By now you probably know the hit song by Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off.” Maybe you even sing it as loud as you can in the shower and use your shampoo as a microphone. (Not that I do that or anything…) But my question is, in your own life- are you really shaking it off? Are you shaking it off like Taylor and “letting it go” like Elsa? Are you the Disney diva/hero or pop star of your own life?
I hope you are. My shaking it off is more of a work in progress, to be honest. It’s like I want to be a “shake” but right now I’m “partially melted ice cream” or something. Sometimes I shake it off totally, sometimes I half shake it off, and sometimes I just hold that crap in. As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve realized the consequences of holding it in.. and the amazing things that happen when I shake it off. So I’m shaking more and more and holding less and less.
Holding hate in is like holding poison. It’s toxic. It slows down dreams and discolors truth. So I think you should shake it off as much as possible. Shake it way off. Shake it like a polaroid picture. Shake it like a really furry wet dog that just came out of a really wet lake.
There are so many haters… but they aren’t the big scary people with the power that we think they are. I have a YouTube channel and someone commented on my video, “Your singing is so bad my dog heard it and died!” People have said worse, but I won’t go into it. I shook that crap waaay the heck off. BUT I wrote back to the doggy comment and said it really hurt my feelings.. I recommend just ignoring and deleting hurtful comments, but for some reason I responded to this one. They wrote back and by their response I realized it was a really young kid. She told me her dog really did die and she was so sad that she just wanted to blame it on someone. She said she really liked my singing and was so sorry. I think most haters are a version of this little girl. They feel pain inside, and like a Buddhist monk I love says, (Thich Nhat Hanh) their hate is their own pain spilling over. After I realized this was a sad, little girl whose dog died, I wanted to give her a big hug! I’ve been that hurt, little girl… confused how to process my pain. I’ve made mistakes that I regret now because I was wearing pain goggles and couldn’t see straight.. we all have. (but I’ve forgiven myself and shaken that guilt off, too- just shake it all off, baby..everything thing that doesn’t feel good) I know it’s super hard to have compassion for haters and send blessings instead of getting super mad at them and being mean back (I can only do it sometimes- Hey, I didn’t say I was a Buddhist monk) but it is what I think is the best thing to do. I think it’s the right thing. Turn the other cheek.
Haters may also feel jealous. Things are bad for them and they are seeing you singing, “Let It Go” on a mountain with tons of awesome ice creations. They aren’t making ice creations so they don’t want you to either. Instead of stopping making ice, keep rocking your ice powers and either ignore their hate or invite them to make ice creations with you. They can also be the Elsa of their life. But YOU cannot stop because of their hate. You need to shake. Turn up the volume on that Taylor Swift.. Crank it.
Think about things haters have said to you in the past.. think back on your whole life…What are the phrases that play in your mind that makes you feel less than? That tear you down? Shake. I had one teacher that used to yell at me and clap in front of my face to get me to focus. (Her way of getting my attention when I was busy thinking of pink unicorns-the unicorns were so much happier than her) I got bad grades in her class. She made me feel like I was inadequate and would never excel in school. Later I realized my overactive imagination was ok and could be worked with..it was actually one of my gifts! I had to stop believing what she thought in order to excel. I had to shake it off. I got a 4.0 last semester in grad school at NYU. I shook that crap WAY off and was able to accomplished more than I ever dreamed was possible! We have to let it go.. Cue Elsa.. again.
Have you ever really investigated if hurtful things people have said to you are true or not? Try making them not true for you anymore. Also, think about the things YOU say to yourself. You need to shake off your own hurtful statements as well! If you wouldn’t say it to a dear friend, it’s time to shake it off, too. Shake yourself off. Wait- is that possible? Well, I don’t think it’s the next hit song… LOL
It’s crazy how we let negative things we hear affect us. I read a weird statistic once that if something negative happened to you when you were 12-years-old, you’d probably not be successful in life. (or something like that) I had happened to have several negative life events happen when I was 12, so I was so saddened by that information. I was like, “Ok… well.. I guess I doomed!” A year later… thank GOD.. I read a statistic that if something big and negative happened when you were 12 you were more likely to work tirelessly to be successful and become someone great. I was floored. Which was true? I then started to become much more successful. I should have never given statistics that kind of power. I am the one who decides my destiny. Not statistics, not haters, not negative self talk.. ME. My big, untouchable, amazing spirit. (I think we all have one! It’s like a super sized shake version of ourselves) I hope I’m making sense and not just making you crave Dairy Queen..
Sometimes in life we want to hold on to some kind of fear. This marketing guy I love, Seth Godin, recommends (if we have to have the fear) changing where we place our fear. Instead of fearing haters saying negative things about us and our work, we should fear no one saying anything about us and us never sharing our work. That’s way worse! Say you start writing a blog and you get some haters, it’s OK! Don’t fear people hating on your work, fear something else- fear NO ONE talking about your work. Fear your work not ever getting out there. Even Taylor’s song for instance, will have many haters… BUT it has way more lovers and people who are inspired and touched by it. If she feared the haters and hid from them, we wouldn’t have her awesome music. She wouldn’t be making the beautiful impact that she’s making… We have to accept that there will be haters, but we (and our awesome work) are bigger than the hate. Someone attacked my blog (this blog) recently and I was like, “Oh no! Maybe I shouldn’t write.” But then I did what Seth Godin said to do.. I feared never putting my work out there. I feared keeping my truth inside. So, I kept writing. Haters, you are welcome. I’m giving you a big ol’ hug. I don’t fear you. I’m sorry, but you don’t have the power. Love does. It always has… it always will.
Maybe you’ve held on to the crap for a long time. It’s never too late to erase the crap, though. In another blog, I talk about how you can erase anything people (or you) have written in your life story that doesn’t serve you. You can get out a jumbo eraser and go to town. It’s never too late to be the person you want to be. Sometimes if something negative comes into my head I say, “I’m not a person who believes that anymore.” “I’m not a person who is affected by that anymore.” I can be whatever person I want to be. I can be a strawberry shake, a chocolate shake with peanut butter cups.. No one can decide for me what kind of shake I am. So, it all comes back to shakes.
What are you going to shake off? What hate can you shake off right now to be happier? What are you going to use the energy you save by letting all the hate go to do? Put the energy you shake off into your passion. Into creating beauty in the world.. When you hold it in, you have a weight on your chest. You feel like cheese that has been in the fridge too long. When you shake it off, you are free and light. You’re frozen yogurt. You’re soy delicious. You’re a berry smoothie.
I took all my crap energy and made it into big creative projects and songs. It’s way better there then weighing me down. Many of you know I’m writing a musical about mental health. Recently, a song from the show was featured on Broadway World! The song is called, “I’m Different.” The lyrics say, “I’m different… breaking the limits you set on me.” I wrote this after I realized I was letting people tell me how far I could go in life, when that decision was really up to me. I’ll link you to that video & article as well and post the song in this blog! 🙂
Love you bunches! I’m so happy we’ve connected. Rachie