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Making light of work

Tanya Ryan 2
Tanya Ryan, Light Side Up

This holiday season I’m determined to ensure that everyone is up to speed on the current position of my freak flag.

I have been using the last few months to unearth and reveal as much about myself as possible, in effort to be more transparent, candid, and vulnerable. Though it could sound as though it’s fuelled by narcissistic attention-seeking (and probably partially that’s true) - I do have noble goals as well.

Human beings thrive in connectivity, and interdependent relationships. We are designed to be with, relate to, and be around other people. I feel that our mental illness symptoms are triggered most predominantly when we feel isolated or disconnected from one another.

We misinterpret ourselves as being separate from others based on exterior - and often misleading optics and representations. In effort to self-preserve, we stifle ourselves from expressing aspects of our personality, emotions, or experiences; perhaps to avoid judgement, or maybe it would feel as though we’re jeopardizing our character, or external perceptions. These are incredibly valid and understandable reasons for keeping sensitive things to one’s self - but I can’t help but encourage each of us to be a bit more bold, and risk putting our heart on the line a bit more frequently.

Many of us identify as Lightworkers. And okay, maybe that’s not the Millennial term that everyone uses - but by definition a Lightworker is someone that is committed to creating a better earthly experience for themselves and others.

We habitually think of this in a one-demential way: If I want to spread goodness, kindness, and positivity… I must then therefore always be good, kind, and positive. True-ish.

There is so much good that comes from spreading kindness - and mutually, good also comes from unearthing vulnerable, deep - and even ugly or shameful parts of ourselves. When we are brave enough to crack the closet doors open and shed light on the parts of our own inner-garbage that we’re not incredibly proud of… it gives permission to others to unburden themselves of guilt or shame that they have been hoarding in their own internal closets; and have been thinking they’ve been experiencing this entirely alone. In sharing this, each of us is less alone - and in turn, we get to experience that ever-important connectivity.

Though each of us may appear unique, having individual experiences - we are tied by mutual experiences of human-ing: shame, guilt, grief, trauma, joy, connection, challenge, triumph…

And sometimes we need to be reminded that we’re not alone in those experiences. So when you are in a space that you are unable to be running around spreading positivity like pixie-dust… maybe it’s an opportunity for you to share your gifts in a different way, and shed the light on your shadows.

We could create a world of change by being brave and vulnerable. I promise to continue to do my part… and in effort to lead by example I will leave you with these small parting efforts:

I totally pick my nose when no one’s looking. I have blamed my fart on the person beside me and ran before they could defend themselves. I have felt incredibly depressed, and I have struggled with low-scale social anxiety. I have managed an eating disorder for the better part of a decade, and I have definitely lied to my husband about how much money I’ve spent on music equipment.

Spread the light. xo

Tanya Ryan is a local singer/songwriter with an appetite for life and learning. #LightSideUp is for the candid exploration of everyday life, events, emotions, and stories with the intention of finding the lessons and teachings buried in the normalcy of daily living.




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