Scene: I am in the hall outside the seventh grade lunch room. I can hear the voices of my peers shrieking with laughter, smell the unique combination of pheromones, tator tots, bleach and erasers which is exclusive to middle schools.
I retrieve the brown paper bag containing my lunch from under my sweaty gym uniform in the bottom of my locker, sniff it, sigh and balance it on top of the stack of books in my arms.
I stare down at my shoes. I hate them. They are not Tretorns. Nothing I wear has the right label or the right fit. I slap my locker door shut and start my death march to the cafeteria. Inside my stomach, acid churns.
I clamp my clammy hand around the lunchroom door, heave it open and…
How many rooms in my life have I entered like this?
Despising myself, terrified, letting fear, panic and self hatred stifle me like heavy woolen blankets. Too many to count.
At some point during high school I said, enough. I am not going to be the shrinking violet anymore, slouching in the corner, trying to squeeze my six foot frame down into invisibility.
I remember this internal shift; my guts just said, “F*ck it.” And I decided not to be afraid anymore.
But that was just the first step on my journey—I had a lot of things to discover about how to hold my head up high, how to light up a room and most importantly, how to be at peace with myself. In short, how to be a Goddess.
First, let me first explain what I mean by “Goddess.”
A Goddess is benevolent. She never makes others feel like less than they are, in fact, she seeks to lift them up.
A Goddess is beautiful, and she knows this to be true. She also knows that all beings are beautiful, even if they can’t see it right now.
A Goddess is strong. She realizes that she creates her own reality, and that the opinions of others, while worth consideration, should never eclipse her own beliefs.
So, how to proceed like one?
An ex-boyfriend once told me something that literally changed my life. He rightly maintained that the primary thing everyone in any given room is thinking about is themselves. He went on to speculate that if you were the one person thinking about everyone else, this would be a total game changer.
(Unfortunately he had concluded this because he was sociopathic ego-maniac, but even the biggest meanies in our lives can teach us valuable lessons.)
Once I realized that if I focused on everyone else rather than on myself, all sorts of magical things happened—things like a total lack of self consciousness, a crystal clear perception of who I was in the company of, and an eerie sense of calm—I was hooked.
I also discovered that every time I forgot to focus on others and slipped back into neurotic self absorption, all that good stuff immediately evaporated.
As I got used to this new way of being among my fellow souls (and bear in mind, this is a habit I’ve tried to cultivate, which I still sometimes forget to call on—I am a human Goddess, after all!), I started to understand some other basic things as well.
1) If we put a big smile on our face and stand up straight, it’s almost impossible for people to react negatively to us.
(Sometimes we do need to modify the smile, otherwise we come off as manic rather than in control—but the standing up straight is always in order.)
2) We can decide to be interested rather than afraid, and that changes everything.
When we are afraid, we are indulging ourselves in projections of the future which are more likely than not incorrect, and which keep us from being present.
When we are interested, we open ourselves to whatever may come, knowing that whatever it is will help us grow in some way—even if it isn’t comfortable.
3) If all else fails, use a little Jedi mind trick.
I learned this particular one in reiki training, where to help reiki flow we imagine that we are grounded by a strong cord that reaches from the base of our spine all the way down to the center of the earth.
Then we visualize our own personal sun about six feet over head, radiating light and love down upon us. We breath up the energy from the earth up through our cord, and pull down the beautiful energy of the sun through the tops of our heads, electrifying our entire body and filling it with light.
Doing this truly puts you in a Goddess state of mind.
Before entering any scary room, you can pause and connect to your innate power by conjuring this image. It only takes a few breaths to totally transform your mindset.
The bottom line?
There are many rooms, both figurative and literal, we will have to walk into in this life. We get to decide how we’ll do it, and doing it like a Goddess is a pretty awesome way to roll.
We all have the ability to be larger than life—all it takes is good posture, a little attitude adjustment, and a lot of practice.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman