A few months ago, a friend and former client came to me and shared that she wanted to move forward in her work in a bigger way, she wanted to share her inconvenient truths with the world, and she wanted to shine a light on the things that she felt mattered.

But every time she set out to speak up, strange things would happen…
…swirling fear
…hives (no joke!)

This is so common. In conversations with the women I work with, one of the greatest challenges we face in our leadership (regardless of how much “success” we’ve seen), are issues around being seen.

And it makes perfect sense. Consider our conditioning… 

Our own histories around shining and being seen, and all of the ways we’ve felt celebrated, judged, objectified, threatened.

The experiences of our relatives, both living and deceased, the ways they were revered and persecuted, and how free they were to be free.

The traditions, rules, and stories of our culture and religion, and how much they make space for the honoring, rising, and celebration of all people.

The ways that political rhetoric, the media, laws, systems, and institutions impact the honoring, rising, and celebration of all people.

Whether we are conscious of it or not, on some level, we carry these narratives in our cells. Like a rose that turns blue when blue dye is added to its water (but of course, remains a rose)…

Our expression is colored by the narratives that run through our lives and lineages.

And many of these [conscious or unconscious] narratives tell us that shining is dangerous, so we keep quiet.  Or, if we express ourselves, we often do it with an underlying tension or fear. Either way, all of our pet “protection” mechanisms can kick in (exhaustion, numbness, confusion, distraction, etc.) 

This is the challenge with being a lighthouse.

The purpose of a lighthouse is to serve as a navigational aid to ships, to help them find their way.  And isn’t this what we do in our leadership? Whether we’re negotiating with a vendor, making a request of an employee, writing website copy, or sharing something we believe on social media, we’re shining a light on what we sense will help things flow in the most aligned way possible.

Shining is a vulnerable act.

When the lighthouse shines its light, though, it’s not saying “Hey, look at me!  Aren’t I majestic, and important and beautiful?!”

It’s saying “Hey, I’m here to work with you to keep things flowing.”

It’s not about the lighthouse, it’s about the light.

A lighthouse’s purpose is not to be seen, but it must be willing to be seen. @AskNisha (Click to Tweet!)

Remembering this can help us find the willingness to move through all the things that surface when we shine…
…swirling fear
…yes, even hives

These things that obscure the light prevent us from standing in our leadership:

Moving forward in our work in a bigger way,
Sharing our truths with the world,
Shining a light on the things that matter to us.

These are the things that I help women move through, so they can feel free to shine in their lives and work.

  • Uncovering and embracing your unique magic: the essence of who you are, and your inborn gifts and talents.
  • Expanding your leadership, by coming into right relationship with the soul of leadership, embodying your unique magic, fully integrating your gifts into your work, and developing the leadership qualities necessary to face the joys and challenges of rising in our lives and work.
  • Deepening your sense of freedom, so you feel secure within yourself and your gifts, untethered by unhealthy patterns, and untangled from limiting cultural/ancestral/familial/personal narratives that keep us from knowing our worth, and embracing our path.
  • Carving your unique path, because no person or business needs the same as another, so the choices you make – from where to live to how to market your offerings – need to align with your vision, values, soul’s truth, and desires.
  • Developing your offerings, and ensuring that they align with your unique magic, a thriving and sustainable way of life for yourself and your family, and the way you feel called to serve.
  • Clarifying your message, and how to express it through your writing in a way that reaches your people.
  • Clarifying the offshoots of your message: website name, tagline, program names, etc.
  • Crafting a clear game plan for the things that you’ve been feeling stuck around, both personally and in your business.
  • Finding healthy ways to relate: to food, your body, your mother, your partner, money, your business…you name it.

I want you to know that I fundamentally believe that each of us has a light that this world this world could benefit from seeing. It’s not about us being seen, so much as it’s about the contribution to the collective that comes from ALL of us being in our full, radiant self-expression.

We’re all innately brilliant.
We’re all innately beautiful.
We all innately care.
And all of that matters.

Nisha Moodley is a Women’s Leadership Coach and the creator of Fierce Fabulous Free, The Freedom Mastermind & The Virtual Sisterhood. Inspired by the belief that the world will be set free by women who are free & sisterhood is key to a woman’s freedom, Nisha creates communities of ambitious women to support them in redesigning their lives & businesses. Find her online at NishaMoodley.com and download her free Take Flight Action Guide to explore the next expansion of your freedom at TakeFlightActionGuide.com. You can follow Nisha on Twitter or FB.

Image courtesy of Olga Bast.