Being all that I am is a challenging thing to do. It means I must not only believe in myself and the value of my gifts, but that I must also listen to my internal compass above all else. I must check in with myself when I’m in a new situation, out of my comfort zone, or have that nagging feeling that something is not quite right. This alone allows me to make sure I am being true to who I am. Doing this requires a great deal of self-knowledge and an even greater amount of thought and reflection. All of this requires time and we live in a society where there is never enough time. So it’s taking me a long time to figure this part out and I know I will likely still be working on it when I too leave this lovely planet.

Being nothing that I am not is a bit easier but not much. It’s only become easier because of the successive life altering losses I’ve experienced in recent years. When my brother, my husband, my father, my dog and my mother (yes in that order) died, that which I’d spent twenty years working for, the beliefs I subconsciously counted on and all that I’d planned seemed to just disappear. Poof! Not only did I then have to accept that this sort of thing could happen but that it had happened to me. And when I did, the legitimacy of the script I’d been following was thrown into question. After all, the life I was now living was so ‘not’ to script and yet, here I was still living.

So what do you do when something like this happens? Bit by bit I worked my way through the numerous beliefs I’d previously unquestioningly held and then I stopped following silly social conventions and began using my core values more to guide me. The basis of this new emerging script is on connection, compassion and kindness. I’m not naïve. I’m very aware of unscrupulous and fear based behaviour. Somehow, it’s easier to recognize now. But, whereas before I may have reacted to it, now its influence is greatly diminished. Letting go of beliefs I no longer see as legitimate has given me insight into myself and better equipped me to ‘not be something I am not.’ I am stretching into a new and different approach to living. After all individuals just like me constructed those scripts, beliefs and plans. So the one I’m creating really isn’t any less valid that the one I so blindly followed before. I actually believe it’s more valid because it helps me to be all that I am and nothing that I am not.

Note: “Be all that you are and nothing that you are not” is a phrase coined by my late husband Richard Nutbrown.