In 2016, singer-songwriter Monique DeBose was diagnosed with a tumour.
She did something deeply creative after that.
She dialogued with it.
She asked what it wanted to teach her.
It replied, “You need to be expressing authentically in a way that really has you be fulfilled.”
So she asked herself, “What am I really not saying in the world that I need to be saying? And what am I afraid to say, but feel the need to say?”
This year, Monique released two creative projects, both edgy and highly personal.
One was an award-winning play, Mulatto Math, that sold out in New York and Los Angeles.
The other was her chart-topping album, The Sovereign One, which hit #2 on its iTunes debut.
In today’s episode, Monique and I play with the tension between expressing and playing safe.
How do we allow ourselves to be visible, to be seen, when what we’re saying feels vulnerable?
What if it hurts, or shocks someone?
What if people we care about don’t like it? What if they think about us differently?
How do we speak up anyway, even if we’re scared of how it’ll be received?
Show highlights include:
- Hearing what’s asking to be heard, even if it won’t be appreciated (or might even cause pain)
- How reaching the “fuck-its” can open you
- If you can quit your creative project, you should do so…
- Practical ways to handle discomfort
- Using the 3 Improv Rules: Be present, listen, and “yes, and…”
- How to make space inside yourself to hear what’s going on
You don’t need to be creating a project in the world to get something out of this conversation.
This is for anyone who struggles with visibility and speaking up.
Want to feel braver being seen?
Links and Resources
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Quotes by Monique DeBose:
“I started having conversations with the tumor, asking it what it was here to teach me. What it shared: You need to be expressing authentically in a way that really has you be fulfilled.”
“What am I really not saying in the world that I need to be saying, and what am I afraid to say, but I feel need to say?”
“We like to feel comfortable as humans. That’s just a natural thing. And to really go for it…takes a huge act of courage.”
“That energy of ‘you must speak your truth’ just haunted me.”