I just had a great talk with my friend Giulia, who was telling me that she had to organize her life, she needed to find a new identity, she wanted to reinvent herself.
I felt a heaviness. I felt an inner rebuke.
All my life I’ve been in love with branding, with logos. I loved this idea of having an identity, of helping companies create messages, slogans, ideals. I guess I’m good at it, in a kind of twisted way. Before my publishing career I had been in big advertising agencies and had even taught marketing and creativity in advertising schools.
So on this particular day, why I was so excited? Because I could see clearly that I had changed. I saw that my old tendency was to try to combine my intuition with the marketplace. Sounds normal, right? A guy needs to make a living, after all. But I had to admit that, as long as I did this, my mind was always going to belittle my intuition. It gave him the opportunity to be the leader in my life, and not my inner knowing. I can hear its voice now:
“Your intuition is not right, It’s not market-ready! It needs to be adjusted. Thank goodness I’m here. I can fix it. What would you do without me?” And so on and so forth. It sounds so innocent, but in reality, my mind was keeping my intuition small and discouraged. After all, the mind can only allow that which has already been seen. And he does this, inside of me, by limiting the voice of the intuition to what will be acceptable to others and how much it earns.
Suddenly, I wanted to go back to teaching. If I could just get young creatives to go beyond their minds, they would see that the highest value they can give to their intuition would be that of integrity, not money. Integrity means that they can decide the value of their intuition by listening to it, not by selling it. Jeez, that’s what the stepmother (the mind) does with Snow White (the soul): she doesn’t value her, she uses her. Had I been using my intuition all these years?
And what would be this new value that I was able to give my intuition? Freedom! Freedom from the bullying limitations of the mind, with its inability to tolerate paradox. Freedom from the curse of monetization, the prostitution of my creativity. Freedom for the intuition to guide me someplace new, someplace unseen, unsellable and unexplainable. Maybe even, dare I say it… to take me to a place I’ve never been before… to guide me HOME.
Yes, my friends, now I was really excited. This is what my new currency is going to be. And my heart was telling me that everyone’s going to want to get in on this freedom. This is where the market explodes. Because if I am really listening to this inner guidance, I see that it will take me places, will tell me things, will make me feel a love and respect for my inner self that my mind could never know… something that the marketplace could ever provide me.
Yes, I was being asked to step out of my branding, my comfortable identity… I won’t be limiting myself to what you think about myself anymore… and in exchange, I began o receive ideas that are full of grace, love and beauty. Ideas poured into me that are so personal and transformative that every time I shared them with others, the hairs on my arm stand on end. Ideas so powerful that my mind finally bowed down before them; it admitted defeat, it relinquished its power over me, it stepped aside IN AWE.
Which brings me to integrity: By finally believing in my inner voice for its own sake, I was actually starting to believe in myself for the first time. I didn’t need the market to tell me my worth any more.
And that, my friends, is what I call being Paid in Freedom.