I want to be rocking a juicy, bronze, leathery ass, swimming in the ocean and enjoying beaches with the love of my life when I’m old. Thank you and Amen 🙌🏼🧡🍑👵🏽👴🏽✨👏🏽👏🏽"
So good, right?
I had actually just finished up my woo-woo practice of setting intentions for the month to come.
Note to my readers who are not well-versed in the language of the woo: Monday was a new moon which is a super powerful time to plant the seeds of your desires. Like farmers used to (still?) do as the moon’s gravitational pull is strongest so the moisture comes up to the top of the soil... making it easier to plant said seeds. (Luscious metaphor, right?)
In any case, my intentions and desires had been cast, or, erm, planted. They were pretty work/business-specific interspersed with wishes for my family and beloveds and for my activism and learning. Which is all well and good. Of course.
But this image, E’s words, really stopped me. And I kept coming back to them. Over and over and over again.
That sense of play.
When all is said and done, that’s what I want. A life well-lived, enjoyed, and relished.
That’s a lot of meaning in that there Brazilian bikini.
And I noticed as I went about my evening, roasted the chicken, went to the gym with my family, then flopped out on the couch to continue our Parks and Recreation marathon that I kept having this one thought:
How old would I need to be to have the confidence to strut in that bikini?
(Like I said. This isn’t about a bikini. But also? It’s kind of about a bikini.)
Interestingly, in the nine-month program I am leading (The Starring Role Academy), we are currently trying on the different ROLES that we want to step into... the ones that will really rankle the Impostor Complex so that we can learn the process to overcome it time and time again. And the metaphor we use is that we are “trying ON the Roles." You know… like a gown or a suit or an armour. Feeling where it’s a stretch. Or too tight. Or just right.
So that’s what I’ve been speaking into as folx are struggling with the hems of “Leader” or the cut of “CEO." We want things to fit immediately, but we need to move around in them some to see how they’ll work with our actual lives.
And I found myself saying these words:
“I can try on a bodycon dress and not be ready to walk out the door and stop traffic in it. YET. But if I like how it fits and like how it feels, even though it won't work with me when I am on stage or visiting a sick friend on her farm, I can imagine a time that I know that I am CAPABLE of wearing said bodycon dress that stops traffic... and that may be enough for the moment. Because in time, it ceases being about the dress, and becomes only about the confidence to wear whatever the hell we damned well please.”
And that’s it, right?
The confidence to wear whatever we damned well please.
Because it’s also about having the confidence to step into, eat, create, ask for, name, claim, lobby for whatever we damned well please.
Is it going to feel weird the first time the sun hits your butt cheeks? Or the first time you say no to her? Or the first time you bring social activism into your classroom?
Of course it is.
But I guarantee there is no magical age that unlocks that confidence.
Buy the bikini.
Ask for the work.
Tell the truth.
And then strut like you mean it.
I know I will.
Don’t you love learning how things work? I do too.
Which is why I broke down HOW the Impostor Complex works.
How it tried to keep us alone and isolated. How it tries to have us doubt our capacity. And how it tries to keep us out of action. I also wrote about how Following Through is inextricably linked to Integrity. (Which is inextricably linked to Unshakeable Confidence. See how this all works?)
AND... I want you to know that my brilliant friend Vanessa Mentor’s new digital home is alive and well and is an exquisite offering to Living Unrestrained. And so is she. In her words: “The feminine code of conduct is a set of predefined cultural and societal rules, demands, and expectations (rooted in Patriarchy and Colonialism) on what’s appropriate and good for women.” Find her work here.
Did you know that Dolly Parton turned down Elvis Presley’s ask to record "I Will Always Love You" because he insisted on 50% of the publishing rights? *swoon*
Dolly is my model of shining bright in her badassery. Then as now. (I wonder if she wears a bikini.)
And friends who remind me that I have them on speed dial.
The beauty astounds.