The last few weeks have been a huge adventure and a learning experience. I’m not sure exactly all the lessons that I have learned from this experience, but I am aware of a few. The main one being stepping out of our comfort zone is a must in life.
Over the last few months I have been learning a lot about self-promotion, which is so far from who I am that I’ve really had to reach beyond my norm, and honestly it has been extremely uncomfortable at times but extremely rewarding at other times. I am and have always been a humble person. Over the years I had learned a little bit that being too humble can actually be a detriment, just like being an egomaniac is. But this process of being an author and having to self-promote has taken it to a completely different level of understanding.
I had naively thought “I will get a publisher and then they will do all the promotion and selling of my book”, boy was I wrong. Don’t get me wrong they have done a fabulous job, but their job only goes so far, there is a point where as the author you need to take the reigns and self-promote yourself and your book. This process since my book was released has taught me so much that relates not to just becoming an author but to everything in life.
I’m not saying that we should all become egomaniacs walking around being narcissists what I’m saying is that we need to learn to balance our humility. We can be completely humble but know that we have purpose and that we kick ass. That there are things that make us who we are that are truly wonderful. Whether that is in our careers, our friendships and our love relationships. Yes, we all suck at some things, that is what makes us human and keeps us humble. But if you recognize that we are all in the trenches learning and that no one is better than the other, yet we are all special then we would all be more successful in our lives.
So, back to the last couple of weeks….in this journey of self-promotion, I stepped completely out of my comfort zone and contacted a nation wide tv show. The producer contacted me within a few hours and I was set to be on “The Marilyn Denis Show = Master Class Makeover”. This was a huge step out, I hate getting my photo taken, never mind being in front of a camera on national television. But I thought “I stepped forward on my path and the universe thought that it was a good idea for me, so they lined up everything and made it happen – I need to go for this no matter how uncomfortable I am.” Besides, it may be fun to get a complete makeover, what woman out there hasn’t thought about having one in their lifetime.
The first day of filming was fun, there were three of us going to be on the show. They took us individually to interview us on camera about our fashion, or lack there of. We had to stand in front of the camera in our problem outfits and then we met the stylist and got to try on a bunch of different clothes that he had picked for us. I have to say this is the best way to clothes shop, having someone else do it for you.
The next adventure a few days later was hair. Now this is where my lessons really start to show their ugly but wonderful faces. I show up and meet with the woman who is going to colour my hair. An amazing talented woman, who is incredible at her job. If you look at my website you will see that I have, had, will again very soon, THANK GOD I HAVE SHORT HAIR, salt and pepper hair. The stylist discussed with me about colouring my hair when we were trying on clothes, I said I didn’t really want to go dark again, but I’d be open to more grey in my hair or even all grey. Well what was waiting for me was an extreme. Now, it is worth saying that I have ALWAYS wanted to go blonde, but never had the guts, and honestly something in me always felt it wasn’t for me, but I’m a bit of a rebel and was always attracted to the extreme of going from black hair to blonde. The colourist at the salon sat me down, pulled up some photos on her phone that the stylist had sent her and there looking at me was photos of white blonde hair.
A ton of things ran through my head in a second; my husband will hate it, I’ve always wanted to do it, it’s just hair, will I look stupid, I love my salt and pepper hair and that I have the balls to be grey when most women don’t, and the one thought I settled on was…..I’m on a makeover show, embrace it and go for it…there is a reason for everything. The next thing I know I’m getting my hair bleached. Three ½ hours later I walked out of the salon a white blonde. It was funky, there were things I liked about it. But man, the up keep will be brutal and fast approaching. I have short, and I mean short hair, my black hair will be showing in weeks and then it will really get interesting. But I held on to the, it’s a makeover show, so go for it.
The response to my hair was quick and not so fun. I had two teams of people, the I love it and I wish I could do it, and the other team who hated it, they didn’t dislike it, they HATED it. What this forced me to do was really hunker down to reality and what matters the most, what did I think of it. It doesn’t really matter what others think, even if it’s your husband who every time he walks in a room that you’re sitting in he growls shakes his head and leaves. It only matters what you think and feel. Even with all the up and down emotion with this, I honestly didn’t feel like myself. I have always prided myself on being authentic to who I am, and this felt off. But I was in it now and I thought maybe, just maybe it’s so extreme and so new that I would settle in it, I mean after all we are not our hair. There are women who change their hair monthly. I was putting too much energy into, or so I thought. Now I understand one of the lessons within it.
The day of the shoot came a week later. I was strangely numb to the whole thing. Was it that my hair experience was so extreme that nothing could freak me out or was I just in a place knowing that I could do this. I have no idea to this day, I think it may have even been a fight or flight response, almost like an out of body experience. It almost doesn’t feel now like it happened…until I look in the mirror. My friend came with me and we made a day of it. The outfit I ended up in was extreme to my personality and nothing that I would have picked, but by this point I was just totally owning the experience. We got to keep the outfits, which was really cool, some of it I will wear again, some will take up real estate in my closet as a memory of lessons learned.
All in all, it was an amazing adventure. I met some great people, and I did learn about some fashion tips that I will take forward into my life. But as I sit here typing this with chocolate brown hair, yes, I couldn’t handle walking past the mirror another day with shocking blonde hair, and yes, my dark hair was already growing in and I so desperately wanted to just erase the mistakes I made. Ok, Ok, they were not mistakes, they were for many reasons, but the main reason that is blaringly obvious to me after only a couple days is the importance of being authentic to ourselves, while also pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone.
What I have learned about myself and working with other empaths is that many times we know what we need to do but because we are so busy helping everyone else walk their paths, we often don’t have the energy or time to focus on ourselves. It takes being pushed into a corner before we ever do something for ourselves. My Marilyn Denis Show appearance was definitely a shove into a corner by the universe. And yes, I’m going to be that woman who saw herself on TV and it was an OMG moment, I need to take care of myself, I AM NOT the best me. I am a huge believer that we do not need to be super skinny to look our bests, some of us are curvy and rock that, but we also know how we feel physically and how we want to present ourselves and what I saw on that screen was not the best me. Again, I have known this for a while and talked a good talk about doing something to be better, but this was the kick I needed.
I had gotten into a funk physically, I needed the push to get back to reality and take care of myself body, mind and soul. Life always gets in the way of us taking care of ourselves. I started this blog a long time ago and with self-promoting my book, book signings, and life in general, it fell by the side, and so did my attempt at balance and taking care of myself. I’m a huge believer that it is all connected, if we feel crap about ourselves, we will not dress well, if we dress better, we feel a tiny bit better, if we eat better, we feel better physically and mentally, if we can balance it all we will feel amazing!!! And a lot of that comes from the soul work as well.
So, I think that this opportunity was the kick in the butt I needed to realize what I needed to focus on and what I didn’t. What is important and what isn’t. And most importantly that they, our guides and the universe are always trying to help us learn our lessons and be the best us.
I think the bottom line is to always be our authentic self and then work on shining as YOU!!!