, , ,

The beautiful essence of YOU!

“’To be or not to be?’ ~ That is the question.” –William Shakespeare

Superman and wonderwoman

The Essence of YOU

There have been, of course, tomes written about the works of Shakespeare, and Hamlet in particular. I’ll not create another one here on the blog; but suffice it to say that in the play, Hamlet poses this “to be or not to be” question during one of the character’s now most famous soliloquies, and it refers primarily to his facing his own death.   There is much more to say about this aspect of the play. For purposes of this edition of Soul Notes, however, let’s explore the phrase in terms of “to be or not to be our authentic selves.”

To be or not to be our own true essence. It’s about returning home to ourselves.

Otherwise, in denying our true selves, we do indeed face a death of a different sort:  a creative death. Denying who you are means keeping yourself less than fully expressed.   It means dimming your light. It means pulling your soul into a tight ball, unto itself. That really does a disservice to yourself and to those around you. It takes its toll. You pay a high price. Self-expression, when repressed, makes for self-depression.


“You are all things. Denying, rejecting, judging or hiding from any aspect of your total being creates pain and results in a lack of wholeness.” -Joy Page

For example, maybe you find yourself no longer creating music, or even listening to music. When once you were the first person on the dance floor, now you’re suddenly hanging back in the shadows, affixed to your chair. Maybe you used to be the first to jump in line to sing karaoke? Or, you used to pick up a paintbrush, pastels or colored pencils and create works of art on a moment’s whim, purely for the enjoyment of it. Or, curling up in a well-lit corner to write poems, short stories, or other forms of prose was something you did on a regular basis. Now, perhaps you’re lucky if you can find a good pen that works?

This of course, also requires viewing ourselves as creative beings, by our very nature. Yes, you out there who when reading this, may be saying to yourself: “Oh, I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” You do have a creative bone. You do. Several!  You are creative. You are!

There’s also something to be said for fully be-ing, and not merely do-ing. Busy BEEness is not the same as BE-ingness! Buzzing around, appearing to look busy, often bears little if any resemblance to embracing your true self, and embodying your true essence, and being who you truly are. It often serves as a distraction, a substitute.

“Essence” comes from the same Latin root as “essential.” Your essence is essential to who you ARE. It’s what gives you your particular character. It is your distinctiveness. As with an essential oil, it is you, distilled down to your core. Sandalwood is not any more akin to frankincense or bergamot or peppermint than you are to someone other than yourself.

And, feel free to express yourself in all ways that feel good to you. As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, why not? What’s stopping you? When I was about five years old, my older brothers and I would watch American Bandstand and Soul Train on television. The brothers would sit on the couch and make comments about the bands, the music, and which dancers they liked best.

For me, I couldn’t contain myself! A minute or two into each program, I was up in front of the TV dancing to nearly every song.  I envisioned myself right there on the set, groovin’ right along with the rest of the dancers. My brothers often rolled their eyes, groaned in feigned disapproval, and would ask me to move over to the side of the TV.  But, that didn’t stop me from expressing myself! I loved those shows, and I couldn’t wait to get up and dance.

Somewhere along the line, however, for me and for many of us, the “critics on the couch” take up more and more space in our psyches. If we let them.   I say, take back that power. Reclaim who you are.

It can be painful to dim your light. To hide your true essence. Wonder Woman’s super heroine powers were hidden under the cloak of her alter ego, Diana Prince. And, while fronting as Clark Kent, a reporter for The Daily Planet, Superman would wear his “S” under his street clothes. When called into action, he’d first need to duck into a phone booth or the office’s storage closet, to reveal his true identity!

You’re not Clark Kent. You’re not Diana Prince. Give yourself permission to be Superman or Wonder Woman. Claim it for yourself.

Be that.

Be you.

Not just some of the time.

All of the time.

Save the day.

Save yourself.


For your consideration:

Get quiet, and reflect for a moment: When have you felt most at-home, as your true self?

Okay, your turn:

How do you and your true essence show up in the world?

I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2015 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.
, ,

Why change?

“The times, they are a changin’….” (Bob Dylan)

Positive Change

With change comes progress.  Incremental change.  Massive change.  Total upheaval.  It all constitutes change.  External factors as well as internal factors are at play.  This applies whether it be within individuals, small groups, or entire organizations.  Keep up with the times.  Adapt or die.

In this edition of Soul Notes, we explore what change really means, and when is it likely to be avoided, and when is it welcomed and embraced?  What makes the difference?  And why are the distinctions important, if at all?


Change your clocks.

Change your password.

Change your perspective.

Change your attitude.

Change your altitude.

Change your mind.


~   ~     ~   ~   ~    ~    ~

Change of scenery.

Change of pace.

Life Changing!

So many turns of a phrase.  Change per se, though, certainly is anything but a one-size-fits-all.  We often hear that “people are resistant to change.”   I heard someone say that emphatically in a group meeting just the other day.  It had me pondering, though – is that truly always the case?  Or, is it something that many of us have simply come to accept as “true”?

I really like this quotation:

“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed.” (Peter M. Senge, PhD)

Sure – we all may recall those times when we have been at first resistant to change.  Or, there are those times when we may have had a reluctance or hesitancy to ‘take the plunge’ into uncharted waters.  Even in those instances, however, we may also experience an accompanying sense of excitement and even exhilaration.  There’s a spectrum; a range.   It’s not all or nothing.

At a fundamental level, as Professor Senge’s quotation above suggests, it often comes down to a matter of free will.  We desire the opportunity and freedom to choose to invoke change.  We desire to have a say in the making of the change in our lives.  And, of course, not all change is scary or unwelcomed.  What if, for example, someone offered to pay off your mortgage, or give you a brand new car – would you resist that change?  Mostly likely, you would gladly accept that as a welcomed change in your circumstances.  Not all changes are to be “avoided”! There are exceptions, perhaps.  What if those offers came with conditions placed on them?  You may still accept.  Or, depending on the conditions, you may decline.  You are always at choice, even if it may not always feel as if it is so.  We are free to approach change from a place of empowerment.

What I’m suggesting is that it may not be “change” itself that we are avoiding.  It is, instead, the (perceived or real) risk of changing and having something “bad” happen.  Fear takes a stronghold.  Our body goes into fight or flight mode.  Our mind amps up as does our nervous system–and not in a good way.  Ah, remember, though, that we may choose to anticipate the “best” outcome instead, and not the worst case scenario.  It takes strength.  Inner strength.

Helen Keller was on to something when she said:

“To keep our faces toward change, and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate, is strength undefeatable.” (Helen Keller)

Resistance to change.  Relunctance to change.  Hesitant to try something new.

We’ve all heard the warnings:  “Maintain the status quo.”  “Don’t rock the boat.”  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  “We’ve been doing it this way for [this many] years – it seems to be working for us just fine.”

On the flip side, though, are all the reasons to accept and embrace change.   It’s a transforming, transmuting, ever-changing world in and all around us.  Ice forms.  Ice melts.  Caterpillars become butterflies.  Children become adults.

 “I give you this to take with you: Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.” (Judith Minty, Letters to My Daughters)

Must we let go of the old, to make room for the new?  Often, yes.  There’s another option, though, too.  What about expanding into a new self that includes the old along with the new?  Nothing need be left behind; unless, of course, it no longer serves you or your highest interest.

As set forth in a previous post, it’s not prudent to change completely at all times, in all ways. (Okay, one more last quotation in our quote-a-palooza here!: “True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”  (Leo Tolstoy)) Change does provide the opportunity to begin again.  It’s up to each of us. Yes, you and I, we can and may begin again.

This helps make the ride of life, all the more:




For your consideration:

Get quiet, and reflect for a moment:  When have you felt most at-choice with regard to making certain changes in your life?  Notice one or more examples that come to mind.  What feelings arise for you as you reflect on those instances?

Okay, your turn:

What is it about change that particularly scares you?   In contrast, what types of change do you willingly accept, and perhaps even welcome in with great delight?

I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2015 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.