Secrecy is not something that’s generally encouraged. Secrets tend to be associated with shame, something that needs to be hidden. We’ve all had (or have) secrets like that and you can feel how they drain your energy.
However, there is a type of secret that can be energising. A secret that you choose to keep, just for yourself. Not because you have to, but because you want to.
In this era of social media and radical openness, there is little kept hidden or mysterious. There’s an urge, an expectation even, to share everything that happens to us on a daily basis.
But there’s often little thought as to whether this sharing is energising or draining. When we feel the need to habitually share, share, share, it diffuses our energy.
I remember an experience when I was travelling in Peru. It was before the days of social media, but still most people were taking lots of photos and so was I. I wanted to document my journey, so I could share the photos with friends and family and look back at them myself. But there was one guy who didn’t have a camera. When I spoke to him he said he’d made a conscious decision not to take photos during his trip. He wanted to be fully in the moment and he wanted it just for him.
This was unusual then, but it would be even more surprising now in the Instagram age of sharing every detail of our day. And I’m not against sharing. It can build connection and community. But when we’re sharing continually, or feel like we should be sharing continually, our energy is being directed outwards.
Conscious secrets can bring that energy back.
Recently I started an experimental practice of walking for 2 hours every day for 30 days. My initial impulse when I got the idea was to document and share the process with my online community. But I very soon realised that I wanted to keep this experience just for me. The whole idea of this walking practice was to give myself space, to nurture the body, mind and spirit in a powerful way. I sensed that the potency of this practice would be lost, or at least diffused if I was sharing as I went.
So I made a decision to keep this experiment secret. When I was out on my walks I didn’t take my usual photos. Instead I chose to drink in each moment for myself. And this felt powerful.
We have so many choices right now and so many opportunities to share our experiences. This is a wonderful thing. But just because we have opportunities doesn’t mean we have to use them all.
I come into contact with so many women who are passionate about changing the world, creating new ways and helping others, but many of them are getting burned out and feeling drained because they feel a pressure to be ‘on’ constantly and to be sharing with their communities daily. If you are one of these women, please know we need you to be at your most potently magical (not exhausted and run down).
One way you could do this is to experiment with the idea of conscious secret-keeping. Here are some questions to reflect on which will help you to get started:
Where are you diffusing your energy by sharing right now?
What project or idea are you working on that it would feel powerful to keep secret?
How do you feel about secrets in general?
Take some time to answer these questions and, if you feel called, I’d love to hear your responses. Comment below and let me know what comes up for you.
In the meantime, I wonder if you can take these words as permission to experiment with keeping more for yourself?
Here’s to nurturing the infinite mystery of you.