There are many reasons we hide our true selves and there are countless ways we cover ourselves up. When I talk with people about the lives they want to create for themselves, they usually tell me what they think is the next step: they want to start a business or write a book or advance in their careers. Many times, when we discuss that next step, I get the sense something's missing.
We discuss roadblocks and procrastination and time wasted. We analyze behaviors and recount failed strategies. But underneath I feel their soul crying to be seen. I hear the little voice saying, "I'm actually down here...under all this *stuff* we're talking about. None of that stuff is really who I am....See me."
Until we're ready to be seen (by ourselves or anyone else), we find all sorts of ways to hide. We fill the emptiness of not being seen with food or substances or work or social media or shopping. We clog our receptors with so much noise that we cannot possibly hear that little voice cry out..."This isn't who I am!"
If we're lucky, we find someone who calls us out; someone who pulls a thread that leads to a deeper truth.
We catch a glimpse of another version of us. It may be just for a moment. And then we have a choice. Do we toss all of the dirt back on top, or do we dig deeper to excavate the whole treasure?
The beginning of the treasure hunt can show up in a statement like, "I've always had this crazy idea..." or "Why couldn't I just do..." or "What would really be fun is..."
Those little phrases contain part of your truth. The answer to your next step may not be fully articulated in that phrase you speak, but you may uncover a path to explore.
Once you catch a glimpse of that real you, give it a little taste of daylight. Experiment with ways to let it shine. You don't need to take radical steps right away. Take the tiniest action to step into the light and see how it feels to unearth and release the real you.
Will we face ridicule and empty stares from people who thought they knew us? Perhaps. But all we can do is be all of who we are. If we live like that, we will always rise.
Last Call for Midlife Seekers!
There's one spot left for this week's Midlife Seeker Workshop. If you're looking to explore your true self, join us this Friday 1pm - 5:30pm and Saturday 9am - 1pm. You'll leave with a deep understanding of your life's storyline, a clear idea of the core values that drive your actions and an articulated purpose to propel your life's work. There won't be another Seeker workshop until 2018 so now's the time to register!
Sharing the Good Stuff
On Saturday I had the opportunity to talk with attendees of the National Military Spouse Network Summit (NMSN). This was my fifth time addressing members after touring with NMSN around the country. I busted out a new talk that empowered attendees to embrace transformational change. Based on initial feedback, it was a great success. If any of you are looking for an impactful speaker for an upcoming conference or event, I'd love to talk with you!