Allow Yourself to Be Acknowledged ~ Eduardo Placer
This is a simple statement with profound impact and quite truth telling about how we view ourselves when receiving acknowledgment.
Last week in upstate New York, under the blanket of a starry evening sky, the Soul Camp Talent Show took place. Some people were familiar with the stage and shared their gifts with experience and reverence. Other first time presenters stepped up in front of a large and supporting crowd with courage and perhaps a bit of fear. Their offerings were just as profound as the “regulars.” To get up in front of a group of people and share from your heart is not necessarily easy.
There can be a lot at stake for those new (and old) to sharing, which is only amplified in front of large groups. Our multi-dimensional selves often carry the imprint of the fear of rejection, desire for acceptance, yearnings to get it “right,” and perhaps social anxiety that is heightened under bright lights – at least that’s the way it was for me. By stepping into the spot light we put ourselves in an incredibly vulnerable position, which is actually a shining example of how strong we truly are. Vulnerability is strength; fear fosters courage; love embraces all.
Creative dynamic tension (aka stress/anxiety) has a tendency to pop up and can drive us to excel or shut us down altogether. Those that braved the rigors of exposing themselves and all that comes along with that, were received with standing ovations. Soul Camp was/is a place where everyone gets a standing O, no matter what. This applause was a deep recognition for people being themselves, sharing themselves and offering their hearts to the audience with reverence and respect.
Eduardo Placer (#nailingit), the MC for the show, guided the experience with mastery. He reminded us that these acts were less of a performance and more an offering of gratitude (in a shamanic/yogic/spiritual way, this is a deep form of prayer – hence all the bowing). He made sure the acts transitioned with fluidity, highlighted key features of the offering and provided comedic relief throughout. Perhaps one of the most remarkable works he cultivated that evening was reminding people to be acknowledged. Some graciously accepted the applause, while others did all they could to get off stage with a quickness. He would reel the attempted escape “artist” back into the middle of the stage and loving say to them “Allow yourself to be acknowledged,” at which time the audience would double down on its gratitude for the offering.
This, in some ways, became a side theme for the experience as many people needed the reminder. Something deeper lies in this message, perhaps one we all need to hear. It’s a reminder that no matter who we are and what we do, if we are willing to step up and bare all, for better or for worse, we are worthy of acclaim. We are worthy of receiving love. We are worthy of being who we are, in all our greatness and, at times, not so greatness. We need not run nor hide when receiving blessings.
This teaching is not only for the stage, it can ripple throughout our daily lives – it certainly does for mine. Sometimes making a phone call can be challenging for me. Other times saying “no” brings up performance anxiety. Even going to familiar places outside of my home stirs a bit of fear. I now will flash to the standing cheering crowd and take them with me when I do something that pushes my boundaries.
Next time someone offers me a compliment, a pat on the back, or a high five for being my badass self, I am going to take it, accept it, and revel in it. The compliment about my attire (“What, this old thing?”), my work (“Well, I could have done it better.”) or just my presence (“Well, no one else is around.”) reveals self-talk that is telling about my preconditioned sense of worth. Now I’m going to allow myself to be acknowledged – seems like a good idea, don’t you think?
Allow yourself to be… exactly as you are, perfectly imperfect, flawed, fantastic, human and… Not only can it feel really, really good it is important for the giver to know that they have been heard. Energetically this creates a connection, a bond, a loop of awesomeness. Allow that loop, that gift, that effort to make its way into fruition. With a gracious bow (there’s that prayer thing again) we can allow ourselves to receive.
This is something that strikes a chord at the core of the human experience: that we are meant to be embraced by love, enjoyed, honored and celebrated, despite what we may think about ourselves. “Showing” up for ourself by stepping into the bright lights of vulnerability is courageous, cool and worthy of a standing O. So, in good company or in the quietude of your private space, allow yourself to be acknowledged.