Ditch the Script. Find Yourself.

We’ve become a society of “experts.” My journey to becoming an expert began around the age of eight as I attempted to be as perfect as I could be, while making it look like I wasn’t trying to be perfect at all. My parents loved me, my teachers applauded me, and my peers accepted me. Savvy little thing, I was.

By the time I reached my late twenties, I diligently achieved all of the things I thought would bring me happiness. I continually ranked number one nationally at a coveted sales job, lived in a home on the beach with my internet pioneer boyfriend, went on extravagant vacations with beautiful and hilarious friends. It sure looked good, but for some reason, I couldn’t shake a pervasive feeling of blah. In spite of all that I had, it never seemed to be enough.

I wanted to be a woman who strode confidently in the direction of her dreams… but I couldn’t identify anything I had a burning passion to do. Adrenaline pumping activities like surfing, skiing and competing with the boys served as a brief refuge from this pervasive apathy. Chic parties and friendship drama were temporary distractions from a deep seated sadness churning inside of me.

In my limited scope of consciousness, I blamed my man. Obviously he wasn’t doing enough for me… for us. This prompted a stubborn case of “when we’s,” that ruthlessly hijacked me from the present moment. When he sells his company, then we’ll be happy. When we go on our trip around the world, then we’ll be happy. When we get engaged, then we’ll be happy. I mean, hadn’t I achieved all of the other things that are supposed to deliver me across the imaginary finish line into the promised land of fulfillment?

In a word, no. But I didn’t gain this insight until much later. Until after the boy broke my heart; after my friends cut their ties with me; and after I began my quest inward.

And much to my surprise, what felt like the most painful breakdown of my life, gave way to the most pivotal breakthrough I could ever imagine.

It was then that the forces of the universe converged to connect me with a powerful spiritual teacher and I saw the greatest source of my pain was that I’d been unconsciously following a script I didn’t write. I’d soaked up messages from the fabric of reality around me, and internalized them as my own. Clearly I wasn’t nearly as savvy as my eight-year-old self would have you believe.

My narrow script left little room for creative risks, because taking chances might expose me as not being the image of perfection I’d gotten used to portraying. It urged me to find the most successful alpha-male in the room, and basking in his glow I would feel worthy and safe.

Now mind you, I had no idea I was doing any of this. The most devious thing about my script was that it had me believing it didn’t exist at all.

The first rule of the script is that there is no script.

But as I continued to pull back the layers of illusion I’d carefully constructed around me and got really, real with myself, I recognized that I’d created a life based on external validation and in doing so, became a very fearful and competitive woman.

When my teacher urged me to explore my creative side, I was like, “Huh?”

For 32 years, I’d always assumed creativity was a genetic thing and sadly that gene had unceremoniously passed me by.

I soon learned that “blah” feeling I couldn’t shake was merely fear of failure masquerading as apathy.

My script had me believing that unless I was going to be perfect and do it perfectly I may as well not even try. As I gained greater consciousness I discovered that I didn’t have to be perfect to participate, I just needed to be The Beginner.

The Beginner is Teflon armor against fear of failure because The Beginner isn’t supposed to know a damn thing.

With this simple, yet revolutionary insight, I gave myself permission to just be The Beginner and began to write openly about my experiences and emotions. I was amazed that by suspending judgment, my creations flowed freely, and a most unusual thing occurred — I began to reveal myself authentically and vulnerably to myself, which restored a sense of integrity I’d lost somewhere along the way.

And then, it was as if a dam burst open inside of me and suddenly a creative passion I’d never known was a part of me flowed through every pore in my body. I began playing guitar, singing and writing songs. I started painting big canvases full of bright colors, and built an art studio in my home. I began jazz dancing after stopping nearly 20 years prior and began taking improv! This overwhelming desire to create generated such a monumental shift inside of me that my entire vision of self expanded. I became awake, alive and inspired.

The resentment I’d been carrying around for my ex-boyfriend finally evaporated like stubborn condensation on the bathroom mirror, and I realized it wasn’t he who had abandoned me; I had abandoned myself and my dreams a time long ago in a bid to gain approval and acceptance.

Like a seesaw, as my belief in myself went up, I watched my competition go down. I developed a genuine camaraderie with other women who are courageously following their dreams, and a sincere compassion for those still trapped in their own private prisons of perfection. It finally felt like it was enough, because I felt like I was enough.

I wanted to call out from the rooftops to every woman who is struggling in life… struggling to find that thing that sets her heart on fire, “There’s another way!”

And that’s what I know I’m here to do. To share what I’ve learned with women like YOU, who (like me) bought in to the script, and are starting to realize it’s a bunch of BS.

The way to an adventurous, passionate, fulfilling existence is the exact opposite of what most of us have been programmed to believe. Life’s gifts don’t come from being perfect and doing everything perfectly; they show up when we ditch the script and give ourselves a little FREAKING permission to just be The Beginner. (Tweet-Worthy!)

 

The Truth Behind The Truth

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely aware. – Henry Miller

Modern life has a lot of noise.  There are so many things that we feel we have to do.  We wade through a sea of subtle and overt messages everyday about who we are supposed to be and what we are supposed do in order to be happy. It’s easy to let the days, ahem– years, roll by lost in a haze of contiguous events, with little real awareness of much of all.

Awareness means looking beyond what you see at face value.

Awareness means gaining an in depth understanding of yourself beyond your job, your relationships, and your beautiful things.

Awareness is an understanding of yourself beyond your agendas, or in other words, gaining an understanding of not just what motivates your creations but why?

I recently had a conversation with a friend who was puzzled by her lack of joy and passion for life. On the outside things couldn’t be better; however in spite of the beautiful home, family, and material riches she’s manifested, she doesn’t understand why she feels pretty numb.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own illusions, we have no idea that there is a completely different truth at play that is impacting our happiness and wellbeing.

Perceived Truth: I am a hard worker, and I put my work first because I love it. It’s an honorable thing to be a hard worker.

After some communication we got down to the heart of the matter. truth, next exit

Actual Truth: I have very little sincere belief in myself, and growing up I didn’t do well in school, so I am going to prove to all those people who didn’t believe in me that I am successful. In reality, I love the cash and  showing all those naysayers how awesome I am.

As you may remember from my previous post, What if Being Right is actually Wrong:

The need to prove anything at all is a reflection that you are out of affinity/peace with yourself, and a sign you don’t feel like you are enough just as you are. If you feel like you aren’t enough, you have to perform as a way of gaining the approval and acceptance from others to make up for approval and acceptance you aren’t giving yourself. In order to perform, you forsake your authenticity, and authenticity is where true self-worth, and ultimately joy, sprouts.

This is what I mean when I talk about tearing down the illusions that cause pain.

The illusion: If I convince everyone else that I am special and worthy, I will be/feel special and worthy.

The Truth: If you are doing it for others, you’re never going to gain that genuine fulfillment that you seek. If you can’t be authentic, the validation that you receive from others isn’t really a validation for you – it’s for your performance.

Look for the truth that hides behind what you think is true. Don’t judge yourself. You’ve only been operating off of what you’ve been taught.

Truth is awareness, and awareness about you is your gateway to happiness.