Authenticity. Belonging. Transparency.

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Over the years I’ve loved this process of getting to know myself better. I used to run and hide from the personality traits that I thought I embarrassingly embodied. I’ve tried on different personalities at different periods of my life I’ve loved self-improvement/help books but mainly because not only did I want to “better” myself, I thought I also needed to change myself. I often hid behind an image of what I thought others thought I should be. I used to get paralyzed if someone asked me what my hobby was… truth was, not only did I not have a hobby, I didn’t even know what I liked.

When I lived in the Dominican Republic our organization used a test called The Birkman and I learned so much about whom I was as a person in relationship to work.

Driven but trouble with follow through
Excessive planner
Persuasive
Need to be heard
Need opportunities to lead and advance
Loves to work in a team environment
Needs change, freedom, and purpose
Has to believe in what I am doing wholeheartedly
Loves teaching

(For reference I’m a blue/green if anyone has done the Birkman)

Lately I’ve been studying the Enneagram. You see when I left the Dominican I thought I was turning a new leaf. I chose to homeschool our daughters, and I was pregnant with my 3rd. I had no desire to work professionally… but we are who we are and it didn’t take long to see that changing countries didn’t change my unique wiring.

While I adore homeschooling, one afternoon in the fall of 2017, my husband and I sat on the driveway while the girls scootered around the neighborhood on his only day off during a time period where he worked 2 full-time jobs and clocked nearly 90 hours a week of work. He shared with me he wasn’t sure how much longer he could do this. I knew he was right and I could see the toll it was taking.

I began researching & praying. Above all, I knew I would need to help provide income without hindering my ability to homeschool the girls, but I knew I needed to feel really passionate about whatever missional movement I was going to join. And one thing I knew for certain: I would never sell lip gloss.

I searched for companies that would allow me flexibility and freedom and change, but with my non-committal schedule it was becoming increasing impossible to find what I was looking for in the season of wanting to stay home, create my own schedule, and find missional work.

I reached out to a gal I knew who was selling fair trade artisan made goods and asked if her business was profitable? I already knew I could get behind the mission, but could it provide enough income for me to pay my car payment. I am so incredibly thankful for her honest answer. She told me it was more of a hobby, but she also had something else she wanted to introduce me to.

Enter Beautycounter.
Right away the name turned me off. Makeup? No way. Remember, I said, no lip gloss. But she sent me samples to try, and I googled the company, only to learn this was much more than a beauty company. The name literally means to COUNTER THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY, and I began my research into the dirty world of under-regulated personal care products.

Alan and I discussed for weeks, or I should say, he fully supported me jumping in with both feet while I labored over the decision for weeks. Our last date night before Iris was born, we talked over sushi and he said “just do it already.” Iris was born several days later and 7 weeks after her arrival, on a whim, I opened my computer and signed on.

As I got back into the workforce and fell in LOVE with the mission, women, and advocacy work this company is involved in, I realized I was the same person I was in the Dominican (a few more gray hairs, a little wiser) but who I was in my core being had not changed.

I took the Enneagram and learned I was a 3 wing 2. Of course I was. In the same moment I found myself surprised that another test confirmed who I was and relieved that I could just accept me as I was, stop apologizing for who God had clearly created me to be, and move on with my life without the weight of expectations of who others thought I should be. When I allowed myself to simply be me and I accepted my own self, I found a deeper sense of belonging, of love, of gratitude.

I stepped into the light and into the mission of this incredible movement. I remind myself daily of why I chose this line of work. It wasn’t simply to pay bills but I missed affecting change! I missed being a part of a work bigger than me and completely unstoppable. I missed the community and camaraderie of linking arms with other women to support, encourage, uplift, challenge and spur one another on! This is the best job. This is also the best time of my life, because I’ve finally come to a place in my life where I not only know WHO I am, but I authentically accept who I am anyway. You’ll always find me over here over-sharing, over transparent, and hungry for real connection!

Let’s let our true selves be seen!

Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” — Brené Brown
PS:
What is your Ennegram?!?!

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