Following Your Bliss: Breaking Through The Fears That Bind

If you've been following me on twitter for the past month, you probably have had to sit through my tweets lamenting a horrible case of writer's block. As a last ditch effort to breakthrough my mental obstacle, I decided to attend a creative writing class this past Wednesday. I wasn't expecting much, probably a few awkward writing exercises that would resemble my fifth grade Mavis Beacon lessons. However, what I walked away with has given me a new perspective on not only my writing but how many of us (including moi) approach life.

Anyone who has ever taken writing seriously has heard the saying, "To write well you must write what you know." Its one of those cliches I repeat to myself when a blank page and blinking cursor become the banes of my existence. So, you can only imagine my surprise and shock when the instructor of the class wrote this motto on the board only to draw a huge X across it. According to her, this statement has led many fledgling writers to abandon fulfilling their purpose and potential. Instead, she advised, "In order to write well, follow your interests -- even if you may not be well versed in them." A la a guest on Oprah, I had a light bulb moment as soon as I read that.

Such simple words, yet such powerful tones they convey. Setting boundaries on our passions, halt us from attaining the levels of greatness that are within our reach. At some point in our lives, we all have chosen to stay close to the sand instead of venturing into the vast unknown. We've believed (or in some cases have let others convince us) that following our bliss would only culminate in us cowering in a corner, tending to wounds we would never have garnered had we stayed close to the fence. In letting our fears dominate our ambitions, we lose out in not only attaining a higher sense of self, but possibly contributing something irreplaceable to this world.

It is my firm belief that each of us has been designated certain gifts that we must utilize for needed purposes in our lifetime. I state this generally because it is up to us to determine what these gifts are ,and how exactly to instill them in our everyday lives to make a difference. For some, these gifts are obvious (i.e. the singers, the painters, the activists), and for others they are not yet apparent or visible. Once we recognize these internal tools, it is our duty to follow them where ever they may lead. Even if we do not yet understand or are certain of where such a path will lead, we should jump  off into the abyss and see where we land. One's aspirations should be ruled by instinct and heart --  not by potentially unrealistic cautions and boundaries

Valerie Jean-Charles is a 23 year old community servant and writer in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a BA in Political Science from Fordham University. Follow at @Empressval to join her never-ending conversations about everything and then some.

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