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4 steps to being brave enough to be you

By Cherie Pasion IN Connect Discover

When we think about bravery, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t everyday living. It’s usually things like someone making a rescue. Or someone fighting a great battle for their life. Or someone building up all the strength they have to step out of an abusive relationship with nothing but the clothes on their back.

These things are incredibly brave. They show tremendous courage.

But there is a lot of bravery in simply being you.

As a mother, you are brave. You have one or more remarkable little humans in your care. You have stepped into the role of thought leader, teacher, lightworker, nurse, nutritionist, negotiator, driver, cheerleader and counsellor. Generally without qualification, and often thrown into the deep-end.   

Although you wear all of those hats (and more), if you’re anything like me, my clients and my friends, you probably aren’t quite sure of what you’re doing most of the time. And even though you aren’t sure of the outcome and don’t have all the answers, you get up in the morning (often sleep-deprived) and put your best foot forward anyway.

That’s pretty brave.

But there is another form of bravery to step into. Exploring and living who you are.

You see, for a lot of us, before motherhood, we stood quite firm in who we were. We largely were in control of our lives. We had our career. We had our financial freedom.

And then when our children came along, some of the certainty of ourselves got a bit blurry. Or maybe who we thought we were was no longer in alignment with also being a mother.

And the journey back to being you is tremendously courageous. It’s not easy or comfortable to look inwards and understand your truths. For mothers, it can bring up feelings of guilt to put some of your focus on you.

But stepping into you is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. In fact, it’s your birthright. And knowing you and being you is the greatest gift you can give your children – you can stand tall in your own conviction and be the role model to show them it’s OK for them to be them.  

Steps to being brave enough to be you

Give yourself permission!

Give yourself permission to be you.  Give yourself the permission to look deep within and identify what makes you shine. And then give yourself permission to shine.

Many of us have the tendency to wait to be given permission to do what will make us happier or more fulfilled. This permission may come from friends, your partner, an employer, a coach or mentor. But you don’t need others to grant you permission. You can give yourself permission to be you and shine.

Claim some space to tune in to you

I know you are probably thinking, ‘Space, say what?!?’ I know, you aren’t even able to go to the toilet by yourself, let alone get space to do some soul searching. However, see if you can schedule some time in, just for you. Or maybe you can incorporate it into your day with the children.

I want you to get a blank piece of paper and some colourful pens. Write down all the different things that bring you joy – now and in the past. Acknowledge the things that light your soul on fire. And then sit with the list for a while – could be a few days or a few weeks. Allow yourself some space to see what ideas and inspiration comes up for you. When those ideas do come up – you’ll feel them and notice them in your conversations, write them down too.

Then, here is the important part – when an idea feels right, act on it. It could be making a phone call to join a class, or maybe you want to start a blog or start putting your CV together. Whatever it is, give yourself the space to take the first step.

Find your tribe

This might seem a bit contradictory, but to find you, sometimes you need to find your tribe. The people who ‘get it’. This has been big for me lately. About a year ago I changed work schedules and wasn’t able to make it to my weekly meditation group. I returned recently and had the overwhelming feeling of being back with my tribe. I felt relief at the collective understanding of how good this meditation felt to our souls.

And in the same week, I also joined a laughter yoga class. Again, instantly I felt like I had found my people. I mean, I found a group of people who were willing to really let loose in public! That’s something.

I want to be clear. When I talk about finding your people, it’s about a feeling. It’s a sense of belonging. You don’t even have to know or be friends with your tribe. It’s about having a shared, authentic experience where you give and receive genuine acceptance and support.

Taking the first step to find your people can be daunting. But you will reap the rewards of being brave enough to take that step. Connection and belonging is your birthright.

Reach for a better feeling

Being brave enough to be you will likely bring up some emotions. At times it will be exhilarating. Other times you may feel overcome with fear, panic or anxiety. That’s normal. That’s part and parcel of being brave and making change.

So keep track of your emotions and embrace them. Don’t try to push them down. Feel the way you feel. It’s OK. Embrace the highs and feel the lows.

When you’re in those lows, feel it and then reach for the thought that feels better. Don’t try to jump straight into feeling good. Go to what feels marginally better and repeat.

Your feelings are a guidance system. The better you feel the more on track you are. When you feel not-so-good, then instead of getting stuck there, acknowledge you aren’t being authentic to you, and try to reach for a thought that makes you feel better.

One way to do that is to practice deep breathing. A simple breathing exercise is to breathe in to the count of 4 and out to the count of 8. Repeat until you start feeling better.

These are just some simple ways to help you be more lovingly brave and courageous this year so you can step into you.

Maybe you have some experience in being lovingly courageous and have some other suggestions to add. Or maybe you just want to comment to say, “Yeah, I want to be brave enough to be me. Let’s do this!” What are you going to do as your first step into you? Share with us below, we would love to hear from you!

Cherie Pasion

Cherie Pasion lives up to her name and is passionate about the transformative journey women take when becoming mothers. She is the author of It’s Your Birth… Right? A guide for professional women to calmly transition to motherhood and creator of the popular Affirmations for Mothers cards. When she’s not writing or mentoring, she can often be found dancing in her PJs with her son. You can download a free chapter of her book on her website.

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