The moment was familiar to me. The quickening of my heart as the plate was placed in front of me, the quiver of sweat appearing on my palms.
I was at one of my favorite restaurants, with some of my favorite people.
But in that moment, when a little plate was put in front of me with a complimentary taste from the kitchen, I was quickly pulled outside of myself – into fear, into the murky territory of holding space for myself while operating within the swirling matrix of living in a world with others.
For me, food is heavy. It is complicated. It is a daily practice for me to coexist with food peacefully.
For years, I have used food to keep myself from being threatening, used food to connect with my tribe. Used food to keep me soft and relatable.
For years, I have told myself the story: You are flexible, so it’s ok if you don’t keep your promises to yourself. It’s Ok. It won’t kill you. Just say yes.
But, of course, it isn’t about the food.
It is about earning my worth – being good, likable, palatable, small.
In that moment, I cowered in my adult outfit and my adult intentions, finding myself young again, swimming in the fear of what it might mean if I chose not to take the bite.
It looked perfect. Delicious even.
But it was something that wouldn’t sit well with me, something that if I were to get really honest (with myself and with you) was out of alignment with how I want to be feeding myself.
Then the whisper, my heartbeat – the good mother that lives within, holding the framework for me when I’m overwhelmed:
You have permission to say no. You do not have to take that bite. You can choose yourself. You can choose to prioritize your needs over social niceties and polite behavior.
You do not have to make yourself small to make someone else feel better.
You can stand here, fully and in your innate beauty and power, and be loved for exactly who you are.
Anyone who resents you for this does not have your best interest in mind.
Anyone who responds negatively to your attempts to care for yourself to the best of your abilities is keeping you small – because your standing in your truth and shining in your life is threatening to them. And that is about them, not you.
Your people want what is best for you.
Your people are ready to welcome you with loving, open arms when you allow them to see you.
Your job is to simply show up in the world, as you are, and transmit clearly, unfettered by fear and worry. Your job is to simply be the radiant, whole, highest vibration of yourself possible.
When you stand in your truth – you are rewarded by the sweet whisper in your own heart: you are mine and you belong here.
Say no. Choose wisely. Dig deep to your heart center – choosing out of the place where radical self-responsibility, self-love, and self-trust live.
Allow yourself to believe that you deserve to carve out space for your needs.
Stand in your power, feeling the heady vibration of choice and “no thank you” as you refuse to abandon yourself.
Give yourself permission to belong to yourself, first.