Becoming More Myself

It’s always funny how the Universe rewards me when I take time to slow down. Thoughts flow freely and I settle into a different, more in-touch version of myself. It’s a gift.

I usually devour books on vacation, and this vacation has been no different. The raw truth and authenticity that Alicia Keys has gifted the world in her memoir, More Myself, is breathtaking. You recognize truth when you see your story through the words of others… the words you haven’t yet found. More than one passage brought me to tears. Pricked with inner knowing.

I’ve been emotionally restless on this trip. Not for the normal reasons – overwhelm, burnout, exhaustion – but for what 2020 has brought: isolation, unknown, disconnection. I don’t think I’ve fully owned up to what the pandemic and unrest in my city (Minneapolis) has done to my nervous system. It’s taken a toll.

And so as it is with nearly all my vacations, it is only on Wednesday or Thursday (before I leave on Friday) that I feel myself in “Exhale” mode. This time, it was Thursday. Never long enough.

I’ve been really blessed. The weather has been perfect. I’ve had no agenda. I’ve done what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it. And still, this restlessness.

I started to journal out what was happening yesterday, but my brain hijacked my process. Do you know that feeling? Where you sit down to get something done and – BOOM – your brain pulls you in a different direction, or 1,000 directions? It was messy. It was dark. It was a rabbit hole.

Fresh start today, and much more clarity. Deep breaths. Begin again.

Today, the question arose “Who am I becoming?”. It’s something I’ve used as a self-reflection question for nearly 150 leaders I’ve trained over the past 3 months, but I never took the time to answer it for myself. Today, it seemed like the right question at the right time. Flow.

Becoming More Myself: A Reflection

I am becoming a woman who puts herself first, remembering that I can better care for others when I am cared for. Finding middle ground in a polarizing world. A healer, a sage, a muse who will no longer settle for mediocrity.

I am becoming a woman committed to sitting with emotion, welcoming them as teachers and guests. Exploring their purpose and the lessons they are trying to teach. The stories they tell.

I am becoming a woman unwilling to silence my voice to keep the peace. I am powerful. I am fierce. I am a force to be reckoned with.

I am becoming a woman who is learning to play. Breathing a little more. Leaving space for the unknown, fun and adventure.

I am becoming a woman learning to vibe to a broader soundtrack. A deeper bass. A tighter beat.

I am becoming a woman more intimately connected to myself. I am choosing to open my heart to others. Inviting in love, laughter, and life lived out loud.

I am becoming a woman more comfortable using the most powerful words in the English language, with intention, and as full sentences: No. Yes.

I am becoming a woman who treasures solitude. Space and time to ponder the gifts and mysteries of life. The absolute quiet and noise of my own thoughts pouring out of me, like a fire hose.

I am becoming a woman who is slowly tuning the world out so I can tune into myself. Someone who inhales information so I can exhale ideas. Someone who values her inner knowing to worldly advice, uninterested in my best interest.

I am becoming a woman fully appreciative of the teeter-totter that is life. From the nose dive into what brings me meaning (learning) to the sky-high high of the extroverted manifestation of my meaning-making (helping people learn).

I am becoming a woman reconciled with the pieces of myself I’ve been at war with. For decades. Cease fire.

I am becoming a woman who treats herself how she wants to be treated. With kindness. With grace. With tenderness.

I am becoming a woman who is intent on nourishing her body, mind and spirit with opportunity, nature, music, gratitude, joy, vulnerability and hope. Inhaling life. Exhaling presence.

I am becoming a woman learning to be still. Paying attention. Seeing with new eyes and listening with my heart.

I am a woman becoming more myself.

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