“Woman on a mission.” What kind of image or feeling does that conjure up for you? Does it feel positive or negative? Safe or intimidating? Inspiring, annoying or funny? Are you a woman on a mission?
The idea of a woman on a mission excites and energizes me. Women are powerful and inspired. So many of us carry a fierce and abiding love in us. As vessels empowered to bring life into the world, we are born protectors, advocates, and caregivers. We instinctively nurture and grow other beings and help them thrive. Smart, determined, spiritual and creative, we have endless potential. A woman on a mission takes all of this amazing, loving energy and amplifies it to elevate herself and others. She is a force!
But so often, we are asked to be less than, to fall short of our potential greatness. To be polite and sweet instead of passionate and forthcoming. To be weak and small instead of empowered and expansive. Our physical beauty and sex appeal are often valued over our intellect and our spirit. Women who don’t conform to social standards of beauty can be virtually invisible. And some of us are asked to be even smaller due to bias toward our race, gender or sexual identity, religion, education, or economic status.
Over and over again, in ways both bold and subtle, the world asks us to be less than. And in so becoming, we lose our authenticity and the world loses our light.
The Dangers of Accepting Unfiltered Feedback
Over the years, I’ve been told I’m “too (fill in the blank)” more times than I can count. That feedback came primarily from people who – for a wide variety of reasons – had difficulty embracing my values, intensity, passion or capacity and drive to take control of a situation. And for better or worse, I took much of that feedback to heart, allowing it to bruise some tender spots. Instead of standing in my truth, I shrunk a little each time, becoming a smaller and smaller version of myself.
You see, I had learned that it was important to be able to receive and apply constructive feedback. But I’m not sure I learned to know and honor my personal boundaries, or to carefully consider the values, maturity and motives of anyone providing criticism. I had no filter through which I could reliably sift feedback to tell the the quality nuggets from the junk. As a result some really toxic ideas took up residence in my psyche.
Over time, the toxic stuff piled up and I found myself modifying my behavior so often that I felt disconnected from my authenticity. It’s not possible to walk on egg shells and be truly authentic at the same time. And a person who isn’t living authentically isn’t living in joy, isn’t living up to their full potential, isn’t creating a life that’s deeply meaningful and fulfilling. A woman living inauthentically is a woman who’s mission, if she has one, is not worthy of her greatness.
And so it was.
Turning the Tables
Shortly after the New Year, I decided with firm conviction that I was finally going to start a blog. My heart held a message that was bursting to be heard, and I had to give it voice. I’d thought about it so much that I had virtually dreamed it into existence. No more waiting for the perfect moment, no more procrastinating or excuses. I was going to go for it. I was all in.
Hearing my decisiveness, the Universe jumped to my aid. As I went about the business of researching the “how to’s” of blogging, I happened upon Jonathan Milligan’s Podcast, “Blogging Your Passion” and was instantly hooked. After listening in for a few days, I made my way over to his website where I discovered his 7-day challenge for aspiring bloggers. Throwing caution to the wind, I registered and gave fear and hesitation strict instructions to sit quietly in the back seat, because they weren’t getting in my way or causing unnecessary distraction this time. It didn’t matter what they – or anyone else! – thought; I had the Universe on my side!
Jonathan’s challenge swiftly guides participants through the foundational steps of blog creation, including developing a brief statement of purpose. Though I’d been thinking about it for almost a year and had a loose sense of direction, I wasn’t focused enough to articulate a compelling statement of purpose, or even succinctly identify my passion. And the harder I tried to get to it, the farther away it seemed. So I made a conscious decision to let go of all of the ideas I’d been entertaining (along with all the associated emotions) and quiet my mind so the answer could surface.
Connecting to My Mission
The next day I met an old friend for lunch and told her about the challenge. She asked, “what’s your topic? What are you passionate about?”
And BOOM! The answer hit me right between the eyes. “Authenticity,” I said. “I’m passionate about authentic living.”
And just like that, right there in that moment (and, notably, in the presence and safety of a decades-old friendship where I can say virtually anything without fear of judgement), I became a woman on a mission that was really worthy of me…for the first time in YEARS. I could feel it pulsing in my veins. Since that moment, I’ve worked almost obsessively on getting Awakening Authenticity off to a solid start. Someone out there needs a friend’s hand to help them cross out of the darkness and into the brilliance of their own authentic light! And I will be there for them.
I know I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay. I know my philosophies, beliefs, opinions and advice aren’t going to resonate with some, and that too is okay. And I know that I’ll likely receive some criticism. Some of it will be genuinely constructive, born of a place of love and good intention, and it will help me grow and better serve you. And some will come from a decidedly less benevolent place, and will be politely discarded. I will not shrink this time around.
And what is my mission? My deepest intention is to help women connect with and unapologetically express their uniquely beautiful inner light…to awaken the authenticity within so they can be a light for the world. Because this world needs all the light we can create. And I know you can and will shine brilliantly.
Are You a Woman on a Mission?
Are you a woman on a mission? Or are you feeling a little off course? Maybe you’re working so hard to stay small and tiptoe across eggshells that that has become your defacto mission? Perhaps you’ve been small for so long that you sometimes wonder if you’re invisible. Don’t despair. I found my way from virtual invisibility back into the light of authenticity and you can too. You owe it to yourself, and you owe it to the world. Someone out there needs your beautiful light to illuminate their path out of the darkness of obscure smallness.
I am currently developing a program that will help you reconnect with your authentic self so you can have a mission that is worthy of you. You can live a purposeful, inspired and fulfilled life aligned with who you really are. You can be a woman on a powerful, wholehearted mission. You can be, and you deserve to be.
To be the first to receive updates, please sign up for my mailing list. I’m so honored to have you by my side on this amazing journey.