Being ourselves is often not encouraged in our present day world and the concept of expressing what “I feel” is extremely unwelcome in the part of the world that I live in. In fact it is so discouraged that, at times, those who try to be themselves feel the force of being ostracised and not accepted in the system.
I work in the media industry, and in our industry I feel this every day. You may question how this could be, as isn’t there the freedom of speech? Yes, of course everyone can speak and express, but most of these expressions actually come from the same energy – an energy that speaks of fitting into what is expected of us, to play safe and to not rock the boat by speaking truth.
Like many industries, the media industry is built upon the foundation of disregard of ourselves. The disregard exists predominantly because of the acceptance of long hours and a lot of abuse from many directions and levels, and in turn this abuse is hurled back towards those that would accept it. Supremacy rules every newspaper and magazine, and competition between companies is normal and expected.
It has always made sense to me that everyone’s opinions bear equal weight in a meeting, as every one of our opinions matter and we should be equally heard. Recently, however, I experienced a situation where, in a review meeting with my employer and fellow colleagues, my views on how the magazine feels to me were constantly being dismissed, as well as overridden, and it felt like a shock in the body to not be heard. In fact, it was so uncomfortable that I went into reaction afterwards when expressing myself. The truth was, when I was told I could not express how I felt – whether directly so or indirectly so, by dismissal or ignoring – I reacted to this and felt frustration right away.
And this is the truth of the industry that I work in, which often does not allow or encourage us to express how we feel. However, if we all stopped and expressed how we are truly feeling, the media industry would need to change its way of operating.
So what I started to realise was that my frustration came from being told that the purpose of our meetings was not to talk about what feels important to us personally, but to discuss what would benefit and improve the magazine. But the magazine is made up of the people sitting in the meeting room – the magazine is us. If we disregard and ignore ourselves and each other, and how working here feels like – if we ignore people in general – what is the magazine really expressing? That simply did not make sense to me.
As I felt into this situation more deeply, I understood that when we express truly how things feel, this expression comes from within our body. Connecting with our body like this also means that we feel all of our choices – the wise and the not so wise. Such awareness would arrest our ingrained pattern of relating to the body – that is, keeping it separate and disconnected from us. This new state would mean we could no longer push ourselves to make a magazine that is abusive to us and to our body, as the inner conflict we would feel from this choice would create additional tension for us to deal with.
This realisation has brought me to a deeper understanding, as well as a closeness, to this team I work with. Even though I sometimes feel resistance from the team, I could not resist being myself and just being joyful and sharing myself with them. Coincidentally, what I have found is that the more I share and discuss my own experiences in relation to how I take care of myself with sleep and exercise etc, that the more the team is open to feeling this truth in their own experiences as well.
What I realised from my experiences is there is no need to impose change in the world. We cannot impose change on the media industry or any other industry or system, and we do not need to try, or feel stressed or angry or frustrated at how it is operating. We only have to be ourselves. We do not need to always agree with others and we can have very different lifestyles and choices. We may not always even be appreciated. The resistance may be there, but the resistance within our own bodies is even greater if we do not live who we are.
When we are ourselves, we simply feel not just ourselves, but everyone else; we simply care and we understand, and we allow our joy and care to be felt. And how powerful that is!
I am inspired each and every day by the deepening relationship with my Soul. Through the understanding of how I feel, this relationship opens up to feeling and thus understanding the world.