Back when I first training to become a therapist I was told I didn’t have “therapist hair” and everyone would questions my qualifications and no one would take me seriously with this hair and I’d have to revamp my entire image and go and buy some “office clothes.”
When I was a young teenager I first started falling in love with the music and expression of metal and punk music. I shaved the sides of my head with razors, had black and pink dreadlocks and mohawks and had so much fun expressing myself however I liked. This was long before it became fashionable and it was pretty ‘out there’ at the time.
I used material dye to dye my hair shades of purple and green. That was before I discovered this one little store at Centrepoint in Sydney that sold blue, pink and purple Directions hair dye. I pierced my nose with a safety pin when I was 15 and made clothes myself and ripped up op shops clothes into new articles of clothing.. These decisions all emanated from my own inner values about who I was and embracing the DIY spirit on as many levels as possible.
I was expressing my need for creativity. This was my fundamental authentic truth.
What did your younger self dream of for their older adult self and how is that different to where you’re at right now?
Did young you dream of being a writer, a vet or a sailor? Even if now you can’t become a vet, you can still volunteer at your local animal shelter. Even if you didn’t become a sailor, perhaps spend a day off at the Maritime Museum, explore a naval vessel on its open day or hire a boat for the day with friends.
Get back in touch with what you’ve pushed down to the side.
Shaping fun self care activities is authenticity at work.
Don’t bother with the self care 101 exercises you read in magazines unless they appeal to you. Do the specific self care exercises that feed your inner child and inner adolescent. Authentic self care isn’t a cookie cutter on size fits all process.
Be prepared that it won’t be easy. This self knowledge isn’t for the faint of heart and sometimes it can be scary to be authentic.
Showing up and sharing your gifts is what the world needs more of.