Those Ten Pounds? Forget About Them.

Sitting in bed in my reading glasses and sweats, the house decidedly a mess, my suitcase not yet unpacked from my weekend away, no shower taken after my walk. I've decided that if I wait until I get everything done to write, I never get to it. We're that way too often really...we put things off that make us happy until we "deserve" them, and then, of course, we end up resentful and annoyed that we don't get to do what matters. Well, tonight, enough. The chores can wait.

NowThisLife.com - HayHouse.com

I spent the weekend in San Jose at the Ignite conference put on by Hay House. If you don't know Hay House, they're an inspirational publishing house that not only develops and publishes self help and transformational authors, but also produces live events around the world, and runs their own radio station. I hadn't heard of them until last year when my friend Therese asked me to join her for a weekend event in Pasadena. We thoroughly enjoyed everything and left feeling rejuvenated, inspired, well rested, and motivated. It's all very Oprah, Live Your Best Life-ish and makes for a great girls' getaway.

This year's conference was a little different format, in that they had several keynote speakers, including PBS stalwart and bestseller Wayne Dyer, but they also showcased many newer authors who each spoke for twenty minutes. In that short block of time, each author told their story and also a little bit about their book.

There is nothing like seeing so many people in short bursts to give you perspective.

We all make snap judgments based on our first impressions...it's the way we categorize the world and decide who to spend our energy and time with. And because we know other people are making these judgments about us, we worry about coming across well. Unfortunately, I think that this leads to believing that we aren't good enough the way we are, to trying to be someone we imagine people will like, instead of being who we really are.

This weekend really pounded one clear message into my skull: Be yourself.

Now, I know that this is not breaking news. We tell it to our children every day; we read it in magazine articles and books; it's drilled into our brains from so many sources. But we don't believe it. I don't know any woman who believes that she is good enough just the way she is. We all think we'd be "better" if we lost ten pounds, if we worked a little harder, if we were more patient, or sexier, or made more money, or had clearer skin, or did Bikram Yoga. The list of self-criticisms is endless.

I watched a whole lot of people get up on stage this weekend; they ranged from polished to brand new and nervous, from tremendously fit to decidedly overweight, from gorgeously dressed to desperately in need of a makeover. And the ones who grabbed the audience? The ones that everyone responded to with standing ovations?

They were, without an exception, thoroughly authentic.

They were so clearly THEMSELVES, whether that self was a flamboyantly swishy Angel Tarot Card reader (Radleigh Valentine), a commanding intellectual at the top of her form (Caroline Myss), or the the lesbian daughter of a Mafia Kingpin (Rita Gigante). Regardless of how far from "perfect" they were, because they were so comfortable in their own skin, we loved them.

This, more than anything, is what I took away from my weekend: Stop asking permission to be yourself; stop looking for validation from others; just be. Do what feels right for YOU. Wear what you are comfortable in, speak the way you speak, say out loud what you believe in your heart, live the life you are called to.

Be brave, be fearless, do whatever it takes to live this one precious life in a way that makes you sing.

The people who matter will love you for it. And, most importantly, you will love yourself.

The mess will wait, the suitcase will get unpacked later. And you can finally just forget about those ten pounds.

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