When did I start to tone it down?
I don't remember when I started to tone it down, but a few instances stick out clearly in my mind from my career:
After having a sit down lunch with the head of the PR agency I was working at, a colleague told me "if you want to make friends here, I suggest toning down your enthusiasm. It's intimidating."
I swallowed my gratitude, made note to push pause on writing my blog (also intimidating), and did what I could to fit the mold.
Swapped my "always on" Sydney shine switch for a dimmer and started to slide it down.
I have curly hair. I straightened it for years because hi, magazines and TV and and and. When I started skydiving, I started wearing it natural again on the weekends. Once Barry and I started dating, I squeezed every second out of the weekend and would crash at his place Sunday night, then commute into the office on Monday morning. I didn't straighten my hair one Monday, and I was told that my natural hair made me look unreliable and unprofessional.
I made note to straighten my hair whenever I wanted to be aligned with my work ethic (totally reliable) and staying employed (HI, ALL THE TIME).
When it came time to pitch additional business to an existing client, I was asked to bring my "first date personality" to the meeting, recognizing that I have a tendency to relate to and get comfortable with clients very quickly, and my full personality is "a bit much" for this kind of situation.
Tone. It. Down.
I did. Every time.
Coming home to yourself doesn't happen overnight. At least not for me.
This picture is from the last sunset I saw on the Trans-Catalina Trail last summer. I had spent the whole walk across the island unpacking my #traumapack, holding my limiting beliefs out for the island to see, and repacking that backpack with love and positivity.
Less than a year later, my diabetes is in remission, we just embarked on the adventure of a lifetime, and I get to share all of this with Barry.
I've evolved from who I was before that hike.
My sense of love and empathy for myself is directly impacting my community and the planet.
Every time I choose love over fear, magic happens.
It's simple, but it's not always easy.
Life is so, so good.