I have the tendency of staying quiet.
I generally don't like to draw attention to myself - I prefer to lay low, keep my head down, and not rock the boat.
It's certainly kept me out of trouble for basically my whole life, but now I'm just tired of it. I'm tired of not saying what I want to say, of being scared of what others may think, and of hiding myself to make everyone else more comfortable.
Do you believe that blocked emotions can cause illness and dis-ease? I've seen too much proof to ignore it. For a few years now, I've been connecting my silence with my frequent bouts of strep throat, bronchitis, laryngitis. Do you know the feeling of stopping yourself from speaking your truth? How a golf ball gets stuck in your throat when you want to stop yourself from showing emotion? That's the feeling I know best, and I think it's time to let it go.
My golf ball has made me so sick for so many years that I'm finally learning my lesson. Thanks golf-ball-in-throat, it's been real but I'll see you never.
My dream for old age is to a) be healthy and b) be one of those grandmas who says what she's thinking and doesn't try to hide who she is. You know that lady? I want to be her, but I want to be her now.
So here I am, ready to speak my truth. If someone comes along and doesn't like it, well, too bad. If I try to shut myself down, well, that's no longer an option. At my old job, when someone lost in a contest, we all yelled "Bye-byeeeee" loudly and obnoxiously. (Hey GOs, you know what I mean). That is now my inner dialogue to myself and to anyone who hates on me saying what I think louder than ever before.
We all have a place to share our voices in this world. I hope you join me in this terrifying and exhilarating journey of speaking our truths and making ourselves heard. Keep your head up. Don't be afraid to rock the boat. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
A few month's ago, I thought about those guided relaxations where some lovely voice tells you to imagine a beach or a meadow.
That didn't sound very appealing to me. I'd rather be, oh I don't know, somewhere dark and quiet. Like a cave.
Once that thought crossed my mind, I was hooked. At any given moment on any given day, I thought about my dream cave - cool, still, and very much alone.
Fast forward to March 2020, and I realized that I'd gotten exactly what I asked for. Was it what I was hoping for? Not exactly. I wasn't thrilled about all of the fear and uncertainty in the air. But after a few days, I starting thinking that maybe, just maybe, I wasn't the only one wishing to rest, to soften, quieten, and slow down. And maybe, all of us who were secretly hoping for our own little caves kind of... got what we needed. Isn't it the classic "be careful what you wish for" scenario?
Of course, we don't wish for a pandemic, toilet paper apocalypse, or economic failure (at least I know I don't). It's just that I've found that the universe tends to give me what I need, when I need it - whether I like it or not. So, if you're experiencing frustration, loneliness, or doubt during this time, ask yourself - in some crazy way, is this what I need?
Steve Jobs said, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future"
Take a breath. Practice your patience. The dots will connect one day, we just have to wait it out.
Are you looking to feel healthier? Lose a few pounds, clear up your skin, or have more energy to play with your kids? Perhaps you’d like to be able to hike a mountain, sleep soundly through the night, or find joy in exercising.
Whatever you want to achieve, wherever you want to go, you will only reach those aspirations if you take the first step toward them. There’s a reason why so many inspirational quotes talk about first steps – it’s the only way to start!
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible” Tony Robbins
The best first step is set your mental attitude up for success. Create a SMART goal (check out these great examples), and make sure you know why you want to achieve your goals. Then, start each day with an inspirational quote or positive affirmation.
Here are some to get you started:
“The first step is you have to say that you can” Will Smith
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step" Lao Tzu
“I know my WHY, I have my HOW, the time to do it is NOW”
“I give myself permission to go after what I want”
“I achieve great things through small steps”
Starting each day with some positivity will prime your mind to notice all the amazing little steps you are taking to become your best version of yourself. Try it – I bet you’ll feel the difference!
My mother always told me I was delicate.
I resented that.
I didn't want to be delicate, fragile, or sensitive, because that meant that I was weak. And the weak are trodden upon, looked down on, forgotten.
Somewhere in my little head, I had absorbed the notion that these feminine qualities won't do me any favors, and it's best to fight them off. I'm talking about softness, vulnerability, empathy, caution. Why be these things when confidence, logic, and action are what society treasures?
It took me a solid 26 years to realize that I have been fighting my femininity. Not only was my culture attacking my femininity, but I was too. How many times have you heard "You [act/throw/play/run] like a girl" -- as if everything a female does is fundamentally worse than how a male would do it.
Or how many times have you been laughed at for simply having emotions or for caring "too much"? How many times has someone completely ignored your input because women are inherently irrational and untrustworthy?
I don't know about you, but I heard it everywhere. All of this and more.
And then my therapist told me something that shifted my perspective 180 degrees. "It's a beautiful thing to be so sensitive. You feel more, experience more, grow more." And I thought,
Why have I been attacking myself, when I am the only ally I have?
She was right. All of these "yin" qualities are so precious, especially in a world that has tried to extinguish them. Where will we be when the world's grace, empathy, and thoughtfulness are gone?
I admitted to my mother that maybe being delicate wasn't such a bad thing. And I started to embrace all of those lovely feminine qualities that keep my heart soft and my intuition clear.
They are not my weaknesses. They are my strengths.
Today is International Women's Day, and my wish is for everyone to celebrate their femininity. If you've been cutting these qualities out of yourself, stop. Let them be. And notice how beautiful it is, really, to feel delicate.