Tag Archives: true identity

Should a Marriage License Have an Expiration Date?

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 11.34.54 PMI was working out early morning in my local Life Fitness Club next to six guys (45-62 years-old) who were lifting weights before playing their regular competitive game of racquet ball. They forgot that I was in the room as I quietly did abdominal crunches and planks on the floor. Consequently, I overheard a conversation which made me sit up (forgive the pun) and pay attention as one of the guys, a cardiologist, said, “A marriage license should be valid for ten year-increments with the option of renewal just like a driver’s license.  And you know what will happen? The divorce rate will plummet.”

Another member of the posse, a dermatologist, was asked for his opinion and he confessed that he did not have one as he never spoke about relationship matters because his words might get back to his wife. Another guy, a venture capitalist, asserted if a marriage license could expire, then nobody would stay married. The local wedding caterer asked what the economic formula would be if the marriage was not renewed and what would happen to the children?

To their surprise I interrupted, “I think marriages will be better than ever! Around the 8th or 9th year married people will try harder, even campaign to hold on to their spouse for another ten years. The romance would rev up.” The proponent of the idea did not agree with me. He seemed eager to walk away from his 25 year relationship – if he could.

The parallels between getting a marriage and driver’s license:

  • You need an eye “I” exam- a certain level of good vision to see signs and changes down the road. Do you really see your spouse, the person in front of you, even though you finish their sentences and interrupt?
  • You must bring proof of identity. Do you know who you really are and where you are going? What do you do to support your authentic self?
  • Are you always in the driver’s seat, a passenger, or a bit of both?
  • You need your social security number; in other words, are you secure socially to go it alone or do you want your sidekick?

Couples can either grow together or apart; some of us go through the motions of living together, stuck in a marriage with a spouse who has become a stranger. Others experience life with a loving team mate, feeling happier and healthier. If you knew your marriage license was up for renewal, what would you do differently? What would you want the license to do?

Guess what – I’m human!

Smoke This!I think people have a fear of being found out.

I know this because I once had this same fear. This fear of being caught with my hand in the non-organic, sugar laden, big corporation labeled cookie jar instead of a raw, homemade dessert with DIY edible decorations. I have feared the wrath of my peers at not having read that book or been to that seminar, and having instead chosen to spend my weekend watching reruns of Hannah Montana with my kids, taking a trip to McDonald’s to eat a dead cow (I hope it’s a cow, whatever!), and letting them frolic in the play area while I perused the latest issue of my favorite gossip magazine (because sometimes you gotta know who cheated on who, right?). And I admit it: right now as I write this, I am enjoying a cup of Folgers coffee and smoking a cigarette.

I used to be afraid of being seen as flawed, as not “spiritual” enough. I was afraid people would see the missing eye on my blissed out bunny slippers or hear me snore during that last 15 minutes of yoga class, when what I should have doing was meditating.

So, like many of my friends, I scoffed at those around me who accidentally let their humanness slip out. I judged and sighed knowingly and gazed upon that lost soul with that look – you know, that look you get from someone who has decided they are somehow better than you, that they have tasted the elixir of enlightenment and you just don’t have the right stuff to play in their galaxy or dimension, that they are taking their unicorn and going home. But with each sigh, with each judging gaze of my blinded by light and bliss eyes, deep down inside I wished I, too, could just take off my crystals and that itchy hemp shirt and just wear my Walmart shorts and eat a Nestle ice cream and be okay with that, too.

I looked around me and saw that so many were struggling to keep up with the Jones, or I should say the Chopra’s (wink wink). This being spiritual thing is exhausting. It seemed ironic that the idea of living a spiritual life was supposed to mean living without judgment, but let’s be honest here, there seems to be a lot of judgment around what it means to be spiritual.

So what’s a girl to do who just wants to have some peace in her life, be happy and find joy, love and be loved, feel good about the world, who sometimes has wild experiences in what seems to be other dimensions, but could just be she had a little to much wine and well, you know, she can’t really explain it but it was really mind blowing, who sometimes feels deeply connected to all things known in this dimension and others, but sometimes wants to eat crappy food and shop at a discount store?

Do it. Do it and enjoy it. Seriously, go right now and do anything you want. If it brings you joy, do it because that is LIVING. We ARE human; we are all a work in progress and we are all here in this reality to live in it, learn from it, to expand within it and out of it at our own pace. There is no spiritual handbook with points next to each enlightened feat accomplished. Deepak and Eckhart are not somewhere up there keeping score.

Being human is in fact normal, and when I let go of trying to be anything other than human, suddenly I find myself spending more time doing the things that brought me the peace and joy and enlightenment I had been searching for. Funny how that happens: when I stopped chasing, it stopped running.

Why Real Life Will Always Be Better Than Social Media

CBR003159A recent study by the Public Library of Science shows that the more somebody uses Facebook, the more their satisfaction of life decreases. Apparently, many frequent Facebookers are scrolling through their newsfeeds feeling bad because they don’t think their own lives stack up to the fabulous accomplishments, vacations, and photo-shopped and filtered images they see plastered on their computer screens.

I love social media just as much as the next person, with the ability to easily stay in touch with long distance friends and family and to reach a broader audience with my blog posts. However, the dark side is it can cause some to experience negative feelings which can morph into criticism, judgement and competition with others or even depression and lowered feelings of self.

The deeper concern here is looking inward, not outward, for peace and adopting an “I am enough” mentality. We will never be happy when comparing ourselves to others. But, before taking that deep dive, it is important to scratch the surface and for people need to realize that social media is not even the real deal. It is simply a snapshot of a life — the very best moments that we all choose to share with our audience.

If I take a closer look at my own life and the lives of those in my social circle, there are many of us modern day ‘super-women’ types out there. We use our powers to do cool things like create beautiful babies, build a kick-ass career, leap tall hobbies and ambitions in a single bound, make the world a better place, and look darn good doing it all! Some run their households like a tight ship carting the kids to school and various extracurricular activities with ease, whipping up healthy & Pinterest-worthy meals without breaking a sweat, and a keeping spotless house.

While juggling such full plates with style and grace and making a difference in the world is certainly commendable, don’t you often wonder what is really going on behind the scenes?

Here’s a peek into my own life. Just last week, I was thanking my lucky stars for a busy day at the office as my tech company was finally picking up a little steam, after a very lackluster 2012. I was happily bouncing from customer call to PO processing to, oh crap! I was running late (again) in leaving to get my 5 year old daughter to dance class. Little twang of mommy-guilt ensues. Later, I was playing outside with my girls, when I realized “oh crap” (again), as it just dawned on me that I forgot to reply to an important client email that I had promised to deliver. Ugggh. Time to whip out the iPhone and sneak in a quickie one-handed email while bouncing the baby on one hip and pushing the five year old in the swing. People seem to get the impression that I totally have my sh*t together, but honestly it’s a never-ending quest for balance! I have to work really hard on it and often come up short.

And, sure, if I invite you over for dinner, my house is going to be squeaky clean, smelling divine, and I will be fresh-faced and greet you with a big smile, ready to be your hostess with the mostest. But, if you show up at my house unannounced, expect to find me in yoga pants, no makeup, possibly un-showered, frazzled, with kids and animals running around, toys strewn all about, and a possibly a mystery smell in the air. It could be the cat box, dirty diapers, garbage that needs to go out, or a smelly dog. Hopefully, it’s not me!

What is my point with all this? I’m just keeping it real. It gets messy behind the scenes. People usually post the happy and photogenic moments to share with their virtual followings, and I’m not going to judge that. I mostly do the same. Frankly, nobody wants to see photos of me un-showered, in my yoga pants and with regurgitated baby food stains on my shirt. Nor do I want to share every gut-wrenching decision I have to make or twang of mommy guilt that comes my way. And, I cringe anytime I see people post all their dirty laundry on social media. (I’m so not going there!) But, that doesn’t mean there is not a deeper story going on. The same applies to everyone online.

Think about an iceberg and how the majority of it is underwater and out of site to the naked eye. What people choose to share on social is just the tip of their iceberg. While social media can be a great way to keep in touch, it is no substitute for in-person interaction and you have to realize that you are only getting a small glimpse into people’s lives – usually the highlights reel.

To have your social media and your happiness too, the lessons to take from this are:

  1. Limit your social media browsing. Study after study continues to bring its dark side to light. Like all good things, moderation is key. If you are slightly obsessed (and, yes, it can be highly addicting), try setting time limits or even take a little time off. Enjoy your new-found happiness!

  2. Spend time doing what you love. What are you super passionate about? What works in your life for you and your family? If you invest all of your time and energy diving deeply into whatever passion burns inside of you, then you will simply not have the time or energy to aimlessly peruse the internet all day. Fall in love with you and chase your dreams. You are amazing and have much to offer the world.

  3. Remember all that glitters is not gold. Behind every shiny and polished exterior, there is most definitely a deeper story sure to include some struggle and sacrifice that has gone on behind-the-scenes. Remind yourself that what you are seeing is only one snapshot of reality. Don’t do the comparison thing! Just don’t. You are enough.

  4. Take notice & log off. If you notice yourself feeling a little down or upset when browsing Facebook, then that is a major sign its time to log off for a bit. There was life before social media – remember? Sometimes less is more. Get yourself out into the real world and live it up! And no need to post all about it, either. Spend that time actually enjoying and savoring each moment.

  5. Spend more time face-to-face. This same study associated spending more time interacting with real people with an increase in life satisfaction. Go figure. You get much more of the real enchilada in-the-flesh than on the computer screen, anyway. Spending more time being “real” social makes for both healthier relationships and better self-image. Get some friends together and leave your iPhone off. (Just for an hour or two. The world won’t end – I promise!)

  6. Don’t hate, elevate! Remember, the life you are currently living is a by-product of the thoughts and choices you have made along the way. If you are feeling a little down or even a little envious, don’t beat yourself up about it. It is just a gentle nudge for you to look deeper inside and figure out what direction you want or need to go with your own life. So, choose wisely how you react. Don’t let those feelings turn toxic. Instead, bless and congratulate others. Then take that positive energy and use it towards working on elevating your own existence. You have infinite potential!

Hopefully we can all learn to take social media for what it is and not allow it to become a negative component in our lives. In the meantime, maybe we can all start a ‘keep it real’ movement where we start posting “real life “pictures, like  when we first roll out of bed, pre-coffee (or green juice) and make-up. And, no editing or filters! Go ahead … you go first. 😉

What about you? Are you addicted to social? Are you one to “put it all out there” or just the highlights like most people? Have you witnessed or experienced a correlation with too much social and a decline in happiness? Sound off in the comments below!

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For more from Dawn Gluskin, join her inspiring Facebook community & sign up for her weekly love letters and receive a complimentary digital copy of her new ebook, “Make it Happen! Guide to Manifesting”.

Deepak Chopra: You Are Not Your Body or Your Mind

What are the components that make up an identity? Stated another way, who are we and why? Day to day, we are most aware of the bodies that move us from place to place and the minds that construct thoughts and words. Even impulses and ineffable motivations, like the pursuit of morality, the desire for love, and the occasional waves of intuition might be explained away by science and psychology. But are these the only factors that define us? In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra discusses the true nature of who we are, at the core of our existence.

What is comes down to, and what many of us already feel, we are neither our bodies nor our minds in totality. Our bodies and minds rather exist within us, within our consciousness, which is greater and more complete than a mere collection of cells or series of synaptic connections.

What do you think? Tell us your thoughts and subscribe to The Chopra Well!

Be the Author of Your Own Life Story

Too young and eager to die from H1N1As a youngster I never felt young. I remember teenagers and adults speaking freely in my presence under the pretext that my seven-year-old psyche was much too naïve to understand such grownup subjects. I let them believe that, but I didn’t miss a thing. Quickly learning straight A’s said I was smart, being athletic meant I was popular, and hanging with the boys made me cool. As I got older, I equated partying with fun, money with success, and a sparkler on an all-important finger with security.

Despite my quick-witted, adventurous, yoga sculpted, high-kickin’ and high-falutin’ life, I repeatedly found myself in a pool of tears on the floor of the beachfront home I shared with my Internet pioneer boyfriend.

In my limited scope of consciousness, I blamed my man. Obviously he wasn’t doing enough for me… for us. This prompted a stubborn case of the “when we’s”, that ruthlessly hijacked me from the present moment. When he stops working so much, then we’ll be happy. When we stop partying so much, then we’ll be happy; when we get engaged, then we’ll be happy. After all, didn’t I have all of the other ingredients that are supposed to create a happy life?

It wasn’t until years after we went our separate ways that I recognized the real source of my sadness. I’d been unconsciously following a script based on the messages I’d soaked up from the fabric around me, and internalized them as my own. Turns out, I wasn’t as savvy as my seven year-old self would have you believe.

My narrow script left little room for creative risks because taking chances might expose my character as not being the image of perfection I was used to portraying. Of course I had no idea I was doing any of this; I just assumed the creative gene had unceremoniously passed me by. So instead, I partied. And believed myself to be a rebel in doing so, unable to grasp that real rebels don’t escape. They seek truth, and challenge the status quo with the audacity of the truth they’ve uncovered. Rebels walk the walk of the change they wish to see in the world, despite how uncomfortable it may be.

Rather than cultivate my own unique genius and inner beliefs, the competition element in my script attracted me to the smartest, most athletic, most successful alpha male. It read: basking in his glow, girl feels secure. Vulnerability, gratitude and authenticity weren’t traits that had been written into my part, which made fulfillment for much of anything nearly impossible. Looking back, I sometimes wonder how I got along at all with that befuddled script.

As I panned out to a much wider view of reality, I was able to see that while I didn’t necessarily write the script, I’d followed it blindly for years. By identifying the illusions that caused pain, I was able to let go, and open my mind and heart to the possibly of creating a new script. With the understanding that life is merely a reflection of our inner thoughts, I awakened to new information and aligned with spiritual truths. As I did the inner work, I watched in amazement as my life transformed into an vibrant expression of gratitude, acceptance, creative passion and wonder.

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.

Deepak Chopra: What Is The Soul?

Do you have a soul? Where is it? What’s it made of? We discuss the “soul” so often in the discourse on mindfulness, but many of us would be hard-pressed to really parse out its meaning. In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak discusses the soul’s relationship to consciousness, and how the two play out in our lives.

The soul is your core consciousness. It is the ground of your being. It has two components. One is called Jiva, which is the personalized soul that recycles through time on a cosmic journey. It is Karma, memory and desire. The conditioned soul is part of an unconditioned soul called Atman, which is part of the universal soul – Brahman. The purpose of the conditioned soul is to create the evolutionary journey to unity consciousness. We do this through being, love, creative expressions and through service. The soul is also the confluence of meaning, context, relationship and archetypal stories. The soul is the source of all our lives. It projects as the mind, the body and the universe of our experiences.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and check out Deepak’s book, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul!

4 Steps to Discover Your True Self and Start Loving Life

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 3.42.36 PMWhen you’re born, you never question what it means to be you. You’re so busy learning to breathe and walk and talk that the idea of your ‘self’ isn’t much of a focus. As you got older you focused on how to be social, fall in love, start a career, maybe even build a family. For many years then, the idea of deliberately creating your identity may not have been even the tiniest speck on your list of things to do.

Then one day something happens — an unexpected event or experience — and you realize you haven’t made any choices about who you are. You’ve just become someone along the way. Having never really thought about things, you’re absolutely out of touch with what’s important to the deeper you only you know.

It’s natural, over the course of a lifetime, to reach a moment when you question everything about your identity. Don’t be alarmed if, when you pause to assess your life and yourself, you suddenly become aware that you can’t answer the question I hear so often from clients every week: “Who am I?!”

To be clear, you would certainly be able to provide an answer based on a description of your name, gender, profession and familial status. It’s below the surface of these social titles that the sense of confusion occurs. It’s below that surface, too, that your real self exists. Take Jim, for example: A violent car crash last year has sent him into an evaluation of who he is, what his life is about, and what he wants. “I have no idea who I am,” he shared with me. “I grew up in an abusive home, so I just hid inside to get through it. Now, since the accident, my whole life has changed and I realize I’ve never known the real me.”

Jim’s experience is very common. Whether you’ve sustained a car accident, serious illness, divorce, job loss, abuse or assault you can find yourself suddenly feeling very disconnected from a sense of who you are. Like Jim, you may discover that you’ve never really known your true identity. Depending on circumstances, you may have formed your entire adult identity by reacting to life rather than creating the person you deeply wish to be.

If that’s the case, don’t worry. By setting an intention to discover who you are you can begin a journey that transforms your life into something more deep and full of meaning, purpose and joy than you have ever imagined possible. The key is to approach your identity exploration with patience and a willingness to be surprised.

Claiming your true identity is easier than it might seem. Love and joy are pure, instinctual emotions. Regardless of life experiences, your impulse to care for something and to feel enormous pleasure are emotions that come up at will and entirely unbidden. When you build your identity around the external expression and sharing of these core authentic traits you begin creating a life in alignment with your deepest self.

Four simple steps can immediately help you set your intention for self-discovery:

  1. Identify what you love — You are your most pure self in a state of love. Think back over your life, from the time you were a child until today: What people, things or activities have inspired deep love in you?
  2. Discover what brings you joy — You are your most true self in a state of delight. What makes you laugh, smile or feel giddy is pure reflex and comes from a deep part of you. Think back over your life, from the time you were a child until today: What people, things or activities have inspired an enormous feeling of pleasure in you?
  3. Incorporate love and joy into your daily life — When you identify what inspires love and joy in you, the next natural step is experiencing those things as often as possible. Doing this will connect you to that core authentic self on a regular basis. From there, you can begin to assess what changes and what new things in your life would create an environment for you to operate from your true self all the time.
  4. Share your love and joy with others — Living in alignment with your core self means living in the outward expression of who you are. Consider now, how you can include others in the experience or benefits of what brings you love and joy.

In my work with Jim he discovered that what he really loves is how creative he feels when he develops and launches a new business. What brings him joy: hiking in the mountains of North Carolina, which are close to where he lives. Jim’s plan for discovering himself included getting involved in more entrepreneurial projects with a core group of businessmen he admires, plus hiking every week with friends, family and other active hiking groups. The more Jim accessed these two key elements, the more they led him to develop and explore himself in new and unexpected ways. All of this led Jim to construct a dynamic, self-created identity in alignment with his core values and self. Now, if you ask Jim to answer the question, “Who am I?”, he’s got a lot to say.

Discovering that you have no clear vision of who you are, or that you’ve lost the connection to yourself that seemed so certain, can be frightening and disturbing. The idea of (re)creating your identity can seem overwhelming and chaotic. However, this is actually a time to celebrate who you are. The process of (re)claiming your identity is an adventure, a gift and a journey that will create not only a more alive version of you, but also a life that is much more rich and satisfying than you ever dreamed possible.

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Michele Rosenthal, author of Before the World Intruded: Conquering the Past and Creating the Future, is a trauma survivor who struggled with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for over 25 years. Today, Michele joyfully lives 100% free of PTSD symptoms. The host of “Your Life After Trauma” on Seaview Radio, Michele is a mental health advocate, public speaker, award-winning blogger, writer, workshop/seminar leader and Post-Trauma Identity Coach. You can follow Michele on Facebook and Twitter, or read more about her work at her website.

You’re Great and You’re Awesome Just As You Are (Part 2)

Click here to read part 1 of Trent’s story!

Born with blonde hair in a brunette-only town, Trent decides finally to show everyone his true hair color and true self. The townspeople attack him for his “otherness,” and Trent runs and hides in a nearby forest until sunset. Approached by an old man who listens to the tale of his woe, Trent receives the most powerful advice of his life.

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Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 10.28.10 AMThe wise man was brilliant and very aware.

He took in a breath, then started to share:

“We are truly born great, just as we are!

Our lives are important. You’re amazing, my young star.

But with others, they think, it’s for them to say

Who is fine, who is good, who is right, who’s okay.”

“For greatness is not in brown hair or blond.

Greatness is not in how our words sound.

Greatness is not on our outside – our skin.

Greatness, true greatness, always happens within.”

 

“We just can’t know how great you can become

By looking at hair color. That’s crazy, that’s dumb.

Down deep we’re amazing and awesome and bold.

Down deep is our value, our treasure, our gold.”

 

“No one has eyes to see what you see.

No one can tell you who or what you should be.

That’s your job. Yes it is. It’s all up to you.

It’s your work and your life. You’ve got to be true.”

 

“Life isn’t easy, it’s tough and it’s trying.

It gives you hard tests to make sure you’re applying

What you know of TrueYou, what gifts you receive,

How great you can be and what you believe.”

 

“You were born awesome – awesome indeed.

But to live each day awesome you must become freed

From the judgments of others, from perspectives so narrow

To let your light soar like a brilliant gold arrow.”

“The world needs TrueYou – the “you” as you are.

Blond or brunette, gay, straight or bizarre.

You are you, and amazing! The “you” born just right.

You were born to shine brightly, to share your great light.”

 

But you can’t shine in life, when you let yourself hide.

And you can’t change the world, if you’re ashamed inside.

You didn’t choose how you’re born, where you’re from.

But you can surely choose the “you” you become.

 

Young Trent felt alive and committed to greatness.

He thanked the wise man but feared for the lateness.

His family’d be worried, scared and unbound,

That young Trent was not home, not safe and not sound.

 

He hurried right home in the dark of the night.

But this time for him, a walk without fright.

More aware, more informed and so much more wise.

He got to his door at a quarter to five.

 

Once home and together, the lost son lamented

With details and stories. The sobbing relented.

Trent shared a sound lesson of power and strength.

They stood right by him; they’d go to great lengths

To handle what happens, to just rise above.

To help Trent show up to a life he can love.

 

The next day with power and confidence glowing,

Trent moved through the town without any fear showing.

He let loose his blond hair and wore it with pride.

He stood up to names and to insults so snide.

 

His courage to be true had others inspired,

The insults soon stopped, mean comments subsided.

Trent showed that hair color makes no difference at all

Be true to yourself and you’ll never feel small.

We didn’t choose how we’re born, where we’re from.

But we can surely choose the “who” we become.

 

And soon many others with all hair colors flowing,

Appeared in the town, the numbers were growing.

People in fear with hair once dyed brown,

Were actually there hiding, still living in town.

 

Pretending is bad, it loads on the strife.

Hiding restricts us, it limits our life.

We are each given gifts to discover and use,

And we shortchange the world if we don’t know or refuse

To be open and honest and accept the real “me”.

Trent learned that it takes this to really be free.

 

In just that one moment, things started to change.

People are people, not weirdos or strange,

Just people, all different, all great, all divine,

Allowed to be true, to be honest, and fine.

 

And changed they all were from perspectives so narrow.

They cheered and applauded and hailed Trent like pharaoh.

But Trent just continued to live life each day,

Honest and great, in his unique way.

 

From that day on, in towns far and near

That kept people out because of some fear.

Now invited them in – all are welcome you know.

We all belong. Yes we do! It is right. It is so.

 

Come out from your hiding. Join life. Be alive!

When you hide you stay small and afraid – you can’t thrive.

You’re an original, not a copy or fake.

You’re the real deal, just perfect; you are no mistake.

 

So find your right place, as soon as you can.

Be an accountant, a salesman, a singer or stunt man.

It’s all up to you, the directions you choose.

It’s all up to you, don’t wait, don’t you snooze.

Each day that goes by, you never get back.

Each moment, each day, each minute, each track

Is gone. Yes it is, but the next one is here.

Use it wisely. Don’t waste it! Let your best self appear.

 

You were born awesome, no matter what you’ve been taught.

You were born amazing, born cool – you got what you got.

It’s your gift. It’s yours. It’s all just for you.

It’s divine in its nature; be true to your “who.”

 

Be yourself, be your best. Live life your own way.

Be proud, find your place, make the most of each day.

You’re great and your awesome, just as you are.

Be your true self, be a bright shining star.

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You’re Great and You’re Awesome Just As You Are (Part 1)

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 10.09.20 AMIn a town far away on top of a hill,

Lived people so narrow, judgmental, and shrill.

They decided on high that all hair should be brown.

They decided for everyone who lived in their town.

 

“To live here,” they cried, “brown hair is a must.

Brown hair is just right, all others are bust.

If other than brown is just who you are,

Then you must leave. Depart! Go very far!

For we won’t have people who don’t look like us.

Brown is what’s right. Our rules. It is thus!”

 

In one of the families, young Trent was born third.

In a family so big and so famous was heard,

A cry of great grief like someone had died,

The aunts and uncles and parents all cried.

Young Trent, their treasure, though brown hair expected,

Was born blond, a towhead, a child rejected.

 

Though cute and adorable, smart with eyes wide,

His parents knew that his hair had to hide.

If the neighbors and townspeople had any doubt,

That Trent was not brown-haired, the family was out.

 

From the day he could crawl, Trent’s hair was dyed brown.

This gave them permission to live in this town.

His parents feared someday that blond hair would show,

Because hair on a kid never ceases to grow.

 

Each Saturday night as the bath waters ran,

A small dab of brown came out of the can,

To cover those roots of the hair that kept growing,

Like a lawn after rain that needed some mowing.

 

And so it was thus, each day spent in “hair-hiding,”

In plain sight, with a hat, and some dye so complying.

And all seemed as okay, no foul and no harm,

Until one day, that day, there came cause for alarm.

That day, at the mirror, young Trent stood there staring,

At brown hair AND blond hair – so great, and so glaring.

He’d been told his whole life about hair not so brown,

These people were gross, not fit for their town.

He realized that day he was different than most.

He was blond, not brown-haired. He’s handsome, not gross.

 

He called to his parents to share his great joy

He was different – unique – not an average boy.

He loved this about him. It gave him great pride.

He was different indeed. He had nothing to hide.

 

We are each born great, we’re remarkable art.

We are perfect, unique, not a kind of half-start.

We can’t change who we are. That’s a great thing.

We are who we are; it’s our hard-wiring.

 

His parents warned, they cautioned and cried.

“Being different isn’t easy, so please Trent just hide.

Let’s dye your hair brown so you fit and blend in.

Let’s get the brown back so life’s safe as it’s been.”

 

But Trent just said, “No!” on that major day.

“Born different, born right,” is just what he’d say.

“Born blond, not brown-haired, is how I exist.

Being true to myself is what I insist.”

 

“For someone much greater thought I should be,

A towhead, a blond, not a fake brown-haired me.

Who are these others, with comments to make?

I am who I am. God made no mistake.”

 

The hair dying stopped on that fateful day.

Pretending was done on the 18th of May.

Proud to be done with the hair-dying story,

Trent wanted his real life, a life of grand glory.

A life that was honest and open and clear,

A life to be lived without hiding or fear.

 

Trent marched to school with hair like the sun.

The gold in it shone, like threads that been spun,

But support did not happen, not a moment or second.

It didn’t work out as he thought or had reckoned.

They taunted and teased, chased, hit and called nay!

It changed all his friends in only one day.

 

Chased into the woods, with mean words attacking.

Trent stayed hiding there ‘til daylight went packing.

He hid in the dark and was sobbing with fear,

That someone who hated his hair could be near.

 

“How could this all matter?” He wondered. He cried.

“How could being different make others despise?

I have no control of the color of my hair,

Born with it dark or born with it fair.

Like our gender, or height, preference or skin tone

We get what we get, it’s really our own.

For down deep I’m still me, the same me I have been.

Down deep, I’m still Trent, their classmate and friend.”

 

“How can I live in a me that’s not real?

Who can pretend and not really feel?

Who cares if my hair is dark or it’s light.

I say for me, what’s wrong and what’s right.”

 

And in that tough moment, a moment of fear,

Young Trent saw a stranger, approaching, quite near.

A man with a beard, long, thick and so white;

A smile so warm, so kind and so bright.

“What brings you to woods, so dark and so deep?

The old man continued, “And can cause you to weep?”

 

Trent shared his sad story in every detail.

The old man just listened and grew very pale.

He waited ‘til young Trent was all about finished,

Did not interrupt, critique, or diminish

The sadness, the pain, the hurt so disarming

That someone so young could find life so alarming.

Once Trent had recounted his unhappy story,

The old man responded with strength and with glory.

His words were bold, his lessons were wise.

Trent listened intently for ways to devise,

A way to be happy when others all yack.

To be strong and courageous when others attack.

 

Stay tuned for the rest of Trent’s story!

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