The best thing about being who you really are is that you simply cannot fail. You do it successfully 24 hours a day. Yet the essence of who you are is often covered by all the defenses, insecurities, and adaptations that have accumulated over the years. It is like wearing five pairs of pants, six shirts and two hats. Sure, you are being who you really are, because you've chosen to add those extra layers. But can anyone really see the True You? Can you see her clearly? The following tips will help you begin the process of peeling off the layers. Each one invites an action that will help you unveil the True You.
#1 Get To Know The True You
Think of the "True You" as an advisor to the "you" that you act out day to day. Stand in front of a mirror, call her forth and start talking. Ask questions. Listen. Let your eyes lose focus and see what images appear. See how it feels to stand so close to the True You. Cry if you've missed her. Get angry if you feel she's abandoned you. Touch your fingers to the mirror and thank her for coming. Ask her to help you begin to live a life that is more authentic. Find out what she suggests you do next.
#2 Make A Space To Call Your Own
Create a space that is dedicated to the True You. A whole room would be ideal, but even a top shelf of a closet will do. This powerful statement says, "I'm worth the space I take up." Decorate it with passion. Perhaps you will make an alter to the True You, put your favorite books in creative stacks, or spread out beloved life souvenirs. Visit often, and when you do, plant seeds of hope by writing down wishes on tiny pieces of paper. This is the garden in which you are growing your own greatness.
#3 Learn What You Really Want
There is only one way to learn what you love, like, and really want. Start experimenting now. What really lights your fire? What simply passes the hours in ho-hum? Like Julia Roberts in the movie Runaway Bride, we must try our eggs in every style imaginable, and not simply follow the preferences of our companions. After you've sampled what is obvious, dare to keep searching by ordering off the menuÑeven though it is costly and plenty of good eggs will go to waste. Every great painter wastes paint and every queen once wasted time as a princess kissing frogs. Only those who have never experienced "great" will find your experimenting foolish.
#4 Dare To Be Average
They say the strongest enemy of Great is Good, and that is true. But demanding that you be great at everything is a sure fire recipe for enjoying nothing. To get off the "gotta be top rate at everything right now" steamroller, make a list of everything you think it's really okay to be average at. Mowing the lawn. Decorating for parties. Keeping the car clean. Understanding opera. Buying wine. When you've done an average job with something on this list, say "good enough" and let it be. Hear the True You breathe a sigh of relief.
#5 Picture Yourself Becoming The True You
Take out your favorite magazines to make a collage. Cut out any words or images that express the "you" as you are right now and paste them on the left. Then, moving to the right, depict the True You that you see yourself becoming. Be sure to include your hopes and dreams. Look at your creation often and feel yourself smile.
#6 Come To Your Senses
Wake up to the simple pleasures. Go into a completely dark, quiet space (this may require everyone else be asleep) and peel a sweet orange. With your sight and hearing purposefully impaired, you will have automatically heightened your sense of smell, touch and taste. Feel the dimpled texture of the skin, sniff the pure fragrance, and enjoy the stunning explosion on your taste buds. Remind yourself that life is good.
#7 Watch Your Language
Listen to how often you use the words "should" and "ought." Each time you catch yourself using one of these words, ask yourself "Says who?" and question why they get to make up the rules. Are they wiser than your True Self? If you can't replace "should" and "ought" with "want," reexamine the issues at hand.
#8 Be Moody
You heard me right. Stop stuffing those bad moods in the vain attempt to be nice and easy to be around all the time. Be sure to let those who might be adversely affected know that it's you, not them, at the root of the mood, then let them come on. Dance with them. Ask them what they are trying to say. "Off" moods come from the True You, too, and they are saying something about a part of you that needs attention. Every light has it's dark, every up has it's down. Let's all give each other a little more room for the down and dark so that wholeness has a chance to enter.
#9 Invest In What You Believe In
Give your time, energy, money, vote, and encouragement to anything that reflects a message you want the world to hear. You don't have to be the one with the voice, so long as you are supportive of those who speak your truth. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a thunderous chorus of authenticity-bearers to make a new message heard.
#10 Forgive Yourself
If you are human, you are precious and imperfect. Now is the time to accept that and forgive yourself for all the ways you believe you have failed. Take a ceremonial forgiveness shower. Using a favorite soap, wash yourself in your own compassion, imagining the deadness of unresolved pain and guilt going down the drain. Thank the pain and guilt for serving its purpose, which was to let you know your own true values. Step forth whole, authentic, and free to make new choices with the True You as your guide.