I was recently asked to share my tips about how to be me and living my life. I laughed for awhile about that. Tips on how to be ME??? WHY would anyone want to read about that???
I noticed I immediately dug in my heels and said, “Absolutely not.” As I experienced my vehemence, I looked deeper and asked myself, “Angie! What the hell is up with you???”
What I discovered is, I spent the bulk of my younger years trying to be what I thought everyone else wanted me to be. If they weren’t telling me what they wanted me to be, how to behave, how to think, what to choose, then I just looked at them and figured out what they would say and gave them that. I was very unhappy living life this way and frustrated beyond belief because I could never measure up to the critic’s voice.
I don’t want to tell you how to be me. However, I am willing to share with you things that I’ve learned about becoming me so that maybe you can find some truth or practices for you that you can use on your journey to becoming you.
So, as you read this inconclusive list of steps I have taken along my path, things I have discovered to work for me, and my little tools, then ask yourself how you can apply them to your life. I invite you to read and ask, “How can I adapt this to creating me?”
- Willingness. Just like the Ten Commandments, this is the first step in my journey to becoming ME. And, honestly, it will be the first step in any journey. Without willingness, there is no movement.
- Love Myself. Ugh… this was probably the hardest concept for me to understand, although the simplest concept once understood. I had a hard time fathoming what “love yourself, Angie” really meant. Some things I tried as I grew in love with myself: treating myself as I treat my lover – speaking lovingly and kindly, apologizing when I do not, making it right after I apologize; notice when I feel joy and love around others and invoke situations where I feel that for myself; listen to my thoughts and interrupt the ones that are destroying me from within.
- Accountability. Taking note of where I have served myself and where I have destroyed myself, where I have supported others and where I have been destructive. Speaking that to myself and to them.
- Forgiveness. This is a biggie. Forgiveness is never for the other person. It is always for me. It is for giving me freedom. This goes hand-in-hand with accountability because I cannot forgive myself or another if I am unwilling (ha!) to be accountable for these things first.
- Surrender and Let Go. Another tough concept that finally I came to understand when I was asked to hold onto running water, to grasp it and to hold it still. It was impossible and a struggle that only created a mess. However, when I opened my hand – stopped attempting to hold on – it flowed through my fingers gently.
- Dare to Dream. I chose, for a very long time, to disallow any form of dreaming in my world – day and night. I stopped looking for the visions and the big, beautiful pictures that had once been a very present part of my life. What I discovered that, as a visionary, dreaming is living. When I stopped dreaming, I also stopped living. They are tightly interwoven for me and both are priceless. Keeping a dream journal has been an invaluable tool for me.
- Gratitude and Appreciation. This is, literally, a life saving technique for me. When I have been in my darkest moments, Spirit has whispered to me, “Angie, for what are you grateful?” And, each time that I have been willing (yup) to look for something to feel grateful about and express appreciation for, I have felt my spirits rise. One of my most treasured belongings when I was going through my divorce was my Gratitude Journal. I made a point every single evening before going to bed to find 5 things to express gratitude about. It continually shifted my perspective from darkness to Light.
- Magic. It is everywhere. Some call it “mystery.” Some call it “miracles.” Looking for it, embracing it, welcoming it, and invoking it is transformational for me. Recognizing my innate magic has been a gift that continually gives to me.
- Find My Sense of Humor. Being too serious about life is draining. Taking myself too seriously is also draining. Finding a way to laugh with life, laugh with the mistakes, laugh with the transformation is such a beneficial gift. It makes the difficult times to be lighter and the wonderful times to be that much greater.
- Express Love. Take every opportunity to express love to those who mean the world to me. Every opportunity. Life moves quickly and sometimes, if I choose to skip the opportunity, I may lose it forever, suddenly. So… always express love to those I love.
- Commit and move forward. No. Matter. What. When I’m deciding on a path, I follow the choice that lights me up, that makes my heart sing. And then I commit to moving forward no matter what. And, if I come to a dead end, I choose again. But, the key is… I make a choice and follow it through. No. Matter. What.
I always welcome your thoughts, questions, and comments.
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