Progressive Vulnerability: Balancing Authenticity and Audacity

Read the Newsletter introduction for this post…

A lot has happened since my daily blogging experiment on Optimal Mastery!

While the pandemic was beginning to lockdown the world in early 2020, I began to question everything. I stepped away from daily posts and found myself retreating further into my own inner world, more and more.

Since that time, I’ve moved a number of times, worked to address chronic health concerns, and wrestled with some demons. I’ve also taken a serious look at my personal expectations, professional goals and what I hope to contribute with my online presence…

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We find ourselves in strange spaces these days, many of which are online platforms rather than actual environments. Within these virtual networks, we are expected to put our “best face forward” while simultaneously getting berated about “posing” for our “highlight reel.” We run the risk of being told we’re “tone deaf” for expressing our unique perspectives and may even get “canceled” if we fail to measure up to just the right amount of politically correct hype. It seems no one is as interested in what’s real as they are the staged “realities” that play across screen after screen, everywhere we look.

Being Vulnerable with the Masses

Where does this culture of cult-idealism leave us? While I can’t speak for everyone, I certainly find myself dazed and confused by all the razzle dazzle. I’ve always been a bit shy, and I’m certainly eccentric. It’s not that the ideals seem unattainable to me, I simply don’t want them.

Silly selfies of mayryanna Shakti

I, like everyone else, am not a perfect person. I don’t have all the answers. I am stubborn, rebellious and extreme in my own ways. But, I am also the only one who can give voice to my unique world view. If I become too afraid to share my stories out of worry for the people who will misunderstand or disagree, the people who need my message will miss out too.

The truth is, I don’t have to be right all the time. None of us do. Not only is it impossible, it would be boring. I enjoy being a lifelong student who is continually seeking after the enchantments and wonders of life. Still, that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned a few things along my strange journey either.

Celebrating Progress, However Small

mayryanna Shakti's feet, on the edge of a cliff of Inishmore, the biggest of the Aran Islands in Ireland

As a spiritual practitioner in the 21st century, I am fascinated and encouraged by the seemingly endless opportunities to get my message “out there.” I am equally flabbergasted and overwhelmed by all the expectations, strategies and options. Deep down, I enjoy being a weird person who is as curious and flawed as I am inspired and wise. Regardless, I feel the constant pressure to present my content in “clickable” formats and continually groom myself to be more appealing to the faceless masses.

It’s been far too easy to get caught up in the drama, and the past couple years I’ve found myself posting less and less. I still want to share and engage with others, but I find myself increasingly more concerned with maintaining my peace than I am in performing a role for the online circus. It has boiled down to sacrificing my presence for my present.

Yet, here I am, writing about this issue with the intent of posting it online. This is one way I am breaking the pattern of avoidance and re-emerging on my own terms. I’m going to call bullshit and hold myself to a different standard. I know I can be both bold and vulnerable. With this intention, I will curate my online presence like I curated the poems for my debut collection, I|Poetry – with honor for the ebbs and flows, all of life’s beauty, as well as the ugly truths.


mayryanna’s debut poetry collection, exploring identity and the perplexities of existence…

Creating from Authenticity

mayryanna's feet as she stands on the Mayan ruins of Coba, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo

I don’t want to use my content to get views and gain followers, I want to share meaningful experiences and thoughtful impressions that have the potential to encourage and inspire others. Perhaps it won’t tantalize the algorithms, but it will feel purposeful and powerful to me. If it takes me a dozen years to write my novel but I’m up late with feverish excitement as lyricals pour from my heart to my lips, so be it – and why should my online presence be any less delightfully and terrifyingly poetic?

Truly, that’s it. I want my content and posts to be representative of me again. Thoughtful, unusual, messy and REAL. I don’t want to share anything just because it’s part of a strategy, I want to believe in it and be affected by it. Similarly, I want to use the platforms and take advantage of the opportunities, without the expense of selling my soul.

Having the Audacity

Certainly, everything I have to share won’t be for everybody. Some will find my shares relatable and encouraging, while others might be upset by those same expressions. I am going to share my perspectives anyway. I hope to be of some benefit, but I also look forward to learning from other perspectives along the way.

So, here I am, letting anyone who cares know: mayryanna Shakti is back and she’s breaking all the rules (again). If you’re interested, you’ll know where to find me. If not, I wish you all the best anyway. Come success or disaster, at least I’ll be able to say “I did it my way.”

May 17, 2022

mayryanna Shakti