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Confidence — is it demonstrated and then felt or felt and then demonstrated?

The movie "Saturday Night Fever" opens with John Travolta strutting confidently down the street. His arms move in rhythm to the beat as he puffs his chest out and looks around his city. He owns it, and he doesn’t care who knows it. Watching that scene begs the question “confidence — is it demonstrated and then felt, or felt and then demonstrated?”

Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me… We went to see the band The String Cheese Incident over the weekend. They played at an outdoor venue which did not permit camping chairs, so our finding a spot inside with empty seats was like winning the lottery. A couple came over and sat near us. The young woman was dressed in a lightweight skirt and top that showed off her figure. She attempted to engage my partner in conversation and then started her performance. What do I mean by that? You’ve seen it a million times. It looks innocent enough, but soon you realize she’s hoping to capture the male attention around her.

Back me up ladies, this can be infuriating as we know our men are visual. When her dancing (including these bending over moves to show off her breasts) didn’t garner her the result she was hoping for, she decided to move her things to the seat right beside my honey. This started to really rub me the wrong way. Instead of seeing red and thinking about scratching her eyes out, I took the opportunity to lean in and discover what this free spirit was trying to teach me. I believe that every exchange offers an opportunity for growth for both people.

Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’… As I tuned into her energy, I noticed something unexpected that I can only describe as a façade of sorts. There she was, provocatively dancing, but the confidence wasn’t there. I kept her in my periphery as she moved to the music in front of any and every one that would keep their eyes locked on her. Each time she managed to get and keep the attention of men, she became more animated as that seemed to fuel her deep need for validation. I felt an emptiness inside of her. Her heart wasn’t in it. I thought…you have a tough road ahead of you sister.

If she were a friend, I would have taken this young woman aside and shared with her all her inner attributes that make her worthy of being loved and adored but that wouldn’t serve her spirit. My sense is that she believes that her value comes from the people around. No matter the outfit, no matter the movement, no matter the strategy, she was never going to pull off confident because her energy matched that of an attention seeking child. She felt almost desperate to be adored by all of us. Giving her attention might have soothed her in the moment, but it would have been a mere band aid. What she needed would never come from any of us. She is on a journey to find her inner goddess. That is the part of her that is self-assured because she values her body AND her mind, her heart and her spirit. When she dances from that place she will not care if she is watched by others. Her spirit will move her, and that energy will naturally bubble out of her and infect everyone around her, uplifting us all. Got the wings of heaven on my shoes, I’m a dancing man and I just can’t lose…The universal law of Polarity My turn. This is part of the story where I acknowledge that she gave me the chance to learn about myself. “The law of polarity states: everything is a continuum and has an opposite. We can suppress and transform undesirable thoughts by concentrating on the opposite pole. It is the law of mental vibrations.” Norma Milanovich, “The Light Shall Set You Free."

I detached from her in order to get a little perspective. Why was she activating me? When I looked at her, I saw her feminine clothing and fit body gyrating to The Cheese, and wished I had the courage to do that. She taught me in that moment that I wanted to accentuate more of my feminine side and allow that energy to be expressed through my own rhythm and movements. I felt a shift inside of me. That shift or connection was my self-worth holding its boundary. Instead of indulging in the lower vibrational energies of jealousy, judgement and pity, I chose to go to the opposite end of the spectrum and appreciate her. The truth is that her beauty and free spirit takes nothing away from my beauty and free spirit. Thank you, sister, for showing me parts of myself awaiting exploration.

As I allowed my inner knowing to rise to the forefront, I became a conduit of energy. By connecting into my spirit and feeling my worth, I gave her the gift of connecting to her spirit and feeling her own value. This is how we support each other ladies. There are some women that will climb over us to get what they want, but as we stand tall and hold our head high, accepting who we are, warts and all, we shine a light on their shadow. It isn’t me against your girlfriend. It’s all of us in life together. That understanding of oneness is the energy that will attract more beauty into all our lives.

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk…a lesson for us all I do not need your approval to love who I am, and when I ask with my actions or my words, don’t give it to me. Hold your stance, show me a way forward by standing in your power. I will feel it, if only for a minute. That minute is a minute of healing that my spirit will use to console me when my body changes, my looks fade or life challenges me in ways I cannot predict. I will remember you and your ability to see past my manipulations for they are my fears that keep me believing that my power is sourced outside of me. I am opening to the possibility that I determine my worth.

The next time you see me dancing at concerts I will have transformed from the organ grinder monkey to my own version of Tony Manero dominating the disco floor in a solo performance of “Stayin’ Alive.”

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