How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also If I am to be whole”― C.G. Jung
In Part 1 of this post, I started the conversation around how you and I can be more visible and practical in our self-expression.
I’m using the 14 most dominant forms of self-expression I see out there today to guide this particular conversation, and I addressed 7 of those forms of self-expression in the initial conversation, including:
- Entrepreneurship and;
Today, I’m continuing and finishing up our chat on the topic.
In this space so far, here’s what we’ve learned about expression:
In Part 1, I gave some incredible resources and ideas. Make sure you read that segment first.
In Part 2 (the final 7 forms of expression), we’ll look at makeup & beauty, confidence, words, observation, intuition, movement, and creativity as they pertain to:
- How to be more visible in life or work, whether online or otherwise, through the different modes of expression
- How to apply your most dominant forms of self-expression concretely or practically in your life and work.
You may remember earlier this year, me adding this form of expression as a new board on Pinterest. There’s a reason I did that – I couldn’t believe it hadn’t been added long before.
Most women I know wear some kind of makeup – EVEN if it’s just a little mascara or face powder. And with the cosmetics industry blowing up like it has, many women are nothing short of their own celebrities, creating themselves into brands, just from using makeup as their primary form of self-expression. (Check out this post on Instagram to see some examples).
All of these women have millions of followers on their social media channels combined, just from this one form of self-expression alone. They have figured out a way to not only monetize, but feel completely free in themselves by doing something they love. It’s nothing short of brilliant.
This is a HUGE way to be more visible in this form – just let people see your work! Take a photo and put it on Instagram. Transfer that to Pinterest. Start your own blog with those looks. I could go on and on. And since this form of art can easily collaborate with other brands & is predominantly product-based, there’s a lot of possibility for you in using this as a form of expression – there’s even a huge possibility of living solely from this work.
If you’re good with makeup, you should go for it – become an affiliate for some of these big cosmetic brands, and start showcasing your work. People will notice. There’s nothing more visible than makeup.
This is a form of self-expression that’s tough to put into words, because it doesn’t necessarily work to say “be more confident.” Right? But here, we’re talking about many things in one – other words we can use might be self-esteem, acceptance, assertiveness, and assurance.
I actually fall into this category as an introverted woman, so I can speak directly to it. More visibility here is about owning your ideas. It’s about not taking in SO many opinions or SO much advice from others, but leaning more on what you envision, then manifesting it. It’s really that simple – the nature of the confidence you carry is that it’s selective. It’s intentional and strong by nature. Therefore, being more confident is about being more intentional than you are now – more selective.
I know for me, I’m very confident when it comes to certain areas – in my work, my communications, the way I dress, and how I establish relationships. Taking those strong, confident areas and expanding them is how I expand this form of expression that’s already naturally a part of who I am. Increased practical visibility is really just about growth and elevation toward more comfort in these areas and using it in the areas where I’m not so confident – where you’re not so confident.
Language, words, vocabulary, grammar, rhetoric, form & structure, prose, poetry, advertising, marketing, and anything else that beckons the words & language expressive to pay attention – this is what we’re referring to here. These are likely things you really love if you are a words expressive. And let’s not forget writing!
For the words expressive to be more visible, it’s literally about “getting the word out.”
We always hear this as cliche, but for you, it has to be literal. Write more what you really want to write, study marketing from people who know what they’re talking about then use it in our business, read articles on writing and incorporate the aspects you’re learning.
Increased visibility with this form of self-expression requires engagement – interacting with the words that are constantly swarming around in your head – putting them somewhere – it doesn’t even have to necessarily be structured or perfect in the beginning – just disciplined (two different things).
Consistency and perfection are not the same.
If you love language, commit to learning another one, even if it’s sign language. If you love vocabulary, get a vocabulary book and wake up every day with a new word in your psyche, then commit to using it at some point during the day in your conversations (this also likely allows you to teach others something new – what’s better than that for your self-expression and esteem?).
If you like prose or poetry, start writing it in your personal journal daily or weekly to stretch the muscle of putting yourself more “out there.” Use your own experiences to visibly convey things you’ve been through – people love to hear about your experiences.
Observation is the initial stage of intuition – it’s not the same thing as intuition. People often don’t understand this. Some people who are observant by nature, aren’t necessarily intuitive thinkers, and that’s another reason I’ve separated them as expressions. And that’s okay. Usually though, they do go hand-in-hand.
Other words for observation we might use here are perseverance, patience, waiting, hovering, willpower, staying power, or advice.
Observing is about the curiosity process – the noticing of something or someone, then asking what is trying to show through it. An intuitive doesn’t need this much questioning – it almost happens naturally as a result of just being in the space with the person – picking up on the energy levels or gauging motives.
Think of observation as the physical mechanism for noticing, and intuition as the spiritual mechanism. This is not to say that, if someone isn’t an intuitive person, they are less spiritual. They just go about getting to an arrived conclusion another way.
Obviously, being more visible and practical with this form of expression involves noticing more things in a less structured way – not needing to necessarily draw any conclusion from it or make assumptions. For me, this has most shown up in my conversations with others – when someone assumes something based on what they see, I might be the one to pipe up and say “well, maybe not though – let’s get curious about that.” This makes my thought process more visible to someone else, and helps me hone the gift in the meanwhile.
This is the expression that embodies flow. Patience, endurance, self-discipline, flexibility, and motion are other words we find within this expression of self.
Recently, in our private Introvert Effect Google Plus community, one of our members said something very profound I loved. Here’s what she shared:
“…Dancing (alone or with my littles, when no one is watching) is where I see both what IS being expressed and what is still seeking expression. In dance, my mind is active, but it takes a back seat to my heart and body. A few years ago I began really observing my dance as a form of honest self-expression that was not being limited by my analytical mind. I saw my dance as a bit of an unfiltered peek into my soul. A moment in time when I wasn’t filtering myself. I saw many of my conscious values in my dance: rhythm, grace, synchronicity, flexibility, elegance. These things have expression in my life in other areas. These things felt totally right and good. But I also saw things like provocation, power, seduction—in tandem.”
Here’s what this teaches the movement expressive:
That it is possible for all three – mind, body, & soul – to show up in this expression of who you are – but it’s not the only way. And really, this lesson teaches us this about all expressions – they all work together in ways to fully express who we are – that maybe we’re not revealing everything through one mode of expression. I definitely don’t – mine show up in many, many ways.
(This is the reason we started a new conversation on expression, and I’ve introduced the newly created Expression Quotient. This post made me realize we had to dig deeper.)
I think being more visible in this form of expression is about that mind, body, & soul harmony this lovely soul shared w/ us – figuring out a way to not let the analytical mind take over – let them all come out to play.
Creativity is such a big discussion – and if you let it, it can overwhelm you to study creativity, in an of itself. There’s literally millions of articles and books on creativity and its nature – and probably just as many or more opinions or theories on how to work within this aspect of who we are (creators).
However, as a teacher, curator, and self-expression specialist who’s probably read hundreds or thousands of those articles or books, I’ve probably read no other easier or true definition/synopsis/thought about it than I did last week on Google Plus by my dear (new) friend, Molly.
Here’s what she had to say about the topic:
“Creativity, while often mysterious, does not contain any secrets. Surrender, practice, and many, many tiny decisions is all it is. Nothing more. And we are all creative, each in our own special way. Even the stockbroker beloved by his clients, even the flooring sales person who knows which floor is right, even the mother who nurtures each child in different but appropriate ways. Surrender to yourself, pay attention to what your heart wants to do, commit to practicing that thing – at work, at play, where ever, and have the courage to get conscious of all of the small decisions along the way toward mastery and fulfillment.”
Um. Wow. Literally, the easiest description. Isn’t it though?
Here’s what I want for you while really working your own creativity…
I want you to learn how to synthesize and filter everything you will ever ever read on it – learn how to take the things that resonate on the topic and leave the rest – do not get bogged down in trying to define it. I don’t want you to stop learning, but at the end of the day, I want you to see creativity as many tiny decisions – decisions about graphics, art, photography, colors on the paper, pencils, pens, blogs, journals you buy, poetry you write, businesses you want to build – that all belong to YOU!
I want you to deeply know that there’s no “definition” of creativity for you – only defined moments where decisions are made. That’s it.
And to be more visible? Welcome those decisions. And make them – no matter what. Whether they “fail” or not is not the measure of if it’s the highest expression – engaging with the moment IS.
Here’s to love, light, and you stepping out of the shadows,