A couple of months ago I was invited to be apart of Melinda Vail’s weekly Facebook Live event. It was basically a very fun “get to know one another” event. When it was almost over, she said something to me I will never forget. She said (paraphrasing) “You are so down to earth, so real.., this must come naturally to you”.

My response was “No, this is something I have really had to work at.”

Being authentic (for some of us) is hard work. We want to be liked. We want to be popular. We also want to be perceived as smart, or talented, funny, loyal, hard working, trustworthy, or etc.., etc…

So some of us take that on in a serious way! For me, it meant that most of my adult life I spent performing for others. Trying to get their approval or acceptance. Trying to control their perception of me. Basically trying to be all things, to all people.

By the time I figured this out.., I was exhausted. I couldn’t do it any longer. And the worst part is, when you’ve spent your whole life performing for others, it can be really hard to know what and who you really are. Suddenly, you have to figure out what actually matters ‘TO YOU’!

So I have spent the last ten years, trying to stay out of performer mode. Paying attention to what matters or resonates with me. And conversely, what doesn’t.

Usually just about the time I think I’ve finally moved beyond the role of “performer”; it shows up again. Like this weekend!!

I am participating is a workshop that is stretching my boundaries and beliefs. It is expanding concepts and ideas beyond what I am use to. What I am comfortable with. I can feel the truth and rightness of much of what I am hearing. Yet, I also can feel a resistance.

When I really sat with the resistance, I knew I was afraid of what others might think of me. Concerned with how I might be viewed if someone recognized this internal shift or change!! Suddenly I’m on familiar ground. This resistance is something I know well.

The good news is that in the past, whenever I slipped back into performer mode.., I would beat myself up internally. It always felt as if I were back at square one, and had learned nothing.

This time, as much as it feels familiar.., it also feels different, because I am different. I know this resistance well, and I know how to work with it and even how to let it be okay.

We are human. We have patterns, habits, attitudes and beliefs that are an integral part of our journey of self-exploration. They are the flags, that when they are waved, signal that we are close to the next transformational crossroads. That we are nearing a choice point.

I’m clear that I can choose to stop my own growth and expansion in order to ensure that others remain comfortable with their current perception of me. But I also know, that is not what’s going to happen here.

I am committed to this spiritual journey. And even though I may be stepping outside my comfort zone.., I am still committed to “keeping it real”…, even when part of me wants, or thinks it would be easier, to slip back into being a performer!

With Light, Love, and Laughter
Charles

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