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New Art: Be Yourself

Be Yourself. Original artwork by Stephanie Martel, prints and other goodies available on Etsy.This print is available in my shop.

Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.

-St. Catherine of Siena

I love this quote for so many reasons, mostly because it affirms how I think we all feel inside and need to hear every once in a while.  It’s vital to the world that we share our gifts.

It’s a good reminder that being myself is why I’m here.  I’m meant to learn certain things + interact with certain people in this life.  They have things to show me as I grow + change.

And it can be hard at times sticking to that path of being myself–warts and all. It’s easy to conform, not to stick out and to just blend in to the background. There’s a lot of influence in the world to go with the herd and it can make me feel inadequate at times.

The comparison game is such a buzz kill.

But each time I rub up against this self-defeating attitude, that maybe my art isn’t good enough or that no one cares about what I have to say, I remind myself that my journey matters.  It may have been done before, but it hasn’t been done by me.  That alone is enough to keep me going.

Be yourself, friend.

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New Art: Be Yourself2018-03-29T20:23:12-04:00

Edit Less and Be More. {And my 7 personal confessions.}

get real

Here are some facts about me you won’t know from reading my blog:

  • Even though I’m a certified health coach, sometimes I have cheese and crackers with spicy mustard for dinner.  And a coke.
  • I have so many emails to open that I’ve just been ignoring them, hoping they magically disappear.
  • My car is a disaster.  Seriously, it looks like a homeless person lives out of it.
  • When I’m not getting enough sleep, I get VERY cranky so watch out.
  • One of my biggest fears is not feeling fulfilled in life (I want to travel more extensively, have a baby, find my true purpose).
  • Rudeness makes me mental.  If you’re going to be self-involved around me and act like a jerk, don’t be surprised if I ignore you.
  • Toilet humor always make me laugh.  The grosser the better.

Why am I telling you these lovely tidbits?  Because I want to remind you that things aren’t always what they seem.  What we post online and who we are in everyday life can often seem like two different worlds.

It’s human nature to want to show our best selves, but underneath the facade we know there’s more to the story. That’s the part of the story that needs to be told.

Everything has become so filtered, that it’s easy to forget that we are watching real people living real lives.  There’s so much that exists beyond the images and words but it’s hard to see when everything looks so ‘perfect’.

You know what I’m talking about–the wittily crafted facebook posts, the texts that have been edited 10 times before sending, those perfectly worded emails–sometimes they’re just so exhausting to read because they present that beautiful, wart-free scenario.  I don’t know about you, but it can make me feel jealous and inadequate (among others things).  But I know this much is true:  No one’s life is that perfect all of the time. 

We censor ourselves in everyday life too—we say yes when we want to say hell no, we laugh when we want to scream and we bite our tongue rather than give our friend some tough love.

We don’t show the ugly hair days or the burnt birthday cake.  We don’t think people want to see those things because they’re messy and un-done.  But in reality, they are true and relatable.

And they’re real.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are times when it’s appropriate to play along; it makes life easier to show the fun stuff and the pretty pictures.  And life can be tough sometimes, so it’s nice to see and hear about happy things.

But most of the time, we sensor ourselves because we’re afraid to rock the boat, we don’t want to be called out, or we’re just plain lazy to do anything else.  It’s easier to go with the flow, but in the long run that just wears you down in a different way.

Too much editing from your life will remove the depth; without depth, you become boring.

If you’re constantly editing yourself, who are people getting to know?  And how are you feeling about that persona you’re creating?

Even though you can send a text or email and edit it to say exactly what you want it to say, I encourage you to edit less and be more.  Show us who you really are.  I have a feeling it’s pretty great.

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Edit Less and Be More. {And my 7 personal confessions.}2018-03-29T20:23:25-04:00

Who do you perform for? You’re not an actor. {Unless you want to be}

Who do you perform for in your life?  Click through for the easiest way to drop the act and be yourself.

I  have a lot of roles to play out each day.  You know what I mean–the lover, friend, therapist, all around fixer etc.  I wear so many hats that sometimes it fees like I’m performing different roles in a play.  It’s normal to be different things to different people, but what happens when those things begin to take on a life of their own–when it feels like you’re being a different person altogether?

It can be downright exhausting when you realize who you perform for.  Does this sound familiar: you can’t be a little off color in front of your parents because they’re old school.  You have to talk about politics with your boss so he doesn’t think you’re a brainless nitwit.  You are the sexy, nothing-bothers-me girlfriend.

And what’s funny is that a lot of the time, people can see through the crap. They can see that you’re spinning life through a particular lens that doesn’t suit you.

When did we start trying to be different things to different people?

You've changed

I was recently listening to a conversation between girlfriends, who were talking about these sorts of roles.  It was obvious they were polished o the outside and seemed to have it together, but they were complaining about having to play the game.  They’re moms, wives, sisters, friends and caregivers among many other things.  They tweak their temper not to upset others. They twist and contort their opinion to keep the peace.  They tamper down their personalities to smooth things over.  It’s something they were taught early in life–to be polite, to not rock the boat, to be seen and not heard. How utterly boring.

What if someone just told them to stop doing that?  To just take a deep breath and be themselves?

Being yourself wholeheartedly means being vulnerable.  It can be uncomfortable when you are the full throttle version of yourself, it’s scary and you can be rejected because people may not like you at that moment.  But what if that was ok?  Afterall, you can’t please everyone.  And guess what?  If you turn those people off, those are not your people.

And there’s also a lot of other wonderful things that come with being yourself like relief and ease.  You can relax.  You automatically create room for other like-minded friends.

As I get older, I realize that I care less about what other people think about me.   Don’t get me wrong,  that pit in the stomach feeling still happens–wanting to seem like I’ve got it together!  I’m making it happen in life!  And it’s all easy!  But nothing could be further from the truth, we’re all feeling our way through.  But I find it’s a lot easier to manage things when I’m not lying to myself about it.  I think it’s a combination of maturity and understanding that everyone else has that same fear of just wanting to be ok.

What I often forget though, is that people connect on the things we usually try to hide.  The quirks and the weird things that we think other people won’t like, are the most endearing part of who we are.  We all want to seem more ‘normal’, where in reality it’s that freak flag that really draws people in.

We all play roles in our lives, but hopefully there comes a point where the role you’re playing and who you really are come together.  It feels good to be authentic and make no apologies for your presence in the world.  Try it out, you might just be surprised.

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Who do you perform for? You’re not an actor. {Unless you want to be}2018-03-29T20:23:28-04:00
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