In kindergarten, Ms. Putnum asked us to color the apple on the page and stay inside the lines. Staring at the frowny-face sticker on my assignment, I felt shock and bewilderment. I needed to know why I didn't get the smiley-face sticker and I challenged her.
She corrected my error, "Apples are red, dear." I wholeheartedly disagreed with her.
"Apples are yellow!" I insisted. She held firm, but I continued, "My favorite apples are yellow! Apples are yellow!"
Ms. Putnum was the first of many teachers I would challenge when I didn't meet their expectations. For all of my life I have thought outside the box of convention and bucking the status quo.
Over the years, I have come to accept the truth that I see the world differently. What's more is, I realize that nobody sees or experiences life in exactly the same way. And, what an amazing gift that is! We get to see the world in a beautifully unique way and we when we share that, we help others to broaden their own horizons adding depth, color, and gorgeous texture to their life experience.
Growing up, many of us were told what to do and how to do it. Women are especially vulnerable to this kind of conditioning. We learn to know and anticipate what others expect of us so that we know how to think, feel, and behave. Women experience the full weight of shame when we don't live up to expectations because there's something inside us that sees things differently. We learn to question the color of the apples in our life. We allow self-doubt to take up space in our hearts and minds.
In the end, we lose site of our who we are and what we are meant to do in life. We privilege the real or anticipated demands of others at the expense of our marvelously unique sparkle.
No matter where you are on your journey to your best self, I warmly invite you to remember and reconnect to who you are. I've put together a short list of ideas that can support you in reuniting with yourself. These activities can illuminate your inner truth and create an opportunity know yourself even better. Pick the one that stands out the most and create time and space for you to be with you this month.
Some Activities to Reconnect with Your Uniqueness
Take yourself on a date. Choose things that you are curious about or like to do, but do it alone and experience yourself in new ways.
Spend time each day remembering 10 things you are grateful for. These are unique to your experience and highlight what is working well in your life. Another option is to acknowledge what's awesome or amazing about you.
Try a “10 things I want” list of what you want more and explore some of them. This could include things like increased joy, time with friends or even some new yarn. Discover what excites you!
Set aside 20 minutes several times a week to journal stream of consciousness. Over time, re-read your journal and discover some truths you have told yourself in the writing.
Create a vision board that represents things you are dreaming about. Even if a particular thing does not come to be, this allows the creative expression of your heart.
If you are in a phase of of self-discovery or just feel stuck in old patterns of thinking, I can help.
At the Center for Vitality and Balance we work with women to create a client-centered and integrative plan towards well-being and healing for the whole self. Schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation and let me help you discover your best self, whatever the color of your apple.