How my inner voice keeps me from joy and authenticity

Sometimes on the way to an authentic, joyful life signs land in your lap and if you aren’t paying attention they reach out and grab you. This happened to me today.

BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert came to my possession through a dear friend. Now this friend, mind you, is someone whose opinion matters a great deal. Ironically, she is also the same friend that tells me that it is none of my business what other people think of me. So apparently I am not supposed to care what she thinks, but I do. I can’t help it.

This friend is someone who lives fully with grace, passion and compassion. I am incredibly fortunate that she has welcomed me as a friend. Today, I was reminded again just how fortunate I am to have her in my life.

I woke up before everyone this morning, took a breath, and filled my coffee cup. I was so happy to have some quiet time to read more BIG MAGIC ( I am capitalizing this title because not only is it capitalized on the cover; it kind of lends itself to capitalization because BIG MAGIC is kind of a living thing all its own).


Any way, I get to the section about Permission and Ms. Gilbert poignantly states that one does not need permission to live a creative life. She even gives stellar advice on how to speak to “your darkest interior voices” if they try to sidetrack you. I am starting to see how this book might be speaking directly to me.


In the next chapter, Elizabeth (because who knows one day we may be friends), discusses how “[m]aybe you fear you are not original enough” and I get another pang, like hmm maybe Elizabeth is speaking to me. She concludes the chapter with, “[s]hare what you are driven to share. If it’s authentic enough, believe me – it will feel original.”

As I read that last sentence it hits me full on, not only is this book sending me a message, but this sweet friend with her sweet note tacked at the front is sending me one, too.


I have had conversations with her about these very things, and some I have not. Some she must have read here in this little blog. But what a beautiful, wonderful thing to be seen and heard and then gifted such a magical message.

We can often sabotage ourselves into “not worthy” or “not enough-ness” thinking. It is just holding us back. In fact, my inner voice often keeps me from joy and authenticity.

Twice this weekend, I have been with friends. The first I was open and shared and we had a great conversation. After the evening ended all I could think was shoot, I said too much. I over shared and there is no way this person will ever want to hang out again. Then last night, my “darkest inner voices” kept me trapped and quiet. “Don’t speak” they said. “You have nothing to share. You will just sound stupid” they shouted.

These inner voices are not helping! They keep me distant and even make me look RUDE! I need to listen to the BIG MAGIC and if I have something I am driven to share; I should share. If I feel unoriginal it doesn’t matter; the idea might be out in the universe already, but not with my unique fingerprint attached to it.

So I got the message this morning. These dark inner voices keep me from cultivating relationships, creativity and success! I need to go Elizabeth Gilbert on them and believe in myself. Be open, work hard and be kind. Choose creativity, compassion, and connection.

Or if I need to I can start small. Start, Stuart Smalley (from Saturday Night Live fame) in fact:

I am a good mom.

I am a good friend.

I am a writer.

I am grace.

I am compassion.

I am worthy of joy and connection.

And doggone it people like me.

I will do better to keep my dark inner voices in check from now on.

May you also be blessed with the kindness of a dear friend who believes in you and bestows upon you the gift of reminding you that you are in fact worthy.

Feeling humbled –


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