Yourself More

Last month I read Alicia Key’s book More Myself: A Journey.

Before all of you men out there start shaking your head or rolling your eyes at me for reading such a thing…take a step back and reconsider such body language. And for you women that believe you cannot live out your dreams like Alicia has…DON’T!

Alicia is an artist. Alicia creates music that can change one’s emotions within seconds to minutes. Alicia grew up in Hell’s Kitchen. She’s not an imposter. She is not a poser. She is not a narcissist. Alicia is real, and she is candid and she is MORE.

And thus, I wanted to share a quick snippet from her work that spoke to my heart and my mind as I struggle to let certain things go (perhaps you do to!).

Most of us take about sixteen breaths per minute. That means we typically breathe 960 times an hour, or around 23,000 times a day. During my two glorious weeks of silence, I had more than 322,000 opportunities to breathe my way into a new existence. One exhale at a time, I let go of the urge to twist myself into a pretzel, trying to live up to others’ expectations. I let go of the belief that, if I stepped away, nothing would be there when I returned. And in place of that notion, I inhaled liberation. I inhaled boundlessness and brilliance that once guided the Egyptians in crafting monuments of greatness. That’s what fourteen days of solitude can bring: space to breathe. Time to reflect. A chance to reimagine what your life can look like.

Alicia Keys, Page 117-118

But I could not leave you with just one glorious piece, so I am deciding to share this one as well:

I began using the single most powerful word a pleaser can ever speak: No. It took practice. When pleasing has become your MO, it’s tough to consistently begin holding your boundaries. But it gets easier the more you do it. You start to realize that the earth doesn’t fall off its axis because you turn down a speaking engagement or even a movie role. The world keeps right on spinning. And the gift you give yourself is more energy to do the work you actually want to be doing. Saying no doesn’t make you less of an artist or human being. It makes you a stronger and more purposeful one.

Alicia Keys Page 117

I don’t know if you do, but I struggle with those things that Alicia speaks of. I have a hard time shutting things off and I don’t know what it is causes me to seek being in OVERDRIVE so often. I see my daughters growing up so quickly and I feel like I am getting hit with a bunch of bricks and that the trauma is building up and perhaps I need to wake up, stop, set boundaries and reevaluate. I am trying. A little progress being made daily. Hoping to take more steps forward than backward, but it’s not so easy.

Perhaps you have some of the same struggles as me. Perhaps yours are similar but different. It doesn’t matter. Struggle is struggle and it just depends on how you look at it.

Look, her book isn’t perfect. Her words will not resonate with every one of us. She opens herself up to be judged by all who see her on stage, in film or within the pages of a book. But with the right perspective, we can all gain so much from the journey that she shares. We can in fact be MORE OURSELF.

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