"I am an expression of the divine, just like a peach is, just like a fish is. I have a right to be this way...I can't apologize for that, nor can I change it, nor do I want to... We will never have to be other than who we are in order to be successful...We realize that we are as ourselves unlimited and our experiences valid. It is for the rest of the world to recognize this, if they choose." - Alice Walker
Let me begin with the disclaimer that I often need to follow my own advice. Maybe that's why I write about these things. To remind myself.
No more fixing yourself, Sara!
It's frightening for me to think about how many years I have spent trying to fix myself (or being in relationships with people who told me I needed fixing). Whether it was what I ate, how and when I ate, what kind of yoga I practiced, what my body looked like, how my body felt, how I felt. The list is endless, really. Nothing was exempt from being fixable. I get exhausted just thinking about it.
Now, thank goodness, I've gotten to the point of radial acceptance -- most of the time, at least. Who knows when or how that happened, but now, whatever I'm feeling, whatever my experience, I know it's OK. It might not always feel good; but I'm not wrong, weird, or unloveable because of it.
Truly, we can get jumbled up, confused, led astray on these paths that we call life. Whether it's being swayed by swanky magazine covers or the way that one of our colleagues just does something better than us, opportunities abound for ways that we can convince ourselves that we're just not good enough.
The world's fully of beautiful, talented, and creative beings. We can't always be the best at everything we do, but we can be ourselves. This we have control over. This is more reasonable.
Just relaxing into who we is one of the bravest, wisest, and most generous things that we can ever do for the world.
Did you ever notice that the people whom you find most beautiful in your life are the ones who are unabashedly themselves?
Here are 3 key ways to start being 100% yourself right now!
1. Notice what's irking you the most right now. Are you feeling fat? Lazy? Like you have too much on your to-do list? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Judgmental? You get the idea. Notice what's up for you. Then ask yourself, "Can I allow this to be OK for just this moment?" Then notice how this may help to relax the inner struggle, for the inner voices to quiet. For this moment to be fine just as it is.
2. Ask the deepest, wisest aspect of yourself:" What do I really want to do right now?" And then be open to receive the answer. Maybe it's saying to go for a walk, to sit outside in the sun, to eat soup for lunch.
3. Take a behavioral stretch. By that I mean, choose one thing to do later today that would make you feel a little bit uncomfortable (as in out- of -the- ordinary for your personality). That could be giving your seat to someone on the subway, dancing in the living room, telling a joke to your husband, or getting on your hands and knees to play with your children.
For today, just do it. Dare to be yourself. And see how much people love you for it!
Read more from Sara Avant Stover at The Way of the Happy Woman