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The Creative Magic of Forgetting Who You Are

Nearly every morning I juice celery to help my thyroid heal. One morning I opened up a big bunch of celery, pulled off a stalk and found, nestled inside the big stalk, a fully-formed baby stalk. I was so moved for some reason. It felt like maybe the baby celery is the real me, unable to grow bigger until the assumed-me stops overprotecting it already.

Over the past few months I have been immersing myself in the study of intuition, how it works, how I can locate mine, its purpose and potential, how it wants to help me – because I truly believe it does want to help me.

Over the past few decades I have experienced the small, still voice of intuition popping up right in the middle of certain highly stressful situations – like a tiny yet mighty eye in the midst of a hurricane (a particularly apropos analogy given where I live).

On these occasions, the contrast is unmistakable. There I am, immersed in chaos, nearly all aspects of me flying in every conceivable direction all at once, and then….blip. Brief commercial break for the voice to speak its piece. And then….more chaos.

It is very odd, I have to tell you.

When my longtime love and I parted ways early this year, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to “do” this breakup the way I’ve handled all our previous breakups. For starters, this would be permanent, which meant building a new life literally from the ground up, and I really wanted it to be a good one. Also, the way I handled past breakups worked poorly, if I do say so myself. I would limp out of the relationship and then limp back into it, never really healing from any of it along the way as we would pick up in the exact same painful place we had just left off.

One great gift my studies of intuition is giving me is permission to set “me” aside for short spells to just see what that might be like. To do this, my self-selected intuition mentor, author Sonia Choquette, encourages asking a question like “what would you do if you were not afraid?” and just seeing what pops up.

I really hate this question, by the way. I’ve always hated it. 

Reason being, I don’t go around assuming that fear is keeping me down or holding me back. I perceive that other much more valid reasons, like lack of funds or lack of time or lack of fitness, might be holding me back. But I don’t ever connect those perfectly sound, logical barriers back to a fundamental fear that I don’t have what I need to do what I want to do or live as the very best version of me.

So when I ask myself this question, “what would I do if I wasn’t afraid?,” the first thing that happens is I get irritable. Irritated. Annoyed. Irked. Angry.

I often get so stymied by these unpleasant emotions and the internal wrestling matches they can trigger that I forget all about the question that prompted them….thank goodness.

Lately I’ve been trying to tackle this question from a different angle to sidestep the wrestling practice (I really hate wrestling – it’s the lack of personal space, I think). I have been giving myself permission to just pretend I’m not me.

Like, what if I didn’t have my background, my personality, my life experiences to date, my bruises and wounds and memories and fears and opinions about who I am, what I like and what I don’t like, what I’m good at and what I’m not good at, what makes me happy and what makes me unhappy, you get the idea….what if all that was just – missing?

Then what might I like to tackle or try or experience or enjoy in life?

This temporary suspension of reality paralyzes all the usual angry, irked, irritable suspects who want to waylay my process of inspired daydreaming, visualizing, imagining, whatever. And amazing things come up.

I’ve had some very intriguing ideas while in this “me but not me” state. And sure, when I come back to “reality” not all of them hold water. There are some glaring obstacles for sure. All the normal very good reasons why not to do them are all there, bunched up in a bit irritated group waiting for me when I come out of these meditations.

But at least I got five minutes free of their company – total downers, the lot of them – and had a glimpse of what might be possible if I suspended “me as I know me” for a moment or two and popped over into a life free of fear of full of endless possibility.

It honestly feels like the tiny itty bitty little mini-vacation I didn’t know I desperately needed, right when I need it the most. It also makes me wonder what life might look and feel like if I spent more time there.

Today’s Takeaway: Have you ever tried to just set “you” aside for a moment or few to see what it might feel like? Are there ever moments when you feel like “being you” becomes more burden than blessing – full of more limitations and more can’t and won’t than can and will? More intriguingly – have you ever had an idea while in that state that you actually followed up on later and it worked? I’d love to hear your stories!


The Creative Magic of Forgetting Who You Are

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2019). The Creative Magic of Forgetting Who You Are. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 May 2019
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