We aren’t who people feel that we are

All our lives we deal with people who have a judgement about us: our parents, teachers, friends, strangers, lovers, coworkers, etc. And vice versa. This does not mean however that we are who they believe us to be. Take for example, the guy I worked with in high school who said “You intimidate men.” I could not comprehend why this was- I was just a normal girl from East Gore, NS. But I carried his sentiment with me for years… trying to mould myself to be more palatable to people – not just men but women too. I didn’t want to be too outspoken, too attention seeking, too smart, too beautiful – in short “too much” of anything that would make others feel less than. So, I often stuffed myself into a box that I did not fit. All the hidden parts of me silently dying away inside. Now, this wasn’t all the time because my true self had the knowledge of how amazing it felt to be truly me, and that feeling of freedom could not be tamed forever. But then some man (or woman) would come along and tell me I was too something or not enough something. “You are too demanding” when I would voice my wants in a relationship. “You are too emotional” when I felt like my needs weren’t being met. “You are being unrealistic” when I would state my dreams of winters in a warmer climate. “Men like ____ (a whole list of characteristics that my friend was convinced were the only way to attract a man – most of which I was not)”....

Don’t shush me!

Someone gave me shit recently for speaking my mind. I suppose maybe they took what I was saying personally. Here’s something I know for sure: if someone says something about you (to you or to anyone else), it doesn’t really say anything about you – it’s actually about what is going on with them. Here’s something else I know for sure: I will never stop sharing my truth. I’m not sorry about my opinions, and I’m not sorry for using my voice. If you don’t like what I say, that’s totally ok; everyone is different! But don’t think for one second that you can demand me to be quiet. I will never intentionally try to hurt someone – including me. I cannot be a version of me that betrays myself while trying to please others. And you shouldn’t be either. Love yourself, live out loud, and let your unique light shine. If people can’t handle your brightness, instead of asking you to dim, they can go out and buy sunglasses.    ...

How can we make the world a better place?

“One thing I know – the world’s been good to me. A better place awaits – you’ll see.” –Glen Campbell (A Better Place) Each one of us can talk about our pain, our struggles, our upsets in life, our disappointments, our moments of despair – because we’ve all been through some sort of trauma or hardship. We might think ours was more difficult than someone else’s or vice versa, but hard is just hard – no better or no worse. Sometimes life just looks like a big pile of crap, and when you are in it, it sucks. It sucks regardless of whether you know for a fact that it’s temporary and won’t last. It sucks because sometimes you can’t “fix it” – all you can do is sit with the anguish and wait for it to dissipate. There is often no way of knowing when it will show up in your life and no way of knowing when it will be over, but things which happened in our past CAN be healed. As ‘they’ say: “Time heals everything.” Give time time. When time has worked its magic, you can look back on life with greater clarity. (I’m sure many of us have thought “If I only knew then what I know now” at some point in our life.) Often this happens when people are on their death beds – or at least later in life. It is possible for this to happen sooner, but we seem to spend so much time holding onto grudges, basing our current behaviour on past experiences, and just being stuck in a fear,...

Live as if being you is the only choice you have

“I wish I’d have known you. I wish I’d have shown you all of the things I was on the inside.”          -Top of the World (Dixie Chicks) Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t fully show up as yourself? This might have been at work, or in your romantic relationships, with your family and friends, or even around strangers. In some way, you felt like you needed to be someone you’re not. Maybe that meant hiding parts of your personality – things you thought people might not like or may not understand. Maybe it meant trying to fit in or gain someone’s approval – seeking to find that sign which says you are good enough and worthy of someone’s affection and appreciation. I can honestly say this used to be a fairly common behaviour for me in my personal relationships. I never intended to be inauthentic; it just always sort of happened. I became what I thought people needed me to be – whether that was my friends, coworkers or someone I was dating. (And of course it was always based on my perception – it may not even have been their reality.) I often felt like I was “too much this” or “not enough that”.  I would bite my tongue and not speak up about certain things because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings (somehow respecting my own never even crossed my mind). Or I would give more time and energy into a project than I wanted to. Or I would say yes when I meant no. All of these...

Take off your mask, and live from the heart

“You said it’s easy, but who’s to say that we’d be able to keep it this way, but it’s easier comin’ straight from the heart.” – Straight From the Heart (Bryan Adams)  Last week I had the privilege of seeing Bryan Adams live in concert. Finally! I have been a fan of his for over 30 years. That seems really hard to believe – especially when I say it out loud. I mean, how is that even possible?! But I digress. Straight From the Heart is definitely my favourite Bryan Adams song of all time, and it was beyond amazing to hear him sing it live! The entire night his singing felt like it was coming straight from his heart. Such a blessing. Since the concert I’ve been thinking about why I love this song so much. I mean it’s got a soothing sound for sure, but what else? It got me thinking about what it actually means to talk straight from the heart and to live straight from the heart, which is something that I absolutely love! I have so much respect and admiration for people who live life that way. To me, they are the people who are the real deal.  I don’t like fake because it just doesn’t feel good – and because I believe our whole purpose in life is to be who we really are. I believe that living with integrity and authenticity is what brings us a sense of fulfillment and ultimately joy. “When we turn around and come face to face with our destiny, we discover that words (spoken) are not enough. I...

Remember who you really are, and do what you want

“There’s still time. Close your eyes. Only love will guide you home. Tear down the walls and free your soul.”  -What You Want (Evanescence) I have been doing something lately that I don’t like. I’m not judging myself, just noticing and being accountable. I have been “shoulding” on a lot of people, including me! What is “shoulding” you ask? You know it; you’ve no doubt done it and had it done to you. It looks like this: “My husband ‘should’ change the light bulb like I asked him to do earlier.” “My coworkers ‘should’ spend more time working and less time goofing around.” “That driver ‘shouldn’t’ have cut me off!” “I ‘shouldn’t’ eat that piece of cake because I’m already over my ideal weight.” (Actually, in the last example, I’m guessing you are more than likely calling yourself fat, disgusting or something worse.)< The list of what we think people (including ourselves) should and shouldn’t do is endless.  It’s one of the ways we knock ourselves out of the present moment (and our own reality) and start playing the blaming/shaming game. When we should on ourselves, it takes a huge toll on our self-esteem. When we should on others, we presume that we know how they can best live their lives and that our way of doing things is right. In both cases, we are not taking responsibility for our choices, and in the process, give our power away. “Don’t bullshit yourself about what you should be doing versus what you really want to be doing.” ~Albert Ellis~ Why do we should on ourselves (and others)? It’s easier to...

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