Tag: personal growth (page 1 of 2)


There’s a word that kept resurfacing in the past few months and I’ve decided to pay attention. The idea of “unbecoming” has been coming to me in internet quotes, books I’ve read, conversations I’ve had. Although, the expression has been adopted in a pejorative way to mean unflattering, it stuck.

Unbecoming is defined as:

: not attractive : not becoming

: not appropriate or acceptable for a person in a particular job or position

What if “unbecoming” was the key to our happiness?

What if unbecoming was the gateway to inner peace?

I think it is. Here’s how I got to this conclusion.

Unbecoming BraveBohemainDOTComThe first few years of our lives are spent “learning”. We learn all our lives, on many levels, but the types of learning we do early on is less aware. It’s much less about who we are than it is about how to function. In the process, we inevitably “become” someone. We’re named a birth, into a family, in a place, with a cultural background. We learn what all these references mean. We situate ourselves. We relate to others from our predetermined, subjective, point of reference; the someone we’ve (been) identified as. As we go through life, this someones’ story becomes heavier and heavier with experiences and this someone’s actions, decisions, and reactions become defined by each other. The frame of reference becomes more defined but also more limited in possibilities. The person (soul) who limits themselves to their identity’s frame of reference, whatever format is used here (cars, jobs, family…), stops listening to their guidance. The truth is, the story we tell ourselves about who we are only matters to our “someones”. Who we are – souls – don’t care about stories or typical forms. Our souls don’t care about our family histories, our jobs, our salaries, the houses we live in or the car we drive. Our souls use these as means to an end. Our souls don’t even regard “reasonable possibilities”. We are so much more than the identities we assume and we tend to limit ourselves because that’s what we learn.

Unbecoming is actively shedding parts of our assumed identities that no longer work for us. (Have they ever, really?) It can be compared to someone’s sense of style; for most of us, it’s clearer through choices what suits us. We decide to eliminate, we actively choose to not participate in trends, we refine what feels right and looks good on us. (At least, that’s the hope!) And of course, some styles work for us at certain stages of our lives and not others… we try on personalities and lifestyles and work our way to what ultimately, is “really us”. I see the process of “unbecoming” like me refining my soul’s personal style by taking away the superfluous, the tacky, the ‘age-inappropriate’, the unflattering and the uncomfortable. In so doing, I’m allowing the classic pieces and the few daring ones that act as my secret weapons to nail the “style” that is just right.

Now, hold the phone, I haven’t mastered this skill yet. There are layers of this to be done, at least in my case!

To me, unbecoming means….

That I’ve declined the invitation to conform, to be nice, to keep my head down just for the sake of it.
That I’m bolder about my life choices.
That I’m more honest in my words and actions, and that I’m firmer in my boundaries.
That I say no a lot, but I also say yes to more of what I want or need.
That my heart feels lighter and lighter.
That my head feels clear.
That my body feels strong and healthy.
That my decisions are in line with my values.
That I’m facing my fears about being apologetically who I am.
That I’m facing my fears about being responsible for my life.
That I’m getting closer to my core.

It remains a process that looks a lot like cha-cha, but its by-product is a beautiful dance of mySelf.

Unbecoming might just become a key word for me in my spiritual practice. What can I shed today / this week / this month / this year? Is this choice honouring me, deep down? What does my gut say?

What does unbecoming mean to you? Do you feel like there are habits or beliefs you could shed to be happier and lead a harmonious life?

Lightworkers – Lanterns In The Dark

Lightworkers have a responsibility to hold a lantern in the dark.

“We’re not meant to live in a righteous, isolated group of enlightened or aware people and leave everyone else in darkness without tools.”

I’m paraphrasing my reiki instructor. This is how I heard her explanation of professional responsibility as reiki practitioners and more globally, as healers. I suppose it’s akin to the Robert Baden-Powell quote: “Leave this world a little better than you found it.”

This teaching has resonated with me greatly when completing my second level of reiki this past weekend. Why would we surround ourselves with people who do not need our help?

What is the point of service, if not to assist, through our gifts and abilities?

I’ve wrestled with the idea of not living my purpose as my career, and of being in places that feel so “wrong” to me. To a highly sensitive person (HSP) like me, may environments feel like an assault to the senses.  (SIDEBAR: If you think HSPs aren’t real, look it up as they comprise about 20% of the population. We’re real and our sensitivity is a gift!) I’ve been seeking peaceful and loving relationships, while being confronted with complicated and sometimes even toxic ones.  I’ve had, as many folks do, my challenges with my family as with friendships and workplaces. It’s happen to me so often that I’ve felt out of place, wishing to just find the “right” environment that would allow me to blossom and just be. I’ve been looking for an everlasting sunshine.


Source: Elley Ray

As it turns out, flowers and plants grow in dirt. Funny enough, this analogy didn’t occur to me, despite my hardcore gardening habits since I’ve become a home owner. Flowers and greenery add colour to any landscape and they tend to brighten up most people’s day. Guess what flowers and plants also need? Water. That’s right. Sometimes, it’s got to rain.


I’ve come to realize, as this lesson is being hammered home, that I can embrace my unique set of abilities and my sensitivity, and I can be proud of how far I’ve come. I can continue to grow and should do so for my own well-being. I can love who I am and accept where I am on my path and still hope for growth. I can be excited about what I learn. I am entitled to healthy retreats. By all means, when I need to self-care, I do so – finally, guilt-free!

However, it’s important to remind myself never to become righteous or condescending (even in my head! That darn voice…). I mustn’t make the mistake of thinking that my path is any wiser or better than anyone else’s. A solution for me, as obvious as it may seem, may not be one suited for another. Everyone has a story.

I shouldn’t hope to live in seclusion, protected from “the others”. My growth was helped by so many people and experiences who must have smiled, in understanding, at my process.

We aren’t islands or “monks on mountains“… As we all share the Earth, we should share our resources, literal and figurative.

I wanted to share this insight with you because it ties in nicely with the spirit of this blog; it’s storytelling and sharing from an honest, heart-centred place. And so it is… hoping to be shielded from the world through the quest for enlightenment or through intentional living is fruitless. Wishing to be saved from “this place” by “becoming better” isn’t going to lead anywhere either. And what would be the point of a race to “awareness” and “understanding”, especially if it meant leaving our brothers and sisters permanently behind?

stock image of a lanternIt is one of the greatest responsibilities to work in service or in healing of any kind. I believe when one has mastered a skill or discovered a great treasure, one has the duty to share it. Besides, it’s impossible to keep it to yourself without extinguishing it. It’s a little bit like holding a lantern in the dark. If you hold it up, you help others find their own way. If you try to hold it tightly, either you get burned or you snuff it out.

This simple teaching has helped me integrate, in yet a different manner, that in order to grow, we need to do so while facing challenges. Initially, we’re in the dark and we’re digging through dirt – often of our own making. We can curse the dirt, or we can be grateful for what it feeds us: opportunities to morph and grow. We soak up the sun when it’s in our sky, because it’s going to rain. And when it does, we drink it up and we’re our most beautiful, authentic selves. Someone needs to see you shine. Someone needs to see the rays of sunshine through the droplets on leaves and petals.

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