Belonging Does Not Require Conforming: Lessons of Pride
June is Pride month, a month for the LGBTQ community to celebrate the often heroic courage it requires to express and share your true, authentic self with the world. It’s a great reminder for everyone, particularly those of us who operate from a space of privilege & freedom of self-expression: do not squander this privilege by caving to society’s expectations, do not dim your light so as not to outshine, and do not mold yourself in order to fit in. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that belonging is not the same as conforming.
Here’s what I’m doing this month in honor of pride:
Practicing Radical Acceptance of Self and Others
Tip: Easier said than done. But, here’s the practice that assists me in staying kind: If I start to catch myself being ‘judgey’ either of myself or others, I ask myself, “What’s this triggering inside of me?” I listen. You will hear an answer. Be patient. Just by asking that very question, it takes the focus off of the surface-level conversation and gives it depth, so that you can work the answer and begin to untangle what’s really going on inside of you. 99% of the time, I find it has nothing to do with what I thought it did and everything to do with getting clear about my own unresolved issues. Boom!
Speaking up and honoring my inner-voice. Practicing ruthless authenticity.
Tip: This always sounds like a good idea, but when it comes to practicing it, the fear of ‘rocking the boat’ generally creeps in. One of the best practices I do is I get clear on what I’m taking a stand for each day. I do this by setting a clear intention. Today, I’m taking stand for sharing all of who I am with the world, so that I can connect with others and been seen and heard for who I really am. Get clear on your vision of who you want to be in the world each day and claim it! To put this into action more, I simply ask myself, what’s the very next step I can take today to embody this vision? Ready go!
Modeling my firm belief that true belonging comes through a service heart.
Tip: Having a generous heart, a service heart, is not only something I believe in, it’s something I practice daily. It’s also something I think we can over-complicate, thinking generosity has to be some big, grandiose gesture, when it doesn’t. In fact, it’s not necessarily an action although that’s how society measures service. It’s really a way of living and a place to come from and can be a combination of doing and being. Having a generous heart can look like many different things – having an open heart as you support your family (way of being), volunteering your time and resources (way of doing) or simply listening to someone with your full presence (again, way of being).
One of the prayers I say each morning (well, throughout the day) goes something like this [insert whatever word for God that aligns with your heart], “God, use me today, all of me, in way that’s of highest service to those around me, so I can make a positive impact.” Just by saying this very prayer, you’re partnering up with something bigger than yourself, sending a signal that your open and committed to living your most potent-self today. This requires not just a commitment, but a recommitment each day. We know life happens, sometimes by the minute, so the more we get clear on what we’re committed to and show up from that place, the more we’re able to live from that vision.
How are you going to embody pride this month? What if it was less about achievements and more about how you show up not only for others, but yourself? Tell us, what are you taking stand for this month? We want to support you in actualizing your full potential and experiencing all of the joy along the way.