by Mel Blackwood @troubleon8wheels
Authenticity. Live an authentic life. Be your authentic self. What does this really mean? It seems to be a phrase of the moment. I think that showing up as the whole of you takes a huge amount of courage.
Back in October 2020, when I was working to open the shop, I was reading Brene Brown’s Dare To Lead, and in it, she says that you should have 2-3 core values and no more. She then presented the reader with a list of about 50 core values, all of which are important! Trust, patience and happiness are all incredibly important, as are courage and resilience. How to choose? It took me a couple of weeks - I made a list and kept going back to it, researching around the word, to learn the meaning and decide if I identify with the value.
I chose ‘joy’ because I believe roller skating should bring joy in the purest form. Not the foreboding type of joy that says ‘I’m having fun, until I fall and hurt myself’ the type of joy that happens in the moment of losing track of time and fills up your energy. This type of joy is self-care. When you feel good about yourself, you can give more to others, and it’s our responsibility to take care of ourselves, first and foremost.
I chose ‘authenticity’ because in order to show up and be proud of who you are, you need a high degree of self-awareness and courage. I gave away too much of my energy and time and found that I didn’t really know myself as well as I thought I did.
What do I want? Really? What do I like? Given some free time, what do I want to do most of all? Can I look at myself in the mirror and be pleased with what I see? There was a time when I couldn’t have a mirror in my house because I didn’t like my reflection.
To answer the above questions - I love to travel and want to see and experience all the world has to offer. I love my partner and son and carve out time with them. I’m happy with my reflection now, though loving myself was not easy! I’m still working on accepting a compliment. I know that I think differently to a lot of people. Now that I am becoming more courageous about sharing my thoughts, I have found that folks with similar values have found me. I’m now surrounded by people who lift me up and in turn I can lift and support them. Being authentically myself feels like inner peace. Oh, and I like to play Pokemon Go.
Recently, I've added a third value of 'personal growth', as embodied right here with this blog series. This one is about getting more comfortable with being uncomfortable, by choosing situations that are outside of my comfort zone. The right way is rarely the easy way. Eventually, they will be part of my comfort zone.
What do you value?