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How Freedom Shows Up In These 11 Most Common Forms of Self-Expression – (Part 1)

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F R E E D O M   O F   S E L F

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african_womanHere, at Tamisha Ford International, I have a very specific conversation.  That conversation centers around an introverted woman who struggles from time to time with self-expression, she is painfully aware of the ways in which she lacks, she desperately wants to maintain her individuality while also fitting in somehow, and she’s emotionally healthy (among other things).

Maybe it’s just because I have a Google alert set up, but I’m kind of weary lately of all the introvert articles online.  Not because they aren’t true (although some of them are ridiculously inaccurate), but because they seem to all be carrying the exact same conversation – “here’s who we are, here’s the things you’re getting wrong about us, and here’s what we like.”

And while those are fabulous articles (I have even written a few), it starts to get lame and “broken record-ish” after while.

While I appreciate the conversation people are having, Tamisha Ford International brings a different (and very specific) approach to the introvert conversation.

I teach introverted women how to work within their existing introversion, help them see it as an identity role & form of self-expression, and show them their own power through how they already naturally show up.

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you are familiar with the up-front opportunity I give everyone who comes into this space to take an expressions evaluation when they provide their name & email.

This is optional, and only takes about 5 minutes to take – it’s a fun “is this you or not” type of quiz that, when scored at the end, shows you your top 2-3 most dominant forms of self-expression.  Then, you have the opportunity to grab mp3 mini workshops on all of the forms of self-expression (there’s 11), or you can opt to only listen to those that apply to you, based on the evaluation. You also get a PDF transcript of the workshops (all under 5-6 minutes).

The whole purpose for me creating the workshops and the eval is to begin to show you how you can use different forms of self-expression in some of the areas in which you struggle to express.

We can get locked into thinking we can only use one form of self-expression in one area, and that’s it – no other options.  That just isn’t the case, so I created the dominant forms of self-expression to begin to show you your options and opportunities.

That said, these are what I deem to be the most common forms and ways to express I’ve seen in artists, creators, makers, visionaries, etc.  They certainly aren’t the only types of self-expression, so I’m hoping you will share some new ones with me today, and perhaps I can add them to the roster.

There are two things I want to show you today.  

1.  I want to connect you with my Pinterest boards for each of these forms of self-expression.  In each of the free PDF’s I mentioned above, you’ll also get a link to these boards.  These were created specifically to make the visual connection with the different types and what they can look like, smell like, feel like, etc…

2.  I want to show you exactly where freedom shows up in each of the expressions we’ll discuss, because the truth is, your greatest freedom will likely come through not only learning your own introvert power and how exactly to use it in every area of your life, but how the natural ways you express lend themselves to complete liberation and creativity.

After really thinking through the most common forms of self-expression, looking at other artists’ ways of creating, and reviewing intensely other industries respective to introverts, I settled on the following:

(and to get their full workshops & what they mean, click here)

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Fashion & Design

Freedom with this form of self-expression lies in your comfort.  Comfort with your own aesthetic, choices, and combinations. Whether decorating your home or your wardrobe, this is a form of self-expression that really allows for uniqueness in the highest. I have found that a lot of women tend to dress like the women in the demographic in which they live.  There’s usually a “way” of presenting style in specific regions or areas, unless you’re in L.A., NYC, or Paris where anything goes.  So, if this is a dominant form of self-expression for you, and you want to fit in without feeling like you’re the subject of conversation the entire event, try one ooo-ahhh, like a statement necklace you wouldn’t normally wear or a dress like everyone has on, but with killer earrings or an unexpected blazer.

Design in your home is much easier to find freedom in, because you only have to present it to the guests you choose.

Writing

The whole inspiration for this post came after I read this past week’s version of Brain Pickings by Maria Popova.  If you aren’t already subscribed to receive this weekly goodness, I hope you’ll give it a try.  It’s simply exquisite prose, storytelling, teaching, and insight every week that can truly only be found there.

In last week’s edition, there was an entire section from Annie Dillard on writing and the freedom of it – where it’s found.  I thought “hmmm….isn’t there freedom found in ALL the forms of expression?”  Hence, this post was born.

Here’s what she said about the freedom of writing:

“Your freedom as a writer is not freedom of expression in the sense of wild blurting; you may not let rip. It is life at its most free, if you are fortunate enough to be able to try it, because you select your materials, invent your task, and pace yourself. . . .

The obverse of this freedom, of course, is that your work is so meaningless, so fully for yourself alone, and so worthless to the world, that no one except you cares whether you do it well, or ever. You are free to make several thousand close judgment calls a day. Your freedom is a by-product of your days’ triviality.”

Well said, Annie.  Well said.

Music & Singing

Many people don’t know that I am a singer.  I used to travel and sing with a group in college, and was even afforded the opportunity to learn the songs I led in Portuguese, fly to Brazil & travel to different churches and sing them.  It was hands-down one of the most awesome, inspiring, eye-opening trips of a lifetime.  To this day, I love Brazil & have a heart for Brazil.  It’s also where my heart for an international company was born.  Truly, I didn’t have a clue what that meant back then, but I’m much clearer on it now.

I have an incredibly dominant music & singing expression as well as writing, words & language, and insight & intuition.

Here’s the thing about singing on stage though – I never got comfortable with it!  Ever.  I just didn’t.  I was never comfortable knowing someone was silently judging my voice.  That’s when I learned the difference in a talent & a calling (different post, different time, but this is why I don’t feel this way when I write – I’m called to write).  So…for me, my freedom in this form of expression comes in my ability to really sing and engage with music & harmony when I’m alone or in small groups, not when I’m on stage.  For you, it may be the opposite. It took me many years to discover this.

Singers like Beyonce & Carrie Underwood have both said they are quite a bit different as performers with the mic than they are off stage. Kanye West just recently revealed he is a shy introvert – bet we wouldn’t have known that!

I’d like you to explore what this looks like for you.  How does your personal liberation show up in this form?

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Next week, we’ll tackle some more of the expressions, moving through all 11 over the next couple of weeks, but you can go ahead and connect with the Pinterest boards here:

Art & Abstract

Power & Position

Words & Language

Confidence & Acceptance

Observation & Advice

Insight & Intuition

Motion & Movement

Creativity & Flexibility

And in the comments, I’d love to know…

1.  What are some other forms of self-expression you don’t see listed here that you’d like to suggest I add to the roster?

2.  Do you have a dominant expression in one of the areas we discussed today, or in one we’re going to talk about later?  If it’s one coming up, what would you like to know specifically that would be helpful for you?

Thank you so much for reading & contributing!  I’m looking forward to unleashing ideas for more freedom for you over the coming weeks.

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