Authenticity

MermaidI am authentic when I speak and do what I really want.   I want to engage with others in the same way.  So please tell me what you really think.  Tell me what you really want, now what you think I want to hear.  If you are inclined to not change to be authentic, then I simply walk away with ease and grace.  There is nothing wrong with you or with anything.  This just may not be the interaction for me for this moment in time.Set your inner mermaid free today!

Recently my daughter Maddie turned herself into a mermaid. I watched her do hydrodynamics research on tail design to make sure it had maximum efficiency to cut through water with speed, ease and grace. She spent hours and hours cutting out foam circles to serve as scales and then hand sewed them onto some stretch pants. Then she cleverly duct taped some old flip flops to a beautifully carved tail cut out of a garden mat to make the fin. Carefully she covered it all in black duct tape and then sprayed water resistant metallic paint to finish her masterpiece. Finished, she experimented in the bathtub. There was more than just a little water on the floor…. 

Then one day, once she had outgrown the tub, she begged me to take her to the Colorado Athletic Club to try out her creation. “I want to see how it really works,” she explained. After a few requests, I finally gave in. A few times the thought of, “what would others think,” entered my mind as we got ready to go. But, in lieu of her contagious enthusiasm, I reminded myself that this was the perfect moment for me to NOT be concerned with social norms. Maddie, on the other hand, was excited and proud. She carried her tail into the locker room and then marched it out to the pool. There were more than several glances in our direction. Understandably so. It’s not everyday that a mermaid allows herself to be seen. People would sort of smile, but mostly looked on with curiosity. At the side of the pool, she put on the gear, donned the tail with a smile as big as the world, jumped into the water to swim. “It works!” she yelled with elation. And proceeded to flip and fluidly glide up and down the length of the pool, amidst the driving intensity of adult athletes swimming their daily drills. More than once an athlete was forced to pause, mid-lap and break the flow, confused as to why this mermaid had suddenly appeared in the path. And she glowed with success! Pretty soon other kids from across the pool began to show interest and gather at her side. After watching her swim, they soon began to muster up the courage to ask, “Can we give it a try?” And the pool became a gathering place for many budding mermaids. 

I watched on from my lounge chair and marveled at the beautiful innocent, free expression of childhood. I felt tears in my eyes as I realized that my concern with social norms could have impacted the first swim for this mermaid. I was grateful for her persistence and determination to SHINE and to follow her inner glow wherever it lead. It was in that moment that I felt the inner mermaid inside me. She wants to express. I vowed to open and listen more closely when she nudges me to come out and play.

 

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