We are constantly invited to be who we are… — Henry David Thoreau

If you watched my video on Facebook, you already know where I am going with this…but if you didn’t, this quote is my touchkey.

What is a touchkey? Let me tell you a story…

It started on Sunday, my first day at the John Maxwell Team International Speaker, Coach, and Trainer Certification event. I walked through the vendor area, knowing they just wanted to sell me something but too excited to let that deter me. A colorful art studio was set up to the right of the comfy seating area, just past the hair and makeup booth. Since I woman in the registration room had just told me I could make a fancy button at a booth in the vendor area, I knew that had to be the place, but I was in a hurry so I didn’t take time to stop and talk to anyone at that time. Instead, I went to the first session of my week, realized I needed a deeper commitment level to propel myself and my business to where I wanted it to be, signed up to be mentored, and went home to rest up for the week of nonstop learning and growth.

But, then it was the next morning and I had to check out that neat little art booth. It was knowing I could make a little button that said, “Find Your Purpose” that made me want to look at all the beautiful inspiring items I could see from my place in the middle of the room…Now, I had to find out what that little art studio was all about. Mind you, I am NOT an artistic soul. It was curiosity and admiration of the quotes so beautifully displayed that caused me to walk over to the very artistic looking women who was in charge.

The woman was the perfect picture of an artist. Her hair was in a messy bun. She had on an apron with paint all over it. She carried paintbrushes in her hands as she walked around. Her palette was full of bright, beautiful color.

I took my time approaching her too, because you know what they say about those artsy types… just kidding… I have NO idea what they say but it sounded good at the time…

I carefully perused the artifacts that were displayed for my viewing pleasure. Quotes from John Maxwell, his teaching faculty, and the Bible were everywhere. Occasionally, I would see other quotes by other people too. As I approached the artistic woman I spoke of earlier, Melanie was her name, I overheard a customer giving instructions about how she wanted her poster created, what it should look like, and how it should be displayed. Melanie looked at her over the top of her glasses and said, “I can tell you like to have things just how you like them. But, what I tell people like you is to trust me to create something for you. This is what I do.” Both women laughed. Then Melanie looked at me…

Melanie looked at me and said,”And, what can we create for you?” My response was a bit odd for her to hear. I said, “I am kind of the opposite of her. I prefer for you to just make something for me. Listen and create what you hear with whatever quote you hear. I just want you to do what you do. You are are, I am not you. You do what you do.” Melanie proceed to say how much she loved people like me and asked me to tell her more about who I am and what my business was about.

As I shared my story with Melanie, she was a bit distracted by all the shiny, happy people around her. They really were shiny and happy. I promise. Anywho… I started talking to her counterpart instead. We agree that Melanie might be a bit distracted like me… 🙂 I talked a bit more to Melanie and her colleague, then paid for my creation yet to come.

When I filled out the paper receipt with instructions of what I wanted, all I wrote was, “You be you.” I trusted that what I would receive would be exactly what I needed.

The next afternoon, Melanie found me in the vendor hall, again, and told me my masterpiece was complete. She would not tell me which beautiful creation was mine though. She wanted me to figure it out. When I walked over, I looked at the different items and asked what area mine was in. I noticed one first that had bright, sparkly colors, but Melanie told me that was definitely not mine.

I proceeded to read the first one on the left side and saw the words, “You be you” in silver lettering on the bottom left corner. I knew immediately that one was for me. As I read the words by Henry David Thoreau, “We are constantly invited to be who we are…” I was not sure how to react. It did not immediately resonate with me, but I knew it was no coincidence that this was a quote from a well renowned author. I was a former teacher, I knew this was what I was supposed to have and decided to wait for the meaning to be revealed to me.

On the final day of the certification portion of the training, Bonnie St. John (if you haven’t heard of her, you should look her up) spoke about micro resilience. She gave us a few steps on how to fortify ourselves and be resilient when times get hard. She talked about a touchkey. She said a touchkey is something you keep with you that helps you recenter yourself when you feel overwhelmed, discouraged, frustrated, and ready to give up. It is something that reminds you why you do what you do.

The lightbulb turned on. My masterpiece created by Melanie was my touchkey. It was my why. It was my foundational belief about myself and everyone around me.

We all have unlimited potential and we are all necessary. We truly are constantly invited to be who we are but we can’t be afraid to share that with others.

You need to be you. I need to be me. No one else can be you. And, no one else can be me.

We are not the same. We are unique. We are important.

You need to be you.

Last week, I was transformed by my experience at the event. It was an emotional experience; but more than that, it was a time of deep reflection and looking within myself. Passions were ignited, vision was strengthened, conviction was real.

I posted a couple videos and a blog during that time as a small way of trying to express the magnitude of the experience. But, really there are no words that can express the profound transformation that happened within me.

This week I am constantly being invited to be who I am. To be me.

It is refreshing, invigorating, terrifying, mind numbing, amazing, brilliant, and beautiful. And it is me.

You be you too. Listen for the invitation to be you. Step into the light and share who you are with the world, at least the world around you.

You be you.

Be Brilliant. Be Amazing. BeYOUtiful.



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