Recently, a long-time Facebook friend of mine (and classmate from 1994; yup, that gives away my age almost) introduced me to her new creative project. Drawing on her love for writing and performing in public, she launched a blog and a Podcast about exploring our spiritual journeys and uncovering our authentic selves. You see, I was never an aficionado of spiritual awakening lectures (I thought it bordered on pseudo-science) and my Eckart Tolle book sat in my basement collecting dust. But that mentality changed when I started getting more into Janice’s work. I feel that the two of us have a lot in common, but we had different struggles throughout our slightly more than three decades of life, and in high school, we also traveled in different social circles, and her friends weren’t always my type. Being the narrow-minded person I was, I didn’t feel the need to reach out to people who had different life experiences.
Bravo to such a brave soul. Listening to her first episode opened up my eyes about what some of my school friends were going through. She had real financial struggles (while my family was not poor, my parents struggled to make a living as new immigrants to Canada, and I could empathize with her), and when her life was at rock bottom (not making ends meet and going through abusive relationships), she found her way back up again. But at some point, she was feeling unfilled because her career at the time left her feeling wanting. So she moved out to a farm and later to another city to pursue a creative passion. And a freelance writing career and now a podcast were born. She had a spiritual awakening to finally be honest with herself about what she really wanted from her life.
I have often found myself struggling between my creative self and an external self that most people see. Only the people closest to me and certain teachers and professors really see me for the real me. When I write, I write with passion and nothing stops me from pouring out my heart and a rich set of vocabulary that I spent my life building (In grade school, I was told by somebody to keep a notebook to jot down beautiful words and expressions that I can turn into my own writing, and I took the advice. And of course, I read, read and read).When asked how I manage to keep a blog amid my other commitments, I reply to people that writing is therapeutic to me. I have always known that my creative outlet is through words. I tried the fine arts and music, but none of it compared to the way words come naturally for me. Listening to Janice’s podcast reinforced my pursuit of a creative passion, because this is honesty to myself. The external self can change over time as a result of shifting external circumstances that can stifle one’s creativity. But the inner self stays with you for life. And I want to nurture that part of me much like the sunlight that nurtures my plants every single day.
After graduating from high school, I didn’t think our paths would ever converge again. But thanks to the power of technology, I have been able to reconnect with somebody who has proven herself as more than just another transient passerby in my life; she may be somebody who can help me with a kind of spiritual awakening – to be finally at peace with myself because of honesty.
To visit my friend Janice’s podcast, here is the link. I have to say she has the same youthful look from high school. Listen to her podcast to understand her journey.