Can you see me now?

This, me being me, is not a performance. It is no role that I am playing. It is not an act to get a job. It is not even to attract the attention of others. This is me being me so that you will feel more free to be you. What does it mean to be me in a world co-opted by performance? It simply means that I am the outward expression of my heart’s most inner desires.

For instance, people sometimes introduce me as an author. I have written books but an author, I am not. I am not not an author, per se. I’m just not an author because in my heart I don’t feel called to be an author. There are some who might say that I am not an author because I cannot write. In school, I was called into a professor’s office with a rather serious tone by a man whom I had taken an incredibly soul-draining class with and whose heart knew nothing about my own. I sat down, not knowing where the conversation was going to go. I knew it was about my writing style but nothing more than that. The conversation started with him saying that “this was a very serious issue.”

There are some who have loved the way that I write and there are a few who have just despised it over the years. Across all of my undergraduate and graduate studies, I was told by two college professors that my writing was so poor that they absolutely insisted that I read some standard English grammar book. One even bought it for me. I received the feedback and tried to engage but never made it past page 3. I just knew that it wasn’t for me. What they were saying is that I did not write in accordance with the rules of writing and in both cases I could not have agreed more. I wasn’t trying to be their version of a writer.

Now I have written my second book, The Joy Manifesto, with my better half no less. What I can now say, based on our experience writing this book and other college papers, that I aced, is that I don’t write brain language very well. I write for the heart to see, hear, and feel the message flow through each reader. In doing so, I naturally break all the rules. I know that when I write to the heart of the reader, opting to convey wisdom (wisdom = knowledge + intuition) over facts and figures alone, I will lose some readers. I do the same thing when I paint. With joy, I can’t help it! It is the only way in which when I read what I write that my heart smiles. What does it even mean to know facts and figures but not convey who you are in your heart as your share them. Brain-driven writing and all of the grammatical rules that make it what it is, does not convey wisdom. In fact, they suck the wisdom out of every book sentence by sentence.

I want to read when there is a heart-to-heart connection between what the writer is offering and what I as the reader is experiencing. Can we evolve this status quo standard of honing in on the grammatical style of writing beyond the egos of yesteryear that credited such unwarranted honors to those who could seemingly master to the rules of the time? Did we not later find out that some of those well trained brains were horrible people? Grammatical rules can be helpful to ensure that we can communicate effectively from one person to the next but should no longer be used as a gold standard of writing by which every written work be judged. I shudder to think what a failure I would be as an author. What can matter more is the wisdom offered and shared either by an authentic connection with the content and/or by creativity expressed.

We are re-writing the standards of communication through social media platforms and yet we have challenged our brains to catch up with our hearts. Just think of your favorite quote. Why did it resonate with you? Did it speak to your brain or your heart? What about it touched your heart? The facts, the grammar, or the wisdom? I would rather write for wisdom. So, I consider myself (ourselves) an artist(s) who had a little message about joy to share and chose to communicate that message through the written form. It would be more accurate to say that words were painted on a page and then framed. The Joy Manifesto should be read as one looks at art. The words are to be seen, felt, and heard uniquely by all who experience. At least that is the invitation from my heart to yours.

An author, born to write, I may not be, never will be, don’t want to be, and that is just perfectly fine by me. More importantly, to desire to be an author or a this or a that by title is literally an effect of the corporate mindset telling us that our titles are the desired outcomes of our life work. What matters more is who you are in your heart and the multitude of ways in which you might shine your brilliance into this world be you an artist who writes, speaks, sings, or designs.