I’m taking a stand.
I’m taking a stand in defense of you, your worthiness, and your wisdom.
I’m standing against the guilt, shame, and coercion that keeps you from feeling safe to be you and to speak your truth.
Our culture has taught us to dampen our voices and uniqueness to fit in.
Changing myself and not speaking up helped me to make it through difficult times, but, it no longer serves me, and I don’t think it serves our community, our city, or our world.
When we’re taught to question ourselves, our energy is directed toward self-loathing instead of creating and innovating and using our gifts to do good in the world.
When we’re taught to hold back our ideas and to defer to others first, an important point of view isn’t heard and considered.
When we stop listening to our intuition and our embodied sense of a situation, we lack critical information to help us make choices in life.
At a time when our politics and even our communities can be divided, I’m standing for and inviting every person’s unique voice, wisdom and perspective to be heard, honored and respected.
I’m taking a stand for slowing down and reconnecting with our bodies and the insight they give us.
I’m inviting you to check in with you how feel after you do an activity and how you feel after you spend time with friends, family, co-workers, and clients.
Do you feel energized, alive and empowered? Do you feel exhausted and defeated? Do you feel cared for, listened to, and appreciated?
If you had this insight, how would it shape the decisions you make every day?
I find it interesting how kids do this naturally. They haven’t yet learned to check their responses and feelings. They don’t have the programming yet. They’ll tell you the truth about what they like or dislike and how it makes them feel.
What if we took a hint from our wise kids and stopped coercing ourselves to feel, say, and act differently for others’ approval?
What if instead, we found our own answers and let go of what we were taught to do that limits us?
I trust you. I trust your goodness, your wisdom, your values and your passions.
There’s only one you on this earth. What if you offered yourself to this world in the way that only you can? What if you showed up as the fantastically flawed yet wonderfully unique being that you are?
I have a vision for our world. It’s one where we each say no thank you to the cultural, societal and familial norms we were handed down but that don’t serve us, and we each accept the invitation to embrace the glorious human you are, warts and all.
Joanna Zaremba is a mom and wife, a nature lover, a writer, a photographer, and a movement and mindfulness teacher. She has lived in the Cheyenne Cañon neighborhood for seven years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column was originally published in the Cheyenne Edition newspaper.