This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.
I Googled whatever it was Odysseus set out to do (fight the Trojan war) and what kept him so long before he returned to his kingdom to find his house invaded by suitors for his wife and his dog waiting to die until his master had returned.
From what I remembered there were singing sirens, a trick with wax in his ears not working, and a narrow escape from a giant where Odysseus and his men were hanging on to the bellies of a herd of sheep.
I had forgotten the other details.
First thing I learned was that I had also forgotten how to spell odyssey,(odyssee is Dutch, English should be odyssey) which was illustrative of how long it had been since I had silently abandoned my 2021 sexual odysse
And for far less clear reasons than sirens enchanting me with their singing.
Although if I count male singers and rock music, then I actually did abandon the sexual odyssey around the time my involvement in Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses music, deepened!!
And by now, September 2022, I have stopped “mindlessly” listening to Bon Jovi concerts, because I have it in my head all the time.
Constantly hearing Bon Jovi live music in my head has become the new normal for longer than I can remember, so there has definitely been a moment when I switched from predominantly being the writer Lauren Harteveld, who did undertake a sexual odyssey in 2021, to working predominantly under my real name, in the field of yoga, art, and rock music.
I was indeed caught by a muse, enchanting me with his voice;
And I did forsake my Lauren Harteveld sexual odyssey.
Forsaking Lauren Harteveld – period.
Aside from my letters to you, and the very occasional Lauren 1997 diary post (about 5-ish a year?) this account has been lying dormant since August, September 2021….
In my letter to you, three weeks ago, I talked about removing another layer of service-industry put-on.
A residual but very persistent layer of seeing myself as a service provider, when on my deathbed all that’s gonna matter is if I made my art and spoke my message.
That it’s very okay to DO work for money, but it is absolutely not okay to mistake that work for your purpose, your identity, for what you came here to do.
My last letter to you, was about stepping into my identity as a writer slash artist, but I chose “writer” because that is the most recognizable aspect.
So the previous letter established that I was a writer.
But not what to write about, nor which of my two accounts should be dominant.
Lauren Harteveld or my real name.
And that, proved to be a question that could not be answered so quickly….
So WHAT to write about, and as WHOM?
After a year of all my creative work being almost exclusively under my real name; I have a good understanding of what it is I do there.
I did more than just being caught in a sheep barn, and more than just listening to enchanting singing, but nevertheless, my Lauren Harteveld odyssey was forsaken and I forgot who I was.
Or who I also, was.
Am I really only this person who goes by my real name, or am I Lauren Harteveld?
About a month ago, I confessed to a friend that if I had a choice, I would only be Lauren Harteveld.
My real name would just be one that existed on paper, did not exist on LinkedIn, a name that had no blogs and that could not be found on Google, except for perhaps having a yoga career that she apparently ended.
If I had migrated and lived abroad, I would not bother giving my real name a new career.
Instead, I would be Lauren Harteveld 100%.
Ever since I became less and less of a yoga teacher, a process that can be traced back as early as late 2013 when I signed the lease of a small yoga space and ended the expensive one (I had a 3 month notice period, it was nearly spring before I was freed from that expensive one), I have been grappling with the question of:
-who am I, my real name or Lauren Harteveld?
This was the easiest part, because every time I gave it serious thought, I knew I was Lauren Harteveld.
-what is my purpose work; yoga or writing?
This is still undecided. I’ve had the career teaching yoga, and also visions of my purpose being teaching yoga, I had vivid dreams, strong callings!
And I’ve had them from 1998 and upward, before I even DID yoga.
And they started returning in 2015, 2019, and have been consistently haunting me ever since.
The vision of me teaching yoga, under my real name, is so bright and clear I can almost touch it!
But I have lost so many years trying to bring it to life…
Since this August I have installed a yoga sabbatical, I m putting it to rest, and will only pick it up if I ever do know, what it is.
Or what it wants from me.
So maybe despite all those powerful visions and all that history doing yoga and teaching it; that may mean I will Never, pick it up again.
It will have to return with a good and urgent story, if I am to ever touch it again.
I’m not ruling out the possibility yoga was never more than a siren on my way, that has effectively kept me from getting home, for twenty years.
With writing, I never had that doubt. I just did it.
And do it, for this account as well as under my real name. I love writing, I could do it all day, every day.
The only reason I never fully gave into it, is because very few writers make their living writing their true purpose work.
Their real truth.
And that is the only thing, I am interested in sharing.
Overviewing it, I can see how this all points to me being indeed a writer and not a yoga teacher.
But I drew that conclusion last time already, so this whole paragraph is as redundant as my 20 year career in yoga.
Yet although I was certain that I AM Lauren Harteveld, and that my purpose is very likely to be a writer, at least for the upcoming year – I still found myself grappling with a third question:
-What is my purpose work writing?
Is it the work under my real name?
Or being Lauren Harteveld where I write about living in 1997 and used to be on a sexual odyssey?
Until I moved into my real-name account and forgot all about it.
And… back to the no-brainers!
Of course my purpose is this work, here under this name.
Don’t get me wrong;
The topics and projects I have under my real name are amazing.
They’re better and more satisfying than I could imagine my relationship with the world, to ever be; But they’re frickin’ coasting.
They’re just scratching the surface of what it is I’m capable of, and also what I need for full satisfaction.
I need to cut deep, and lay bare, the deepest of truths, and I can’t do that under my real name. For various reasons and none of them have anything to do with my reading audience. None.
But these reasons do have to do with ME not wanting to face the world on a day to day basis, real life, physically, and being known for my deepest message.
I m not going to discuss sexual freedom over buying oranges in the supermarket.
I know I would have the same problem if I had migrated to the French Riviera, but there I would not live among twenty years of personal history and people knowing me from other lines of work;
And here I do.
The strongest motive to keep coming back to working under my real name, seems to be finance.
I was reluctant to see my yoga career ending, and constantly picked it up in some form, over a hardheaded belief teaching yoga was a “real” profession that could make money, and writing what I want, is not.
Even now, three weeks after writing you I am going to identify as an artist – and for now rounded off to writer – I can see how there was STILL that layer of coverup.
Similarly to mistaking yoga to be my purpose work.
Where I now mistook writing under my real name, as my purpose work.
Like I said earlier, there is absolutely no shame in working (including being an entrepreneur) for money;
But do not confuse it for your purpose work.
Similarly, there is no shame in setting up a superficial and therefor far more sustainable and predictable career as a writer under my real name!
The biggest mistake I have made the past three weeks, is that I have mistaken the career under my real name, for my truest work.
When all it is, is work I am comfortable connecting over.
Work I would love doing 40 hours a week.
Comfortable explaining or talking about, even over buying oranges in the supermarket.
Both the yoga as well as writing under my real name was, and is, the work that has brought me love and connection, and a sense of meaning and belonging because it contributes something, and that does feel incredibly good.
I feel that work under my real name, is the work that if I get behind it a little bit more, and if I really choose to be a writer, now that I have finally let go of the yoga parts that held me up for so long-
that it is the work that can and will bring me the money, the glory, and all in a wonderfully sustainable way where no one gets hurt.
Least of all me.
But after one year of writing next to nothing for this blog;
After completely forgetting about my 2021 Sexual Odyssey for this blog;
One year of Lauren 1996 moving into 1997, but writing so very little;
Not even touching my Lauren Harteveld 1994-1996 manuscript, which is still in the same stage I left it in 2021;
After that one year of working under my real name, I feel stranded on a mountain where Jon Bon Jovi as my Calypso, has effectively enchanted me.
And I can’t decide if I should be glad that all the STARS of my dreamlife are lining up, everything is going so smoothly, and the universe seems to be conspiring against me to give me all my heart has ever desired!
Or, alternatively, if here on this rock, proverbially – but who knows one day for real – sitting on Jon Bon Jovi’s lap, I am actually totally lost.
The furthest away from home I have ever been.
And dangerously close, to forgetting who I am.
An unexamined life is not worth living
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