Giving Ourselves Permission

Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 in Blog, My Favorites | Comments Off on Giving Ourselves Permission

Giving Ourselves Permission

A while ago, I was at a small gathering of social change folks, and what I heard from many of them is that “I need to give myself permission to …” or “I wish I could …”

I joked that I was going to show up to our next meeting with permission slips for adults, so that they could give themselves explicit permission to do what they wanted and be who they were.

We contort ourselves in so many ways to fit into our community; our family; our church. We even hide parts of ourselves based on ideas we have in our mind about how we should be.  And so we bury our gifts; downplay our strengths; don’t make time for the one thing that makes us sing.

The worst part is that we don’t even know it. It is so instinctive and so fast that these parts of ourselves go underground instantaneously.

I’m not immune to needing permission. I thought I’d gotten to a point where I wasn’t contorting, but it turns out the roots of some of our core beliefs go deep.  I was raised in a family and community that idolized academic success; left-brained thinking; rational plans for the future. It was acceptable to get lost in your thoughts – but not to get lost in wonder about life and imagining what could be, and certainly not to follow a hunch and head off on a spiritual quest.  What I hadn’t noticed until recently was how often I try to fit the newly emerged parts of myself into old patterns.  I’ve been trying to design workshops that would be acceptable to academic left-brainers; not talking about some of the magic and miracles I’ve been lucky enough to experience; hearing part of my brain mutter “You can’t say THAT!!?!”.

So today I am giving myself permission to be my wild, crazy, disorganized, intuitive right-brained magical self.

What would you like to give yourself permission to do today?