This week I finally learned a lesson that I have been trying to learn my whole life: Never dim your light for anyone. I always heard about it in theory and I am sure I could have or have given this advice to others, but it never sunk in for myself. For the majority of my life, I have always been good or near great at things, but there was always a point as I was learning or even excelling in something that someone who would say something to me that would discourage me. The moment I would hear that sentence, I would back down. I wanted to be a model and someone said I was too short. I wanted to play soccer but someone said I looked like I didn't enjoy it. Sometimes it wasn't a phrase, but a look or laugh. I wanted to be a gymnast, but the way the teacher looked at me as I tried a handless cartwheel discouraged me. The list goes on and on. Each time, I put the dream down. I gave up.
Today as I was hooping in my hoop class someone made an unattractive comment to me as I was struggling to learn a hooping technique. They enjoyed to see me struggle because I did other things so well. The week before someone wished I would fall as I was running backwards so they could laugh. Before that, I noticed that whenever I dropped a hoop someone would laugh because it made them feel better when I wasn't perfect. These are the same people who I have taught with nothing but love and encouragement. I am becoming an awesome hooper and it is obvious. In the past I would just brush it off or backed down, but today, I stopped and told the person that she had issues. I then declared that all of them had issues. It was in that moment I realized that people discourage others because they feel bad about themselves. Instead of stopping what I was doing, I kept going and got even better at the technique I was practicing. I followed it up with a self high-five.
On my drive home, I felt myself get fired up. Memories of all the times I dimmed my light came flooding in my mind. My heart was racing full of love and pride that I finally stood up for myself. I was also pissed off that I allowed myself to be duped all of these years. I felt that rainbow fire pulsing through! When I asked the woman if she was good at anything, she said that she used to be an expert whitewater rafter. So she was straight hatin' on me because of what she can't do. What in the world does my awesome hooping have to do with that? Not a damn thing. If I go back to those other haters I am sure that they had something similar festering inside them, jealousy with a side of self-hate.
Each time I dimmed my light so that others could shine, I thought I was being humble or sweet. I thought that others could do it better and I should try something else. I thought that maybe I should just take an supportive role. Today I say F#@K that nonsense. Now I know, when they hate, discourage, scoff, laugh , or look at me sideways, that is the universe telling me to really keep going and that I am about to break through to something awesome. This even goes for when you reach a tough patch on your journey to/in your dream.
Before I started this business, I began a love affair with myself. I was committed to loving myself beyond anything I had ever experienced. This love that I grew within is what helped me stay committed to this journey even though I didn't see any money coming in and clients were few and far between. I refused to give up on myself. The universe was giving me a f#@king hard time. Would you believe I am crying now as I type this? They are tears of joy, love and pride, but they are tears and a cute crying face nonetheless. It's hard to believe that I have come so far. I refused to give up on myself even when I couldn't pay my own bills. The love that I cultivated within wouldn't and will not let me. There is no giving up.
Working with the children in Korea taught me in many ways how to love a child and encourage their dreams. That same love I learned to give, I then applied to myself. I am an excellent teacher and I made myself my favorite student. Now I am not afraid to learn new things or have new dreams and I feel that is what true humility is. It isn't about lowering your head or stepping out of the way. It isn't about helping someone else fly. It is about knowing that you always have something to learn. That's it.
In Portuguese, "Cinza" means gray or ashes, but when I work it is with straight RAINBOW FIRE! That's my journey, ability, and gift. I shine bright in every F#@KING color. Lesson learned.