I came here because I am all about leadership. Not in the traditional sense, but in a new way of thinking about & looking at leadership. I believe everyone is a leader. AND... I have a hard time being a leader myself.
Leadership can be scary. When I do something I feel strongly about that someone disagrees with, I get criticized, which is no fun at all. In fact it has happened recently and made me pull back from who I am as a leader. Whispering truths instead of shouting them. Editing myself instead of letting my words & ideas flow. Hog tying my inner leader & throwing her in a closet to wait out the criticism.
While I'm not sure what the nay-sayers are thinking post light-dimming, I do know I've annoyed another group...the people who love me. The people who want me to shine bright & share what I know. The people who accept my flaws, acknowledge my mistakes & know that behind them lays depth, wisdom, & something else I've been wary of sharing. My beauty.
Does it get more arrogant than to say I am beautiful? Good heavens... what a jack ass, right?
Because if all I do is share the other side of me--my goofy, silly, who-needs-make-up-or-a-hairbrush side--I am in essence saying beauty doesn't matter. That it's not ok. That people who strive to be beautiful, both on the inside & outside, are somehow less than those who are willing to be vulnerable & share their flaws.
I realized that once I have become really good at something (like sharing my goofy, silly, flaw-ridden self), it is no longer vulnerable to do so. Now it's second nature.
What would be really vulnerable is to admit that when I stand in front of the mirror... I like who I see. That I love my long shiny hair & full pouty lips. That I think I have a cute butt and great legs. That my B-cup boobs make me really, really happy because I can go bra-optional & not worry how they look. That for the first time in my life, I am super proud of how I look in a bikini.
It's far more vulnerable for me to share a picture of me looking sexy & desirable at 39 than it is to show a collage of my make-up removal gone awry (which I took pictures of, for goodness sake!!). Being goofy has become my protection mechanism.
But lots of women find their "inner mean girl" and start a "who does that bitch think she is?" dialogue when a beautiful woman walks in the room. I know because I've done it. And I also know because I've been hurt by it.
So I wrapped myself in a sea of goofy costumes, silly faces, & things many people find outlandish. They would never do it, so they call me brave. It might have been when I started & didn't know how it would go over. But now I do it all the time... so I am not sure it's brave anymore.
Leadership isn't about being comfortable (which I totally am in my silly, goofy, crazy mode). Leadership is risking discomfort for a bigger conversation. It's opening up to the possibility that someone might unleash her inner mean girl on me... but knowing the risk is worth it if owning my beauty, my brilliance, & my light encourages even one other woman to do the same.
I will keep claiming, being, & doing the things I am comfortable with... mostly because I think the world needs them. But as of today, I am declaring my intention to claim the stuff that scares the crap out of me too. My beauty. My power. My brilliance. Not out of arrogance... but out of service.
Because if I'm scared to do it, someone else is too. And maybe seeing this post will inspire her to claim her own utter freaking AMAZINGNESS!!
I love my life.
I love my body just as it is.
I am beautiful.
I am powerful.
I am sexy.
I am desirable.
I am brilliant.
I inspire people.
I spread joy & delight.
I am a shining light.
I make the world a better place just by being me.
Thank you for reading!! If you enjoyed this post or think this declaration might help a woman you know claim her beauty, brilliance, power, or more...please share!! Special thanks to Stacie Frazier of Haute Shots Beauty & Boudoir Photography for helping me find the outer beauty that matches what I know to be my inner beauty. I cannot recommend her work highly enough!!!
This post brought to you by Leslie Stein & the number 10. Because YOU...are...a...10!!!