Tag Archives: personality

Join the Shoot of “Help Desk” With Michael Beckwith on Feb. 15 in LA!

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“HELP DESK” with

MICHAEL BECKWITH

 *** A NEW SHOW TO AIR ON THE OWN NETWORK ***

WHEN: February 15, 2014

LOCATION: Pine Avenue Pier, Long Beach, CA

               8:30 am –10:30am :     Closed set

  10:30am – 12:30pm :     Help Desk open to public

      12:30pm – 1:00pm      Group Activity

                     

Description:Help Desk is a television show on OWN that features renowned teachers, authors, and experts making themselves available in public spaces to provide advice to anyone who needs it. Help Desk is a deeply substantive series that grounds some of the great wisdom provided by today’s top experts and helps people live better and more fulfilling lives.

Dr. Beckwith is a sought after meditation teacher, conference speaker, and seminar leader. He is the founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center, a trans-denominational community headquartered in Los Angeles. Three of his most recent books are recipients of the prestigious Nautilus Award.

Instructions:

1. Remove any hats with logos

1.  Sit down, introduce yourself!

2.  Give some basic background (Age and profession).

3.  Explain your issue/problem and ask your question!

4. After you’re question is answered get up and allow the next person to step forward

5. Share any final thoughts and reactions in our “testimonial area”

What we are looking for: Michael Beckwith is looking for people seeking advice to help them with a specific life issue or circumstance.  Below are a few examples but we are open to hearing about any particular issues you would like to discuss:

-Dissatisfaction with career/feeling trapped

-Questioning faith or belief in higher power

-Overcoming addiction

-Difficulties with weight loss

-Overcoming specific anxieties or fears

-Divorce or breakup

-Coping with job-loss

-Issues revolving around sexual identity

-Financial hardship

-Sex and relationship issues

-Loss of a family member or friend

Stumped?  Here are some sample questions:

(Keep in mind you must briefly describe a life story or circumstance that relates to the question).

I have a deep fear of “…..” .  How do I overcome this fear?

How do I deal with a family who doesn’t approve of me leaving the faith I was raised with?

How do I get over my breakup with my boyfriend/girlfriend?

How do find balance between my family life and my work life?

How do I cope with loss in my life (divorce, financial loss, job loss)?

Can I be truly happy – and what does it mean to be truly happy?

What steps can I take to discover my purpose and find meaning in life?

How do I forgive someone who hurt me?

I keep repeating the same mistakes – how do I get out of an unhealthy pattern?

How do I find passion for life?

How do I reduce my stress level at work?

5 Quotes from Deepak to Help You De-Stress During the Busy Holiday Season

As we enter the height of the holiday season we know that emotions are running high. It’s an exciting time of year! But with that comes a lot of stress – between family, money, personal and professional success – so there can be a lot of negative thoughts hanging out as well. When trying to think of coping mechanisms to offer our readers naturally the first person who popped into our heads was the man who hasn’t lost his temper in over 20 years. What does he say about stress? There are dozens of Deepak recommended stress relief routes but we compiled a few of our favorite quotes to help you get started.

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Being able to take a step back from a situation that is causing you to go negative can be beyond helpful. In some cases simply being able to let go of a problem because it’s not worth the negative energy is amazing. In others, walking away entirely may not be an option but if you can gain a new perspective you can see a new possible solution that refreshes your efforts and makes the problem easier to solve. If you know that certain situations cause you a higher level of stress then you can create the wherewithal to avoid them.

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Realizing the power, or lack there of, of your thoughts can be really helpful as well. Allow your mind to have them but don’t assign them any particular weight. Take a moment to be silent, allow your mind the thoughts that are causing you so much trouble and then let them go, because they are just that – thoughts. That only changes when you allow them to become actions.

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People constantly underestimate the value of sleep. When you are feeling tired and fatigued, allowing your body to refresh can give you a whole new round of energy to tackle your battles. If you can do yourself just one favor this holiday season make sure it is that you are allowing your body (and thus your mind and spirit) to take a break every once in a while. Being refreshed automatically puts you in a healthier state of mind to take on the tasks of the day.

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Our physical state reflects how we are experiencing the world – so if we stay in a state of stress or negativity it will manifest itself in our physical presence. This is why it is so vital not to dwell in those states. Remember to breathe, walk away if you can, or find the place within yourself where you feel centered and calm. Look for the positive silver linings of a situation to help you wade through the darker aspects. When you have faith that there is a light at the end of the tunnel you create a brighter outlook for yourself and that outlook will also manifest itself physically and give you more motivation to move on.

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Meditation. It is our number one recommended method of detoxing your body and spirit of stress and negativity. You don’t have to spend hours a day – just take two minutes between your tasks to be silent and breathe. Just sixty seconds can allow you to find your center and calm. Taking these mini breaks can help you remain balanced when everyone and everything else is driving you crazy. Every little bit helps and if it stops you from exploding then you’ll feel all that much better for it.

Do you have a favorite quote that helps you de-stress in a moment of panic? Share it with us in the comments below!

The Benefits of a Bilingual Personality

Diversity quiltSince living in Brazil and regularly writing and speaking in Portuguese, I’ve noticed my English speaking and writing personality (the one I’ve had my whole life) isn’t the same as my Portuguese personality (currently in the terrible two stage). I started looking into this more and actually discovered that this is super common for multilingual people.

I’ll share with you my experience having dual personalities and tell you why I think speaking 2 + languages is good for the soul!  Plus, it’s just plain cool to have more than one personality and not be hangin’ out in a psychiatric hospital!

  • You connect with others from the heart

I love using words to connect with others, but it’s nice and refreshing when the connection is based from a place of oneness. When you’re speaking your non-native language people focus more on the energy you give rather than the actual words you use. I think this is cool and it shows that while our minds are amazing tools that allow us to do so many great things (like your ability to read this right now), it’s great to just connect on a heart to heart level. The words, phrase structure, and exact understanding is secondary.

  • You face constant vulnerability, but discover refreshing freedom

Letting go of the need to control that you’re saying what you mean to say (in the way you hope to say it) makes you vulnerable. There is a huge opening for miscommunications (both small and large – and sometimes funny). But at the same time, you gain an exhilarating sense of freedom. My analytical English personality goes out the window. The most important thing to me, in that moment, is having a conversation and connecting with another person. What the person I’m talking to or someone around us thinks about me (based off my word choice, comprehension, or strong American accent) is none of my business.

When you 100% believe that , you easily see that the same principle translates into any language and any person you talk to in your life. That’s freedom baby! This reminds me of a popular affirmation, “The good or bad opinion of others doesn’t affect me”. Speaking another language can help you grasp this idea so much better – and as a result, you’ll be so much happier, at peace, and love yourself unconditionally!

  • You become more direct

I didn’t realize how non-direct I can be in English until Portuguese came into my life. I don’t play word games (not really sure how) or beat around the bush in Portuguese.  I say what I’m thinking and don’t hide behind being appropriate or polite (of course I’m never rude and my body language supports that), and I don’t phrase my words in a sly attempt at achieving the result I secretly hope for (come on, we all can be a little manipulative sometimes). I’ve discovered that I love being direct and it’s translating to my English personality too!

The real you has nothing to do with your job, language skills, where you live, how much money you have in the bank, what type of car you drive (or if you drive), or any other material and ego centered status. Your second language personality helps you see this more clearly. You realize that who you are truly is something beyond what you typically spend you days worrying or thinking about. The real you simply hangs out inside you, waiting for you to connect with its awesomeness.  It doesn’t have any problems, complaints, concerns, or worries. Connecting to the “real” you allows you to experience a more peaceful and rewarding time in the material world – regardless of your circumstances.

  • You have another avenue of self expression

After you realize that your personalities are not the real you (the real you is spirit and is innately connected to everyone and everything in the whole universe), you can choose to use your ability to communicate in more than one language as another avenue of self expression. This allows you to connect with more people, express yourself in different ways according to languages and cultures, and simply learn more about the depth of life.

Do you have multiple language personalities?  Can you relate to my experience? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.  

photo by: OregonDOT

What Kind of Person Are You? The Four Rubin Tendencies

hogwarts housesBack by popular demand–the four Rubin Tendencies (I keep changing the name of this framework. Any suggestions or comments welcome. Do you like the Rubin Character Index Better?)

It’s very important to know ourselves, but self-knowledge is challenging.  I’m like a Muggle Sorting Hat! I sort everyone into four categories, which describe how people tend to respond to expectations: outer expectations (a deadline, a “request” from a sweetheart) and inner expectations (write a novel in your free time, keep a New Year’s resolution).

Your response to expectations may sound slightly obscure, but it turns out to be very, very important.

In a nutshell:

  • Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations (I’m an Upholder, 100%)
  • Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense (myhusband is a Questioner)
  • Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike
  • Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves

I recently gave a talk at LinkedIn about the Rubin Character Index, so if you’d like to see me discuss each category in  a video, you can watch: for Upholders, watch here; Questioners, here;  Rebels, here, and Obligers, here.

From my observation, I can say with confidence that Rebel is the smallest category, then Upholder–this was a shock to me. I didn’t realize how few people are Upholders. Many things became clear to me once I realized this. Most people are Questioners or Obligers.

Obligers are the folks who are the most likely to say they wish they were in a different category. They say things like, “I wish I weren’t a people-pleaser” or “I wish I could take time for myself.”

Do you find yourself within this framework? If so, does it help you understand how to manage yourself better? Figuring out the Tendencies helped me understand myself, and it has also made it much easier for me to understand other people’s perspectives. Fact is, most people don’t see things the way we Upholders do.

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Between October 1-31, my friends Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest — co-authors of the terrific book Minimalist Parenting — are donating 100% of the royalties for books purchased here to WOMEN AT RISK, an Ethiopian organization that helps women lift themselves out of prostitution. Click here for more info.

“Oppositional Conversational Style”: Why Some People Just Have to Be Right

shutterstock_97220924Back by popular demand is the assay I wrote about the “oppositional conversational style.” This post really seems to strike a chord with people.

Which surprised, me at first, because when I identified OCS, I thought I was the only person who had ever noticed it. Turns out that many people have noticed it! From both sides of the OCS-dominated conversation.

A person with oppositional conversational style is a person who, in conversation, disagrees with and corrects whatever you say. He or she may do this in a friendly way, or a belligerent way, but this person frames remarks in opposition to whatever you venture.

I noticed this for the first time in a conversation with a guy a few months ago. We were talking about social media, and before long, I realized that whatever I’d say, he’d disagree with me. If I said, “X is important,” he’d say, “No, actually, Y is important.” For two hours. And I could tell that if I’d said, “Y is important,” he would’ve argued for X.

I saw this style again, in a chat with friend’s wife who, no matter what casual remark I made, would disagree. “That sounds fun,” I observed. “No, not at all,” she answered. “That must have been really difficult,” I said. “No, for someone like me, it’s no problem,” she answered. Etc.

Since those conversations, I’ve noticed this phenomenon several times.

Here are my questions about oppositional conversational style:

  • Is OCS a strategy that particular people use consistently? Or is there something about me, or about that particular conversation, that induced these people to use it?
  • Along those lines, is OCS a way to try to assert dominance, by correction? That’s how it feels, and also…
  • Do people who use OCS recognize this style of engagement in themselves; do they see a pattern in their behavior that’s different from that of most other people?
  • Do they have any idea how tiresome it can be?

In the case of the first example, my interlocutor used OCS in a very warm, engaging way. Perhaps, for him, it’s a tactic to drive the conversation forward and to keep it interesting. This kind of debate did indeed throw up a lot of interesting insights and information. But, I must admit, it was wearing.

In the second example, the contradictory responses felt like a challenge.

I described oppositional conversational style to my husband and asked if he knew what I was talking about. He did, and he warned me, “Watch out! Don’t start thinking about this, and then start to do it yourself.”

I had to laugh, because he knows me very well. I have a strong tendency towards belligerence—for instance, it’s one reason I basically quit drinking—and I could easily fall into OCS. (I just hope I don’t exhibit OCS already, which is quite possible.)

But I do recognize that to be on the receiving end of the oppositional conversational style—to have someone keep telling you that you’re wrong, over and over—is not pleasant.

It’s wearing at best, and often highly annoying. Even in the case of my first example, when the OCS had a fun, friendly spirit, it took a lot of self-command for me to stay calm and un-defensive. Many points could have been made in a less “Let me set you straight” way.

And in the second example, I felt patronized. Here I was, trying to make pleasant conversation, and she kept contradicting me. It was all I could do not to roll my eyes and retort, “Fine, whatever, actually I don’t care if you had fun or not.”

Now, I’m not arguing that everyone should agree all the time. Nope. I love a debate (and I’m trained as a lawyer, which definitely has made me more comfortable, perhaps too comfortable, with confrontation). But it’s not much fun when every single statement in a casual conversation is met with,“Nope, you’re wrong; I’m right.” Skillful conversationalists can explore disagreements and make points in ways that feel constructive and positive, rather than combative or corrective.

What do you think? Do you recognize it in other people–or in yourself? How I love to try to identify patterns in human behavior. Abstainers and moderators. Over-buyers and under-buyers. Alchemists and leopards. Etc.

If you’d like to get a copy of my Happiness Paradoxes, or the Top Tips sheets, email me your request, and I’ll send it right out.

QUIZ: Are You an Upholder, Questioner, Rebel, or Obliger?

fourinawordMore questions about the Four Rubin Tendencies.

I’m still obsessed with the four categories I’ve developed–which, for lack of a better name, I’m currently calling the Four Rubin Tendencies. Or maybe I’m calling it the Rubin Character Index. Which name do you like better?

These categories describe how people tend to respond to expectations: outer expectations (a deadline, a “request” from a sweetheart) and inner expectations (write a novel in your free time, train for a marathon).

To learn more about the Four Rubin Tendencies, read here and here. In a nutshell:

Upholders respond readily to both inner and outer expectations

Questioners question all expectations, but will follow expectations if they think the expectations are sensible (effectively making all expectations into inner expectations)

Rebels resist all expectations

Obligers meet outer expectations but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves

Note: When I write about this framework, people often try to match it up with existing frameworks. From  what I can see, this  exercise doesn’t work very well. Every framework captures something different, and to try to make them all equivalent makes them weaker, not stronger. Also, my framework looks at a very specific aspect of human nature: how people respond to expectations. It doesn’t purport to predict other aspects of personality, such as extroversion. Just how a person responds to expectations.

I’m still working on refining these types, and I’d love to hear what you have to say about the following questions. Obviously no one would answer all these questions, but if one strikes a particular chord with you, I’d be interested in your reaction.

–If you consider yourself a Rebel, you resist other people’s expectations. How do you feel about imposing expectations on others? Do you resist that, or is that not as difficult? For instance, how would you feel about imposing a deadline on your colleagues, or making your children do yard-work? Do you get angry or annoyed when other people don’t meet your expectations, or do you think, “No problem.”

–Along the same lines, Rebels, you probably don’t like working in a hierarchy, but maybe you can do so if you’re the boss. If you’re a Rebel in charge of other people, how do you feel about an expectation imposed by someone who works for you? Say, you’re asked by an underling to review a document. Do you feel less resistant to that expectation, because the person works for you?

– Are you chronically tardy? Often enough that people complain about it? If so, what’s your category? On the other hand, are you chronically early? What’s your category? I’m pathologically prompt, myself. If you’re chronically late/early  only in specific situations, what are those situations?

Do you find yourself not meeting an expectation from a respected source, because you’re not convinced that it’s justified? E.g., your doctor says you should take a specific medication, but you’re just not convinced it’s necessary, so you don’t. Or a colleague says you need to hand something in by Friday, but you don’t think it’s needed until the next Wednesday, so you don’t finish it. If so, what category are you in? (Obviously, no one is going to follow completely arbitrary or nonsensical expectations; I mean a situation where you believe those arguments haven’t been made.)

–Some people hate the idea of building regular habits or having a life of routine. If this describes your views, what category do you fit in? On the other hand, some people love the idea of building regular habits, and embrace routine. Like me. If this describes your views, what category do you fit in?

–A long time ago, I came across an intriguing term in the discussion of a then-boom in butler services, in a piece by Robert Frank: the “service heart.”

And many household managers talked with pride about what they call “the service heart”— the joy of giving their employers exactly what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. As butler student Dawn Carmichael told me, “I loved knowing what made my employer happy. I know that sounds weird, but making him happy made me happy.”

Would you describe yourself as having a service heart? If so, what category do you fit in?

– If you’re in a longtime relationship, what’s your category, and what’s your sweetheart’s category? I’m an Upholder, and my husband is a Questioner with a tendency to Uphold.

–Big question: If you identify as an Upholder, Questioner, Rebel, or Obliger, how do you feel about your category? Do you like belonging in it? Do you wish you were in a different category?

Despite the drawbacks, I love being an Upholder and wouldn’t want to be in a different category, though with time and (I hope) greater wisdom I’ve learned to be more of a Questioner (this is something that my husband’s example has helped me to do better). But an Upholder friend told me he doesn’t like being an Upholder, because of our craving for gold stars.

Your responses and observations welcome! You may think I talk about this a lot on the blog, but that’s nothing to how much I talk about it in real life.

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photo by: danibelle2906

Mindy Kaling’s Rules For Writing in a “Voice Checklist.”

mindy-kaling-mindy-projectI’m a huge fan of Mindy Kaling. She is one of the geniuses behind one of my very favorite TV shows, The Office–and also played the great character, Kelly Kapoor. I love her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). And I’m looking forward to binge-watching her newish TV show, The Mindy Project. (Added bonus: I love anything that’s an “___ Project.”)

Mindy Kaling also gave one of my favorite happiness interviews here. One great passage: “When I was 18 years old, I took a semester off from college and was an intern at Late Night With Conan O’Brien. It was the most glamorous job I ever had, and I idolized the writers there. I remember lying in bed every night telling myself that if I ever got a job as a comedy writer, I would be so happy and all my dreams would have come true. Six years later I got that job, working on The Office. I felt incredibly happy and grateful for a about a week, and then a whole new set of complaints set in. This would’ve shocked and disgusted my 18-year-old self. It’s helpful to remember the younger version of me because it reminds me to feel grateful when I want to be snotty.”

Mindy Kaling was on the cover of Entertainment Weekly this week, and the accompanying article included “Mindy’s Rules for Writing,” which is the “voice checklist” that hangs in her writers’ room. “The truth is,” she explained, “it’s much easier to write a bunch of mean zingers.”

Characters are helpful and kind.

No one is a moron.

Characters are polite.

Conflict should never come from a desire to be cruel or mean.

Do not fear nuance. Comedy from avoiding conflict, not instigating it.

Characters don’t have to be maxed out to be funny.

To me, this list also suggests how TV writers can avoid cliche. We’re also so familiar with the tired stock characters, the broad insults, the unrealistically extreme behavior that falls into the same patterns. These kinds of rules make it fresh.

What do you think of these rules?

If you’re reading this post through the daily email, click here to join the conversation. And if you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up here.

Also …

  • Are you reading Happier at Home or The Happiness Project in a book group? Email me if you’d like the one-page discussion guide. Or if you’re reading it in a spirituality book club, a Bible study group, or the like, email me for the spirituality one-page discussion guide.

Deepak Chopra: Which “Wizard of Oz” Character Are You?

Discover the wizard in you! In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak sits down with scholar and philosopher Jean Houston to discuss her new book, The Wizard of Us.” Using the story of “The Wizard of Oz” as a roadmap, Houston unpacks the various archetypes encountered on a journey of transformation. Everyone has the potential to be extraordinary, if we can tap into that seed and manifest our true selves.

Are you a timid lion? An emotional tin man? Which character inspires you most, and which particular hero’s quest have you found yourself on?

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Do You Like Dividing the World Up Into Categories?

08-07-10 I See The Same Old Warning SignsI love taxonomies, categories, ways of dividing people into groups. If you’re the same way, take these quizzes to find out what categories describe you:

1. Are you an under-buyer or an over-buyer? I’m an under-buyer.

2. Are you an abstainer or a moderator? I’m an abstainer, 100%.

3. Are you an alchemist or a leopard? I’m an alchemist.

4. Are you a radiator or a drain? I try to be a radiator.

5. Are you a finisher or an opener? I’m a finisher.

6. Are you a satisficer or a maximizer (yes, these are real words). I’m a satisficer.

7. Are you more drawn to simplicity or to abundance? I’m more drawn to simplicity.

8. Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore? I’m a bit of both, but writing about happiness has definitely brought out my Tigger qualities. (I write a lot about the conflict between these two categories in Happier at Home.)

9. Are you a marathoner or a sprinter? (categories formerly known as “tortoises and hares,” but I changed the terms). I’m a marathoner.

Putting myself into categories is fun, and I think it also gives me insight into my own nature. When I see myself more clearly, I can more easily see ways that I might do things differently, to make myself happier.

Categories can be unhelpful, however, when they become too all-defining, or when they become an excuse. “Oh, I can’t be expected to resist eating the cookies in the cupboard, I’m an abstainer.”

Do you find it helpful to consider these kinds of categories? Or too constraining?

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I am that I am

I-am

 This is me up there. Yes, that is what I Am. I talk with nature. Trees teach me how to be alive on Earth, and rocks, and big cats. I received a lesson from a panther only a few days ago, it taught me how to be present and not collapse when I am surrounded by people. It was a valuable lesson at the time, especially given my limited experience with human interactions. I do not look for those.

It is not that I don’t enjoy them, at a certain level, but they are not as fulfilling, not as open as relationships with nature. Human interactions require words and concepts. I find words and concepts limited and shallow.

I do not believe that the mind is the be-all and end-all of human perception. I find the mind to be pitifully small and constricted, utterly unable to comprehend reality. I am not my mind.

I am my body and my life and the world and by feeling it, by being present with it, I shift it, I affect it, I redesign it. I clean up the trauma that causes sickness to heal my body. I do not require medication to deal with sickness, pain or  inflammation. I bring myself up from a collapse to allow my life to flow smoothly when there are problems or lack of any sort. I do not require marketing to attract clients or money.

I enjoy the idea of dying one day. It will be a spectacular adventure and I am looking forward to it. Because I know what I am. And I remember when I chose to be born. I know why I chose it, and I know why I was born to my parents. I know that I did not begin with this birth and I will not end with this coming death. I know that I have no beginning nor ending at all.

I do not mind pain nor fear, I experience it as a natural element of growing in places where I need to grow.

I do not believe that there is such a thing as a tragedy. I do not believe there is such a thing as wrong, evil, bad, nor do I believe there is good nor right.

I do believe that values, moralities, ethics are nothing more than stories created by human minds to manage trauma.

I do not believe that anyone deserves or doesn’t deserve anything. I do not believe that anyone is entitled to anything. I believe that I create my own experience. I believe that everyone creates their own experience.

All of it.

This is me. This is what I am.

This is what I am hiding. This is what I have been hiding since I was a little child because, even when what I was was not clear to me, I could feel what I wasn’t. This awareness caused pain when I was a girl wanting to fit in. This awareness caused a discomfort when I was a young woman wanting to belong. This awareness caused great joy once I grew into myself, but the pain is still there. Scars left by the fear of rejection tighten my skin still, become inflamed when rubbed.

It got rubbed during the last few days. The scars got rubbed until they throbbed with pain, and the pain brought out the childish misery and that, in turn, brought out the rebellion. And anger.

“I will not hide anymore,” I thought.

I am not yet entirely recovered. The scars, mostly gone, left raw flesh in their wake. It itches still and so I am not as gentle, as gracious and considerate as I might be. And so I write in this way. Clearly, openly and straightforwardly.

And yes, it scares me, but the fear does not bother me. The fear is simply a natural element of me growing in this place where I was afraid, where I am afraid, to own myself fully.

In this place where I am that I am.

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