I am a scientist of emotions, choices, the why. While I have never considered myself to be particularly 'book smart,' I am emotionally wise. I first heard Jen Louden say this on a call, that she had always been wishing to be smarter and then realized that her gift of intelligence was in the emotional world and I instantly understood myself in that deep way, when things start to come together. Pieces of the puzzle lining up.
One of my joys is working with women who are starting a new business, a business of the heart. When you are creating a business out of nothing, as so many of us bloggers/coaches/entrepreneurs are, something can happen before you discover your why. You see the work of someone else and love it, perhaps they even are your mentor. Words, picture, style all become someone else's and the business you are inside of does not reflect your creation or your voice.
This could be using anything that looks just like someone's elses or it could be as serious as using someone's words without their permission. All of a sudden you are no longer inside of your own spirit of creation, you have missed out on something so intensely beautiful, the moment of creation that is all yours.
The moment when all the inspiration floating around suddenly inspires you to make something new, something bold and genius. That click of brilliance, even if only you think so, it is still your brilliance, it is yours. It looks new and fresh because it is.
We've all been there. Scared to be who we are, not knowing our own voice and eager to use the spirit of another.
I've been on both sides of this. I've been new in my business and obsessed with the spirit and style of others -every other day obsessing it seems. I felt a lack. I was living in scarcity mode and it felt yucky. I wanted to be Susannah Conway or Soulemama or all the other bloggers and entrepreneurs I admire. I struggled to find my voice because I wanted to be someone else, I wanted their success or fame or brilliance!
When you adore something someone else is doing, you crave doing that too. There is that moment of not being inside of your spirit. Of having no dream for your style. Of just wanting to be them, and there is this weird time when your mimicking can confuse you into believing it is you. But it is not. Look closely, I've had to do it, a lot. Look and see who you really are seeing.
We fall into the copying because we don't think we are moving fast enough, getting enough page views or likes or comments. We do it out of jealousy, insecurity, impatience, desire to be where we aren't.
Imitation is flattery, there is no doubt about this. None at all. But I know it can hurt.
I've been on the side of watching things I have created be used by others. It feels a bit like someone has taken something that can never be replaced, a piece of who you are. It makes your heart hurt and you get angry. The more your work resonates with others and starts to change lives, the more this will become part of the story.
The hurt and anger are part of the ego feeling. The truth is that our spirit is ours.
It is tough stuff to work through to know this. When I first encountered it I thought I would never find my voice again, seeing it somewhere else, watching it as though through a strange lens. I developed writers block and I cried a lot. I thought I must be so average if my work was so easily copied. I got angry, I couldn't understand. But I can. Often it is a legal issue, but usually it becomes a lesson in learning to release, let go and create even more amazing work. And eventually stop worrying about it. This is part of the journey.
Here is my truth. I want to shine. To shine my light. And I want to cheer you on as you flow into yours. Your light is the one you need to step into. Don't confuse it as your own as you 'copy' another. Inspiration is not imitation.
We must all step into our beautiful spirits.
No, jump, fly into them when it comes to making these businesses of ours. Or raising kids. Or making our homes beautiful. Or feeding our bodies.
Know that your spirit guide in creating your business and your life is inside of you. She is no where else.
What inspires you? Use it, create late into the night.
Love your mentors. Love them, credit them, acknowledge them, thank them to the point of being obnoxious. Embrace gratitude for all of those who influence and help you be your amazing self. They are an enormous part of what makes you, you.
My spirit guide can leave me in awe. When I give her space, she shows up and twinkles and there is fairy dust and magic wands. If you haven't given yourself time to get to know yours, it is time to do some connecting.
Open the space to be you.
Dream your style. Make sure that no one would ever look at what you do and see someone else. This is icky. Blah, you don't want that. Go to multiple sources of inspiration and then close it all down. Go inside of yourself, find your style. You must dream your style.
Create using inspiration from so many sources you fill a notebook. A dash of Oprah, a sprinkle of Kris Carr, a twinkle of Danielle LaPorte, a whisper of Louis Haye, a kiss on the cheek from Mike Dooley...you get the idea. Mike Dooley, I'll take that kiss, really!
Find your spirit. Create your story.
Remember the gratitude. Say thank you. Jump, fly.