There is this really interesting dichotomy we find ourselves bumping up against throughout all aspects of our lives …
You see, at our deepest level, we all crave to be seen for who we are. I mean, really seen. We seek that person or people who will really see us, really hear us, and really love us for who we truly are … the most vulnerable, authentic, and wide-open aspects of who we are.
On the other hand, we fear at a profound level what will happen if someone really sees us … if they peer into our soul and see us at our rawest level, what they might really find. That they will see the good, the bad, the ugly. That they will find all our “broken” parts, all the unhealed spaces, and all the ways we feel we come up short.
And, that in all that … they will see that we are not enough.
Because isn’t that the story and narrative we keep telling ourselves on repeat, on some level, about at least one aspect of who we are. We continuously come back to that energy of not feeling like we are enough.
And, our greatest fear is that somehow, someone, will confirm that as truth … when the other part of us holds onto to hope, wanting to believe that we are complete and whole and, most importantly, enough.
There is quote I love that I feel sums this up so well that was at the end of the 2015 Disney remake of Cinderella, where Ella comes downstairs to face the prince at the end, after she’s been discovered. As she makes her way down the stairs, she looks into the mirror as the narrator says:
"But, would who she was, who she really was be enough? There was no magic to help her this time. This is perhaps the greatest risk that any of us will ever take ... to be seen as we truly are.”
To be seen as we truly are.
That is the greatest risk we will ever take. For in that, we expose the deepest parts of our souls, we open up our most raw vulnerability, and we allow our hearts to be wide open.
As Brené Brown says: Vulnerability is “having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage."
And with that, she also adds: “Just because someone isn't willing or able to love us, it doesn't mean that we are unlovable.”
Lately, as I have been navigating some many new, deeper levels of my own journey, I feel myself bumping up against this even more.
The ultimate double-edged sword … and, the only way to becoming fully aligned AF.
You see, I have learned (and am continuing to learn) that the only path to living whole-hearted (to use another Brené Brown term), to living wide open, and to experiencing the greatest levels of satisfaction, joy, peace and love in my life requires that I show up in the fullness of all of me.
I also know, that in doing so, not everyone will be able to receive me in my fullness. That there are those who simply do not have the capacity to see me, celebrate me, and support me. That there are also those who are just not meant for me … that we are not an energetic fit.
Because it’s only in that knowing can I bring my whole self to the table. Any table I choose. And, every table I build.
My purpose is to bring ALL of me to this life.
Purpose isn’t something outside of us, it’s the essence of who we “be” in every moment. You are your purpose. Your light, your heart, your gifts, and your being-ness is the path to purpose.
So, how do we connect more into who we truly are? What is the path of possibility that leads us into the full power of our purpose and potential?
The path is simple, though not always easy. I’ve broken it down for you into 5 intentional steps:
Step #1: Spend real time getting to know yourself
Carve out meaningful time for you. Time to daydream and explore your curiosities. Time to try new things and new hobbies. Time to follow the rabbit holes. Time for play.
For it’s only when we have white space, play space, that we can connect with our truest selves. We need to slow down and listen to the whisper calling to us.
Step #2: Connect to your “why”
Speaking of whisper, are you tuning in to yours? Do you really know what lights you up, what fills your soul, and what feels energizing to you?
Do you know the “why” behind all your “doing-ness”?
Finding and connecting to your why is not a one-hit wonder. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and it is most definitely not static or linear. It’s a beautiful, dynamic, everevolving space of connectedness to your inner truth and highest self. It’s a knowing that extends far beyond what your brain can comprehend.
It’s a heart thing. A soul thing. It’s a YOU thing.
Step #3: Know your core values
Do you know what you stand for? Do you know what your standards of integrity and the core values that guide your internal due north are?
Are you walking in your own truth, and not that of someone’s else that may have been imposed on you? Are you able to be intentional with how you show up and serve? Do you take personal responsibility for your beliefs, thoughts, words, emotions, and actions?
Do you know who you are, what you stand for, and how to be in integrity with yourself?
You core values dictate your due north. They are your way to recalibrate, to realign yourself, to stand in a powerful place of leadership.
Step #4: Destroy the NOISE
To say the world is a noisy place is the ultimate understatement. The level of noise around us (and inside of us) is at an ultimate high. We need to practice quieting it down, to blow up the bullshit getting in our way, and to filter out all the stories, programming, conditioning, and narratives keeping us playing small.
We buy into so many things that stop us from stepping into our highest and best power, and gifts. We allow others to dictate who we are and what we represent. We hand our power over to others, forgetting our own internal strength and resilience.
And, in the midst of that deafening noise, we lose a piece of ourselves, and then another piece, over and over again, when we succumb to it. We forget what we are here to do. We forget our purpose. It’s time to reclaim and take our power back. It’s time to drown out the noise, both externally and that which resides in our our heads. We need to begin to tune back into the whisper within that calls to us.
We need to employ the strategies to remind ourselves who the fuck we really are.
[Note: If you haven’t already gotten your copy of my free ebook: “13 Strategies to Destroy the N.O.I.S.E.,” you can access your copy here]
Step #5: Have a soft front, a strong back, and a wild heart
Another one of my favorite sayings from Brené Brown is: “Have a soft front, strong back, and a wild heart” as I find it’s the epitome of how we show up as our truest self, wholehearted, authentic, and from a place of true service and leadership.
In Buddhist teachings, “a soft front is the brave, tender ground in which to root our caring deeply; a strong back is being brave and courageous, a sense of fearlessness that arises when we feel strong, safe, grounded, and have a sense of belonging.”
According to Brené Brown, “the mark of a wild heart is living out the paradox of love in our lives. It's the ability to be tough and tender, excited and scared, brave and afraid -- all in the same moment. It's showing up in our vulnerability and our courage, being both fierce and kind.”
Don’t let the world close your heart, or make you hard. Stay compassionate, stay receptive, stay open, and stand in love. Soft front.
That’s not to say you don’t need to protect yourself. Stand tall, be strong, be brave, and be fierce in protecting who and what gets access to you. Have boundaries. Strong boundaries. Be mindful of what penetrates through your aura and affects your energy. Strong back.
Stay curious, playful, and youthful. Follow the path that lights you up and makes you wonder. Ignite your biggest “imagine ifs” and activate that gorgeous imagination of yours. Be vulnerable, be tender, be fierce, be compassionate, be kind. Love with all you got, full out. Love big. Love bold. Wild heart.
We live in a constant dichotomy. Two sides of the same sword.
The constant evolution of becoming (or, better yet, remembering) the wholeness of who we are. To know that we belong to ourselves first. To stand and serve from a place of fullness, authenticity, leadership, and ongoing learning.
Yet, that is the beauty of the human experience … the duality of both.
As I mentioned earlier, I really have been feeling all of this lately. Healing and growth seem to be pushing against some new layers. As I watch it unfold, I do my best to do so without judgement. To just notice and recognize what it wants to present. What it wants me to notice..
For that’s all we can do … be present to all of it, stay open, to be, and do (respond to) what presents. To dance in the rhythm of life, it all her nuances, and to know that our journey is always a quest in learning how to live balanced on both sides of the blade.
With deep respect and reverence,