Monday, March 25, 2013
Sometimes we forget that we own ourselves. That we have complete ownership of our decisions, reactions and desires. As a life coach, I'm not immune from being forgetful. Where are the moments in your life where you forget who you are, what your dreams are and who you want to *be* as you experience life?
As I've been navigating self-employment for the first time, and a whole host of transitional experiences with our return to Canada after being away for two years (and being restricted from working for two years), I've been working on cultivating my identity. I know this will be a life long endeavour, to be sure, but for now what is presenting itself so boldly in my face is self ownership.
For those that have known me for many years, know that I have a strong sense of self, that I'm a fairly confident and assertive woman who will take risks and fail and laugh about the failures and continue on. But I am, like many people who are strong, also have my tender moments. And here's what has been showing up for me, in a BIG way, these past few months:
That being a multi-faceted person is more than just okay. There will be people who have one job who don't understand why I identify myself as a coach, speaker, presenter, comedian and Pampered Chef consultant. To some, it may seem like I don't have a clear vision of my life. And I did feel a bit scattered, a bit embarrassed to be all these things. But then I had an AHA moment, a self ownership moment. What all of these things have in common is me - I bring happiness, lightness, laughter and joy to all the things I do in my life. That is my life's purpose. If you shine a light on a prism, you'll see the light sparkle everywhere. And that's really cool!
That knowing your boundaries means revisiting them regularly and maybe even redefining them. How this shows up is in my tri-cultural life. I belong to the hearing world. I belong to the deaf world. I can navigate my way almost effortlessly through both. But I also have a coda world (coda means child of deaf adults) and that's a different world altogether. Recently I decided to have fun (bringing more joy & laughter into the world!) and record videos for YouTube of me cooking in sign language and speaking simultaneously. I titled my videos to indicate that I was using ASL, when technically I am not. I chose to use that title because I want deaf people to be able to find my videos. If you're familiar with deaf culture, you'll know that ASL cannot be spoken. It has its own syntax, structure, etc. Some deaf people will take offense that I have appropriated this, and I've decided that I can't please everyone. I'm going to continue being a coda and do what works for me, which at the moment is signed and spoken videos. There are deaf friends who are enjoying my videos, one even said she felt like she was watching Julia Child for the deaf. That made my day. And my hearing friends are enjoying learning signs like chicken... I didn't know I was having a cultural crisis until I had passed it. My identity in the deaf community has been a challenging one, which maybe I'll write about more in depth another time, but the message that I really understood from the universe this week was, where I am is just fine, just fine indeed.
So if you're maybe beating yourself up for not meeting other people's expectations of being someone, maybe it's time to look at and celebrate how you're your own prism, reflecting a variety of colours. We're all cut differently. We all shine differently.
When I walk into my networking events this week and introduce myself, I'm going to OWN all of me. My coach self, my comic self, my speaker self, my awesome fun Pampered Chef self, my coda self. Because no one else is going to champion me if I don't believe in myself and the same is true for you. While you may have people who are part of your personal fan club, you have to believe in yourself too!
Have an amazing week and shine on!