It’s no coincidence that I’ve been sitting on this post for a week now.
It’s no surprise that I got some insight on a big role I’ve been playing, and want to hide.
And it’s no wonder that I want to share this insight with you now. I am a Type 7 Enthusiast after all.
I am no stranger to calling myself out, tattle telling (on myself or others…even my littles), or drawing you in. In fact, I called myself out last fall while in Colombia on Facebook Live. I called my bluff and came clean about hiding my gifts from the world and robbing others of what I’ve been entrusted with. My video received nearly 5,000 views and lots of positive responses, and then I hid. I lured you in and then I ran away.
Coming clean, taking responsibility for what you did and didn’t do, and owning all of it 100% are not easy.
What’s easy is to cover it up, hide under the radar, or say it will never happen again. Yet when you choose to do that, you’re diminishing yourself even more. You’re shrinking down and essentially saying to yourself that you don’t matter or aren’t good enough, worthy or [fill in the blank].
When you own where you are, you have an opportunity to restore integrity with yourself and the rest of the world who has been quietly cheering you on to…own WHO you are.
Enter the Sly Fox.
In November 2018, I was on a Wildhearted Retreat in the Sacred Valley of Peru. It is one of the most beautiful and energetically powerful places I’ve experienced. Early on in the retreat, we took some time to create our persona or avatar; an alter ego we’ve been playing based on an incident or occurrence from our past. And once we got a sense of who our alter ego was, we danced in a way that brought it to life.
As I often do, I made lists of various ways of being (how I occur for myself and others) until I found one that hit the nail on the head. And when I claimed my persona to be the Sly (Elusive) Fox, I didn’t fully understand the weight of it. I continued to look through foggy lenses and only see a glimpse of who this character is for me.
It wasn’t until recently that it began to click. I was in a meditation and could feel the weight of being the Sly Fox (continuing to let myself be seen and then crawling back into my hole). And I could see the pattern unfold in my life. Have an amazing idea—and share it with others; crawl back in my hole. Launch a business; crawl back in my hole. Share exciting news; crawl back in my hole. Meet a guy that I really like, and you guessed it, crawl back in my hole.
I’m really great at selling myself and my services and then I hide away.
That’s why foxes are so sly and cunning. They draw you (or their prey) in and then hide away.
So when did this start? When did I stop putting my whole self out there fully?
When I was in high school I was a powerhouse. I was a great student, made good grades, had amazing friends, and was heavily involved in extra curricular activities—the more activities I did, the less I’d be home around the chaos and conflict of being in a family with an alcoholic.
One of my main activities was being on the Forensics Team (speech, acting, and debate). I was an officer of our team for 4 years and President my Junior and Senior years. At that time, I was the first Freshman to be an officer, and the first person to be President two consecutive years. I poured myself into this and practically lived at my high school. I would stay at school until 9 or 10 pm practicing and coaching others on my team. And if it was the night before a tournament, you’d often find us there way past midnight. We were determined and committed to being the best.
And I was one of the best. I was a powerful speaker and debater and did very well in various speaking events (organized and impromptu). I continuously placed in local, regional, and state tournaments.
At the end of my Junior year, I went to state in Oratory and Extemporaneous speaking. Everyone (including me) was pulling for me to place in the top, and possibly win the state. I had a solid speech, the perfect red power suit from The Limited, and confidence.
I was ready.
And then I received a phone call that changed my life. My parents called to let me know that my Aunt Donna had suddenly passed away. She was in great health and it made no sense why she would die before turning 50. I was in shock and completely crushed. My Aunt meant so much to me, and in an instant, she was gone. I lost all focus and fumbled during my speech. I ended up not making it to finals, and left home empty handed.
Without realizing it, I began to subconsciously believe that if I went away or followed my heart, something bad would happen. So in order to protect myself and others, I began to self-sabotage or play the role of the Sly Fox—be seen and hide away.
What I dub as my series of unfortunate events (or in the eyes of a teenager, complete failure), continued to occur throughout the remainder of my Junior and Senior years. My first real boyfriend broke up with me and later came out to me that he was gay. Real confidence booster being the last girl to date. Luckily we’re still great friends and can laugh about it now. But as a 17 year old, I didn’t know how to handle that. I dated someone else in my senior year and was told I wasn’t “marriage material” (because marriage is something you think about when you’re a teenager). And instead of brushing these boys off and moving on, I kissed relationships goodbye. I decided it wasn’t worth putting myself through rejection and hurt (again protecting myself from the potential of experiencing these things).
I was the person that people thought would be the lead in a play or get a solo in choir, but would bomb any singing audition I had (basically my voice would freeze when I’d go up on stage to sing). I missed being in the top 10% of my class by 1 person, got a low score on my ACT (which to this day I still believe doesn’t prove anything about a person’s knowledge), missed qualifying for Nationals in Forensics, and so on. And on top of that, I had an extremely difficult family life. All of this, was a lot for a teenager to handle.
I was self-sabotaging everything I wanted without realizing it. And began playing it safe.
I hung my hat up as a leader, and began following in others’ footsteps; I found it easier to follow what others were doing rather than to stop and consider what I wanted to do. I went to college where my sister went; studied abroad like my sister and brother; took my friend’s job which was basically handed to me after she got engaged and found out they’d be moving—I never really stopped to consider what type of career or job I’d want; and so on.
Through all of this, I still had high hopes for my life and big dreams. I was a professional dreamer—always creating in my head but not taking action towards those dreams.
Fortunately, I’ve been able to chip away at uncovering what’s at the root of a lot of this. I’ve been on a 15-year journey of transformation through mental, physical, and spiritual work, and, of course, traveling and experiencing the world. And I’ve still lived a great life in spite of the playing the Sly Fox. Everything that’s happened has shaped me into the person I am today.
Even with that awareness, it’s still frustrating when I find myself in this pattern. I know that I was created for great things (and that I’ve done great things), and I still want to hide away sometimes. And then I remember that I’m not a teenager anymore. Everything that happened during my high school years happened in the past, and it’s that teenager who has been trying to keep me safe ever since. As a teenager, the best way I knew to cope was to stop giving it my all or putting myself in situations that involved conflict or heartache.
And I don’t have to do that anymore. I’m not 18. I’m 34, and I’m up to big things. I quit my job of 11 years last year to follow my dream of traveling the world. And while traveling, I got clear that I was living that dream. And now, I’m building ways to earn income to support my bigger vision. I am on the path to stepping into the parts of me that I’ve hidden away for so long, or stopped owning. I am a leader and have so much to offer others. I am a coach and know how to guide others to being their best selves. I am a writer, and write from my heart. I am an Authentic Connector, and connect powerful beings to each other. I am courageous, bold, smart, witty, influential, beautiful, and authentic. And I don’t have to hide these qualities or skills anymore. I don’t have to be afraid of rejection or heartache; or be afraid that I’m going to let someone else down. I can feel the fear and do it anyway.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
I call myself out or write authentically about my experiences to make a difference both for me and others. I don’t always know what others are dealing with, and it could be that there is one person who needs to hear my truth. And that is why I love being a witness to transformation. I love how giving it is and how it will push you to your breaking point, but will not break you.
Transformation is like an onion. There are many layers that continue to be pulled off to reveal more of what’s made you who you are today, as well as reveal where you’re still hiding. It’s a lifelong journey and not one that’s always comfortable or easy; but the knowledge and awareness gained from having breakthroughs and new insights is priceless.
And I’m still living and breathing life. I made a choice last year that I would no longer live a life of suffering. It’s not to say that I don’t struggle or have moments of pain and heartache (I wouldn’t be writing this post or many others if I didn’t). It’s more about acknowledging the pain, heartache, and upset when it occurs and choosing to own it rather than criticize it or have it own me. And take note of what I’m meant to learn during these times.
Wherever you are, acknowledge it. Whatever you feel, be with it. Whoever you are, own it.
Call yourself out and allow yourself to be seen. And remember, you’re not a teenager anymore. You don’t have to protect or stop yourself from going after what you truly desire.