I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago. She was sharing how she had quit smoking earlier this year, slowly she’s started to reward herself with pampering and self care. She’s been putting the money that previously went towards cigarettes, instead towards massages, clothing and fabulous hair. I was so proud of her and loved hearing about her doing that for herself.
Then she shared how she had been talking to another woman about this and that person had said something like this to her, “oh, are you going to become all high maintenance now?”. A seemingly simple comment, probably meant to be funny….. yet completely loaded with judgment. It left me wondering, why are we so quick to bring each other back down to whatever level we think they should be at to keep us comfortable? It’s not like my friend has dropped everything and developed an all consuming clubbing habit at age 50 and was putting her family at jeopardy… she was doing things within her budget and available time that made her feel good. She was grasping onto a hope that she could keep on keeping on by making herself see how good it feels to treat her body good; to never want to crave a cigarette again, to honor herself for doing something that is so amazing. We should have a parade in her honor! NOT tear her down. Have you been in her position?
From the outside perspective it’s so much easier to see how a person can start to dim their own light. We speak up, we feel good and if we don’t have a strong enough support system or our internal knowing isn’t strong enough yet in that area then once we face resistance we question ourselves.
I know I’ve experienced this so often. There are many ways in which I’ve always been just a bit on the outside of what seemed like “everyone else”. From day one, left handed. Then an artist that loves art but never quite felt like I fit in with the artists… I was a mixture of the smart kid, the athlete, the artist… yet not really completely any of them. As an adult I married early and became a mom while everyone else was single and having fun. Then just as everyone around me was getting married and starting to have babies… I was a divorced and then a single mom… Then a vegetarian for over a decade, then not, then the mom who cloth diapered, and then home schooled while also the mom to the social butterfly, daughter who loves everything about public school. A stay at home mom who also works from home. In virtually every area of my life I have to face feeling like I don’t fit in completely… and yet I’ve learned to see that this is where I find my superpowers… my uniqueness and what gloriously separates me from the masses. A uniquely, perfect perspective that there isn’t an “us” and “them” or success or failure; there are are layers between.
What has helped me to find peace in this area? Mentors, seeing people who are so different and wildly successful and happy. Seeing my friends who stay home and raise their children and are so amazing at it. Seeing other friends who run successful businesses and are so tapped into their callings while also raising awesome kiddos. Seeing retired women who have so much fire in their bellies and are so full of dreams and life. Seeing the friends who go to work each day and are unapologetic about their passion for living life on their terms. There is no right answer, only what is right for us, our families, our purpose, our knowing.
Back to my friend who I started this post about, for her it is so perfectly fabulous that she is embracing this time for her and honoring what she knows she needs. That is not to take anything away from the other amazing women who have no desire to have a massage or new clothes and yet are perfectly content. For one person it may be taking time to simply indulge is music and solitude, for another it may be a weekend retreat or business conference, for me I light up from my soul on out when I see new places and get to take in beautiful scenery and share those experiences with people I love. Pay attention to the moments you feel the most peaceful or the experiences you find yourself craving. Those things that can help you to access your own knowing.
What does it mean to shine your light? To me it means to to honor yourself and trust yourself enough to speak up when you see a wrong, to speak up in support of what is right no matter how unpopular. It means embracing and celebrating your gifts, your talents, the fruits of your hard work. It means being a beacon of hope for others, being the truest version of you. Cutting away the distractions, the stresses that hold you back. It means being so true to your deepest, wisest knowing that you can’t help but inspire others to be more true to themselves.
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For me, when I’m shining my light it means I’m honoring my optimism, my belief in the good in people, it means I’m a warrior for love and good in the world. It means I’m taking time to get quiet and tune in, I’m creating artwork or writing. I’m at peace with my desire for me time and honoring my inner introvert that needs rejuvenating time.
What inspires you when you see it modeled in others? What have you witnessed other women or men do that you thought was so badass that you wished you had the guts to do it? How about simple gifts they have given themselves that you admire? Make a note of those things. You don’t have to do them, but they are clues. Start collecting clues. Start honoring when you feel in the flow. Don’t forget to download my free gift to you here to take the next steps in stripping away stresses to help reveal the real you and help you shine your light brighter in this world that so needs your light!
Sending you so much love!
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