I’m coming out of the closet

A couple of days ago I was attending a social event at work. We were welcoming the first year students, and I was chatting with four of my colleagues. At some point, one of the colleagues I greatly admire but haven’t had a chance to have much contact with says:

‘I read your blog. It’s really good, you know.’

My response was … fifty shades of pink.

I could feel how blood rushed into my face only to flood down into my feet and back again. My colourful reaction was not lost on my colleagues, who were now full of curiosity as to what on earth I do on my blog to have this reaction.

‘It was a secret.’ I choked. ‘I kept my academic life and writing separate.’

At this point, my lovely colleague started apologising, because, of course, she had no idea.

It was a powerful wake-up call. I realised that although I’ve been doing this blogging thing for close on two years, I’ve been hiding in plain sight. I did all the right things: post regularly, engage with readers, share my posts, but deep down, at some energetic level, I was saying ‘Please, don’t notice me, keep going, just pretend you didn’t see me. I’m not ready.’ At conscious level, I wanted to make a bigger impact, but when there’s a discord between what we think we want and what we energetically project into the world, our efforts don’t pay off.

So, as I do, I went and had a session about it.

And here’s what I uncovered: I realised where my discomfort with the academic world came from. It turns out when I go to work, I leave my writing and what some people may consider woo-woo parts at home. No wonder it was painful! Bringing only one dimension of myself to the table was like dissecting parts of my soul; as a result, not being fully me at work felt painful, to say the least.

I’ve reflected on this a great deal in the last few days, and I realise that I’ve been doing the same thing on my blog. My writing and academic selves are welcome here, but woo-woo parts? Not so much. Yes, sure, I’ve written a sales page and I offer free meditations from time to time, but I don’t talk to you much about how I live and breathe this work. It’s not something I do occasionally when I’m stuck. This woo-woo thing is a big part of my daily life. I believe with every fibre of my soul that when I have an internal shift, my external reality transforms effortlessly. I know from personal experience that an effective change comes from within; take all the action in the world: if internally you are not prepared to step into your power, the external activity would either render slow results or prove fruitless in the end. My blogging, while energetically hiding, is the case in point here.

Another question that kept bothering me was why did I keep my woo-woo parts quiet on the blog?

It turns out that a part of me believed that if my readers think that I fall apart, they wouldn’t turn to me for help.

Of course, I fall apart! I’m only a human. But… I now have the tools. So, if I used to get triggered and get identified with that triggering for days, now I can shift its effect within hours or sometimes even within minutes. As any healer or therapist would testify, knowing these techniques does not immunise us from life events. Stuff happens. What’s different is that I can deal with it now. And actually, despite the discomfort, I also welcome it. Because when I get triggered, it shows me what needs my attention and the patterns I have outgrown.

Is this part of me new to you? I know I was dropping hints here and there, but deep down I wasn’t allowing myself to be fully me with you. And of course, people pick up on that.

When we say half-truths to protect ourselves, our words don’t connect with people.

So, I’m coming out the closet. With my new website, I want to take this opportunity to be fully me in this space. I’ll be honest. I have no idea how being fully me will translate into blogging.

Being real includes the willingness to try things out and even make mistakes.

Welcome new Gulara, unedited, on a bad hair day.

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15 thoughts on “I’m coming out of the closet

  1. “Effective change comes from within. ” There’s so much truth in that statement. It’s what I learned as a dieter trying to achieve lasting success. Any change, whether to improve the body or any aspect of our lives, requires a shift. I love that you’ve made the leap to “be fully you.” It’s something so many people are afraid to do. I keep telling myself the world doesn’t need anymore Joneses.

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    • Rica, thank you so much for reading and commenting here. As you say, it all starts with a shift in perspective. I came to the point where the discomfort of staying small outweighed the fear of being fully me. Growth can be uncomfortable, but it’s so worth it.

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  2. Oh! I understand this feeling. Though, mine isn’t my blog (because none of my friends know about it and I don’t like tooting my own horn.) Rather, I do it with my novel writing. Only my close friends (or those I accidentally tell about it) know about my novel writing and I… want to keep it that way. I don’t know. Maybe I’m still mildly ashamed of my novel writing (probably because I haven’t published anything), but also because… my novels are a part of me. If my friends read them, they know more about me than I want them to. (This sounds strange now…) But I guess what I’m trying to say is, I kind of like compartmentalization. I don’t know everything about my friends and they don’t know everything about me. That’s just… the way it is and the way I like it. Does that make sense?

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    • It makes perfect sense. It’s legitimate to choose what we share and with whom. That’s not a problem. I think what I was doing is to show ‘acceptable’ parts in ‘acceptable’ places. That’s when it becomes problematic.
      Melanie, thank you for sharing how you feel about your novel writing. I’m so proud of you that you are doing it, and I can’t wait to read it too.
      As always, I love hearing your thoughts. Thank you for sharing so generously.

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  3. I understand this so well. It is hard to come out of the closet. I have found some people resent it when you do because thought they ‘knew’ you and now they don’t – but it is not that we are trying to be deceptive – I was held back by fear of failing and so kept my ambitions quietly to myself.

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    • I can relate so much to that fear, Kathryn. It kept me paralised for years. And to be honest, I don’t think I could have opened up any sooner. It took me two years to get to this point, and in all honesty, I’ve been doing my very best to be as open as I could.
      I think it’s really hard to really ‘know’ people. We are so complex with so many layers which may not necessarily surface at the start of a relationship. I’ve been with my husband for over six years, and we are still getting to know each other. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate your sharing.

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  4. I’m quite behind my blog reading (again) but I find it awesome to read this post on National Coming Out Day. Here in the USA, tons of people have written about their coming out today. Yours is different but I still find it brave and bold. You are so right about the difficult choice to share or not, to mix and match or not our jobs and personal lives. I think it is okay to choose to keep some aspects off limits. We live in such an open world that can be very generous but also sometimes quick to label people that I won’t ever be upset at anyone who chose to compartmentalize their lives.
    It’s probably more difficult for people who blog and also write, being nonfiction or fiction, academic papers or poetry. Most of us are unsure of the quality or the relevance of our work and often opt to keep it secret.
    I rarely share my creative writing in detail because it would be boring. Also most people who don’t write would not understand how long it takes from the first draft to the publication. So I keep it to a minimum. But on the other hand I am aware that most favorite blogs are the ones written by very open bloggers. So I guess it’s a trade.
    Also I love you on a bad hair day!

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    • Thank you, Evelyne. So many nuggets of wisdom here. Yes, a part of hiding my writing out was because it felt so personal. I think Melanie said in her comment – it’s like a part of me and I wasn’t sure whether I wanted my work colleagues to know so much about me. But in the end, it’s not about them, is it? It’s how willing I am to be real. I’ve been exploring the theme of authenticity for a while now, and it feels yet another layer, yet another opening. Let’s see where it takes me. I love the coincidence of writing on the National Coming Out Day. I often feel that when big events like that happen people are on the same wavelength.
      Glad you like the photo 🙂 xx

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  5. Hola…I forgot you renewed your website and thought…hm, Gulara is also very busy and not writing at the moment. Oops!
    Great decision to be you everywhere 😉
    Big hug, XxX

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    • It felt like I haven’t been writing for a while. September posts were different while I was getting my head around the website.
      Lovely to connect, thank you for reading, Patty.

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  6. Hi Gulara great post. There is that thing in me that is private I guess but I have to always wonder if it’s that or some other reason for not putting myself out there more – such as eg fear of failure or whatever – but I think I’m getting a bit better at risking full(er) exposure – have a lovely weekend 😄

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    • I’m loving all the exposure you are doing, Susan, that is I’m loving you even more for that. The ageing book feels so powerful and it’s bringing fresh energy into what you are offering. Thank you for reading and commenting. Enjoy your w/e. 🙂

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  7. I am very glad to meet you.

    I wonder why you call it woo-woo. I could think of better terms: spiritual, perhaps. I suppose I am telling you off. No self-deprecation, no masks: honour what you can achieve and have achieved, for self and others.

    “It’s very good” your colleague said. Breathe it in.

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