by Golda Poretsky, H.H.C.
For much of my adult life, I hid aspects of myself away. To some people, I was an analytical lawyer, while others knew me only as a health counselor, or a tarot reader, or a improv comedy performer. I would keep all of these aspects separate, sometimes for self preservation, and sometimes just to make things easy.
Recently, I was interviewed by the Huffington Post’s Nancy Ruhling as part of her Astoria Character’s series. In the article, I’m pictured with tarot cards in my hands, talking about every part of my career. When I read the piece, my first reaction was not excitement but fear. I thought that I might lose health counseling clients who wouldn’t like that I was a lawyer, legal clients who wouldn’t like that I was a tarot reader, and so on and so on.
I took a moment to really connect with the fear, and I soon realized that it was just an old fear of rejection, an old fear of being really seen. And it was a fear that was wrapped up in old realities that don’t really apply to me anymore. I realized that I want to be seen and known for all of who I am, and that the world and the economy has changed enough that more and more people are accustomed to multi-career professionals. I have many friends and clients who have more than one career, and I have lots of clients who have hired me for more than one of my talents. Bringing all of these parts of me together even led to an epiphany about the work I love doing as a lawyer.
So why am I sharing all of this with you? Because I want you to know that you don’t have to hide who you are as much as you think you need to. And I believe that the more you and I can stop hiding, the more we can release guilt and shame, and the more we can feel great about who we are.
When you tell the world who you are, by sharing more of yourself with the people around you, you affirm to yourself and to others that you accept who you are. You affirm to yourself and others that you’re proud of who you are. You allow your talents to shine. You allow yourself to share more of your gifts with the world. You get to receive acceptance and praise for all that you are. And you release things like guilt, shame, and any perfectionist tendency you might have to create an “acceptable” facade.
And while we’re on the subject of hiding, a great way to release shame about your body is to stop hiding the parts of it that you feel are too fat or not attractive. For tips on how to do that so that you feel really great, check out this post from the summer.
Just so we’re clear, I’m not saying that you should immediately send an invitation to the CEO of your company inviting him or her to your burlesque show, but it might be okay to send the invitation to your buddy from your writing class. I think you get the idea.
So this week, think about a way that you could share more of yourself with the world. For example, think of 3 things you might want to try and pick the easiest one this week. Just to start you off, you could:
1) Send an email to some friends letting them know about a new class or event you’re taking part in.
2) Wear something you wouldn’t typically wear, like patterned tights or a color you don’t usually try.
3) Tell a close friend about a dream or desire that you have that you haven’t shared yet with anyone.
The purpose of this exercise is not to knock down your barriers all at once. But if you can take these small leaps out of your comfort zone and share more of who you are more of the time, you will notice a new sense of a freedom and a new ability to stand for who you are.
As always, let me know how it goes in the comments section!
Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. To learn more about Golda and her work, click here.
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