Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Risks of Personal Disclosure

After reading my last post about an explicit sexual adventure, I had a friend who is new to the blog world ask about my boundaries around personal disclosure. He is wondering how personal he should be on his own blog, with his current guide being whether the personal directly applies to the mission of his project.

I have to admit that as I was writing the post, I considered how I hope the blog will lead to more exposure for the Society and for me as a writer and professional, and I wondered if it would be considered inappropriate to write so explicitly, even if my business directly involves sex. On the other hand, I could see how titillating readers with explicit sex can be an attraction that leads them to my other content. Ultimately I decided that what really matters most to me is personal truth. If someone doesn't want to read my blog or take my business seriously because I occasionally write about sex or my personal relationships, then we aren't meant for each other. There may be people who don't resonate with what I write about conscious leadership or spirituality either. That's ok. We aren't meant for each other.

Writing, or any other creative expression, shouldn't be about reaching every human being on the planet with your message. It's about making genuine connection and reaching the people who resonate with your message; people who will be touched, inspired, or challenged by your experiences.

As a writer, I have never had boundaries around personal disclosure. This is my fourth blog and all of them have combined the personal with a specific mission (the Yoni Endeavor was about women's issues; The Conspiracy of Blessings was about creativity, generosity and gift economy; and my personal blog was about my journey as a mystic). I came into this world wired to share my feelings and experiences, no matter how taboo or uncomfortable or unpalatable they may be to some people. I believe that telling our personal stories of transformation is vital to humanity's transformation. I believe telling the truth about how we work to overcome our struggles and suffering is important to our collective evolution. I believe honoring our emotions is vital to a healthy life.

And I believe that part of my purpose in life is to shine the light on the shadow. I've had an unusual share of trauma in my life. I have used writing both as a method of healing and consciousness raising. I've written about rape, incest and domestic violence. I've written about the dark side of parenting and being the daughter of a narcissist. I've written about mental illness. And now I write about sex, conscious leadership, spirituality and how they all intersect in my life and in the Society.

I strive to be an integrated human being. I do not disassociate and keep different parts of my life packaged up so they don't bleed into one another. I am not interested in a shiny, palatable image. I do not wish to be bland or mediocre so that I can reach a large and mainstream audience. I want to be big and bold and take risks. I want to be messy as I blur the lines between the intellectual and the emotional, personal and the professional, the sacred and the profane. I want to challenge assumptions. Right now, the biggest assumption I challenge is that sex is meant to be kept behind closed doors. We are born sexual beings and sex is a part of our every day lives. Healthy sexual expression is vital to a healthy emotional and spiritual life. How am I to be a role model for healthy sexual expression if I keep my own sex life in the shadows or buy in to the idea that my message is less meaningful because I share stories about my own sexual expression?

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