January 13th, 2007
for my wallet

a lot of times i feel things, react to things, cry, become angry about things i see out in the world. its overwhelming sometimes to know where to put my energy. so many times its just easier to do nothing. even giving money feels somehow not enough. like an afterthought.
lately i feel like a new fire is burning in me, one that is going to pull me up out of the depths of inaction with regard to these things. i have made a decision to push my energy in some new directions, i smile writing that, because it is still not clear exactly what form those directions will take. but i feel resolved and powerful.
this shift came about because of some personal challenges over the course of the last few years and also with my experience with adfreeblog. i had never taken a stand on anything remotely political before, or even challenging for that matter. i had always done things to ensure that everyone in my life is happy with me, all the time. so i attempted to control how people thought about me, making sure it was flattering, (i said attempted, i know how ridiculous this must sound but its what i did.) Correction, still do it at times, but here’s the thing… I had to put myself in a position where people would not approve of what I was saying or doing in order to let go of what others think of me, but more importantly, in order to OWN my own opinions and beliefs. i needed to learn that ‘it’s not personal’. this is about me coming into the person that i really am, not the one who I have tried to be (based on what others needed), for years. i have to be okay with people not liking what i do at times. because that’s just life. man, it’s a lot of work. allowing people to be upset, reading hate mail, letting people yell and going through the emotions as a result of that. if you are doing anything worth doing with any conviction there are going to be people who come out in opposition.
i know this now.
i’m getting there. i really am. every year that goes by i feel i know less and less about most things, but understand more and more about myself. in many ways i feel like i am being prepared for some bigger work, as though i’m going to be tested on a much bigger scale in the future and these are just the preliminaries. at some point i am going to be stepping out on some bigger limbs and jumping off.
i feel for the first time that i am on the path to doing something bigger than me. i am going to be giving more of myself to the cause.
without apology.
with conviction.
as is.
with love.

Jan 13 2007
2:18 pm
Jennifer writes:

You have been such an inspiration to me, across so many spectrums of life. I just wanted to say thank you.

Jan 13 2007
3:07 pm
Cam writes:

Oh, Keri, this is so lovely to hear (read)! I have felt so silenced, almost muted, over the last couple of years. This makes me feel inspired & strengthened.

Jan 13 2007
3:46 pm
Anja writes:

The good thing of course is that I like you even more for writing this. And you are right. Many more should do this, myself included.

Jan 13 2007
3:55 pm
Michelle writes:

You Go Girl!
p.s. Lately, this blog has been the only thing worth reading on the net. Most appreciated!
Michelle in Asheville, NC

Jan 13 2007
4:19 pm
Kelly writes:

Go for it. The bravest thing you can do is to have the courage to be yourself and speak your mind.
I *love* your blog (and thank you for making it “ad free”). I live in L.A. and we are bombarded daily with ads everywhere we look. The graffiti art on billboards is a huge breath of fresh air-ART on a billboard instead of some advertisement.

Jan 13 2007
5:48 pm
Judy Wise writes:

We must be stronger. I am thinking what you are thinking. Mine has always been an art blog. But world events are calling on each of us to do more. To speak up now, while we can.

Jan 13 2007
6:14 pm
m writes:

Being yourself is the most radical act. Staying true to yourself. I also find that when I am true to myself my impact in the world is greater and less ‘forced’. I did a lot of activism in my younger days which was kind of like me battering my head against a brick wall. I’ve discovered that changing myself first has the most impact, then I can influence people, I can then also find the way to act which has the most impact with the least amount of damage to myself.

Jan 13 2007
7:04 pm
Kyran, at Notes to Self writes:

Keri, here are two pieces of wisdom, one learned the hard way:
Draw your lines in the sand knowing that the universe will invite you to step over each of them in turn.
And one just given, by the woman who is my priest and mentor:
“Not everyone in the world is going to kiss you on both cheeks and call you blessed. Get over it.”
Holding each of these in one hand has helped me wobble along with something like balance in between strides.

Jan 13 2007
11:39 pm
caroline writes:

there is something amazing about hearing an opinion that resonates, even over a medium as impersonal as this one. i am so grateful for all that you share on here. ethics are tricky in this day and age, at least for me. taking a stand feels scary and yet radical when there is always more one could read or know to be really sure about anything. i think it is more important to take ones own pulse so as not to drown in thinking and information. thank you for encouraging just that. best wishes with your new expansion.

Jan 14 2007
12:40 am
PJ writes:

I do believe I learned this about 6 years ago…I even went to the opposite extreme (which wasn’t good-either) -really not caring…I’ve felt myself coming back to a nice comfortable moderate way in the last 2 years. ..what I’m saying is- you CAN do it and more power to you- your shift is exciting and empowering!

Jan 14 2007
12:54 am
Alex writes:

I had the beginnings of new tears in my eyes reading your “license.” It really hit home for me as I don’t feel like I do enough of it these days, not wanting to rock the boat, be judged or misjudged, piss someone off , alienate myself from others. Of course in the process of not doing it I alienate myself from myself and just feel bad or sad inside. So I think i shall print out your license and hold it in my hands a bit and see if I can do it too. Thanks!

Jan 14 2007
5:29 am
Goddess of Leonie writes:

rock on.
rock on.
rock on.

Jan 14 2007
8:28 am
jennifer | creatingfromscratch writes:

it takes great courage to live, speak, and write authentically. good for you.

Jan 14 2007
11:50 am
{LKG} writes:

Thanks for the reminder.

Jan 14 2007
2:19 pm
Marilyn writes:

That license? BRILLIANT. I think making one of those licenses as a gift for various people in our lives might be the best gift EVER.

Jan 14 2007
5:59 pm
liz elayne writes:

yes! yes! yes!
a recent health scare that had to do with my throat made me take a hard look at myself and how i do not speak my truth. i can relate to this need to try to shape the judgement others have…how they see me…
but in the last few months, especially in the last few weeks, speaking my truth – one day at a time – has made me feel more alive in my life than ever before.
i can’t wait to read where this takes you as you share it. (thank you for this permission license. it just says it all.)

Jan 14 2007
8:03 pm
Lindsay writes:

As always, you get my brain whirling. I learned how to make a stand for the sake of my daughter, but always harder to do for myself.
I see you are reading work by Paul Bowles. When you finish The Sheltering Sky, take a look at the writing by his wife Jane Bowles.

Jan 14 2007
8:17 pm
Helle Jorgensen writes:

This went straight to my heart( and head). I’ve been struggling with this ever since I remember. Slowly, very slowly I’m unfolding the real me through my art.
Your writing is very inspirational. Thank you so much.

Jan 14 2007
8:19 pm
Rebecca writes:

I’m a quoteaholic, and your writing reminds me of two of my favorites:
“If you are who you should be, you will set the world ablaze.” St. Catherine of Sienna
“Telling the truth when we feel vulnerable is one of the hardest things to do. We might fear rejection, abandonment, disapproval, disappointment, rage, hurt, or just the raw exposure that’s an unavoidable part of the process. Yet almost every time we’re willing to tell a hard truth, we grow and deepen in presence, no matter the response. The energy that we previously locked up to maintain a false front is now freed to uplift and enliven us.” Raphael Cushnir
Good luck in your new venture(s)! You have the creativity needed to do a colorful, fantastic job.

Jan 15 2007
1:14 am
Brianna writes:

Yep. You’re speaking right to me. Thank you.

Jan 15 2007
7:54 am
Kelly writes:

I love the quote attributed to the Nazarene that goes, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
We think it’s just metaphorical, but it’s true on every level from physiological to spiritual. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that your reader who has never spoken her truth had a medical scare with her THROAT.
We are all being called. You are one of the early ones to listen. I hope we all listen. K

Jan 15 2007
2:50 pm
pixie writes:

keri, this is so wonderful. claiming ourselves for ourselves is … is…. IT. i hear all that you are saying and to it i say AHO! glad to see both feet on are the path of you.
love p

Jan 15 2007
2:51 pm
pixie writes:

p.s. because no one else’s feet are as interested as yours are…to be on your path, that is. !! :)

Jan 15 2007
3:13 pm
tacy writes:

hi keri. i like your blog and your art. i liked this post and i like the way you write. i am just wondering, however, what it is you are going to stand up for? why is it important to stand up if it’s unclear what your purpose is in standing up?

Jan 15 2007
9:48 pm
suana writes:

Thank you for sharing this!
For some reason it also ties closely in with Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss

Jan 16 2007
11:29 am
Amber writes:

Yes, yes, yes, and boy do I ever know what you mean about wanting to be a people pleaser. My observations on that recently are twofold. For one thing, people let go of a lot of that surface crap – my now husband spent the first three hours of his very first meeting with my father “discussing” union politics. Later, he thought he had totally blown it and my father would hate him forever. But my father loved him for it – that he was willing to have a discussion, that he had a viewpoint that he was willing to back up, that he was willing to listen. There’s probably nothing that my husband could have said or done to make my father like him more. Even if my father were the type to say “that’s inappropriate for a first meeting,” or “I can’t believe he would contradict me!” they would have been able to build a relationship on a basis of who they are and what they’re really about. The other and more important reasons my father loved him have to do with the fact that I love him and that’s he’s great for me.
Which comes to the other part, which my husband and I repeat to each other all the time when people react in ways we wouldn’t wish, or when anyone starts in with the “I can’t believe that so-and-so thinks/does/says this-and-that about x.” 98% of a person’s reaction is about themselves. Who they are, their pre-conceptions, other things in their lives. You’ve really only got a TWO PERCENT role in whether they will love your hair, say nice things about you, call you back, like your art. I think intentions count for at least half of that – even if you say something awkwardly or contradictory, if you do it with the right intention (to state an opinion without judging/condemning), that covers at least 1%.
Life is too short to worry about everyone else’s 1%.
AND the very best way to get that 2% right is to be 100% yourself.

Jan 16 2007
1:50 pm
Diane writes:

I emailed a link to this entry to a friend, and I just got this in response:
I read the entry, it made me cry. I only wish that I could be freed of caring what people think of me. My need for ananimity, my desire to run away from things when they go bad. I feel like I can never please some people. wow… why I feel like I need to get approval from everyone but myself…. this effects me huge in ways that I realy can not wrap my head around yet. I need tme to digest all of this.
Your truth is speaking to others … thanks for keeping us thinking. Continue… please continue.

Jan 16 2007
4:21 pm
Gayla writes:

Wow! Yes! I’m right there with you. So good to read this. I went through a terrible period of frustration this past year feeling rejected, alienated and disconnected. But I have picked myself up and pushed through these fears and reminded myself that being open, vulnerable, and challenging brings difficulty but that being “safe” and flattening myself out isn’t doing me any good. And then bam this last week has been one of incredible connections and finding that allowing myself to come out is reaping all kinds of rewards… feeling filled up and whole and so much less stiffled and crushed by the negatives.

Jan 16 2007
5:48 pm
Kala writes:

Good for you. I wasn’t truly happy until I realised that very thing a few years ago and let go of my fears and just got on with it. Not to say I don’t fear things, I do but at least I am me and not what I think people want me to be. It is such a waste of time and energy and life is way too short.

Jan 16 2007
11:20 pm
littlepurplecow writes:

I love the license (and the fact that it must be signed). A commitment.
Expressing my truth – speaking it, writing about it – seems to commit me to some level of action. How can I say I’m passionate about xyz and not do something about it?
I’m proud of you for giving more of yourself and appreciate you inspiring me to do the same.

Jan 17 2007
2:08 am
shelley Noble writes:

Great stuff, Keri. I’m really glad to hear you breaking out even more. Right on. My moment was when my husband and I *had* to show up at a huge fancy party for his boss in the unshowered, shabby (no, really shabby shabby) clothes we had on. Walking in to the mansion with our whole society dressed up in attendance and us in our sweat and t’s and bed head, kinda made any pretenses in the future rather moot! Since then it’s been fuck you–in a good way, more and more. Now I couldn’t care less what anyone in the world thinks of me.
One thing though, when you wrote describing a sensation of precipice, I think that feeling is a universal one, or at least widespread, but I also find that where we are is grand experience itself. That regardless of whether or not a larger gesture in our lives ever actually transpires or not, these, these are “the jokes”. I don’t like to live like there are funnier jokes later.

Jan 18 2007
7:58 am
Pam writes:

You GO, Girl! I love your ad-fre blog, I love your work, and I love that you’re an inspiration to me every day! I think what you’re doing is great and it says so much about the kind of person you are. :-) The things you write/feel/compose on this blog are not just amazing little triumphs for yourself, but also great sources of inspiration for people very far away from you–who you don’t even know (like me!). Thank you for your courage!

Jan 18 2007
6:06 pm
Jennifer writes:

”As life goes on it becomes tiring to keep up the character you invented for yourself, and so you relapse into individuality and become more like yourself every day. This is sometimes disconcerting for those around you, but a great relief to the person concerned.” -Agatha Christie

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