What is REAL?
Posted on September 13, 2011 by Andrea Burk, One of Thousands of Leadership Coaches on Noomii.
IMAGINE always feeling like you belong. IMAGINE always feeling attractive. IMAGINE always feeling loved. IMAGINE being real...
I spent the last week of my summer leading a retreat for brilliant, beautiful, strong, inspirational, purposeful, young women. We were tucked away in the bountiful woods in British Columbia with access to a clear, fresh, dark green-blue mountain lake in which we would have morning dips and afternoon swims under the summer sun.
We explored the woods, worked through challenges, astounded ourselves with our abilities and powers, celebrated success, shared stories, laughed A LOT, cried some too, made new friends, and, perhaps, made even better friends with ourselves. As each day passed so did the stress, concerns and inhibitions, opening a space for love, imagination, understanding, openness, expression, aliveness and freedom.
So what is real? Exactly that. It is a discovery and an expression of self. Something that is hardly possible when society is telling you what you should, what you are, or what you ought to be.
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Below is an excerpt I read at the retreat about becoming real from The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real, by Margery Williams.
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room.
“Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”