A hugely inspiring conversation I had this afternoon with Kopal Goyal, a woman making waves in the world of adventure and extreme sports, coupled with Facebook showing me that it’s been two years since I delivered this talk at Sunday Assembly, reminded me of why it’s been so important for me to share my stories and experiences.
It’s so heartening to watch this video back now as I can see my discomfort and nerves in my need to keep smiling and pace around. But man oh man am I proud of that Arti! 🥰
Standing in front of a crowd of 100+ people that Sunday morning in 2018, sharing with them the details of the fractious relationship I had formed with my body, was a hugely momentous acknowledgement of how far I had come.
During the winter of 2016, as I sat in my bedroom in Bali observing Nyepi Day (the day of silence), I remember I had an overwhelming urge to write and let out of me things that had held in for far too long.
I grabbed my notebook and I began to write. More and more just kept coming out of me and tears rolled down my cheeks. I wrote of all the pain and shame I had felt at the hands of my own and other people’s words, of how we felt there was something so deeply wrong with me because of how I looked. I wrote of all the nasty webs of shame, resentment, uselessness, anger and pity that were woven in me as a result of these constant and consistent reinforcements.
I felt like I had been writing for hours and that my hands found momentum to keep going all on their own. But it felt so extremely necessary.
And then it stopped.
A cathartic release. A long overdue extrication of that which I had held in for far, far too long.
But it wasn’t done there.
This couldn’t go as far as the pages of my notebook alone. I knew deeply that now it was my time to share outside of myself. To experience the true freedom and emancipation I had been longing for what felt like my whole life, I had to make myself visible, all of me, in a way I never had allowed before.
It felt like one of the scariest things but I knew I had to share this on my blog, publicly. In some ways, my life depended on it and so I did it.
It will never be a decision I regret because as a result of that, I began to experience freedom like no other. I opened myself up to more creativity and connection than I’d ever experienced before.
Publishing that blog post gave me the courage to speak out loud. And boy is there power in that!
Every time I chose to share my experiences out loud, another chain came loose. I gave myself the opportunity to be more, to create more. I drew in, ever closer, my people: family, friends, dates and lovers, clients, business partners and those beautiful fleeting connections too. I drew in people who were truly willing to see me for exactly who I was. I drew in freedom.
All this beauty created from the willingness to keep speaking out loud. ❤️