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Being Authentic

Setting boundaries used to be very difficult for me. I hated the thought of someone being angry at me. It was my biggest fear in life to lose all of my friends and be alone in the world, so I avoided anything that might potentially get me ejected from any tribe I was in.

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It was interesting to find that was exactly what happened, in part because I never set boundaries. I did actually lose a ton of people I considered friends. Turns out I was right. Being told “no” did make people angry at me.

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In exchange, I discovered so much more about myself. That I actually did not enjoy most of the things I was doing to please other people. And there were plenty of things that I LOVED doing that some people I knew would absolutely hate.

When you do not know and maintain your personal boundaries, you really aren’t being true to yourself. You are wearing different masks to be whatever anybody and everybody wants you to be. It is truly EXHAUSTING. Not to mention you never really feel comfortable anywhere, even alone.

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Having my greatest fear come true and realizing that I was still breathing and walking among the living was a blessing. It gave me super powers, really. If you survive and learn to function in the face of your fear, you become invincible.

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Later on, as I grew my business, branding became much easier. Being authentic in both my personal and business life was a gift. Getting turned down for a role (or a relationship) is not as painful. What is for me is for me. I’m not out to get EVERY gig. I want to get the gigs that I will be BRILLIANT in. I want to get the roles that line up with my talent, my vibe, my culture, my smile, my freckles, and my enthusiasm. Plus, I don’t have to keep up with so many masks because I am ALWAYS authentically me.

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Start being brave enough to name and maintain your personal boundaries. There may be some pushback at first, but trust me. It’s a sign that boundaries needed to be there in the first place!

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Spring Mid-Winter

I grew up in the great state of New Jersey where there are four very distinct seasons. I assumed seasons were a very common phenomenon, unless you lived in a state with only one permanent season, like California or Arizona.

Then I moved to North Carolina.

Last week, I had the heat in my house pumped up to “sauna” and I bundled up in my heavy parka and gloves if I had to go outside for even a moment.

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Today, it is 77 degrees and sunny and bulbs are starting to peek out from the ground, very confused.

 

This is madness.

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I know this weather is fickle and we still have to get through the rest of February, where we usually get the worst of the worst. Now, I don’t mind if I have to talk to myself in a dark, padded room if I’m on the mic. Today is a day of writing and marketing, though, so there was absolutely no reason for me not to work outside.

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When I was a kid, we used to always beg teachers to let us work outside on the beautiful spring days. It feels a little like I’m playing hooky…but I’m actually working! So far I’ve responded to two inquiry emails, touched base with one of my e-learning clients about the project we are starting this week, and added my profile for an animation casting site.

I’m pretty sure Kid Me would be thrilled with all this and give me a big high five.

 

MLK Jr Day 2019

Tonight, my kiddos and I went to a yoga class together. I was grateful the teacher was open to having two young people join us. It was their first real exposure to yoga and I’m glad I had the opportunity to share it with them. Both of my kids are athletes and I am very much an artist. It isn’t often that the three of us share in physical activities. It was a lovely treat.

To teach them at an early age how to quiet their minds and listen to their body. To give themselves the freedom to just be without judgment. To appreciate their own bodies and give it a different way to move. To see their mother moving her very real body with zero shames or self-consciousness as we all stretched, flexed, and breathed.

At the end of the session, we all wrote down things we would like to let go of that were no longer serving us and burn them in a fire. Both of them wrote their intentions down and watched the flames swallow them up.

Neither of them wanted to share theirs. I told them mine anyway. I wanted them to know that everyone has something for the fire.

As they were snoozing in the back seat as we drove home, I thought of the whole evening. We went to a class to learn a practice from a different culture, along with a group of different people from various races and ages. There was a married couple along with me, a divorced woman with her two kids. Both of whom were born in Ethiopia and I am blessed to be their mom. And we were all learned to honor the light within ourselves and others, all while seeking to reach our highest good through intentional action.

It was truly my ancestors’ greatest dreams come true.