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Coaching to Empower You

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  • Writer's pictureDawn E Geschiere

Relentlessly Authentic, Part 1 of 2

Dear One,

In two months I'll reach what I affectionately refer to as my 3rd "Breastiversary." On June 8th, 2021, I received that call from my doctor, the phone call to tell me that my girls would never be the same.


You may wonder what it is that makes this date my Breastiversary instead of the date of my Mastectomy or my chemo treatments. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to celebrate the date my oncologist declared me to be cancer-free? That's a fair question... except that there are no two cancer journeys alike, no two breast cancer survivors and thrivers alike. Each one of us gets to celebrate or not--to choose how and what and when we'll acknowledge, mark, and/or celebrate significant dates related to our diagnosis.


I choose June 8th as my Breastiversary because it's the date that radically changed my self-empowerment journey. No, I'm not hyperbolizing. There's a Before and After story here that's changed the way I view one of my core values, the one I call my "North Star" value: Authenticity.


It's a breast cancer diagnosis that led me to write ten Cancer Commandments. Later--near the end of my treatments--these 10 cancer commandments eventually transformed into my twelve Life Commandments.


In going through a mastectomy and chemo treatments I became untethered, which brought me to a stronger trust in love.


Going through Breast Cancer deepened my commitment to "show up authentically, all ways and always." (Cancer Commandment #3, Life Commandment #5.)


What about you, dear one? What does it look like when you're showing up authentically? I'm curious about what you include and exclude when you're being your real, truest self on a consistent basis.


It begins with your willingness to do your inner work, to discover all the parts and pieces of yourself as you become aware. Yet that's only the beginning. Even when you're willing to keep taking a good hard look at yourself, it's a lifetime's work to accept each truth about yourself with love, trust, and acceptance.


Your Aspirations Are the Real YOU

Be sure to include your aspirations and longings in the person you consider to be the real you.


Hold on to your hopes and dreams and longings--remember that these aspirations belong to the real you. Hang on to each one, clinging to them by your fingernails if that's what it takes. Accept that each of your yearnings is as much a part of the real you as any other.


Ah, perhaps you'd like to remind me that you're a bit of a dreamer, an idealist. Your hopes and dreams and longings remain pie-in-the-sky visions that belong to your unrealistic, less-authentic self. After all, your authentic self belongs grounded in reality, centered in S.M.A.R.T. goals.


I hear you. I've received similar messaging. You and I get frequent reminders that we must keep our feet firmly planted on mother earth. We're often told by others that we're truest to ourselves when we're following our more realistic, grounded hopes and dreams.


Listen to Your Hopes, Dreams, and Longings

It's time to walk away from messaging that keeps us grounded. What might happen if you turn this familiar refrain upside down (or right-side up, depending on your perspective)?


I'm wildly curious as to what might become possible once you begin believing that your hopes and dreams and longings are every inch as much the REAL YOU as the pragmatist parts of yourself.


The real you includes your visions and hopes and dreams and longings. The authentic you encompasses your aspirational values and desires, those not-yet soul-stirring inner murmurs that insist you pay them some attention.


Perhaps it's time to pause, to breathe.


Stop censoring your yearnings--let them linger as long as they'd like. Stop judging each of your hopes and dreams according to which ones seem most possible and doable and realistic.


Be relentless in accepting your visions--even those wild-hair, not-yet wonderings and imaginings that seem like nothing but a pipe dream or some whimsy or fantasy.


When you're envisioning the seemingly impossible dream, something within you cries out to be heard. Your longings want you to listen to them because they're telling you something about yourself. Your yearnings and aspirations want you to welcome them as genuine parts of you that you accept and integrate as a part of yourself.


In a world filled with plenty of sobering realities that threaten to keep you grounded, let yourself be raised up to stand firm in your hopes and dreams and visions. Even your aspirational values--those you don't yet live by in this moment--exist inside of the real you in the form of desire.


Reflective Prompts To Inclusive Authenticity

Here are some prompts to work through in sequence--they may offer you support:

  • At this moment in time, my longing to (insert your hope, dream, aspiration, or longing here) seems unrealistic.

  • What does this longing tell me about my values and what it is that I really need and/or want?

  • What becomes possible when I make this dream/hope/longing/aspiration a reality in my life?

  • Write down these sentences and read them aloud to yourself: "I am my past, present, and future self. There is more to me than my current realities and experiences."

  • What will I do to share these hopeful dreams/longings/visions with others?


A Hope-filled Prayer

Oh God, I want to hold on to my hopes and longings and possibilities and dreams. Keep me stubborn and steadfast in listening to my yearnings. May I be relentless in acknowledging that these hopes are a welcome part of who I am.

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