There’s a shift happening. Can you feel it? It includes a level of transparency, of vulnerability, of revealing the truth. It started with things like reality TV and social media – which have backfired into a scripted reality and only sharing perfect images and what you want people to see online. There will always be a bit of backlash as society figures out how a new way of being and thinking works best. Where we are seeing it functioning well is with companies being transparent with their manufacturing practices, or thought leaders being human and imperfect out in the open. It’s all a wonderful push toward revealing. And it’s not just for marketing campaigns and New York Times best selling authors. It’s for you, too.
I recently had a powerful intention come up during a meditation. It is: “To show up fully, as myself at all times. To bring my full self to all situations.” I have already been practicing this. A powerful motto or mantra I have up in my office guided me for most of 2016: Show Up and Be Nice. And by “show up”, I don’t just mean say yes to opportunities and go to events and meet people. I also mean show up fully – be present, be me, don’t hide parts of myself because they are not as pretty, or as likable, or as popular, or as refined. And now, I’m stepping up my game and continuing the practice.
Following through on this intention is harder than it seems. Being yourself feels like it should be the easiest thing in the world! But uncovering and then revealing your truth is not something that can be done with the flick of the wrist and a magic wand. It is a journey inward. It’s an act of love. And as you go through it you’ll hit peaks and valleys, you’ll decide just how much you want to reveal, and you’ll gain a deep understanding of who you are to the core.
Be patient and compassionate with yourself. Trust that the process of revealing yourself is worth it. It’s OK to be you. In fact, it’s the best thing you can be.
Want to practice with me? Here are a few ways to reveal yourself on the inside, outside, and underneath.
Reveal your inner thoughts, dreams, and desires – first to yourself, and then to others. It’s important to peel back the layers of must-do’s, practical tasks, and should’s. What lies within might be more revealing of your true wants, desires, and needs. And those, believe me, are worth revealing.
A few ways to practice revealing from the inside:
- Journal, free write, or talk into a recording device. Just say whatever comes to mind, or pick a topic to explore.
- Find your “True Colors” and decide what colors of your beautiful masterpiece you want to show the world
- Work with a coach or therapist
- Go outside of your comfort zone to stretch and grow and get to know your own limits
- Meditate or follow guided visualizations
- Visit a women’s circle or female group to connect with yourself and other women
- Forgive yourself for any misunderstandings you have about yourself
- Make a vision board or Pinterest dream board
- Explore prayer, astrology, or spiritual guidance
- When someone asks, really answer. Avoid false pleasantries, and let them know how you REALLY are.
- Avoid the impulse to hide any “flaws”. Let your whole self – good, bad, fun, scary, and wonderful – show. Because when you do, you allow others to do the same. Show up as the real you. Online, in person, in the mirror.
- Make an intention to show up full, as yourself, in all situations – with yourself and with others.
See more on my Inside resources page.
Reveal your true self with your clothing choices! I have had numerous conversations about the importance of revealing bits of who you are through your style. Getting to know yourself and how you want to show up in the world – through your clothing, your actions, your words – is key to saying hurray. It’s a wonderful way to let others see who you are, without even speaking. My younger brother sent me some SnapChat photos while he was glasses shopping the other day. He asked my opinion on which to choose. Truthfully, they all looked great, so I suggested that he take a careful look at them and decide which really reveals the true him. What first impression does he want to give people? How much of his true self does he want to show them right away? That’s the way to choose what you wear!
I dressed the way that I thought I needed to in order to be taken seriously for a long time. And I kept attracting jobs and situations that were far more serious, and much less fulfilling than who I was and what I really wanted. While prestigious, they didn’t feel like me. They didn’t make me say hurray. Once I started allowing myself to truly shine from the inside out, I changed the way I dressed. I started wearing more color, fit and flare dresses, funky glasses, and cat eye eyeliner. I kept experimenting (and still am!) with my look until I found the wardrobe and accessory items that really feel like me. Right away, my wardrobe lets people I meet know a bit about me. Both for that day (maybe I’m sleepy so I dressed in relaxed, cozy clothes) and in general. It’s one of my favorite ways to reveal who I am!
A few ways to practice revealing yourself from the outside:
- Hire a stylist to help you explore new trends or classic clothing options
- Online window shop and specifically click on items that you feel drawn to, whether you think it’s “practical” or not. Get to know what draws your eye.
- Create a Pinterest board for your style
- Skip the judgement when it comes to what others and yourself are wearing. If you like it and want to wear it, go for it.
- Rent clothes from LeTote or Rent the Runway, to try them out before committing to purchase.
- Create an intention around revealing your true self with your clothing choices. Then, set a goal to help you stick to it. If every outfit and every day feels like too much all at once, commit to “Reveal Wednesdays” or “Be Myself Fridays”. You can start in your own home, and then branch out into your workplace, around family, with your friends, and more. Take a baby step toward revealing your true self on the outside!
- Be brave and experiment with what you wear
- Decorate your home with things that are your style. When someone walks into your home, they should see an extension of you – from the inside out.
- Let go of things in your home that do not truly reflect who you are. Consider reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
- Explore makeup options and let yourself wear as little or as much as feels right for you!
- Get the haircut that you’ve always felt like made you say hurray. Forget about “I’m too old for that” or “what will people think?” and give it a go.
See more on my Outside resources page.
You can always reveal your actual body if you want! I want to make it very clear that you do not have to “show off” your body in order to “prove” that you love it. There’s a trend on social media and in the body positive community to connect the level of skin you reveal with how body positive you are. I don’t think that the two always correlate. Your body is your own miracle, temple, and vessel – and you get to decide how to reveal it or not. It’s no one’s business but your own. That being said, revealing your body for others to see can be a great way to say hurray!
I have worked in the lingerie industry and have been blogging for well over a decade. But it wasn’t until I wore a bathing suit in O Magazine that I let people see my body in a big way. I had been practicing with small acts of love and revelation before that, like wearing shorts for the first time in many years, or talking to my body like it’s my best friend instead of the enemy. Then last year I decided to let other people see my body on my blog. I started with images of me in one piece or high waisted swimsuits. From there, I worked with different photographers and let myself get comfortable with seeing my own body from the lens of the camera. Throughout it all, I made a commitment to zero airbrushing of my body and face. It was a deliberate choice to show my body to readers like you because seeing other women’s body when I started as a bra fitter was a big eye opener. I had been comparing my own body to the false perfection I was witnessing in magazines. Revealing my body – which is a big, bold, scary step – is a way for me to help you AND myself say hurray.
If you don’t want to show your body to the world, you can experiment with letting your bra peek out of your outfit. Also, because lingerie is often hidden from most people (unless you decide to reveal it), it’s a safe place to experiment with who you are. If it doesn’t feel safe to show up with your full self on the outside yet, start underneath. Or simply reveal your body to yourself. Get to know it. Take a long look in the mirror. Take it all in. Your body is a precious, imperfect, miracle. It is yours. And it deserves to be seen and adored.
A few ways to practice revealing yourself from underneath:
- Experiment with letting your undergarments show through, or peek out of your outfit.
- Try different kinds of bras, or not wearing one at all!
- Book a boudoir shoot or hire a photographer to capture you in whatever level of undress feels good to you
- If it feels loving to do, try wearing a bathing suit that fits well and shows slightly more than usual. Step out onto the beach or by the pool without the cover up, or in less clothing than your typical attire.
- Light some candles and get to know your body in the mirror. Use a full length and whip out a smaller one so you can see all of your beautiful angles in the glowing light.
- Learn to love your body. Start with specific parts, like your bum or your legs, and keep going until you create loving relationships with all of your parts.
- Take your measurements and find your bra size starting points. Don’t avoid your numbers!
- Get a bra fitting!
See more in my Underneath resources page.
Your Turn: How can you discover and reveal who you are to yourself and to others? Where can you take a baby step toward revealing yourself? Which of the three – inside, outside, and underneath – is the easiest or the most difficult? Why do you think that is? What advice do you have for revealing yourself for others?
PS: As always, these images are not airbrushed or photo shopped. I’m revealing my real, natural, and beautiful body. The images were taken by Becky Yee during the #HurrayVacay to Guatemala. The gorgeous bras, lingerie gowns, and bodysuits are all by Bluebella – a great UK brand. These sheer, transparent, and revealing garments and undergarments make me say hurray! I’m wearing a full coverage panty and skin tone nipple covers because I chose not to reveal those parts.
This is not a paid or sponsored post. The items worn were on loan from the company or belong to me. This post does contain a referral link to LeTote – a subscription box clothing rental company I love to use myself!