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Are You “Fitting In or Reaching In?”

The concept of “fitting in” starts at such a young age and has many consequences. From the moment we are born, memories and experiences create beliefs about our SELF. In our early years many “labels”are assigned simply by who we play with, activities we explore, where we live and how we physically look. The next time you see someone; notice how labels easily become the conversation. Typical communication often involves relationship status, number of children and profession along with discussion about traffic and weather. I am not suggesting that every time you meet someone or are with a friend you should bare your soul. I am suggesting you notice the conversations you are having, who you are having them with and how they make you feel.

I am aware of the labels I carry and how they affect me as an adult in the context of “fitting in”. People know me as “mom, divorced, widow, social worker, and yogi; little with blond crazy curly hair. I find the “little and curly hair” comments fascinating. I can meet a total stranger and often the first thing they say is, “your hair is so curly and you are so little”. I always wonder how to respond? It’s true and if you know me: yes, I have super curly hair and I am just under 5 feet tall. I actually truly embrace my curls and my petite size. I would just never meet someone and say, “wow, your eyes are green and you know, your legs are really skinny”.

When I attach to these “labels” certain expectations, thoughts and emotions can be consuming. I find myself not fitting in to the “norm”, left out, rejected and alone. These negative limiting beliefs only hold me back. My experiences are my story; which are profound and significant. Yes, I experienced divorce, my fiancé was killed and I practice social work. One powerful way through the negative beliefs has been to “reach in.” The effects of quieting my mind and reaching inward illuminate my SELF and allow me to connect to my true authentic self. I experience the pain and sadness, feel it and let it go. I also experience a knowing that I am love, light, compassion, bliss, connected and fulfilled. When I go about my day with family, friends and colleagues with this wisdom, I sparkle joy!

When we spend our time attempting to fit in with friends, family members, colleagues and community we often forget who we truly are. Our true self is playing a game of hide and seek. Many of us are pleasing others and not practicing self-care. To remember who you are, you must reach in. There is NO judgment in trying to fit in. It is normal and becomes a habit. We are human and I still do this often. However, now I am aware. The difference is to notice your true connections or when you are trying to fit in somewhere that does not fulfill you. This awareness takes enormous commitment and practice! You may be wondering how I, or you, can “reach in”. Some ways I practice “reaching in” are through meditation, yoga and being in nature. This practice has proven major positive transformation in my perception of my SELF and how I LIVE my life.

Imagine the space, joy, peace, harmony and light you can experience. Even if it’s just for a moment, can you remember that it’s possible? We are all meant to love ourselves and connect with others in meaningful authentic ways. I encourage you to pause, hope, reach in and I wonder who will shine through.

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