Who am I and how do I want to be seen? These are the questions I’ve been asking myself lately.
How we’re seen by someone else is the impression we leave them with. So what type of impression(s) do I want to leave my friends, family, colleagues, students, and clients with?
Each of them will have a different impression of me. And that’s okay. Yet, this can be overwhelming because now I have to think about all the ways I need to leave an impression.
So let’s change ‘being seen’ and ‘impressions’ to another word—values.
Ah yes, values. That sounds better. And it’s easier to understand what each type of person would value in me when I’m speaking with them, or working with them.
What my friends value is honesty, transparency, and understanding. Which means I put those things at the top of my mind when I’m talking to them. This way they’re left with the impression that I’m honest, transparent, and understanding.
Now that makes sense. How I want to be seen is what values I’m exhibiting in any given situation.
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So much of how we present ourselves to the world stems from how people expect us to show up—what values they expect us to show.
This could be your role as a parent, needing to be strong, deeply empathetic and nurturing. Or the way you interact with people, being attentive, intentionally listening, and clearly communicating. Or, in my case, as a yoga teacher and mentor, I need to be aware of individual needs, create accessible and inclusive classes, and be courageous when mentoring so that I ask critical questions and give thoughtful solutions.
Diving deeper into these questions (who am I and how do I want to be seen?) starts to uncover the layers of expectation put upon us through our upbringing and society at large.
So how do we manage this? By creating space so you can learn to work from inner expression towards outer expression.
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For me, practicing self-care is a great way to create this space for inner clarity.
Let’s be honest, though. Most of us think self-care is bubble baths, expensive skincare, a glass of wine and a mani/pedi or massage. And who has the time or money to do these things regularly? I can’t be the only one who thinks we’ve been sold a bunch of BS.
Self-care is not a one-size-fits all approach; what works for someone else might not work for you. That’s why it’s a practice, something you have to figure out for yourself.
My current form of self-care looks like long walks in the forest near my house, doing Meaningful Mornings journaling + meditation, and scheduling in time for creativity.
It’s a life-long journey of knowing / rediscovering who you are and what you need.
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So, how do you want to be seen (valued) and show up in the world? And how can practicing self-care help you show up as you are and not how others expect you to be? Let me know in the comments.
Your friend in this journey together,