A few weeks ago, a friend took me forest bathing. I didn’t exactly know what to expect but my friend assured me I had been pretty much doing it already with my visits to the trees.
I didn’t do a Google search before, as I simply wanted to be with the experience. Turns out that’s essentially what forest bathing is, grounding into the earth and being fully present to all that is happening around you. Sitting in stillness and being present to what is happening around you.
I know from experience that the trees and the silence have secrets to share if I’m still enough to hear them. They did not disappoint. For now, I’m keeping what was whispered to me close to my heart. The words were for me to know not for me to share.
On Fitting In
What I do want to share is the story of a little frog that came along while we were sitting beside a little creek in the woods. At first, I could not see him but I was certain I heard the sound of his hop. I was intentionally listening and I heard it twice before I finally saw him.
He had blended in so much with his surroundings that hew as barely visible. We watched him for a bit and then my friend scooped him up and put him beside the creek. He blended in too well with the trail path and was at risk for being trampled by an innocent hiker.
Frogs represent change and this little guy got me thinking about the times in our lives when we change our uniqueness for the sake of fitting in.
Sure, sometimes blending/fitting in is a survival mechanism. Sometimes it is better if we don’t stand out too much. But I think we may be guilty of staying in those spaces much longer than is necessary.
It becomes safe and familiar so we stay put and keep fitting in never realizing how much is at stake. Blending in can be dangerous, maybe not physically but I believe it can be harmful in other ways.
I know in my life, the times I’ve changed to fit in with my surroundings, I lost my voice, gave up my power, and abdicated my own dreams for the sake of another’s dreams. I suppressed important parts of me (like my identity as a black woman) in order to be more acceptable to those around me. Fitting in might have felt good but it ultimately almost cost me my soul.
Since that visit with the little frog I’ve been asking myself, where am I avoiding being seen? How am I blending in a little too much? And what might it be costing me?
I invite you to join me in this inquiry. Grab a journal and without any judgment ask yourself those questions and see what emerges.
You might be surprised by what your soul has to tell you. Because what I have learned is if you have to change who you are to fit in somewhere then it’s worth considering if that’s the right space for you.
Here’s to you owning and celebrating your uniqueness and using it to rise into your greatness.
From my heart to yours,
P.S: If you’re tired of feeling stuck and ignoring the nudging of your heart and you’re ready to start listening let’s talk. Click here to schedule your complimentary Courage Igniter Call with me. On this free call we’ll look at what’s been standing in your way and how to move you from where you are to where you want to be. Schedule your call today.