Self-expression, a process essential to life, your life.
Self-expression, a process essential to life, your life.
Self-expression is not just a nice thing to do, it is essential to life, your life.
By Skye Hirst, Ph.D.
Millions of people are trying to figure out how to manage their lives and they are looking anywhere they can to find some help. It seems there is a self-help book for any and everything imaginable. Gurus, psychics, Dr. Phil and many others are making tons of money trying to tell other people how they should function. It seems our current times are filled with needs that are not being met with the choices we are making. There is a deep yearning, aching, struggle for something, but not knowing what it is. 20% of all Americans are depressed and that’s just the ones we can count through statistics magic. That means someone in every five cars going down the highway with you is dealing with some form of depression. Why is depression so rampant?
New kinds of research are studying how Life forms and keeps forming itself as living organisms. These completely new fields of inquiry such as the study of bio-photons are studying the electromagnetic fields in life and are revealing some possible clues to what is happening (a bio-photon is a light particle emitted by a living organism).
We are constantly creating a myriad of space/time realities within us. What holds us together is an identity that must express itself and it has requirements that must be fulfilled to live, to be healthy. One such requirement is a self-expression that comes from acting in concert with this identity, a fundamental, absolutely essential-to-life necessity for self-initiating, expression of your one-of-kind, never-to-be again, identity. Such action or sets of actions are essential living processes within each and all life forms that must be allowed, supported, nourished, and expressed for a healthy, coherent life. To fulfill this identity is your purpose for being. When you make choices against this integrity, you suffer. Much depression and illness can be traced to such compromise.
You are born with an internal organization that is absolutely invariant and does not change. This is your identity. This organization specifies how you will individually function. You have this life opportunity to fulfill your identity’s intention and only you can know how to be that identity that you are.
How do you do that, you may be asking? There are an infinite number of ways to be you. Each act fills you out like a bloom opening more and more fully each day. You get to choose over and over again which act works for you and which ones don’t. Again, you may ask how do I know what works for me?
When you act in accordance with this identity, you feel like you’ve taken right action for you. Your body/mind feels peace and centeredness. When you act against this organization, your body/mind will experience stress, tension, and if it continues long enough, illness will ensue. We are like a seed that cannot become anything but what it is destined to become. It needs a nourishing environment to grow to into a healthy manifestation of what it is. The same is true for you and me as human beings.
Through our body/mind awareness we can know what to do to fulfill these identity requirements.
Why do so many people not know this nor know how to listen to their body/minds? It’s because we’re taught to fulfill outside expectations.
However, the only way we can know anything is from inside>out. We can sense the body/mind connection to this myriad of space/time realities that form between the organization of our identity and what we choose to create with it. The only way to know how to fulfill yourself is by what you sense from this “felt sense” experience. From there you can know how to bridge the gap between who you are and what demands are being made of you from outside. Trying to fulfill what you perceive is being demanded of you by others is an ungrounded fool’s game that can only lead to misery and ultimately illness. Without this connection to your identity, you are like a ship without a keel in a stormy sea. You become tossed around until you sink from the despair of trying to realize something, but don’t even know what it is.
This poem says it ever so eloquently: Read it aloud. It feels good in the mouth.
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame: As tumbled over rim in roundy wells Stones ring like each tucked string tells, each hung bells’ Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; Each mortal thing does one thing and the same; Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; Selves – goes itself, myself it speaks and spells, Crying What I do is me; for that I came. By Gerard Manley Hopkins
What I do is me, for that I came is my unique intrinsic identity being expressed. When this doesn’t happen, there is a deep yearning, aching, struggle to find a way to do so. With lives encumbered by rules and outside>in instruction and mandates, each one reacts to these “against-life” restrictions uniquely. For some it may be depression that comes about when a person feels there is no way to find effective action, a feeling that nothing will change, no matter what they do. (Effective means effective for you by your own definition of what works for your identity’s organization and logic). For others these “against-life” restrictions may be experienced as deep fatigue. When self-expression cannot occur over time some form of dis-ease will develop. The body literally goes out of balance with itself. There is an order to the dis-order as our body/mind identity remains unattended and not free to express. The body/mind pushes harder and harder to get our attention and since our survival is at stake, it can be very creative in how it does so.
There are few places we can go today where we can feel comfortable being true to our own natures, expressing our thoughts, feelings, experiences and the richness of all that we have experienced and learned. Walking and being in nature away from synthetics is one way. The arts attracts lots of people because it insists on connecting to the inner voice, the “felt-senses,” passion and drive that must come out. Years ago Gloria Steinem wrote a book called The Revolution from Within and she reported many ways people find this inner process. This inside>out process can be remembered and brought conscious through many techniques and with the guidance of coaches and counselors. But seek those who work with you by asking you to go inside to find your own answers. Allow your own knowing to be called on, not some “expert” who says he knows best for you. No one can tell you what is best for you because no one lives inside your body/mind. Your body/mind knows. Listen to it.
So in this now, gently give yourself permission to express what wants expressing. What are you doing when you feel most alive? Do it more. The balance will surface. It feels good. It is health-making.
This is but one of the processes essential to life. There’s more to come as we learn about the inherent value dynamics within us that guide our choices. To know these processes is to truly discover the way Life works in all our lives. Let me hear from you. I welcome your thoughts, feelings and “felt sense” responses.
Skye Hirst. Ph.D. Jin Shin Jyutsu certified practitioner and student for 22 years, founder of LifeWORKS and The Autognomics Institute.