I've scribbled the alphabet for meaning since I can remember.
There I was driving, listening to a Chase Jarvis podcast when I verbally exclaimed:
“Yes, #$%in’ Marie Forleo said it! Yes!”
And just like that, I was given permission and it felt amazing. Truly.
What am I talking about?
For years — years — I have cringed when people ask me what I do.
Why? Because I don’t have a cocktail party answer, and in today’s society, everybody wants an answer that they can nibble, comparatively digest, and label.
“Ah, I do Lomilomi.”
“I’m in the healing arts.”
“I am in Wellness.”
“I teach a Polynesian philosophy on wellness,” which has been the closest attempt at accessible language.
Then I hear a wildly successful woman say, “I used to cringe when people asked me what I did.”
I swear I stared at the radio speakers and said: Hallelujah.
I was not crazy. I was not alone and I don’t have to have a cocktail answer for my life. Marie Forleo was doing life coaching before anyone had heard of it, which is why she is now one of the Queens of life-coaching.
Now that is liberating because you have to dig deep to stand tall when no one can put you in a socially acceptable peg — and that my friend is priceless. Not easy, but priceless.
What you don’t have to do, once you do the excavation of finding your self (which is endless, by the way), is smudge up your brilliance and duck your head to make someone else feel taller. I am not sure why we do this, but we do, especially women.
Tip: The next time you are at a party, ask someone what they enjoy. Or what is one thing they love. Don’t lead with, “What do you do?” and see how (and if) the conversation changes. Sometimes, when I am here on the East Coast, I want to remind everyone we are more than the work that we do. Some people love their work; some people don’t; some just don’t want to talk about it, so, let’s remind each other that we are small and infinitely interesting universes —- even at cocktail parties.
Kate is on the East Coast writing, sharing lomi + teaching workshops, her coaching sessions are a bit eclectic, but her clients are everywhere. zip an email if interested in learning more.
I love this! "Here I am shoving myself back into the box I jumped out of so I can feel good over the appetizer of conversation." Perfectly sums up the self-inflicted irony, and the strong compulsion to make ourselves small so it will all just be easier, and people we meet can just pull out one of the pre-fab person descriptions we all carry around instead of having to actually think and engage. Thank you for writing this!
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