Back in November, I shared a few details about my current journey into the unknown. Part of this journey has involved a deep exploration into who I am, what I want, and how I can be of service in the world. I am still very much in this dark, murky exploration, and very few answers have revealed themselves. However, one consistent response seems to arise when I ponder questions about what I’m here to do.
I’m still not exactly sure what this means, but here are my thoughts so far. Of all the projects, goals, blogs, online courses, and other activities I’ve engaged in since launching bethanybutzer.com in 2010, there is one theme that seems to serve my audience more than any other. This theme involves an honest, vulnerable sharing of my Truth – whatever my personal Truth happens to be in that moment.
I’m not talking about Ultimate Truth here, such as enlightenment, self-transcendence or non-duality. If you’re interested in people who claim to have reached this epic level of Truth, check out Gary Weber, Aisha Salem, and Meike Schuett. Instead, what I’m talking about here is my Soul’s personal Truth. The Truth that emanates from the deepest levels of my unique, human experience. This personal Truth is a tricky little devil because it’s often entangled with various aspects of my humanity, like feelings, emotions, fears, and past conditioning.
But I’ve done my best to share several aspects of my personal Truth over the years, like my experiences with antidepressants, my desire to stop overachieving, my explorations into sacred sexuality, my dissatisfaction with my dream job and much, much more. I’ve made all of this information public, to the dismay of some of my colleagues, friends and family members. Past, present and future employers are free to explore some of my deepest struggles and psychological blind spots. My mom and my in-laws can read about my thoughts around sex and relationships. And while I don’t share all of the details of my personal and professional life, I share enough to make myself (and others) rather nervous and uncomfortable.
The question is, why do I share so much of my Truth so openly and candidly? What exactly is the purpose of all of this Truth-telling?
Back in 2010 when I started sharing my Truth publicly, I followed the advice of many online marketers and tried to monetize it. I wrote a book, I taught workshops, and I developed online courses. I took the common self-help approach of, “My life is awesome, let me help you create an awesome life too.” My products served many people, but my inner achievement addict got tangled up with my financial fears and I started obsessing over things like monthly sales and growing my online platform. Over the past couple of years – particularly over the past six months – I’ve started backing away from offering these types of services, and I’ve realized a few important things:
I’m not sure if my Truth-telling wants (or needs) to be monetized. I’m not sure why I feel so compelled to tell the Truth in my personal and professional life. I’m not sure exactly what purpose all of this Truth-telling is serving.
What I do know is that when I tell my Truth, it feels right – even when it’s scary. I no longer aspire to have a glossy online presence that makes it look like I have everything figured out. But to be honest, telling my Truth is f*cking hard. When I share my Truth, I run the risk of being rejected or ignored. I run the risk of people being upset with me. I run the risk of wrecking relationships and burning professional bridges.
Paradoxically, telling my Truth is also easy. My most vulnerable blogs, emails, and conversations often roll out of me with such force that it doesn’t feel like it’s me doing the writing/talking. It’s as if my Soul wants to bring light to the topics and issues that many of us would rather keep in the dark.
But in order to bring these topics to light, I need to visit the dark. I need to sit with the deepest, darkest parts of myself. The parts that are scared to be admitted, scared to be known, scared to be shown. And while being in the dark is uncomfortable, there is also a sweetness to it. Like a love song that makes you cry and gives you goosebumps at the same time.
This doesn’t mean that I tell the Truth all the time. I still have my fair share of big lies, small lies, white lies, secrets, and unspoken Truths. I’m starting to see my journey as a gradual unfolding of Truth-telling, with everything being revealed in perfect timing. And when I share my Truth, I think it gives other people permission to do the same. It helps them examine the darker parts of their lives and their psyches, and hopefully gives them the courage to bring these shadows to light in the service of their soul.
A Truth-telling archetype that has been surfacing in my consciousness a lot lately is the Dakini. As Shakti Malan describes:
“Dakini is a term from Tibetan Tantrism denoting a female deity who is an embodiment of the enlightened condition. A dakini can be manifest in human form as a guide to help others towards their awakening. Dakinis have a dual role: they are angels and they are demons. As angels, they act as muses – they inspire their students towards their highest possibility. The name dakini literally means “sky dancer” – a term referring to what happens when a woman‟s sexual energy opens up all the way through her body. In her demon role, the dakini can act as seductress and as a destroyer of illusions. The dakini seduces her partner to the truth, and destroys his/her illusions. The dakini is traditionally depicted as a young dancing woman with a skullcap filled with blood in one hand and a curved knife in the other. Like the goddess Kali, she may wear a garland of skulls around her neck. She is often depicted as standing on the head or body of a human or animal, depicting the ego that she has conquered.
All women are an embodiment of the dakini. The question is whether you are willing to take on this sacred power bestowed on your sexuality, and use it clearly and wisely. That is the correct use of our sexual power as women.”
Similarly, Anaiya Sophia describes the Dakini as:
“The great tantric priestesses who seek the darkness, illusion and suffering on purpose, so they may eat it with vigor and wild abandon. A Dakini is a female with a very sharp, brilliant wisdom that is uncompromising, honest, with a little bit of wrath. Despite their gentleness and humour, they are direct, sharply intelligent, radical, and courageous. In essence, they live their lives and accomplishments as shining examples of dedication, compassion and realisation.
The Dakinis literally consume suffering – both our own pain and the suffering all around us.
In essence they literally Love the Hell out of everything they turn their attention to. Their medicine will awaken our fierce love, a form of dangerous devotion that stirs a compassion so rich and deep, that no matter how cruel or cold we/life might seem to be, there is a burning Hope.”
While I am far from being a self-realized Dakini, I believe this archetype calls to me because I am meant to embody many of its principles. I am meant to share my Truth as a portal that opens this ability in others, and helps break down the illusions they’ve built around themselves and their souls. Whether this process is meant to be part of my “career” or something that I do “on the side” remains to be seen.
In the meantime, I plan to continue my explorations into the unknown. Right now, my personal Truth is this: I have no clue what the future holds for me personally or professionally. I suppose none of us do. I’m entering 2017 with an open heart and a blank page. I have no major goals, resolutions, projects, or products to complete. I have no business plan. I haven’t done any whiteboarding or brainstorming or mind mapping around what grand new service I should offer this year. I often feel uncomfortable, sad, anxious, and confused. Being goal-less is a very foreign feeling for achievement addicts like me. During the first few days of 2017 I’ve been vacillating between a sense of calm over everything unfolding perfectly, to a sense of panic that I have no clue WTF I’m doing with my life.
And so as we enter this new year I have absolutely nothing to offer you, dear reader, except for this blog and my commitment to continue sharing my Truth when my Soul calls on me to do so. I can only hope that my Truth-telling will serve my highest good, and the good of the world.
With this in mind, what Truth do you need to share today? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, researcher, and yoga teacher who helps people create a life they love. Check out her book, The Antidepressant Antidote, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and join her whole-self health revolution.
If you’d like tips on how to create a life you love, plus some personal instruction from Bethany, check out her online course, Creating A Life You Love: Find Your Passion, Live Your Purpose and Create Financial Freedom.
Image courtesy of Norwood Themes.