As many of you know, I had the amazing opportunity to travel a lot this summer. Each experience (so far) has been unique in its’ location and purpose. Every trip was a blessing, with many very high moments, a few lows, and a lot of in-between. And each one presented the opportunity to get to know the friends and family I was traveling with a little more intimately. 

I took so much out of each experience, and that includes the relationships. Upon reflection, this crazy summer of jetting and driving around the world and state of WI made me more excited to continue to encourage all of you in many ways, and for today I have a very short message: 

Just be you. 

Although this seems that it should be simple. But, like Nike’s famous slogan, “Just Do It,” I know that this command to live as your authentic self is very layered and loaded. We all come at this from different backgrounds and upbringings, which may or may not include trauma. We live in a confusing culture. We have created and bought into technology that furthers the possibilities, and therefor furthers the confusion. Many of us are people pleasers, projecting personas, terrible communicators, and/or hiding behind masks… all while taking what we perceive to be the easy route of avoidance, or upholding a victim mentality. We do all of us in the name of being more selfless, when we are often being more self-serving, actually putting out energy into hiding from who we really are. 

Now, I don’t believe that everyone deserves to get all of us. With healthy boundaries, some people get the more watered-down version. But, the ingredients/solution can remain the same. 

Also, I would never want you to think that I believe that selflessly serving others isn’t important. I actually believe in the exact opposite. But, I know that if you are serving from an inauthentic, ungrounded place there is more room for resentment and/or burnout later on. That saying that you “can’t pour from an empty cup” is literally and figuratively true. 😉 

We are all human. And I believe we are out here doing the best we can. This is not a call to decide that you are “broken.” It is not meant to provoke anxiety, or further an already present sense of falling short. 

I am excited to offer you permission to start making small, daily decisions to just be you. 

To speak up. Your thoughts are worth saying and hearing. 

Have opinions on some of the small stuff. When asked, “What do you want for dinner”?, don’t automatically and quickly say, “I don’t care.” Take time to pause and consider whether or not you actually do care. And if it feels like you don’t care about anything, practice making some of these small decisions. Explore the true complexity that is you.

Share your real feelings with people you trust. 

Don’t lose your filter of “how will this affect those I care about, or humanity as a whole.” But, also don’t decide for them out of your own fear. 

Have the conflict. Fully, and kindly, express yourself. Learn how to fight fair. Apologize. Forgive. 

Identify your passions. Allow yourself to dream. 

Then consider how to start down paths to reach them. Do so with less rigidity and more curiosity, open to new opportunities and experiences, and/or losing and grieving along the way. 

The small things add up— eventually cultivating the self awareness, trust, compassion, and autonomy that helps you live the fullest human experience. And this includes giving and connecting with others. 

The three simple words, “Just Be You,” are not a simple command. It requires lifelong awareness. But, from someone who wasn’t aware that this was even possible (and oblivious to the fact that I actually wasn’t living this way)–it is absolutely worth it.

And if you need someone to allow you space to show up as you, message me. My favorite people to connect with are the ones who bring their best effort at authentic, even if we are all imperfect. I will take real over feigned perfection any day… (And I enjoy watered down to full strength–and anything in between).