This is something I’ve been practicing lately, and it has been a healing practice (which means I bump into my issues and self-imposed limitations along the way): “Inhale who I am. Exhale who I am not.” If you’ve been telling yourself who you are for your whole life and it isn’t helping you move forward, here’s a simple exercise for you.
“The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.” — Maya Angelou
Last week, I participated in a social media campaign hosted by The Imperfect Boss which was appropriately dubbed #thetruthrebellion. It was all about dropping the words we’ve been holding on to and cozying up to something far much more liberating: another possibility.
What do you believe about who you are? Are you willing to confess (even if it’s “just” to yourself) the invisible words you’ve been carrying around with you? I know they’re “just” words, but they have a way of influencing how you go about living your life and engaging with the world.
I’ve just confessed my invisible word. I wrote it on my skin with a permanent marker—yes, it came off but I kind of liked it being there. That’s the thing, too, is that we kind of get attached to the words we use to describe ourselves and then those attachments play out in our everyday life, in all areas of our life.
Choose your self-descriptions with a greater awareness and I bet you’ll notice a difference in how you engage with the world.
To me, the word small has meant a whole lot of things: Unheard. Invisible. Incapable. Insignificant. Left behind. Less than. Unable to fully express who I felt myself to be. None of that feels good and I actually don’t believe in it anymore.
The key is to not believe in the self-diminishing things you say and think.
I’m going to share some examples of what’s been coming up for me for almost the entirety of my life experience.
Think about what’s been coming up for you—for the last few days, weeks, months, years, or most of your life (if not the whole thing). Think about the words you’ve been identifying with and wonder if you can breathe in something different today.
A breathing exercise for releasing limitations and connecting with your truth…
Inhale who you are.
I am made of stars.
I am on purpose.
I am loved.
I am supported.
I am brave.
I am free.
I am safe.
I am sure.
I am strong.
I am bright.
I am new.
I am powerful.
I am growing.“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” — Rumi Click To Tweet
Exhale who you are not.
I am not broken.
I am not weak.
I am not small.
I am not ugly.
I am not uninteresting.
I am not forgotten.
I am not lost.
I am not stuck.
I am not left behind.
I am not a failure.
I am not less than.
I am not worthless.
I am not hopeless.
Inhale who you are: I am. I am. I am.
Exhale: Everything I thought I was and no longer believe in.
- What word have you or others used to describe you that might have been keeping you small?
- What word can you write in its place?
Please share your words and your truth with me in the comments. Yours might encourage someone else to see that they’re not so alone either.
Spread the truth to someone you care about; send them this post as a symbol of your support.
If you’re feeling like another possibility is out there, you don’t have to write it down on your skin. Just write it on your heart.