It has often been the case over the years, that, as I’m leading up to running a discussion or workshop about topics about things like what we’re passionate about and what we want in life, on Women’s Health and relational or sexual empowerment, let alone what practices do we have that help us open up our ability to be more of our authentic selves in front of groups of people and why it’s worth “the work” it takes to be able to show up as the fullest, most authentic, radiant version of you, there’ll be messages, emails, friends reaching out to chat, who just AREN’T feeling at all connected to what they love, or to their purpose, or to any trace of self loving behaviour, and are wondering where their fire and desire for life has temporarily disappeared to, and are feeling, well, “MEH” …and wanting some help to lift and get back on track.
It’s no different in the years when I’ve worked in Women’s retail, helping them select clothes, accessories, lingerie or playwear that fits with how they’re wanting to look or what they’re wanting to bring out more of in themselves. One minute, you can be feeling on top of the world stunning and “more you” and a day or a few hours later, you can be doing or wearing the exact same thing, and the energy you had in that other moment, has mysteriously vanished and you’ve got no real idea where exactly it vanished to. But there might be some not-so-great thoughts in our heads in it’s place.
Other times, some people just can’t feel much of anything, because it might have been awhile, admit the “busy” of life, since theyv’e taken a moment to journey inwards to feel into, and reflect upon what really IS it that they WANT to feel or embody or experience? They may not be sure, but they’re hoping you might suggest things that might help them create the picture that they can get excited about and then become a living embodiment of.
The joyous thing about being human, and being wired to be all over noticing what helps us survive, over what helps us thrive, is that states of feeling totally into how good we look and how great we are, and states of high intensity (and vibration, like passion, or feelings like desire, can feel fleeting and mutable at times, even when you’re doing ALL THE THINGS that SHOULD help you LIFT and be feeling on top of the world. Let alone in 2020, of all years, where the universe’s answer to many of our initial requests and desires was the universe loading the swirling Apple beach ball of death” after you hit the “submit” button.
That’s precisely why I wrote a webinar with a group meditation process and a whole bunch of questions built into it to help us shift state back in the direction of what we love and our inner shine right now. (If you missed it, would be interested in me running another, let me know.)
Because, even if we’re nearly at the end of this year that many can’t wait to stay up on New Years just to ensure actually leaves, and some are wondering if there even IS a point of caring about our presence and ability to show up for our future speaking or sales engagements in this last 2 months, or should we now just wait for next year, the fact still remains that:
- Nobody profits or gains from us hiding and NOT sharing the very energy, transmissions and wisdom we’re on the planet to offer up the the masses. And we certainly won’t connect with new clients or opportunities if we hide.
- It still remains that, the more confident we are in ourselves, our abilities and what we have to offer, in other words, the more sold we are on ourselves and what we have to offer first, the easier it is for others to get the download on the value of what we offer as Speakers and Sales people (if you’ve started your own Practice or Business, you are now BOTH) as well as, as a gorgeous human full stop. And people are sold on your sheer genuine, authentic passion and conviction about the topic/service/product in question, whether you’re speaking, selling or just doing life.
-People LOVE to be around and experience love, passion and high energy, because, when they’re out of connection to and alignment with their most soulful selves, and their own, anyone who IS still connected to the universal power grid of soulful “awesomeness”, becomes like the light or the flame they get drawn towards, to help them come back “home” to themselves too.
-While government officials in Victoria are cutting down the Indigenous equivalent of The Home Tree from Avatar to build freeways this week, if massive bushfires and a pandemic didn’t cut it, it sure seems like we STILL need shining beacons of soulful light shining bright as Leaders in how to create a more honouring, connected, mutually respectful, beneficial and sustainable way of working and living going forward, more than ever. ) Not to mention that
-Authenticity and vulnerability and the currency of the upcoming generations and the question being asked now more than ever by them is “show me who you are, I want to see you and I want to hear the story on what you’re all about!” Plus
- It just feels good to be in alignment with and fully connected to our highest, fullest, most lit up selves, and the energies and states that really feel GOOOOOOD, doesn’t it? #worththework
3 of the 12 keys to unleashing more of our radiant, authentic presence that I mention in the webinar, might seem kind of obvious if you think about it. But nonetheless are somewhat essential to the whole equation, hence why I’m putting it in.
If we’re always busy doing the business of getting things done in work or family or life, it’s easy to lose awareness of what our inner essence and our authentic presence, let alone our wants, needs and desires actually look and feel like. So when any part of us has some uncertainty or doubt around who we are here to be or how we’re here to serve, what we truly love and are passionate about and or what we want and need, it’s time to make time to be alone and go inwards to explore and feel it out. However that alone time, might look. (If not, we can find a Coach who’s sessions or workshops help us do the same)
A thousand times a day too, as we do life and work, it’s easy to find ourselves getting pulled back out of ‘our zone’ once we’re in it, or taking on “stuff” from the world around us. So it’s important to have a regular short realignment practice (like my 3 part realignment mediation) that helps you quickly, fill back up with “you”, let go of what you’re carrying that you don’t need to be (like stress, or remnants of other people’s emotions, energy or projections that you might have picked up in the course of your day, but it won’t serve you to keep carrying etc) and realign with whatever (higher) intention or vision you’re presently working towards.
If we want to be able to show up as more of bright, shiny, glowing, authentic us on stage, or just in life, you’ve got to fully own it and commit to manifesting it, in our day to day. More than the part of us that wants to hide away, or only be the version that ticks all the boxes, but flies under the radar of potentially polarising or trigging anyone. Or the part that is committed to secretly sabotaging any and all attempts to being fully seen, in order to keep us safe.
Owning it has multiple parts...
-There’s being willing to see/feel and reflect upon what you want to embody and achieve and then affirming, YES, I allow myself to create, embody, experience that. In my own company AND when being witnessed by others.
-There’s the part where we need to be as willing to own the full spectrum of humanness (including our darkside) that comes up as we keep moving in that direction and reframe and manage it accordingly.
-Then, there’s the part where, in fuller awareness of both what our full potential in showing up as the most authentic, highest version of us, as well as of our darkside beliefs and behaviour look like, there’s the part where we need to KEEP choosing and reaffirming what we want to be, feel, create and experience NOW, again and again, as life continues to bring us opportunities that either do or don’t line up with that. Using our power of choice (and commitment to that outcome), for the greater good and creating better outcomes, at work and in life.
While there is often an an initial cognitive bias to feeling like the audience (and other people full stop for that) have X Ray vision and MUST be able to see any and ALL your secret thoughts and fears and weakness, and naughty bits (over seeing your glowy, shiny, awesome bits of course), they don’t actually see as much as we might think. BUT they MIGHT feel it or see it in moments where the shadowy parts of ourselves we’re trying to hide and we’re afraid of, break out of cover for a moment and reveal themselves, as we’re trying to do our thing.
Example 1: Childhood “Stuff”
For example, (and just a note of pre-warning here, the two examples I’m about to cover may be a little triggering for some of you, so if you're not up for, it right now, skip to the Embody It heading below)
I remember one time in high school, I was sitting on stage, up the front of a Drama class, being talked through an exercise about recognising our unconscious mannerisms on stage. And while I was sitting on a chair, playing this character sitting at a bus stop, one of my class mates suddenly giggled and pointed out “oh, that was SUCH a Natalie-ism!”. Compared to what I was trying to play, the “Natalieism” that burst through, was my left hand anxiously grabbing onto the side of the chair for dear life, trying to ground myself in the room.
Which was really, I can tell you now from years of deeper exploration of my true motivations, a combination of the childhood part of me that had a lot of (PTSD related terror, rather than just fear) about both the verbally and physically violent consequences of times of getting it wrong, and in terms of showing up as all of me, reflected the psychology of the 9 year old part of me, who’s Mum had just died. To give a bit of backstory for anyone who’s not up to speed with my history, above the fear and grief that goes with death and hospital social workers with clipboards poking around in the middle of it, checking whether you’re safe to stay with your remaining parent and/or developmentally ok, there was also the part of me that now felt at the mercy of which other women in my life would choose to show up and love/care for me in the awesome way I was so accustomed to from the kind of Mum you wouldn’t WANT anyone to lose.
At least one of her best friends and family who promised my Mum they’d be there for me for the rest of forever beyond her time, unfortunately, didn’t or couldn’t follow through and show up, and at least one chose to check out and showed up 20 years late, but full of apology). In addition to feeling abandoned, rejected and wondering what was wrong with me, or if I was loveable within all that, there was another part of me that felt equally rejected and abandoned by the people that were still physically there, but because of dealing with grief, I felt like I’d also emotionally lost their love and presence because maybe me being me on top of that was just too much.
The result of that was that, by the time I was back at school and trying to do “life”, there was the part of me that, any time teachers or other kids came and tried to connect, would tell them I was ok doing my own thing and they didn’t have to offer just to be nice if they didn’t want to, really because I was constantly barely 5 words of their attention away from exploding into a total mess of tears of overwhelm and that, if it had already proved too much for some to handle, was it really ok, or safe to open up? After all the changes and leavings of people, I was feeling deeply not enough and not worthy of love and definitely not feeling wanted or loveable.
And honestly, kept keeping most people at a distance, until my Drama teachers showed up in mid high school….(just in time, as year 9 was about the point where I was in trouble because my grades had dropped from straight A's to all B's and C's, my philosophy of dealing with conflict was 'kick first and ask questions later' and my friend groups were asking me to leave, because this recent bullying, bitchy attitude problem of mine was "not who I really am" and they required me to fix it to stay, AND I was attracting all the wrong kind of attention from the sexual predators, who started coming out in full force anywhere they could get me alone.) Yet my teachers just decided they were going to take a vested interest in everything about my welfare. And by then, I must have said the same, “it’s ok, you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to” and asked them “why (they wanted to be there” about 6000 times.
Bless their patience, that about 6000 times back, they told me why they thought I was awesome and kept reaffirming that I was welcome any time and they weren’t going anywhere. Thank God, because in that energy of love and support, I resurrected my younger dancy arty self, showed up again and took out all the performing arts awards and then got into Performing Arts school. BUT it took me a few more years of learning and growth to be ready to face the fact that, this it what energy was REALLY, unconsciously bursting through in that moment where I was hanging onto the chair for dear life, in the middle of my performance piece. And that for me, is what I had to own and learn to better state manage. (And, at times today, personally and professionally, in certain moments of trigger, where people tell me they can still feel "the wall". admittedly, I’m STILL, in moments, managing in moments today.)
Do you see what I mean though, about how some of them just pop out regardless of whether we want them to or not, so at some point, you got to own those mannerisms like that? That can be standing in the way of you being able to fully show up how you really want to, on stage, in service, in life?
Example 2: Shadow Sexual and Power Dynamics
A male example. One of my past male colleagues, when he was facilitating in certain spaces (like the one in which he was teaching energetic wellness techniques) had, in the past, come face to face with the parts of his ego and ‘inner sexual predator’ that, on stage, had a tendency in some moments to do things, and look at certain women in the crowd in a manner that was clearly, openly sexually suggestive and seductive, in an attempt to influence them/bend them to his will. Which was undermining the part of him that was simultaneously attempting to show up as the highest Trainer, Space Holder version of him to hold a safe space and be a champion for Women.
On one particular day where I was working with him and witnessed it come out on stage, I watched some of the inner girls and teenagers in those women very quickly start to fall under the spell of flirting back (in full ownership, I too had to grow through and learn how to NOT fall under the spell of this patterning once or twice or 10 times in multiple different different workshop settings too, to be able to recognise what this patterning looks like when it's playing out and also show up as as the most integral, highest heart centred version of ME too)….
and so, as one of the Space holders, when I saw this moment, I shot him a fairly stern but lovingly intended and obvious glance and send a telepathic message that very clearly sent the message that “you’re doing that thing again, pull your heart centred Presenter, Space Holder sh$% together and come back to your higher self”... and he got the download, and adjusted himself accordingly and then thanked me later for calling it out.
BUT the ultimate challenge there was for HIM to do the work on not just stopping the behaviour, but the deeper psychoanalytic piece on what his deeper motivation was for needing to do it in the first place, before he was going to truly succeed in being able to stand there all time time, consciously choosing for his highest version of him to show up and be of service instead.
When I did the work on my OWN inner seductress in my mid 20’s, prompted by the impact a sexual health crisis had on my dating and relating life, what I personally found was that, rather than showing up putting the truest, authentic, vulnerable version of me (with my host of obvious before mentioned wounds AND gifts) on the table and saying “well this is who I am, warts and all, and this is what I want, I really like you, if that resonates for you too, let’s do this,” instead, I was holding that level of vulnerability and honesty back. And out of, again, both feeling like I might not be enough and might be too much, and under the (I think) completely misguided teaching that men’s dicks are the only doorways to their hearts AND the means of influencing them in your feminine favour (this is what I was both told by multiple Men back then in the absence of my Mum and the likes of Cosmo and Cleo were trying teach us all as “game”, and in the absence of a place of proper, decent training on what healthy, empowered dating and relating really looks like in the tiny country town in which I grew up) I was showing up as this overachiever of a seductress and sexual servant in relationship, trying to please my way to being “enough” and to him being under my spell “enough” for me to THEN later put all of me and my needs on the table a few months in…..
But was then surprised when I had a string of 6 month relationships that died the second the highs from the neurotransmitters wore off, because I wasn't actually being up front about what I wanted or needed from minute 1. Until that sexual health crisis, that temporarily took my vagina OUT of the equation and left me with no choice BUT to put the rest of my heart centred, vulnerable, authentic cards on the table. Which, consequently then lead to me getting into the longest term, marriage like, house owning relationship I’d ever been in, for all the right reasons, right after that.
But my point (relative to the prior example) is, for me to truly put an end to that behaviour, I had to come to understood why I was really doing it and what some part of me thought I was getting out of it in the first place, in order to be able to take it offline and replace it with beliefs and behaviour that better served me showing up as the fullest version of me and what I was wanting to achieve in life.
Once I was aware though, and aware that I never wanted to do that again for the wrong reasons (e.g. happy to be the healthy seductress in the right moment, in the right relationship, with the right person, YES. Being a sexually manipulative vixen who doesn’t think she’s enough WITHOUT doing that and who no man or woman is going to feel they can trust, well, that WASN’T going to serve who I wanted to be, or the people I care about or one day hoped to help, going forward.) In awareness, I could, instead, choose a better vision and version of showing up to be working towards, and then start practicing part 3 of “owning it” the part of actually showing up and allowing our expression AS more of the fullest, most authentic version in your day to day.
But just to summarise again why it’s worth doing this kind of work: the big benefit here of the owning your sh$% side of “owning it”, is that people actually will then feel SOOOO much safer around us and trusting OF us, when we’re in full ownership of our dark side, rather than either them being at the mercy of the stuff we don't want to look at. And or who respond with mistrust and fear, to our own fear and mistrust of our own selves and our fear of our inability to keep a handle on our "stuff." Especially in a professional setting.
PLUS, we become much better and more present space holders, when we can show up, after having owned our own stuff, and look other people mirroring our shadow back at us, in the eye with love and compassion. Rather than not being able to look at them and wanting to run away from the mirror. Make sense? #worththework
Then there’s the actual expressing it part. Which, again, a bit like building the muscle of state management alone with tiny 2kg dumbbells, before trying to lift 100 in front of an audience, we can do well ahead of stepping onto a stage.
There’s a guided process I do in this webinar that helps you activate more of the energy and qualities of your unique essence and soulful self and then capture some of the thoughts and inspirations that come to you, once you’re connected in that energy. Ahead of you then going back out into the world and doing “life” embodied IN that energy.
At times when that feels a little vulnerable, ultimately we build our resilience by pushing through the resistance and dealing with either the awesomeness and the at times backlash of now showing up and either polarising or triggering total strangers through just being US, and or dealing with the karma drama of how the people around us who’ve known as as something else, then react to us showing up as the “real us”. Because, it is equally as hard for THEM in feeling butt naked exposed, and brings up all THEIR stuff, when we reveal OUR stuff and parts us we hadn’t necessarily been in our full integrity in hiding to keep the peace, or be likeable. Or be a good helping professional, who keeps their stuff to themselves, only to be brought undone when your clients READ ABOUT THE REAL VERSION ON SOCIAL. Which again, can be awkward and uncomfortable for a bit, less so the more we can meet it with self responsibility, integrity, respect, love and compassion. But ultimately again, #worththework when the payoff is:
-you can now love ALL the people in your personal and professional world in a more loving and respectful way
-better be of service and help more people as who you truly are
-be loved and receive love and all kinds of “good good” in all kinds of relationships with greater ease
-plus (the big champagne moment of that webinar) people start to feel magnetically attracted to who you really are, warts and all, for the RIGHT, soulful, aligned, mutually beneficial reasons! That ultimately complements and benefits who THEY are trying to become too, as well as you.
Being from a Performing Arts background and a Counselling Therapeutic background and having studied Gestalt and Drama Therapy at various points, over the last decade, I’ve got a lot out of also participating in and at times facilitating workshop spaces that, in addition to doing the (sometimes more confronting) work of going inwards, allow you to play around with embodying and acting out certain personas or archetypes, or moving as inhabited by the energy and qualities of certain characters or archetypes of your choosing. In this way, you can start to explore what a quality feels like in a more general way, ahead of starting, as the next step, to feel into what that quality feels like (and means) for you personally embodying it.
In that way you can do things like pick an archetype for a day, and just see what It feels like walking around the world, with that energy for an hour. And take it off again, with far less attachment that your core wounds and identity, if you feel like it’s not for you in this moment, or yet.
As I meditated today, mine today looked a bit like this….
The gift of such explorations, grounded back into our everyday, and turned into practical things we can wear or be or do, is what do they tell me about what heart centred, integral, magnetic presence, positive self image and truly showing up in my full power and higher potential, looks like for me personally? How do I want that to look or not look? What do I value/or is important to me when I’m connected with that energy? And what do I feel inspired by and called to do or be when I’m connected to that energy? And how does that impact how I choose to show up as a Leader, a Speaker and a helping professional?
Having given our mind the kind of clarity and parameters IT needs to feel safe and confident in understanding HOW to show up as that, then we come full circle back to the alignment with our soulful essence, and then getting out of our own way to be the open channel through which it can flow while we do the business of being of service and life. Quickly said, not so easy always in practice I know, but it does get easier with practice.
The additional 9 factors (and mindsets and intentions) I think are rather crucial to our ability to show up in our heart centered, authentic, yet magnetic presence, MINUS the coercion, manipulation and sleaze, I covered both in the Webinar and we unpack a little further where required in the Own your Voice program and 2021 workshops.
I know i’ve covered a lot of detail AND potentially sensitive ground in this one too, so if there is anything in this one you’d like to unpack further in a chat, or you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Thanks as always for reading, Let me know, and feel free to like, comment or share if you think someone else you know might benefit for any part of this one.
Until next time…
Nat talks about Self Expression, Heart Centred Communication and Lifestyle for Leaders.