"Lovely lady, I'm sitting on the bus having gone wow at the beauty, insight & courage of your writing!! The world needs to read this . . ."
My new friend and soul sister Marie Milligan said that to me on Twitter after she visited my blog for the first time and read The Bonds Between You and I. She later asked me how I write the way I do and if my English degree had anything to do with it. University certainly polished my skills but I'd like to think the raw talent was there all along, ha ha. :D
So she made a special request for a post on How to write from the Soul. The idea is to encourage those who feel they have something to say but don't know how to say it, or if they're even ready to say it. At the risk of claiming to know the answer to instantly fabulous writing, I'll do my best to make this less about me and more about you. So, here goes.
I believe we all have a story waiting to be told. A truth, a yearning, something we must express to feel free, to feel true, to feel real. We long to be seen and heard, but we worry that our story isn't interesting or witty or juicy enough. So we shut it in. We shut our voice in. And our spirits wilt with every passing moment.
Giving voice to your soul is what we're all here to do. It's the only way to learn who we are, what we want, and why we want it. It's the only way to blaze supernova bright with the clarity and surety of our truth, our story, our desire. It's the only way we can connect to the highest version of ourselves that's constantly calling out to us, urging us to step into our power and authenticity and light.
Expression is the essence of life. It drives connection. It fuels love. It determines commerce and imparts knowledge and makes us who we are at our core.
Voicing your soul is hearing what she has to say and putting it to screen or paper exactly as is. No holds barred. No shrinking back from your brilliance and authenticity, your passion and integrity. Writing from the soul is bleeding your heart out on the page in a safe space where you won't be condemned or judged for speaking your truth. And even if you are, it won't silence you because you have the divine right to be who you are. Your story has value. It is worthy of being heard. It IS worthy.
What are the determinants of worth anyway? Excitement? Compassion? Glamour? Expertise? Everyone starts somewhere. Every one of us has something within that no one else has. We are all human, but our spirits are unique. Our souls are unique. Our souls are precious and stuffed with pearls and are crying out to enrich our lives IF ONLY we would give them voice. If only we would listen. If only we would act.
Marie also said something about me possibly having a gift to heal women and help them let their stories be heard. It amazed me because I'd never looked at it like that. I never set out with lofty goals and high ideals. All I had, and all I still have, is my heart and my truth. And they tell me that we are all beautiful. They tell me we are all worthy and should break the silence gagging our brilliance and magnificence.
"As for my role towards empowering women, I have no idea where I'm headed! I just know the wings of my soul are unfurling and itching to take to the skies, and to bring everyone else with me. I think the burning urge to speak our truth and make a difference is what's connecting us and empowering us as well to move forward even when we're swathed in fear."
I wrote that to Marie from my gut, and I believe it with every fibre of my being. Why? Because women everywhere are thirsting for more. Freedom. Expression. Visibility. Acceptance. Connection. There's a palpable energy drawing us together because our hearts are crying out to be heard, because our hearts know what some of us are to afraid to admit: The old paradigms aren't working anymore. The inequality isn't acceptable anymore. The expectation to be impossibly perfect is too stifling to ignore.
Our spirits are thirsting for recognition, sustenance, freedom. Freedom to choose our own path and chart our own course. Freedom to speak and not be slammed by society for expressing our femininity. Freedom to be strong and assertive in the workplace without being labelled a bitch or ball-breaker because we're afraid to show compassion with our strength or we'll be called "weak", "soft", or whatever other derogatory adjective comes to the lips and minds of those who judge us.
The voice of the soul, every soul, is sacred. Every story is a treasure trove. Yes it may need lots of work and polish, but isn't that how diamonds are formed? We value diamonds so highly, yet we forget that they were once just lumps of coal that went through a transformative process. How, then, can we discover the diamonds in our stories and our souls if we dismiss what we perceive as coals?
We can't. We just can't. Because then we'd be missing out on the finds of a lifetime.
What if Maya Angelou never wrote her truth? What if Emily Dickinson stifled every poem that begged to flow out of her? What if Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and so many other great women heard their treasures calling to them, but didn't answer because they were too hesitant or afraid to try? Where would our literary favourites and standards be today?
Your story doesn't have to change millions. It doesn't have to be taught in major institutions for generations to come. It just has to be real, and emotional, and you. Writing from your soul just has to be about releasing what's burning a hole in your gut and constantly playing in your head until you give in and give out. Give it out. Give it to us. We need it. We're calling for it. We're searching for it.
If you put your emotions on paper, and you don't hold back, and you push yourself past what feels safe or comfortable, you're being true to your spirit. You're telling the story that wants to be told, that aches to come out into the world where it belongs. You never know who you might reach or heal simply by sharing your experiences.
When C. J. Redwine spoke out about being raped in her childhood, she didn't know who she'd reach with her words. She was scared to say them. But she had to defend something she believed in, and sharing her story was an integral part of that process. So many hearts were touched and reached out to her. So many people commended her for her strength to voice something that most would rather hide for the rest of their lives. It even gave a few readers courage to speak out as well and say they had been victims. Who could have imagined the powerful cycle begun by that one heartfelt action?
You don't have to reveal every last detail about yourself because you do have the right to your privacy, but you do have to lay your soul soul bare if you wish to truly write from it. And when I say lay it bare, I mean let your emotions come out. Let them breathe. Let them dance and swirl at your fingertips because they're not meant to be hemmed in and forced down; they're meant to be embraced and celebrated.
Revel in the depth and breadth of your emotions and your truth. They make you the magnificent jewel that you are. They make you the beautiful soul that you are. They make you the masterpiece that you are. And doesn't every masterpiece deserve to be shared with the world? ;)
I hope this helps you. I hope this frees you. Please know that there are always open hearts ready and willing to hear your story, to see you, to accept you. We're here. I'm here. You just have to open yourself up and take a step of faith. And another. And another. Eventually you'll find yourself running, and finally, finally, feel yourself soaring. Break those chains, baby. It's time to shake things up in a BIG way.
And remember, you don't need anyone's permission but your own. You don't need anyone's approval but your own. As long as you have a tale and are clear on why you want to tell it, everything else is secondary. See you in the skies. :)