Twitter at @reese.

>> Over 500 people are so committed to getting their sh*t together in February that they are getting a DAILY email from me. And new people are STILL joining!!It’s not toolate to join them for a kick-ass month!<<

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