This morning I woke up feeling so hesitant about what I would share here today..
The last 24 hours have been like a roller coaster with regard to my creative work under my real name, much of which I still have not shared there, but the upcoming years are going to be so exciting.
And also, I will be having a daytime job, limiting the number of hours I will be working on my own business. This is all deliberate. I have been working independently as a yoga teacher for almost 17 years.
I crave having colleagues.
Even when I make more money than I can spend as a writer, I would still want to have a normal job. After so much time alone, it’s like a form of self-care to be among people and to leave the house every morning being expected somewhere.
Regardless of how high I value showing up online, and I definitely do, having a place locally and during daytime hours, is a priority from now on.
Which is great.
But not if you are so creative you’ve been needing two accounts, two names and two languages, meaning basically four different businesses, to channel all that…
Then you might be a bit like me, wondering: “How the f am I going to do all that?”
How am I going to show up for four accounts, with all those new plans I ve got going, AND work a job?
But, I can say that it excited me very much.
Not despite the stress, or uncertainty, or despite having five balls up in the air;
But because of it.
But with LS Harteveld being my writer account, and currently the emphasis being on moving forward under my real name, and becoming more visible every day -
What was I going to share here?
Was it realistic that I would stay online here, or was it better to just put all my LS Harteveld accounts on lock-down during the week?
That’s why this morning, I woke up excited over all my new plans for my other account, but found myself in doubt about my future as pen name author.
So initially I went about my day, and knew what I would be doing and sharing and creating under my real name. When suddenly my favorite person on the internet Katrina Ruth, sent us an email pointing out her latest Facebook livestream where she had discussed, among other things, the sources of having a dry vagina.
I vividly remembered that from an earlier livestream – you can find the essential clip HERE! - it’s because you’re not on purpose, not living the life of your dreams, not hustling your ass off, and not having all the fun, all the men, and all the cookies you want.
That’s what causes a dry vagina.
But just watch her livestream or the clip from years back to hear her say it.
I ve also included the clip at the bottom of this post.
This live stream was the moment when I realized that I was STILL not anywhere near sharing my true message under my real name. I was still holding back. Somehow my old profession, or maybe a better word is my old stigma, of being a yoga teacher still had its clean, proper, manicured claws in me, and I was giving that People Pleasing Demon a place in my life.
WHY WAS I DOING THAT?
Why was I preparing a video for my series over there discussing why you should not be using too much social media, if you want to move up, raise your energy and focus on the things that matter-
When I was NOT talking about The Thing of Things?
In my defense: I do think there were more reasons for this than just the residue of two decades of yoga.
And I know what it is, and before I explain, let me first affirm that this WAS the moment I saw that I desperately needed to keep writing for this account.
That now more than ever, with a life of so much external pressure and social expectations awaiting me under my real name, I needed this pen name and writing here to stay in integrity. To stay real, I need LS Harteveld because at the end of each day, I still want to be able to look myself in the eye and say:
“Would LS Harteveld have endorsed this message? Is this who we really are?”
I need to write here, especially at the end of my weekdays when the chaos and the pressure has come at me from every different angle online and in real life, and say:
“I have stayed true to myself.”
So yes, I ll be staying!
But back to the carefully crafted message for my work under my real name: Why had I been holding myself back? Without noticing even. Why did it take a live stream from Katrina Ruth to shake me up out of my docile worker bee mentality?
Because of a man.
I was entirely OFF and not myself in the field of men.
In the most literal sense, I was already heading to Dry Vagina Land.
So what happened?
In December my secret lover ended our affair, and for the first six weeks I held up fine. Later on I realized this was also because I just didn’t want to break down in front of people who had silently or more overtly disapproved of me being a secret lover.
I was going to be fine with a vengeance, proving that normal people with normal relationships were the ones that crashed and burned when they were dumped after five years by someone they were still madly in love with and had the best sex ever with.
But I was not.
I was going to show that not only had our affair existed outside of every day life, that I will was still there, and not here. I refused to come down from the level I had been living at for five years, in order to feel the misery of it all on an earthly plane.
But then I did something which I blame for my current lack of balls, when it comes to speaking my truth and I don’t recommend this to anyone:
For a week or two I wallowed in the feeling of being dumped.
Partly because I assumed I had been running away from my true feelings long enough: It was time to face them.
And partially because to me the ultimate victory would be to feel deeply saddened, and to still not crash and burn. To still be the badass I had been throughout our affair, even when I could, and did, feel it deeply sucked that he dumped me.
However, this entire process was not as conscious as I would have liked it to be. It happened gradually, and before I knew it I found myself seriously bogged down by the feeling of not being in each other’s lives anymore.
I found myself wondering what I could have done differently.
And pessimistic about the sustainability of the relationships I chose.
Meanwhile in the first six weeks I had felt relieved that I was no longer a secret mistress, and partially because of this sudden burst in energy, I had told a lot of people that it was all over and that I would never become a secret mistress again.
This was great social glue.
I almost got standing ovations when I said I would never be a secret mistress again.
It was disgusting.
So when I created all these plans for my real name, including the neatly packaged message for today to not use social media too much, in order to preserve your energy;
Was I still in my crowd-pleasing, not-ruffle-the-feathers, never-do-it-again, mode?
Damn right I was.
Did I need Katrina Ruth to remind me that this is how we girls get dry vaginas?
I can hardly imagine a day when I needed to hear this message more than I did today, on the morning I was mentally preparing for a message that was downplaying the entire essence of me. The moment when I was desperately wanting to fit in and maybe even to be punished perhaps, for being a secret mistress for so long, by never speaking my truth again.
I was in my kitchen having breakfast.
I watched the entire livestream, 45 minutes.
And afterwards I looked up, as if I was Cinderella who had been sleeping for way too long. There was an immense clarity that the first six weeks of simply going in denial over the breakup, had been a far better choice than the final ones, where I had been feeling the emptiness of his departure.
And that everything in my life, from the messy way my house looked to the just-not-soul-aligned self-deceiving projects I was churning out, was reflecting this poor mental state I had allowed myself to get into.
And that there was only one way to get out of all of this, once and for all.
To ALWAYS speak my truth.
I ditched all plans to keep coloring between the lines, and instead of covering the song Social Disease (about social media) I was going to cover the title from the album it was on.
Slippery When Wet *)
And when tonight, I am standing in front of the mirror, and look LS Harteveld in the eye, I ll make sure she’s proud.
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living
PS You can follow the YouTube series under my real name here