It must be the swift change of seasons that ignited me to partake in some deeper ponderings on what it means to be authentic, and what obstacles we face as we’re defining our authentic selves.
Sometimes in the wake of experiences that shape our authentic self, we feel either depleted or rejuvenated, or both. As we work through all that has been stirred up by the wake, we might notice ripples of others’ beliefs about us in our path .
There are many definitions of a wake: to “wake up,” waking up from a sleep, the “wake that is left behind a boat that is moving.” It is this last definition that particularly struck me and I went on a pondering journey to explore it more. As I explored the wake, I acknowledged the arising feelings of being my authentic self, the presence of my inner critics, the social pressure to perform at a certain standard, and the journey it takes to land into one’s own body.
Ripples, created by the wind, appear and disappear quickly, but if the wind continues to blow over the surface of the water for a period of time, these ripples can grow into waves. Ripples in our lives often stem from other people’s expectations and observations of us. If left unchecked, these can grow into looming waves crashing down on us.
If life is like water and we are the vessels navigating it, the wake left behind us helps us “wake up” and become who we are here to be. As we wake up, we might notice ripples attempting to define who this new version of ourselves is supposed to be.
Wake and Ripples
I love to encourage everyone to pause and spend a moment to really ponder this.
Can you look at the wake behind you and see how much you’ve changed and grown? Can you still be you among the ripples and not believe what people believe about you?
In my Instagram video from November 8, I discussed how we might see our bodies and lives as a commodity, as something that has to be accepted and pleasing to the eye to ourselves, but sometimes even more so for those around us. Unconsciously, we’re molded by what is accepted and pleasing, sometimes forgetting who and what our true selves are.
As you move through life, looking back at the wake created by the experiences that shaped you, ask yourself, “What feels good about being YOU, and are there any ripples that prevent you from being you?”
Share Your Truth
Look at a feather, a leaf, a fern , a flower. Are they one and the same? A thistle, a rose stem, a cedar tree–are these one and the same? No, no way. Nothing is the same. Do you expect them to be the same?
Are you disappointed when the pine tree doesn’t have the perfect amount of cones, branches, needles?
You may feel like there is something wrong with you because you don’t fit within a norm set by others. The ripples others send out your way are constantly present. You may hold and send out ripples towards other people, too.
Following a wake, we usually learn to accept who we have become, what we need, what we want, where and how we want to be. We can have an honest conversation about who we are now and the ripples affecting us.
The Beautiful You
Your experiences and you navigating through them shape you. As you learn to live with the new and beautiful you, you may realize that you were never meant to sound like another or be like another.
The challenge of society is that we are always in someone’s or something’s company, these beings we are mirroring, start to talk like, look like, be like.
Who are you in the matrix of another?
Pause. Inhale. Exhale…
What is you? And what is them?
We are living and breathing, and hopefully all becoming more unique day after day and loving our uniqueness more and more and more.
I’ve created free worksheets you can download and print to guide you through The Elemental Practice Of Wake And Ripples. If you have a journal, or any other place/space where you keep your thoughts, you might want to add this worksheet to your ponderings and reflect back to it as you grow and evolve.
This worksheet consists of two parts.
The first part looks at your experiences that created the wake. The questions invite you to explore the significance of these experiences, and how they might help your change and growth, or continue holding you in place.
The second part explores the ripples that might have contributed to the experience, or appeared following an experience. The questions here invite you to look deeper within yourself, and zoom in on your surroundings and your community, to discover what limiting beliefs might hold you back from moving past an event.
Even though looking at the big picture often helps narrow down other emerging thoughts and feelings, for some it might work better to work on the smaller details first. There is no pressure to do the worksheets in the order that they’re presented here.
Find PART 1 of your worksheet here: PART 1_The Elemental Practice of Wake and Ripples
Find PART 2 of your worksheet here: PART 2_ The Elemental Practice of Wake and Ripples
For more inspiration and tips, follow The Elemental Being on Instagram.
With so much love, Brandy