Be who you are and say what you feel, because in the end those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter. — Theodor Seuss Geisel
Let me introduce a bit of myself to you – some of you have generously jumped on board the train to be kindness ambassadors for ‘spreadthekindness’ or know me through our respective careers or neighbourhood or friendships, but I thought I just might introduce my authentic self at the beginning of a New Year to encourage others to do the same in their own lives this year.
I don’t know about you but I’m tired of all the masks we wear,
or have worn, pretending to be someone or something we’re not – to please our culture, our tribe, our neighbourhood, our workplaces. How bloody exhausting!
I invite you to truly be yourself whatever that is
– loud, introverted, animal loving, church loving, yoga junkie, meditator, Ray Donovan fan, tea pot collector. What’s your fancy? As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone – let it out – be with it and make the time to share more of the real YOU!
Maybe you’re a person who loves to read, be by yourself and sit home and curl up in flannel pjs; maybe you want to dance more but are too shy to do it; maybe you want to hug people more but are afraid of being judged.
What do you have to lose by being more yourself?
By marching to your own soul’s drummer? Maybe your friends won’t approve or your kids’ school friends’ moms or your husband’s workmates?
Maybe or maybe not …. life truly is not meant to be lived pleasing others. Take it from me a “reformed people-pleasing gal.”‘ My own mom dedicated a part of her book to her people-pleasing daughter. She thought it was a compliment, But it ain’t worth the cost to fit in.
When I learned to move to my own rhythm more I felt happier.
It didn’t exactly conform to the conservatives around me but I felt more aligned to my own inner compass. When I moved into my middle class neighbourhood I was doing yoga, going on silent retreats – yes no talking and eating meals with a sister in silence – learning about astrology and hugging trees – yup I do – and occasionally hosting a Goddess Camp of free thinking women. Some neighbours may have thought me a bit wacky but many were receptive. One of my favourites got me a sign that says ‘you’re the right kind of crazy for me!” God Bless you Margie – a Jewish girl from New York who embraces her “spiritual junkie” gal pal from Haileybury, Ontario.
And let me tell you why I love astrology – not the daily horoscopes- which can hardly be accurate if they don’t know your moon and rising signs (a little astrological lingo for you). But the in-depth astrologically correct psychological astute birth chart reports. I have learned so much from a reading by an amazing astrologer that I even incorporated what I learned in parenting my child. She’s a Scorpio moon and doesn’t like to be pushed to share her feelings so I stopped asking her lots of questions when she was upset. I let her come to me when ready and she knows I’m always there.
My point is what does your soul call you to do more of in your life?
Not what the tribe wants – what you want. And does “soul” make you feel uncomfortable? Too bad – I’m not so worried about pleasing others anymore – I love the word “soul” and try to listen to mine every day!
I want to have more real and deep conversations, more messy stories, more deep throated laughs. Thank you Catherine for your hilarious curse filled observations on life and heart of gold. I want to crack up especially when my kids act up and not think that I know more – since I don’t! I want to dance and and sing out loud more – even when it embarrasses my 11 year old daughter. Scorpio Moon children didn’t like obvious overtures of attention:)
I want to listen more often to that quiet inner voice.
Yes I have left a good party to go home, be quiet and meditate. I want to continue studying Ho’oponopono- an ancient Hawaiian practice of love and forgiveness because I believe we should love one another and find inner peace within ourselves and not worry so much about what others say and do. I’m sorry if you find that corny. This is the authentic me and no apologies for it.
I want to be there
I want to continue sitting with amazing people as a coach to hear their personal stories and be present in the new inner discovery they are ready to undertake, no matter how painful it can be. I want to be there – not because I know more but because I want to remind my clients that they do! They are awesome. Everyone has a unique inner spark the world needs to see.
I want to continue to study Wing Chun – an ancient martial art invented by a female because it grounds me and connects me to my energy (and yes I believe we are all energy!). Thank you SIfu John for the incredible learning both physically and mentally.
I want to discover all the authentic Celtic pubs in the city.
Thank you Denise for being there for our initial forays. Our adventures since our 20’s are one of life’s true blessings! Always make time to go dance with girlfriends and hear great music. And I want to be there when a friend or person is struggling and not fix but just listen and remind them no one walks alone on this tear-stained, sometimes painful but often beautiful journey.
And yes, along with forgiveness, I truly believe kindness can make the world a better place.
Science has proven it makes us feel better. I hope I can take this message to more workplaces . It’s not just about ambition; it’s about belief in this powerful trait – that when it’s truly shown to others it can increase our inter-connectedness and we feel less alone. And it doesn’t have to be grandiose- sometimes a simple smile can warm a stranger’s heart or make someone having a hard day feel a little bit better at least for a moment.
So there you have it. I shared some of my authentic self and would love to see more of yours so join me in loosening that mask and opening up more of who you truly are. The world and your spirit need it!