Give Yourself Permission

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By Millicent Parker | February 26, 2018

This past Sunday I sat in the congregation of my church and witnessed the grace and poise of men and women as they swirled and leaped and swirled again dancing as though their hearts were overjoyed and they had to share it. As I watched from my seat I felt a strong desire to join in as my arms and legs slowly began to sway in the direction of the dancers. My soul said “YES”, dance until your heart is content, but my head said “NO!” you are not a dancer!

Maybe I could be, I thought to myself, but you are not that graceful, I thought again. But what if you just tried it? But what if you failed and totally embarrassed yourself? Back and forth I went in my mind.

Now I think to myself, what if I give myself permission to try? Not expecting to be perfect day one or to perform with Misty Copeland, the first African American principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, but just for the fun of it or just for the experience of it. Would that be so bad? Can you think of something that you desire to try? It does not have to be a complete career change, but maybe it is.  It may be something that stirs up inside of you and will not let you go. Can you give yourself permission to try it?

Can you give yourself permission to do more than just dream about it, but to take action toward that dream or that goal?

I know it may sound silly, especially as an adult, to think that you have to give yourself permission to do anything. Being an adult means you get to decide how things go in your life or at least we used to believe that, but somewhere along the way that belief was usurped by life’s experiences or maybe we unknowingly gave it away.

It does not matter, because here, today we take it back and we declare that we give ourselves permission to live life, to love whole heartedly and to laugh often!

So how do we do that?

  1. Write all of your desires down. What do you want to experience? Without concern about money, time or any other thing that makes you hesitate simply write out all the awesome, fun, adventurous, intriguing life changing things that you desire to experience. This is just for your eyes only. If you desire to share, do it at a later date. For now, allow yourself to enjoy the ideas as they flow. Writing them allows you to give more definition to what you really want.
  2. After you have written your desires down review them regularly. Envision yourself attending the Met Gala 2018 with the perfect black dress and stunning jewelry or owning a little beach front home to relax the day away gazing at the crystal clear water and the soft white sand. Your dream could be as simple as taking yourself to a movie that you really would like to see or enrolling in a photography class because you enjoy taking pictures. Whatever it is give yourself permission to visualize and enjoy it in your imagination.
  3. As you are enjoying the great things that you have dreamt, begin to consider which desires could happen sooner and which ones are probably best done over time. This is not meant to be stressful and if it triggers stress then stop, take a deep breath and come back to it later.
  4. Act on one of your desires in some way each day. Now, I have to say that quitting your job today and purchasing a one way ticket to a tropical island with no plan or resources is not something that I would advise or condone, but dreaming about it and allowing yourself to make a plan to achieve it is definitely a good route to take. Many times, it you are anything like me, I would talk myself out of something I want before I allow myself to take a good look at the plausibility of it.

Every day I am learning that giving yourself permission to try something new gives you permission to be the best you.

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