“You are a star in an otherwise bleak world.”
I just received a check in the mail from a speaking engagement and workshop I presented and these were the words I found handwritten in the “for” section.
I leaked a little awesome from my eyes because if I told the Tara from even 10 years ago that I would be getting paid to basically just be the wildest authentic expression of myself, I would have hoped it was true, but I probably wouldn’t have believed it.
I’m not any luckier or special or braver than anyone else. Honestly I’m just reflecting all of your lights. Thank you for supporting me to shine so brightly. Without my community I would be hiding in the dark.
I love you.
I used to find it to be challenging to be the real me in every situation. I was a professional mask wearer. I would interchange which one I put on depending what present circumstance I was in. Some of my most used masks were my work mask, my going on an interview mask, my trying to impress people mask, my going on a date mask, my going out to a club mask…I could go on and on.
One of the only places I wouldn’t wear my mask was at a music festival. I felt safe to let my weird out and damn it felt good! The more I went to festivals the worse it felt to put on a mask. I started to wonder what would happen in I peaked out from behind my mask when I wasn’t at a festival. Would everyone point at me and laugh? Would I lose my job? Would my boyfriend break up with me? Would I shrivel up and die?
The truth? Yes! Most of those things came true and they didn’t cause me to die. Phew!
What did occur was all the things I was afraid of losing and happening, I did in fact lose and they did happen! And looking back, I’m so grateful. I now had the room in my life for real magic to be let in. Slowly but surely I co-created the life I only dreamed about. I married the most perfect man for me. I live in a town where I can see live music every day of the week if I want to and catch the most beautiful sunsets in the world. My “job” makes my heart sing and I often find myself saying, “I can’t believe people pay me for this!” When you are using your unique gifts to serve the world that’s how it should be. I’m changing that thought right now to, “People pay me for this and I’m so grateful!”
It may seem superficial, silly and simple, but dressing to express my authentic self was the first step I took. It wasn’t easy at first. I was terrified at what other’s opinions of me would be. I had to constantly remind myself that what others think of me isn’t any of my business. And what happened? Sequins, feathers and glitter happened. And people totally laughed at me. Sometimes when I’m walking down the street to bring my husband lunch I get called a walk of shame. Other times people say things like this to me:
“I wish I was as brave as you to dress that way on a daily basis.”
That was the response from the very young salesgirl at American Apparel when I said “everywhere” in response to when she asked me where I was going to wear this dress and the ones I was getting in gold and black.
I said, “Hey! I might die tomorrow and I would regret keeping clothes in my closet for a special occasion. Why can’t today be a special occasion? And tomorrow too?”
She looked at me with innocent eyes and said, “That’s a great way to live life. I’m telling ALL my friends.”
I said excitedly, “Me too!!!!!!”
Yesterday someone said to me, “I’m too old to dress like you.” I asked her how old she was and I was actually older than her!
Don’t let anyone tell you you’re too old and for that matter too anything to express who you are.
Here’s my challenge to you if you choose to accept it:
Peak out from behind whatever mask you’re wearing and see what happens. Report back here in the comments section and let me know.
I love giving challenges and there will be many of them given during my next retreat. The amazing bassist of Dead & Company Oteil Burbridge and I are inviting you to the opportunity to retreat with us from your own home this fall. We have some of the most inspiring rockstar master teachers lined up for you too. Holy moly it’s going to be amazing! Everyone who signs up for the FREE VIP List where you will get backstage exclusives, guaranteed seats to this September’s virtual house concert series and early registration to the retreat will be entered to win a FREE Unicorn Hour (phone/FaceTime/Skype) with me. Follow this link to get your sweet ass on the list.
The awesome in me sees and bows to the awesome in you,