Intention, Reflection, and Discovery
I love Postsecret.
A man named Frank Warren started it. When I was thinking about how to describe it, a few words kept popping up:
Community, snail mail, art, and secrets–funny, painful, terrifying, and bonding….love letters, prayers, comedic and serious confessions, wishes, expresses of guilt, taboo desires, sneaky acts/pranks…
To put it all in one compact phrase, Postsecret is a community of mail-art secrets submitted anonymously by people all over the US….and some postsecret communities around the world.
How it started came from one man’s curiousity about the culture of secret-keeping. Why do we keep secrets? What do we feel when we release them? How is a community created this way? Do people find a sense of belonging? Do they feel their contributions are valued and important? Do they value others voices, thoughts, opinions, ideas?
So this man, Frank Warren, found himself motivated to find answers to these questions by making 3,000 blank, self-addressed post cards. He handed them out in Washington DC and asked people to write down their secrets. A blog formed and now Frank receives an enormous amount of “postsecrets” each day. He posts anywhere between a dozen to twenty postcards each week on the postsecret website. Multiple books have been created that hold collections of postsecrets tied into various themes.
‘Sacred’ and ‘secret’ seem to be words that go together….we hold secrets close for a multitude of reasons. We hide them from others, we even hide them from ourselves. When we share our secrets, it can be transformative. It is a vulnerability…which, we know, is when some real connections and intimacy can take place. Releasing a secret can bring a sense of resolution, can bring us face to face with grace (which we can’t fathom until we are right in the middle of it sometimes), and it can bring a greater self-acceptance.
How we own our secrets is remarkable. Postsecret is a way for people to express these feelings in visual ways, told or untold; they are given a voice written or orally.
Sometimes, when a secret is posted online, Frank will receive an email response that he posts below the secret….someone says they have the same secret, they’ve gone through the same thing, they feel the same way, they share hope, humor, future lessons learned, encouragement.
I remember an instructor in Buenos Aires telling me that changing weight with a partner in tango is a secret. No one else sees it but both partners feel it. So I have been thinking a lot about tango secrets recently….and how they come from intentions. What are we seeking? Why do we want to do things? What do we keep to ourselves? Who do we dance with? Why do we feel safe sharing these secrets with them? Finding these quiet moments where we listen to the weight changes, where we are only focused on sharing that time and that movement with them…are secrets the glue that holds us together for that dance, that song?
When we reflect on our intentions, we might just discover our own secrets. Joys, curiosities, fears, burdens we still carry.
To read more postsecrets like this one, check out the link below: