Be Yourself

You must be thinking "WOW! She is really scraping the bottom of the barrel today!" Am I right? What a load of played-out, cliched advice! Who the heck else am I going to be? Huh?

Well, I don't know about you, but I have watched myself and many loved ones get pulled in various directions by not adhering to this very simple, but sometimes not so easy, advice.

Of course, there are some who are steadfast and rock-solid. You probably know the type. People who would never utter the words "I don't know" because they are always 100% sure of everything they think or feel. Most of the time, I'm a lot more wishy-washy than that. And if you are also the type who can be persuaded and swayed, watch out for those strong-minded individuals who might like to push you around.

One of the difficulties with being yourself is that, as a living, breathing human, you are a changeable entity. Being alive means constantly changing. Our bodies completely replace every single cell, including all of our bones, every seven years. If you are looking to make changes in your strength, your alignment, your skill level, your flexibility, or any other aspect of your physical being, this is really a great thing. You are pliable and malleable. You are capable of significant change. But how do we continuously change and yet remain true to ourselves? As I've mentioned, it's not always easy.

Over the course of my career, I have veered in many different directions, although I have always kept movement, dance, fitness, and health at the center of my world. I have taught a wide range of classes in a variety of settings, from university dance departments to community colleges to rec centers to pre-schools. I have taught classes that revolve around spiritual ideas as well as classes that are purely physical. Sometimes I feel like a chameleon, slipping into a different skin as I walk into each class. And yet they are all me. All express a part of who I am. I can shake my booty teaching Zumba one minute, change outfits, and breathe deeply through a gentle yoga class the next minute. And I feel completely true to myself in each one.

But in the past, I have stayed in positions for longer than I should have. In some cases, I believe I was seeing myself through the eyes of society and trying to impress others with my position. (Which is completely ridiculous as I have never held any remotely impressive position!) Nevertheless, I believe some of my choices were ego-driven. And although ego can sometimes work to push us in positive directions, ego can also get in the way of finding what truly brings happiness and fulfillment. What looks good to others from the outside may not be what feels good to us on the inside. And it is always important to assess what is behind our choices.

So "be yourself" really means listen to the inner voice that whispers quietly about your deepest desires. Don't be afraid to disappoint someone else if you are being true to yourself. Try to let go of what the world may think of your choices and feel in your heart what is best for you. Let go of what you no longer need and reach for what brings you true joy and fulfillment.