Not long ago I was listening to a keynote presentation at a conference when I was overcome with emotion. The weepiness was a gut reaction to validation of what I know to be true in my life: there is magic in emotion that must be revealed! I love poetry and was so incredibly moved while listening to David Whyte present to the large audience. I loved the cadences of his presentation and the way in which he was so real and vulnerable, even while standing in front of several hundred people. Sure, we were all life coaches so in general receptive to conversations of this sort, but David Whyte goes into corporate America and shares just the same way. He deftly facilitates big company meetings with all the usual bigwigs but he doesn’t dial down the woo-woo and emotion. He makes no division between who he is depending on the context. The weeping I experienced listening to the presentation was because of the realization of how many years in business I held back my authentic self and emotions more than I wanted to (and I did reveal a lot more than most others in that context). And the tears that my body released were in direct response to how David Whyte powerfully revealed his true self.
This speaker was unlike many in the world who put on a costume when they step into the business world. They play the part of leader, or of follower, wear the suit, wear the face and act the way they think they are supposed to act. Now, that isn’t to say that much of how they behave is unnatural and fake to who they are, but in all likelihood, they have held back on certain aspects of their personal style in order to fit in to the environment. David Whyte doesn’t do that in the least and he is doing just fine. Marianne Williamson is doing that too and she is just fine. Lately the list of successful people who bring their whole self—warts and all—to the world is growing. I think that trend is very exciting and I hope that more people—even if they aren’t big names—are catching on to the power of being authentic and not trying to put on a certain mask in different situations.
What I experienced too often is that people all the time—not just in the business world—too frequently hold back on revealing their full selves, all the mushy and awkward truths about their own experience in the world. It is all about being vulnerable so I know it is scary, but it is needed! I loved a post my friend Laurel just put on her Facebook page today where she says how grateful she is that she doesn’t have a Muggle job (for those of you not familiar with Harry Potter that would be non-magical jobs). And I know what she means—she gets to work with angels and do nourishing soul work and she gets to be true to her own voice. I am so grateful that I now do magical work too—as a celebrant creating love story wedding ceremonies and as a life coach helping people be true to themselves in their whole life. I think it is time that we bring all of the real emotion and softness of our real and best selves to the Muggle world too! It is so needed in every day aspects in life and work. Be silly, be real, be excellent, be magical, be whoever you are wherever you are!