This is Day 5 of 30 Days to Creating Irresistible Presence. On Friday, Andrea Lee made us fall in love with the word “AND”. Today Reese Spykerman talks about gathering up those pieces of ourselves we may have cast aside for they are the essence of our irresistible presence.
And the theme song for today is: Let Go by imogene heap
Gathering Up the Pieces You Left Behind
by Reese Spykerman @Reese
“there’s beauty in the breakdown”
– Imogen Heap
A 6-year-old girl begins first grade in a new school unafraid.
Kindergarten was like springtime. Everything budding – her teacher, the silly costumes, other children. She was loved.
She begins grade school full of the same hope she had in kindergarten, but at a new school, with new kids, in a wealthier district where the teaching is better, but the children also come from homes that overlook vineyards.
Criticized by her new teacher Mrs. A for walking down the hall while reading a book, it’s the first time she begins to feel self-doubt, a sense of wrongness. Later, this teacher will tell her father that his daughter is too sensitive. That she is problematic. That she doesn’t fit in.
It is the first time a piece of the girl is taken away, and it won’t be the last.
That first grader was me, and the first line in the sand was drawn. I began to lose my light.
It happens to a lot of us.
We are born irresistible Whether we are naturally shy, or tiny versions of Audrey Hepburn, whether we are graced with beauty or look shockingly normal, we are a garden of tealights as children, and then people begin to cart pieces of us away.
Irresistible presence isn’t about adding in something new, or becoming something you’re not. It’s about finding the pieces you shed along the way because society decided to suffocate the light within you.
To find your irresistible presence, you must be willing to go back to you at 3. at 6. Maybe 18. Hell, even college. Even last month.
You before the world told you to take it down a notch or be quiet or stop chattering away so much or get your nose out of so many books or stop being so sensitive.
All those things are you. You put them away because you were told to, and in doing so, you survived, but you also lost what makes you fascinating and different.
On a day-to-day basis, much of the world around us tends to shut down our beauty, particularly in our formative years. Then we find ourselves 30+ years old and feeling a bit lost, wondering why that other guy is doing so well, and pushing away the yearning inside of us to be heard & recognized.
A couple of years ago, I began to embrace my oddities.
I learned to refuse to do work for people simply because they’re one of the popular kids, and I learned to carve out my own design style, even though it never lands me in web galleries or recognition from the established old boys design club. I learned to walk down the street while reading a book (watch out for the pole).
The tiny pieces you threw away, time and again, are waiting to be found. Pieces of seaglass worn down by sand, weather and years, you string them together with wire of gold, and you’ve got what they call in the jewelry business a Character Piece.
They are the key to you not only being irresistible to the world, but loving yourself. To more joy in your life.
To go and find those parts of you is pain. A feeling of grief over what was lost. But when you examine them, and you allow that perhaps these things can be you again, you understand they were never really lost at all, just hidden away.
To become irresistible to others, we must first become irresistible to ourselves in a way that understands all the battle scars and childhood joys we once embraced are our beauty.
When it comes down to it, they’re the only things we have that can’t be taken away unless we allow others to do so.
For you to have joy in your world, and for you to make the kinds of changes that draw people to you so that you can shift your business and life to be more fulfilling, more successful, more irresistible, you’ll need to reclaim those pieces.
Going back is never easy. But on the other side of remembering that pain is also remembering the hope you felt before you were told otherwise.
The people who inspire us and give us pause are generally goofier and less manufactured than the saccharine smiles of the self-help or coach or marketer crowd. They are introverts or sensitive or nervous in large groups or quietly fierce. They are readers and explorers, and purveyors of arcane knowledge.
They are memorable. They are kind. They want to change the world because they care, and change they world they do.
They are people like you and me.
Remember a time from your childhood when an authority figure tried to tone down a part of you that was integral to your personality. What did that teach you? How can you change the way you look at that situation today?
Photo Credit goes to http://www.flickr.com/photos/_-amy-_/
Reese Spykerman is a designer who goes to the antique store and farmers market and library to get inspiration for her work. A twitter addict, she can be found there as @reese. You can also see her work over at http://www.designbyreese.com.
She is unapologetic about reading everywhere she goes.
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