If you overheard my friend Kristina and me talking you‘d likely be amused and definitely a little puzzled as we use phrases in total earnestness like “woman voice” and remind each other to “be Cher.”
What we’re talking about is overcoming the tendency so common among women to shrink, to try to slip by without causing disruption, to preface everything with a timid, shoulder-shrugging smile and, “If that’s ok?” or, “If you don’t mind,” practically apologizing for our existence. To instead stand our ground, throw our shoulders back, ask for what we want, smile only when we mean it, and yes, use a little of that lower Cher register when we speak.
These are physical tools – like an actor working from the outside in - to own our power especially when we feel the least empowered and need to access it the most.
“Don’t shrink, don’t puff up, stand your sacred ground.” - Brené Brown.
When we practice this in the world we always marvel at its effects: how amazing we feel, how the attitudes of those around us transform. We marvel equally at how despite this it is so easy to fall back in to our shrinking patterns.
That’s why we keep encouraging, inspiring and supporting each other.
I had an experience recently where I let my guard down, shared who I am underneath my social mask in an environment I feared afterwards wasn’t “safe” or appropriate for that kind of disclosure. I felt resentful and foolish for allowing myself to be seen. I also felt I’d really dropped the ball on this whole “empowered woman” thing. I told Kristina as much; how I wished I’d been more armored, “more Cher.”
“But don’t you get it?” She asked. “Cher does allow herself to be seen. That’s what makes her so powerful.”
I realized Kristina was right and I saw something I hadn’t before: the courage to be truly seen is a genuine source of strength.
Like many people, my greatest fear is probably to be truly seen and then rejected (!!) for it. But imagine being liberated from this fear! Imagine the freedom to be unafraid of being seen. To actually live out our awareness that our true worth is unaffected by anyone’s reaction to us.
Is this as wild a new frontier for you as it is for me?!
To truly Cher more of who I am might just be my greatest new year’s resolution yet. This blog post is a start.
To all of you daring to be you and to be seen – I got you, babe.
P.S. Please comment with your thoughts and *Cher* with others you think might benefit from these ideas. ❤️