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The Importance of Self-Definition as a foundation of Self-Expression

'Head in the Clouds', oil on canvas, by Akasha Love, 2018, Melbourne.

I am called to write this today, as it’s an important part of my life’s journey, so hopefully it will also resonate with you.

I wanted to write about self-definition, deciding who you are and what you stand for. And then also self-expression; sharing who you are and what you stand for with the rest of the world.

Last year, in 2020, I adopted my artist / spirit name of Akasha Love. The reasons for this are many, but the primary reason was that it was an important step in my self-ownership or self-sovereignty process. I needed to name myself, to give myself this gift of a name. Whether this becomes my steadfast name for the rest of my life, or remains my artist / spirit name, I don’t know, and I am OK with that. But the amount of hidden shame and pain and suffering which surfaced (and continues to surface) with this act, all under the banner of (imagine hands up to the face a la the painting The Scream by Edvard Munch) “What will people think” was and still is, surprising to me.

'The Scream' by Edvard Munch
‘The Scream’, by Edvard Munch, 1893

And the journey I have been on, with this new name, since I decided on it, has been an enlightening one. Some people just accept it and are curious and happy for me, others are not interested at all and almost pretend that I have not said what I just said. Others just nod their head and continue to call me whatever name they had called me before. And surprisingly few are actually interested in the story behind the name; why I chose it, what was my process, and why I did it.

One of these interested people was a woman I met recently during a walk on the beach in St Kilda, Melbourne. I wanted to take a video of her dog, which I included in my recent ‘Quarantine Queens’ music video for my new cover song of this same name. I had never met this woman, but within a few minutes we were speaking about all kinds of things, about life in Bali, about the Coronageddon and all that that entails, about lockdowns and lockups, and about names. She said something interesting to me which is that people can only go with you on your journey as far as they have allowed themselves to go on theirs. They can only connect with your inner world at a deep level if they are on a similar inner journey themselves. And if they are not interested in your inner journey, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are not interested in you, it just means they are not able to meet you there (as in the super famous Rumi quote) . . .

“Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field.

I’ll meet you there.” 

~ Jelaluddin Rumi ~

I believe all of life’s best conversations – and therefor connections and friendships, happen in this field, out beyond wrong doing and right doing – the field that is free from judgement. If I am feeling judged, or if I am judging another, I won’t be able to create or continue an intimate connection with them. As soon as I feel judged, or notice I am judging, something between me and the other person breaks. So in order to have this conversation about names, and naming, we need to meet in a field beyond wrong doing and right doing, but also, there needs to be curiosity about the relationship between a name and the self. And there needs to be curiosity about the whole process of becoming oneself, which I believe is a lifelong, never-ending process.

I understand that not everyone is interested in such things, and therefor not everyone wants to meet me out in this field (or beach! 🙂 ) to have these kinds of conversations. But this says more about them than about me. Just as someone’s reactions to you always say more about them than about you. If I am lost in a self centred mode of behaviour, it is easy to take everything personally, and feel affronted that someone is not really interested in my name. If I take this further then I can be offended and start down the path of: ‘well, perhaps this person is not really my friend, perhaps I should not see them anymore, as they are not interested in me…’

But if I take a step back and let go of the ‘little me’ part of my personality that makes it all about me, then I can just see that their reaction is a result of their own life story, and their own self-relationship. And of course if someone is not able to have such a conversation about something as important as who you are now, who you are becoming, and how your name forms a part of that story, then there is going to be less intimacy between you, but maybe that’s OK. 

Intimate connections and relationships are special because they are rare. And I have learned that I can’t expect everyone to see and understand me, just as I can’t see and understand everyone else – no matter how hard I try. I only need a few people to be able to really see me, for me to feel seen.*

[*Of course, if I am consistently feeling unseen by a friend, then I usually will need to have a conversation about our relationship and where we stand, including whether they feel seen by me. I think it is unhealthy to hold onto connections where I am feeling consistently unseen and unheard and not understood by someone.]

Intimate connections and relationships are special because they are rare. And I have learned that I can’t expect everyone to see and understand me, just as I can’t see and understand everyone else, no matter how hard I try. I only need a few people to be able to really see me, for me to feel seen.

And the amazing thing about life is that sometimes you are gifted exactly what you need (to feel seen, heard and understood) by a random stranger who you meet on the beach. And maybe you gave them the same gift.

So why is it important to know who you are and what you stand for?

I think essentially it’s important because the more clear you are in yourself and your life mission (a more mythic way to talk about what you stand for) the easier it is for you to magnetise the people you need to help you move forward in your mission. And most likely these same people need you to help them move forward in their life’s mission. And so, as they say: all the boats rise.

The people who need each other meet each other and support, love and help each other. And the naysayers and the haters, well, they are like water off a ducks back. They will always be there, especially when you get past your people pleasing fears, and, well, maybe you can take them as a sign that you are really making an impact on the world. If people have enough time and energy to give you hate or negativity, the positive spin is that you’ve affected them. I said this just recently to my Dad, about my first Coronageddon Hotel Quarantine song, when I got a thumbs down, it was a sign that my star was on the rise….. 🙂 People cared enough to give me a reaction.

So, the moral of this story is………?

That even if we are clear on who we are and our life mission, it can still be scary to fully be ourselves, to get past people pleasing, so that we are able to really make an impact in the world with our work and our energy and our passion. And that’s why it really helps to be a part of a tribe of like minded souls, so that you can be supported in your full self-sovereignty and support the full self-sovereignty of others.

And this is why I have created my Akasha Love Patreon page. I want to build a community of self-loving people who want to connect with each other so that we can all rise together. My life’s mission, as defined by my self-given name, is to create more space for love, so I invite you to support me in this mission through becoming my patron, and in turn I will support you in fully loving yourself, owning yourself, and shining your full intergalactic light in this lifetime.

One of my patron tiers is a Monthly New Moon Guided Meditation, Tarot Reading + Intention Setting (Journalling) practice. This is a live session and is US$10 per month, and the first one will be held on the new moon of Saturday March 13th. I would love to have you there!

Find out more about the different options for joining my Self-Loving Team of Patrons here.