"As a woman I am expected to want everything to be nice, and to be nice myself...I don't design nice buildings - I don't like them." Zaha Hadid
It is so easy to be nice.
It is so easy to show up when everything is nice.
It is so easy to stay silent, to stay still, to stay safe, to stay the same financially, in relationships (personal and professional) and in every day normalities. It is so easy to stay silent in expressing ourselves sexually. To cover up. It is so easy to stay silent instead of speaking up against sexual abuse.
Me too. As a woman who stayed silent until 24, I no longer consider myself "nice" rather "real."
It took me a long time to get here. I have lost friends. I have let people down. I have had to let go of my people-pleasing patterns. I have also never been prouder.
I am sharing this because it is important to me, to let you know how painful movement and change can be, and instead of painting a pretty picture, I choose to sculpt a reality with my words.
December was uncomfortable for me. Just as soon as I thought I had everything figured out, life and self-love, I realized I was "playing it safe" again. I was playing life, safe. Working in real-estate and odds and end jobs in order to pay for travel, living in Los Angeles with family and friends in between, and only making enough money that I felt comfortable with so I didn't have to live a conventional life.
Well guess what? Everything was working out perfectly fine. I was leaving for Guatemala in February to volunteer. I was working towards personal goals. I was helping out family and friends by being there. I was also playing small.
I didn't want to have to change my life, again. Speak up to my new truth; own up to the fact that I needed to change my mindset around making money, being deserving of making as much as I desire and fully capable of doing exactly what I am passionate about. Speak up to my new desire to have piercings, a tattoo, to express myself in a new way. Speak up to my changing needs no matter how big or small. I was no longer scared to travel alone; I was scared to stay. I was scared to live my new truth, to let go of the new comforts I had built for myself, so I realized that living this new truth was exactly what I had to do. I was going to disappoint my family, again. Let go, again.
I made a commitment on December 4th that I was going to make a difference in people's lives, but this time I was going to get paid to do it. Paid to travel. Paid to public speak. Paid to teach. Why?
Because I realized I needed to shift my mental mindset. The more money I have, the more money I can give. The more I am working in my area of truth, the more I am able to give truth to others. The more I play BIG, and real, the more my reality will shift, opening up opportunities I never believed possible.
This past week I took a position with a non-profit I am passionate about. Based out of Denver, Colorado, they travel the world, sharing messages of hope, mental-health awareness, and cultural immersion through music and the arts. I packed my bag and left LA. This year I will be living in Denver, Cancun, Mexico and areas of Europe. I will be getting paid to travel. I will be teaching yoga and meditation for my non-profit. I will be continuing to throw myself into uncomfortable situations, because it forces me to grow. And I will continue to be "real" instead of "nice."
This month was painful, and uncomfortable, challenging and raw. I had many lows, times of self-doubt and fear of change and the unknown. However, no matter how painful at times, I chose and continue to choose to do what I desire. I choose to do it because it brings me pleasure. I choose to do it because it makes me come alive. I choose to do it because it lights me up. I choose to do it because my intuition told me to. I choose to do it because it's what I came here to do.
Nice is easy. Truth can be painful, yet powerful, and it is necessary to live in your truth in order to be truly free and give permission for others to do the same.
We are told as women that we need to hold our tongue, stay conservative, stay at home for the family, stay silent about sexual abuse, about being financially equal, about the need to express ourselves in whatever damn way we choose...I am giving you the permission to give to yourself, we absolutely do not. Redefine your mindset, find your truth over and over again, give yourself permission to change and keep changing, and you will redefine your life. As a Guru and healer said to me while traveling through Bali, Indonesia, "It is your job to use your tongue to communicate with the world. To see yourself is to see the world, and to see the world, is to heal humanity."
This is true for men and women. I am speaking to you.
Oprah, I believe you agree with this statement, too.
"When we are real rather than nice, when we choose self expression over self-indulgence, when we choose growth over the need to belong, and when we choose fluidity over rigidity, we begin to understand the deeper dynamics of truthfulness, and we begin to taste the freedom and goodness of this jewel." The Yamas and Niyamas