I just spend the last three days with Alison Armstrong for the beginning of a year-long program on Transformational Teaching. I experienced so much, its impossible to share it all. The thing I woke up thinking about today, was the importance of being authentically and vulnerably myself. I mean how can you ask someone else to look deeply and honestly at themselves (which is where transformation comes from), if you aren't doing that yourself.
One of our exercises was so simple, hardly more than introducing ourselves for only ONE MINUTE. Easy, right? No! The first time I did this with strangers I could see that I was just "presenting." I was a smiling, cheerful, narrator of my introduction, but "I" wasn't actually there.
After an hour of practice with myself, a friend, a small group and a large group, I saw the difference came in two places. The first was really being excited about myself and my story and wanting to share. The second was stopping (or rather noticing, breathing into and smiling at) my inner worries about "how" to present myself. Behind the "how's" were so many questions; how to present myself so they'll like me, how to present myself so that I'll be better than the person right before me, how to present myself better than I did last time. Yikes!!!!
When I first met Richard, one of the things I said was a requirement for a relationship was for me to be allowed to be myself. This weekend I was able to experience fully that I am the one allowing me to be me. It was always one of those things that I knew at an intellectual level, but not at a cellular level.
I hear so many times from women who feel like they can't be themselves. There may be self-healing and new awareness involved, but the good news is that you don't have to wait to find someone who will let you be yourself ... Oh, well actually, you do need to find someone who will let you be yourself ... it's you.