Honoring Your Whole Self
On Friday I hosted a virtual retreat for my group coaching community. My favorite part was the Soul Search Variety Show where we each shared a talent or did a performance for the rest of the group. We experienced pajama fashion shows, a stand-up comedy sketch, gospel singing solos, a book excerpt reading from an author, an improv skit, and tours showcasing how several members decorated their retreat spaces for the occasion. I closed out the show with a twerk lesson accompanied by one of the raunchiest songs on my playlist. Once we harnessed our uncontrollable laughter, we all reflected on how refreshing it felt to be able to show up as our whole selves instead of in the parts and pieces that seem to be required in other spaces.
I felt so proud to be able to create a space free from judgment where everyone felt comfortable enough to bring all parts of themselves. A huge factor that contributed to this was my willingness to be brave and honor my responsibility as the leader to show vulnerability and let them see the entire spectrum of me.
It is said that the most challenging thing about telling a lie is having to remember all of the details to keep it going. This is similar to what it feels like when we don’t show up authentically in all environments. Here are a few strategies to support you on your journey back to the true you.
Let Them Wear Shades. One of the soul sisters in our community talked about how when we shine brightly, it may feel blinding to the people around us who are in a dark place on their journey. We have all encountered dark places along our journey. Bright light may feel uncomfortable during those times, but it is not the responsibility of the light source to dim itself. We can use a ray of that bright light to illuminate a path to find our way out, or we can find symbolic shade until we too are ready to shine. Everyone’s journey is their own to travel and a part of their work is figuring out how to find their way. We are not required to dim our light.
You Are Everywhere You Go. Another member of our community talked about how we bring our whole selves everywhere we go, but we often hide or silence important parts of ourselves for the comfort of others. Of course, we don’t want to cause people harm, but we must be mindful of the damage that we are inflicting upon ourselves by not showing up authentically. As leaders in our families, businesses, and lives we may also cause harm when we fail to model vulnerability and emotions. This sends the message that it’s not ok to be human or to feel, which creates a culture of rigid robotics. This is a barren environment where nothing or no one can grow or thrive. Showing up authentically inspires others to do the same.
Mental Masks. For our opening activity at the retreat, I had our members draw on a mask. On the front, they wrote what others see or think of them. On the back or inside of the mask, they wrote words and symbols that represented their inner world. There are so many parts of who we are that people cannot see just by looking at or interacting with us physically. I invited everyone to share what was on the other side of their mask in small groups. They found that they had several things in common and that they were not alone.
This week I challenge you to explore the parts of you that you've been hiding. Show up as just a little bit more of your whole self in spaces where you’ve been holding back. You might be surprised at the liberation that you feel, as well as the gift that your authenticity gives to those in your orbit.
I am all of me, whole and authentically.
I am allowing my light to shine brightly and trusting that others will adjust accordingly.
I am liberated by vulnerability.
Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide