Oil painting on pine bark.

Oil painting on pine bark.

If you think life coaches have it all figured out, you’re in for a big surprise. Just like everyone else, we have moments when we question ourselves and the life we are living. For me, I’ve struggled for years to step out of my shell and be who I was truly meant to be.

Which brings me to an important question: If I could unzip myself and let loose the me within, who would I be?

I would be able to speak my deepest truth without struggling for the words. I would be fluent in a dozen languages. I would be a painter, a metal worker, a writer. I would be a loving mother, wife, sister, daughter. I would love nature. I would never consider what anyone else thought of me for I would rest assured that I am all that I can be and that my “being” adds goodness to the world.

Truth is, I’m close to being all those things already, but unzipping the me within has taken lots of time and effort. Here’s where I think I stand in my unzipped list.

–While I often struggle verbally to reveal my deepest truth, I can usually write my deepest truth if given the extra time to reflect and find the “right” words that mirror the complexity of my feelings.

–While I don’t know a dozen languages, I do know quite a few: Love, empathy, friendship, nurturing, nature, acceptance, English and a bit of German. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

–I dabble at drawing and painting and every once in a while I surprise myself. I also took a welding class and have a strong appreciation for metal work. And yes, I write.

–I love my family and am mindful to be loving in all my relationships whether it be family, friends or mother nature.

What does that leave? Ah, yes… never considering what others think of my authentic self. It’s true that sometimes I doubt myself and question whether I’m good enough. Sometimes I fear that if I let people know the real me, they will not take me seriously. The biggest fear is that my being truly authentic will create a chasm of difference so great that I will end up on one side alienated from those I’ve always loved.

In one of her famous Ted Talks, Dr. Brene Brown says that “vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.” For me that means being truly authentic and bearing my soul to the world. It requires me to shed the cloak that conceals my imperfections. It requires me to be courageous beyond my wildest dreams.

I am on a journey of true authenticity. Every page I write, whether fiction or nonfiction, brings me closer to the Sheila unzipped. Maybe that’s why writing has become so important to me… it’s my path to self actualization.

I don’t berate myself that it’s taken me 48 years to get to this point because I can see the amazing journey along the way. I see how much progress I’ve made as I’ve evolved. I understand now more than ever before why the people I surround myself with are absolutely vital to success or failure. I’m grateful to my family and friends who, without a doubt, have helped me achieve all that I am.

This is the most exciting and wonderful time of my life and I know that the future can only get better. I’m so excited to be stepping into my courage through my vulnerability.

Thank you Dr. Brene’ Brown. You’re a modern day shero!

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