Dear Imaginative Woman,
When I worked at my office job, I didn't find much space for being my True Self.
This was because my main interests were in personal development, the healing journey, philosophy, magic, and mysticism, and I was a database manager.
I had opted into a career where, for the most part, I wasn't able to talk about my interests to the people I was surrounded by 40+ hours a week.
I was in a technical, logical community, when what I craved was magic.
Every day as I stepped into my cubicle I would fold up my True Self, tucking away my interests and passions, so I could try to fit into my career.
Today, I want to share a story with you about one of the moments I tucked my True Self away and why I believe your True Self is the key to freedom.
One of my big interests at the time was Reiki.
I had completed a Reiki Practitioner training, and I loved it. I loved the feeling of energy flowing through my hands, and I loved how that energy helped and healed my clients.
At work, I would sometimes mention my Reiki side gig to colleagues who seemed more open to mystical things.
Other colleagues would overhear my conversations and would ask questions about it.
I tried not to go deep into the conversation with these colleagues. I would give them vague answers about what Reiki was and go on my way.
This worked fine, until one day I found myself in a car with three of my colleagues. We were driving back to work after going out for lunch.
The subject of Reiki came up, because they asked me how it was going, and then one of them asked me to tell her what it was.
She asked the question in a very pointed way. She really wanted to know EXACTLY what Reiki was.
She said every time she asked someone about it they never told her. They just said some vague thing that left her still not knowing. She asked me if I could please tell her what Reiki actually was, so she could finally understand.
Even though I had been careful to keep Reiki vague, in that moment I was presented with an opportunity to be real, and to talk about something I loved.
My True Self suddenly opened up and took over.
"Well", I said, "Reiki is a healing energy that exists in the world, and when I practice Reiki, that energy gets channeled through my head, down my arms, and out through my hands. Then it heals my clients through their energy fields."
I will never forget the silence which ensued. Crickets. Very awkward crickets.
My colleague said "Huh", and that was it. No follow up questions.
I was totally embarrassed. I wished really hard I had given her a vague answer. I wished I had never gone to that lunch or ever, ever mentioned Reiki at work.
In that silence I was overwhelmed by shame.
Even though I had been honest about what Reiki was in the moment, my shame said it was way, way too weird and why do I have to always say and do such weird stuff???
After that I did my best to never mention Reiki at work again.
I folded up my love of Reiki, and tucked her away with all the other things I loved.
Looking back, I can see how instead of sinking into shame, I could have used this experience as an opportunity to understand the best kind of work for me.
I already knew my specific job was boring for me, but this conversation was a clue the work culture as a whole wasn't right for me either.
I was an imaginative, day dreamy, magic loving, pagany, fantasy loving, writer, who LOVED talking about all of these things, and I was working in a technical job, surrounded by people who, for the most part, did not believe in magic.
I was good at my job, because I'm great at details and understand the tech world, but it wasn't a great match.
Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to pursue a different type of career, I was so overwhelmed by shame that I folded away more of my True Self.
My True Self is where all my aliveness, passion, interest, purpose, and magic come from. Without her, I became bereft, lost, and exhausted.
It wasn't until I actively worked to connect to my True Self again that I began to feel alive and also seek out a career that was right for me.
This is why I believe the first step to escaping your Dull Gray Cubicle job is to find your True Self, to reconnect to her, and to let her unfold and unfurl.
Your passion and purpose live in your True Self. Freedom lives in your True Self. Energy lives in your True Self.
She is the key to the kingdom, even if your current work culture isn't a good match for her.
Over the past few months I've been preparing The School of Wild Authenticity's first offering to help you find your True Self again.
It's an online course called "Come Back To Yourself", which will launch next Thursday!! I'm so excited!!!!!!
Until then, is there something you feel too embarrassed to share with your colleagues that you wish you could? This is a clue to who your True Self really wants to be.
P.S. Did you know The School of Wild Authenticity has a new Facebook group? This week we had an interesting conversation about your unique motivation style and how it can impact your work day. Join the group and the conversation here!