When we are on the reclaiming stage of the pathway to belonging, we need the foundations of our true self in place to be able to dive in to an area of ourselves that maybe is a bit dark or a bit scary. For those that know the Disney film Encanto, there is a character in there called Bruno, and a song ‘We don’t talk about Bruno.’ Each character has a superpower and Bruno’s was precognition, the knowledge of an event or happening before it unfolds. He was deemed the bearer of bad news and shunned by the family.

I won’t spoil what happens(!), but it reminded me of the reclaiming stage, the stage where a part of us that has been shunned, cut off, discarded, pushed down is brought back in to the light. Sometimes this part of us gets treated in this way for our own safety, maybe it is a part of us that we have tried to bring in to the mix, but it didn’t go down well, maybe it was a part that we hid to try and fit in.

It could be a part of us that got left behind as life took over and responsibilities came in to the mix. It might be a part of us that we are not proud of, something we have done, a way of being we have been, a behaviour that comes out. For some of these parts it is about bringing in to the light, recognising they are not part of our true self and releasing them, and for others parts of us it can feel like a beautiful reunion.

For me last year, the reclaiming part was bringing that box of shame in to the light that I had been working over the top of, releasing it, and reclaiming parts of me that had been sabotaged by that box of shame.

The reflections were around – if I am not working over the top of that burden, what could life look like without that? All the energy being consumed by that box, the mind chatter, the overthinking, the worry, the doubt, where else could I be spending that?

When I was back in the UK, Mum, Dad and I watched a series called The Piano, a beautiful competition that wasn’t really a competition… Long story short, a participant played an original piece called learn to live. This planted a seed with me. What could life look like, if I learnt to live, like really live?

Further reflections were around what are the key pieces of an authentic life. Are there steps that we can take on a regular basis to remain connected to our true self… Not in a ‘jeepers more to add to my to-do list’ kind of way, but actually creating a life that contains these, because ‘that is what we want life to be holding’ kind of way.

I have a core value of simplicity, so when it comes to tools and ideas really try to bring them down to the simple steps. I do put a disclaimer in there that they are not always easy, but it gives us a guide to be working from. With the idea that when we do get disconnected from ourselves we can use the pathway to belonging to get back and reconnect with the our true, our authentic self again.

I have been sharing with others the format that has come together for me recently. The feedback has been that it has given people a sense of relief, that they have some tangible steps to work from to help them learn to live authentically, to be able to show up as their true self.

I share a wee bit more about this and some of the reasons we can get to a point where we want more from life in my latest podcast HERE.

When I got back from the UK, I saw the whiteboard on my desk still said ‘we can do hard things,’ and I absolutely still believe that we can and need to at times. But I changed it, as per the photo above, if we give ourselves permission, we can also do cool things too!