I saw this as I was scrolling through the internet and immediately it impressed me. What would I say to my younger self? I think it would obviously be different based on the time in my life when the question was asked for sure but for now, and maybe mostly because it is extremely relevant to my here and now…I would say,
“Amanda my dear, value authenticity.”
Okay so that is technically five words but you know what I mean. Ugh! If only I had learned this earlier in life. But that was not my journey, for me it has been a long and arduous process of even understanding what authenticity looks like. Being authentic means being true to you.
Lately, everywhere I turn someone is giving me their input and advice for my life. “You should do online classes,” “You should record your yoga classes and sell them,” “You should make custom jewelry orders for people,” “You should live here or there when you get to California,” and so on. When you are on the cusp of a huge adventure like this, uprooting your whole life, the life you’ve spent all your years to craft and create to move across the country, people want to share in it with you. It is bold, it is brave and people want to help. Not only do they want to share their own experience but simply enough they are going to miss you and want to stay connected. They want you to be successful, they want to see you go out into the world and do well. It is endearing and so so cherished and it is also a bit overwhelming.
As a Libra through and through I have this built in urge to make everyone happy. The practice for me is brushing up against that comfort zone and advocating for myself and my own dreams. What do I want? I have to keep remembering to be authentic to myself and the deeply rooted passions and purpose for my own life journey. I have to remember that I have a message to share with the world and getting it out there will only work if I can follow my own path to make it happen. No other person in this world has lived inside my mind and heart other than myself, no other person knows how to effectively activate my soul to accomplish such hearty dreams. I think that if anyone knows best how to handle the upcoming challenges of this adventure it is my own self. And this goes hand in hand with the idea that we are our own god. We create our own reality and we are the magic of forward motion in our own life goals and dreams.
Of course I am open to every single suggestion and every input. People have so much experience and I want to know every single tip and trick that can be shared! I just don’t want to feel overwhelmed with this idea that every suggestion needs to be fulfilled. There is just no way we can please everyone. I can see so clearly that these suggestions, although unintended are meant to fill a want or desire of the person saying them. This person thinks I should live in this little town but that is for them, for their dream, where they want to live one day. Maybe that town isn’t a bike ride from the Pacific ocean (an absolute must for me), or maybe it isn’t within the price range we have in mind that will allow me to maintain my dream of being unemployed by an establishment.
That person wants a custom piece of jewelry but I know that I just don’t work well like that. The jewelry I create is for the outlet of everything inside of me…it is an urge to create, to impress the world with my own imprint…I mean I have to share it because I love to share beauty in any way and I want people to have a piece of my art of course but the act of creating a piece of art, whatever it may be is never really for the public, it is for the artist. If I start the custom order thing, even just for the challenge and to learn, then that will take over my art (because of the type of people pleaser that I am at heart) and there will be no room for creating my own ideas and exploring the medium. I can also see how this could be a fear holding me back but truly I have no desire to create custom jewelry for people so no…it is not a fear holding me back.
Everyone wants me to get my yoga up online for classes and connection and while that makes my heart swell so big with acceptance and love it also scares me. Although this is an actual dream of mine and I am working on the foundational steps to be able to launch the idea, it just is not ripe yet. I don’t want to rush to get a shotty version of what I do have in mind up just because I am moving in under a month and people will have to find new yoga classes to attend or new routines to establish. That is not my concern. I like working with people in the flesh. I like to connect to people in real life, looking into their eyes and having conversations and seeing their face respond. I like teaching a physical practice to physical bodies in a physical space…how can I succeed in those things in California with the beautiful souls there too if I am worried about editing a video for the good souls back east? It is just not true to me at the moment. I have been in this place teaching yoga for the past two years and if these people aren’t making the effort to be in class for the short amount of time that I have left here then why would I stress about technology and my lack of fluidity with it to make the effort to put up an online class? Especially when my own practice is getting shuffled around because of all the other obligations popping up around every corner. It just would not be fair to myself. I love these people to beautiful vibrant life and their presence and support in my life is completely irreplaceable but the truth is, I just cannot make everyone happy.
“Are you willing to put personal integrity above a promise to another? Are you willing to be authentic even if it means being vulnerable?” -Rhonda Britten
Whatever it is, do I have the awareness to see those things coming at me? Can I have the grace to take them in stride for what they are, a kind gesture of love and support without feeling overwhelmed and obligated to meet every one of those expectations? Can I make myself happy and allow that brightness to draw people together, ultimately being the catalyst for their dreams and my own? Can I root down into the being that I am naturally and learn to manipulate the inputs and outputs to facilitate the being that I want to be? I guess we shall see…it is a life practice.
So, my dear Amanda, value authenticity.
What would your note be to your younger self?