Y’know, in my late twenties I was sure I was on my way to being a success. I was teaching full time and I had my own successful hypnosis business. I was serious, no nonsense, go go go! On top of of that, I really dressed the part: super corporate chic, lots of black and brown (you know the type). BO-RING!
Fast forward to me discovering my gifts as a writer and life coach and realizing that my mindset (and my wardrobe) were so out of sync with who I really am. It was all just a part I thought I had to play to be successful.
But when I figured out that I am still the same funky and free girl I was waaaaaay back in high school, I truly found success. Weird, eh?
Turns out I wasn’t just innocently attempting to grow up, be mature and responsible; I was crushing my true soul – the one that so effortlessly and generously showed up when I was younger.
This is when I also realized that I wasn’t alone. I started to ask the people around me if they felt like this, or if I was the only weirdo. They actually all had some pretty unreassuring things to add, like:
You have to grow up some time
You can’t make money being in a garage band
It’s not like we can all be artists
You have to be responsible and have a real job that pays the bills
What makes us think that what we would love to do or BE isn’t WORTH doing?
I for one couldn’t live one more minute without reconnecting with my true self. I threw out those stuffy clothes, got rid of the boring hair cut, and threw myself at the questions I had about what and why people were okay living with a ‘just because’ and ‘good enough’ attitude. I was ready to be me and find out how I could help others shake of their imposter costumes too.
And now, the work that I’ve done since has always lit me up and never let me feel like I have to be anyone besides just me.
And don’t get me wrong – I still have more layers to peel off and BS to sift through but I have committed myself to doing that – that is actually what feels the BEST!
Lately, I think I’ve sifted out yet another several layers of BS that was blanketing the real me, and it feels amazing. I’ve been saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ like a pro, and I’m so much choosier when it comes to my choices – not picky, just … choosier – listening more closely to what I really want and not what I think I should say or do.
Sometimes I have to close my eyes behind my sunglasses to hear that I actually don’t want to get a drink just cuz it’s Friday, after I said I’d go. Sometimes I catch myself saying, “It’s fine if there’s no vegetarian option, I’ll have a salad,” and then I regret it.
And slowly, I know, those responses will build up another blanket fort so heavy that it will crush that true soul once again until I can’t breathe and I have to start all over again, listening more carefully to the voice.
It’s not easy. Actually, it’s really f***ing annoying that it’s such a quiet voice. It’s so hard to hard to hear under the pressure of the moment, or the buzz of and whirl of the Internet, the ALL CAPS on social media, your screaming child, your angry partner, your angry self, traffic, juicers, weird yoga music, etc. But it is under there.
Close your eyes if you have to (I do).
What would it feel like to say no (politely) more often and do what you want? Freedom?
What would it feel like if we all did this more, all the time? Would honesty and trust become words we could depend on?
I’d love to hear what happens for you this week by taking on this habit of listening carefully first before you say yes or no.
Leave a comment here or with the Facebook community to share your experience with other thirtysomeones (and me).
And check out what’s new at my site ashewoodward.com, where you can also find my contact info and how to get in touch for personal, one-to-one coaching calls.