Ever wondered how writing can help heal your relationship with your body? I'm excited that today, Mara Glatzel, is “Speaking From the Heart” and sharing her experiences with all of us.
Mara Glatzel is a self-love coach and author of the Body Loving Homework e-course. She works with women who are ready to create the lives they want — and deserve. Her blog — Medicinal Marzipan — has inspired thousands of women to heal their relationships with their bodies, and treat themselves with relentless compassion. Catch up with her on facebook, twitter, or join her body-loving mailing list for secret swapping and insider news. Mara inspires me with her words and I had to ask her to be part of this series. If you haven’t checked out her work – here is your introduction to her Thanks, Mara, for encouraging everyone to love themselves and for taking part in this interview. You rock! Read her interview below.
Why do you believe self-expression (speaking from the heart) is important?
It is my ultimate life-intention to become fully expressed, showing up for myself as much as possible in every facet of my life. After having spent so many years hiding who I am under the belief that I was unlovable, it has been healing to reclaim my own brilliance and allow others to meet the real me. However, speaking from the heart is not without its difficulties. Often doing so feels like a remarkable act of bravery, as you are also opening yourself up fully to the possibility of being rejected.
It is important to remember that not everyone will like you or your ideas, but that doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you. Speaking from the heart, openly and authentically, allows you to be open to finding your people, your tribe. It also helps you realize who is not a part of your ideal audience. That is the beauty of it.
How has writing empowered you in other areas of your life?
Writing has long been my favorite form of communication. When I was a child my mother taught me how to write, and I fell in love with using it as a medium for expressing myself. I would write everything down. I soon realized that I was able to write things down that I was unable to speak aloud - desires, dreams, and plans for the future that I could barely admit to myself.
Writing also saved my relationship with my body, because it enabled me to find the words to describe my experience and share it with others. When I was deep in the depths of self-loathing, I told myself the story that I was the only one and that I was damaged beyond repair. Through writing, and sharing my words, I was able to cultivate a community who felt similarly - and wanted more out of their lives. Sharing my stories healed me, because as I wrote them down, I was able to turn them into something beautiful.
How did you find your authentic voice through writing?
I opened myself up to the distinct possibility that what I was writing was utter crap. Ha! Truthfully, like many aspects of my life, finding my authentic voice was impossible when I was ensnared by the web of perfectionism. There are many moments even now where I feel uninspired or as though I've fallen out of my authentic voice. It is crucial to allow yourself to experiment with your writing voice, trying on different styles and feeling how they resonate... or don't. Working with your authentic voice is a practice and not a destination. It is you, showing up and giving it what you've got, again and again. I think that the most important thing to keep in mind is not to allow yourself to be burdened by the need to create something perfect. Write joyfully. Write when you're angry. Write down everything you can think of and clean it up later. Write often.
How did you develop the courage to stand tall (i.e., get the courage to share your writing)?
Again, this takes practice. When I first started writing, I was writing for the crowd. Meaning, I would write something and let someone read it or post it online while anxiously awaiting the positive feedback. I saw something as "good" when it received a lot of comments or praise, and "bad" when it was met with silence. Don't do that, especially when you are starting out. You develop the courage to stand tall by continuing to hit "publish" as you figure it out or continue sending out queries, even as rejection letters are rolling in. Courage is the practice of continuing to do it even when you aren't sure about the outcome. You become more courageous the more times you show up and do the work.
Also, I think that it is important to say this: you don't have to share your writing. I know that often visible words are privileged over private words, but simply writing for ourselves is hugely powerful! If you are getting stuck on the sharing aspect of your writing, tuck that away for a little while and write for yourself instead. Become brave in the conversations that you have with yourself. Allow your writing to blossom and become.
When you have a hard time writing, what do you do to work through it?
When I was younger, I used to power through my difficulties - drinking massive amounts of coffee and setting myself to the task. These days, I am much more gentle with myself. I have faith that my writing will return to me, even when it feels distant and uncomfortable. I am a huge proponent of putting down your pen and paper or shutting down your computer, and getting outside to do something restorative and playful. We are humans, not robots. Sometimes we simply cannot perform the way that we might like ourselves to.
That said, sometimes, we need to summon a bit of discipline to move through writing blocks. That can also be hugely rewarding. It is important to get to know yourself, and to determine the moments when you need to push forward from the moments when you need a bit of compassion from yourself.
How did you find your support group?
As for many of us, asking for and receiving support was never something that I was particularly comfortable with, but it is so necessary! I found my support group by being open and honest about my yearning for one. I started to ask others if they wanted to gather together to share our work or to brainstorm as a group. I ask my friends out for coffee and run ideas by them. Most importantly, I remind myself (again and again) that I am deserving of support and that I am not a burden. That is the piece of us that truly requires healing. Once we begin working with our beliefs around needing support, finding others who are happy to support us is the easy part.
Any advice for new writers/authors?
Keep with it. Not everyone is going to like everything that you have to say - but that is perfectly alright. Try on different styles, but ultimately, cultivate one of your own. Embrace the messy, beautiful process of making yourself vulnerable through writing. Be joyously experimental with your writing voice, allowing it to grow with you.
Thanks for standing tall, speaking from your heart, and empowering others around the world, Mara! Keep up the fantastic work! If you have any specific questions for Mara, please feel free to ask :)
One question that came to my mind after reflecting on what Mara said was “How has writing helped you in your healing process?" Many people struggle with this, so I’m reaching out to you all and asking for your input. Looking forward to hearing your suggestions!
Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.
See you at the beach!