It is bigger than all of us combined.
Life is expanding by the billions. That is to say, there are billions more bodies taking up space on this earth than there used to be. There was a time when humans were not the planet’s dominant inhabitants. Other life had room.
But now, dinosaurs reside in boardrooms and in politics while knuckle-dragging neophytes swipe right for a date on Saturday night. There are a whole lot more: bigger, better and faster. We are metastasizing.
And I paint this kind of picture because when it comes time to “be you”, “follow your heart” and “be authentic”, it can feel like fighting cancer. The current paradigm, what your mom said, or what your coworkers think of you are all invasive forces that often inhabit the space where you—the whole of who you are—need to reside.
If you dare to follow your dreams and upset the status quo, it is almost certain that someone will tell you, “You should just get a job and save for retirement.” This isn’t bad advice if investing your life and time into someone else’s vision suits you. There are really great companies to work for.
There is a sort of comical trade that exists in the market place. The rebellious artist who, at best, will shift the culture through his or her struggles to translate his or her campaign into a sustainable lifestyle. Conversely, the “worker bee” type settles comfortably into a middle class life where personal integrity is buried under temporary profits and superfluous purchases. Further, each class is constantly comparing themselves to the other.
So, the first step in knowing how to be who you are is to believe in the things that inspire you. How many times has it been said, “Believe in yourself?” Well no one knows, unequivocally, who the f*ck they really are.
It’s been said that imagination is more important than knowledge.
The universe does not exist in a vacuum and life does not exist in a static state. We can never be photographed as ourselves. We are always the picturing of who we were. That is what knowledge is; it is the recognition of who we were, not who we are.
Imagination is the acknowledgement of dimensional aspects of ourselves yet to be realized within physical realms. Whew! That is a mouthful. That is to say, the things that inspire you are like seeds calling to you to water them with your attention.
Rumi said, “That which you are seeking is seeking you.”
So again I say, if you want to be yourself you must invest your body and soul in believing in the things that inspire you. Trust the still small voice that wakes you up with novel ideas in the middle of the night. Listen to the nagging feeling that is telling you it is time to break up, move, quit, start, create, come out and transform. Hone in on desire and fan its flames.
I could go on but, rather than deliver a sermon on how you can inhabit the core of your unique existence, I will use myself as an example.
In the spring of this year, 2015, I decided it was time for me to move from Colorado to California. In the grand scheme of things, this is not a mind-blowing choice. In fact, wanting to move back to California—my birth state—has been tugging on me for about three years now.
I stuck around Colorado because of a man. And I think I stuck around because I had unfinished business here. In the three years I remained, I started and ran my own psychotherapy practice that focused on resolving people’s relationship challenges. It was rewarding, but I couldn’t break through the self-employed-self-imposed-poverty-ceiling.
Did I help people? Sure. But, I struggled relentlessly.
Then the moment came. My relationship with the man I loved with all I had, the relationship that inspired my book Breakup Rehab, the relationship that I went back to time and time again was not only no longer viable; it was no longer redeemable. In its place, ghosts of moments past lingered all over Denver and Boulder.
Further, when it came to the launching of my business, I ran out of steam. In fact, the worst part was all the “coaches” that wanted to sell me their way of making six-figures. They would say, “Well, I had to take a leap of faith and max out my credit card and look at me now.”
Most of them had husbands to back their maxed-out-asses up.
So, through the mire of relentless salesmen, the devastation of lost love, and the illusive promise of future happiness, my spirit began to emerge.
I was inspired by the idea of living in California again. People would ask me, “Why are you going?” I would say, “Because family is there.” And my family has been the most challenging part of making this transition. I’m pretty sure I am freaking them the f*ck out because I don’t have a plan.
So, the real answer as to why I am doing anything is because I am inspired to.
Of course, I could go into more detail about my move or my life, but that will be covered in my next book My Life is Based on a True Story©.
The point is, it is all working out for you as you work out who you are. Taking a leap of faith is less about sticking the landing and more about trusting your inner guidance enough to leap (Dude—put that on a magnet and stick it on the fridge!)
In the simplest of terms, you already are who you are irrespective of becoming it.
So, go on and chase a dream. Chase girls. Chase boys. Chase magic. You won’t be the first person to do it. But, you are the only version of you that will activate life as you do.
Author: Rebekah McClaskey
Editor: Caroline Beaton
Photo: of the author, by Marie-Dominique Verdier