I was window shopping while waiting to meet a friend for brunch and I saw this sign.

It made me laugh instantly. I don’t need more “stuff,” so I kept browsing and killing time. Before I left, I decided I wanted it. I cracked some jokes with the owner of the small store and went on with my day. I brought it home, put it down next to my fresh sunflowers from last night, and knew I made the right choice. This sign brings me so much joy!

The reason why it made me laugh initially was because I talk to myself all the time. It’s like I was holding a tangible reminder of something so familiar to me internally.

I speak with myself to get psyched up for something: “Alright, Niki, we’ve got this!” I speak with myself to settle in and calm down: “Mmkay, Saq, this isn’t going to kill you. You will live.” I speak with myself to just appreciate who I am: “Wow, Queen/Babe, you are so beautiful.” I speak with myself to get spicy and call me out on my own shit: “Welp, that wasn’t your greatest moment ever. What can you take from this and learn for next time?” I laugh at and with myself very frequently.

There are times, though, when I put myself on the back burner behind work, sleep, and random life pressures. I fall for the very easy and common “trap” of just agreeing with societal conditioning. I grow tired and weary of examining myself and unleashing what my true beliefs actually are. When this happens, I try to sink into my body and get almost annoyingly present with the here and now. I lift weights because I’m forced to be in the current physical moment. I journal to brain dump all the extraneous noise and hopefully start hearing my deepest, inner most self. I take deep breaths until everything kind of just shakes around and rolls right off of me.

I brought home this sign to poke fun at myself, but mostly, to be a visual cue to continue to discuss with the most important person in my life: me! It has already called me out a few times today. It reminds me to check in with my authentic self, to put in the effort to go a layer or two even deeper, to let myself question, challenge, and explore my inner world.

It also reminds me that there are a lot of moving parts within me, but ultimately, I am the one who makes the final decisions. My brain may think very strongly in one direction. My heart may feel very deeply in another direction. And yet my body may be buzzing with energy towards a completely different direction. It has taken me a long time to figure this out, but what I have come to realize is that – it is okay for different parts of me to feel different things. Brain, Heart, and Body are all just doing their jobs, and they do them well! Don’t pin them against each other or resent them for not falling into line. Give them full permission to be themselves and work their magic. Allow them to discuss together, to all have a seat at the table! They are all on the same team, MY team, just doing what they can to help me lead my best life possible. At the end of the day, I am the one who benefits from their wisdom, and I ultimately choose what actions to take with my life.

I get to be my own coach, my own therapist, my own devil’s advocate, my own cheerleader, my own shoulder to cry on, my own best friend. I am growing in my capacity to question myself, and in my ability to hear the answers. I am very much looking forward to future and deeper discussions with the fascinating specimen that is me.

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