November 4, 2014

on being seen...

It's late as I'm writing this. Almost midnight. I've been alternating between watching tv and checking out a few things online... and every time I glance at the computer screen, I see the facebook tab - and I've watched as the number of likes increases on a photo of myself I posted a couple of hours ago.

In those two hours, it's received 39 likes.

(That might be a small number to many people, but it's not typical for things I post on facebook to receive that many likes.)

But  - this blog post isn't about numbers of likes.

This post is about being seen.

I've blogged before about spending so much of my life being invisible. Feeling invisible. As well as deliberately trying to keep myself invisible, because it felt safer to be unseen.

In the past few years - for many reasons - I've stepped more and more outside of my comfort zone to let myself be more fully seen.

I've stepped more and more into my personal power.

But even with doing so, the fear of being seen didn't go away completely.

And it still hasn't.

What has happened, however, is this... The more I've let myself be seen, and the more ways I've let myself be seen, and the longer I've let myself be seen - it feels better.

And the more I step into my personal power and own it, the stronger I feel.

At the same time I'm letting myself be seen more, and in more ways - and the stronger I become in my own personal power - I'm also becoming more guarded in certain aspects. In some paradoxical way, it seems like I'm becoming both more public and more private at the same time.

But both things are connected to knowing and claiming my personal power.

And strengthening my boundaries (which I believe is a good thing).

And becoming more clear about what and how much I want to share, and who I choose to share with when it comes to me, my life, my self.

Being seen - on my terms.

It still feels vulnerable. Somewhat scary. Out of my comfort zone.

But I've been making the choice - more and more - to share myself.

To be seen.

With my work, with what I do, with what I believe, with who I am, with how I look.

(I've been active online since the early 1990s... and until about 3 years ago, I never put my picture publicly online)

I've been talking about this - sharing myself more, being seen - quite a bit lately.

I've been talking about it because it's been shifting my life in some big ways.

The more I do it, the more it takes hold, the more impact it has on me.

Letting ourselves be seen seems to do that.

Claiming who we truly are (which can be, I believe, a lifelong practice, continuing to evolve and deepen over time) causes shifts and ripples in all areas of life.

Not hiding - after years or even decades of being hidden to feel safe - can feel like scary wild breaking free.

Owning your power, owning who you are, can be magic.

(this is solar plexus chakra work, sweets - that chakra of personal power and individuation and self-actualization - but it's also throat chakra and heart and sacral and root, because this is so connected to embodying  your soul)

I took this photo earlier this evening. Not long after getting out of the shower, hair still wet, before I changed my fingernail polish to a different color, no makeup (I rarely ever wear makeup these days), my almost-53-year-old self looking at myself in the mirror.

I cropped it, re-sized it, added a filter to mute the color, and then I uploaded it to instagram with the setting to share it automatically to my personal facebook profile.

Before making the final tap on the screen to send the photo out into the world, I added these words:

Because I'm letting myself be seen more... #thisisme #endofday #wethair #owningmyedge #magicalgrace #gentleclarity #tell #donthavetohide

That last hashtag: #donthavetohide

Don't have to hide.

Don't have to hide.

I believe those words are important.

For me.

And for you.

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