When Wayne Dyer passed away, one of his most famous quotes, “don’t let the music die inside of you”, came to my mind. I always appreciated how much he encouraged people to follow their passions and live a life without any regrets.
I think it’s safe to say that society programs us to focus on the rational, practical and responsible aspects of life and while that’s all good and necessary, it can operate to our detriment if it causes us to loose parts of ourselves that keep our spirit alive. For a lot of us it’s the artistic or more creative aspects that become neglected in fulfilling the role that society dictates to us.
Sometimes, I meet people I knew from my childhood and teenage years who had incredible talent. They were singers, dancers, sports players, and musicians. When I ask them if they’re still keeping up with their talents, they usually say no – often citing lack of time as the reason. They work long hours, have family obligations and can barely take care of themselves, let alone think about taking any time to pursue their hobbies.
And when I poke around even more (because I really am fascinated by the ways in which people choose to live their lives) I usually find that they are sad that they don’t have the time anymore for the things they loved to do. Some also say that they are too old to even try going back to doing what they loved.
I firmly believe that it’s never too late to reclaim the “lost parts of you” and you can create a life for yourself where you don’t have to give up what you love to do.
My Story – How I Almost Lost a Part of Myself
I fell victim to society’s programming years ago when I decided that I wasn’t going to continue with acting classes in university. I took one class in my first year and decided I wouldn’t continue with my training in my second year. I knew I had to get into law school and told myself that it just wasn’t practical to continue training in the arts.
While all of my classmates were preparing to audition to get into the next class, I was busy trying to figure out what courses would bolster my application to law school. Then I got a phone call from my drama professor while I was at home. My professor never called me so I was surprised. She asked me why I wasn’t auditioning for the next class and I gave her my spiel about practicality and wanting to get into law school. She paused for a moment on the phone and then said, “Now, Shivani, in your case, I believe you should be auditioning. I really think you should continue studying acting.”
So I followed her advice. I went for the audition and got in to the next class. Then I had to decide whether I wanted to continue with my training or not. It wasn’t a hard decision. My heart was giving me a big loud “yes!” and my spirit was practically scolding me, saying, “how on earth could you even think about giving it up?”
I am so happy I continued – that class was the best acting class I have taken in my life. My professor was incredible and I did really well. It was my first time taking part in a university drama production and it was a social justice oriented documentary theater piece so it was a happy hybrid between the artist and lawyer in me.
Something else happened – my university marks, though already great, shot up even more. I felt balanced and content.
I love acting. I originally chose to take it in high school because while I loved performing, I was also introverted and wanted to come out of my shell. It really did help me do that and when I won the drama award every year, I knew I had found something that I truly enjoyed and was good at.
So when I made that decision to continue with acting, I stuck with it as much as I could. I even took a class during law school and wasn’t surprised that it ended up being the year where I had the highest grades. I needed an emotional and creative outlet with all of the left-minded work I was doing. The arts can be incredibly balancing when you are living a predominantly left-minded life.
I can say that for me, acting is a healing experience. It allows me to express myself. It helps me to overcome my fear of being in the public eye. It forces me to confront all the parts of myself that I am insecure with and accept myself for who I am (especially on-camera acting. Have often do you actually get to see yourself? It’s terrifying and once you get over all the self-judgment, it’s incredibly empowering because you have no choice but to embrace yourself for who you are). It teaches me about human psychology and emotion. The scripts and characters make me reflect about what it means to be alive, here on this sometimes difficult, planet Earth.
I honestly cannot imagine giving it up and it doesn’t matter if nothing “practical” comes out of it because given everything that I listed above, it’s doing enough for me that makes it worth pursuing, even if it means loosing a few hours of sleep a couple of times every week.
Sometimes you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone so you can develop the parts of yourself that are suppressed but are so important for self-authenticity.
Questions to Consider for Reclaiming the Lost Parts of You
Think about the following:
- Is there something you love to do but have given it up because you don’t have time for it or society taught you that it’s not worth pursuing?
- Do you believe that you’re too old to start something up again that you enjoyed doing in your “younger days”?
- Why did you give up what you love and what about yourself have you noticed ever since you gave it up? Do you feel balanced? Do you feel like your “true self”?
- Do you respect yourself enough to commit to doing the things that you love?
The truth is, you can make time for anything in your life. That is completely up to you. If your work is taking up all your time, maybe you need to find a job that gives you more balance so you can pursue what you would like to do. It’s a personal choice – it has to matter to you enough that you are willing to compromise on some other parts of your life.
Creative Expression & Energy Medicine
From an energy medicine perspective, suppressing your artistic and creative aspects can lead to major throat, solar plexus and sacral chakra imbalances. If you are suppressing your artistic side and have throat, stomach or lower-belly related issues, try creating space in your life to find some time for that creative expression. You’ll notice a difference in the health of those parts of your body.
So think about what it is you love to do and if it does really matter to you – if it does speak to your soul, then why let the music die inside of you?
I wish you all the best on your journey of reclaiming the lost parts of you. 🙂