When I started craving different ideas & conversation,
authentic relationship,
honest reflection,
& creativity in motion,
I looked at my friends & family,
at work, influence, & inspiration,
to find what was wrong,
what was out of alignment,
or what I needed that was missing?

Upon 1st glance, nothing jumped-out. There was no alert to something being awry. In fact, what I discovered is nothing in particular NEEDED to change. There wasn’t necessarily anything missing. Everything could’ve remained the same & life would’ve continued on “fine” as ever. Except for me, I wasn’t “fine”.

I had grown weary of “fine” & what it had long since delivered. As quickly as I had found it, as quickly as life had become “fine”, it had un-become it & in its place a vacancy was felt. Everything and everyone that received a ‘pass’ because it was “fine” changed. What was accepted would be no longer, & in its place wasn’t contempt, but curiosity. A flurry of curiosity that was topped by a yearning for more. More from life, more from experience, more from Me, more from everything, and so, I searched on.

I didn’t need new friends.
I didn’t need different relationships.
There was no insatiable craving for consumption, mentors, credentialing, or material from which to learn more of the same.

Rather, what I needed,
what I longed for,
craved the attention of,
wasn’t anything “out there”,
it was here, all along, in me,
screaming for attention.

When I noticed that what I was seeking resource from wasn’t external, but internal, I decided that if I was going to matter, then I needed to move like it. I would need to believe that I mattered. I would need to let me out of my cage. I would need to emerge & be beautifully-flawed-perfection, in progress, & BIG everywhere. I would need to choose to stand out with me.

In considering bigness, I didn’t know what it meant. Not from this view. Not from a perspective that was asking me to consider it for myself.

I didn’t know what it was to be BIG, beautifully flawed, & in progress. I didn’t know what I wanted it to mean to me. This, you see, is where most people stop. This is where most of us get confronted by our own questions & when we can’t immediately come up with a response, we retreat, turnback, stop, & return to who we’ve always been.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Zero. Zilch. Nada. There is nothing wrong with this, because there is nothing wrong with US.

You heard me correct. How we learn, grow, change, or not, is how we do it. And, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, if you consider for 1/2 a second that the life you’re living is NOT a mistake, that it was created & designed specifically with you in mind, then one might conclude that how you learn, grow, & change, no matter how arduous or painstaking it is, was created & mapped out to occur in a way that is most beneficial to you.

Believe me. I can hear many rebuttals to this. I can hear the pain of my pain, raging. The hurt of my hurts pleading with me to reconsider. Begging me to rethink what I just said. Asking how could this thing that has caused me so much angst be beneficial to me? Well, that’s a nugget only you get to discern, but it is there, and I believe it. And, there is nothing wrong with that.

There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with how you learn, grow, & change, or not. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH US. Periodt.

This is what stops us. The belief that we’re somehow broken. That our pieces are put together incorrectly & even if they’re not, we’d still “do it” wrong; life, living, joy, money, growth, pain, sex, love, us. That we’re a conduit of negativity. That we’re actually a resource for it & because we believe that we are, we also believe we are an energy force for the bad, a conductor of mayhem, an attractor for the dysfunctional, unclear, unfamiliar, & unknown, that we abandon ourselves and defer back to how we’ve always been. WHY? Because if how we function is more them, than you, then no wonder branching out to explore that which hasn’t been told to us about how to be, think, feel, or act, terrifies the living shit out of us. NO WONDER. No wonder we don’t know what to do without someone telling us who to be or how to do it.

THIS… this way of thinking is the stop. NOT YOU.

Thinking that we have a question inside of ourselves that we don’t know the answer to & because we don’t know it, we’re ill-equipped to go searching for it in confidence, with conviction, presence of psyche, & safety. When we believe that we don’t know how to answer the questions of our lives, if someone hasn’t already answered it, that very belief CAN become our automatic response which causes us to stop. It teaches us to stop looking for what we can’t find & instead, search for the way someone else has already done it or revert back to the way in which we already do know.

In the discovery of stop, in seeing where I self-abandon, where I defer or outsource response, I saw it. I saw that the stop wasn’t the whole issue. Rather, a supporting role. The crux of my crux wasn’t that I stop, it is that far before stopping, far beyond that was the conflict of trusting that I didn’t have to follow the rules. I didn’t have to let someone else lead me. I could choose to step outside of the paint by number existence that I had become accustomed to, unbuckle, throw my hands in the air, & ride off of the rails.

What I realized about my own bigness is that in order to trust it, I needed to trust me. And, in order to trust me with it, I needed to know the following:

  1. what I wanted from me
  2. what I wanted from me with it

I needed to get clear about what it meant to me & what I wanted access for. I needed to ask myself what I wanted in relation to it, to allow myself to answer freely, outside of the box, & from my truth.

In my bigness, the 1st thing I decided is that there will be no box. In fact, Fuck The Box! Unless the box is me gift wrapped as a present to myself, there is no box from which I will choose to operate anymore.

I am willing & welcoming to accept this change; for you & for me.

I allow those who claim seats at my table to walk-out at any time & if so, I bid adieu with respect, love, & sovereignty of choice.

In their absence, I don’t have to wage war, find fault, beg, spew venom, gaslight, validate, or bear resentment. Instead, I choose to honor their freedom with promise, like clearing a pasture for planting seeds. I embrace the spaciousness and embrace the potential new growth of those willing to sit down & welcome themselves.

What I needed wasn’t to take & replace “things”, “people”, or “places”.

What I needed was to admit that I am someone to know & trust; that I have something special to offer, to receive, create, observe, & love. That I am the only me. I am an individual worth knowing, but do I believe that? Do I embody it? Do I know, like, & trust myself?

That was the $1,000,000 question I wasn’t asking.

Shannon, Sally, Tom, [insert your name here], do you know, like, & trust yourself?

The answer: No. I didn’t. Not like this. Not as this person. This person who has been built after rules, order, & persona. The person who holds her trauma as a Scarlet Letter. The person who keeps the world at an arms length. The person who’s convinced herself that not only is she angry, but she is anger. When, really, she’s scared & trying to protect herself; homesick & eager to reclaim the truth of what has always been inside.

I needed to decide to get to know me; to know what makes me think things like, “I am an angry person”, when a person has emotions, but isn’t them. I knew that, so why didn’t I know it?

I needed to learn compassion, empathy, & forgiveness for trauma.

I needed to rebuild a trusting relationship with myself.

I needed to celebrate & love the version of me that got me here; thank her, admire her, & grieve her.

I needed to stop playing small & start living according to me, but in order to do that, I needed to be willing to declare what I want.

If I wanted new conversations, then I was going to need to be willing to have them.

If I wanted new experiences, then I would need to be willing to create & seize them.

If I wanted new relationships, then I would need to know & contribute toward them.

It was time to stop sitting in conversations, relationships, & environments that no longer suited me. It was time to see that I was no longer who I was. I had changed & so what I needed from life changed, too. It truly was about Me & Not Them. “It’s not you, it’s me.”

There was & is nothing wrong with them. There’s nothing wrong with newness. There is also nothing wrong with me. Not then as who I or they were, & not now, now that I’m aware of my desire for difference.

In my difference, I noticed little space for me & by little, I mean, I didn’t know me, so that’s where I decided to start. I would create space for me to BIG in the world, & in that spaciousness, BIGNESS, & oneness in it, I would decide to become my own.

I will decide to know, like, & trust me, no matter what, at every turn, & no matter the difference.

I will own my bigness like the Queen of a Queendom would; in ferocity, brilliance, flexibility, love, keen fashion sense & knowing.

I will respect the crown, castle, community, & moat of my own territory.

I will govern in sovereignty & with understanding of intention.

I will become my own responsibility, & in doing so, trail-blaze a path to self-honor. One that upholds the boundaries of a Shannon that respects not only self, but other, & moves in a way that embodies it.

I decide to ride off of the rails, unveil conditioning, recognize when I operate according to others more than self, speak lyrically in love, & rally for the rebellion of conformity. I will own that if it matters to me, then I will move like it matters, & in reverence, honor those in contemplation, energy, or action, who search for, champion with, & do, same.

Who would you be if you let You Be?
What would a life riding off of the rails mean to you?

Be Good to Yourself for Fuck’s Sake!

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