Shed the layers

Shed the layers

Today I would like to begin by sharing the gist of three movies that I feel gave a compelling universal message. Hope you have seen few of them.

A few years back I watched the movie “Up” that I love repeatedly watching even today. In the film, Carl Fredrickson’s heart is hardened by his wife’s death. He buries his loving self and spirit of adventure along with her. But there is a moment in the movie where he is flipping through his childhood –adulthood photo album. As he looks into the pictures that reflect his genuine self, in an instant he realizes what is missing within him, and sheds his defences. He reconnects with the innocent, full of wonder adventurer who he is quintessentially and that brings him back to life!

In the movie Tamasha, the main protagonist is almost executing his life by concealing his true spirit. He is reluctant to be himself, so he pretends to be the person that he feels is expected of him. The movie is about his journey where he chooses a career and a way of life that is lapping the joy out of him until he finally sheds his layers and steps into his true calling.

In the movie Moana, the feisty protagonist travels oceans to restore the life of the mother goddess ( Te Fiti) by returning her heart.  She has to go past a monster (Te Ka) to be able to do that.  But on reaching the island Moana realizes that Te Ka is Te Fiti without her heart.  She restores the heart, and the monster sheds her dark cover and then emerges the brilliant goddess who is trapped inside of her.

I want you to meet Moana, Tefiti and Teka. Here they are


I believe most of us will relate to all these three stories that send a simple message.  Be who you truly are.  Shed that cover and embrace your real self. Your strengths, vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and fears will help you evolve when you begin to be the quintessential you.

Being true to ourselves is so simple, yet we make it so complicated. Here I am not talking about the behavior’s we do, but about the core emotions that you operate from.  We want to feel peace and joy, but that gets difficult if we are busy pretending or build a fort around us. I used to be a lively, exuberant, chatterbox child and those who know me may be surprised, but I used to mimic characters, enact solo dramas, and dance to Boney M and Abba songs with my mother watching me in delight. But as life happened, unknowingly  I began to lock myself up. It was like those stacked toys where there is a doll inside of a doll.  I took on the cover of being solemn and proper as it felt like a very safe way to be as a grown up.  I was totally unaware of why I had so much of resentment and anger towards the world when actually I was stealing my own light. But in the past few years, my coach helped me to set myself free. Today I feel very comfortable with who I am because I feel so connected to the smallest doll in me which is my core spirit.

As children, we are so pure, innocent and aligned to our core spirit. But, as we hear voices criticizing us, experiences testing us, society judging us, we begin to put up a façade or borrow masks. It feels safe but is also suffocating. It feels so frighteningly safe that we start to feel this is who we are.  Then to get rid of the uneasiness or to feel good about ourselves we keep searching for something or someone on the outside. Anything on the outside never will be sufficient as the true self is shut down and not receiving it. The layered self-does not want it.

I worked with a student some years back who wanted to be someone who could crack jokes, humour a crowd and look stylish. He wished to be a favourite among friends. Each time while going out with friends he used to feel miserable. He believed he was not cool like most of them and also terrified to pretend to be something he is not. So after an evening full of trial and error of pretence he still was not the favourite guy in the group and came back feeling worse. In our sessions what changed for him was when he paused to think of his deeper intention of hanging out with friends and that was more than just fun. He slowly realized he is someone full of wonder, laughter, appreciative, and just simple. He was then facing the dilemma of whether he wants to connect with that core or be someone else. Sometimes after we peel the layers and see who we are, we need to make that choice.  Either honestly embrace that side or draw a curtain on it.  He started stepping out being that real person, and soon he became aware of how gifted he was. He saw he had the gift of not judging people constantly, truly listening and being happy for them.   As he began to show up with people being comfortable with who he was, slowly he started to bond. He realized his light was sufficient for him to shine and stand out, and that allowed him to receive what he valued the most….deep bonds of meaningful friendships.

Ask yourself this very moment, how real do you feel each day when you are alone and with others? Observe yourself for a while like you were observing someone else, and see yourself in different phases of your life. Describe yourself on a piece of paper as to who you are, what are your gifts.

What is stopping you from being the real you? What has to happen for you to be who you really are?

I know right now you must be saying,” Hey this is not as simple as she is saying it ”.

I agree, but you know what? It is.

Moana’s song says it all :

I have crossed the horizon to find you

I know your name

They have stolen the heart from inside you

But this does not define you

This is not who you are

You know who you are

You truly are… 

Keep smiling! 




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