"Be the first you…" – Dwayne Johnson
Be you. What does that even mean? I am with me all of the time. How can I be anybody other than me? Yet in a culture filled with constant bombardment of notifications, texts, emails, social media, trying to meet other people’s expectations, we often do not know how to be WITH ourselves and let alone, HOW to be ourselves.
From a very young age, I never saw the world the same as everyone else. I felt odd and different and had this inherent feeling that I did not belong. I was always the smallest kid on the playground. Names like "Toothpick" and "Tiny" were routinely hurled in my direction. Where I may have been small in stature and form, I always have held a mighty heart. Perhaps over the years it has given me love for the small guy, the underdogs, and the resilient ones.
I appreciated others in their uniqueness. Those who were brave enough to truly be themselves. Individuals like Robin Williams, Ellen DeGeneres, Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg, Gene Wilder and Walt Disney inspired me in my youth. We know many of their names today because they owned what they had to contribute to this world. Their unique gifts continue to live on and give others an entry into what is possible for themselves.
I did not always value my uniqueness. There was a good portion of those years I thought that my "being different" was a pestilence that needed to be eradicated, and so I opted to fit in with the crowd. This meant playing small, to not stand out. I tried to box who I essentially was in an effort to fit in. But, at what cost?
Not being myself became habitually draining and depleting over time. It required wearing masks (false identities) of constantly being who others needed me to be and a tireless effort of living up to other people’s expectations. It was not sustainable, and ultimately, it gave away my power. I began asking myself the fundamental question, What is it worth being liked if I am not being myself?
Removing the masks of inauthenticity, one by one, required courage. Courage is not the absence of fear but rather feeling the fear and taking action in the face of it. Tolerating what had become my status quo was no longer an option, so the risk of the unknown became a necessity and outweighed any fear of change. With each mask and expectation I released, the more freedom I experienced. The more I gave myself permission to "be me," the more peace and inner fulfillment emerged. Being my authentic, unique and sometimes awkward self, gave permission for others around me to do the same. I started showing up and valuing my own unique contributions, which would have been masked if I stayed silent and played along with the crowd. It all started with giving myself space to believe in myself and in my own vision.
What is vision? Vision is about what is truly meaningful to know and create in life. Vision is personal. Conscious Transformation trains principles and techniques to stay focused on vision. Vision informs the actions we take or that we do not take. Without vision, we have no context for where we are going. The key is all of our visions are not the same, nor are they meant to be. It is about what wakes YOU up and lights you up.
The more fully you step into your vision, the more you are becoming your own unique expression in the world. What is ours to do may not initially be liked or appreciated. The journey to knowing your realized vision will require immense courage, but it will be well worth it. What would it mean if you gave yourself permission to really go for what is meaningful for you? And, more importantly, what would it mean if you did not?
As you step into your vision, know that it will absolutely require you to become someone you are not currently. The caterpillar’s journey into becoming a butterfly showcases the metamorphosis of transformation. The caterpillar reduces its self to a liquid substance, and from that liquid, it architects its new form, its butterfly self. We too undergo a similar metamorphosis as we move toward our vision. Bravely, we let go of the old version of ourselves as we step into the new. Fundamentally, we no longer are the same person having released old habits, patterns and ways of being that were creating pain. We become in many respects, unrecognizable as we relate to the world anew.
How do we begin to boldly create our newer self? We focus. We align. We breathe. We lean into fear. We give ourselves permission to believe in our vision and what is possible. Where did your vision come from in the first place? It came from your unique perspective. Your vision could not be your vision without your unique signature. And, it will lead to the unique expression that you impart on this world. Dare. Be Bold. Be willing. Be courageous enough to offer the gift of YOU as a contribution to the world.
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Jodi Filleman is a Certified Trainer and Energy Practitioner with Conscious Transformation. She has over 15 years of professional education experience serving as a licensed therapist, yoga teacher, public speaker, researcher and mindfulness educator.
Jodi empowers individuals to consciously create the lives they seek through effective practices grounded in East meets West traditions. She specializes in working with parents and those with chronic illness to help navigate those spaces in life with grace and ease. She helps her clients embrace who they authentically are by finding their voice and confidence.