Aligning With Your Authenticity

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As I strolled down Charles Street in Beacon Hill on my way to work this morning, I thought about a certain spring day about a year and a half ago.  I had a meeting which required me to wear “business professional” attire, something I dropped from my wardrobe years ago.  Every time I hear “business professional,” I get a pit in my stomach and can practically smell burnt coffee in break room kitchens.

As a fashion marketer and creative person, nothing makes me cringe more than a suit jacket or stodgy pair of pants.  I can’t even remember what the meeting was for that day, but I’m assuming it was some kind of administrative job interview that would be “stable.”  Ever since graduating college ten years ago, I have been torn between following my heart and being practical, not realizing I could do both.  I’ve been freelancing since 2008 but have worked a variety of jobs which bored me to tears.  I never have done well with rules or set guidelines- I love a challenge, taking ownership, or anything entrepreneurial.

Anyway, I felt gross and uncomfortable after the meeting.  I grabbed a coffee and changed into my signature little black dress.  Whew!  Feeling a million times better, I snapped a selfie in front of Chanel and headed to see an actor I was dating who lived on Park Avenue (I can tell you which Wolf of Wall Street or Broad City scenes he was in, if you’d like).  My life has never been vanilla, and it never will be.  

I finally accept that this is okay.

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I used to think something was wrong with me; nothing in life seemed fulfilling and I constantly craved change.

As I unsuccessfully tried to live on freelance projects, a family member scolded me about my New York lifestyle.  “I didn’t move to New York City to sit in an office all day!” I cried.  I sat with guilt and shame for months about this, wondering if I was a failure at life.  Although my heart continually told me to follow my dreams and stick with something creative, in the back of my mind I thought, “what will people think or say?”  At that point in time I still hadn’t acknowledged or accepted my authentic self- I was one foot in, one foot out.  Now I realize that opportunities didn’t work out because I didn’t believe in myself.

Who will believe in you if you don’t?

This past year may not have been easy, but it has been wonderful.  I have devoted my time to learning who I am, writing, and developing a strong spiritual foundation.  I could continue to try and fit in the “box” of society or to live the “American Dream,” but that would never make me happy.  It’s just not me.

Each day I seem to learn something new and feel more and more comfortable speaking up and standing in my truth.  I wasn’t born to live out someone else’s dream or to do what my family expects of me- I’m on this earth to listen to what my heart tells me and to share my talents and skills where I am lead.

Today as I approached work, wearing a little black dress and flats, I admired the beautiful Public Garden.  “This is life,” I thought.  After all of my experiences, struggles, and self doubt, I am beyond grateful to have a balance between creativity and stability.  Thanks to having faith, a little courage and a lot of passion, I have aligned myself with opportunities that suit my lifestyle, my talents, and have found people who appreciate me for me- not my resume or a suit jacket.

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Protecting Yourself

Something strange happened last week.  In the middle of my morning commute, a man started yelling on the train.  I’m no stranger to disrupters on public transit or unstable people shouting profanities, but this man was shouting directly at me.  

“Bitch,” “snob,” “rich asshole.”

I felt sick to my stomach.  Hidden behind my sunglasses on the train, I tried to look away, but couldn’t help it.  I looked over.

“That snobby bitch knows I’m talking about her!”

My heart started to race as I quickly turned my head in the other direction.  I looked down at my $5, falling apart Primark commuting shoes.  I thought about the $40 that was currently in my bank account.  I thought about all the struggles I’ve faced these past few months, and how grateful I was to have a job to commute to.

I hardly felt like a snob.  In fact, I felt extremely self conscious for wearing the same dress two days that week, and for my shredding black ballet flats.  I wanted to yell back, or maybe cry, but mainly my gut told me to gracefully sit there and ignore him.  Everyone on the train could think what they wanted- I’d rise above it.

I’ve thought about the train incident a lot this past week.  Although it was embarrassing and even a little scary, it taught me a lesson.  For years- ever since grade school- I’ve hid behind my own mask in one form or another.  Whether it was through success, relationships, clothing, or creating, I wasn’t comfortable showing who I really was in fear of being rejected or judged.  I couldn’t handle criticism, so I avoided and hid.

It’s interesting to reflect on pain, and how it shaped the person you have become.

The bullies were what gave me my aloof shell- to walk fast, to focus on myself, and to ignore.  

The rejection from my peers is what gave me the strength to be independent, to move to new places, to embrace my uniqueness, and to focus on my creative side.  

Being called “ugly” in junior high made me determine what I thought was beautiful within myself, so I stuck with my own look and style that made me feel good.

My broken family is what gave me the ability to adapt, to embrace change, to live adventurously, and to make a home out of anywhere I go. 

Perhaps some may perceive a quick thinking, fast walking, all-black wearing, cut-to-the-chase type of woman as someone who is cold and indifferent, but in my case, it helps to keep me safe.  My protective shell has been there with me through long NYC nights, cross country moves, career disappointment, heartbreak, failure, and shame.  It has helped me rise up, start again, and pick up where I left off- but better.

My past may not have been easy, but it has made me strong.  Others can think what they want, but they will never know what’s behind someone else’s shell unless they open their minds and hearts.


Getting Into Alignment

My life over this past year has been proof that my thoughts and attitude determines my future.  I’ve experienced both the good and the bad, and upon reflecting on the outcomes, I discovered a common link: my perception.

Doubt, uncertainty, and worries are a natural part of the human condition, but you know what?  They don’t serve.

I’ve noticed that when I view the world as the beautiful place that it is, good things continually happen to me.  When I stop trying to control the outcome, I receive unexpected messages, meet kind people, find new opportunities, and feel better.  

It starts with focusing on how you want to feel and truly believing in what is in your heart.  Push logic aside, think about what your authentic self wants, and take action.

When I view this world as magical place and when I envision myself as free and prosperous, my life begins to flow.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Abraham Hicks these past couple of weeks and thought about Esther’s insight on getting into the “vortex.”  I used to focus so deeply on what I didn’t want, only to find a chaotic world around me.  

A friend of mine shared her experience about this the other day.  She told me that everyone doubted her as she applied for nursing school; she said everyone laughed and said she would never get in.  Despite her grades, she believed so deeply in her heart that she would get into one of the best schools here in Boston.  She did.  

If you’re in alignment with what is in your heart, and you truly believe in what your soul is telling you, the universe will deliver.  It’s plain and simple.  However, if you continually compare yourselves to others and try to fit into what society tells you, you’re no longer in alignment; you’re pushing your intuition aside and stepping out of the vortex that Abraham describes.

I’d love to hear any stories you have about the law of attraction working in your own lives.  Ask, believe, receive!

Today, I want to feel good, create, learn, and love.  Instead of focusing on the past or worrying about the future, I intend to follow my heart, open my arms to abundance, and listen to what the universe is trying to tell me.