I’m reminded recently of the gap: of the moment of choice we have before each movement forward, the space between us and our response.
I witnessed it most loudly this week as I stepped into a crowded, unfamiliar space—there it was: the option to shuffle by, nervous, trying not to make any ripples—or the alternative option: to burst in the door, shining bright in my own power of being.
I chose the latter.
Growing up I had what I considered a fabulous confidence—I very much embraced my individuality. It wasn’t until I moved and lived so far from my best friends and those closest to me that I began to learn that this same confidence wasn’t quite as natural when I was flying solo.
There are many things I do alone here, that I never did alone in my hometown. I always had my posse. And, now that I think about it, on the rare occasion that I was self-conscious and flying solo my last years living in Omaha, I tended to reach for a drink to compensate.
I’ve spent a lot of time here being confused about the many changes my social landscape has gone through—several of my dearest friends on different occasions were called away to their next chapters—rather then see a lesson for me, I felt let down by the powers that be, confused.
It’s dawning on me now that aloneness is just the lesson I have needed these years.
Standing alone in our power is more difficult than standing with others. It takes more boldness to be fully yourself in the midst of no one…to break free from the approval of anyone other than yourself.
To free yourself fully of the approval of others means going at it alone, standing in your truth alone. How could this lesson be learned any other way? I have not fully integrated this new discovery, but I see it now. And this sight is a miracle! How could I move forward without learning to be alone? How did I miss it until now? I have had to be alone…with each realization of the perfection I want to laugh at the sky.
I have had to learn to seek the approval of no one, neither large nor small in number. It has needed to happen. And I am indeed learning, growing.
The last few years have been an unfolding, and I feel as though I’m now entering Spring.
I have needed to be fueled by nothing but my own life force. Like the wise words a goddess named Kayla passed along to me:
you can’t source your happiness in life from anyone else. It’s got to be all you. You’ve got to stand in your own.
This unfolding lesson of personal power and choosing to stand in it is opening to me with each choice that I make to root for my home team, to choose to accept and radically be my authentic self rather then succumb to a need for approval or acceptance.
With each decision to be confident, and to stand in our uniqueness we move ourselves more towards that way of being.
If we slow down enough, if we can stay close enough to our center, then we can see it—the gap.
In this gap we can see that there are options, we see that we can listen to the voice that wants to shy away and play small—or we can get behind the one that wants to expand and soar.
Both voices are valid— the will (our free-will to be exact) is put into action through our choice.
Will we pick the one that does not scream, but rather the one that believes in the power of it’s individuality—that knows there’s nothing to lose? Each moment this choice is made it builds upon itself, each choice becomes easier, carving further the habit of living large, fully, open expanded, bursting.
This beautiful gap shows itself more readily through the cultivation of mindfulness. Through slowing down and tuning into the present, clearing space to see what is actually here—now. Building the habit of returning to the now, so that, in its face we can see our choices.
This is awareness, this choice is what it is to be conscious, awake, living on purpose, choosing, co-creating. It is a choice! A choice that is always there, whether or not we see it.
Give yourself time to sit, to be—allow yourself opportunities to tune in, anytime and anywhere. Begin to work with allowing thoughts to flow by without buying into them. Tune into all that is around you, witness it without thinking about it. Practice returning to now…and remember it is practice.
All of the practice is in the returning, without creating more thought as a result of being hard on ourselves (it never helps—trust me on this one)—knowing that it is the nature of the mind to try to escape the moment.
We see what we look for—are we willing to see the choice? Can we open our eyes and—knowing it is there—call it into our view? Once seen, will we make the choice to stand in our own power?
The mind will obey if we will matter-oh-factly choose, without question. As we bring our mind more frequently out of the future and past, and choose instead to drop into the present, we more readily see—even in the midst of what seem to be a swirling chaos—two directions—a crossroads.
Which direction will we walk towards? Which pole will we choose to gravitate towards? Will it feed our self-esteem and confidence? Or will we give our energy to feeling small, fearful…shrinking.
Turning down our brightness is a habit, just like anything else—and it’s one that can be retrained if we begin make the choices to rise above it. The voice of fear may not leave—it’s with us for some important reasons, but we can choose to tune it out in favor of listening to our confident, encouraging selves.
In the midst of an opportunity to be anxious or to be confident and radiant—take a deep breath.
In the gap between the inhale and exhalation, observe. Open to the options which are undoubtably there, and embrace your power to choose.
With each choice made, each decision behind us, it will become easier, more natural. And it will be beauty as we bloom fully into our own power.