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1 of 8 Girl dances at water's edge on Morro Strand State Beach

What’s NOT Being Said

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: mikebaird
What if you’re only telling yourself the negative side of the story?

Every waking moment we talk to ourselves about the things we experience. Our self-talk, the thoughts we communicate to ourselves, in turn controls the way we feel and act.

— John Lembo

When I saw the photo that tops this post I thought: I want to feel like that!  Powerful, exuberant, graceful, flexible, free.  But I don’t.  I’m beginning to realize that there’s something more I need to say to myself… there are some missing messages in my self-talk.

And while I was wishing I felt like the woman in the photo, I also remembered when, not too very long ago, PattiAnn gave me feedback about my post, I Want to Choose Easy – she said “Why not go for powerful instead of easy?”  (Maybe you had to be there… if so, go back and read the post.)  And, I agreed, “easy” would be easier IF I believed I am powerful…

It’s Cliché But, Oh Well…

Life would be oh so much easier if I could sing out with confidence Helen Reddy’s musical cliché:

I am woman, hear me roar…
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
’Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

The song became a touchstone for the feminist movement giving women a way to convince the world that they were strong… However, unlike Helen Reddy and the women of the 70’s, it isn’t the rest of the world I need to convince, it’s me!

Missing Messages to Myself

In many of my posts I’ve been nibbling away at the idea that there’s something else I need to say to myself… That there are some messages missing.  For instance, in Not What I Had Planned, I looked back at an even earlier post and wrote:

I advocated turning a blind eye to the flaws in broken and damaged works of art… choosing instead to relish the beautiful imperfections that abound in our lives.  And, YES, as you might have surmised, I wrote that post, Broken But Beautiful, as a message from me to myself.  I folded it up, stuffed it in this blog – and sent it out with the tide, hoping my inner critics would walk upon the sands of time and get the message.

Well, message received.  I ain’t perfect but I AM strong.  I AM powerful despite my imperfections.  And, although in the past I’ve neglected to tell myself these things, from now on I know it needs to be said often:

I CAN do this – whatever this is!

And to my inner critics, I say:

Hey you Inner Critics, SHUT UP, I’m busy doing here!

Dare to Do

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

— Vincent Van Gogh

Submerged in the depths of angst over projects that uber-challenge me, I’ve often lost sight of my own powerfulness and tipped into avoidance mode, sometimes even into give-it-up mode.  I will, from now on, reroute all that energy into reasserting my own powers.  So I will include a few more messages in my self-talk:

  • I have successfully done similar things before.
  • I can learn whatever I need to learn.
  • It’s going to be fun.
  • I am excited, energized, creative.
  • I can do this.

Marianne Williamson, author of The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife, points out:

Your playing small does not serve the world… We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.

What if you’re only telling yourself the negative side of the story?

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Cup o’ Inspiration

cup with steam swirl

Take a short break and consider the following:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.”

Marianne Williamson

Recommended Reading

Image of When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Image of Life Is Good: A Guided Gratitude Journal (Guided Journals)
Image of Organizing from the Right Side of the Brain: A Creative Approach to Getting Organized
Image of Attitude is Everything Rev Ed: 10 Life-Changing Steps to Turning Attitude into Action