I just want to be me!
These are words I’ve said many, many times.
It’s tricky, the internal seesaw I ride between a desire to respectfully follow rules and a spirit highly motivated by freedom. For two decades I believed I had vast amounts of autonomy, but a few years ago some walls got kicked down and I’m gratefully overwhelmed by the expanse of freedom I’m now swimming in.
August is the month where I turn another year older and my good friend asked, “What do you want for your birthday?” Well, aside from heaping piles of crab legs dripping with salty, clarified butter? I just want to be me! More of me! All of me!
I want to continue exploring every metaphorical nook and cranny of my mind, thoughts, spirit and soul.
It’s not that I haven’t been me.
Aren’t we all operating as ourselves? At least, to the best of our ability, in some moments better than others?
However, with each rotation around the sun, I’m coming to understand what Oprah meant when she said, her life really didn’t begin until she hit 40.
There seems to be a knowing that comes with experience. A certainty and ease we have, embracing both who we are and who we are not.
In any relationship, the longer we’re in it, the more we come to understand the other. Like an onion, the layers of what makes individuals impeccably talented and unique are peeled back over time. And each interaction reveals the parts that come naturally and others that take work. It’s not isolated to the human race, or even living breathing organisms. It includes entities, companies, organizations, non-profits, communities, races and generations. Really, anything that has a lifespan.
Yet, with all the clients I see, the companies they own and organizations they lead, over and over its affirmed that THE MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP TO NURTURE is the one with yourself! When that’s not on solid footing, everything else feels off kilter.
Through our life, there is nobody we will ever spend more time with, and the healthiness of that relationship influences everything!
It determines the level to which you can be authentically present.
It impacts confidence levels.
It earns the right to influence.
And it reveals how selflessly you can serve others.
Even if they can’t put a finger on it, people know when a leader isn’t bringing their “A” game. And if you’ve ever been an athlete, you know it takes training and repetition to bring an “A” game as much as humanly possible. That same commitment and dedication of time can be directed inward, in getting to know yourself.
For the same reason I put anti-virus software on my computer, protection from the wild and crazy threats that exist, I will be spending more time this year cultivating my relationship with myself. I want to be a better coach for my clients, more effective speaker for audiences and the best version of Halle to everyone that crosses my path.
On this birthday, I just want to be me, and my hope is that you consider giving this valuable gift to yourself!