I didn’t need to find a remote monastery, burn my clothes, shave my head, fast and meditate for weeks to have a cathartic moment.
I had it in my house in Southern California. And I was doing something seemingly innocuous as blogging badly daily.
So what happened? How could simple sharing of thoughts and experiences lead to a cathartic moment? Because they were “personal” thoughts and experiences. Things that I “owned” and would normally only share with close friends and family. By pulling back the curtains, opening the doors wide open and inviting passers-by in, I made myself vulnerable. The things that supposedly “made” me be who I am, my sense of self, were now at harm’s way.
The cathartic moment came when I realized that these things I guarded so closely don’t define me. And putting those things at harm’s way doesn’t hurt “me”. To be honest, it wasn’t just one moment, it’s been a series of moments throughout this process. But they’ve been liberating and empowering.
What do monasteries do? They help us realize that the thoughts and material things we cling to don’t define us and hence their loss won’t hurt us. The loss rather empowers us.
I’m really curious to know whether other bloggers, when they started blogging, went through similar experiences. I know that singer/songwriter/artist Amanda Palmer has experienced and embraced this philosophy of being vulnerable and growing strong as a result of that. I also know that the more I embarrass myself, the more I show my dirty laundry, the more I carry the sign on my forehead that reads: “I’m fallible”, the more confident and “hopefully” creative I become.
Here’s to peeling more layers off of my false sense of sense and throwing them into the vast expanse of blogosphere.
P.S. The monastery analogy was purely a literary vehicle and used with complete respect for those who embark on those amazing spiritual journeys.