For most of my life I lived behind a mask, a cardboard cutout of who I thought you wanted me to be, and I say cardboard because it always felt flimsy, like if it got wet it would buckle, and as time when on it seemed to get ragged from overuse, it seemed to give way to the broken woman who held it up with white knuckles because she was clinging to it with all her might. My spirit was broken, was pushed so far down under the muck and sludge I had thrown on top of it that I wasn’t sure it was even there, never-mind celebrate it. It took a lot of work to finally let it back out and to shine. I realized as I was working my way back from a pit of darkness that I needed to celebrate my spirit along the way, celebrate that I was a survivor, celebrate that drive in me to get better, to do better, and really appreciate the spirit in me that makes me who I am, at the core. Now, on a bad day I can beat up that spirit, I’m grateful that I don’t have as many of those today, because today I protect that spirit, I honor it, and do what I can to nourish it, to let it shine for all to see, because my journey has taught me, when I do, great things happen, and when I do I can encourage others to do the same. But, if you’re not quite there yet, or maybe never where, how to do we learn to celebrate our spirit and who we are as individuals?
1) As Shakespeare said…”This above all: to thine own self be true.” Never dull your shine for anyone. Be your true self, all we have to offer to set us apart from each other is our own uniqueness, and we are all unique. We may have similar interests or ideas but we all have our own twist of seeing the world and executing those ideas, so share your perspective, share your unique voice, as I always say, let your freak flag fly! No one wants a carbon copy of someone else, or someone pretending to be someone else, know who you are and be proud of that. And if you don’t know who you are and what you stand for ask yourself, invest in yourself, and head down the road of self-discovery, it’s the richest road you can travel on. Always be your true self.
2) Be Good To Yourself. Give back to yourself, nourish yourself, mind, body and spirit. Make sure you’re getting what you need to be your best self, invest in yourself. It’s easy to put ourselves last when life gets busy, but you can’t pour anything from an empty cup, fill yours up first before you start giving to others. Whatever makes your heart shine, make sure you’re giving yourself some of that every day, even if it’s just rocking out to your favorite song in the shower, whatever makes you smile from the inside out, do that, and do that often.
3) Have Fun. Don’t forget to have fun. There are many things in life that aren’t that much fun, but I am of the firm belief that we can really make most things fun, some are more fun than others, but again, it’s a matter of perspective, and, if there is something that is most definitely not fun, make sure you’ve got a plan in place for some fun after, I use that one a lot. Life should be fun, so schedule some in between those things that you have to do, and even better, see if you can’t make those more fun too.
4) Embrace Your Flaws. First off, we all have them, second, are they really flaws, or you just placing an unkind label on something you’re just not fond of, or perhaps think should be or look a certain way. I’ve talked about turning our flaws into flawsome in the past, and it’s something that really let’s our spirit shine. There’s so much pressure and negativity in the world, why not stop adding to what’s already there by thinking and speaking negatively to ourselves? Embrace who you are, flaws and all, and see if you can’t change some, if not all of them, into flawsomeness.
5) Go After What You Want. Know what you want and go for it. You are the only one stopping you. You’re not always going to get what you want, but you tried, and the act of trying may take you to where you’re supposed to be. But, you won’t get there if you don’t know, or don’t even get started. Trust that you are drawn to where you’re path is supposed to lead you and then take action. And don’t be afraid to tell people what you want. When you speak up and share your ideas and goals others may join you, or may have a suggestion of how you can achieve that goal. Speak up, be confident, and be proud of who you are and where you want to go.
We all get knocked down in life, some harder than others, but no one gets a free ride. It’s about getting back up and celebrating who you are, who you truly are, at the very center of your being, of letting that light in you shine bright sharing it with those around you, but also with yourself. Be good to you, celebrate you, love you, when you do you start to receive that love back in all that you do.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you celebrate your spirit? If not why? If you do, how do you celebrate your spirit? Are you struggling to celebrate your spirit today? What do you think is stopping you? If someone where to describe your true you, how would you want them to describe you? What words would you like them to use? What’s stopping you from describing yourself with these same words. Start SLAYER. Write down 5 things you love about who you are. Write down 5 words each day this week, never repeating the same words twice. At the end of the week, celebrate you and all of the ways that make you, and your spirit, uniquely and beautifully you. SLAY on.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you