Recently, in the spirit of fun, I submitted an imaginary question to an imaginary Psychic named Stacey, who was running an imaginary panel of spiritual “experts” convened recently to give their advice on the current state of the world. My question went something like: “Stacey, people tell me that I’m not in my “divine feminine enough. Do you think if I do more sexy yoga pose selfies and put them on instagram, people will finally understand just how spiritual I really am? I also really want to be more insta-famous, but how do i, without becoming UN-spiritual? Please help Stacey and panel, what is your expert advice for me?”
You can check out their beautiful, very wise (very funny) expert response here. Which I really wanted to respond to, as per their advice, with some gorgeous sexy yoga selfies, which i took this morning. As I was going through the usual a thousand emotions and seasons in an hour that go with trying to be the “perfect” female insta selfie, remembering what an art form it is, trying to capture the right light and the right angles and poses for correct form, yet not too much double chin, or muffin top or side roles, breast swell up and out, but nipples in, waste band in the right place, face relaxed, tongue in, just the right amount of smile, hair in the right place and hopefully nothing grossly inappropriate in your background (hence, art form!) I found myself also then filming this video. Reflecting on the whole illusionary, highly constructed nature of our social media profiles, of P.R. approved celebrity media releases and yes, even professional speaker profiles. Relative to the state of reconnection with our more authentic selves that is organically unfolding, as we spend more time with ourselves, in the presence of our own homes.
In the era beyond Lockdown, there’s a beautiful opportunity that now exists for us, beyond the pre-covid old world illusions of the perfect selfie, insta fame and the PR approved public personas and this week's video speaks to what it is...
But more than that, it's not just our social profiles, or insta stardom this relates to. Our relationship with our insides and our self esteem, is just as important to how we show up as Leaders and Speakers. And to whether we feel we can show up as us, or we need to lean on the larger-than-life Professional Speaker or Celebrity persona's we've created for ourselves. Having done Performing Arts and been an actress in years past, I can watch a Speaking piece and pick a piece a mile away that's delivered by someone who is truly connected to themselves live in the moment, verses someone who has just delivered, like an actor breathing emotional life into a character, a perfectly structured performance, that the Speaker just breathed life into, as the character of their larger-than-life Professional Speaker persona. But, i'm left wondering afterwards, who really are they, underneath all that? Have we fallen in love with the illusion of someone, that in fact doesn't really exist?
Like Grace, in the episode of Grace and Frankie, where Nick is coming over with his giant toothbrush, and his actual toothbrush, and she tells him she needs him to see who she really is and asks if he can take her as she really is, under the fake eyelashes, make up, hair extensions and busted knees and walking sticks, and he comes up to her, takes her face in his hands, kisses her and tells her "ill take it!" It takes courage to show up as we really are. Sometimes we will be embraced like Nick, and others, we might find ourselves in a room of deafening silence. Wondering if the most self-respecting move, might be to make a hasty exist, never to return.
And then part of the journey is learning how to be resilient in the face of rejection, to stay in your own lane, your essence and stay true to you, continuing to shine and show up in the world as you, despite what someone else out there thinks. I'm not saying it's wrong if you want to go straight back to the insta fame and celebrity and contortions and injections, if that feels like the path. But so long as we're twisting ourselves and injecting ourselves and creating crack enhanced avatar versions of ourselves for the right reasons, that's my point.
It is our soul, our unique you-ness that people love after all. Not your cup size, or how much hair is on your head, or the colour of whatever is in or on your face. Or the grand performance we put on, from our perfectly manicured public personas alone.
Now, more than ever, we have a golden opportunity to explore who we really are. And, if we're truly serious about embodying love, come back out leading and serving in the world, from that place. Something to ponder.
Not to bypass from the current experience or themes that are (for me at least, there’s no need to bypass what I’ve already visited many times over the last few decades and already found ways to navigate. Ways I can now share with others at such times. For some of you, that might ring true too, and for some, maybe this is where you need a hand right now?) But as a balance point. As the inner truth you stay connected to throughout all of this and the fuel to your ongoing fire. That continues to inform what you do in your personal and professional time, no matter how many aspects of it may have to either, temporarily, go on hold. Or be reworked into a new form of expression and presentation right now.
If I were to put that process in a map it might look a bit like this:
IGNITION- to feel into what you love and what lights you up
DECISION- to own it and decide to express it
IMPLEMENTATION- to start taking personal and professional action steps to express it
COMMUNICATION- the real world feedback loop as we share with others, which leads to either validation, encouragement, reaction or reflection
RESOLUTION- the engagement with what has come up as a roadblock along the way, with the intent to make peace with it. (Not to lose oneself in chasing trying to fix it all, but to just deal with each roadblock that appears as we live on purpose and purposefully choose to move in the direction of our soulful purpose)
REALISATION- every little breakthrough, every step of learning, enjoyment, achievement along the way
EVOLUTION- the continuing process of creation and innovation that individually and collectively evolves, as one continues to connect with one’s inner light, and express and be of service
But that’s to keep the parts of our brains and minds that might need a process to feel safe and content to proceed. Now I’m speaking to the creative part, and your heart. What is it that you just can’t wait to spend some more time doing right now? What are the things that you truly love and feel called to do, when you have time now for you?
For me, every morning I wake up right now and there are so many things I love to do that I just can’t wait to do. Things I can STILL do, despite all of this. I can answer questions and find new ways to work from home. I can sing. The first thing I’m doing the moment my replacement Go Get access card arrives (or a friend with some time does) is do a run to storage for warmer clothes and my keyboard. So many songs I can’t wait to play. I can still dance every day. I can do yoga or workout. I can write. I’ve been able to still walk or run to the bush/park with the stream in it, just up the street for my x1 exercise piece a day, without coming near anyone else. People I love, who love me, are just a message or a phone call away. I can tell people what I love about them, I can tell them what beauty, what talent, what amazingness I see in them.
I make myself laugh with the 26 potential funny videos I keep writing in my head. I can meditate, I can talk to spirit, I can play with tarot cards. I can delight in the colours of the sunset from my window, or the sweetness of a piece of fruit. Or in the feeling of the breeze on my skin, in the evening. I can have a bath. I can still dream a thousand technicolour dreams (and I do.) I feel great comfort in the feeling of my own hand on my own heart, or my arm, or my belly, or my leg. In the presence of nature, of ancestors, of loved ones and the presence of so many people I feel ‘with me.’ Even all the microorganisms within me seem like they’re singing with delight, since we’ve been chatting of late and come to a whole new level of peace and harmony in regards to sharing in this body, that’s really a community, not just me... and working on physically healing the things in me that the medical system can’t make a priority right now to heal. (This might sound like crazy Transpersonal, Shamanic talk to some, but If only the whole system could start to see and understand microorganisms in a similar way, as our ally, not our enemy we’re at war with, my Goodness we could turn the tide of this this pandemic a WHOLE lot faster.)
And as someone who’s had not a just (another) potentially ‘lethal’ virus to face, but a year of (periodically) journeying her own version of what both her parents had either died of or just starting having cut out by my age, who has had to sit an extra precious month of time minimum in limbo without biopsied confirmation that this tumour ISN’T cancerous, not unlike the time I stood there on my 9th birthday, 2 days after my Mother had died, being told I had a choice now whether I closed down and lost myself for years now in the grief, or decided to commit to going on and living life and loving to my fullest capacity, confined to a bedroom/study and one building or no, and even if it IS just a ‘harmless’ cystic fibroid:
I choose to make the most of this time. I choose to love, I choose life, I choose joy, I choose to do my best to serve whoever I can help.
I wouldn't want to waste this precious time I have, fighting pointless battles, trying to convince people who don’t see it that there’s something worth looking at within me, that I hold something of value, that I’m worthy of their time. While I can't help myself but WANT to keep creating and wanting to contribute to something that makes a massive difference, that reflects in quality the level of love I (and others) inevitably pour into it, I don’t want to waste that time losing myself, trying to create something that impresses, that is world leading, that wins all the prizes, chasing glory, recognition, numbers, losing all my focus being distracted by that thing off in the distance, not being grateful enough for what i've achieved yet, that I’ve bent all my focus on, to the neglect of what and who sits in front of me in the present...I want to be here fully in THIS moment, living, loving and expressing, making the most of this opportunity to engage with people who are here and ready to engage with it, right here, right now.
While I feel about the happiest, the most balanced I’ve ever been in my own company (because lord knows there were years spent in the middle of nowhere, alone, where I certainly wasn’t), I wouldn't want to spend this time playing out old patterns, withdrawing or holding out on love, or hold back out of fear, like Liz Gilbert at the end of Eat Pray Love, fearing that I’m going to lose my balance and people won’t like my crazy once you see the real me, with all my crazy patterns and illnesses and scars. I choose love. I choose doing what I love. I choose to share what I love and be of service where I can, from a place of love, with those who want to share in that love.
And so if anything, if there’s one thing that I hope rubs off on you from reading this, it’s that I hope it serves to deeper activate that part of you too, that amidst all of this world crazy, can’t wait to do just a little bit more of what you love, and light up the world of those you love, just a little bit more, in whatever new ways you might now find or create to do so. Keep reaching for it within all of this. Let it have expression and a voice. Let it lift you and the world up.
Until next time...
Nat talks about Self Expression, Heart Centred Communication and Lifestyle for Leaders.