Thursday, October 16, 2014

Becoming more ourselves

On Friday a friend of mine sat in my living room and she started crying.  "I'm so embarrassed to admit this, but I am totally filled by being with my kids.  I don't think I want to work right now."

On Monday a friend, a physician, told me a story about taking a stand to spend more time with her kids, "It was so hard to say what I needed. I felt judged," is how she put it.

Yesterday, one friend whose entrepreneurial career has grown into a form of service that helps and inspires other entrepreneurs, she said, "I worry I should be volunteering more at school."

And then in a second conversation yesterday another friend said to me, "My boss just couldn't understand why I didn't want the next promotion.  It's like those power woman conferences that I've stopped going to.  They just don't get me."

I've felt it too--the doubt, the wondering if I'm fitting in or getting it right.  

I'm not exactly sure what it is that is plaguing us, but there is a lot of it going around.  Here's what it feels like to me.

It feels like we are tap dancing fast on the the head of a pin.
It feels like we are wondering if we are going to get an A or a B or a C in how we choose to spend our time.
It feels like something is shaming us, something inside and something outside too. 
And it feels like we are exhausted of the whole thing, tired of trying to get it right.

Did I capture that for you?  That's what it feels like to me, and I want us all to stop with this madness.  Indeed, I believe it would be a great service to the world if we could figure out how to stop spinning our wheels on all the ways we might be falling short.  A lot of good energy would become more available.

What I want to propose is that, when we are doing what is necessary, we don't feel all that confused.  We may be working hard, we may not even like it, but at least we know we are doing the right thing--the thing we have to do.  In those times we go to bed the good kind of tired and sleep all night long.  The trouble comes with choice.

The tap dancing feeling comes in when we are at choice, but we are no longer in charge of ourselves, when we are doing and doing because we feel pressure from the outside, but we can't figure out how to stop.  My sense of what I've heard out on the street is that we are in a position of having choice, but we don't ever feel confident that we are choosing the right thing.  This is causing a lot of suffering.

I think it is within our abilities to quiet a good bit of this turmoil.  And it has to do with a shift, a shift from outer to inner.  A shift from doing to listening.  A shift from comparing to curiosity.  A shift from accomplishing goals, to becoming more ourselves.  

Yes, that is it--becoming more ourselves.  This is what I really want for us.  That would feel like stepping off the head of a pin, and finally letting our bare feet touch the vast grassy field that is waiting for us.  I think if we decided to measure our choices by whether or not they helped us become more ourselves, and then we were actually brave enough to let ourselves live this way, a lot of the doubt would disintegrate in an instant.

My biggest hope in hosting Tara Mohr with Kirsten on November 2nd, is that you will feel a new sense of permission to listen to your inner voice and Play Big from there.  That you will find some words, or a new perspective, that might help you commit to becoming more yourself, knowing this is exactly what the world needs now.  We do not need bright women with choices and resources to be comparing themselves to other people, cloning each other's success.  We need this group of women to serve as pioneers who find new ways, or advocate for old ways that are about to be forgotten, or who go sideways to find a new way through.  We don't need to measure up, we need to create anew.

Love you guys.

What you need to know, is that this phrase, "becoming more ourselves" comes from my daughter's pre-school classroom, wisdom from her teacher, Paula.



  1. Amen to that. You have such a beautiful way of capturing your ideas. Thank you for continuing to share them here.

  2. Cristina, You're so right! I spend hours every day in therapy with women, trying to help them feel comfortable in their own skins and live from the core of their own authentic selves. I hope playing big means playing bigly from that core--even if from the outside looking in others don't see the bigness of that.