Me. Garden of the Gods - Lana'i, Hawaii
There are times when I think, "Really, you are still learning this?" I suppose, like everything in life, we go through times when we flourish and times when we recede.
This past week, I had a truly wonderful flourishing experience and it was all about trusting myself and using what I have learned from others along the way, integrated with my own personal experience.
I was giving a presentation and decided to apply the ways I have learned from our Indigenous Elders on campus. The elders teach us by telling their truth, their history and applying it to the situation and people to whom they are speaking to create a climate of understanding, sharing, trust and learning. They teach us through story - a way as old as time.
I was speaking about showcasing our people at work, who they are and their backgrounds and how our excellence comes from engaging the hearts and minds of our people. Shining a light for one another on our paths to achievement rather than just lighting up the finish line.
Anyway, what I want to talk about is the risks we take in life and being true to ourselves. This isn't exactly earth shattering, cutting edge thinking but it astounds me that, at 53, I'm still learning to trust myself. Not that I ever want to be over-confident; perhaps a modicum of self-doubt is healthy.
It is a risk, getting up in front of a group of people that includes your leaders and mentors and speaking your personal truth, your story, as it relates to the subject at hand. It is a fine intersection point between being anecdotal and hoping that the experience you bring and share offers a common ground for everyone present - a place from which each individual can be heard and appreciated.
It feels good to know I hit the mark on this occasion, that I had an impact and created an opening for thought and discussion of the issues at hand. It feels good to know that I am learning, growing and that I'm a little more at home in my skin than I was last week. That's the whole point, isn't it? We learn; we grow; we succeed; we fail. We persist. We stand tall in our own skin and say, "I am here. I belong. I have something to share with you."
We can only give what we have to give - freely and with a good heart. How it is received is beyond our control; still, we must give and be true to ourselves. Try it out - slowly and gently if you need, but be "you". Be strong, simple, perfectly good, "you".
Enjoy yourself along the way.
-Gillian Cornwall, March 15, 2015
Me. Strong, simple, perfectly good, "me".