Why not accept the invitation?
There’s no need to rsvp. This is an old school, open house event. You just show up.
For years I didn’t open the invite either.
Does this routine feel familiar?
An event occurs. An invitation to ‘come as you are’ arrives. You panic…just a little. OK. Maybe a lot.
You cleverly make up some excuse about weight, hair, pressing needs elsewhere…
in fact, you’d rather schedule a dental appointment than show up as your self. Invitation declined, you’re in the clear. The unopened invite gets stashed.
Every. Single. Time.
Or maybe your M.O. is similar to my option B?
Find a role to play or a need to fill and dive right in. Most of the time I drag just enough of the real me along so I could feel a smidge more authentic.
But an invitation to show up as myself?
Hell no. I only understudy others, remember? No one plays the real me…not even me.
Those 4 small words—show up as myself— were NOT in my vocabulary.
Sigh. I didn’t grow bolder as much as exhausted with the drama loop in my brain. I grew plain old bored with it all. Thank gawwd.
Eventually the invitation sparked more curiosity than fear.
And soulful curiosity always shows up with a benevolent question.
What would it feel like to cross a threshold as myself?
What would it feel like to show up with confidence instead of hiding in a life-role?
What if I dared to bridge my own self-confidence gap?
To quote Albert Einstein, ‘curiosity has its own reason for existing.‘
Slowly, I explored inner self through books, podcasts, education, observation. It felt impossibly scary to go from hiding to moving forward without shifting into neutral first so I started with small, private forays into the works and words of others that brought a feeling of neutral. Spending quality time with nature and creativity tasted like freedom.
Something stirred. I caught a glimpse of neglected, almost invisible parts of my self.
A spark rekindled. I sensed a glow, a candle in the darkness.
Leaning into curiosity, I’d shift my most nagging thoughts into neutral by asking small benevolent questions.
I learned to be a little kinder to myself. To breathe, pause and ask:
‘Where is this fear coming from?’ and ‘Whose fear voice do I hear inside my head?’
At first the catcalls from the shitty-should crowd in my head drowned out other thoughts.
Who do you think you are? Give it a rest. What do you know?You’re not brave enough, wise enough, or tall enough. You’re too old.
You’re not talented enough, traveled enough, tall enough, smart enough, blah, blah, blah. And besides, you like to put ice in red wine!
You cannot figure this out without us.
I now know those were the voices of shame and humiliation story looping their survival fear and anxiety but back then it sure sounded like inner wisdom to me… powerful, insistent, with no room for debate. In reality it was trash talking fear.
(Though some say a good argument can be made for putting ice cubes in red wine)
Here’s a few things I’ve discovered about inner wisdom.
- It doesn’t SOUND like anything. In fact, does it even use words?
I think it prefers a more sensual experience. How else could it cut through the shitty-shoulds and lizard brain drama?
- It is for and of the individual. It’s not a big, showy thing reserved for the guru, the intellectual, the author, the ancient or the famous.
- Inner wisdom waits quietly within for you to notice its presence and then invites you, once again to be the expert of your own life experience.
You get to write your own story from here on in.
Remember that candle in the darkness? Inner wisdom has left the light on for you.
Pause. Take a breath. Feel the glow.
Go ahead. Accept the invitation.
- Take small moments to show up as your self.
Listen to the thoughts you think, the words you use and how those words make you feel.
- Start asking small benevolent questions.
No question is too small; too big; too ordinary, too repetitive.
- Leave room for the answer to find you.
The essence of the question carries the essence of the answer. We often feel it first as an experience of our senses.
Inner Wisdom practices the art of curiosity which creates breathing space for soul.
Yay! You did accept the invitation. That’s totally old school groovy.
As a master coach, entrepreneur and artist, I use a lifetime of diverse experience, humor and grass roots wisdom to help others bridge their self confidence gap. Don’t let fear keep you in the dark. If I can help you in this experience called life, drop me a line. Let’s talk.
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