Damn, it felt good to step into being me — ALL of me.
My little sister got married in a beautiful Bollywood style wedding at the W hotel in Hoboken, NJ overlooking the breathtaking New York City skyline. The theme of self-expression was a perfectly timed opportunity for me — an invitation to play full out and EXPRESS MYSELF, and it all started with a piece of jewelry that just wasn’t for me.
I get so deeply engrossed in my work that my mother and sister took it upon themselves to look for my dresses, jewelry, and even shoes for my maid of honor role at the wedding. I was visiting my parents when a package of jewelry was delivered to the house. As I opened it up and took in the style, I knew it was something I would never choose. Instead of vocalizing how I felt, I pushed my feelings aside and with a flat and sad voice said, “Well I’m lucky that someone is doing the choosing for me.” In that moment that I got a wake up call response from my father who belted out, “Pick something you like! There are so many beautiful things to choose from, and it’s a fun occasion.” I took this as an invitation to purposefully embody self expression for my sister’s wedding in a way that sent a resounding message to all attending — THIS. IS. ME.
I began by exploring images of elegantly dressed Indian wedding guests on Instagram. I collected a few inspirational pictures that matched the navy and gold wedding theme; I also saved a few pinks and purples. After speaking to a designer from Etsy, I had two custom dresses designed by a dressmaker in Bombay! I also found a woman who loves Indian jewelry who lived nearby. In her basement, I tried on various pieces of costume Indian jewelry until I felt an internal excitement that confirmed my choice. The momentum continued when I asked for “Girls just wanna have fun” to be played as I walked out to deliver my maid of honor speech. As my name was called out by the DJ, I danced my heart out as I came on to the stage … and the crowd was roaring. The DJ was so consumed in what was happening he thought I was giving a dance performance, and I had to grab the mic to give my speech!. I felt so authentic, very self-expressed and kind of a bit of a bad ass! So many people came up to give me high fives or tell me how much they loved my dancing. Damn, it felt good to step into being me — ALL of me.
I didn’t need to write down my speech: it was etched into my heart and came from a place that was so genuine the words slipped into the crowd like honey in a warm cup of tea.
Self-expression to me means confidence and swagger. Chloé states that self-expression is the essence of being human, and I would add that it connects you to yourself and others in a way that is pure bliss. And in closing I will quote Madonna:
“Express yourself. Respect yourself.”
Questions for Reflection:
1. In what ways do you currently practice self-expression?
2. How could you be more self-expressed?
3. What does self-expression mean to you?
Virtual Tea Party Report
November’s Tea Party was one of the most successful yet – we had a stronger turn out and a vibrant conversation.
Together, we investigated two questions:
Think of a time you felt self-expressed while traveling or on an adventure. What were you thinking/feeling? What qualities were you aware of in yourself and the world around you?
Think of a time you felt self-expressed at home. How was it similar or different to the experience away from home?
Travel is a lens through which we can explore the world, ourselves, and our relationship to life. Shining a light on any conversation or inquiry opens us up to new possibilities.
Go slowly, travel with heart. ™
#goslowly #travelwithheart #ttwithchloe