“Visibility is the juxtaposition of our ability to receive and be vulnerable.” – Yours truly here.
As part of my Intersection Interview Series for my podcast, I had the joy of interviewing Paulette Rees-Denis – Transformational Coach and Global Dance Instructor. Our conversation focused on the growing edge creatives and solopreneurs/entrepreneurs face around visibility.
It was a rich conversation around visibility and the juxtaposition around desiring it, but also fearing it.
These were some of the insights I got from this conversation:
Visibility is linked to how comfortable are we with our own visibility.
To be seen is to be eaten, devoured, taken by another. I believe this is the crux of why so many are afraid of speaking in front of an audience. There’s a Neptunian quality to visibility – remember that Neptune rules cinema, glamor, photography, celebrities, but it’s also about no boundaries, so the Ego fears its own dissolution when it’s being ‘seen’ by others.
To be comfortable around being visible reflects our own ability to navigate the lowering of our boundaries so that we are met by the gaze of another. Notwithstanding the primal fear of being ‘eaten’ by another, which may come via criticism, sarcasm and even undying adoration (think of rock stars and the screaming teens that will engulf their cars as if hungry Maenads.)
Why is it so hard to receive.
Visibility is also related to our ability to receive – the other’s gaze, their energy, their adoration and even hatred/criticism. I believe that part of our discomfort around being visible is that we are emotionally illiterate around receiving.
There’s an inherent nakedness to being seen, of standing in our own skin, sharing our own voice and raw emotions. At the bottom of this there’s the fear of being abandoned in our nakedness. Astrologically speaking I feel this is linked to Saturn and its bony fingers of criticism and feelings of lack and abandonment.
Granted that Saturn as an archetype has many positives, but before we reach them (something we do with persistent and consistent acts of courage), we face its probing critical eye that asks us:
- Who do you think you are?
- Do you know enough to be sharing this _____? (fill in the blank with any expertise)
- You are not lovable because you lack ______ . (fill in the blank with the very thing you fear you don’t have)
Our feelings of being unlovable and not worthy of being loved, coupled with a good dose of shame closes us off from receiving. So our message, creativity and self-expression are in dangerous peril of perishing inside of us, while we wrestle with our self-consciousness (another shadow aspect of Saturn) instead of embracing the small steps attitude of engaging with our fear with consistent and persistent discipline towards mastering that which we fear (a positive aspect of Saturn’s lesson in our lives).
Where can we share our voice?
Although we have all the technology to enable us to share our creative voices in the world, it’s not clear to everyone that there’s a space for their own voice in the mix.
This comes down to cultural, environmental and sociological elements too. It’s not all down to our own psychological inadequacies, because we are also social beings, products of our environments too.
The shadow aspect of visibility is our own cultural denial of those who haven’t had the chance to cultivate their voices, given the space and nurturing to do so. Behind the spotlight of some who achieve great visibility, lies a multitude that has never been ‘seen’, witnessed and taught to speak their voice.
From this angle, visibility is also about our ability to GIVE others the possibility of being seen. As we are able to more comfortably receive the spotlight, we are also (hopefully) capable of focusing our ‘light’ onto others who need to be witnessed.
The Tango Dance between Visibility and Boundaries.
This is where the archetypes of Saturn and Neptune dance to a challenging tango tune. Saturn naturally wants us keep clear boundaries between what I want to share, to be seen, and what lies behind the curtain, while Neptune wants to dissolve the walls and merge with the other – be it crowd, multitude and the world.
I like to think that the Ego and our public persona (especially in the professional sphere) serve Saturn’s dictum of keeping a safety boundary, so one isn’t lost and ‘eaten’ by the other. Gone to far, this may create a wall of inauthentic boundary, blocking the emotional resonance that is also needed to effectively ‘touch’ the other.
Too much Neptune on the other hand can cause confusion on how one is truly seen, because projections coming from the audience (how ever small or large that may be) will actually cover in fog and cloud one’s attempt of being seen by the other’s projected thoughts/feelings onto them.
Think again of a rock star or famous movie celebrity. How often are they bludgeoned by the public’s ‘perception’ of how they should be. Neptune’s shadow aspect of dissolving all boundaries can lead to the loss of the form of that which we want to see, hold and admire. We need to counterbalance with Saturn’s disciplined boundary so that we may keep our vessel, otherwise the voice of our creativity will have no instrument to move through and be birthed in the world.
Saturn is the birth canal of Neptune. Our healthy boundaries serve to keep our vessel in good shape, so that the creative inspiration of Neptune may move through us and out into the world.
Visibility reflects our authenticity’s resonant interaction in the world.
Think of your healthy boundaries as energetic structure of your creative voice (you are a human being and that automatically makes you a creator/creatrix of new ideas and forms into the world).
This energetic structure is the echo chamber from which your resonant vibration will pass through and emanate into the world. Without any blockages, your creative emanations will vibrate forth in resonance with its original inner seed.
But if too many obstacles interfere along the path, it’s common to lose the link between the originality of the seed idea/thought and how it comes out of sync in the world. This is easy enough to happen especially if we are faced with too many ingrained misconceptions around how we should be in the world, what we can and are allowed to share, and how we should be this or that.
We are products of imperfect upbringings, so it’s no surprise that in different levels we have natural blockages to our ability to be resonant and authentic in our self-expression. Once we learn of this, we can more effectively take steps to deprogram ourselves via medium of inner work.
However, because authenticity has become such a buzzword in business circles, it has started to lose its own authentic meaning too. The irony of turning a concept into a buzzword – it dissolves its inherent shape – another instance of how too much Neptunian dissolving abilities can be a negative.
Authenticity is linked to trustworthy and reliable – positive aspects of the Saturn archetype. It’s also linked to authority, another principle that is linked to Saturn and its teachings in our lives – we have to become the masters, the authors of our lives by facing that which we fear, where we find ourselves inadequate and lacking.
Authenticity is thus linked to vulnerability, which in turn is linked to courageously going forward, taking risks, when we are out of our comfort zones. Authenticity isn’t a given, it’s something we craft with discipline and an ability to trim the fat of what no longer serves (like when we remove the scaffolding of buildings once the work is done). That’s Saturn for you.
Visibility illuminates how envy is working in our own lives.
Lastly, visibility can shed focused light on how we are affected by envy in our lives – be it as the receiver of it, or the one that experiences envy towards another’s visible success/achievement.
In entrepreneurial circles it’s often mentioned that you have made it once you receive open criticism from internet trolls or in any other way.
It’s an interesting viewpoint because it illuminates the edgy aspects of being seen and visible. The remedy to this is engaging in a deeper conversation with ourselves and others on how we can find the gift inherent in envy and its more negative permutations. This isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s work that we all need to do at one level or other.
Catch the full interview here.
Now on to you!
What are your growing edges around visibility?
What lessons have you learned so far around being visible?
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