In the Just Say Yes Now! universe, truth triumphs. Not just truth as in factual bits and bytes of information — but the truth of who you are at the unfettered core of your being. Let’s face it: If you’re not embracing your personal truth, you’re creating a life based on one big fat lie, or a series of untruths that will eventually bite you from behind.
Want to live the authentic life you were put here to live? Try these 5 steps:
1. Uncover, Discover, or Recover Your Truth. Dig beyond whatever your parents, your culture, your church, your government, your partner, your friends, your gurus, or your inner critics told you you should do and be. Underneath the layers of other opinions, you will find the spark that is you and always has been. She never stopped calling your name — even though you may not have been in a position to listen.
If you have spent your entire life envisioning yourself as a teacher, an artist, a mother, a minister, a builder, a businessowner, a leader, a healer, or (Fill In The Blank Here!), you’re not making it up! If you knew what and who you were at age nine or twelve – and then were redirected by social or familial conditioning – you can still retrieve the truth that lies within you. Your dreams, desires and visions are real and always have been! Be prepared to get your hands dirty and to do some heavy spiritual lifting. Get assistance if you need, but begin with this all-important excavation, and begin as soon as you can.
2. Embrace Your Truth. If you’ve been repressing, denying, or just plain ignoring your truth, be prepared to give it some extra TLC. Who can thrive when they’ve been dissed for decades? Wouldn’t you be a bit hesitant to leap into the light of day if you had been stuffed at the back of the closet with the old clothes and piles of unfinished projects for a lifetime?
When I stepped into my 40s, I decided to start loving the truth that I’m a writer – instead of decrying the fact that I was not Toni Morrison. Tears streaming down my face, I repeated over and over “I am a writer,” until I believed it. Later, in my 50s (where I still reside), I finally got proud and loud about the fact that although I possess a solid head for business, I am neither motivated nor exhilarated by money. After years of being misunderstood and judged for my open heart and deepening spirit, I finally donned the mantle of the poet, spiritualist, inspiratrix, and change agent — and rejected the notion that my multidimensional view of reality reflected any lack or diminished capacity whatsoever. Yes!, it has taken a long time and a lot of inner work and outer struggle; and Yes! every step has been worth it. It is never – repeat, Never! – too late to embrace your most fervent truth.
3. Express Your Truth. Once you embrace, honor and celebrate the truth of who you are, it’s time to embody and express that energy. The longer energy sits without moving, the more you can anticipate experiencing emotional, physical, and spiritual/psychic symptoms of dis-ease. Stagnant energy will turn inward, block the free flow of creativity, joy and peace – and leave you exhausted and devitalized much of the time. You can certainly choose that mode of living if you prefer, but isn’t it worth trying something different?
Embodied expression can take myriad forms: writing, painting, cooking, sewing, gardening, interior design, crafts, fly-fishing, travel, singing, dancing, mentoring, handwork, (Fill in The Blank Here!) Begin to express your truth in small, private ways. Speak your truth in the bathroom; draw your truth in the sand at the beach; pour your truth into your home, office or yard. Just get it moving!
4. Protect Your Truth. Uh-oh, here come the naysayers and dream destroyers! Be mindful about spilling your tender beans too early and to the wrong people. Think of a brood hen, who sits patiently while her egg prepares to hatch. Choose carefully the people and environments in which you begin to express your newly unfolding truth. You may feel vulnerable, as if your nerve endings are poking through your skin with no protection. Don’t be surprised if those people who have known you the longest are the ones most ready to project their fears, inadequacies, and self-loathing onto you.
Find new friends and intentional family, if you must. Seek out others who will support you, encourage your efforts at self-actualization, and assist you without attempting to save or rescue. Create space for them to enter your life by disconnecting from others who offer you little but drama, negativity, and judgment. Trust your instincts above all else. Why would you want to be close to those who will not or cannot love you for the truth of who you are? If you are feeling fearful, hesitant, or downright resistant to expressing your true self in certain company, pay attention!
5. Live Your Truth. Once you have discovered, embraced, expressed, and protected the truth of who you are, you are on your way to living your truth fully. It may feel awkward at first, as you take your early tentative steps. You are learning to be in a new way. You are creating new pathways and patterns for the manner in which you experience your very existence — and may face challenges from belief systems and ways of being that are none too happy to give up their long-held status.
However, if you are committed to making true change in your life, you will hang in there through the tough times and reap the rewards as you go. You will begin to feel better, to look better, and to attract others who share your desire to create nourishing, satisfying and juicy lives. You will say Yes, please! from your heart and, when appropriate, you will say No, thank you! from your belly.
Whether you have been waiting to (Fill In The Blank Here!) or (Fill In The Blank Here!) or simply want to experience more (Fill In The Blank Here!) and less (Fill In The Blank Here!), put your hand over your own heart and promise to honor your truth, your whole truth, and nothing but your truth. So help you, (Fill In The Blank Here!)