Although I had never spoken to Tanya before meeting her, the moment I stepped into her presence, one word came to mind: embrace. Tanya embraces you wholeheartedly with her warmth and authenticity. She is bold. She is gentle. She is vulnerable. She is strong. She is wonderfully unique … which is probably why “being unique is beautiful” called to her from my manifesto. I am grateful to have her on stage today!
On the walk up from the lake this morning, my thoughts elsewhere, I stepped on a tree frog. He was minuscule in size, no bigger than my thumbnail.
Immediately, the oh-so-familiar tears sprung up. For the untimely end of this little life. For the family that I imagined awaiting his happy hoppy return. For my senseless carelessness.
Buck up, hissed a voice deep inside. It’s a FROG for the love of Christ. You’re an overly sensitive fool who wastes her emotions on trivialities like tree frogs.
Oh yes. I am too sensitive. I’ve been charged with that my whole life. These tears have made me the target of bullies, teasing and torment. Yielding more tears. Always, more tears.
Yet show me an injustice, mess with my people, or make an ignorant slur, and you’ve never seen a fiercer, more stone-cold Mama Bear than me.
Your very presence on this earth is a miracle.
Whether you believe that miracle began with His decision on the sixth day, or with a big bang, you being here is kind of a grade-A biggie.
Following generations upon generations upon generations of choices, a sperm and an egg fought their way towards each other for one sole purpose: YOU. And here you are: a big, beautiful bundle of water and carbon and synapses and chromosomes and destiny.
Beyond the purely biological, your values are the building blocks of your personal choices and your strengths hold the blueprint of what’s possible.
You are a hot mess of gorgeous contradictions.
Every one more intricate the last. And our special stew of contradictions is the very thing that makes us gorgeously unique.
You know who disdains contradictions and uniqueness? The same little voice that hissed at me in the garden today: the Lizard Brain. It is purposeful and protective, slothful and selfish. It doesn’t give a whit about your beauty, your art, your soul. It cares only about sex, safety, revenge and survival. It wants you to wear beige so that you don’t ever, EVER stand out.
But I want you to wear your brilliance on your sleeve. And so should you.
I am sensitive, and yet I am fierce.
I adore fine cheese, and yet Cheez Whiz makes my day.
I dig the hot political funk of Rage Against the Machine, and yet the hot pink disco of ABBA.
I relish the softness of cotton undies, and yet frothy French lingerie makes be deliriously happy.
I am hilarious, and goofy, and yet wise, wise, wise.
Yes. I feel great sadness, and yet I have an extreme capacity for joy.
The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keep out the joy. – Jim Rohn
Here’s what I want for you.
I want you to know when the lizard brain is lulling you to be less, not more. I want you to doff the beige and don the blazing orange your heart deeply desires. I want you to take your AND YETS, your contradictions and raise them on the flag. I want you to charge ahead, loving what you are: the product of miracles. Wholly unique. Wholly beautiful. Wholly you. Magnificent in every single way.
Tanya Geisler is a certified business and life coach who simply cannot and will not shake her indomitable belief that if everyone knew and lived their values, they’d hold the key to shining in their life, in their work and in their life’s work. (Now, wouldn’t THAT make for a far more joyous world?) A catalyst, not a therapist, she wrote The Joy Pages, created Board of Your Life, and speaks with great passion on all things joy, meaning and purpose.