Being real

…is sharing how you truly feel
with consideration, kindness and compassion, and
without betraying yourself.

How to tell?

It’s in your truest of intentions.

Sometimes what needs to be said may not feel kind and compassionate, but you know it is. Boundaries are a real thing. It doesn’t look demeaning or judging. If it does, take a moment to work that out because that’s something else happening to protect how you truly feel.

Sometimes what needs to be said is scary as hell because you are afraid others will disapprove. Take the chance. That hold-back is a self-betrayal, and that’s the worst kind of disapproval. And you want to know who you are surrounding yourself with. It’s okay. When you put yourself out there, the rest is less about you and more about them. You are fine. They’ve gotta work that out.

Sometimes what needs to be said – how you truly feel – is pure gratitude. Share it, because people need to hear it in a bad way. That sort of love grows like wildfire, and that’s the kind of wildfire the world needs.

How I practice authenticity

I had no clue how to be authentic. As a child, I remember feeling like when I was myself, I was shamed out of it to behave differently. Before I knew it, I believed that any question I would want to ask was dumb and that I should already know things. I was not good enough as myself, so I’d become someone else, which then prevented me from getting too close for fear of being found out. Intimacy was a decades long work-in-progress.

When that is the experience, it takes a lot of courage to come from the heart, to be straight forward, and to put yourself out there, risking rejection and judgment. It gets easier with practice, and while it feels like one teeny tiny painful step at a time, the rewards accelerate the process quickly. It doesn’t mean authenticity becomes easy. Fear of rejection or judgment can be strong, and we don’t usually feel like being vulnerable. But it’s the key to relief. It’s the key back home to Self.

I began by practicing being fully present. It was difficult to do at first when I was overly subconscious about myself. I had to genuinely turn my attention away from me to the other person. Who knew it was so much more nourishing, bonding, and enjoyable…

I decided to trust others to be kind. This takes some discernment, because not everyone is. Before I knew it, everyone around me was kind.

I went in to things open and with a whole lot of gratitude. It helps to see the gift in every person, in every moment, and in your own process.

I got in touch with my own values and needs and developed healthier boundaries. Letting go of the need to fit in isn’t easy. This takes practice and thoughtfulness to learn to articulate on my own behalf, to say “no,” to find common ground, to work things out, and sometimes to walk away compassionately.

I put myself out there, “unfinished.” People are incredibly helpful and compassionate. And I figured out that those that are not had nothing to do with me and more to do with them.

The single most effective tool

is our breath. It turns on our rest-and-digest parasympathetic response, our calm, our clarity, and our spirit.

Sit with your spine tall, close your eyes, and breath through your nostrils, including on the exhale.

Expand the body on the fullest inhale you can make and breath into your solar plexus (just below the diaphragm).
Exhale as completely as you can, muscles of your core pressing in towards your spine, spine remains tall like royalty.
Continue.
Let your thoughts and any tension melt away with each exhale, and then
inhale in pure energy and life force.

Find a way

Find a way to drop what you need to drop,
to say what’s so difficult to say,
to reach for what your soul needs to reach,
to get yourself back.

Do it like it’s a matter of life and death.
Because it is.
It can’t be defined simply by the existence of a heartbeat.
Our bar must be set much, much higher than that.
Define it by the existence of your elevation,
of advocation, and
by the emergence of your heart’s yearnings.
Find your way.

Hearing myself first to be seen by others

I recently realized that while I don’t think I hold a lot of expectations, I have one big one: that I expect those close to me to accept me without judgment. As I looked deeper however, I realized I didn’t accept (aka respect) parts of myself enough to advocate on my own behalf in some critical areas, to some key people, in my life.
I subdue parts of me to be more of how I believed myself to be in doing so: kind, flexible, and loving.
I turns out not to be so kind, flexible, and loving, because in order to “keep the peace,” I didn’t honor (listen to) myself, which created tension within, which created tension in relationship. No one knows what’s going on when this happens. Only one thing is clear: no one feels heard or understood.
The moment I dropped the act – it wasn’t easy, and it definitely rocked the boat – I felt the release of self-oppression, and a wave of Self coming back to me, and I almost immediately got heard again. My communications became more succinct because I stopped feeling defensive. While it feels a lot like tough love, it’s really a more tender love, and I know that my own release released others around me to find their ownership.

Imposter syndrome

I have a very vibrant imposter syndrome that goes on throughout most of my life, but nothing more than when someone has to put a hat on me or some kind of sash and go, ‘We’re giving you this certificate.’ -Robin Ince

I, too, have a very vibrant imposter syndrome that goes on throughout most of my life, but nothing more than when I mute myself to be a good girl to please those I care about.
The commonality between me and Ince is that, in order to get that certificate, or be a good girl, we had to follow their rules without consideration for our own terms.

I realize that when I choose to act – compassionately and passionately – on behalf of myself, especially when it seems the most inconvenient, this syndrome melts away. So until they catch up to accepting me as I am, they don’t get to be in my life.

I’m making waves. I’m taking up space. Else the cost is too high.