“We’re all afraid of the thing that already happened.” says Elizabeth Gilbert Author of Eat, Pray, Love.
 
That time a teacher or parent said THAT THING that wounds to the core of who we are. A creative wound.
 
That THING that imprints our young bodies and creates a shut down for sometime decades or maybe forever.
 
We’re afraid of it happening again. The thing that already happened.
 
How many people have I had in my classes with this wound, this silent killer of creativity?
 
I don’t know what compels grade school music teachers to shame innocent children into ‘standing at the back‘, or to ‘mouth the words,‘ but it happens all the time.
 
A couple of weeks ago a woman of about 65 told me she still carries those words with her that her teacher said about her singing voice.
 
She also shared that it has stopped her from singing her whole life.
 
Those statements that locked time into a small room along with their voice and carefulness crept up around them to replace freedom.
 
Breathe life into that silence. Say it out loud in a safe space. 
 
How many haven’t uttered or wrote a word, painted a painting, sang a song, danced a dance because of THAT THING someone said?
 
Someone said to me the other day ‘you have to get a thick skin‘, and I have been thinking about that and wondering, hmm, what’s another way? And do I?
 
Getting a thicker skin doesn’t make for good art.
 
Getting a thicker skin puts guards and walls around the very thing that creates and makes magic.  
 
And it certainly doesn’t help the singing voice.
 
The answer is not black and white. The answer is somewhere in the middle where choice lives.
 
Free speech is alive and well in the online world and giving everyone a voice, even if it’s a nasty one.
 
I recently heard Brene Brown speak to this topic about ‘being ready to put yourself out there‘ for others to scrutinize and her advice was to not put anything out there for the public to see or hear until you are ready and have worked through what you are writing or talking about.
 
Brene says her litmus test of when she knows she is ready is when she knows that; “my healing is not contingent on your opinion of those stories.
 
I would say I have one foot in each world.
 
The world of others opinions, and, the world of owning my truth and my voice.
 
Here’s to having both feet in the latter world!
 
I’d rather feel and have a creative skin, not a thicker one, so I must take care of my skin and know when I am ready, or, the above could happen to me, which it still does.
 
That being said you’ll certainly know where you’re at in your growth when someone has an opinion about your work and if your ‘owning it or not.
 
This is my work to stand by my words, sing my songs and write my writings even when the world say don’t.
 
I’m developing the sea legs to do this.  
 
What is the lesser of the two evils?
 
Having a voice and getting attacked, criticized and trolled? Or, not having a voice and being silent, keeping the silent killer firmly in place.
 
I think that’s an easy one. I choose my voice and I will build a skin that shakes off nasty like a deer in the wild shakes off pain.
 
But that skin takes time, love and my nurturing to build, and then just watch it shake. 
 
And if I can’t I’ll shrug, feel the ouch, and try again.
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