Happy New Year! I hope the holidays were fulfilling, whether restful, energizing or contemplative.
The older I’ve gotten, the more committed I’ve become to living my truth. As life circumstances have changed, it has become easier to be the “me” I want to be, rather than someone who internalizes the expectations and cathartic aspirations of others. Spreading my wings has been scary at times, for sure, but it has also led me on an incredibly rewarding journey of learning and growth.
So how can you move toward living your truth? It takes some work—and what better time to start the process than with the freshness of a new year.
Be open to your truth. Interestingly, over the past few days I have stumbled on several articles and videos about the beneficial power of stillness. Just stopping the noise, motion, chaos, busyness of life for a few minutes every day to focus on you. What are your needs? What’s important to you? Where do you want to go? What is really going on in your life? It’s crucial to be honest with yourself and take a deep look within and around your life. Wishing, hoping and manipulating isn’t truth. Truth is based in what’s real, what’s actually happening. For so long as you are blind to your reality, you are not living your truth. It can be painful–brutal, even—to really open yourself up and recognize your reality. But it’s an essential foundation for living your truth.
Know your truth. What is it that you truly value? What makes you happy? What do you believe in? What’s important to you? Who are the people in your life that genuinely care about you? What do you want your life to look like at the end of this year? In five years? In 25 years? When you’re 100?
One invaluable way to clarify your truth is to put together a personal manifesto. Doesn’t need to be long, fancy or exhaustive. Just a few sentences or statements that describe your core truth. Keep it in a note on your phone or in a journal or on a piece of paper in your drawer. You don’t need to show it to anyone; it’s your truth.
Act on your truth. Yes, it’s often scary! Yes, it will take your out of your current comfort zone! Yes, you might run into a brick wall or trip and have a major face plant! Yes, you may sometimes feel lonely or afraid! But that’s the only way to move forward, grow and find your truth. Quit whining! Stop coming up with 42 reasons why you might fail. Put aside your fear and be brave. And do it now! Don’t wait for some nebulous future magic moment. It’s not going to come along. It’s up to you to make it happen.
One of my favorite songs, “Defying Gravity” from the popular musical Wicked, features Elphaba taking a huge step toward living her truth. In one of the most powerful and empowering scenes of the show, she sings,
Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by
The rules of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes
I can’t think of a better anthem for living your truth. (Although personally, I might want to keep my eyes open at all times!)
Accept and embrace YOU. You rock! Yes, you! You really do! Focus on what makes you unique. No one else has your talents and gifts. Accept yourself—flaws, blemishes and all. Have confidence and be kind to yourself. Honor your integrity in whatever you do.
Empower yourself. Recognize that you are the only one who can live your truth. You are the only one who can give yourself permission, direction, control. You are the only one who can make sure you don’t give up or give in. Unless and until you make it your priority, you’re not living your truth. Don’t dwell on the mistakes or troubles of your past. Focus on moving forward. Recall the strengths you have used successfully and draw upon them for the conviction to live the life you aspire to.
Remind yourself of your truth. Give yourself a pep talk when you brush your teeth in the morning and at night. For a visual reminder, post your truth on a sticky note by the bathroom mirror or next to your toothbrush. Find quotes or poems that remind you of your truth. Listen to songs that empower you and include the message of your truth. Look for posters, mugs or other novelty items that will keep your truth in the forefront of your mind and inspire you to keep the faith.
Last summer I found three wall hangings that remind me of my truth every day. I hung them in my office and they inform almost everything I write and create. The words literally stare me in the face when I’m talking on the phone or while I’m brainstorming or daydreaming. They’re restorative and they give me comfort, purpose and identity.
So what’s holding you back? Use this week’s Angel Word as inspiration. Make it your priority to get started, and make 2015 the year you begin living your truth.