This summer I traveled with my kids to Weaverville, NC – technically we went to see my folks who have a house in Leicester, but I spent a large part of each day in Weaverville. That part of America is truly God’s Own Country in July and while I basked in the splendor that summer in the mountains brings, it was the reunion that I had with my best self that I most enjoyed and left the most lasting impression.
In Weaverville, I was a free as a bird, Grateful Dead listening, country road traveling, lattee sipping, fiction writing GODESS. I was carefree again as I traveled the winding mountain roads listening to The Dead, 10.23.80, New York, NY. I was cool again and spent my days developing characters and designing plot points at a local coffee spot. I was happy knowing that my suburban-city hybrid kids were busy with the business of being kids – breathing fresh air and getting their hands dirty at our local farm.
It was a much needed gift, but the experience did leave me wondering why I had to travel so far from home to access that side of myself. Why is it that at home I carry tension in my shoulders, need silence in the car, opt for the shortest route to my destination, get in line at the closest chain coffee drive thru, and struggle for creative inspiration? I am not alone in this. My husband is in his full glory sitting on his surfboard waiting for a wave. I have a friend in Boston who I witnessed surrender his daily preoccupations and hop around with enthusiasm only at an outdoor installation art-music festival. I see clients every day who access their kindest, most generous insightful selves only behind the closed doors of their offices in deep conversation during coaching sessions with me. On my way out the door I glimpse them reenter the common areas of their office with their business armor back on ready to correct errors, penalize mistakes, and reprimand with sarcasm. It is impossible for them to reveal their best self to their employees, clients, and colleagues.
I am determined to shed my Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona. My hope is to integrate the divergent parts of my personality. Weaverville will always be there waiting for me, but It must be possible to go about the business of my life and also hold onto the parts of me that I like best right here at home. I know that maintaining my Alexa-ness makes me a better leader, coach, and entrepreneur. I imagine all of us are at our most impactful, profitable, and powerful when we bring our whole self into the world.