This weekend at “soul school” I learned how to brag about myself. After years of learning that bragging is bad and egotistical and will make other people not like me, it turns out that it’s actually good for both me and everyone around me. How is that possible?
In the past, I held onto the belief that I had to keep myself small for others to love me. If I did well in school, I needed to downplay it or hide it or act like it didn’t matter to me, or else others wouldn’t like me. I remember the day when this belief really set in. I remember a teacher in one of my classes announcing that I got the best grade on a test, and one of my peers glaring at me and saying two words that felt like bullets through my heart: "Kiss. Ass."
At that moment I made an unconscious decision to downplay my talents. If I got good grades, I wouldn’t tell anyone. Then if someone found out and congratulated me, I would secretly be dancing around and celebrating on the inside, but on the outside I’d be like “yeah, whatevs.” If I got a compliment on a new haircut, I’d deflect by saying “yeah but when I do it myself it won’t look like this!” I’d secretly be thrilled and smile to myself as I walked away, but on the outside I wouldn't show it.
What would be so bad about me bringing the party inside my heart out into the open? And maybe inviting some friends over to party with me? Aren’t parties more fun when other people are involved?
The truth is, yes, a party is more fun when others are invited. And, yes, I deserved a big party. The truth is that sharing our talents and accomplishments with others is a great way to inspire them to do the same. Holding our gifts inside and keeping ourselves small doesn't help anyone. It actually sends others a message that they, also, aren't good enough to let themselves shine.
Something we learned in school this weekend was to identify and own positive projections on others. What the heck is a positive projection?! It turns out not only do we project negative traits of ourselves onto others-- for example, “He’s being so selfish!” which really means we’re concerned on some deep level that we’re being selfish-- but we also project positive traits of ourselves onto others.
The Universe (and the human ego) are so sneaky sometimes. Turns out everything we identify in other people, whether negative or positive, is actually just the Universe’s big, huge mirror reflecting those traits back to ourselves.
So who is someone that you idolize or look up to in life? It can be anyone, dead or alive. Oprah? Abe Lincoln? Babe Ruth? Martin Luther King, Jr.? Your mom? Me? (sorry couldn’t help myself—I’m owning it!!) What about them do you admire? Their inspired leadership? Their confidence? Their compassion and intellect? Their drive? Well, guess what, Sugar Plum, you have those EXACT same qualities inside of you—just waiting to be expressed!
Does that mean the other person isn’t an amazing leader or fabulously confident? Nope, don’t worry, you’re not hallucinating. They probably are, BUT, more importantly, so are YOU!!!!!
How handy that we have this tool to use anytime we need a little help remembering some of the beautiful qualities that we have inside of us—we just need to step into them and OWN them.
So next time you feel jealous of someone else (“everyone loves her”, “she’s so beautiful”, “he’s so creative,” etc.), you can be sure that you have the ability to step into every one of those qualities. Everyone loves you. You're so beautiful and you're so creative.
You have the choice. You can either put that person on a pedestal-- and tell yourself that you’re not as good as them-- OR you can step up onto the pedestal alongside them and choose to remember that everything you admire about that person, you have and more.
So go out there and see the beauty in everyone around you and then use that as a GPS to finding the beauty within yourself. Once you find it, step up and OWN it. Share it with other people in a loving, authentic way. That’s not bragging in the “I’m better than you" way, but instead sharing your gifts with the world so you can uplift and inspire them to do the same.
Now go on with your bad ass self!! I’ll start: I admire my friend Leigh for her courage and beauty and talent. It turns out I have every one of those qualities in me. I am courageous. I am beautiful. I am talented. I am funny. I am outgoing. I am a sparkling, inspired leader. Do you feel jealous or annoyed when I say these things? I hate to break it to you, but that means you are every single one of those things too. :)
What is one gift you have to offer the world that you've been afraid to step up and own? I want to hear about it in the comments below!
Yours in Runways and Pedestals,
...at least for decision-making, that is. :)
So it turns out that a big gut might actually be good for you! No I’m not talking about the size of the belly spilling over your elastic waistband. I’m talking about a big and strong gut instinct or intuitive sense. We’ve all heard people say “Follow your gut” or “What does your gut tell you?” but how the heck do we know what our gut is telling us? And why do we care what it says?
It turns out our gut instincts are a form of intuition, and in their purest form can be an awesome way of getting some super helpful guidance in this crazy world of ours. How exciting that we are actually carrying around a little internal guidance system that can help us make decisions in line with our best interests on a daily basis??!! Our gut is like our own Inner Yoda that sends us strong messages and insights before our monkey minds can shut it up with doubts and fears.
Our gut feelings and intuitive guidance always have our best interests in mind. The (often difficult) key is to separate our gut feelings from the fears and doubts that our monkey mind throws in the mix.
It is always best to make a decision when we are in a more positive state of mind—when we are feeling a mix of excited and scared at the same time. The worst time to make decisions is when we are feeling low, fearful, and drained. Making decisions out of fear usually does not lead to the best result for us (at least it hasn’t for me).
So how do you know the difference between a thought from your monkey mind (ego) and an intuitive gut instinct? The gut instinct is more of a feeling—how does your body feel when you think about the options you are trying to choose from? When you visualize yourself choosing a particular option, do you feel a mix of excited and a little scared? Or do you feel drained, heavy, and exhausted?
If you feel excited at a possibility but a little (or a lot) nervous about the prospect of making a change, that is usually a good sign. If the possibility makes you feel drained and sluggish, your gut is likely telling you it’s not a good idea.
Once you’re clear on what your gut is telling you about a certain situation or decision, the next (often difficult) key is to summons the courage to actually take your gut’s advice. Listening to our gut is often one of the scariest things we have to do. But oftentimes, the prospect of staying the same, and ignoring our gut, is even more unbearable.
It’s times like these that I like to break things down into miniature, teeny, tiny, baby action steps. For example, does your gut tell you to be an artist when you currently work as an accountant? Well that prospect could make anyone vomit with fear! Instead, why not take a teeny, tiny (I’m talking miniscule here) action step every day that will gently and easily move you forward in that direction?
For example, when you get home from your accountant job, do a 30 second google search on books written by corporate folks who made the transition into the art world. Or look up the community education schedule in your town to see if there are any art classes you might want to take.
The key is to listen to that nice, big gut of yours, and take small enough steps forward that you trick your ego into thinking you’re just “exploring” something as opposed to making any sort of big, scary change. (Note: Egos don’t like change.)
The cool thing is you can actually strengthen your gut on a daily basis (no I’m not talking about sit-ups). Any time you want to make even a harmless decision (i.e. where to go to dinner tonight or what movie to watch), check in with your gut and practice listening to it.
Picture yourself doing each of the possibilities and then see how your body feels with each one. Then go with the one that feels better to your gut.
The awesome news is that once we start listening to our gut, and taking small steps in that direction, the Universe gets super excited and steps in to support us! Each next step will be revealed to us, one at a time.
What would your gut tell you if you listened to it right now? (After it says, “Eat a cheeseburger,” of course. :)) I want to hear about it in the comments below!
Yours in Big Guts and Inner Yodas,
Wow. Today is a big day for me. I have been thinking about launching this blog and website for over 6 months and have come up with one excuse after another as to why I had to wait a little longer. Every excuse was very convincing and seemingly necessary— I had to get the perfect domain name; I had to look for jobs; I had to do homework for my master’s program; I had to record a perfect video for my homepage; I had to read 8,000 articles on writing blogs and launching websites so I could “do it right.”
It turns out, as helpful as those steps were, they were just my brain’s way of distracting me from the real truth: I was afraid to really show the public my authentic self. I was afraid to write a blog from my heart and be vulnerable in front of other people who might disagree or criticize me, or who might not like the real me. I was afraid to “come out of the closet.”
Anyone who is brave enough to write a blog is “putting themselves out there.” The internet is vast and we all know about the cyber-bullying and other unfiltered negative commentary that flies around the web at the speed of light. The truth is, the idea of writing a blog with a “comments” section below it scares the sh*t out of me. What if someone writes a negative comment about something I write?
But the bigger truth is, deep down I long to inspire and uplift people with positive and thoughtful posts. I yearn to add some positive sunlight into a world with so much negativity.
So I’m feeling scared and I’m doing it anyway. I’m coming out of the “spiritual closet.” Some people might not understand or might think I’m wacky, but at least I’m being authentic. And if I inspire just one person out there to step up and be brave and authentic in whatever scares them in life—to come out of whatever their closet might be—then I’m happy.
So here I am world! Yes I am an attorney and yes I love the environment and yes I’m from Buffalo. I’m also a very spiritual person who is fascinated by all these crazy new agey philosophies and finding more positive ways of looking at our experiences on this planet. Yes I believe in God or Spirit or the Universe or whatever you might call it and yes I believe in angels and fairies and the power of intuition and numerology.
And what I believe in most of all is being true to myself, and my true self is here to help and heal and inspire others to do the same.
I did it. I came out of the spiritual closet. And I already feel stronger and more complete.
Now what can you do today that scares the living sh*t out of you? I want to hear about it in the comments below!
Yours in Courage and Authenticity,
Tina Meyers is an Intuitive Coach and Feminine Leadership Facilitator and the founder of Women Advocates Rising and WARRIOR SCHOOL. She is a former attorney, and a seeker of creativity, courage, aliveness, and transformation in her own life and the lives of others.